Tuesday, April 28, 2009


102 - Dear New Dad
103 - Mr. Bubbles
104 - Where I Hang my Hat

I don't watch Kimmel (or anything else anymore), but I see this feature on-line all the time and I love it. This Week in Unnecessary Censorship:

Monday, April 27, 2009


I've got a new follower! Welcome, Melissa. For those of you who aren't Melissa, we used to go to school together in another life. I've been something like thirteen hundred miles from home for a long, long time and it's always good to see someone (or their .jpg) from the salad days.

Strangely, another old school chum is working with me this week. Lance (yes, Missy, that Lance) is training in my store before heading back to his regular location. I saw him yesterday after a twenty year hiatus. I like it when mildly interesting things like that happen. I'd like it more if really interesting things would happen, but I take what I can get.

So I've been after the boy to talk with his guidance counselor so he can take those dual enrollment classes (I'm sure I mentioned them here at some point. College classes in high school, earn college credits, absolutely free.). Last Thursday, he brings home his worst report card ever. One B, One C, four Ds and an F. Suddenly I went from dreaming of college to wondering if he's going to be spending a second year in tenth grade. His mother and I assessed the situation and decided that he should live with her at least while class is in session. He spends far too much time with his friends and not nearly enough studying. So now he should get his homework done, study for tests, get more sleep and eat better food (His mother is a great cook). He moved in yesterday and I brought his bed over there today. That leaves one dog and me here. I'll miss the boy while he's gone, but I'll get more sleep and the house will be a lot more quiet.

Birthday. It was nothing spectacular, but I had a great day. Ate some Big Macs, which is sort of a tradition for me. If you hadn't figured it out yet, I'm a man of coarse tastes. Bought some comics, another thing I don't often do, went to the wife's house for cake, ice cream and socks and all in all had a nice day. Even with the worst ever report card the day before and the knowledge that the boy would be moving out, I was determined to have a good day. I turned off my internal misery machine. Why don't I do that more often? To be honest, I hadn't noticed the switch on the back before.

I've purposely not written anything for days now. I wanted a little break and I wanted to get a little bit of reading done, I'll probably start again soon. Let's go to the board now, shall we?

Let's see, current age has rolled over, we're now at 40. Current story count is 101. That means I have ten years left in which to write 899 stories. To be more precise, 3,649 days (I have a little widget that tracks that) or 1 story every 4.0589544 days.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rhapsody In Silicon

Thanks to @JonathanStrahan for the tweet, The Register for the revelation, and most of all, the artist, bd594:

The Non-Vulcan Mind Meld

I got to join in on the latest Mind Meld at SF Signal. The question being, "Who are the best female writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy?" Check out my answer and a host of others here:

Comes the Sofa:

This week StarShipSofa is pleased to present Aural Delights no. 81. Blast off!

Aural Delights No 81 Marc Laidlaw

Editorial: J G Ballard Remembered by Tony C Smith

Poetry: Black Holes Holed Their Breath by Mike Allen

Flash Fiction: Different by Julio Flávio Meirelles Marchini

Fact: Book Review by The English Assassin

Short Fiction: Not Fade Away by Spider Robinson

Fact: Graphic Novels Review by Stephen Aryan

Main Fiction: Flight Risk by Marc Laidlaw

New Titles: The Space Opera Collection

Promo: www.dunesteef.com

Narrators: Kate Baker Annette Bowman The Dunesteef Team

What's that, little blog? You need a shot of energy? Well here you go:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I turn forty on Friday. I'm getting this downer post out of the way now so I can celebrate myself on Friday like I should. You've been warned.

Thirty was a really hard birthday to me. I had such big plans and I saw thirty as the end of my youth and I had pissed it all away. I don't feel that bad about forty, but I don't feel that I've made a lot of progress in the last ten years. I'm moving in the right direction, but I think I'm going to have to live to about the age of three-thousand years in order to get where I want to go. However, there's a better than good chance I'm past the halfway point of my life.

Sunday night I was really depressed (reading science fiction about the nukes dropping probably didn't help). Why? I'm writing some things that I'm happy with, but the sales aren't happening. I'm tying my self to my work. If it's going nowhere (and I'm strictly talking about popular acceptance and sales here, not the quality of the work) then I'm going nowhere. It seems far too late to do something else with my life and start at square one in a new field, but even if I felt there was plenty of time, there isn't actually something else that I really want to do. On top of this, I decided I wanted to make a living off of my fiction writing about twenty years ago (I don't really see this happening now). I feel like I have to go somewhere with this just to get past it. What I mean is, I want to have some fun, but I have to conquer this writing thing in my life before I can move on, and essentially I drove into the mud as a young man and I've been spinning my wheels ever since. So, the bottom line is my life equals a big screeching halt. This is why I was depressed. I was ready to quit writing Sunday night, but I had nothing else.

