Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Economy Still Sucks

Now, maybe it is those horrid eBooks, or those horrid games or that horrid new-fangled television...but another bookstore in the area is closing.
There's A Hole In Your Sky

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a dark molecular cloud known as Barnard 68. Do the Moties hide behind such a cloud?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Referencing the Canon

A place that appears in Patrick O'Brian's H.M.S. Surprise is stumbled upon while cruising the internet.
Joining Markets

What do you get when two brands beloved by misbegotten youth (or those trying to hang on to that youth) everywhere get together?
It's Klaus, Baby

Klaus Schulze performing in 1977. That would be about a year before I discovered his musical moves.
All Around the Planet

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows auroral activity in Sweden. It also uses one of those odd camera tricks that have been showing up of late: the person in the picture could be standing on a very odd little asteroid!

Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time turns 50 this year. That was one of my favorite reads in my misbegotten youth. I'll have to give it a try again (and maybe The Young Lady will finally try it).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Run, Come, See Jerusalem!

The SFE is back baby. Long may it grow and expand!
Atomic Rockets

Hmmm...I sense a pattern in this Slash Dot posting. Do you think maybe you should consult the Atomic Rockets site if you are writing a Hard SF tale?

Virgil Finlay contributes to Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality of Mankind.
Remnant Population

An article on what the Bible brings to literature. One could expand this to what much of literature has brought forward to newer literature. A good education is never wasted. And don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
The Madness of Rocks

The geology of the Mountains of Madness. I'm still awaiting our first big blizzard. Then I'll do my semi-regular re-read of H.P. Lovecraft's classic.
Field of Dreams

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a beautiful rich field of galaxies, including a nice irregular in the forefront.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cold as Ice

Vesta is probably "dry" but is cold and dark enough for ice. Given recent data from Mars and our Moon (let alone the moons of the outer planets), I'm willing to bet there will be more ice there than we expect.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dogs and Cats Living Together

So a bunch of fantasy writers walk into a convention...no, seriously, a bunch of fantasy authors walk into a convention...
Crystal Ball

William Gibson can't really predict the future. What's wrong with science fiction writers these days?
Eight Years On

A ninety-day mission now enters its eighth year of continuous operations. Way to go, Opportunity! (Also today's Astronomy Picture of the Day...)
I've Been Reading Waaaaaayyyy Too Much "Schlock Mercenary"

A dream I had this morning, right before waking...

"Hey, Mikey, watcha got there?"

"It's a death ray!"

"A death ray? Where'd ya get a death ray? Who are you? Cap'n Future?" (snorts)

"I got it from a cereal box, after sending in box tops!" (defensively)

"Sure, it's a neat toy."

"It ain't no toy!"


(ominous hum)
Prime Mover

Hey you! You behind me! You with the "Live Free or Die" license plate and the "Yes We Can" bumper sticker!

Guess what? There's a reason I'm doing 35 MPH. You might be in a hurry, but this is a residential area with heavy pedestrian traffic. There's a reason there's a double yellow line so you can't pass me. Oh, look, there are about 75 cars in front of me, all also doing 35 MPH, so how far will you get?

Oh, look, utility vehicles along the side of the road, so you can't pass me on the right either. Want to try driving on the sidewalk maybe?

Putz. Go back to the shallow end of the gene pool.

'I know they do: we have some hands from Shelmerston, decent men and prime seamen, who are little better than democrats - republicans, if you follow me - and would easily be led astray by a clever political cove with a fine flow of words: but the man-of-war's men, particularly the old Surprises, do not like him. They call him Monsieur Turd, and they will not be won round by smirking and leering and the brotherhood of man: they dislike his notions as much as I do.'

(Patrick O'Brian; The Wine Dark Sea)
FRAGO: Bad Hair Day

As the enemy Sparhawk broke up in a expanding cloud of gas and debris, Major Scott Gordon knew he was in trouble. There was no way he was going to be able to maneuver his spaceplane out of the path of fragments without taking some hits. His vehicle might be a "fighter", but it wasn't armored (otherwise it would never get into orbit).
The Boss

It reminded her of the time their soundman, Ritchie Nagel, had dragged a militantly disinterested Inchmale to see Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden. Inchmale had returned with his shoulders hunched in thought, deeply impressed by what he'd witnessed but uncharacteristically unwilling to talk about it. Pressed, he would only say that Springsteen, onstage, had channeled a combination of Apollo and Bugs Bunny, a highly complex act of physical impression.

