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WSFA Small Press Award [26 Aug 2013|08:17am]
The Washington Science Fiction Association is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2013 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction (published in 2012):

"Astrophilia" by Carrie Vaughn, published in Clarkesworld Magazine, edited by Neil Clarke (July 2012).

"The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species" by Ken Liu, published in Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams (August 2012).

"Bottled Spirits" by Pamela K. Kinney, published in Buzzy Mag, edited by Laura Anne Gilman (June 2012).

"Coca Xocolatl" by Lawrence M. Schoen, published in ReDeus: Divine Tales, edited by Robert Greenberger and Aaron Rosenberg (Crazy Eight Press 2012).

"Good Hunting" by Ken Liu, published in Strange Horizons, edited by Brit Mandelo (October 2012).

"Mornington Ride" by Jason Nahrung, published in Epilogue, edited by Tehani Wessely (Fablecroft Publishing June 2012).

"The Six Million Dollar Mermaid" by Hildy Silverman, published in Mermaids 13: Tales from the Sea, edited by John L. French (Padwolf Publishing Inc. December 2012)

The award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction. The award showcases the best original short fiction published by small presses in the previous year (2012). An unusual feature of the selection process is that all voting is done with the identity of the author and publisher hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story.

The winner is chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association (wsfa.org) and the award will be presented at their annual convention, Capclave (capclave.org), held this year on October 11-13 in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
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Happy Passover [25 Mar 2013|09:28am]
If Moses had the internet:

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WSFA Small Press Award [29 Jan 2013|12:32pm]

WSFA Small Press Award Committee is accepting nominations for its 2013 Award for stories published in 2012. The submission period will close on April 5.

The Washington Science Fiction Association [www.wsfa.org] has established a literary award to honor the work done by small presses in promoting and preserving science fiction. The award, now in its seventh year, is given annually for short fiction works (17,500 words or fewer) of imaginative literature (e.g., science fiction, fantasy, horror, speculative fiction or like literature) published by a small press. Stories may be nominated by SF authors and small press publishers. Details of the nomination process and contact information can be found at www.wsfasmallpressaward.org. If you have any question email: admin (at) wsfasmallpressaward (dot) org.
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2011 reading [13 Jan 2012|12:47am]

89. Kitty's Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn

90. Horn by Peter M. Ball

91. Chasing the Moon by A. Lee Martinez

92. The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere

93. Fox Trot En Masse by Bill Amend

94. Killer's Choice by Ed McBain

95. Shotgun by Ed McBain

96. In Fury Born by David Weber

97. Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez

98. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente


99. The Poison Eaters by Holly Black

100. Can't Catch Me and other Twice told Tales by Michael Cadnum

101. Reality 36 by Guy Haley

102. Groovitude by Darby Conley

103. Bleed by Peter M. Ball

104. Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (reread)

105. Central Park Knight by C.J. Henderson


106. Angels & Visitations by Neil Gaiman

107. Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

108. Tracking the Tempest by nicole Peeler

109. Tempest's Legacy by nicole Peeler

110. Eye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler

111. The Doonesbury Chronicles by Garry Trudeau

112. The more the Terrier by Linda O. Johnston

113. Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio

114. Approaching Oblivion by Harlan Ellison

115. Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

116. City of Ruins by Kristine Kathryne Rusch

Didn't read nearly as many books and magazines as last year, and totally failed in my resolution to read one non SF/F or mystery book a month, although I did read several, mostly in the first half of the year. I think I may have left off some books, because I was not as careful about keeping up the list as I could have been, plus I tried to take more books out of the library, which means they're not in the apartment serving as a reminder.
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Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award [10 Jan 2012|03:32pm]
WSFA Small Press Committee Now Accepting Nominations

The Washington Science Fiction Association [www.wsfa.org] has established a
literary award to honor the work done by small presses in promoting and preserving
science fiction. The award, WSFA Small Press Award, now in its sixth year, is given
annually for short fiction works (17,500 words or fewer) of imaginative literature
(e.g., science fiction, fantasy, horror, speculative fiction or like literature) published by a small press in the previous calendar year. Nominations close April 1st.