I've gone through enough depressions to know where I am in them. I went through the "everything is hopeless" stage and I knew I entered the "I'm going to talk myself out of this, but I don't know how" stage. I can do an entire depressive episode within an hour now, because I've gotten really good at it through years of practice. Finally, I settled on this:

You'll hear people say that they're going to do something or die trying. Often you'll hear this on television rather than real life. I realized that I'm now in the "Die trying" part of my life. I've given up hope of success, but I'm going to carry on, spitting in the face of fate until my last breath goes and I can't spit anymore. It feels very Bran Mak Morn and I think it suits me.

Friday will be better. I like carrot cake and accept all manner of gift cards and cash.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


@expatpaul tweeted this. I love it.

Real Enough

This is kind of a pisser. I can't embed this video. I guess I'll just link to it. Back in the days before MTV, HBO had a half-hour show called Video Jukebox on which they showed music videos. This was so long ago, we didn't even know what to call videos. I'd say to my friends, "Did you see that . . . You know those movies they play with the songs in them? That one for Blondie?" I was glad once they were named. It made things faster and I didn't sound like an idiot (at least not for that particular reason). Anywho, I first saw this video on Video Jukebox and I saw it enough that it hooked me and although I've hardly seen it at all since then, it's stuck with me. It's Real Enough by Doug and the Slugs. It starts off sounding like a Doo-Wop song, then gets kinda Ska and then they throw in some solo guitar you might hear in a hard rock tune and what it winds up as is very eighties. I still like it, maybe you will as well:

And here's the link to the first ever Sofanauts show. I'm happy to have been a part of it. Tony cleaned it up a bit in editing and Martyn's intro and outro are wonderful. Enjoy:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sofa So Good


Feel crappy right now. My one hour walk with the dog was cut to a half-hour due to rain. We got soaked. Now I'm blowing my nose a lot. I don't think I caught a cold or anything, we got back from the walk just twenty-five minutes ago, but the nose-blowing sucks.

Listen up for the first episode of The Sofanauts tomorrow. I'm on the show along with Tony, Jeremiah Tolbert and Damien Walters, yapping about the week in science fiction news. I'll post a link when the show pops up. It felt a bit more like work than I'd expected. maybe that's because I'm not used to working without a script. And Tony asked me about hitting that magical One-Thousand mark at fifty and I basically talked about how slow I've been and how it was a reasonable goal, which doesn't make sense at all. I neglected to mention that I'm picking up speed. But you make screw-ups. That's the fun of what's basically a single take. Anyway, I hope you guys like the show. Tony's already saying that he'd like me back sometime in the future so that's good. Hopefully I'll relax a bit more in the future.

I haven't mentioned stories 100 and 101 so let me do that here and now: Unhappy Day and The Boat are the newest members of the family.

Give a listen the latest Aural Delights on StarShipSofa. At the tail end you'll hear Fiction Crawler No. 6, a special on flash fiction online as suggested by obstinate non-follower Church.

Aural Delights No 80 James Lovegrove

Editorial: Sofanauts by Tony C Smith

Poetry: Epochs In Exile by Mike Allen & Charles Saplack

Fact: Science News by Jim Campanella

Main Fiction: Wings by James Lovegrove

Fact: Fiction Crawler by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Narrators: Nicola Seaton-Clark Kate Baker

This podcast is brought to you by Audible.com. Download a free audiobook of your choice today at audiblepodcast.com/sofa

Links to Fiction Crawler:

Colonists by Barry Napier
Homecoming by Jessica Melusine
Prairie Star by Cat Rambo
They Called Her Larry by Steve Duffy
Six Word Stories

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Like Square Butts

You've got to hand it to Weird Tales for doing everything they can to get the word out about their mag. They're currently looking for some micro-fiction for video. Check out their guidelines here.

Stories 98 and 99 are in the bag, called Fertile Crescent and Eating You respectively. These are twit-fic and there's no reason to title them for publication but I do have to title them so I can tell them from all the others. Eating You is such a great title to toss out there where no one will see it, but if I ever write a longer story worthy of the title, I will pilfer it and change the title of the twit-fic.

This book sells like hotcakes at our store:

This is cool and hypnotic:

Fluid Sculpture from Charlie Bucket on Vimeo.

Friday, April 10, 2009

You Pay Now!

I forgot about my house payment last week. Is that bad? Well, yes, it is. The mortgage holder was paid, that wasn't the problem. It's an automatic debit, taken out every week, so that I can painlessly make thirteen payments in twelve months. The problem is, you've got to remember that the money is no longer in your account once it's paid. I missed that part. I've been doing fine for the last fifty-three weeks, since taking over bill-paying duties. Last week saw an end to that streak. So, I didn't record the debit and used that money to pay other bills. I was pretty pleased with myself. I was really catching up with the bills. Two days ago Toyota called in my mark and the dominoes started falling. Four overdrawn fees later, I'm out about a hundred bucks. I had to throw some dough in the account today to stop the hemorrhaging, otherwise, I would have seen at least two more fees over the weekend.