(William Gibson, Spook Country)

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows intense star creation in a dwarf galaxy.
Black Hole Region

"And yet we have all known flights when of a sudden, each for himself, it has seemed to us that we have crossed the border of the world of reality; when, only a couple hours from port, we have felt ourselves more distant from it than we should feel if we were in India; when there has come a premonition of an incursion into a forbidden world whence it was going to be infinitely difficult to return. Thus, when Mermoz first crossed the South Atlantic in a hydroplane, as day was dying he ran foul of the Black Hole region, off Africa. Straight ahead of him were the tails of tornadoes rising minute by minute gradually higher, rising as a wall is built; and then the night came down upon these preliminaries and swallowed them up; and when, an hour later, he slipped under the clouds, he came into a fantastic kingdom. Great black waterspouts had reared themselves seemingly at the immobility of temple pillars. Swollen at their tops, they were supporting the squat and lowering arch of the tempest, but through the rifts in the arch there fell slabs of light and the full moon sent her radiant beams between the pillars down upon the frozen tiles of the sea. Through these uninhabited ruins Mermoz made his way, gliding slantwise from one channel of light to the next, circling round those giant pillars in which there must have rumbled the upsurge of the sea, flying for four hours through these corridors of moonlight toward the exit from the temple. And this spectacle was so overwhelming that only after he got through the Black Hole did Mermoz awaken to the fact that he had not been afraid."

(Antoine de Saint Exupery, Wind, Sand and Stars")
Anabasis (Xenophon)

It was agreed that this was the most barbaric and outlandish people that they had passed through on the whole expedition, and the furthest removed from the Hellenic customs, doing in a crowd precisely what other people would prefer to do in solitude, and when alone behaving exactly as others would behave in company, talking to themselves and laughing at their own expense, standing still and then capering about, wherever they might chance to be, without rhyme or reason, as if their sole business were to show off to the rest of the world.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shelving Matters

I think I've found a bookshelf solution for me. Maybe Neil Gaiman will be nice enough to sell me his house, cheap.
Distribution Modes

Ever comes across this quote?

The future is already here—it's just not very evenly distributed

So who said it?

With the news that multiple CME's have headed towards our pale blue dot, today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is very appropriate.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Year of the Dragon

Drag, zoom and flip around in this panorama of the SpaceX Dragon Capsule, getting ready for a flight to the ISS.
Blazing Skies

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a beautiful long-exposure shot of the winter skies ("mouseover" the picture to see the constellations highlighted). If our skies looked like that to our naked eyes, would we pay more attention to the universe around us?

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows one of the stranger features of the Saturnian system. No, not the rings, not the braiding of the rings even...a hexagonal cloud system at Saturn's north pole.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012


It's Military SF week at Tor Dot Com! Here's David Drake's contribution to the line-up.
Dreams of Flight

Depictions of space travel, from Saturn V on up. I especially love the Saturn V vs. the BIS Daedalus!
Earth and Milky Way

Video from the ISS. There have been several of these posted and they are amazing. Wish NASA would do a better job of promoting them!
Wolf Moon

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the "wolf's moon" over the winter landscape of Sweden. Brrrrrr!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Star Stuff

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a large star-forming region known as Cygnus X. Click and enlarge and be amazed.
Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee!

Can't NASA just buy an off-the-shelf coffeemaker at, say, a store?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Space Review

In the current issue of The Space Review, a couple of articles of interest. Jeff Foust looks at the deadly dance between tightening budgets and growing instruments. Michael Listner looks at the recent distancing of the US from the proposed EU "Space Code of Conduct". A new plan in the works? A realization that the proposal was too restrictive? Or joining the bandwagon of other nations that have already shown disinterest? Jeff Foust jumps in with a book review (the wallet cringes!) on unmanned space probes. Looks like a good look at these workhorses. Finally, postcards from space. Andre Bormanis looks at the impact that photography from space has had.
The False Dawn

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows something that I've only seen once or twice, and something you'll never see from a city (if even a suburb): a vast cloud of interplanetary dust, lit by the Sun, and appearing in the sky as if dawn were approaching; the zodiacal light.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Light

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Large Magellanic Cloud as imaged by the Spitzer Space Telescope in infrared light. A vastly different view!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Little Ghost

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 6369, discovered by Sir William Herschel, and quickly dubbed by amateurs everywhere as "The Little Ghost Nebula". Of course, this Hubble Space Telescope image is more detailed than any of us small instrument views can obtain...but it is still an odd sight in any instrument.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Moon Shot

You can build anything with Lego. Anything.
An Ocean of Glass

Following upon a story that reminded me of a certain story by Samuel R. Delany, Rudy Rucker posts a site with glass jellyfish and more!
Help the Author!

