Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thanks to all of you who bought a copy of Larry's and Skeet's e-book for Spider and Jeanne Robinson and to those of you who helped to spread the word. You guys are incredible! Tony is very happy with the numbers and we'll get the official total on our good works in the first Aural Delights episode of 2010, which I'm sure I'll mention all over the place.
If this link works, there might still be time to help! http://www.starshipsofa.com/shop/lord-dickenss-declaration/
In other news: Happy Old Year's Night!
2009 sucked! 2009 brought me divorce, a nosedive in my credit rating, the loss of my father and a burgled home now less one MacBook, PSP and iPod. As the wise Grant Stone says, "See ya in hell, 2009!" The shittiness took its toll on my writing. Looking back at the 2008 year in review I wanted to write 90 stories and a novel in 2009. What the fuck was I thinking? I also wanted to make 200 submissions. What I actually did was write a paltry 29 stories (many of them twit-fic and flash fiction) and made 81 submissions. Admittedly, it was one of my better years. One thing that tripped me up was a regular writing and abandoning of supposedly unfixable stories.
However some good things came out of the writing year. I finally won my years-long battle with Process Five and put his tale down in a story called Three Kingdoms. My twit-fic made its way out to people via @thaumatrope, @nanoism and @outshine. I started my own podcast, Beware the Hairy Mango (and I know some of you are asking, "Why are you writing this Matt, and not recording a new episode?"). And I wrote some stories I'm really happy with including Thank You, Mr. Goldman; A Body is for Driving and The Empire State Building Strikes Back! The soon to be happening podcast, Cossmass Infinities bought my story Fluff and Buttons on the Teddy Bear Range, so in 2010 we'll be able to hear those bears speak (maybe with Scottish accents!). I sold a few stories to Everyday Weirdness, and sold stories to Fusion Fragment and, I'm very excited to say, GUD magazine (Look for it in Issue #6). My story, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat was published by Blood, Blade and Thruster, and then almost immediately picked up for the main fiction spot by StarShipSofa's Aural Delights.
"So stop bitching!" you say. Well, bitching is my nature.
The goal for 2010 is to write 52 stories. This is doable if I can control myself. I figure I can produce 4,000 words of polished, final draft in eight hours. Double that for fucking-around time, so If I can give 16 hours a week to my short stories, I'll have it. Submissions? We'll say 200 again.
There we go. That's it for goals. Yes, I want to do a couple of other things, lose a few pounds, watch Wagner's Ring Cycle (just DVD, nothing fancy) and keep the house cleaner (Cleaner is easy. Clean is hard.), but these are all peripheral things. The writing is what merits the concerted effort.
I hope every one of you has a wondrous and happy 2010! Make it happen!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Today's the big day! I hope that all of you are out there blogging about StarShipSofa's fundraiser for Spider and Jeanne Robinson. We had a fantastic response on Twitter yesterday. Thanks to all of you who tweeted and re-tweeted. I saw something like two-hundred tweets about the fundraiser. That's fantastic. I got a couple of notes during the day from Tony at the Sofa saying how he could see donation traffic picking up yesterday. I'm hoping we'll see even more traffic today.
Why? Because if people are actually blogging about it today, like we've asked, the message will reach people that it didn't reach on Twitter. We'll reach science fiction fans who don't use Twitter and we'll reach non-science fiction fans as well.
Why should you donate?
THE SHORT VERSION
1) It's a good cause, you big silly!
2) It only costs about $5.00, American.
3) You get an awesome e-book!
THE SLIGHTLY LONGER VERSION
1) From Spider's Blog: Earlier his year a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Andresz Busczowski, helped Jeanne Robinson beat back a rare and virulent form of biliary cancer. But it’s so rare even he can’t say how much time he‘s bought her, how soon it might recur—and her latest blood tests have been so discouraging they’ve now decided she needs to start chemotherapy as soon as possible. Besides the prescription drugs to counteract the chemotherapy, she needs special therapies and supplements, counseling, and extensive diet and lifestyle changes, to reduce her stress level and the strain on her liver to as close to zero as possible. All those things are expensive...and like many artists today the Robinsons were already running on fumes financially.
2) ONLY FIVE BUCKS! (More if you want to give more!)
3) You get Larry Santoro's excellent e-book novella, Lord Dickens's Declaration. Listen folks, a lot of you don't know Larry Santoro's work. In fact, most of us Sofanauts hadn't even heard of him until his stories began appearing on StarShipSofa's Aural Delights podcast. But let me tell you . . .
