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F. Brett Cox

Dec. 17th, 2009

12:19 pm - Linkage

Department of Living in the Future:

Tokyo Man Marries Video Game Character.

Astronomers find "a water-rich and relatively nearby planet that’s similar in size to Earth".

Department of My Former Back Yard:

Woman dead in house for months. (I’ve read this story. In fact, I’ve taught this story.)

Headline of the Week:

Clermont Hotel Shut Down, Strippers Unaffected.

Dec. 10th, 2009

10:58 am - Harry C. Crosby, Jr./"Christopher Anvil," 1925-2009

SF writer who, under the Anvil byline, published over 100 short stories and several novels, mostly in the 1950s and 60s, according to the notice at Locus Online. I never read very much of his work. But the first sf magazines I ever saw were my brother's copies of Analog, where Anvil was a mainstay, and when I started buying the magazines myself in the early 1970s, I saw his name all the time. He was one of those writers who, even if you didn't follow his work closely, was Always Around, in the sf magazines, on the paperback spinner racks, on the bookstore shelves between Aldiss and Asimov--part of the warp and woof of the field I gave myself over to very early on. We will always need such writers.

Dec. 3rd, 2009

03:51 pm - King Phantom

Went to see Stephen King last night. He gave a reading/talk at the Middle and Elementary School gym in Manchester, VT, sponsored by the world-class indie bookstoreNorthshire Books. $10 a head, more if you wanted seats closer to the front and a signed copy of Under the Dome. (We already have the book, and our seats were fine.) The place was packed. King was introduced by John Irving, whose presence had not been previously announced. Two-thirds of Irving's introduction was devoted to Those Who Do Not Respect Plot, Especially Those Wankers at the New York Times Who Keep Dissing Me and Steve. The final third was an eloquent appreciation of King. When Big Steve hit the stage, I felt the same surge of affection I felt when I saw Johnny Cash. King talked briefly, read from Dome, and took questions from the audience. He was relaxed and affable, and it was an entertaining evening.

Back in my neighborhood, the repackaged Phantom anthology is now available via Amazon. Trade paperback, spiffy new cover, blurbs you can trust, and 14 original stories by all kinds of folks, including me.

Nov. 29th, 2009

01:33 pm - Robert Holdstock, 1948-2009

Ansible and Locus Online are both reporting the death of Rob Holdstock, after 10 days in hospital with an E. coli infection. I'm deeply saddened to hear this. I didn't know Rob well, but the first public fiction reading I ever gave, at ICFA way back when, was in a session with Rob and Sharon Shinn. I saw him at several ICFA's thereafter. An important writer and a very good guy.

Nov. 27th, 2009

11:13 am - Song of the Day

Not to be too obvious, but: Steely Dan, "Black Friday".

Nov. 25th, 2009

10:41 pm - Songs to be thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving! A couple of videos to get us in the right frame of mind as we enter the holiday season:

Bob Dylan, "Must Be Santa". From his new album Christmas in the Heart, the profits from which will go to various hunger relief charities. Go here for additional information. Even the misguided Dylan-haters among you should buy this. You can then throw it away, or, perhaps, destroy it in some ritualistic fashion.

The Muppets, "Bohemian Rhapsody". Need I say more?

Nov. 22nd, 2009

12:24 pm - Travels, links, Song of the Week

Weary from my travels and disinclined to write anything more than a sentence at a time occasionally at Facebook, I confess and repent of my negligence. So:

NYRSF Readings, 11/10: Had a marvelous time in New York, as always. Major thanks to curator Rob Killheffer and series host Jim Freund for having me. A great pleasure to meet my fellow reader, Terence Taylor, and to see everyone at the event. Special thanks to the AbFab vschanoes for hospitality and accommodations, not to mention setting up dinner Monday and lunch Tuesday. Shout out to nick_kaufmann for the best bagels in New York. And thanks to Amtrak for offering a travel option that doesn’t involve my getting on a plane or parking my car in Manhattan.

Interfictions Salon, Cambridge, MA, 11/13: An amazing evening. I truly didn’t know what to expect, but Brian Slattery and his musicians were extraordinary; the music fit the readings to perfection. My deepest appreciation to everyone who put this together, and everyone who attended.

Interesting link: My man Cormac McCarthy on writing and movies and stuff.

Discovered at the supermarket: In celebration of its 60th anniversary, in addition to a supefyingly ill-conceived vanity press scheme that has earned the righteous wrath of professional writers everywhere, Harlequin Books is issuing vintage reprints of several titles from the 1940s and 1950s, with original covers. I'm intrigued that, based on the covers and jacket copy, the books appear to be very noir, more Mickey Spillane than Barbara Cartland.

Song of the week: Those Darlins, "Red Light Love" (2009), animated and live. Via vschanoes, the host with the most. My old bandmate Richard asks, “How can we join this band? Is it the boots?” lizhand confirms that it is definitely the boots.

Nov. 6th, 2009

12:42 pm - NYRSF Readings Update

Due to complications from having been dead for 102 years, Thomas Bailey Aldrich will not be able to make it next Tuesday. Instead, I have the pleasure of reading with Terence Taylor. 11/10/09, 7 p.m., South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St., NYC. Y'all come.

Nov. 4th, 2009

11:20 am - Claude Levi-Strauss, 1908-2009

I confess I had no idea the father of structural anthropology was still alive. Very much outside my areas of expertise, but, reading this obituary, I can't help wondering who, if anybody, resides in the contemporary Western world with a comparable degree of intellectual and cultural authority. (Love the detail about Levi-Strauss, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir having taught in the same high school. High school!)

Nov. 3rd, 2009

05:28 pm - Dept. of Self-Promotion: The Between-the-Holidays East Coast Tour

A week from tonight I will be reading at the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series. I am proud to be reading with Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907), the distinguished 19th-century American poet, novelist, and editor, and the only writer I can think of whose initials are TBA. Tuesday, November 10th, 7 p.m., South Street Seaport Museum, 5th Floor, 12 Fulton St., New York, NY.

Three days later, I’ll be participating in the Interstitial Improv: Words and Music event in celebration of the newly-published (today!) Interfictions 2 anthology. Several Interfictions contributors, past and present, including Theodora Goss and Matthew Cheney, will be reading their work with musical accompaniment led by Brian Slattery. I’ll be reading my Interfictions Annex story "Nylon Seam." As some of you know (and the rest of you, hey, it’s right here), the story comes with its own soundtrack, but Brian has promised something new and different for the event. Friday, November 13th, 7:30 p.m., The Lily Pad, Inman Square, 1353 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA.

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