Thursday, November 30, 2006


Tales of the Shadowmen: Danse Macabre

The third volume in JM & R. Lofficier's Tales of the Shadowmen anthology series, Danse Macabre, is apparently now available to order. Joining the usual suspects this time around are Paul Di Filippo and Michael Moorcock, with return engagements by Xavier Maumejean, Win Scott Eckert, John Peel, Brian Stableford, and others (including me). If this is your kind of thing, you should check it out.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Self-Publishing, Revisited

Last year, I noted that both Chris Ware and Kyle Baker were experimenting with self-publishing. This week, I read that new work from both creators will be coming out from other publishers (Ware from D&Q, and Baker with Image). Recently, it was announced that Mike Allred, who's been doing a bit of self-publishing himself, will be publishing a Madman collection with Image, as well. So are there any established comics creators still self-publishing, these days? Who am I forgetting?


More about Me

As if there wasn't already enough of me talking about myself on the internets, the good people at Waterstones have set up a page for me on their website, including an "online profile" (ie. interview). Some of my answers got reduced a bit in size, but the only one I'll point out in particular is my "top five books of all time." My original answer is prefaced with the following statement: "Yikes. Um, this is only a rough list, and would probably be completely different if you asked me again tomorrow, but here goes."

That was last week, and you know what? I was right. My list is totally different this week. But that was my answer on the day I did the interview, so I'm standing by it. Conditionally.

Anyway, if you really want to know what books made me laugh and cry, what writers I admire, whether I write longhand or on the computer, and boxers or briefs, this is your chance to find out.



No Fear of the Future

A bunch of folks I like, and some of the smartest people I know, have started up one of these collective blogs that seem to be all the rage. So go check out No Fear of the Future why don't you? If Chris Nakashima-Brown's post "Pulp Dreams" is any indication of what we'll be getting, it's worth the clickin'.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Cowboy Cody's Flying Cathedral

How have I never heard of Samuel Franklin Cody before?! Cowboy, prospector, wild west showman, and aviation pioneer. A native Texan transplanted to England, he was the first in Great Britain to fly, and later built a biplane called the Flying Cathedral, the largest in the world at that point.

Jesus. How cool is that?


MonkeyBrain Love

Discerning readers love MonkeyBrain Books. Readers like Andrew Wheeler, who digs him some Cover Story. And Bill Crider, who heaps praise on Blood & Thunder. Gentlemen of sophistication and taste, obviously.


Forbidden Planets, and a contest (of sorts)

It appears that Peter Crowther's anthology Forbidden Planets, which contains my story "Eventide," is out now. I haven't seen a copy yet, but I'm looking forward to checking out the other contributions. Every review I've seen of the book raves about Jay Lake's "Lehr, Rex," which uses as its template another Shakespeare play, just as the film Forbidden Planet used The Tempest.

Thing is, my story uses as its template a dramatic classic about characters shipwrecked on an island, too. It's not by Shakespeare, though there's a connection there. So far as I know, nobody who's read my story has recognized its clear inspiration. Maybe I should make it a contest of some kind.

How about this? The first person to correctly identify the inspiration for "Eventide" wins a signed copy of the school photo from the front page of my website. The one with me in the Star Fleet uniform. Who wouldn't want one of those?

Monday, November 27, 2006


Things I Learned this Morning

Returned home from Turkey Day over the weekend, just in time for Georgia to get sick. She got better just in time for me to take her to preschool this morning, so I'm trying to catch up on the internets in time to start work on End of the Century. So just a couple of quick gems I've discovered so far this morning.

Thanks to Heidi MacDonald's Beat (one of the blogs that makes life worth living), I learn that Eddie Campbell has a blog, and that Venture Bros cocreator Doc Hammer has a deviantART gallery. How cool is that?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Happy Turkey Day, y'all

Georgia, Allison, and I are about to hit the road, heading out to spend Turkey Day with my family. So no posting until the weekend at the earliest, next week most likely. I leave you with this holiday treat.

Enjoy the tryptophan, folks!