That's Larry's work in a nutshell. I didn't know this guy from Adam a couple of years ago and now he's one of my favorite writers. He's been hiding out in the theater world and in Horrorland, sharpening his pen and now he can slice atoms with it. Larry controls his words, they don't control him, and at the same time he feeds them out like ten-thousand feet of kite string to play in the sky. They think they're running free, they don't know. All the while he knows where every one of them runs and what they're going to do next.
And Lord Dickens's Declaration is an absolute blast. Alternate history, steampunky, put-your-brain-in-a-box-and-don't-stop-shaking-it cool. The story features a world in which historians are the big guns and a computer which stretches across hundreds of acres (sometimes), called The Beast, sends those historians back in time. And let me ask you, have you ever known historians to put things back where they found them? Me neither. And that's what drives this mad world. It's 1902 in a world where Jesus ran the Roman Empire and a ninety-something Edgar Allen Poe runs North America. Occam is the man and who the hell is Charles Darwin?
Buy this book. Read this book. Enjoy, enjoy this book. Rest the rest of the righteously smug, knowing that your pleasure is also a Karmic write-off, all 100% of your electronic money is helping good people who are seeing a rough time.
THERE'S ONLY ONE DAY LEFT!
And then tell all of your big-hearted friends to pick up a copy as well. Thanks!
Monday, December 28, 2009
117: The Girl with the Halo
118: Introduction to Olfaction (Page One)
119: The Empire State Building Strikes Back!
The first two were done back in August, the third just ten days ago.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I need your help.
Quickly: Science Fiction author Spider Robinson's wife Jeanne is fighting cancer and they're both fighting to pay the bills. 100% of any money used to purchase Larry Santoro's excellent e-book, "Lord Dickens's Declaration," will go directly to the Robinsons. Here's the link:
Dec 31st is the last day that people can buy Larry's story. I'd like to end the fundraiser with a bang. Let's get the word out all over the web to let people know on December 30th, there's only one day left to help. Why December 30th? Because if there's only one day left people won't put it off and say, "I'll do it later. I still have time." Make sure you link to the purchase page!
If you've got a blog, please use it. Tell your friends that are into speculative fiction ahead of time and ask them to blog as well. And let's ask the big boys to mention it, like BoingBoing, Gaiman, Scalzi, VanderMeer and whomever else you can think of. One last big push to help some good people in a bad situation.
Please tell me what you've done here, even if it's just sending some e-mails or tweets. Or post a link here to your blogpost. And if you happen to get a confirmation from someone like Cory Doctorow, then the rest of us won't all be bothering him for the same thing.
A few minutes of your time is all I ask and it could make a huge difference for the Robinsons. Thanks!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
This week StarShipSofa is proud to announce Aural Delights no. 111, Part I of Lord Dickens's Declaration by our own Larry Santoro. Lord Dickens's Declaration is also available for purchase as a limited edition e-book only for the month of December and all proceeds will go to Spider and Jeanne Robinson to help with their expenses due to Jeane's illness. The Sofa appreciates whatever you can do to help spread the word. Blast off!
Lawrence Santoro which is an accompanying piece to StarShipSofa Stories Volume 1.
The story will be podcast free in three parts starting today but
to help the Robinson’s you can….
Purchase the ebook
You can purchase the ebook via PayPal or a credit card starting at £2.99,
ranging up to £100 if you would like to contribute more to Spider and Jeanne.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Best Main Fiction: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat
Best Flash/Short Fiction: A Hard Rain and Brothers and Sisters All
Best Fact Article Contributor: Fiction Crawler, Movie Talk Special - Watchmen
Thanks a bunch for listening! You can vote here:
Next, I want to wish all you Americans and ex-pats out there a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow and you know, I've had a shit year (debt, divorce and death, among other plagues), but I still have a lot to be thankful for. Family and friends like you guys, chief among them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Lastly, I have totally sucked at plugging the Sofa lately, so let's remedy that right now:
Editorial: by StarShipSofa Stories by Sean Keough
Fact Article: The Sofanaut Awards by Mark Bormann
Fact Article: With A Little Help by Cory Doctorow
Main Fiction: To Go Boldly by Cory Doctorow
Fact: Film Talk by Rod Barnett
New Titles by Tony C Smith
Art Cover by Skeet
The Sofanauts Awards 2010 VOTE NOW!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The song is Calmarie from Debbie's Def Dumb and Blonde album. The songwriters are two people named Toledo and Vasconcelos. Is it Portuguese? Sounds like it, but what do I know? I'm only half Portuguese.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
I don't think I'll be sending any more chapters out for quite a while. I'm going to write the current draft through to the end of the novel and then do another draft of the entire thing. I'm finding it a lot easier to get through it that way. When more stuff is ready, and I'm sure that will be next year, I'll ship it out to those concerned. Right now, I'm enjoying the work and I don't want to stop enjoying it.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
Tahiti Screams! A story for every mid-life crisis. Episode 17 of Beware the Hairy Mango can be heard here: http://bewarethehairymango.com/episode-17-tahiti-screams/
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Maisy's Many Souls was a sort of a turning point for me. As I was writing it, I knew that I had somehow jumped to another level in my work. I think this is common among creative people, though I can't speak for everyone. I shall indeed speak for myself. I get to a certain level of quality in my work and I think I'm becoming incredible, and "Hey, this time I've really got it!" and then I don't get any better for like, two or three years. Then I lose all hope (But I don't stop, that's the key). Eventually, I suddenly leap forward again. Damn, two adverbs in that last sentence! And you call yourself a writer, Matt? So the evolution of my skill includes punctuated equilibrium, that's all I'm sayin'. Anyway ANYWAY, I enjoyed Maisy's even as I found something disturbing underlying it. I hope you enjoy it and find something disturbing there as well. The characters became real people, saying real things, and they steered me more than I steered them. It was wonderful. Just hold onto that curiosity for another six months, will ya?
