Music Review: The National

I didn’t really “get” The National’s latest CD, Boxer, until I listened to it late one night coming home from a bar. As I watched the street lights blur past, the music suddenly came into focus–glistening with darkness, powerful and fragile at the same time.

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City of Saints Wins Tähtifantasia Award!

(detail from the cover of the Finnish edition)

I’m incredibly honored that City of Saints & Madmen from Loki Books (run by Niko Aula) has won the first annual Tähtifantasia Award for the best fantasy translation published in Finnish.

Congratulations also to my wonderful translator Johanna Vainikainen-Uusitalo. The Helsinki SF Society decides the award, and it’s the counterpart to an award given out for SF, won by Stepan Chapman’s The Troika mostly recently.

The full announcement can be found on the highly recommended Partial Recall blog.


Movie Review: Talk to Me…A Little More and a Little Less

Don Cheadle is amazing in Talk to Me, which purportedly tells the story of a hip, streetwise DJ named Petey Green, popular in the DC area around the time of Martin Luther King’s assassination. More than in any role before, Cheadle is subsumed by the character he’s playing. At times in the past, I’ve admired his acting more than loved it, but here he’s the real deal.

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BAF Sample & Shriek

Tyler Smith was kind enough to record his “A Troop [sic] of Baboons” from Best American Fantasy, and it’s now up on the BAF blog. You can listen to it here

Plus my once-a-year “What I’m Up To” post on Amazon.


Playstation Video–“New Face in Hell”

UPDATE: The guy who did the video for my story, Joel Veitch, did this, too. I’m laughing my ass off. He’s demented and amazing. I’ve loved his work for years.

If you go to the Manchester International Festival site, you can now watch Playstation-sponsored videos based on my “New Face in Hell” and stories by Steve Aylett and Nick Royle. The links on the site are from Joel Veitch (my story), Espen (Royle), and Yuko Kondo and Studioplum (Aylett).

I think the guy who did the video based on my story totally got how tongue-in-cheek the whole thing was. It’s got a mechanical duck in it!

These stories are part of the Perverted by Language: Fiction Inspired by the Fall anthology edited by Pete Wild.

It’s more or less common knowledge that that crusty old bastard, Mark Smith of The Fall, has distanced himself from the anthology, which I can only take as a badge of honor (although the book is still advertised on their official site). I can also only hope that my insane tale of a mechanical duck is what sent him over the edge. (Smith: What the f— does a duck have to do with my song? Me: About as much as you raging against the establishment at a well-paid gig at the Manchester International Festival…) It’d be only fitting considering the perverse, contrary career of The Fall. So here’s two affectionate fingers shoved in Smith’s direction, and an excerpt from the story, posted below, under the cut.


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Smile on the Void by Stuart Gordon

I was going through some bookcases, trying to consolidate, and found copies of Smile on the Void, a novel from 1983 that I really think is quite unusual and worthwhile. I think about this book quite a bit, because the author is pretty much forgotten now, and yet this novel is so original. Somehow doesn’t seem fair. Here’s what I wrote about it a few years ago.


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Clarion Poster

Finally framed the poster the Clarion students gave us, each box signed by a different student. What a great group, gifting all of us exhausted instructors with various things. Why were we all exhausted? Because we had to stay a step ahead of them!


My Reward for Being Proactive

Upon seeing Shriek on the new trade paperback table at a major chain store, prominently displayed, I walked up to the information desk and asked if I could sign the copies for them, to make them more attractive.

Them: Sure. Go right ahead. We’ll pull them off of the table.

Me: Great. [signing away]

Books remaining on the information desk counter, with autographed sticker on them. Me browsing. Books remaining on info desk counter. Me browsing. Books on info desk counter. Gap on new trade paperback table remaining.

Me: They’ll go back on the new trade paper table, right?

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