Stories may be nominated by SF authors and small press publishers. Details of the
nomination process and contact information can be found at [www.wsfasmallpressaward.org].

If you have any question email: admin (at) wsfasmallpressaward (dot) org.
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[20 Dec 2011|12:39pm]
On the train taking advantage of the free wifi.

Went up to NYC for the weekend, primarily for a friend's birthday party, which got cancelled at the last minute due to shingles. Which really sucks. Bad enough to get shingles anytime, but it's a spectacularly awful birthday present.

Also got tickets for the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit at Discovery Times Square. Aside from a number of scroll fragments in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the centerpiece of the exhibit was a scroll featuring the oldest intact parchment copy of the Ten Commandments. In addition to the scrolls, the exhibit contained a number of artifacts such as jars etc., which were used to trace the history of Israel from the First Temple into modern times. There was also a short film about the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which demonstrates just how far preservation techniques have come, since the original body of people trying to piece the fragments together were smoking and holding their cigarettes and the fragments in the same hand, using scotch tape to piece the scrolls back together, using bare hands, and leaving the scroll fragments in direct sunlight. As a result, a not insignificant amount of the current preservation work is devoted to undoing the preservation work from the late 40s early 50s.

Took advantage of the season and went to a number of the holiday markets in Manhattan. The one at St. Bartholomew's wasn't very good this year, but the ones at Columbus Circle and Bryant Park weren't bad. There was a fair amount of repetition among the stalls, which seem now to be more about mass produced glass beads and holiday ornaments and mittens than about supporting local artisans. Did get some nice chocolates made by a local confectioner from Brooklyn for my friend with the shingles. Figured he could use something sweet during his recovery. Didn't make it down to the big holiday market in Union Square.
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reading this year [23 Oct 2011|10:02pm]

73. My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

74. Steel by Carrie Vaughn

75. Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean by Edward Kritzler

76. Hereville: How Mirka Got her Sword by Barry Deutsch

77. Fantasy & Science Fiction July/August 2011

78. Fantasy & Science Fiction March/April 2011

79. Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine August 2010

80. Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine August 2011

81. Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine June 2010

82. Ellery Queen's Mysery Magazine July 2010


83. Will Supervillains be on the Final? by Naomi Novik

84. Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

85. Eclipse 4 ed. by Jonathan Strahan

86. Camouflage by Bill Pronzini

87. Phoenix Rising: A ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine

88. Damned Busters by Matthew Hughes

I'm sure I read more than 6 books in September, but maybe not. I was mostly preoccupied with getting ready for Capclave. Kritzler's book was a very interesting book about Jews, colonization, pirates and privateers. The title is a bit misleading in that the Jews mostly seemed to be financial backers of privateers or were privateers rather than pirates, although there was a fairly major Barbery Coast pirate who was a Moroccan Jew. It made a nice paired reading with Carrie Vaughn's Steel. Phoeniz Rising was a fun read and basically like a steampunk version of The Avengers. Will Supervillains be on the Final is the first volume of a charming manga by Naomi Novick and I'm definitely going to have to follow the series. Hereville was also a fun graphic novel, but very Jewish. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but all the Yiddish might have a bit of a distancing effect on gentiles. Vol. 4 of Eclipse was a great collection of short stories, but I'm not a fan of the cover art.
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Capclave is underway [14 Oct 2011|10:05pm]
Had dinner with the Guests of Honor and the ConComm last night.. Had a llovely time chatting with Carrie Vaughn. Spent a big chunk of today putting together registration bags and other con set up things. Con has now been underway for about 7 hours.

Tomorrow will be interesting. Thanks to foresthouse Sir Terry Pratchett will be making a special appearance at Capclave. I've got Terry Pratchett coming to my con!!! He was in town for an appearance at the National Press Club tonight launching the latest Discworld novel, Snuff, and he's going to spend a couple hours at Capclave before heading to BWI airport.

