Saturday, December 25, 2004

I'm Not Dreaming. It's a White Christmas.

This is the front of my house on Christmas morning. Nobody in Alvin, Texas, can remember the last white Christmas here. Maybe there's never been one. I've lived in Texas all my life, and this is the first white Christmas I can remember. I suppose we only care about things like that because of Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby, but it's still kind of neat. Posted by Hello

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Legendary Star Wars Christmas Special

I'm Just Sayin': The Holy Grail of Crap

Via World o' Crap comes this link to the Star Wars Christmas Special, the one that George Lucas would like to pretend doesn't exist. Being an Old Guy, I saw it when it appeared on TV, never to be repeated. But someone's made a bootleg DVD, and you can see five minutes or so of it here. (Scroll down to the picture to click on.) It seems more like five hours, so you'll get your money's worth.

Martian Manhunter Need Not Apply

E! Online News - Martian Manhunter Need Not Apply

Sad. Maybe the holiday spirit will overwhelm some "hot, young filmmaker."

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Joy to the World . . .

. . . All the boys and girls.

As you can tell, the blog and I are filled with goodwill, cheer, and egg nog. We'd like to wish everyone the best of holidays and a 2005 filled with peace, prosperity, and good reading. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

"Thought Experiments" by Roger Ebert

"Thought Experiments" by Roger Ebert

I got this link in an e-mail from Cap'n Bob Napier, who got it in turn through others: "(Craig Miller mentioned this on the Timebinders mailing list and indicated that Jeff Copeland pointed it out to him.) --D Gary Grady." Naturally I had to put it in the blog. It's possibly the best article I've read on fandom, and it mentions some names that should be familiar to everybody (Ed Gorman, especially). Wonderful, nostalgic stuff. My eyes got misty reading it. And if there are a few things Ebert gets wrong or misremembers, so what? It's still a great piece.

Update: Art Scott informs me that this piece was originally published as the
"Introduction" to Dick Lupoff's The Best of Xero (Tachyon Press), which I should already own. I don't, so I'd better see what I can do about that.

Sci-Fi Lists - Top Science Fiction Books and Films

Sci-Fi Lists - Top Science Fiction Books and Films

I like lists, if only because it's fun to nitpick them. So I found this an interesting site, and I also enjoyed the related site on fantasy.

$39 Million Bank Robbery

My Way News

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) - In one of the world's biggest robberies, thieves took the families of two top bankers hostage and forced the bosses to help them steal more than $39 million from the vaults of a Belfast bank's main office, authorities said Tuesday.

It was either the IRA or a guy named Parker. Probably not Dortmunder, though.

Mystery Martian cleans US space buggy

Mystery Martian cleans US space buggy. 22/12/2004. ABC News Online

An unexplained phenomenon akin to a space-borne car wash has boosted the performance of one of the two US rovers probing the surface of Mars, New Scientist magazine said.

It said something - or someone - had regularly cleaned layers of dust from the solar panels of the Mars Opportunity vehicle while it was closed down during the Martian night.

The cleaning had boosted the panels' power output close to their maximum 900 watt-hours per day after at one stage dropping to 500 watt-hours because of the heavy Martian dirt.

By contrast, the power output of the solar panels of Mars Spirit - on a different part of the Red Planet - had dropped to just 400 watt-hours a day, clogged by the heavy dust.

"These exciting and unexplained cleaning events have kept Opportunity in really great shape," the magazine quoted NASA rover team leader Jim Erickson as saying.

OK, this is weird. Sounds like a great premise for an SF story.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A Little Self Promotion

Jon Breen, the intelligent and perceptive reviewer for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, has this (among other things) to say about Dead Soldiers, my novel from Five Star (available in hardback and soon to be released in trade paperback): "It's an efficiently plotted and highly amusing male cozy. . . ."

So my comment is, "Male cozy"? Have I invented a new subgenre? Will my name go down in mystery history alongside those of Hammett and Chandler and, well, let's not be riduculous.

Jon also mentions Boss Napier, who plays a very minor part in the story and should not be confused with any persons living or dead because any resemblance is purely coincidental.

Monday, December 20, 2004


On December 15, Sarah Weinman wrote this on her blog: "Writers interviewing writers is the new black, but that doesn't mean that new entries aren't welcome."

So ever since, I've been waiting for someone to interview me. And waiting. And waiting. Now I'm beginning to think nobody wants to interview me. So I guess I'll have to do it myself. Herewith, the Interview:

The Blog: When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?

Me: I've always wanted to write. In fact, I wrote my first novel at the age of five, a hardboiled tale of violence and revenge called The Velveteen Rabbit Takes Names and Kicks Ass. It would have been a blockbuster, but all the major publishers rejected it. "We don't do fanfic" was the typical turn-down.

The Blog: But you didn't give up.

Me: Oh, no. I went on to write Nancy Drew to an Inside Straight, a boldly sexual tale of Nancy and Ned and a red-hot strip poker game in which Nancy's best friend, the ambigously named "George," is also involved. Naturally the cowardly big-time publishing establishment turned that one down, too. "Fanfic is not acceptable," they said, "much less erotic fanfic."

The Blog: That must have been discouraging.

Me: You bet it was. I almost didn't write Aunt Gertrude Does Detroit. Frank and Joe Hardy are shocked to discover that their aunt is moonlighting as a pole dancer in a seedy dive, where she does a little diving of her own, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

The Blog: Yes. I do. Maybe. And let me guess: fanfic.

Me: Too true. But . . . .

The Blog: I'm sorry, but we've run out of time. Thanks for being our interview subject.

Me (tugging my forelock and digging my toe into the rug): No. . . thank you. Thank you very much.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

A Hardluck Writer

A Hardluck Writer

Dave Zeltserman, author of the excellent Fast Lane, has started a blog. Fast Lane was published by a small press, and now Dave is on the verge of getting his new book, Outsourced, bought by a major house. Or so he hopes. He's going to chronicle his experiences in the blog, and it should be interesting reading.