As I’m sure most readers are aware, I also run The Oceanside Animals blog (formerly Dennis’s Diary of Destruction). Proving the truth of the admonition never to work with children or animals, because they will steal all the scenes in which they appear, their blog has always been much more popular than this one, but every once in awhile, they share their fame with me. This week, I got to tag along with them on their Sunday Awards and Meme Show, when they were given the Liebster Award and I got tagged for it as well. Naturally most of the space in the post is devoted to Charlee, Chaplin, and Lulu, but I got to answer a few questions too. The show is reproduced here in its entirety with the kind permission of their agent.
So this week I was reading Range of Ghosts, an epic fantasy by Elizabeth Bear, which — unlike most epic fantasies I’ve read — is set in what appears to be an analogue of the Mongolian steppes rather than an analogue of Western Europe, which is enough all on its own to make it interesting. Fortunately I also enjoyed the story.
It’s been quite a while since I reached into my giant pile of rejection (and some acceptance) letters, so this week I spun up random.org to have it tell me which folder I should reach into. It selected folder I-J, from which I pulled an old contract from Hard Shell Word Factory (now an imprint of Mundania Press, home of some oddly specific genre categorizations), for the eBook rights to Night Watchman. “Hard Shell Word Factory” doesn’t belong in the I-J folder, of course, but, you know, sometimes things get misfiled. But anyway, I picked it, so here it is. Rather than reproducing all umpteen pages of the eBook contract, I thought I would just pull a few selected sections from it, which may serve as an interesting illumination of how the eBook world has changed since the year 2000 (or, as we called it back in those panic-stricken days, “Y2K”).
So last week, I posted an ancient
report card progress report and mentioned that when I played the clarinet, our dog, Miss Marple (AKA “Missy”), would plant herself in front of me and howl. I further mentioned that it was too bad there was no video because it probably would have made us―or at least Missy―Internet stars. Well, there’s still no video, but since my dad knows where all his pictures are, there is, at least, photographic evidence:
This week I’m still reading The Yellowstone Conundrum, by John D. Randall, which some 400-odd pages in has begun to morph from a natural disaster epic into an urban warfare epic: Another Battle of Seattle, if you will, only this time between marauding street gangs and various pockets of Our Heroes trapped in the city by the one-two punch of a 9.5 earthquake (which, in this book, is vastly the punier of the two big quakes) and subsequent tsunami (not puny at all). In fact, one group of characters even gives a shout-out to “Escape from New York” by assigning themselves characters from the film. Oh, and for those who were worried — spoiler alert! — the dog is still with us. (In case you were wondering, he’s designated as the Ernest Borgnine character in “EfNY”, Cabbie.)
So this week I’m reading The Yellowstone Conundrum, by John D. Randall, in which Old Faithful really blows its top. Hilarity ensues. No, wait, not hilarity. What’s that other thing? Oh right. Disaster.
So this week I’m reading Wolves of the Northern Rift, by Jon Messenger.
Not much reading or writing got done last week. I’ve been a bit busy …
So here we are, partway through the fourth season of “Breaking Bad”, which we started watching on Netflix back in January — obviously we are amateurs when it comes to binge-watching TV shows. At this point “Breaking Bad” has pretty much been enshrined as the Best Show Ever. Not only does it not put my wife to sleep (with the single exception of the episode “Fly“, which she characterized as “too ‘Breakfast Club’-ish”; despite being a card-carrying member of Generation X, she is not a fan of “The Breakfast Club”), but she actually tries to get me to stay awake for it. Shades of “Beasts of the Southern Wild“!
Well I finally paid for another book, The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman. Why, you ask? Two reasons: