Texas Book Festival

This coming weekend, I am moderating a panel at the Texas Book Festival.

The Texas Comics Scene
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Time: 12:30 – 1:30
Capitol Extension Room E2.010

We’ve asked four of the state’s hottest graphic novelists and comics creators – both writers and illustrators – to talk about their latest works and what’s going on in the Texas comics scene. Come hear how Texas is influencing the comics world.

Authors:
Matthew Sturges
Terry Moore
Lea Hernandez
Paul Benjamin
Moderated By: Rick Klaw

If you’ve never attended a Texas Book Festival, you’re missing out on a fun outing. Come check it out the wide array of authors including Sherman Alexie, Michael Connelly, Elmer Kelton, Joe R. Lansdale, Alan Cheuse and Jane Hamilton. While you are there be sure to drop my panel and say howdy.

Web Clips on Gmail

One of my favorite Gmail functions, web clips enable me to watch headlines from selected blogs as banner ads across the top of my inbox. Every time I change screens, a new headline appears. I can even scroll through the various headlines. The only downside is that some actual commercial ads are mixed in but those are far and few between and very unobtrusive. The service comes with several preloaded headline makers– primarily news, sports, and technology sites. Those can be edited out just as you are able to add new ones in.

The following blogs are in my web clips:

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Conversations with the Bookless: Scott A. Cupp

As promised, I am continuing Jeff’s excellent Bookless series but with a Texas bent. Over the next two weeks, I will introduce you to three Texas short story writers, each with a unique perspective. As for what the series is about I think Jeff said it best.

In support of the short story, and specifically those talented writers who are currently “bookless,” which is to say those writers who are at that stage of their career where a collection or novel is a year or more away, I’m doing a new feature called Conversations with the Bookless, of which this is the fourth (1st Texas) installment. (The first three were with Rachel Swirsky, Nathan Ballingrud, and Paul Jessup.) The fact is, if you don’t have a book out, it’s harder to get attention and it’s harder for reader attention to crystallize around you. I hope these interviews introduce readers to some of the great talent that, in the coming years, will be amazingly and bountifully bookful.

A quintessential Texas short story writer, Scott A. Cupp produces unusual slipstream tales steeped in Texas culture and history. Perhaps best known for his heretical “Thirteen Days of Glory,” a re-imagining of the Battle of the Alamo as a struggle for transvestite rights, Cupp, a former Campbell award nominee, continues to experiment and press the outer boundaries of the absurd with tales such as “King of the Cows”, “The Singing Cowboy’s Apprentice” and “One Fang.”

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Some days I’m just proud to be in Texas…

…and then there’s tidbits like this:

State report says Texas has too many reports

AUSTIN — The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is declaring there are too many state reports.

It says so in a 668-page report.

The project took 18 months and included the commission’s small team canvassing more than 170 agencies, and public colleges and universities, checking on all the reports they are assigned to do.

Continued…

Thanks to Bill Crider for sharing this “important” piece of news.

I never get the urge to riot…

…when my team wins. What’s wrong with these people?

37 arrested at World Series celebrations

BOSTON – Police in riot gear cleared several large crowds gathered around Fenway Park early Monday after the Red Sox won their second World Series title in four years. Police said they made 37 arrests, mostly for disorderly conduct.

Continued…

And this was the scene in 2004:

Funny, I don’t ever remember Yankee fans rioting after they won a World Series. Matter of fact, the only comments regarding Yankee fans rioting I could find was in reference to altercations during Yankees-Red Sox games.

 

The Origin of Cosmic Rays

Recent observations from NASA and Japanese X-ray observatories have helped clarify one of the long-standing mysteries in astronomy — the origin of cosmic rays.
Continued…

Now if they could just explain how cosmic rays created the Fantastic Four…

What I do for fun

My wife Brandy thinks I’m a little crazy.

Some four years ago, I converted my Windows PC over to Linux, Red Hat 7.3 to be exact. I considered the conversion for some time, but several events propelled me to action. Key among, the unveiling of Windows XP. At the time, I was operating a Pentium 133 with Windows 98. I started to notice that software was passing me by. I had the gotten the computer as payment for an editing gig back in 1996. Needing only minor repairs, the machine ran just fine for over eight years until I retired it. I could probably take it out of the closet and boot it up now.

There was no way XP would work on the 133. Besides, I couldn’t afford it. Until the arrival of XP, you could buy older versions of Windows software cheaply. Windows 98 would cost you $40 or so, 2000 for $60. A new version of XP ran $200 dollar. Even worse, XP is not only assigned to the person but also the particular machine on which it was installed. In other words, if you buy a new PC, you have to buy a new version of XP as well. Then I found out that a lot of older hardware and software won’t work with it anyway.

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A Baker’s Dozen with… Norman Partridge

Several years ago, I started producing a series of 13 question (hence the Baker’s Dozen) interviews for RevolutionSF. Since I am a contributing editor to the site, I felt it was a unique and potentially interesting way to expose our readers to a wider variety of writers and artists.

Tor paperback cover  Hardback cover by John Picacio

My latest, a conversation with Stoker-winner and World Fantasy-nominee Norman Partidge, discusses Patridge’s latest Dark Harvest, writing in general, and what the future and past hold for this under-appreciated talent.

What made you decide to use a second person narrative in Dark Harvest? Is this a style you will continue using?

I’m sure I’ll use it again someday, but it’s not the kind of style that would fit every project. With DH, I really wanted readers to hear me talking from the other side of the page, the way you do when you listen to a campfire tale.

I wanted to yank them into the book and make them part of it, too. I had that intention from the first paragraph: “A Midwestern town. You know its name. You were born there.” That was kind of the wham bam welcome to my world moment.

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Klaw on Klaw

Rather than write something new about who I am (Jeff did a great job), I thought I’d reprint this rarely seen interview from 2003, complete with notations and corrections updating everything to the present. At the bequest of Hellnotes editor Judi Rohrig, I interviewed myself about the then just-released Geek Confidential: Echoes From the 20th Century.

Geek Confidential

 

What story first interested you in genre fiction?
I’ve been interested in things fantastical, as far back as I can remember. I learned to read so I could find out what Spider-man had to say. The first science fiction story I remember is Eleanor Cameron’s The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet. (It wasn’t until many years later that I understood the subtle nuances of the tale.) Like many fantastic fiction fans (be it science fiction, fantasy, or horror), Ray Bradbury was my first love. Soon after reading Martian Chronicles, I discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs, Richard Matheson and others.

What is your favorite part about writing?
The creating. I like the idea of writing more than the act of writing. To sit around and conceive of an idea, to figure out the structure of an essay is infinitely more fun than composing. That part is too much like actual work.

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