Blood & Thunder review

Rick Kleffel has posted a review of Mark Finn's Blood & Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard over on Agony Column. Check it out, won't you?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Spinning Wheels

Okay, not spinning wheels. Maybe doing doughnuts in the parking lot, but without the fun. I'm going around in circles, with no sign of stopping.

I'm in the final stages of preproduction on End of the Century, having only a tiny bit of research left to do and a few days of tightening and polishing on my outline before starting the writing in earnest, but I find myself getting snarled up in the minutia. Yesterday I spent hours looking at Lewis Carroll's logic paradoxes online, trying to wrap my head around symbolic logic, and today I just spent the last two hours staring at birth, death, and marriage records of Victorian peers, trying to work out the name and backstory of a minor supporting character in the middle act. (As it happens, I ended up falling in love with the name of a real person, and am just dropping her into the story, instead. But for the purposes of fiction, it isn't really Priscilla Isabel Laura Dumaresq, but a fictional character who happens to have the exact same name and marriage history.)

I need to do a little more reading on the life of Joan of Arc, finish Martin Rees's chapter in The Far Future Universe, and then reread a bit of Douglas Hofstadter's Goedel, Escher, Bach, and then the researching should be done.

Oh, crap. I forgot about Buffalo Bill Cody's autobiography. Okay, maybe a little more research to do.

Oh, and Leo Marks's history of WWII cryptography. That, too.

But seriously. That's all. Then I can start writing.

Oh, and Roger Penrose's The Emperor's New Mind.

(Please, someone. Stop me before I research again...)

Oh, and...

Monday, November 20, 2006


The Man from the Diognes Club on SF Chronicle's Holiday List

Michael Berry, already one of my favorite people, has included Kim Newman's The Man from the Diogenes Club among the San Francisco Chronicle's holiday picks of the "best books of the season for the [sf&f] readers on your list." Also listed are titles by Kage Baker, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Ian McDonald, Tim Powers, Kit Reed, John Scalzi, Jeff VanderMeer, and Brian K. Vaughan. A nice lineup! To see the list with Michael's comments, head over to the Chronicle's site.

Saturday, November 18, 2006



You owe it to your immortal soul to check out this rare collaboration between Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Chick.

Friday, November 17, 2006


You Need This - Jack Staff #12

Stop me if you've heard this before. But then again, it may bear repeating. Unless you hate goodness, you owe it to yourself to be reading Paul Grist's serial masterpiece, Jack Staff. As much as I like his police series Kane, I think that the distinctly British superheroics of Jack Staff may ultimately be the more sophisticated series. And it stars Alan Moore tripping balls after eating an extradimensional demon. What other series can offer that?

So what's on tap for this issue, hmm? A timelost Nazi supervillain from the days of WWII. A cosmic champion, doomed to wander time and time, caught forever in the battle between order and chaos. Three paranormal investigators. A robotic hero (or heroic robot), remote controlled by a spunky teenaged girl. The aforementioned mystic who bears an astonishing resemblance to Alan Moore (named Morlan the Mystic, naturally). And Britain's Greatest Hero himself, the eponymous Jack Staff. All involved in a life and death struggle that takes place entirely in the parking lot of a Tesco. (For American readers, think of something along the lines of a Safeway.)

Here's what the solicitation copy from Image Comics had to say about the issue: "Kapitain Krieg, the Nazi Super Warrior from World War 2 is the one foe that Jack Staff has never been able to beat. He disappeared in 1942 - but now he's back - and this time not even all of Castletowns Heroes can stop him! Cover to cover action!"

And they weren't lying! There is so much story in this issue that it starts on the inside front cover, and doesn't let up until it hits the inside back cover. Wall to wall, cover to cover, filled to the brim. A bargain at $3.50, no question.

By my rough recollection, we saw three new issues of Jack Staff in 2005, and this issue makes three new installments in 2006. In just a few months we'll be seeing The Weird World of Jack Staff King-Sized Special #1, which reprints the serial that ran in Comics International the last year or so. (Which I had to get a subscription to the mag to follow, so great is my jones for new Jack Staff stuff.) So we're already off to a good start for next year.