Episoide 16 of Beware the Hairy Mango is up! And out! And through! The Fall of the Soy Milkers! Go listen! And Episode 17 should be done later today! Exclamations!!!
Today, I'm including everything in my word count. That includes whatever work I get done on the novel, whatever I add to today's Hairy Mango story, this blog post and even my damned e-mails! Hell, why not Twitter too? I'm in that kind of mood.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
My productivity has been shit this year. I don't know why. I'm not objective enough to dissect the past year and see what went on. Don't know if it will get any better. Not sure if I care.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Couldn't we help the environment if we all stopped mowing our lawns? More grass would mean more carbon is being held in vege-spension, right? Not only that, but we'd emit less carbon dioxide because we wouldn't be running our lawn mowers. Spread the word on this. I can't stop mowing because those in charge of the place where I live apparently frown on unmowed lawns. I even had a cop hassle me about my lawn once. But if we can get the idea out now, maybe ten years from now it will be a movement. Let's go! No mow!
A new StarShipSofa is out there, ready for the taking! Go get it!
Fact: Talk by Amy H Sturgis
Intro to Mines of Barnath by Sean Williams
Main Fiction: A Map of the Mines of Barnath by Sean Williams
Fact: Progress Report 4 by Lawrence Santorow
New Titles: by Tony C Smith
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Aural Delights No 104 Sean Williams
Poem: The Send-Off by Lyn C. A Gardner
Fact: Talk by Amy H Sturgis
Intro to Mines of Barnath by Sean Williams
Main Fiction: A Map of the Mines of Barnath by Sean Williams
Fact: Progress Report 4 by Lawrence Santoro
New Titles: by Tony C Smith
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
2)Corporations have a great deal of input about what the news shows us.
3) It is not illegal to broadcast lies on the news.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Beware the Hairy Mango is up to episode 9!:
In it, you'll hear that my house was broken into a couple of days ago and my laptop was stolen. Mega-bummer.
The new StarShipSofa is out:
Editorial: StarShipSofa and the Future by Tony C Smith
Cover Art: Evan Forsch
Poem: Clone Assassin by Lyn C. A Gardner
Fact: Movie Talk by Rod Barnett
Fact: Science News by JJ Campanella
Flash Fiction: The Arrival of the Cogsmiths (oil on canvas, by Turner, 1815) by Fábio Fernandes
Main Fiction: Down On the Farm by Charles Stross
Fact: Progress Report 3 by Lawrence Santoro
New Titles: by Tony C Smith
Thursday, September 17, 2009
You've got a good three months before it comes out. Plenty of time to read the book:
You can buy a real live book or download the pdf for free. Buying the book helps keep the Sofa flying. Here's the table of contents. Lots of big names in there and lots of great writing. Give it a go!
Table of Contents
- “Into The Blank Where Life Is Hurled” by Ken Scholes
- “London Bone” by Michael Moorcock
- “The Second Coming Of Jasmine Fitzgerald” by Peter Watts
- “Lester Young and The Jupiter’s Moons’ Blues” by Gord Sellar
- “Vampire Kiss” by Gene Wolfe
- “Vinegar Peace (or The Wrong-Way Used-Adult Orphanage)” by Michael Bishop
- “Godzilla’s 12 Step Program” by Joe R Lansdale
- “Jesus Christ, Reanimator” by Ken MacLeod
- “The Sledge-Maker’s Daughter” by Alastair Reynolds
- “Mars: A Travelers Guide” by Ruth Nestvold
- “The Empire of Ice Cream” by Jeffrey Ford
- “The Ant King: A California Fairytale” by Benjamin Rosebaum
- “In The Olden Days” by Spider Robinson
- “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear
- “Little Girl Down The Way” by Lawrence Santoro
Intro by All!
