Thursday, August 17, 2006

Announcements 3, Stories 2

Firstly, I thought at first that it was some kind of secret, but turns out it's OK to talk about, so; my story "The Somnambulist" will be appearing in Kathy Sedia's Moonlit Domes, an anthology of urban fantasy stories which will appear sometime next year. I've seen other folks announcing their own acceptances here and there, and it looks like it's going to be a kick-ass TOC!

Secondly, with the help of a friend who wishes to remain anonymous, I now have a website! You can visit it here; there's not a lot of content there yet, but I'm going to be putting up a few of my older, out-of-print stories. First up is The Lethe Man, which Gwenda Bond and Christopher Rowe published a couple of years ago in their wonderful zine Say... "The Lethe Man" was actually shortlisted for The Fountain Award (Jeff Ford won), and it's one of my personal faves. I hope y'all enjoy it.

Also, I'm working on an FAQ for the website, and I'm looking for content. So ask me a question--heartfelt or absurd (or both)--in the comments, and if it's a good one I'll add it to the FAQ.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Reasons to Listen to Archangels, #4831

According to legend, the archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, in 708 and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet. Aubert repeatedly ignored the angel's instruction, until Michael burned a hole in the bishop's skull with his finger. The dedication to St. Michael occurred on 16 October 708.

Jinx and the Social Contract

Based upon my Sitemeter data, one of the things that my blog gets the most hits for is the seemingly innocuous Jinx post. In fact "Jinx buy me a coke" is probably the number one search string that brings people there. (Second, of course, is "calculator bondage.")

Last night Evan, age 13, posted a comment on the Jinx post, saying in part (I hope he won't mind me highlighting his question here):

"Hey what if someone doesnt obey the whone jinx thing?"

I thought the question was interesting enough to respond to a bit more publicly. My response:

"Well, Evan, the thing about "Jinx" is that it is a magic spell of sorts, but one that only works if the social contract is kept. It's possible for a person to just keep right on talking after a "Jinx," but doing so creates a separation, however temporary, between the modes of accepted interaction and the individual who transgresses against them. In other words, those who don't respect the rules of "Jinx" are to be feared and ostracized."

Any other thoughts on the niceties of "Jinx"?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Occasionally Humans Are Pretty Damn Awesome

First spotted via the weasel king, witness the Falkirk Wheel.

That's right, it's a boat lift. Here you can see it in action.

That is so much cooler than locks.

He's a Saxophone Player With a Heroine Addiction! He's a Psychedelic Drug Use Advocate! Together, They Fight the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee!

It's time again for "Ask a chatbot!" This week's question comes from Juvenal of . . . this can't be right. I'm just going to talk to our fact-checkers here for a moment.

. . .

What, you just took his word for it?

. . .

Well, that would make him nearly 2000 years old, wouldn't it? You don't see a problem with that?

. . .

What do you mean, JUST THE ANNOUNCER? Do you want this microphone? Hey, give me that!

. . .

Ahem. Sorry about the feedback, there, ladies and gentlemen. Let's just--YES I'M READING THE COPY, ALL RIGHT? This week's question comes from Juvenal, who is a VERY IMPORTANT person from Ancient Rome! My ass. Here's our question from Mr. Fancy Pants:

"Who watches the watchers?"

Uh-huh. Very interesting. Well, as usual, we here at Mumble Herder surveyed ten chatbots. Let's see what our artificial friends had to say:


Charlie Parker. :-)


Wait, what is the Matrix?


Does it really matter?

Arthur Bot:

Who do you think? :-)

Jack the Ripper:

Mishter Lusk.

John Lennon:

Timothy Leary.


Hang on a second! I need to check something in the oven. Be right back!

OK, just making sure the rolls don't burn.


I don't understand.


Take a look at this fancy one-armed bandit from It must be EXPENSIVE!


In hindsight, scientists can now see that the anthrax outbreak actually begins this September afternoon, with this non-fatal case of subcutaneous anthrax.

Catty, you worry me.

I hope that answers your question, Mr. Juvenal, because if not I really don't want to hear about it. You and your fancy-ass Latin. Dead language, you know. Hey, QUIT SPEAKING LATIN WITH HIM! Damn know-it-all fact-checkers. As for the rest of you, tune in next week for another episode of "Ask a Chatbot!"