Diane Duane gets the BoingBoing effect. Hopefully enough will respond to help!
Last Call

Last Call by Tim Powers is featured at BoingBoing. I was there first!
Long Distance Runner

Over at Neil Gaiman's "Tumblr", the Evolution of a Time Lord.
Paint Your Wagon

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a Cassini orbiter image of Saturn's enigmatic moon Iapetus. I prefer Japetus. Why enigmatic? Go back to Sir Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Help the Writer

Genre author Diane Duane was robbed. Seriously. She needs to raise funds, and she's putting her eBooks up for sale. Use coupon code DDGOTSKIMMED .
Locked Room Mystery

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows us "planetary nebula" SNR 0509-67.5. Where is the companion star? Did Professor Plum do it with a wrench in the library?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thumb Piano

William Gibson: Distrust That Particular Flavor (Penguin Books; 2012; ISBN 978-1-101559-41-3).

Made up of: Introduction—African Thumb Piano; Rocket Radio; Since 1948; Any 'Mount of World; The Baddest Dude on Earth; Talk for Book Expo, New York; Dead Man Sings; Up the Line; Disneyland with the Death Penalty; Mr. Buk's Window; Shiny Balls of Mud: Hikaru Dorodango and Tokyu Hands; An Invitation; Metrophagy: The Art and Science of Digesting Great Cities; Modern Boys and Mobile Girls; My Obsession; My Own Private Tokyo; The Road to Oceania; Skip Spence's Jeans; Terminal City; Introduction: "The Body"; The Net is a Waste of Time; Time Machine Cuba; Will We Have Computer Chips in Our Heads?; William Gibson's Filmless Festival; Johnny: Notes on a Process; Googling the Cyborg.

Counts as twenty-six (26) entries in the 2012 Year in Shorts (collection completed).
Strange Sight

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a strange view of our home planet and Comet Lovejoy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Star Wars

That's no Moon, that's a space...oh, wait...that's a Moon and a space station!

Hey, kids, remember when NASA used to launch people to the Moon? Now all they seem to do is make slides and produce "smartphone apps".
In Deepest Night

What happens in bookstores at night?
Man's Best Friend

A moving posting about a dog by a recently-discovered (by me) author, Tim Akers.

The first SF convention? The first SF convention in the UK? The first SF convention in Europe?

The debate rages...
Dwarf and Star

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Regulus in Leo nearly overpowering the dwarf galaxy Leo I. Poor Leo I!
NASA is Clueless

NASA has sued, or publicly attacked, a number of Apollo astronauts over the years regarding the possession or sale of items that they carried on their flights. Considering how long these "artifacts" have been in the personal possession of these astronauts, it is ludicrous that NASA never came up with a coherent policy about the artifacts.

The most recent situation should not have gotten to the point where it did. It is nice to see that NASA's Administrator is finally acting, but i should not have gone this far. Get a clue, NASA.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Launch Code

Hey, anybody have a couple of spare million they can give me so I can buy a new house (with a missile silo)?
Chasing Salandar

A new "chapter" about the Dragon Girl. Publisher mines the tailings for a few bits of silver.
More Reading

Or rather, places to read in!
A Fine Dry Place

Where William Gibson likes to read. A well-lighted place.
Double Vision

"Jack" Schmitt looks at the country's space policy and it's (lack of) vision. (And amusingly, he is the "last man on the Moon"...didn't his crewmate write a book with that name?)
Bookshelf P0rn

Oh. My. Oh, so beautiful!
Another Great Spiral

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is another fantastic spiral galaxy: NGC 6946 in Cepheus.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Friday, January 06, 2012


You can build anything with Lego. Including the LHC.
Cover Story

This looks interesting. The titles are mostly (all?) public domain works, but I like the covers and the interior artwork!
Military Industrial Complex

The Girl Who Snuck Into the Rocket Factory. If she snuck in...how many have snuck into steal technology?
Phone Home!

Signs of E.T.? Probably not, but it'll be something to watch as they look at these signals.
Aother Candidate

Another addition to Mount Toberead! So many books, so little time, so many ex-lover's to bury...
Hind Commander

A review of a miniatures game for helos. Only helos. All that ground-pounding and treadhead stuff is just incidental. Could be interesting!

Hey, we poor deprived colonials finally get to see the AbFab reunion show. Now I only have to wait until May to see the second series for Sherlock!

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows us our galactic center. Can you see the Mantis?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Writing Life

David Drake's latest newsletter has been posted. Can't wait for April to see if Captain Kiesche of the RCN makes another appearance!

It. Has. Returned.

AS OTHERS SEE US. An unusual analysis of sf trends: 'One way you can describe the collapse of the idea of the future is the collapse of science fiction. Now it's either about technology that doesn't work or about technology that's used in bad ways. The anthology of the top twenty-five sci-fi stories in 1970 was, like, "Me and my friend the robot went for a walk on the moon," and in 2008 it was, like, "The galaxy is run by a fundamentalist Islamic confederacy and there are people who are hunting planets and killing them for fun."' (PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, profiled in The New Yorker, 28 November 2011)[MMW]
The Space Review

In the current issue of The Space Review, a couple items of interest: Jeff Foust on the current crop (thinning quickly) of presidential candidates and their positions (or lack thereof) on space. Mary Lynne Dittmar finishes her series on NASA and human spaceflight (where next, Columbus?). (Part 01. Part 02. Part 03. Part 04.) She also looks at some of the recent news about an attempt to revive (privatize) the space shuttle.

Go forth and read.
Living in a Science Fictional Universe

Read (or re-read) Sir Arthur C. Clarke's Saturn Rising while keeping today's Astronomy Picture of the Day on your screen. Wowza. Just wowza.

A beautiful picture of coffee, splashing.
Sharp Vision

An amusing bit about putting your life in perspective...when it is seen by others.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

New Year's Wish

A nice bit by Neil Gaiman on the New Year.
Mr. Brown (On Reading Too Much William Gibson)

Several times a year I visit the Great Wall Supermarket. Built in the shell of an A&P "superstore" which then folded and was converted into a generic on-the-cheap supermarket, which then opened and was driven out of business by the local Stop & Shop, it survived initially because it flew low under the radar. Filled with cheap cookware, bulk rice, bad decorations and frozen items (I have never seen so many brands of dumplings in my life), it started with a small produce section that grew and grew. And attracted many non-Asians as we tired of the same-old, same-old of the produce at Stop & Shop. (I have never seen so many kinds of, say, bok choy, in my life...makes the standard vegetable units at S&S pale in comparison).

I last went in on New Year's Eve to try and pick up some vegetables and find several excellent choices. Faced with long checkout lines (some too many who appear to celebrate multiple yearly changings), I shopped some more and picked up some Mr. Brown.

Mr. Brown is canned coffee. Made in Taiwan, shipped to the USA, sold in several variants (in this case, Blue Mountain Blend) and sporting (get this) an ISO 9001 stamp, it is one of those things that you just won't find in other stores in the area.

8.12 fluid ounces (240ml) of ready-to-drink coffee, slightly sweet. Even with the temperatures below freezing, I grasp the can in my shaking hand and cold-wrinkled fingers and swig it on the way to the car.

8.12 fluid ounces delivered right to the gut, ready to reboot the system. Suck it, S&S.

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows IC 10, a young and energetic neighbor to our more "sedate" Milky Way.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Wild Sky

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows some wild auroral skies over Norway. My skies are so, so boring in comparison!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012: The Year in Video

Number of video items viewed: 513 (as of December 20, 2012, horribly incorrect).

Anthony Bourdain's The Layover: Los Angeles; Miami; London; Rome; New York; Singapore; Hong Kong; Montreal; Amsterdam; San Francisco; Chicago; Paris; Philadelphia.

Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations: New Jersey; Paris; Malaysia; Uzbekistan; Japan (Osaka to Kiso Valley); Las Vegas; Sicily; New Zealand; India (Kolkata and Bombay); Korea; Russia; New York City; Shanghai; Singapore; Cleveland; New Orleans; Greek Islands; Tokyo; Washington, D.C.; Spain; U.S. Southwest; Egypt; Saudi Arabia; Columbia; Hawaii; Jamacia; Montana; Chicago; Vietnam 02; Food Porn 01; Philippines; Sardinia; Thailand; San Francisco; Chile; Provence; Back to Beirut; Hudson Valley, New York; Caribbean Islands; Techniques; Rome; Liberia; Holiday Special 01; Dubai; Prague; Maine; Ukraine; Haiti; Boston; Cambodia; Cuba; Nicaragua; Holiday Special 02; Mozambique; Kansas City; Austin; Sydney; "Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll"; "Emilia Romagna"; Burgundy; "Seven Deadly Sins"; Rio; "Off the Charts"; Dominican Republic; Brooklyn.