We were more or less on course to break even and I'm hoping that we'll now be in the black, assuming we get more walk-ins than usual tomorrow.
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[09 Oct 2011|03:48am]

51. Usurper of the Sun by Housuke Nojiri

52. Death of a Dreamer by M.C. Beaton

53. Old Man's War by John Scalzi (re-read)

54. Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (re-read)

55. Last Colony by John Scalzi (re-read)

56. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (re-read)

57. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (re-read)

58. Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (re-read)

59. Path of the Fury by David Weber (re-read)

60. June 2011 Asimov's Magazine

61. Troublemaker 2 by Janet Evanovich


62. Kitty's Big Trouble by Carrie Vaughn

63. Sept. 2010 Asimov's Magazine

64. July 2011 Asimov's Magazine

65. Hidden Goddess by M.K. Hobson

66. Dervish House by Ian McDonald

67. The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell

68. The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell

69. The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell

70. The Man Who Smiled by Henning Mankell

71. Feed by Mira Grant

72. Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

A significant amount of time in June and July was spent reading the Hugo voters' packet. In addition to the Hugo nominated Feed, Cryoburn and Dervish house, I also read all the short fiction (short stories, novelettes and novellas) and big chunks of the related works where whole books were not offered. Also read all the graphic novels/stories. This took up quite a bit of time. Also, for whatever reason, June was a re-read kind of month. Not sure why.

At this point I've worked my way through 90% of Henning Mankell's Wallander mysteries. Swedish murder mysteries are not happy fun time, but like Maj Sjowall and Per Waloo in their Martin Beck series, Mankell likes to include a lot of social commentary to keep things interesting.

Usurper of the Sun was very Japanese and very interesting. And answers the Fermi paradox by explaining that all the alien civilizations we should have been finding and contacting are probably all dead after having their suns used up by the aliens we do encounter in the novel. And the aliens are so alien the contact is basically useless.

I enjoyed Dervish House, but I wasn't as over the moon about it as a lot of the critics seemed to be. For one thing, it seemed to me that McDonald was so busy world building and fleshing out his characters that he forgot to get on with the plot until 150 pages from the end. Also, I did not like the way he handled the 2 major female characters. All the guy main characters pretty much get the success they wanted and happily ever after but one woman gets semi shunted aside by other more senior members of her family despite all the work she put into helping a family owned company succeed, but that should be okay because they did give her a job and she's got a boyfriend. And the art dealer character has her business and reputation completely irrevocably trashed, but that's okay because she loves her husband and he's just scored a major coup and they're now fabulously wealthy and can move to western europe like she wanted. This annoyed me. Which is why it was not my top choice on the Hugo ballot.
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reading [03 Oct 2011|04:45pm]
So it seems I haven't updated books I've read since March. Whoops. I'll be doing the updates in two month clumps. i'm pretty sure in addition to forgetting to do the updates I've also not been all that careful to write down all the books I've read, so my count is going to be a bit off this year.


31. Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

32. Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

33. Coming Back by Marcia Muller

34. Inspector Imanishi Investigates by Seicho Matsumoto

35. After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

36. More Wandering Stars ed. by Jack Dann

37. I Live With You by Carol Emshwiller

38. Holiday by M. Rickert

39. Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

40. A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy by Ann Cleeves


41. Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

42. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

43. Beaglemania by Linda Johnston

44. A Prey to Murder by Ann Cleeves

45. Feint of Art by Hailey Lind

46. Worst Fears by Fay Weldon

47. Fuzzy Logic: Get Fuzzy 2 by Darby Conley

48. The Get Fuzzy Experience by Darby Conley

49. Blueprint for Disaster by Darby Conley

50. Secrets of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Evidently I was reading a lot of urban fantasy/paranormal romance and mysteries earlier this year.

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich was fun. Diesel as the star of his own book no longer has to be anchored to anything resembling actual reality, so the book was really over the top. The Inspector Imanishi book was interesting. It seemed to represent a clash between tradition and modernity. I have no idea what Japan was like in the 1960s, but the 40 somethings and 20 somethings in the books were living in completely separate Japans.
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WSFA Small Press Award finalists 2011 [23 Sep 2011|03:21pm]
The Washington Science Fiction Association is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2011 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction (published in 2010):

“After the Dragon” by Sarah Monette, published in Fantasy Magazine (January 2010), edited by Cat Rambo and Sean Wallace.

“Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn, published in Lightspeed Magazine (June 2010), edited by John Joseph Adams.

