My One Big Thought Today

It is:

Most edible things are better when wrapped in a tortilla.

Really, that’s about as deep as my brain’s getting today.

I think I’ll spend the rest of the day watching cartoons.


A Quick Rundown on What’s Coming Up

A couple of quick notes for everyone about upcoming projects:

* Subterranean Press tells me that Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded is going to press in a couple of weeks and will start shipping early October, so if you haven’t yet picked up a copy, there’s still time. You can get it through Subterranean (the link above) and now also through Amazon. Be aware that if you get it through Subterranean, you’ll also get the special edition chapbook Waiting for Athena, which collects up my essays about waiting for my daughter to be born. So while ordering from Amazon is cheaper, if you order from Subterranean, you get more stuff. These are the tradeoffs life provides you.

* Subterranean Press has also opened up pre-orders for the limited, signed edition of The Last Colony, which as with the previous Subterranean editions of books in the OMW universe, will feature super-bitchin’ cover and interior art by Vincent Chong, to be published in early 2009. As with the earlier OMW books by Subterranean, TLC will be limited to 400 copies plus 15 super-deluxe “lettered” editions, so if you’re a collector (and especially if you’ve gotten the previous SubPress editions in the series), pre-ordering might be the way you want to go.

* While I’m thinking about upcoming projects, I should note that the reason I was in the recording studio yesterday was that I was recording some intros for Metatropolis, the upcoming audiobook anthology I edited, which features novellas by Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder and me. There’s a lot going on with that project, much of which is very cool, which I can’t tell you about yet. Sorry. Suffice to say that when I can reveal all, I think you’re all going to be impressed and excited. I can tell you that it’s currently slated to be available next month. So all you audiobook fans, prepare to gird your loins.

* Also coming in October (October 28, to be precise), the updated, trade paperback edition of Agent to the Stars. Considering the hardcover editions of this start at $195 and go up from there, this will be the rather more affordable way to have it in a printed edition. Also, as noted, this edition has been cleaned up and updated, so it’s fair to say that it’s the author’s preferred version.

* After Agent, you know what I’ve got? Nothin’ — at least not until The High Castle in October 2009. Try not to forget me between now and then, okay? And, also, stock up now. Thanks.


Whatever X, Day X

We’re off to see the Wizard with this flashback from ten years ago.

NOVEMBER 16, 1998: Bad Craziness in The Wizard of Oz

As promised, we went off to see the The Wizard of Oz this weekend, and had a riotous time doing so. Our friends who went to see Oz earlier in the week had described it as “creepy,” which did not jibe with my own memories, but now having seen it again, I know exactly what they were talking about. There’s only one way to describe this movie, and it comes down to three words: Very Bad Drugs.

The Munchkins were in particular tremendously disturbing, not for their size, which they couldn’t help, but for their clothing, which was obviously designed as punishment of some sort. One can’t help but think that the reason that they were relieved that Dorothy dropped the house on the Wicked Witch of the East was that now they could dress in something that didn’t look like a drag queen’s peyote-induced memories of kindergarten.

Dorothy, of course, the serial murderer of an oppressed religious minority, the Wiccans. Dorothy whacked two witches in the course of the film (and sisters at that), and her only excuse was “I didn’t mean to.” Well, you can buy that excuse maybe once, and get away with a lesser charge (a falling house may qualify as vehicular manslaughter). But, look: Dorothy wiped out that entire family. Add to that two counts of theft (for the ruby red slippers and the broomstick), and you come to realization that Dorothy should be glad she’s not in Kansas anymore. Kansas, if I recall correctly, has the death penalty.

Murders, thefts, ceaseless drug references (falling asleep in a field of poppies? Only to be awakened by white flaky crystals falling from the sky? Come on), alternative lifestyles (if the Tin Man were any more flaming, the Scarecrow would have been a pile of ash), and, let’s not forget, bad clothes. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is a family classic. Of course, kids don’t really latch on to things like subtext, partially because much of the “subtext” is created by smartass adults amusing themselves at the movie’s expense, like, well, me. They just enjoy the scenery and the story, both of which connect on a pretty simple level.

It occurred to me watching “Oz” that (to air a cliche) that really don’t make ’em like this anymore. It would be impossible to see a studio head greenlighting something like this today if it weren’t animated, and even then, changes would have to be made (Dorothy couldn’t actually kill the Wicked Witch of the West; she would instead be disposed of through the favored Animated Villain Death, the Fall From A Great Height Into The Fog Below). It’s all the more reason I’m glad I got to see it in a theater, and why, should it come out again in another decade or so, I’ll take my daughter to see it as well.

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