Big Bang Theory: First Season (17 episodes). Second Season (23 episodes). Third Season (23 episodes). Fourth Season (24 episodes). Fifth Season (24 episodes). Sixth Season (9 episodes, continuing).

Community: First Season (25 episodes). Second Season (24 episodes). Third Season (22 episodes).

Doctor Who: The First Doctor (William Hartnell): The Solarians. The Time Meddeler. Planet of Giants.

Doctor Who: The Second Doctor (William Troughton): The Krotons; The Seeds of Death.

Doctor Who: The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee): Spearhead from Space. Invasion of the Dinosaurs. The Time Warrior.

Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker): The Talons of Weng-Chaing. The Pyramids of Mars. The Face of Evil.

Eureka: First Season (12 episodes). Second Season (13 episodes). Third Season (18 episodes). Fourth Season (21 episodes). Fifth Season (13 episodes).

Harry Potter and the...: Sorcerer's Stone. Chamber of Secrets. Prisoner of Azkaban. Goblet of Fire. Order of the Phoenix. Half-Blood Prince. Deathly Hallows Part 01. Deathly Hallows Part 02.

The Haunting.

John Carter.

The Lord of the Rings Extended Editions: The Fellowship of the Ring. The Two Towers. The Return of the King.

Max Headroom: Pilot Episode.

The Middle: 10 episodes.

Sherlock: A Study in Pink. The Blind Banker. The Great Game. A Scandal in Belgravia. The Hounds of Baskerville. The Reichenbach Fall.

Star Trek (The Original Series)—Season 01: The Menagerie. Where No Man Has Gone Before.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: On the edge of our seats throughout. Four shots fired. No explosions. No flying cars. One fist thrown. Moderate blood, some guts. Excellent movie.

Top Gear: 100 episodes and counting.

The Walking Dead (Season 01): Pilot.
2012: The Year in Audio Shorts

Number of audio shorts listened to: 0 (as of January 1, 2012)
2012: The Year in Music

Music listened to: 0 items (as of January 1, 2012)
2012: The Year in Shorts

Several years ago the folks at SF Signal started a program of reading one short work a day, for the year. They abandoned it after a few years, but I've tried to keep going with it, with varying success. By including audio shorts, which I did a few years ago, I exceeded the goal wildly (and proved that I drive just too dang much). Some years I can make the goal, some years not, more often than not it is because I'm not doing the bookkeeping throughout the year and lose track.

Hopefully, that will change, as discussed here.

Number of short works read: 448 (as of December 31, 2012) (ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED).

J.J. Abrams and Others: Star Trek: Countdown 01. Star Trek: Countdown 02. Star Trek: Countdown 03. Star Trek: Countdown 04. Star Trek: Movie Adaption 01 (5 stories, completed).

Saladin Ahmed: Where Virtue Lives (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 015) (1 story, completed). Iron Eyes and the Watered Down World (1 story, completed). Engraved on the Eye (10 stories, collection completed).

Charlie Jane Anders: Six Months, Three Days (1 story, completed).

Neal Asher: Snow in the Desert (1 story, completed). The Gabble (3 stories, continuing to read).

Richard Auffrey: Tipsy Sensei 01: Yurine's Pot; Tipsey Sensei 02: The Ghost of a Ninja; Tipsey Sensei 03: The Fox and the Katana (3 stories, completed).

Gregory Benford: Grace Immaculate (1 story, completed).

David Brin: Gorilla, My Dreams (1 story, completed).

S.C. Butler: More Than Once Upon a Time (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 015).

Robert W. Chambers: The Repairer of Reputations; The Yellow Sign (2 stories, completed).

Arthur C. Clarke: The Best of Arthur C. Clarke, Volume 01: History Lesson (29 entries, collection completed) (omnibus review here).

James S.A. Corey: The Butcher of Anderson Station: A Story of the Expanse (1 story, completed).

Paul Cornell: The Copenhagen Interpretation (1 story, completed).

F. Marion Crawford: The Upper Berth (1 story, completed).

Samuel R. Delany: The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction. Read: Prefaces and Acknowledgments. Ethical Aesthetics, An Introduction (Matthew Cheney) (two entries, continuing to read). 1984: Selected Letters (58 entries, collection completed).

Charles Dickens: The Signal-Man (1 story, completed).

Paul Di Filippo: A Princess of the Linear Jungle (1 story, completed). Waves and Smart Magma (A Funny Sci-Fi Story) (1 story, completed). Return to the Twentieth Century (An Amazing Novelette) (1 story, completed). Wikiworld (One Absolute Knock-Out Story) (1 story, completed).

