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04-12-03: Eric Schlosser Promo

Eric Schlosser Promo

Eric Schlosser is once again thrusting his literary hand into the hornet's nest.

I just got the latest promo package from the publisher of the forthcoming new book by Eric Schlosser. I've held myself back from reading it, since I want to be fresh when I talk to him live on KUSP on May 16, 11 AM. However, I must admit, I've sat down with it a few times and it's very compulsive, goat-getting reading. I had to force myself away. This is going to be a great season for non-fiction with Alan Deutschman's 'A Tale of Two Valleys' and this book on shelves. It was delightful to talk to Aan Deutschman. His book just received very positive reviews from both the New York Times and People Magazine. From those two to The Agony Column -- It's a pretty wide range. Deutschman's first signing will be at the Captiola Book Cafe on Monday, April 14, at 7:30 PM. If you are in the area, make a point of stopping by. He's an intelligent, entertaining and astute guy. Bring your money, because chances are if you hear him speak, you'll want to buy the book.

04-10-03: Mike Nelson's Death Rat and The Real Death Rat

The Real Death Rat


The Neighbourhoods of Dublin circa 1900, when Weston St. John Joyce penned his book.

You have got to love the Fortean mailing list, wherein one can post a blurb about 'Death Rat', and have this reply from Dave Walsh, whose homepage at is chock full of weird stuff.

'Walsh's Impartial News Letter of 16th May 1729 contains the following curious item of news in regard to this neighbourhood: - "This morning we have an account from Merian that a parcel of these outlandish Marramounts which are called Mountain Rats who are now here grown very common... walk in droves and do a great deal of mischief." The account then goes on to relate how these mysterious pests devoured a woman and a nurse-child in Merrion and that the inhabitants "killed several which are as big as Katts and Rabbits... This part of the country is infested with them. Likewise we hear from Rathfarnham that the like vermin destroyed a little Girl in the Fields."'
Weston St. John Joyce, *The Neighbourhood of Dublin*, (1912), pp. 30-1 ISBN 0-7089-9999-9

The complete text of this book is available here: Copies sell from say, $50-$100.

I'm a sucker for 'All Your Base Are Belong to Us' Spinoffs.

Or you can get Walsh's fabulous T Shirt. There are a number very clever designs, assuming, of course, that it's not in fact your bases that are belong to us.

How can you resist and novel that includes the author's name in the Title? Well, with a cover like that anyway?

The new Mike Nelson book just arrived. This book looks to be pretty damn readable to me. I'll probably be drinking it in a night or so.



04-09-03: Lost in a Good Book US Release, F. Paul Wilson Movie News

Lost in a Good Book US Release

Tasteful front cover of Fforde's US release for 'Lost in a Good Book'.


Jasper Fforde's 'Lost in a Good Book' is now out in hardcover in the US. This is great news for Fforde afficianados who didn't pick up the UK version, and for those who did. Mine came pre-signed and the rear DJ includes this wonderful and very Ffordesque (it will be an adjective, mark my words) graphic....


Playful back cover -- now this is worth buying the book for!

Yes, I'm still getting the hang of this damn new scanner and software setup. Otherwise this would be straight. But maybe a little swing conveys the idea better. This is the sequel that surpasses the original. More literary, more fun, just as kooky. And funny. We need funny these days; it's a natural resource.

F. Paul Wilson Movie News

Coming to a theater near you with a nice, franchise friendly title -- 'Repairman Jack'.

Here I quote:

"Repairman Jack -- The Movie Update

In October 2002, after seven years of development, numerous options, five screenwriters, and eight scripts, Beacon Films ("Air Force One", "Thirteen Days", "Spy Game", etc.) pulled the trigger and bought film rights to F. Paul Wilson's THE TOMB.

Disney/Touchstone/Buena Vista will be partnering with Beacon and distributing the film here in the United States and abroad.

The film will be called "Repairman Jack" with the idea of making Jack a franchise character.

As of March 2003, the final polish of the script is in and everyone (including the author) loves it. The budget is set for $75-80 million; the interiors will be shot in either Australia, Romania, or Canada. A film related videogame is in the works.

Currently four directors are interested in the project. Various big-name actos have been considered and rejected by either Beacon or Disney, or were unavailable in the shooting window; others still are under consideration.

The PG-13 film is still on target for Summer 2004 release."

If this works out, Wilson's fans could in for a long fun ride.

04-08-03: The March of Progress, Cities of Gollancz, The Dilemma of Wilson's Sims, How Did I Miss This #39?

