Wednesday, January 01, 2014

How 2013 Was Hornswoggled

Another annual tradition here -- I think this was a meme, probably on LiveJournal in the year eight, which I have, as usual, run with longer than any normal human would -- is the linking of the first and last posts for each month.

Consider this either a condensed version of the Antick Musings 2013 edition, or an index to the same -- or just something to quickly skip over in your feed. But here's how each of the last twelve months began and ended around here:

I was not aware that there was an award named after the man who invented the fix-up, but Locus says that one exists, and has been sponsored by three parties: Winnipeg Science Fiction Association; Conadian, the 1994 Worldcon; and Science Fiction Winnipeg. 

In other words, they're demanding that their faith be given preferential legal treatment, because it is their belief.

It's a complicated, fast-moving world -- particularly for someone trying to do marketing. 

There are lots of stunning pictures at the link above; this isn't just a big thing, it's an insanely detailed, carefully created big thing, which is doubly awesome.

Jack Vance was the master of a kind of story hardly anyone else even attempted in science fiction: arch, wry, world-weary, filled with amazing words used as correctly as a scalpel, as concerned with language and status and presentation as action, set in a dazzling medium-future with humanity spread to the far stars and nearly speciated itself, written as if SF were a long-established literary tradition with deep scholarship rather than an upstart pulp genre. 

But go read it, particularly if you work in any business where Amazon is a major retailer -- and, these days, that's pretty much all of them. 

This sentence, in the voice of whoever originally said it (Google is no help):
It's hard to dance on the bodies of your dead friends!
Oscar the Grouch would seem to be the natural Muppet soulmate for Waits, but there's clearly a strong case to be made for the CM here. 

I wonder if I'm the only who reads things like this amusing anecdote from Not Always Right and immediately tries to figure out what the unnamed "special effects show, experienced in the form of a walking, guided tour" in a theme park in Orlando could be. 

It's pleasant and tells a nice story, but it ends up being much too much of a Aesop's Fable for my taste.

This week the Package Fairies only brought one book -- one completely free book delivered to my house without my doing anything, which is pretty damn awesome, mind you -- so I'll lead off with that, and then throw in books that came into La Casa Hornswoggler by other means. 

I lost every single Trillin book I had in the flood, and he's a writer I do expect to re-read now and then -- so I have to rebuild.  

Nothing at all strange is happening this week -- after three weekends where I was away from home for part or most of the time -- and that's tremendously relaxing. 

Still, it's a fun graphic novel with zombies and an interesting organizing idea, which is pretty good. 

Joe Shuster got half of the rawest deal of the 20th century -- a few bucks in return for Superman, a character that made hundreds of millions of dollars for other men (mostly not creators, mostly not scrupulous, mostly already rich). 

If you're a Pinkwater fan who didn't know he'd written for adults, you now have a gem to find.

My US readers will be celebrating Labor Day when this goes live, and those of you in the rest of the world will have to console yourselves (assuming that you're working that day) with the knowledge that nearly all of you get more generous time off, medical care, and other benefits than we don't-need-no-guv'mint! American types have. 

Get back to "it just works" and away from "it just looks really slick." 

Parker hits the page fully formed and deep into his own story: walking across the George Washington Bridge, on a rainy day in what was probably 1962, wearing a worn-out suit and without a penny to his name.

But that's a different story yet again.

If you wanted to implement a single-payer health care plan in the largest economy in the world, how would you do it?

Sure, you can get deals on toasters and linens and car parts elsewhere, but are those things as good as comics? Obviously not. 

Today is an actual holiday that I did not make up: Krampus Night!

You might guess that I find those people to have disturbing -- one might use more clinical terms, if one was so inclined -- tendencies, but fiction is fiction, and life is life, so I won't do more than cast mild aspersions at them.

2014 will see more of the same -- though, at my current posting frequency, I might more realistically say "less of the same." But it will almost certainly be the same -- after eight years, don't expect any radical change.

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