“The Cassandra Project” by Jack McDevitt, published in Lightspeed Magazine (June 2010), edited by John Joseph Adams,

“The Days of Flaming Motorcycles” by Catherynne M. Valente, published in Dark Faith, edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon, Apex Book Co. (May 2010).

“Enid and the Prince” by RJ Astruc, published in Worlds Next Door, edited by Tehani Wessely, FableCroft Publishing (June 2010).

“Lord Bai’s Discovery” by Jean Marie Ward, published in Dragon’s Lure, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jennifer Ross, and Jeffrey Lyman, Dark Quest Books (June 2010).

The award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction. The award showcases the best original short fiction published by small presses in the previous year (2010). An unusual feature of the selection process is that all voting is done with the identity of the author (and publisher and editor) hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story.

The way the blind judging works is all stories submitted during the first of the year are sent to the award administrator who removes all identifying information regarding author, publisher, and editor from the stories and then send them on to the committee. The award committee then narrows the selection of stories down to 5-8 finalists. These final stories, still with no identifying information, are then read and voted on by the membership of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA). After the votes are in, the list of finalists is announced to the committee, the club, and the general public.

The winner, chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association (www.wsfa.org), is announced at their annual convention, Capclave (http://www.capclave.org), held this year on October 14th-16th in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
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[25 Aug 2011|07:16pm]
Home from Reno and getting the apartment cleaned up for my Capclave committee meeting on Sunday.

Enjoyed the tail end of Worldcon. Converted my pre-support and site selction voting into a membership for LoneStarCon3. Went to a couple panels on Joanna Russ. The first featured Theresa Neilsen Hayden, Eileen Gunn and David Hartwell talking about their personal rememberances of Joanna Russ the person and the second was a discussion of her work and featured Farah Mendelsohn. There was some interesting discussion of And Chaos Died as a closeted novel. And of course there was also discussion of the Alyx stories, We Who Are About Too..., and of course The Female Man.

Went to Michael Swanwick's literary beer/kaffeeklatsch which covered an interesting range of topics about his work and travels as well as a bit about Avram Davidson (e.g. Davidson had a very strict "no germans" policy which lead to him ceasing to submit to Asimov's when the parent corporation of the company that bought it was Bertelsman). Also was able to go to Carrie Vaughn's kaffeeklatsch Sunday morning. Went to the closing ceremonies, which featured an amusing presentation by Chicon 7.

Hugos should probably get their own entry. Enjoyed the ceremony, although I didn't think all the comedy bits worked. Was amusing watching Chris Garcia totally lose it when The Drink Tank won for best fanzine.

Only sold 1 membership and 2 books while at Reno, but we did hand out a lot of flyers, bookmarks and business cards. I think we were the only east coast con with a fan table. Talked with a number of people who were relocating to VA and PA and several people picked up flyers and bookmarks for friends and relatives they thought might be interested. Also, I suspect that several people who didn't feel they could make it to the east coast for the con are likely to buy the books we are producing after the con when they become available to the general public. It took some effort, but everyone did end up going home with the dodos they came with.

Atlantis shuttle to the airport showed up on time. Everyone else was flying Southwest. I was the only one taking United. I ended up leaving the hotel earlier than I needed because I'd been told security was a real bottleneck, but there was no one there when I got there, so i breezed through. I ened up not hitting the blackjack tables at the Atlantis to kill time because the tables I was interested in were never open when I was in the casino. given my complete lack of blackjack skills (hold at 17 and double down (whatever that mean) with 11 is all I know), I only wanted to play the $3 or $5 minimum $500 maximum tables and no surprise that they weren't open often. On the plus side, I was up $15 on the slot machines, so on Sunday I cashed in, spent part of it on a snow globe/bottle opener/magnet (because as tacky tourist souvenirs go, it's pretty awesome) and part on steamed pork buns from the hole in the wall chinese restaurant in the strip mall across the street from the hotel (i'd had a decent congee with pork and preserved egg there the day before).

