Coming in June: Big Pulp’s BLACK CHAOS Zombie Anthology

April 30, 2014 Personal, Writing Comments (0) 250

blackchaos_promocoverFor he being dead, with him is beauty slain,
And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again. 

Twenty-five new zombie-themed stories from indie and small-press authors–including The Graveyard Slot, the newest short-story from from Yours Truly!

Big Pulp‘s zombie anthology BLACK CHAOS is coming in June, but you can order your copy now by supporting Big Pulp’s Indigogo campaign.

A $20 commitment gets you an actual paperback copy–yes, you read that right. Paper. Made from dead trees. It’s the perfect thing to read when the zombie apocalypse arrives and knocks out your electricity–also makes a great gift for your power-shunning survivalist relatives.

As always, if you want a signed copy I’m happy to provide the signature–just find a way for me to apply a pen to your copy.

If you’d rather embrace modern technology, the eBook edition will only run you $10. That’s less than you’ll spend for a baseball bat with a nail driven through it.

You’ll also know you’re supporting a great market for indie fiction–Big Pulp relies on readers like you so they can afford to pay writers like me. If that’s not reason enough for you, well then maybe you’re the zombie.

In the next couple weeks I’ll share more about The Graveyard Slot. For now, go take a look at the anthology!

 

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HBO’s Game of Thrones: Oathkeeper

April 29, 2014 In The News, Pop Culture, Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (0) 276

Spoiler Warning: I’m playing fast and loose with this one, so if you haven’t read all the published novels, through A Dance With Dragons, be warned that you may want to sit this one out.

GoT Margaery Tommen

Gee, where even to begin with Oathkeeper?  An ironic title, for starters, for an episode that so boldly abandoned the novels the series has thus-far followed so faithfully. Last week I raised hell over a deviation in the relationship between Jaime and Cersei that now seems minor by comparison. It also never occurred to me that the television series would start dropping book spoilers quite so soon, but we’ll get to that.

Going into this season, I wondered how the show would deal with Bran and his companions and their travels. At the end of Season Three they were already north of the Wall, and in the novels there just isn’t much between that point and Book Five. Unlike the novels, the HBO series can’t just ignore Bran for two seasons (actors age, after all, and they tend to find other jobs when they aren’t used) so unless the show intended to introduce Bran to the Three-Eyed Crow in the second half of A Storm of Swords, the show-runners had to come up with something else. Continue Reading

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USA’s Oldest LGBT Bookstore to Close

April 28, 2014 Gay and Lesbian, In The News, Philly / Pennsylvania Comments (0) 312

Giovanni's Room PhiladelphiaSad news this week as the Philadelphia Gay News reports that Giovanni’s Room, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the country, will close for good in May.

Owner Ed Hermance, who has operated the store since the dark early days of the gay-rights movement in the 1970s, tried to find a buyer for the store so he could retire, but an apparent deal fell through. According to the PGN, Hermance blames Amazon and similar retailers for making business difficult for indie booksellers, and says he’s lost between $10,000 and $15,000 keeping Giovanni’s Room open so far in 2014.

I’ve shopped at Giovanni’s Room many times in the last twelve years or so, and lived for two years at Juniper and Pine Streets, less than two blocks away. It’s always been a dream to one day see a book I’d written on their shelves, one of those fantasies young writers have about how we know when we’ve “made it.” Giovanni’s Room was a terrific, welcoming space where the shelves were always well-stocked and well-maintained. It felt like a place where people loved books. Continue Reading

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Your Internet WTF of the Day

April 26, 2014 Pop Culture Comments (0) 165

Yes, it’s the cast of Frozen doing the famous zombie choreography from Thriller. Because why wouldn’t it be? We have computers, dammit. What else would anyone do with them?

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First Amendment Friday: 04.25.14

April 25, 2014 In The News, Politics / Religion Comments (0) 237

This is a feature I started in my time working for the ACLU, that seems worth continuing here. It’s a roundup of news stories about First Amendment rights, not only from the United States but other parts of the world where such rights may not be guaranteed. As with any roundup of news stories, please consider the integrity of the linked source–I try not to link articles that feel bogus, but sometimes stories slip through.

  • Eight rappers who sell CDs of their music in Times Square are suing the NYPD, saying the police violate their free speech and target them unfairly for persecution and arrests. [AllHipHop]
  • Dallin H. Oaks, a leader of the LDS Church, says he believes protections for religious freedom of speech are eroding. [AP]
  • A Pennsylvania student’s family is suing after administrators removed religious notes he inserted into Valentine’s Day cards. [The Express Times]

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Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, April 2014

April 24, 2014 New York City, Personal Comments (0) 347

I took advantage of the beautiful spring weather and a lunch break this week and walked up to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza for the first time. I looked for the fountain with the turtle statue, well-known to fans of Steven King’s Dark Tower series, but no luck. Maybe next time.

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On the Job

April 24, 2014 Artwork, Comics, In The News, Politics / Religion Comments (0) 572

Nation of Defense Cartoon by Christopher KeeltyYes, in fact, the Ku Klux Klan, a domestic terrorist organization, has announced they will now be the neighborhood watch in Fairview Township, in central Pennsylvania. One has to assume they saw what George Zimmerman experienced and got jealous.

The Klan has also stepped up recruitment efforts nationwide, just another reminder that we now live in post-racial America and, as 5 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices have informed us, racism is over.

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A Note on Partisanship

April 24, 2014 Politics / Religion Comments (0) 238

You may note that, from time time, I take some pot-shots at Republicans. Aside from saying that I think they’re generally well earned, I don’t consider them reflective of partisanship on my part.

These days too many Americans approach politics the way they approach sports teams; they are loyal to their team first and foremost. If their team isn’t fielding the best candidates at present, or even workable policies, it doesn’t change their loyalty because, well, root for that other team? Ewww. Continue Reading

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Game of Thrones: Further Thoughts on “That Scene”

April 22, 2014 In The News, Pop Culture, Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (0) 296

cersei-lannister

* MAJOR spoilers here. If you aren’t caught up reading the Song of Ice and Fire novels, you probably want to skip this one. Seriously.

Since I wrote up my brief thoughts on the most recent episode, Breaker of Chains, there have been many more words written about “that scene,” in which the show runners changed a disturbing-but-depicted-as-consensual sex scene between Jaime and Cersei Lannister into Jaime raping his sister beside her son’s corpse. It’s pretty resoundingly an unpopular choice, not least because Westeros is already a place with troublesome gender politics, and this isn’t the first time Benioff and Weiss have adapted consensual sex into rape on the way from book to screen.

A few have argued that Jaime might have raped Cersei in the novels as well, since the encounter is told from his point of view on the page and he may not be a reliable viewpoint. I don’t think this is true—there’s nothing following the encounter in the books to say so, and none of the fallout between Jaime and Cersei one would expect to follow a rape—but even if it is true, what’s the point of the change?

As Alyssa Rosenberg points outat the Washington Post, it’s not that Jaime raping his sister is the most shocking act of violence, sexual or otherwise, that we’ve seen on Game of Thrones, and anyone who is really disgusted by that scene will probably find dozens of others to be equally appalled at. Part of the point of Martin’s world is to showcase the reality of a medieval society, including the way people are sexually traded, exploited, and abused. The show, with its over the top sexuality, reflects that pattern back at the modern society that watches it, suggesting that maybe we haven’t moved as far as we’d like to believe toward a liberated, just world. Continue Reading

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