Editorial: We’ve Reached 100 by Tony C Smith
Fiction: End Of Oil by Gwyneth Jones
Fiction: Bob The Dinosaur Goes To Disnyland by Joe R Lansdale
Fiction: Two Dreams On Trains by Elizabeth Bear
Fiction: Thought War by Paul McAuley
Fiction: Feast or Famine by Naomi Novik
Fiction: Billy In Dinosaur City by Terry Bission
Fact: The Pulp Story by Lawrence Santoro
Music for Congratulations 100 by Kevin MacLeod
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
I have something nifty coming up. I'll tell you about it sometime in the next couple of days.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
"StarShipSofa Stories Volume 1 is only a few days away from going on sale. Here’s a sneak preview of the cover art, designed by Skeet.
"Skeet’s brief was to create a picture that would pay homage to the 50s SF pulp magazines. I think he’s produced an amazing piece of work.
"Get ready for the 16th September when the book will be available to buy in print form. There will also be a new website and free eBook released on that day.
"I hope you think it captures the style and feel of the SF Golden Years?"
Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
I could really use a little something interesting right now. I'm not even going to go so far as to ask for exciting.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Wrote a flash fiction piece early this morning, The Girl with the Halo. Don't know what I'm doing with it yet. It may become 117 if I find the right place.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Tomorrow, The Eighth Age is set to run on Everyday Weirdness. I'll post a link then.
I'm heading outside in about an hour or so to see the Perseids. Won't you join me?
Monday, August 10, 2009
An awesome animated short (it's short, click it already): http://webspace.ringling.edu/~ghetting/THESIS042009.swf
Some great links here: http://is.gd/2bgqC
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I must be the only person in the world who doesn't like soft toilet paper. I like it thin and tough with lots of paper on the roll. For over ten years Big Roll toilet paper was my favorite brand. It met all my requirements and it was cheap too. It was a Walgreens brand and I would shop at Walgreens for toilet paper and nothing else. I would go out of my way to buy their stuff.
Bastard companies often cheap out on their products to sell you less of something at the same price, rather than selling you the same amount for a higher price, hoping you won't notice. I didn't gripe too much when they took a roll that was 4.5 inches wide and quietly made it 4.05 inches wide. I did notice what you did though, bastard Walgreens, don't think I didn't. But now they've gone soft and I'm through with Walgreens and Big Roll. For now I'm buying something I like even less than the new Big Roll because I'm pissed at them. I won't even tag this post because I don't want to give them any more attention than I've already given them.
I will find the right toilet paper for me. I might have to buy industrial stuff that's used in public bathrooms by the case. So be it. Think of me the next time you wipe. If you've read this far, I know you will.
This is the kind of thing that gets me blogging again.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
I've loved it long enough that I can declare this one of my favorite things in life. If I ever have a deathbed and I'm asked "What was best about your life?" this is one of the things that I will say:
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Dad's home at my brother's house. We're all going to be taking turns helping him through the day.
I finished a first draft of a story today. The working title is "Thank You, Mr. Goldman."
I haven't even begun to read stories for the next Fiction Crawler and it really should have been completed by now. Gads!
Got two hours of sleep last night, thanks to Monday morning and my crappy dog. Grrr.
I saw the documentary "Dreams with Sharp Teeth" the other night. Wonderful. I love Harlan Ellison. More details on that (the movie, not my love) another time.
That's it. Hope to talk to you all tomorrow!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
In fact he did live six months. And sixteen and a half dozen more. And we're still counting.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I just listened to Will You be an Astronaut by Greg van Eekhout on Escape pod:
And if you listen to the story, you may learn why it reminded me of The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics.
Cable television in the seventies was a wondrous, magical thing. There were still only a handful of channels, but for those of who grew up with only four, twenty or so channels brought a cornucopia of entertainment into our lives. I remember Channel 27 fondly. You could watch Batman on 27! Five days a week! And Batman, yes, Adam West's Batman, was the greatest thing on television.
On Saturdays, Channel 56 ran "The Creature Double Feature," two monster movies back to back, everything and anything from The Phantom of the Opera to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Later, at 4:30 Channel 27 ran a Charlie Chan film, then at 6:00 an Abbott and Costello film (those guys made a hell of a lot of films), then at 7:30 they'd run a half hour of classic Looney Tunes shorts. These guys OWNED my tubby little couch potato ass.