It looked like my flight to SFO might be delayed resulting in missing my connection, but the pilot got the go ahead from air traffic control at both airports to go to the head of the queue and burn fuel to cut the length of the trip in half. The flight attendant did a fabulous job in getting through the mandatory safety information in under 5 minutes complete with comedy bits. She also explained that the reason for the possible delay was due to fog because when SFO was "upgraded" the runways were put closer together in a way requiring visual approach on landing in fog conditions, which effectively cuts inbound capacity by 60% during said fog conditions. I'd like to know wtf sort of genius civil engineer thought that was a good idea at SFO. Fortunately, we landed 20 minutes early and I had no problem making my connection. I even managed to sleep a bit on the plane. We landed on time at BWI. The signage for directions to the B30 bus was pretty crappy (when the corridors fork, that would be a good place to indicate which things are down each corridor, not 20 yards after you've chosen a corridor), but information/travelers aid pointed me in the right direction and then I only had a 10 minute wait for the first bus of the day to the greenbelt metro station. I was able to get a seat on both the green and red lines, which made me happy.
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Worldcon [20 Aug 2011|03:27pm]
Been in Reno since Saturday. Flight out was uneventful. However, the decision to stay up all night so that I would be sure to be ready for the 4am shuttle to BWI was not the brightest one I've ever made. Don't think I'll be flying out of BWI in the future. It's not a very well run or well organized airport.

Rented a car from Enterprise. They had the cheapest rate. Ended up with a Dodge Avenger. Not much pick up but the air conditioning and radio worked fine, and it had a 3 point seat, which came in handy, esp. since hotels don't have phonebooks anymore. Getting the car was the most problematic part of getting to Reno. Enterprise had a huge line, ran out of cars and had to restock the garage and then accidentally gave my contract to someone else. Once I finally got the car, the nice guy in the garage gave me much better directions to Carson City and to the hotel than Mapquest had (seriously, all I needed to do was stay on 395. Mapquest had me hopping on and off of 395 around 3 times). Went to Carson City direct from the airport because due to budget cuts the Nevada State Museum wasn't going to be open during the week. they had an eclectic set of exhibits about the Nevada territory (kind of a hodgepodge of clothing of famous Nevadans, photography and slot machines and mining equipment). The geography of Nevada exhibit was quite good, and they also had an interesting exhibit of Native American artifacts. The placards for the exhibit were twofold. Side by side were the sort of academic oriented placards you normally see in museums and ones written by the local tribal councils which pretty much called the museum grave robbers. Also did the Kit Carson trail and looked at the historic houses, having previously downloaded the walking tour to my ipod. Also went and had a tour of the State Capitol Building, which had some attractive murals.

Sunday I decided to walk to the Nevada Art Museum to catch the Egyptian burial and Ansel Adams exhibits before they closed. There was a mural of Egypt in 7011 A.D. that had been partly designed by Bruce Sterling. Very fitting considering I was in town for an SF con. While the museum was only around 2 miles from the hotel, walking was probably not a great choice. Spent Sunday afternoon and Monday in Virginia City. You'd think somewhere in the tourist mateiral, there would have been some mention that NV 341 was 14 miles of twisty turns on the edge of a mountain on which your brain toggles between "wow, what a spectacular view" and "omfg I'm going to plummet to my death." Virginia City is a tourist trap but fun. I did the mine tours, stage caoch ride, V&T train ride to Gold Hill and the tour of a restored gold mill. Then I returned the car to the airport and hopped the hotel shuttle back to the Atlantis.

Was not able to set up the Capclave fan table before the convention, but did get a badge that allows me to get into the main hall to set up early every day. Been enjoying the GOH speeches and panels I've been able to get to, and enough WSFAns have signed up for shifts that I have not been chained to the table. Carrie Vaughn, Nick Mamatas and Michael Swanwick all stopped by to get their picture taken with the dodo. have been having a good time going to the parties in the evening, although these days I'm not staying up much past 1:30am. Best party overall so far has been the Klingon one. The room decorations were fabulous and the various specialty mixed drinks such as bloodwine, warp core coolant ad romulan ale actually tasted good. Of the panels, the liars panel with Connie Willis and James Patrick Kelly has been the most fun, with the Davies vs. Moffat Dr Who panel running a close second. Interesting panel on putting together years best short fiction anthologies with Ellen Datlow, Jonathan Strahan, David Hartwell and Gardner Dozois. Also went to the Lisa Goldstein reading and heard her read from her latest novel.

