Bookdeath Scheduled for March 2010

(Bookdeath cover by John Coulthart.)

Good news–I’ve sold the sequel to Booklife, Bookdeath, to Tachyon Publications. Jacob Weisman at Tachyon wanted to make sure we had pretty much every group covered, so this volume will focus on advice that’s more or less the opposite of what’s covered in Booklife. Also, instead of having an optimistic outlook, Bookdeath will have a pessimistic outlook more in keeping with the reality of our current situation.

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Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone

I’m not a huge fan of great voices in music–I’m much more about the lyrics, and if the musician croaks that’s just fine. But Neko Case is one of those performers whose voice hooks me in. I would probably be quite happy hearing her sing the phone book. But she also has killer lyrics, and a shifting country/pop/rock sensibility that means her CDs share certain commonalities but also have enough differences to make her consistently interesting. Also, some albums are performed with her Boyfriends back-up band, and some aren’t.

Her latest, “Middle Cyclone,” is mid-tempo for the most part, and reveals its secrets stealthily. Some songs like “Mother Earth” are never going to be for me, but on balance this is another fine CD, with lots of little subtle touches. It doesn’t hurt that the CD ends with ten-plus minutes of soothing tree frog croaking, titled “Marais La Nuit”.

One particular lyric that stood out:

“I love your long shadows
and your gunpowder eyes.”

And, this, which makes sense even though I can’t tell you what kind of sense:

“Humming helicopters through the blades of a fan.”

Anyway, I’d rank this in the middle of my Neko Case collection–it’s indeed a middle cyclone–but since I like all of her stuff, that’s not a bad thing.

Penguin Wars Intensify Across Globe

Anyone who has followed this blog knows of our continuing interest in and concern about the penguin war situation. To get yourself up to speed if you’re unaware of this international crisis, just visit Sir Tessa’s comprehensive blog entry, with massive imagery and summary.

Here’re a couple more images from said entry to show you the importance of this issue:

Not to mention these developments:

Club Penguin

Penguin War Simulator

Penguin bombs dropping:

Penguins trying to elicit our deepest sympathy before they totally destroy our way of life:

(And really not to mention penguins managing their own presets, muted nine-second penguins, and a penguin sentinel up a tree!)

But now it has come to my attention that the invasion continues on the cultural-capitalist front:

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Monday Linkage–and Payseur & Schmidt Book Sale

(copyright Heidi Estey)

First off, the awesome artist Heidi Estey is having an art show called “Old Growth: Heidi Estey’s Collected Works” at Cafe Racer in Seattle (5858 Roosevelt Way NE; 206-525-JAVA). Check out more of her work here. (I also know she’s open to cover art assignments. Hint hint.)

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At Sea: Transmission X459 from within Base 6, Somewhere in Z-Space

Begin Transmission…[all words approximations translated by the {untranslatable word}]

1. Immigrants still cross over in one-to-one ratio with bioneered neuro-controllers. Walking ghosts. Zombies. Blinded by the flow of silver. Processed at a blinding pace, but still they come from door after door, drawn by signals we cannot really hear. Do they know what awaits them?

2. Maybe it was microscopic. Maybe it was right in front of them. Millions of these sensors monitoring the golden strands have been strewn across a thousand galaxies. Each filament attuned to the vibrations of a different kind of mind. Immersed in establishing the correct connections. When their work is done, they become brittle and wash up on a trillion beaches across worlds, across realities.

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Books Fer a Friday: What’ve You Been Reading?

I’m off the intertubes until Monday, but talk amongst yourselves in the meantime. Here are books I’ve received recently.

Read or heard anything about them?

If not, what’ve you been reading?

I may check in from the road during the weekend.

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Teaching Creative Writing

Just posting a couple of things from the old blog here, in edited form, to get them under writer tips on the new blog…

Over the past 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach fiction writing in one-on-one and group situations, through email critiques, various literary festivals, writer workshops like Clarion, and teen summer camps like Shared Worlds.

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K.J. Bishop’s “The Heart of a Mouse”

Thrilled to hear Kirsten has sold her 10k “The Heart of the Mouse” to Subterranean Magazine. A new story from her is always a major event.

Books Received from Ziesing and Others


Why do I buy from Ziesing? Because they’re awesome people and they always pack their books with special care.

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