Diverse Handes: The Paris Review Issue 197. Interview with Samuel R. Delany. Interview with William Gibson (2 entries, magazine completed as I found the rest pretty "meh").

Cory Doctorow: Clockwork Fagin (1 story, completed).

Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan (editors): The New Space Opera. Read: Introduction (Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan). Saving Tiamaat (Gwyneth Jones). Verthandi's Ring (Ian McDonald) (three entries, continuing to read).

Arthur Conan Doyle and Leslie S. Klinger (editor and annotator): The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Volume 01. Read: Preface (Klinger). Introduction (Le Carre). The World of Sherlock Holmes (Klinger). A Scandal in Bohemia. The Red-Headed League. A Case of Identity (six entries, continuing to read).

Harlan Ellison: Harlan 101: Encountering Ellison. Read: A Brief Encounter Before the Real One (Neil Gaiman) "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman. Grail. All the Sounds of Fear. The Man Who Was Heavily Into Revenge. Sensible City. Hindsight: 480 Seconds. How Interesting: A Tiny Man. The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore. Jefty Is Five. Strange Wine. Shatterday. Basilisk. On the Slab. Broken Glass. Shoppe Keeper. At the Mouse Circus. Prince Myshkin, and Hold the Relish. Paladin of the Lost Hour. The Deathbird. Snake in the Crypt. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Mouthless in Gaza: A Literary Memoir. Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes. The Whore With a Heart of Iron Pyrite. Pet: A Story in Progress. Toiling in the Dreamtime. First, There Was the Title. Tell-Tale Tics and Tremors. How Did We Get Into This Mess? With the Eyes of a Demon (thirty-two entries, collection completed).

Nancy Fulda: Movement: A Short Story About Autism in the Future (1 story, completed).

William Gibson: Distrust that Particular Flavor (26 entries, collection completed). Re-read for review: Introduction: African Thumb Piano (one entry, continuing to re-read).

Carolyn Ives Gilman: The Ice Owl (1 story, completed).

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper (1 story, completed).

Mira Grant: Countdown (1 story, completed).

Homer Hickman: Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space (1 story, completed).

William Hope Hodgson: The House on the Borderland and Other Mysterious Places (The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson, Volume 02): The Thing Invisible; The Gateway of the Monster; The House Among the Laurels; The Whistling Room; The Searcher of the End House; The Horse of the Invisible; The Haunted "Jarvee"; The Find; The Hog (9 stories, continuing to read).

Dave Hutchinson: Sugar Engines (1 story, completed).

W.W. Jacobs: The Monkey's Paw (1 story, completed).

Kij Johnson: The Man Who Bridged the Mists (1 story, completed).

Greg Ketter (editor): Shelf Life: Fantastic Stories Celebrating Bookstores. Read: Foreword (Greg Ketter); Introduction: Four Bookshops (Neil Gaiman) From the Cradle (Gene Wolfe) (3 stories, continuing to read).

Damon Knight: Orbit 4. Read: Windsong by Kate Wilhelm. Probable Cause by Charles L. Harness. Shattered Like a Glass Goblin by Harlan Ellison (three entries, continuing to read).

Mary Robinette Kowal: Kiss Me Twice (1 story, completed).

Mur Lafferty: The Argument Against Louis Pasteur (1 story, completed).

Joe Lansdale: Bubba Ho-Tep (1 story, completed).

Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories (edited by Jonathan Strahan and Charles N. Brown). Read: Introduction (Neil Gaiman). Smoke Ghost (two entries, continuing to read).

Ken Liu: The Paper Menagerie. The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary (2 stories, completed).

H.P. Lovecraft: The Alchemist; The Beast in the Cave; Memory; Ex Oblivione; Beyond the Wall of Sleep; Dagon; The White Ship; The Statement of Randolph Carter; The Doom That Came to Sarnath; The Cats of Ulthar (10 stories, continuing to read collections).

Arthur Machen: The Great God Pan (1 story, completed).

Linda Nagata: Hooks, Nets, and Time: A Science Fiction Short Story In the Tide (2 stories, completed).

Jeff Patterson: The Solstice Chronicles (19 entries, completed).

Mike Resnick: The Homecoming (1 story, completed).

Jamie Todd Rubin: In the Cloud (1 story, completed).

Chris Ryall and Amber Benson and Ashley Wood: Zombies vs. Robots: Mademoiselle Consuela and Her Army of One (1 story, completed).

Chris Ryall and Lincoln Crisler and Ashley Wood: Zombies vs. Robots: Kettletop's Revisionary Plot (1 story, completed).

