Saturday, September 26, 2015

One crazy finish

Earlier tonight, a bunch of us watched the UFC's fights from Japan.  Most of the card varied from ho-hum to downright bad, though a few fights were quite good.  Then the co-main event started, a battle between the favorite, Gegard Mousasi, and a challenger, Uriah Hall, who took the fight on fairly short notice.  Hall had risen to prominence on The Ultimate Fighter TV show, in the course of which he knocked out an opponent with a spinning heel kick.

Early in the first round of the fight, Mousasi took down Hall.  The rest of that round consisted mostly of Mousasi trying to submit Hall, and Hall trying to defend.

At the break between rounds, Kyle said something along the lines of, "Maybe in round two Hall will spinning-heel kick Mousasi and knock him out."

The second round started.  Go here to see what happened.

Yup, tonight Kyle proved to be a prophet, and we enjoyed a very entertaining upset.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Onward, Drake! is nearing publication

and I already have my editor/contributor copies of all three editions of the book.

Click the image to see a larger version.

On the left is the standard hardback, on the right the World Fantasy Con limited edition trade paperback, and in the center the signed, limited-edition, leather-bound hardback.

You know you want this book.  You don't want just one copy, though; oh, no.  You want one of each format for yourself, plus similar sets as gifts for all your friends.  After all, Chanukah and Christmas are not far away, not really, not when it comes to books.

Why am I pushing this book so hard, when I've never hustled as much for a novel of my own?

Two reasons.

First, this anthology is a tribute to Dave, and he and it deserve the widest possible audience.  In addition, I'm confident there are interesting stories in this volume for almost all readers.  

Second, though I've edited several anthologies and liked them all, none has ever earned out its advance.  I hate that fact.  I like making money for Publisher Toni.  I don't like it when I don't earn out.  So, I want this book to earn out big-time, to earn out in such big numbers and for such a long time that contributors are getting royalty checks from it for years to come.  Wouldn't that be nice for all those nifty authors?

Yeah, you know you want this book.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dave!

My friend David Drake turned 70 today.  A small group of friends and family--really, extended family--celebrated the occasion with him at a very good local restaurant.  On Sunday, a much larger group will gather for his traditional birthday pig-picking.  A lot of folks like and care for Dave.

Dave and I met in 1984 and became friends in 1985.  That's 30+ years, half of my life, nearly half of his.  I owe Dave a lot for all his years of friendship.

The SF field also owes Dave, but not for friendship; he'd keep writing regardless of whether anyone liked his work.  No, the field owes him for telling the truth about his experiences in war and the experiences of other vets.  Dave's been accused of writing war porn, but only by those who either haven't read his books or weren't paying attention.  Showing the reader the way it really was and is in battle, as Dave does, is neither pro-war--quite the opposite--nor porn of any sort; it's the most serious way to create cautionary tales.  Dave knows exactly what war costs those on the sharp end, and he quite understandably wants the rest of us to have at least some inkling of the toll war takes on those we send to battle.

Dave's influence on other writers is what made it so easy to quickly fill the Onward, Drake! tribute anthology that I've discussed before and that goes on sale soon.  Check it out, if for no other reason than his two stories, and you will be glad you did.

I'm going to hope for 30 more years of friendship with Dave, 30 more years of hearing his amazing laugh, 30 more years of reading his work, 30 more years of having a friend who really gets the things that trouble us both--as unlikely as those hopes are to materialize.

Happy birthday, my old friend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

If you don't believe Bruce Springsteen is one of the greatest

rock-and-roll artists of all time, check out this Rolling Stone article, in which a jury of musicians and critics list what they consider to be his top 100 songs.  What's amazing is not just how great the songs are--and I have listened to every single one of them--but also how many wonderful Springsteen compositions the list omits.

If anyone has some spare time, I'd love to see a playlist of these in the RS order.

If by some miracle you don't know Springsteen's music, get busy and pick up some albums.  You have many, many hours of wonderful listening ahead.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I have an irrational, inexplicable fondness for this video

of an upcoming Josh Ritter song.  I've previously posted another video of the same song, but this one turns brilliant for me when it cuts--only twice, but that's enough--to a dance class.

I hope you enjoy it, too.

As bad luck would have it, Ritter is playing in my area in February at the same time that I will be in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress.  I must find another time and place to see this tour.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Congratulations to Goat Lady Dairy

Earlier tonight, a group of us made the long drive to Climax, NC (yes, that's a real place) to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Goat Lady Dairy, one of the earliest NC artisanal cheese makers.  On a perfect early fall evening, we all talked, listened to live music, and enjoyed not only a sampling of all of their cheeses but also small plates of food created with those cheeses.  The chefs who prepared those dishes included Sean Fowler of Mandolin, Kim Floresca and Daniel Ryan of [ONE], and Jay Pierce of RockSalt in Charlotte.  (Long-time readers will not be surprised to learn that for my taste, the plate from Kim and Daniel, a simple sandwich, was easily the best on offer.)

I should have taken pictures, but I did not; I was in the mood to enjoy the evening and do little else.

I'm always happy to see small businesses succeed, and I'm particularly thrilled when those organizations set their goals high.  I've long enjoyed the cheeses from Goat Lady Dairy, and tonight I was fortunate enough to get to see their facility and taste a lot of very good food.

I wish them another 20 years of great success!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I don't know what this movie is about

and I am actively avoiding finding out, because I'm already completely sold on seeing it.  The trailer alone would send me to the theater.

So, too, would the team behind it:  David O. Russell, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and many more of the folks involved in some of the best films of recent years (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle).

When Joy hits the big screens, I'll be there.


Blog Archive