BookLog 5/28/08

It seems like I just got home, but now I have to get ready to leave again, on account that I will be in Los Angeles at Book Expo America tomorrow through Sunday, having dinner with librarians, doing a panel on online communities with Cory Doctorow, Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, doing interviews and signing books. Yes, they’ll be keeping me busy, but not so busy that I will not find my way to In-N-Out. Count on that. Be that as it may, before I went, I wanted to note the books that have come in in the last couple of days. Notes on some of them:

* Luis Ortiz was kind enough to pass along two art-related books he was involved in: Emshwiller: Infinity x Two, which is a Hugo nominee this year in the best related book category and which he wrote, and Paint or Pixel: The Digital Divide in Illustration Art, which is edited by Jane Frank and among others things features essays on illustrations by three artists I’ve been lucky enough to have create my book covers: Donato Giancola, John Harris, and Bob Eggleton. I’m really looking forward to being able to spend some time with both of these, and not just for the pretty pictures.

* Sin in the Second City is unfortunately unreadable — not because it’s a bad book but because it got left out in the rain by the delivery service, and the pages are still drying out. Hopefully it’ll be readable by June 10, which is when the paperback version of the book goes on sale. I do want to read it: books about turn-of-the-century Chicago brothels are strangely appealing to me (more for the turn of the century Chicago than the brothels, actually),

* The arrival of the ARC of Mark Van Name’s upcoming novel Slanted Jack (which comes out in July) reminds me that I have not yet congratulated him for taking this year’s Compton Crook Award, which is awarded to the “best first novel of the year written by a single author… in the field of Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror” and is awarded at Balticon (which was last weekend). The award was for his debut One Jump Ahead. It also comes with a $1,000 cash prize. I don’t think I was even nominated for it when I was eligible; I think I would have remembered the thousand bucks. In any event, well done, Mark. Don’t spend it all in one place, unless that one place is a book store.

* Pyr has reprinted Robert Silverberg’s Son of Man, which made me say “cool!” when I opened the envelope; for various reasons I’m wanting to refresh my Silverberg reading, so this is nicely timed for me. I love it when publishers anticipate my needs, even if they don’t know they’re doing it at the time.

What on this stack looks good to you?

If Dunkin Donuts Could Afford to Be Honest

Their press release for this would read as follows:

Because Michelle Malkin is so appallingly stupid and/or ignorant that it appears that she can’t tell the difference between a paisley scarf and a kiffiyeh, we’re pulling our ad of Rachel Ray enjoying our iced coffee. We do hope that once Ms. Malkin extracts her head from between her own ass cheeks, she stops by one of our many establishments and samples one of our fine iced coffees, any one of which undoubtedly tastes much better than the crap that typically fills her mouth, via her brain, at any given time.

Alas, they cannot afford to be this honest. Alas, also, that Malkin and her spittle-flecked ilk will no doubt see this as a some sort of victory, rather than what it is, which is a large corporation recognizing that some people are just too goddamn simple to attempt reason upon. I mean, really. I’m trying to imagine what it would take for me to believe either Dunkin’ Donuts or Rachel Ray is somehow down with the Intifada, and all I can think is that the number of hammer strikes it would require would knock me unconscious long before my brain could become that scrambled. But I suppose some folks are genuinely committed to such a path. Bless their hearts. Here’s a hammer.

Yes, I’ve Seen the NEW Canned Bacon

Not the bacon that was canned a terrifying 20 years ago and has since waited, a stealth botulism bomb, for an unwary consumer, but all-new tinned nitrated pork belly:

That said, I think I still fear it. Please, none of you send it to me, and trust me, this isn’t one of those reverse-psychology, “no don’t throw me into the briar patch” sorts of thing. Really, I think I would run screaming.

Hat tip to Cary Camden for bringing it to my attention.

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

Zeus wakes up Lopsided Cat and wants to start a fight. Unfortunately for Zeus, Lopsided Cat obliges him.

The moral: Don’t wake up Lopsided Cat. Ever.

New Short Short Fiction (From Me)

Why yes, as it happens, I am writing a bit of short fiction these days, namely a series of short-shorts (i.e., less than 2k words) that will appear in the Subterranean Press e-mail newsletter over the next few months. Even better, some of this short fiction will be interactive: One of the recurring bits will be an advice column for dealing with aliens in day-to-day life, for which readers (meaning, oh, you) can send in your letters asking for social tips for living with the aliens next door. Because you know you have questions. Yes you do.

If you want to get this new short fiction I’m writing, just sign up for the Subterranean Press e-mail newsletter, which you can do off the Subterranean Press Web site’s front page (the sign-up form is in one of the sidebars; just drop in the e-mail address you want the newsletter sent to). It costs nothing to sign up for the newsletter, and also aside from my fiction you’ll learn about various cool new books that are coming out from Subterranean (including, uh, some of mine), plus you’ll get other various special features that pop up in the newsletter from time to time.

So sign up — my fiction will be showing up there within the next couple of issues.

Free E-Book, Me Spouting Off

Two quick bits:

* Australian science fiction writer Simon Hayes and Freemantle Publishing have posted the first of Hay’s satirical Hal Spacejock novels online for you to download and try. Simon sends me copies of the series from time to time (the last one he sent was an ARC wrapped in bacon — thankfully just printed, not the real thing) and they’re definitely fun, and (intentionally) humorous science fiction is hard enough to find as it is. Give it a look and if you like it, they’ll arrange to send you some actual books, at a discount of both the cover price and (should you not actually live in Australia, which I suspect is the case with most readers here) international postage.

* SF Signal asks various science fiction folk which is driving the genre bus, written or visual science fiction, and I provided a response, which was basically to say what makes anyone think they are on the same bus in the first place. Because I’m contrary. On the other hand I do use it as an excuse to blame Avril Lavigne on avante-garde musical artist Glenn Branca, because damn it, someone should be blamed. Why not him?