Chris Ryall and Nancy Collins: Zombies vs. Robots: Angus: Zombie vs. Robot Fighter (1 story, completed).

Chris Ryall and Brea Grant and Ashley Wood: Zombies vs. Robots: Pammi Shaw—Creator of Gods and Also Blogger (1 story, completed).

Chris Ryall and Steve Rasnic Tam and Ashley Wood: Zombies vs. Robots: To Denver (With Hiram Battling Zombies) (1 story, completed).

Chris Ryall and Kaaron Warren: Zombies vs. Robots: The River of Memory (1 story, completed).

Chris Ryall and Don Webb and Ashley Wood: Zombies vs. Robots: The Wizards vs. the Bots (1 story, completed)

Geoff Ryman: What We Found (1 story, completed).

John Scalzi: The President's Brain is Missing. An Election. The Tale of the Wicked. The Shadow War of the Night Dragons; Book I: The Dead City (4 stories, all completed).

Clifford D. Simak: Over the River & Through the Woods. Read: Introduction (Poul Anderson). A Death in the House. The Big Front Yard. Good Night, Mr. James. Dusty Zebra. Neighbor. Over the River & Through the Woods. Construction Shack. The Grotto of the Dancing Deer (nine entries, collection completed).

Clark Ashton Smith: Stories read in conjunction with The Double Shadow Podcast. Combined listing here. (18 stories completed, continuing to read). Stories read outside the podcast: 4 stories completed, continuing to read.

Norman Spinrad: An Experiment in Autobiography (1 essay, completed).

Bruce Sterling: Gothic High-Tech (two stories, continuing to read).

Rachel Swirsky: Fields of Gold (1 story, completed).

Brad R. Torgersen: Ray of Light (1 story, completed).

Catherynne M. Valente: Silently and Very Fast (1 story, completed).

Jack Vance: The Dying Earth. Read: Turjan of Miir. Mazirian the Magician. T'sais (three entries, continuing to read).

Various: One hundred varied non-fiction articles that I've been printing off, clipping, etc., over the past year or so, all consumed during a four-day camping trip.

Gene Wolfe: The Very Best of Gene Wolfe (three entries, continuing to read).

E. Lily Yu: The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees. The Transfiguration of Maria Luisa Orgeta. The Lamp at the Turning (3 stories, all completed).


Locus Magazine: January; February; March; April; May; June; July; August; September; October; November; December (24 entries, all complete).
2012: The Year in Books

Count: 84 (as of December 31, 2012).

Joe Abercrombie: The Blade Itself (The First Law Trilogy 01) (September).

Saladin Ahmed: Throne of the Crescent Moon (February). Engraved on the Eye (October).

Anthony Bourdain, et al: Get Jiro! (July)

Dick Camp: The Devil Dogs at Belleau Wood: U.S. Marines in World War I (September).

Arthur C. Clarke: The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke 01: History Lesson (December).

James S.A. Corey: Leviathan Wakes (July).

Myke Cole: Shadow Ops: Control Point (February).

Glen Cook: The Black Company (October). Shadows Linger (October). The White Rose (October).

Bernard Cornwall: Sharpe's Rifles (September).

Samuel R. Delany: 1984 (May). Heavenly Breakfast: An Essay on the Winter of Love (May). Empire Star (May).

Samuel R. Delany (author) and Howard V. Chaykin (illustrator): Empire (May).

Samuel R. Delany (author) and Mia Wolff (illustrator): Bread & Wine: An Erotic Tale of New York (April).

David Drake: With the Lightnings (August). Lt. Leary, Commanding (August). The Far Side of the Stars (August). The Way to Glory (September). Some Golden Harbor (September). When the Tide Rises (December). In the Stormy Red Sky (December). What Distant Deeps (December). The Road of Danger (December).

David F. Duffy: How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection (September).

Harlan Ellison: Harlan 101: Encountering Ellison (January).

Phil and Kaja Foglio: Girl Genius 11: Agatha Heterodyne and the Hammerless Bell (December).

Neil Gaiman: Sandman 08: Worlds' End (March). Sandman 09: The Kindly Ones (October) Sandman 10: The Wake (November) (previous review here). Neil Gaiman's Midnight Days Deluxe Edition (September). YEAR-END MARATHON ATTEMPT: Sandman 01: Preludes & Nocturnes (December). Sandman 02: The Doll's House (December). Sandman 03: Dream Country (December). Sandman 04: Season of Mists (December). Sandman 05: A Game of You (December). Sandman 06: Fables & Reflections (December). Sandman 07: Brief Lives (December). Sandman 08: World's End (December). Sandman 09: The Kindly Ones (December). Sandman 10: The Wake (December).

