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Books Received–Late May 2009, Thirty Years Before The Collapse

Jeff VanderMeer • May 29th, 2009 • Book Reviews, Photos


(Paul Riddell has abandoned genre/pop culture commentary for a kinder, gentler world, but that doesn’t mean his rants, diatribes, analyses, and assorted other forms of nonfiction kung-fu have vanished off the face of the earth. Two volumes–Greasing the Pan and The Savage Pen of Onan–have just appeared from Fantastic Books. They provide a compelling, telling snapshot of a genre and genre culture from an outsider’s point-of-view–and an outsider with nothing to lose. No stories to place in anthologies. No novels to worry about shepherding into the world. His might be a minority opinion at times, it might be too brash at times, but genre needed and still needs the gut-check. Genre also needs the self-assurance to welcome such discourse. Check ‘em out)

Yes, well, you’ve guessed it: another books post, with commentary. You’re just going to put up with it this week. Next week: more variety! This week: it’s a steady death-march diet of books, books, books, and you’d damn well better like it, folks…

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Wolf’s Head Books…and the Allure of Old-School Lurid?

Jeff VanderMeer • May 28th, 2009 • Culture, Photos

Wolf’s Head Books doesn’t specialize in old-school mass market paperbacks and lurid hardcovers (like the ones above)–they have a respectable collection of great first edition hardcover lit/fiction, for example. But…their weirder stuff sure is compelling, as documented below. You can find Wolf’s Head in St. Augustine, Florida. They have an extremely knowledgeable staff, and often do appraisals for various collectors and book lovers in the state.

…and don’t be mistaken–many of these mass markets are really good books…

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Punch-Out. Play. Figures. Star Wars. Finns. Cats. Rope. Someone Green.

Jeff VanderMeer • May 28th, 2009 • Culture, Photos

Latest Star Wars punch-out-and-play post at Omnivoracious, featuring Cherie Priest’s cat and Tero Ykspetäjä’s beyond-the-call-of-duty spa, convention, and sailing ship!!! (There’s even a green guy, and there’s Steph Swainston being a good sport.) Burnings and explosions to follow from Jukka “Prince Among Thieves” Halme and Tessa “I Keel U With Mah Mind Bullets” Kum.

Day Five: The Reckoning

Jeff VanderMeer • May 27th, 2009 • Culture, Photos

It started out peacefully enough…

…and we’d managed to miss the international potato art festival.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Ann VanderMeer • May 10th, 2009 • Photos, Uncategorized

This is Ann taking over Jeff’s blog for a moment. Well, it IS Mother’s Day after all, right? And I am sure he won’t mind. Just had to share this funny Mother’s Day moment with you.

As many of you know, Erin & Riley moved to Amsterdam last Sunday. Before they moved, Erin had a yard sale and was planning to throw out all of Riley’s magnificent finger-paintings. I saved all of them (including some of Erin’s as well) and decided to have one professionally framed.

I took this amazing piece of art to our local frame shop (by this time they are used to all kinds of wonderful wackiness from us) and asked the owner Hub to help me select the best matting and frame to properly enhance this spendid creation.

After a week Erin, Jeff and I went to pick up the finished product and were amazed (this photograph just doesn’t do it justice).

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Moving Dragon Head…Again

Jeff VanderMeer • May 2nd, 2009 • Culture, Photos


(Do Erin and Ann look happy about moving the dragon head? Um, no.)

So it was dragon head movin’ time again, since Erin’s moving to Amsterdam with grandson Riley. Some of you may remember the original dragon head posts (part 1 and part 2), in which we bought it in St. Augustine and managed somehow, despite being shoved up in our car’s front seats, to drive it back three hours to our house. The dragon head was rescued from a temporary “Destination China” exhibit somewhere in Orlando–at least that’s what the St. Augustine antiques dealer told us.

Now it was time to find a way to get it from Erin’s house to ours…

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Consequences of Buying Random Sh*t at the Grocery Store

Jeff VanderMeer • April 30th, 2009 • Culture, Photos

Check-out girl: Whatcha gonna do? Tape some grapes to those protein bars?

Me: Yes. That’s exactly what I’m going to do. And then you know what I’m gonna do? I’m going to paaaartay like there’s no tomorrow!

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BOILERPLATE! It’s Not Just For Contracts…

Jeff VanderMeer • April 29th, 2009 • Book Reviews, Photos

I just got a lovely print-out of an unbound advance copy of Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, and wrote about it on the Amazon book blog. It’s really quite cool stuff, and very reasonably priced. Kinda retro-Steampunk. Good fun.

Here are some interiors I didn’t use in the Amazon piece.

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Weekend Nightmare Relived: Return to Chuck E Cheese

Jeff VanderMeer • April 26th, 2009 • Culture, Photos

Some of you may remember the Chuck E Cheese tale of horror, involving my stepdaughter Erin. Well, for the first time since Erin was nine (she’s 23 now), I set foot in Chuck E Cheese again…this time with Erin, Ann, son Jason, and Mr. R (Riley, our grandson).

Would it be as horrific an experience as the first time?

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Re-Hearse Friday: Surveillance Continues

Jeff VanderMeer • April 24th, 2009 • Culture, Photos

You might remember the hearse that parked opposite our house.

It’s back. Yesterday it just sat there idling for awhile, and when I approached in my hoodie, MMA Affliction t-shirt, and surfer pants, it sped off. I don’t know if these two things are related: my approach and its retreat.

Anyway, today I decided to be more circumspect when it appeared. So I drove down our street with my phone nonchalantly angled like I was texting…while I was instead taking photos. Here’s how that turned out…

UPDATE: 2:07, hearse gone again.

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