The March of Progress
Another day, another notch off the upgrade. Yesterday, poised to return the Epson scanner I'd bought to work with this OSX machine -- there was no way to install my six year old Microtek, and I'd tried, believe me -- I called up a local vendor (God Bless 'em) and asked if they had some Canon deal, as the Epson I'd bought was like the Epson printer I'd bought a complete POS that didn't work as advertised. They told me that they had seen it work. So, I tried again, downloaded a different set of drivers and got the thing to work. Between last night and this morning, I've pretty much sussed how this Graphics converter app works -- at least for my paltry needs -- and I'm pretty much up to speed. Of course I would have said that last Friday and been wrong, and there's a good chance I'm wrong now. But this news page is going up from Dreamweaver. Hopefully, in the copious spare time I'll have when I'm not just madly updating this or writing that, I'll be able to spruce up the look of the web site, to fill it with annoying, confusing graphics that make it about 10,000 times harder to read.


Cities of Gollancz


Peter Crowther and Victor Gollancz team up to offer you four of the best PS Publishing titles in one gorgeous, oddly formatted hardcover.
Some books are really just great fun to have and to hold. Case in point, Victor Gollancz's 'Cities', consisting of four novellas from Crowther's prestigious PS Publishing series. Here's the great thing about this title; you'll get the already totally sold out in hardcover and paperback title 'The Tain' by China Mieville, along with Paul Di Filippo's 'A Year in the Linear City', Michael Moorcock's 'Firing the Cathedral' and Geof Ryman's 'V.A.O.'. This book is in an 8" square. It's very satisfying for the book lover. You also get -- no ginzu knives, but a lovely Edward Miller cover. They do leave out the intros that appear in the PS versions, so you're not getting everything, but when the fiction is as high-quality as DiFillipo's title and Mieville's title and Ryman's title and Moorcock's title, then you've got more than enough.
The Dilemma of Wilson's Sims
If you want it, here it is, come and get it. It's hard to resist finishing this particular rocket ride, even if you've read the first three installments in CD's lovely little novella format.
Tor is releasing the complete version of F. Paul Wilson's 'Sims' on April 22. It's going to be hard to resist buying and reading this even if you've already invested a significant amount in the CD novellas. Wilson's got a real page turning thriller that neatly dovetails with a thoughtful morality tale. To my reading mind, he hits it perfectly on all cylinders. Yeah, I'll buy the CD novellas when they come out eventually. But I wish they'd come out first; I'd still have bought this novel, just to have something to loan others, since this is one of those books that you give someone and they compulsively devour and profusely thank you for loaning them.
How Did I Miss this #39?


Well, at leasst it's hard to miss the combination of Peter Straub and F. Paul Wilson.


So, 38 previous issues of Conjunctions have come out and I've managed to miss every one. Well, I can blame it on the fact that I'm not as well attuned to the world of short stories as I am to novels. But this collection would be hard to miss in any evaluation. It includes art by Gahan Wilson, it's edited by Peter Straub and the fictin list includes Jonathan Carroll, John Crowley, Andy Duncan, Karen Joy Fowler, Neil Gaiman, M. John Harrison, Jonathan Lethem, China Mieville, James Morrow, Gene Wolf and Peter Straub. Check out the web site: Buy this before it disappears.


04-07-03: IS Issues: A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Ira Sher introduces The Gentlemen of Space

Ira Sher introduces The Gentlemen of Space

Ira Sher has fulfilled my request for science fiction set in the past, it seems.

I hope to be talking to author Ira Sher about his new novel 'The Gentlemen of Space' at the end of this month. This novel tells the story of a man who wins a trip to the moon on Apollo 19 in an essay contest. He actually goes to the moon, while at home, his son and his wife ensure the media circus their house has become. When the astronauts return without him, his son starts receiving phone calls from him. This sounds wondrously weird; I can hardly wait to read it and see how it plays out.

IS Issues: A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

Even as I type, I'm typing on a new computer, using new software to post this new material to the website. This is a significant upgrade. I've gone from an original, first generation iMac, running OS 8.5, using Claris Home Page to do the HTML and Painter to snag and manipulate the images. Now I'm at OS 10.2.4, using Dreamweaver to do the HTML and Graphics converter to do the imaging. It took me a few days to convert my mail over, so if you've emailed me recently, I may have lost it in the shuffle. This paragraph is the first serious bit I've done. Of course, the downside is that my output will slow for a few days while I figure out where the various buttons are. But on the upside, in the fullness of time I'll be able to have amore robust website, and more importantly, I won't have to run off for a lengthy backup to another machine when I hear the disk sputtering. And I have heard the disk on the iMac sputtering of late -- the sickening hiccup that happens just before a FATAL DISK ERROR message pops up on the screen.