Good fun.

I had a couple stories run at Thaumatrope this week. Eastery ones here and here. Turns out the first one was the more original idea. Everyone there was doing egg stories this week. Who would have imagined? On Easter!

The StarShipSofa has been reupholstered! Check out the new look as you download the latest show:

Aural Delights No 79 Karen Joy Fowler

Editorial: The Sofanauts: The New Show… coming soon! by Tony C Smith

Poetry: Galaxy In A Matchbox by G O Clark

Fact: Hyperion II by Fred Himebaugh

Main Fiction: Standing Room Only by Karen Joy Fowler

Fact: The Machine Stops by Amy H Sturgis

New Titles: Madness Of Angles, Escape From Hell, Adamantine Palace, Xenopath

Narrators: Julie Davis, Kate Baker

This podcast is brought to you by Audible.com. Download a free audiobook of your choice today at audiblepodcast.com/sofa

I just found this video. It's fun. But honestly, if I was the guy working the drive-thru that day, I'd be thinking to myself, "I wish this assholes would go somewhere else." He's a better man than I .

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Great Stories From Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi and Night Shade books have made three of Paolo's stories available as a free pdf for a reading group called Think Galactic. I'm sure Think Galactic would appreciate your participation, but you don't have to join in to enjoy the stories. You can download the pdf here. I believe it's only available for a limited time, so get over there and grab it. Paolo Bacigalupi is one of my favorite writers and Yellow Card Man, which is included in this pdf, is one of my favorite stories. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

StarShipSofa Presents The 2008 Nebula Short Story Nominees

This isn't what I was trying to remember in that last post, but I did almost forget to put this up today. Gads!

The StarShipSofa is very proud to present every 2008 Nebula short story award nominee on audio! Blast off!

26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss by Kij Johnson: http://www.starshipsofa.com/20090402/aural-delights-no-72-nebula-nominee-kij-johnson/

Mars: A Traveler’s Guide by Ruth Nestvold: http://www.starshipsofa.com/20090402/aural-delights-no-73-nebula-nominee-ruth-nestvold/

The Button Bin by Mike Allen: http://www.starshipsofa.com/20090402/aural-delights-no-74-nebula-nominee-mike-allen/

The Dreaming Wind by Jeffery Ford: http://www.starshipsofa.com/20090402/aural-delights-no-75-nebula-nominee-jeffery-ford/

Trophy Wives by Nina Kiriki Hoffman: http://www.starshipsofa.com/20090402/aural-delights-no-76-nebula-nominee-kij-johnson/

Don’t Stop by James Patrick Kelly: http://www.starshipsofa.com/20090402/aural-delights-no-77-nebula-nominee-james-patrick-kelly/

Tomb Wife by
Gwyneth Jones: http://www.starshipsofa.com/20090402/aural-delights-no-78-nebula-nominee-gwyneth-jones/

Super-fast iTunes download links:

Nebula Nominee Kij Johnson -26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss

Nebula Nominee Ruth Nestvold - Mars: A Traveler’s Guide

Nebula Nominee Mike Allen -The Button Bin

Nebular Nominee Jeffery Ford - The Dreaming Wind

Nebula Nominee Nina Kiriki Hoffman - Trophy Wives

Nebula Nominee James Patrick Kelly - Don’t Stop

Nebula Nominee Gwyneth Jones -Tomb Wife


The Cocker Paradox

Found this fun little link on BoingBoing today: http://www.elwp.com/Joe%20Cocker.html
I love Joe Cocker and yet I also love people who make fun of Joe Cocker, so this is a delight.

There was something I wanted to mention. Don't have a clue now. As soon as I close Firefox it will come to me, I'm sure.


Quickly! Before Sleep Takes Me!

I don't know when, but Fusion Fragment will be publishing my cyberpunk story, "For the Love of Ceelie," sometime in the future.

I finally, FINALLY, finished Fiction Crawler 6 and shot it off to Tony today. Thanks to Church for his input.

Didn't read any of The Terror today, exercised though, and looked into Dual Enrollment for the boy. That's where he takes college classes while still in high school. The classes are free and he gets college credits for them.

I've been forgetting to post StarShipSofa stuff here. Luckily, I think almost everyone who reads this blog is familiar with the Sofa. Hours from now, Tony will be posting all seven Nebula nominees for best short story 2009. I'll link to them tomorrow.

Gotta go. Morpheus awaits.