Sundays were a mixed bag. 56 ran movies at 12, 2 and 4. Stuff like Houseboat; Pillow Talk; The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming; that sort of thing. I got some outdoor time on Sundays. Occasionally, a movie would fall short of the two hour mark, even with commercials (remember Ronco Records?), and they'd have to stick a cartoon in to fill the gap. One of those gap-fillers was The Dot and the Line. See? I had a point.
Ivory's at the house today for her Internet fix, so I paused Escape Pod to tell her to look for The Dot and the Line. We found it. Now so have you:
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Now, to clear the air, I want everyone to know that I am NOT originally from Kansas. I am not even unoriginally from Kansas. I have not been to Kansas to have gone somewhere else so that I might say, "I just came from Kansas." Not now, not ever.
I have never passed through Kansas on my way to somewhere else. It might take me a moment to find Kansas on a map, EVEN if the word Kansas were printed on it, EVEN if it was a map of only Kansas and nowhere else. In my decades of working with the public, I do not recall ever having met someone who told me they were from Kansas. Nor do I recall ever having watched a sporting event featuring Kansan participation. The only people I've ever seen from Kansas were played by actors who were not from Kansas. No one that I have ever met, heard from, encountered or read about, has ever accused me of originally being from Kansas.
NO KANSAS NO
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Hey! I'm headlining on the Sofa this week on Aural Delights no. 89. Blast off!
Editorial: Forums by Tony C Smith
Flash Fiction: The Git by Jay Lake
Fact: Search Is Too Important To Leave To One Company – Even Google by Cory Doctorow
Fact: Mervyn Peake Part 1 by English Assassin
Main Fiction: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat by Matthew Sanborn Smith
Fact: Gunfight Intro by Jeff Carlson
New Titles: Edge Of The World, In Ashes Lie, Orphans Triumph
Advertisment: This podcast is brought to you by Audible.com. Download a free audiobook of your choice today at audiblepodcast.com/sofa
Main Fiction first appeared www.bbtmagazine.comwww.starshipsofa.com
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Thanks to all of you out there who are sending your good thoughts and vibes in our direction. He's a tough old bird who's been at death's door dozens of times and has always pulled out of it. He has an amazing will to live.
My life's been feeling extra lumpy these past few days. Part of that, I think is from working through the weekend. Friday and Saturday are usually extra busy errand days for me and when I pile the job on top of that, I get a bit worn. Mondays and Tuesdays are often rough because I have to get up early and I usually get less than eight hours sleep over that forty-eight hour period. Put it all together and I'm not at my best by Tuesday night.
But Wednesdays and Thursdays?
I'm like a god among men.
Monday, June 15, 2009
New Thaumatrope story the other day. You can read it here: http://thaumatrope.greententacles.com/tweets/20090612/
The writing break is over, only it doesn't seem like it is because I haven't had any time to write. It's over in my head.
And, just because I haven't posted a vid in a while:
This is supposed to be funny, but you know you could tune into SyFy on any given Saturday night and find a gem of exactly this quality.
And-And, because I imported this blog onto my Facebook page (under my double secret codename Matthew Sanborn Smith) and last time I tried it the blog at Facebook didn't show the vids I'd posted, here's the link for today's vid(eo):
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The boy's back in the house for the summer and I'm very happy to say that he's reading voluntarily and asking me for books. Yay! He's reading the Pendragon and Ranger's Apprentice series and he told me he just began the first Elric book. Double yay! His summer reading list is really lame, a bunch of that depressing shit that schools throw at kids. Racism, poverty, Holocaust, post-apocalypse. Not our thing. I think I'm going to give him a pass this summer. I'd rather he read what he enjoys now that he's finally doing so, rather than sour him to reading once again with yuchy stuff.
The high school my daughter will be attending in the fall made Newsweek's list of top U.S. high schools as, I found, it usually does. This year it's number 312. I think that's cool.
I go to Google's street view thingy every few months hoping that views of my childhood homes will be accessible. they aren't. The damn view veers off like about a quarter mile from the cool house, the one built in the 1840's. Someday. I get sad looking at the old town though. I'm cut off from that life as by an ocean.
Paul's got a trailer for a cool looking movie called Air Doll over on his site: http://www.pulpmovies.com/trailers/air-doll
Here's some of that hard-hitting shit you'll only find at The Huffington Post:
GOP Dominated By White Conservatives: Gallup Poll
It's this kind of investigative journalism that gives me hope that all will not be lost when the last newspaper disappears. Who knew there were conservatives in the Republican party? Or that they were white? It gives me chills to know that they've been lurking there all this time.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
A new episode of Tank Riot is out. If you haven't listened before, I highly recommend it. I've never had such an enjoyable time learning about stuff I didn't know that I didn't know. The new episode is on Emma Goldman. What? You don't who Emma Goldman is? Neither do I. That's why you and I must both rush out into the net and listen to episode 74! http://www.tankriot.com/2009/074/
I actually cleaned today. The boy helped. See, we had Internet intermittence (The Goog claims I've misspelled intermittence, but I looked it up, so suck it, The Goog!) so the netty entities sent a man out. Well, the place was in its usual state: catastrophic. So we cleaned. When the daughter came over today, she couldn't believe it. "You can see the floor!" she said. "You can sit on a chair!" It was like Christmas all over again. And speaking of Christmas, I took down the Christmas tree today as part of the clean-up. The fixer-man did all his business outside and never stepped in the door, but I was happy that the place was clean. Or cleaner.
