Japanese Cover for The Ghost Brigades

Courtesy of reader Patrick Vera, who saw it on Amazon’s Japanese site, the cover of the Japanese version of The Ghost Brigades:

I’m making the assumption that is supposed to be Jane Sagan on the cover. Apparently in Japan, Jane Sagan has a remarkable resemblance to actress Jennifer Esposito. I do not have a problem with this.

Dude, I Totally Unmarried You Just Now

In his Chicago Tribune column yesterday, Eric Zorn notes this interesting bit of “logic” from the same-sex-marriage haters, explaining why all those thousands of same-sex couples who have gotten married in California over the last week aren’t really married:

The Illinois Family Institute’s blog refers to the legalization of same-sex nuptials this week in the Golden State as “the California marriage disaster.” Such recognitions “do not and cannot exist, no matter what legal document the state issues homosexual couples,” writes institute blogger Laurie Higgins. “There is an existential, ontological reality that supersedes the ill-begotten works of man.”

Translation: “They’re legally married but I’m in denial, so I’m just going to pretend it didn’t happen, like that season on Dallas. La la la la la la, I can’t see you married homos.”

Well, fine. Since apparently it’s the fashion to deny marriage status to people who are legally married, simply because we don’t like them and their marriages make us twitchy, by the power vested in me by whichever existential and ontological reality conveniently lets me get away with it, I hereby declare that marriages which include any of the following never ever existed:

1. People who pretend same-sex marriages don’t exist.

2. People who drive 55 miles on hour in the far-left lane of the freeway.

3. People who prefer Pepsi to Coke.

4. The craven, toadying yes-men who told George Lucas that, no, really, the fans are gonna love Jar-Jar Binks.

5. Anyone ever involved in the production, distribution or sale of acid-washed jeans.

6. Anyone who thinks Dane Cook is funny.

7. Anyone who ever bought a Creed album.

8. Anyone who voted for Nader in 2000.

9. Or 2004. Honestly, you people just suck.

10. That guy who pushed me down once in 7th grade. Yeah, fuck you, Andy Grabowski! All your kids are bastards now!

Do these people’s marriages really not exist because I just now wished them away? Yes, exactly to the extent that the marriages of same-sex couples who got married in California no longer exist simply because a bunch of bigots prefer to pretend they don’t. Which is to say: No. Because, you see, real, legal, actual marriages don’t stop existing just because some malign jackass doesn’t want to have accept that those marriages are real, and legal, and actual.

However, unlike any marriages on my list, the real, legal and actual same-sex marriages in California are in danger of being destroyed by people who aren’t actually in them. There is no initiative on the California November ballot to “protect” marriage from already-married Creed fans or Pepsi drinkers. There will be one to “protect” marriage from already-married same-sex couples.

Which is to say: Isn’t it funny how some people are going so far out of their way to destroy marriages they say they don’t believe actually exist.

Zoe’s Tale at The Agony Column

Rick Kleffel of The Agony Column gives an early shout-out to Zoe’s Tale, in which he talks about the book as one of three science fiction books aimed at teens but worth reading if one’s an adult (the other two: Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, and Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by Robert Heinlein). You can read the text version, or hear it in audio; my understanding is that the audio will also play on NPR at some point in the near future (as part of its “Three Books” series). Here’s a nice quote about the book:

As Scalzi sets up the targets, Zoë takes them out with the ruthless vigor of a motivated teenaged girl. She truly comes to life – and readers will feel invigorated as well.

Naturally I’m happy that Zoë is coming across well so far. Because, you know, I like her.

Your Questions, Answered

Here you go. It’s about 16 and a half minutes total. Enjoy.


Soliciting Questions

I need to test a microphone and some recording software for a project I’m doing. So ask me some questions. I’ll answer them this afternoon (so, you know, get those questions in soon). Thanks.

Update, 11:32am: Okay, I have 20 questions. That’s enough for now. I’ll power up the microphone and get to them.