If you haven't read Jack Staff before, I can't say this is a great "jumping on point," but what the hell. Pick it up anyway, and then hunt down the trade paperback editions and back issues when you get a chance. Seriously. You won't be sorry. I'm telling you, you need this.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Waterstone's Top Ten SF Titles of 2006

Michael Rowley, the Science Fiction and Imports Buyer of the UK book chain Waterstone's, writes to inform me that Kim Newman's The Man from the Diogenes Club and my own Paragaea: A Planetary Romance made his list of the top ten SF titles of 2006. Also on his list were books by Neal Asher, Gardner Dozois, Alastair Reynolds, Joel Shepherd, M. John Harrison, and Geoff Ryman. I'm honored to be included in such a lineup (and jazzed to see something I published make the list, too!).

To see the full list, and Michael's comments, check out the Waterston's Bookclub site.


Cross Plains Universe onsale

The good people at FACT, who hosted one of the best damned WFCs ever a couple of weeks ago, have a limited number of copies of the REH tribute anthology Cross Plains Universe available to sell. The anthology was given gratis to each attendee of the convention, but currently there are no plans for a commercially available trade edition, so for the moment this is the only way to get one. Check out the ordering details at the FACT website for more information.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


If it was a snake...

... it would have bitten me.

I'm in the final stages of preproduction on End of the Century, tightening up the outline and filling in the gaps before sitting down and doing the bulk of the writing in December, and just now I tripped over something that I've had staring at me from my notes since the summer. The eponymous hero of the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf was a contemporary of the historical Arthur. The same Arthur who made his name repelling the Saxon invasion of Britain. Right?

So, has anyone ever played with this idea, and placed Beowulf among the invading Saxon hordes, opposite Arthur and his Romanized Britons? After all, these are the two major culture heroes of Great Britain, one English and one British, in more or less the same place at more or less the same time, but on opposing sides.

I'll have to see if the dates line up, but I'm sorely tempted to have Beowulf be among those at the Battle of Badon with Octha Big Knife.


Grant Morrison Interview

There's a new interview with Grant Morrison up at Newsarama, in which he talks a bit aobut his writing process, and quite a bit about about his intentions for the recently-completed Seven Soldiers sequence.
"Remember the first time you picked up an X-Men or Avengers book and it was stuffed to the staples with parallel universes, clones, alternate future versions of characters, and a continuity so dense you could stand a spoon in it? The chaos, confusion and excitement of being thrown without a guidebook into a new world was intoxicating to me and it seems that superhero comics only start to get boring when that sense of anything-can-or-can't-happen is replaced by familiarity. If JH and I managed to convey even a small percentage of the breathless head-whirl of the first comic that turned you into a fanboy collector, we'll have done our jobs."
Some interesting stuff worth checking out in the interview. And if you haven't read Seven Soldiers yet, what the heck are you waiting for? Go read it, already!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


New(ish) Paragaea Review

Velcro City Tourist Board has posted a review of Paragaea that ran in Interzone a couple of months back. On rereading it now, I find it's considerably more positive than I remember it being.


Monday, November 13, 2006


Una Kwanyin Descending a Staircase

(via) Okay, if you've ever wondered what a multidimensional being passing through three-dimensional spacetime would look like, check this wmv file out.



Free Clichés

Over on Charlie Finlay's blog I see the news that Subterranean has posted the full contents of the John Scalzi edited "Cliché issue" of Subterranean Magazine as a free pdf. The issue contains my story "Last," which I've read to packed houses of at least four or five people at WorldCon and World Fantasy Convention, but if for some reason you managed not to be in that number, don't have a copy of Subterranean #4 lying around, and want to read my take on the "last man on Earth," this is your chance. Oh, and there's great stories from folks like Elizabeth Bear, Nick Sagan, Tobias Buckell, and Charles Coleman Finlay, to boot. And it's free. What more could you ask?


The Dynamic Duo, On the Case

(via) Some pure awesomeness for your Monday morning.
Two policemen dressed as Batman and Robin captured a suspected drugs offender - in a bizarre sting operation.
and if that wasn't enough...
"The Batman costume was quite comfortable and not too restricting. I still managed to jump over the fence.

"But it was difficult finding somewhere to put my CS spray. There was nowhere for the handcuffs, but then Batman does not need handcuffs."