William Gibson: Distrust that Particular Flavor (January).

Doyle D. Glass: Lions of Medina: The Marines of Charlie Company and Their Brotherhood of Valor (March).

Mira Grant: Feed (June). Deadline (July).

Philip Keith: Blackhorse Riders (December).

Francis Launet: Unspeakable Vault (of Doom) (October).

Nevin Martell: Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and his Revolutionary Comic Strip (September).

George R.R. Martin: A Dance With Dragons (July).

Kevin Mervin: Weekend Warrior (August).

China Mieville: Embassytown (July).

Patton Oswalt: Zombie Spaceship Wasteland (February).

Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer: No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy Seal—The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden (September).

Jeff Patterson: The Solstice Chronicles (December).

Terry Pratchett: Guards! Guards! (August). Men at Arms (August).

John Ringo: Live Free or Die (November).

Stan Sakai: Usagi Yojimbo 07: Gen's Story (September); Usagi Yojimbo 08: Shades of Death (November); Usagi Yojimbo 09: Daisho (November); Usagi Yojimbo 10: The Brink of Life and Death (November).

Lewis Sorley: A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam (March).

Allen Steele: Angel of Europa (April).

Neal Stephenson: Reamde (January).

Howard Tayler: The Tube of Happiness (Schlock Mercenary 01) (March). The Teraport Wars (Schlock Mercenary 02) (March) Under New Management (Schlock Mercenary 03) (April) The Blackness Between (Schlock Mercenary 04) (April) The Scrapyard of Insufferable Arrogance (Schlock Mercenary 05) (May) Resident Mad Scientist (Schlock Mercenary 06) (May) Emperor Pius Dei (Schlock Mercenary 07) (May) The Sharp End of the Stick (Schlock Mercenary 08) (May) The Body Politic (Schlock Mercenary 09) (May) The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse (Schlock Mercenary 10) (June). Massively Parallel (Schlock Mercenary 11) (June) Force Multiplication (Schlock Mercenary 12) (June) The Sharp End of the Stick (Schlock Mercenary 08) (paper version) (December) (previous review here) (follow-on review here).

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Fellowship of the Ring (November).

Jo Walton: Among Others (July).

David Weber: On Basilisk Station (April).

Jim Zub: Skullkickers Treasure Trove (Volume 01) (April).

CAN'T SAY: CAN'T SAY (proofread a book for a friend) (April).
2011: The Year in Review

Administrative Note: I'll be adding to this over several days, so keep visiting. When it is "finished", I'll remove this note.

Books Read: 82 long-form items for the year. Neither the best of the counts nor the worse. As the year went on, I started shifting my habits and the changes may result in a larger count in 2012 (we'll see).

Best books? A mixed bag and possibly a big shift in what I read. Some of the best stuff I read this year was in those comic...graphic novels, especially the Sandman items by Neil Gaiman (and diverse hands). Other highpoints were re-reads, such as William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, where I appreciated even more the combination of efficient information delivery and sparse prose.

The biggest win was my increasingly fractured attention span. Every reading plan for the year was abandoned, leaving an increasing number of books started, but not finished. I probably have three times as many beings "currently being read" as I actually finished this year.

This has got to change, and hopefully I'll manage to pull it off. Everything "currently being read" is abaondoned. I'm really going to try to lead only a dozen or so books simultaneously (part of the idea is to increase the number of anthologies, so I'll be working on the 2012 Year in Shorts as well), trying to keep to 1 main electronic book at a time and a few paper books at a time, rather than this Mayfly-like approach of the past year.

Like any other plan, it may not survive initial contact with the enemy, but we can hope.

Shorts Read: Coming!

Audio Listened to: Coming!

Video viewed: 320 episodes/movies. For a guy who doesn't watch much television...I seem to have watched a lot of television in 2011! Best was catching up on Dr. Who in the post-reboot episodes. I had seen batches, here and there, but this was a time for sitting down and watching them all in their "correct order". Close behind was the BBC series of Sherlock, putting Holmes in our world. Several movies were notable, for example Glass, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Letters from Iwo Jima. Worst? Falling Skies (series), The Deer Hunter.

Absolute winner in video this year? Restrepo. If you haven't seen it, see it now.

Other Notes: Coming!
Free Flying

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows astronaut Bruce McCandless II, flying without any tether, 100 meters from Space Shuttle Challenger.