Been good so far about not buying stuff in the dealers' room. Have bought a convention t-shirt and a pottery jar from Mudcat studios. I'm also bidding on 2 Mudcat studio pieces in the art show. They're willing to mail them to me if I win.

Looking forward to the Hugos tonight.
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[30 Jul 2011|06:07pm]
Up in NYC for the weekend. Went with my mom to the Harvard Club last night for the "New England Shore Dinner." I had New England clam chowder surf and turf and my mom had ribs and we split an order of sorbet for dessert. And we both had popovers, which is sort of a signature of the club dining room.

On the wat home, the bus got rerouted from Madison Ave. to third Ave. because Madison was closed from 59th to 72nd. No idea why. There wasn't anything about it on the news. you'd think when nearly 20 blocks in the middle of Manhattan gets shut down, it might at least get mentioned in the scroll on the bottom of the screen.

This afternoon I went to the Borders on Columbus Circle to see what was left. The store wasn't that picked over except for the cds. This is probably because most of the books were only 20% off and given the nearly 9% sales tax, that makes the 20% off more like 11% off, which isn't all that impressive. So I only bought a couple of mass market paperbacks and one item that was overpriced but I couldn't help myself. I'd gone to take a look in the children's section at the picture books. Most of the hardcovers weren't reduced enough in price to make it worth my while. And then I saw it. A Star Wars pop up book from Reinhart and Sabuda, the folks behind The Encyclopedia Prehistorica (possibly the most awesome pop-up books ever). And my inner 9 year old threw a temper tantrum and refused to leave the store unless I bought it. It's really fabulous. It's even got got a small battery in the back so when Darth Vader and Empire Strikes Back Luke Skywalker pop up, their light sabres glow green and red.
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[23 Jul 2011|04:06pm]
Went to San Francisco with my mom for my nephew's 6th birthday. Unlike the last 3 years when it was sunny and in the mid-80s, this time the weather was actually what you'd expect for SF in July, which is to say the temperature didn't go over 65 and it was mostly gray and foggy. It made a nice change from 85 and muggy on the east coast.

My nephew had swimming lessons in the morning, so we were mostly doing stuff by ourselves in the morning and then going to their house in the afternoon and joining them for dinner. We went to the Museum of the African Diaspora, which had only the permanent exhibit on display at the time, so they were letting people in for only a couple bucks. The permanent exhibit was very interactive and multimedia, so I imagine that they get a lot of school groups. It was not a very big exhibit though. We also went to the Stein collection exhibit at SFMoMA, which was huge and fabulous and worth every cent of the rather expensive admission fee (living in DC for a decade with all the free Smithsonian museums has resulted in sticker shock every time I go someplace else). Gertrude Stein and her siblings bought a lot of art by Matisse and Picasso among other artists. Her brother and his family seemed to have a genuine friendship with Matisse as his family, rather than just a patron/artist relationship. Also, as the exhibit kept going and going, my mom and I kept ratcheting up our estimates of just how much money the Stein family must have had. It was a very well curated exhibit, with the room placards and signs by individual paintings giving quite a bit of detail about how the Steins were taste makers and influenced the American market for certain types of modern art and architecture. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get through the entire exhibit.

We had a nice birthday dinner of pizza and an ice cream cake from Ben & Jerry's. My nephew seemed pleased with the various Lego sets he got, many of which were Cars 2 themed. He was also having quite a bit of fun shaking the motion activated plush Mater toy to make it talk.

Last night with several other members of WSFA, I went to the DC Fringe Festival to see the play "Who Killed Captain Kirk." It was a pretty funny play, and since it was the last performance of the festival, they ran through all 3 endings.