I think that people who have friends have an easier time staying on top of things like that because they're thinking, "My friends could come over at any time!" Now I know how the other half lives. Quite a heady sensation.
I found this wonderful thing today. Wolfgang's Concert Vault. I'd known about the memorabilia from a spot on CBS Sunday Morning, but I didn't know that there were thousands of concerts online for free. This is one of those things that I think everyone but I knew about. You have to sign up, but it's pretty awesome. Besides, what's to stop you from writing complete bullshit on the sign-in if you want? Not that I ever would.
Friday, June 05, 2009
My Sofanauts episode is up here: http://sofanauts.com/sofanauts/the-sofanauts-no-8 if you watched, you know the attempt at video went awry. If you didn't watch, you know the attempt at video went awry.
I mentioned two of my stories during the show, so if you've come here looking for them, here are links:
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat at Blood Blade and Thruster (I know, I posted it yesterday. Won't kill me to post it again.) : http://bbtmagazine.presspublisher.us/articles/THE_LONELINESS_OF_THE_LONG_DISTANCE_DIPLOMAT_06,3,
For the Love of Ceelie at Fusion Fragment:
I'm a bit pissed at myself for not entering the nanoism contest I mentioned the other day. I completely forgot about it. Hopefully one of you guys didn't forget and can wave some prize money in my fat face. But here's another contest: miniWORDS 2009. You can submit up to three 50 word stories by August 10th. The winner gets £250! Cor blimey! Don't forget this one, Matt!
Once again, if you're around the Internet today (June 5th) at 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, check me out at http://www.starshipsofa.com/live/ as we record episode 8 (I think) of The Sofanauts, the audio of which you can enjoy on Saturday or anytime thereafter at http://sofanauts.com/
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Here's the link to my nanoism story: http://nanoism.net/stories/25/
I wanted to link to my story in Blood Blade and Thruster, but there's still some kinks to work out. See, I had some aliens communicating with each other telepathically and to distiguish telepathic thought from other stuff in the story, I put these greater than, less than brackets < > around the words. Here's the problem: html also uses those, and when you try to print a story with those brackets, nothing inside of the brackets shows up, because the stoopidheads at the Internet Board think those are secret instructions not to be shared with the public at large. And so, in my story right now at Blood Blade and Thruster, you get passages such as this:
Zek thought to his two companions.
Which may lead whomever is reading it today to think, "What the fuck? This is some surreal shit!"
I sent an e-mail, alerting the staff to this and even sent another version of the story using square brackets [ ], so hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow and I can post the link here.
Here's a link I can safely post. Fiction Crawler 7 is up at StarShipSofa. Check it out:
And on Friday we'll be recording the latest episode of Sofanauts. You can watch us, while we're recording, at the new LIVE page: http://www.starshipsofa.com/live/ at 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time on June 5th. Check it out. It'll be unedited, so maybe someone will say a swear word!
Writers! Time's almost up for the nanoism nanofiction contest. Check it out:
And John Joseph Adams is looking for stories to fill his anthology:
Good luck to all of you! That's it for now. Sleepy time is heading my way.
Monday, June 01, 2009
My @nanoism story isn't up yet, but you can find my new @thaumatrope story here. Mine is the one by Matthew Sanborn Smith (also known as upwithgravity). And I believe I'll have a story in issue 4 of Blood Blade and Thruster, coming to a screen near you in just a couple of days if all goes well. I'll post the link then.
Friday, May 29, 2009
My daughter went to her first nighttime dance tonight. They called it a prom (even though it was eighth grade) and dressed up. Her mother and I had to convince our little anti-social butterfly to go. She ended up having a great time.
Almost done tagging everything. I'll let you know.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Not much else is going on. I'll be on The Sofanauts in about a week and a half. I may be on Aural Delights next week with Fiction Crawler 7.
