Inhuman Swill : April 2006

Homicide

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Presented without comment, except to say that it takes a long time to load, here is the New York Times' interactive New York City homicide map, mashed up using Ajax apparently.

Me! me! therapy

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Three blokes from England (well, one's Canadian, really) run a great little SF blog-and-podcast combo called Meme Therapy. They interviewed me for the blog, and the result has just gone live:

http://memetherapy.blogspot.com/2006/04/william-shunn.html

I recommend their podcast as well. I've begun listening to it, and these three fellows really have a terrific interplay. They have a lot of fun arguing about new ideas and old books. It's like attending a particularly stimulating and entertaining panel at your favorite SF convention. The RSS feed is here:

http://memetherapy.libsyn.com/rss

Oh, as part of the interview, they asked me several other questions that will be used in their "Brain Parade" feature over the next few weeks, in which they aggregate various SF writers' answers to provocative questions of moment. Here's one example.

N is for nice things

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[info]curmudgeon told me to list 10 things I like that start with the letter N. The first couple will be easy, but after that? I'll definitely be giving my neurons a workout. Here we go:

  1. New York City. I don't love everything about this place, certainly, but the movie Quick Change (one of my very favorites, which is finally out on DVD and which I watched again last night) reminds us that it's almost as much fun to hate New York as it is to love it. I've been here going on 11 years now, and I can't picture myself as happy anywhere else.

  2. Novels. Big ones, small ones, fat ones, small ones, mainstream ones, mystery ones, classic one, skiffy ones.

  3. The N train. True, we recently moved just far enough that we're closer to the R now, but the N runs elevated in Astoria, and I used to love those panoramic views of morning Manhattan you'd get, with the sun shining right on it from the east.

  4. The Netherlands. True, I've not seen much of it beyond the countryside surrounding Amsterdam, but my week there with Laura in 2000 was one of the best vacations I've had.

  5. Normandy. Site of another fabulous vacation, and of Laura's relatives' summer cottage (pictured in my user icon). The best aspect of Normandy, though, may be the apple brandy of its Calvados region!

  6. Night and Day by Joe Jackson (1982). Only the second rock LP I ever purchased (the first was Synchronicity). I had to sneak it home because rock music was forbidden. But it was piano music! I still love this album.

  7. The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov (1957). Though it's the second robot novel, it's the first I read, and man was I hooked!

  8. Nutella. On a nice cracker, or straight from the jar. Yum!

  9. Just being nominated. It's a cliché, but it really is an honor.

  10. Nevada. Because that's where I married my amazing wife.
Want to jump on this bandwagon? Reply and I'll give you a letter. And don't worry—it probably won't be Q or X.

I am confirmed as a program participant for L.A.con IV, the 64th World Science Fiction Convention. I don't know yet what I'll be doing on the program, but I will be at the con in Anaheim all five days, from August 23rd to 27th. I hope you will be too. (A lot of people don't like L.A. much, but I love it, as only someone who moved far away as a young child can.)

As a program participant, I get complimentary memberships for me and my wife. But since I had purchased one before getting added to program, I now have one Worldcon membership for sale. It can be yours for $175, which is exactly what I paid for it.


UPDATE:  The membership is tentatively spoken for. If this changes, I will post about it again.

How do they do it?

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I know how much trouble I have getting anything done on days I post in the ol' LiveJournal. So how do the hardcore bloggers manage to get anything else done?

A mystery for the ages.

ShunnCast #14

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Epidode #14 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which I and my trainer Elder Fowler knock on many doors in search of elusive gold, stumbling at last upon a fairytale cottage and the irresistible enchantress within.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=14

See also [info]shunncast.

Electronic copies of two more new old stories have gone on sale at Fictionwise this week:

Each under a dollar! What a steal! Or collect all twelve!

Fuzzy and blue

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This post is really only an excuse to use my new icon. Funny story, though. I took Laura to the set of Sesame Street early in our relationship to watch an afternoon's taping. Of the many Muppeteers on set that day, Marty Robinson was either by far the most voluble or by far the least busy. (Probably the former.) Between takes, he and his special friend Telly hung out with us at the edge of the set, and he even convinced the rather nervous Telly to pose for some pictures with us.

Laura took my picture with Telly pressed close behind my shoulder. Then we switched places, Telly put his fuzzy purple arm around Laura, and I took this snap:

Laura and Telly

The instant I lowered the camera, Laura's mouth become a stunned O. She said, almost in wonder, "Telly just grabbed my ass."


Update!  Click me!

Grouches

This was the scene Laura called me to see out our back door this morning. She was already there taking pictures:

Fuzz amongst the tulips 1

Fuzz amongst the tulips 2

Fuzz amongst the tulips 3

Fuzz amongst the tulips 4

Our tulips, which we didn't plant but were just waiting for us, under the ground, have been opening slowly in sequence from the front of the yard to the back along the north fence, then from the north to south along the back fence. This reflects the amount of sun falling on each portion of the yard. There are yellow and pink tulips along the side, red along the back. Ella likes to lounge amongst them. If you look closely enough, you can see the fallen soldier she has crushed beneath her monstrous fuzzy body.

Ella went to the groomer yesterday. The cut will look good once it's grown out a little and gotten some curl back. But for now she is soft as satin.

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William Shunn

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