The Simpsons Movie trailer

I doubt that I've seen more than a couple new episodes of the Simpsons in years, and don't think the show has been the same since my favorite parts of the writing staff left to work on Futurama, but I'm holding out cautious optimism for the forthcoming Simpsons flick. Does the trailer inspire hope? I don't know. What do you folks think?

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Cross Plains Universe Review

Over on RevolutionSF, Peggy Hailey has posted a review of the Robert E. Howard tribute anthology Cross Plains Universe, edited by Scott Cupp and Joe Lansdale, and given out last week to attendees of the World Fantasy Convention. I expect that FACT, the copublishers of the book, will be making copies available for sale on their website shortly, if anyone's interested in picking up a copy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


My Favorite Dish

Two words I'll be repeating to myself happily, for the next twenty four months or so. "Lame duck."

I'm not coherent enough yet to have any cogent thoughts on the subject, but I just wanted to share my warm happy feelings with the rest of you.

Say it with me, won't you? "Lame duck."

Feels nice, doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


My Franchise, Exercised

Okay, so I've voted. Allison is off to Waco to watch the election results come in at the Chet Edwards headquarters, and I'm going to fight the urge to collapse into a coma tonight until I see how the returns shake out. I've got my fingers crossed, and am cautiously optimistic. Far more cautious then optimistic, but there it is.

I'm going to go lay down on the floor in front of CNN, moan when appropriate, and wait for any bit of good news to roll out.


World Fantasy Convention

The 2006 World Fantasy Convention officially ended for me this morning at roughly 7:30 when the last of my out-of-town guests caught a cab for the airport, leaving just me and the family in the house for the first time since last Tuesday. The full week in between represented the best damned WFC I've ever attended. And considering that WFC is the best con there is, the hub around which the entire genre publishing world revolves, that's saying something.

Too much crammed into too short a time for me to recount even a fraction of it here, but a few moral lessons could be derived from the experience.

1) Don't let the editor of a major house pick the movie you'll be viewing. Just don't.
2) If a publisher offers to transport you to a party in a fireman's carry because you're too drunk to walk, just say no.
3) If you need a toastmaster, for any occasion whatsoever, go straight to Brad Denton.
4) And finally, for the love of god, watch out for that bastard Klima and his camera.

I had a terrific time seeing all of my old friends, getting to know new friends better, and meeting more new acquiantances than I could count. The food was great, the drink was plentiful, and the smokers' patio was a thing of beauty. My friends and I lost, and lost big, and I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

Only 355 days until the next World Fantasy Convention, everybody. Look forward to seeing you all again there.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Bowie's "Life on Mars?"

For reasons that may become evident, sooner or later, I've been thinking a bit lately about David Bowie, and specifically his various personae in the seventies. This has involved digging around on YouTube, and finding videos I never even knew existed.

Case in point, Mick Rock's video for "Life on Mars?"

Good lord. Watching this, I simply can't believe that I'm looking at a performance from 1973. Considering how much it prefigures the stylistic obsessions of the eighties, I would have put it closer to the end of the decade. But, as Mr. Brisby says, "Bowie always was a trendsetter."

And, as an added bonus (and via Jonathan Carroll), here's a scene from the second series of Ricky Gervais's Extras, in which Bowie does a bit of improvisation, to hilarious effect.


Georgia's New Racket

Last night, my daughter discovered a great new racket. You see, if you get dressed in a costume, and go to people's houses on the last night of October, they give you free candy.

This was a big revelation to her, believe me.

Of course, when we got home, and she started helping us give candy to other trick-or-treaters, she rushed to the door every time to show them her candy.

Now, it kills me that these next shots turned out so blurry (and I've resolved at our earliest opportunity to get a new camera), but they give a general overview of Georgia's slow dawning realization that she really, really likes chocolate.

Here's the basic sequence of events. Georgia selects a chocolate ball, wrapped up to look like an eyeball. She takes off the wrapper. Hilarity ensues.


Tenacious D - "Classico"

Hail Satan! A new Tenacious D video, "Classico", directed by Spumco's John K (of Ren & Stempy fame). Very, very NSFW.

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