The rest of this afternoon and evening will be spent cleaning the apartment in preparation for the Capclave meeting tomotrrow at 1pm.
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[10 Jul 2011|08:41pm]
Via SFSignal.com I won a ticket to the screening of a film of my choice at the New York Asian Film Festival. When I entered the drawing, I looked at stuff for this weekend and settled on Dragon Gate Inn, starring Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung and Donnie Yen. I Had seen the original 1960s King Hu directed movie starring Hsu Feng around 12 years ago, and had always wanted to see the version from the 90s. I did not realize when I picked it that it came with a half hour Q&A session with producer/director Tsui Hark. Bonus. Big fan of his movies ever since Peking Opera Blues. I've easily seen over a dozen of his movies. Of course, it was a lot easier to see Hong Kong wu xia films when I lived in NYC and the Music Palace in Chinatown was still open and showing movies direct from Hong Kong.
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Modest Medusa [09 Jul 2011|04:20pm]
The last couple of months I've been reading a delightful webcomic called Modest Medusa about a guy who comes home to find a medusa in his closet. This is not a scary medusa, but a funny medusa that eats chocodiles and mistakes the toilet for a waterbed. The comic has recently taken a darker turn. Involving a chainsaw unicorn. Which is awesome. I have ordered the t-shirt.

Introduction of the chainsaw unicorn here:


although the comic is best enjoyed if you go back and start from the beginning.
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[04 Jul 2011|07:53am]
So far, the holiday weekend has been pretty good. Friday night was the WSFA meeting. Things went smoothly during the relatively quick business meeting and the club voted in favor of my proposal for getting business cards printed with the info for the 2011-2013 Capclave cons on one side and the info for the club, the small press award and wsfa press on the other. They should be ready before Worldcon and will be useful to hand out to people. Also, we are still getting new members through meetup.com, so even though it costs $150 a year, it's definitely worth it.

Saturday I went to the Nats doubleheader. Thanks to the Washington Post, I was able to get tickets for both games for $2 ($6 when you count all the tickets.com processing fees) and there were free t-shirts and 2 for the price of 1 drink coupons. The Nats lost the first game but won the second. And there were fireworks afterwards.

Sunday I went for dim sum at China Bistro with M.Y. and lightning58. We had celery root and dried fish & peanuts appetizers and fish & chive, pork & pumpkin and beef & celery dumplings. The little strip mall where the restaurant is located is completely under reconstruction but the businesses are open. I think they probably need a bigger "we're still open" sign, particularly since the fencing around the business to create a safety zone has resulted in a loss of half the parking spaces. It's nice that the mall is doing well enough to expand, but unless there's been a reduction in rent, I suspect the landlord will bankrupt the current tenants in his drive to add a second story.

Today is the the annual bbq at the Fabulous Bungalow, for which an entire herd of cattle have made the ultimate sacrifice. Also, liquid nitrogen ice cream. In keeping with the holiday, I will be wearing my "I'm just a Bill" Schoolhouse rock t-shirt.
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[26 Jun 2011|09:22pm]
Haven't posted here in a while. Not much interesting stuff happening. Finally got around to going to a Nats game at the ballpark instead of just watching on TV. So naturally that was the game where their winning streak ended.

This week I went to a couple author-related events. Went to the Library of Congress's What If... series presentation by local author Mindy Klasky. Her presentation centered on Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science as applied to a writer's life. Afterwards, I went out to lunch with Mindy Klasky, Tom Doyle and a couple LoC employees. I'm now on the mailing list for the What If... program.

Friday I went to the Neil Gaiman talk and reading at the National Press Club. There were 550 people there and the event sold out 3 days after it was announced. Gaiman gave a funny talk about the genesis of the book, including the creation of a third slavic goddess (the real ones being morning and evening dawn and since he wanted 3 sisters he made up a midnight sister) and now all three are officially listed on wikipedia, which is totally in keeping with one of the themes in American Gods. After the talk, i went to dinner with the Newtons and Michael Dirda at a new Thai restaurant in Silver Spring.

Otherwise not much has been happening other than a massive amount of laundry.
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Balticon this weekend [26 May 2011|11:31pm]
Need to finish packing for Balticon. Party supplies were packed a couple days ago. Stuff I need to wear, not so much. I'm at the make sure you have underwear and toothpaste phase of packing. But I'm probably going to dump the bag and repack everything and do a careful recount to make sure I've packed the proper amounts of things.

Goal for the weekend - sell 40 Capclave memberships. Will be happy if I sell 25-30, but it's good to have a stretch goal.
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