Also, I'm working on getting all my posts tagged here because there is a small but ferocious group of people following me who are only interested in the flash fiction I used to post here. So when I get that done, I'll let everyone know, then they can just search for the flash fiction tag and all of that will come up. I think I have over two hundred pieces of flash tucked away here. Golly!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Poetry: E7 by Curtis Hilgenberg
Fact Article: Extreme Geek by Cory Doctorow
Main Fiction: Transylvanian Mission by Lavie Tidhar
Fact Article: Survivors by The English Assassin
Narrators: Julie Davis
Monday, May 25, 2009
"Where are you going, Young Fellow My Lad,
On this glittering morn of May?"
"I'm going to join the Colours, Dad;
They're looking for men, they say."
"But you're only a boy, Young Fellow My Lad;
You aren't obliged to go."
"I'm seventeen and a quarter, Dad,
And ever so strong, you know."
"So you're off to France, Young Fellow My Lad,
And you're looking so fit and bright."
"I'm terribly sorry to leave you, Dad,
But I feel that I'm doing right."
"God bless you and keep you, Young Fellow My Lad,
You're all of my life, you know."
"Don't worry. I'll soon be back, dear Dad,
And I'm awfully proud to go."
"Why don't you write, Young Fellow My Lad?
I watch for the post each day;
And I miss you so, and I'm awfully sad,
And it's months since you went away.
And I've had the fire in the parlour lit,
And I'm keeping it burning bright
Till my boy comes home; and here I sit
Into the quiet night.
"What is the matter, Young Fellow My Lad?
No letter again to-day.
Why did the postman look so sad,
And sigh as he turned away?
I hear them tell that we've gained new ground,
But a terrible price we've paid:
God grant, my boy, that you're safe and sound;
But oh I'm afraid, afraid."
"They've told me the truth, Young Fellow My Lad:
You'll never come back again:
(Oh God! the dreams and the dreams I've had,
and the hopes I've nursed in vain!)
For you passed in the night, Young Fellow My Lad,
And you proved in the cruel test
Of the screaming shell and the battle hell
That my boy was one of the best.
"So you'll live, you'll live, Young Fellow My Lad,
In the gleam of the evening star,
In the wood-note wild and the laugh of the child,
In all sweet things that are.
And you'll never die, my wonderful boy,
While life is noble and true;
For all our beauty and hope and joy
We will owe to our lads like you."
-Robert W. Service
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Here's some great music you can listen to online at NPR.org, probably for a limited time. It's a collaboration between Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch with lots of nifty guests like Iggy Pop and Frank Black among others. David Lynch sings! It's called Dark Night of the Soul. Just click the title, you'll get there. My favorite track is Star Eyes. Cool stuff!
Sent out story 111 yesterday, The Circle of Life. I took another stab at the novel (The Inner Workings of the Artificial Mind) today, reworking chapter 11 which was a confusing mess. I think I originally wrote it twice, with two different foci in mind and today I mashed it all together into one narrative string. I want to go back to it and reread it in a couple of days to make sure it doesn't completely suck, but it's done for today.
Also, I'm digging around in my head for a flash fiction idea for this contest. You writers out there may want to take a crack at it yourselves. There's money to be had! Yay, money! Not that I'm a whore, or anything. We prefer to call ourselves Ladies of the Night.
A nifty Sofanauts this week. Amy's on with Tony, Jeremy and Paul Raven. They talk Orson Scott Card, Star Trek, mundane science fiction and other geeky things.
That's all for now. Tomorrow, I'll post a poem for Memorial Day. Not my poetry, but some good stuff by a dead guy. You look at all the poetry out there and most of the good stuff seems to be written by dead people. Discrimination? You decide.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
We've got two coconut trees in the front yard donated long ago by my father-in-law. He assured us they'd only grow to about six feet. Maybe those are Trinidadian feet, because the mother-fuckers got to something like twenty feet tall. This one is hella laden, though they've still got some maturing to do. As Merv said, I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts.
The cashews have yet to come in. They're still flowersin' as the former wife would say. Lazy cashews!
And finally, we've had a couple of mango trees in the backyard for something like ten years and the bastards haven't done a thing for us. Now for the first time, we've got hot mango action happening back there. The stupid camera decided to focus on the trunk rather than the fruit, but the fruit doesn't look too bad. Soon it will be mango party time.
Friday, May 22, 2009
I'm not shilling books or anything, but I want to turn you guys on to some fun looking stuff that's come into the store in the past couple of days:
The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter by Holly Robinson
I love this quote from the back cover:
“Holly Robinson reveals a fascinating, untold chapter in the history of the Mongolian gerbil in the United State as she brings us back to a time before play dates, bike helmets, or other adult meddling in private childhood affairs and tells with vivid clarity of growing up in America in the 60s - 70s, all the while struggling to hide a terrible family secret–the barns in the backyard house 9000 gerbils.” –Donna Anastasi, President of the American Gerbil Society and author of The Complete Guide to Gerbil Care
by Art Baltazar and Franco
The art in this book rocks. It's exactly the style you see on the cover throughout the book.
Creative Cursing: A Mix 'n' Match Profanity Generator by Sarah Royal and Jillian Panarese
This book is AWESOME! This is the one that I'm showing to all my fellow employees. Truly a spiral bound good time.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
My story, Purgatory is for Pencils should be up at Everyday Weirdness tomorrow. I'll post the link then.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
This week, StarShipSofa is pleased to present Aural Delights no. 85. Blast off!
Editorial: The Sofanauts by Tony C Smith
Fact: Comic Book Outsiders
Main Fiction: Culture Activistv by Jeremiah Talbot
Fact: Science News by JJ Campanella
Narrators: Ray Sizemorewww.starshipsofa.com
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The big news is I'm happy! That doesn't usually happen, but I'm not usually this productive. In the last few days I finished a new story called Gray Holes (though it doesn't earn its number till I send it out), wrote a story for my boss to make her boss happy (and I had a blast writing it), got started on helping the daughter with her eighth grade graduation speech, and wrote, recorded and sent out Fiction Crawler 7.
Creation makes me feel good.
Hope I keep it up.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I think that if Republican politicians keep pissing in their pants when they offend the far right loons in their party, they're going to wind up with two separate parties. There are a lot of sane Republicans who want no part of that crazy bullshit.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Today was Mother's Day here in the states. I bought the former wife some flowers and a card and breakfast. I usually wish her mom a happy one as well, but she's somewhere in Trinidad this month and not as available as she usually is.
My own mom died some seventeen years ago from colon cancer. She was fifty-nine years old. She was a good person. Mom had food for anyone who dropped by the house. She didn't like it when one person won everything on Wheel of Fortune. She wanted everyone to win something. She stretched a dollar till it wept to feed a family of seven fattish people. She was the ninth child of Portuguese immigrants. Her father died three months before she was born. When she was a girl she ran with the Girl Scouts for a while and loved it, but she had to drop out when it was time to buy uniforms because the family couldn't afford one.
She was the first person in her family to graduate high school and she worked as as a secretary to a coroner, hovering near the dead as she took shorthand during examinations. She met my Dad at the hospital where she worked. He was a veteran of World War II who had knocked around a bit and was a baker's assistant at the hospital. My uncle introduced them. She saw five kids into adulthood and put up with more crap from all of us (Dad included) than anyone should be asked to. She was very happy about the move to Florida after fifty-four years in New England. She had a pool, she had sunshine.
She brought her sister down to live with them, when her sister could no longer take care of herself. My Aunt Elsie had kidney problems, was on dialysis for years and apparently the medicine she was taking was shrinking her brain. That's what I was told anyway. The result was something very much like Alzheimer's. And mom helped Elsie, took her out, fed her, bathed her when it became necessary, until very close to the end of Elsie's life. It took a lot out of my mom.
Mom had medical issues that I wasn't told about. She beat cancer once, sick from chemotherapy. About a year and a half later it found her again. Her stomach became enormous, she looked pregnant. She wanted to die at home. A hospital bed was set up in my parents' bedroom and my dad took care of her, saw to her every need as she had seen to Elsie's. Mom fell in love with dad for a second time. Just days after my sisters went back home after saying their goodbyes, Mom let go of the struggle. The last time I saw her she was breathing very short and shallow breaths. She was aided by an oxygen tank. I asked her how she was and she said, "Not very good." We talked for a few minutes and I kissed her and told her I loved her which is something I didn't say very often. She died early the next morning after staying up all night talking to my father. My eyes have gotten all wet writing this.
She was born Laura Katherine Nobriga and died at a much too young fifty-nine years old. She loved romance novels and horror movies and loved to sing out loud even though I told her what a bad singer she was all the time. Needless to say I was not a model son, but I loved her and now that I'm a dad I understand that she would have loved me no matter how big a wiener I was. Mom's are great for that.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
States the artist:
Examining how stereotypical views of women are constructed from the responsibilities of everyday life is the starting point of my work. For years I have been confronted with gender issues, boundary concerns, class differences, and the interpretation of the feminine identity. With the help of everyday objects that are inherent to a woman's life I create puns, wry and biting remarks about traditional women's roles.With safety pins, garbage bags, mops, doormats, and a myriad of seemingly insignificant objects, I build women's garments to question accepted notions of female identity. Long, flowing, traditional wedding dresses twist the idea of women's fashion and the ascribed roles they carry. What is believed and passed on moves from the internal to the external, clear markings and identifiers of expected women's knowledge worn like a badge, like a uniform.