Daily Archives: October 4, 2006

Wednesday Author Interview: Mark Budz

minitlc.jpg Make your bid for The Last Colony, to benefit the John M. Ford Book Endowment. Learn more!

My Wednesday Author Interview is up over at By the Way: This week it’s Mark Budz, author of the highly praised science fiction novel Idolon. I had a signing session with Mark during Worldcon this year; he’s a great guy and a damn fine author. Enjoy the interview.

I’ve done enough of these interviews now that I should make an link archive of them somewhere, so that people who are interested in them can find a quick way to link to them. I’ll add this to the agenda.

A Significant Event in the “Last Colony” Auction

As those of you who are participating in the Last Colony auction know, one of the rules I’ve set for the auction is that no bid can exceed a previous bid by more than $20. The reason for this is simple: This keeps the fakers from bidding up the price to unreasonable levels they never intend to pay, thus messing with the people who making legitimate bids. I thought putting a cap on each maximum bid would keep the auction on an even keel, and so far it has — we’re at $520 dollars in the bidding, which is really far beyond what I expected. I am humbled and gratified. Thank you.

Here’s the thing: The limit was set to make sure there would be only legitimate bids. And now I have I have someone who I know is a legitimate bidder, who wants to raise the bid to $5,000. The bidder is Bill Schafer, who is the publisher of Subterranean Press. I’ve done quite a lot of business with Bill over the last couple of years, so I know he’s good for the bid.

After much thought on the subject, I’m going to allow this bid. The goal here is to raise money for the John M. Ford Book Endowment, after all. $5,000 will go a long way in allowing the endowment to get where it needs to start buying books. For me to ignore a bid that does that, and that I know is legitimate, would make me, well, kind of stupid.

So: The current bid in the auction for The Last Colony is now $5,000. If anyone cares to bid above that amount, you can improve on it (and subsequent amounts) by up to $250 each turn. All other previous rules apply. Bid in the auction thread, not here. Again, please don’t bid unless it’s a serious bid; don’t waste my time, or the time of the other bidders. Thanks!

Mark Foley’s Upcoming Personal Disclosures

While I don’t wish to appear unsympathetic to the plight of former representative Mark Foley, who I hope receives all the counseling and care he needs, I can’t help but notice that Foley’s now-daily disclosures of terrible personal secrets, genuine as they may be, also look very much like the performance of a politician dramatically and publicly falling on his sword in order to provide his former (and now somewhat panicked) colleagues the evidence they need to suggest that he was so darn screwed up that people should focus on that, rather than, say, the moral poverty of a Congressional leadership that allowed a man IMing sexually-charged messages to teen pages to remain the co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.

As effective as these personal disclosures of Foley have been in drawing attention to his own screwed-uppedness, however, the media still seems to show an annoying tendency to ask the house leadership about its role in the mess. This is not optimal, particularly with the election so close at hand. Clearly, what needs to happen is a continual stream of poignant revelations from former representative Foley, on the pace of one a day or so, in order to keep the focus on him, not on Hastert, Boehner, Reynolds or any other prominent House Republican that one may care to name.

And as it just so happens, one of my sources on Capitol Hill has slipped me the following information: The next ten heart-rending personal disclosures from Mark Foley. This list of tragedies will keep the media busy through at least next week, which is more than enough time to concoct some mass hysteria-causing fake crisis that can be fed to the public via Fox News allow congressional leaders to effectively address the public’s concerns.

Mark Foley’s Next Ten Heart-Rending Personal Disclosures

1. Functionally illiterate, which explains his IM grammar

2. Is a “transmelinaed” — a badger trapped in a human’s body

3. Previously undisclosed kleptomania caused him to steal IM transcripts from Denny Hastert’s desk

4. Psychologically scarred at the age of eight when his cat perished in a horrible bacon-taping incident

5. Bedwetter? Bedsaturater

6. Never got over not being related to Axel Foley

7. Naturally smells of jasmine and lilacs — not a good thing in gym class

8. Not only unable to solve a Rubik’s Cube, but also deeply flummoxed by the Pyraminx

9. Pathological fear of toast

10. Shameful addiction to New Wave of British Heavy Metal; has entire discography of Judas Priest, but oddly, nothing from Girlschool

There! Now you’re ahead of the news cycle.

Get well, Mark Foley. Privately, if you please.