Inhuman Swill : Manhattan

According to John Klima, he and I first met at the SFWA Authors & Editors Reception in 2001, perhaps introduced by Cory Doctorow. I have no memory of that. The first time I remember meeting John was at a party at a convention around that same time (I forget which one) where he was handing out free copies of his new zine, Electric Velocipede. I was dubious, eyeing the cheap, stapled covers, but everyone else around was acting like they'd just been given a gift of gold.

Electric Velocipede, Issue 1
Before I started reading that first issue, I had never given much thought to sending any of my stories to fanzine markets, or even really to the semipros. Electric Velocipede changed my mind. The fiction was good, really good, and John had a keen, idiosyncratic editorial eye. And an air of unlikely coolness somehow clung to the roster of names on the cover. I wanted to be a part of it.

And by Issue 4, I was, with a weird little horror story called "Mrs. Janokowski Hits One out of the Park," a story I believed in but that no pro editor seemed interested in. That was the first of five EV stories over the years (including one under my Perry Slaughter byline). Along the way another story appeared on the EV blog, and John also published my chapbook An Alternate History of the 21st Century, which contained two more original stories that no one else seemed to want to touch. (One of those, "Objective Impermeability in a Closed System," ended up reprinted in Hartwell & Cramer's Year's Best SF 13.)

All this is by way of saying that Electric Velocipede has played a crucial role in my short fiction career, and I owe John Klima a deep debt of gratitude. Now, after a Hugo Award win and something like four World Fantasy Award nominations, EV is publishing its 27th and final issue. It's a sad occasion, but I hope you'll join me and a boatload of other contributors on Friday, February 28th, at Bluestockings Bookstore, for a reading, release party, and memorial service. It'll be great fun, and besides me you'll get to hear from writers like Robert J. Howe, K. Tempest Bradford, Nancy Hightower, Matthew Kressel, Barbara Krasnoff, Richard Bowes, Mercurio D. Rivera, Jonathan Wood, and Sam J. Miller. There'll be raffles and snacks, and a chance to purchase an EV sampler with stories by all the participants.

Please join us in sending a great magazine off in a big way!

Electric Velocipede Issue 27 Release Party & Memorial Service
hosted by Sam J. Miller & Nancy Hightower
Friday, February 28, 2014, 7:00 pm
Bluestockings Bookstore
172 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002
facebook event listing | more info

Bill Shunn & John Klima, by Ellen Datlow on Flickr


New York's Hook & Eye Theater company is nearing the end of its run of its new play "The Summoners." A surreal, mindbending blend of Groundhog Day and Synecdoche, New York, "The Summoners" tells the thought-provoking story of what happens when the blanket of clouds that has shrouded America for three years parts for five blissful minutes over one Indiana town—and the chilling media circus that ensues.

Our friend Cynthia Babak is part of the terrific cast that together devised the story of this play, which was then turned into a script by Gavin Broady. But it's only running two more nights! See it tonight or Saturday at The C.O.W. Theater, 21 Clinton Street in Manhattan. Tickets are a mere $18! Don't miss it!

The Summoners


It seems absurd for me to say that I wish we were in New York City right now, with Hurricane Sandy bearing down, but we are definitely thinking of all our many friends there and all over the East Coast and hoping everyone stays dry and safe.


Our good friend Edie Nadelhaft (one of whose paintings hangs on our dining room wall) is participating tonight in Changing the World Through Art, an auction and gala to benefit the Time In Children's Arts Initiative.

New Yorkers, please consider showing up and supporting the gala! It takes place at Haunch of Venison, 550 W. 21st St., from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. (Buy tickets here.)

Edie says:

TimeIn is a unique outreach program that introduces children from some of the most underserved and impoverished neighborhoods in NYC to the arts through activities such as hands on classes, sketching at museums and galleries and listening to opera.

Please make this the first of your 2012 tax deductible donations and enjoy hors d'oeuvres, bespoke cocktails and a live auction of works including my own Cherry Biter No. 12 as well as works by Takashi Murakami, William Wegman, Nick Cave and many more!
Edie-Nadelhaft-Cherry-Biter-12.jpg

You are here

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You Are Here - Roosevelt Island - New York City

you are here

the southern tip of roosevelt island
east river easing by to either side
beside your wife astride the bikes
you rode like phantoms through
the hushed streets of queens
over the red bridge at 36th ave

you are here

inside the four mile ring of the
concentric circles of immediacy
and inverse kneejerk jingoism
the two towers at their center
their sides pierced by spears
gushing ash into waterclear sky

you are here

holding hands in the swelling
congregation of silent cyclists
a u.n. of observers stunned and numb
distant sirens the only sounds
besides the murmuring river
or the murmurs might be yours

you are not here

to see or hear the first collapse
you're riding back over the bridge
retracing miles unwinding the clock
restitching time with no success
at home your t.v. sees just one tower
a dustblinded eye about to close

you are not there


originally read at Tuesday Funk, September 6, 2011 [video]


No, I don't mean dancers smoking pot. I mean dance choreographed on an indoor set of living grass and trees. It's "Wooden," by our good friend Laura Peterson (with sets by Jon Pope), and you lucky New Yorkers can see Part 2 at Here Arts Center tonight and tomorrow night only. Please go, since we can't! Tickets are $15.

Laura's choreography always strikes me as supremely logical, whether rooted in organic forms or technological ideas or a hybrid of both, and entirely superior to the hackneyed vocabulary that seems to compose much of modern dance. Here's a video of one of the improvisations that led to "Wooden" to whet your appetite:


at MoMA 2/14/10 from Laura Peterson on Vimeo.



See more of Laura's videos here and here. And here's a past favorite of mine, just because:


While Laura and I were in New York City about a month ago, we were introduced to a drink called the "pickle back"—a shot of Irish whiskey followed by a pickle-brine chaser. Yes, I was dubious too, but it was the best new drink I'd tasted in ages. Of course, the pickle juice needs to be of high quality. You can't just use the liquid from a bottle of Vlasic dill chips.

We first experienced the pickle back at Sweet Afton in Queens ([info]ecmyers was there!), so imagine our surprise when at Whiskey Tavern in Chinatown the next evening we found two varieties of pickle back on the menu! It's apparently a growing trend in bars in the know, as detailed in this New York Post article:

Give Pickle Juice a Shot

Time to invest in cucumber futures?

(To my Blue Heaven peeps, don't lump this tasty treat in with the horror that is Gherkinbräu. Here, of course, the pickle taste is deliberate.)


Fans of the monthly New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series in Manhattan are used to gathering for good food, good whiskey, and good beer at Ryan Maguire's Ale House, on Cliff Street near the South Street Seaport. Unfortunately, Ryan Maguire's was destroyed by a fire early this morning:

It's great that no one was hurt, but this is a real loss. It was a warm, welcoming place, and I always looked forward to heading there with Jim Freund and a big, interesting, varied crowd after readings while Laura and I still lived in New York. I'm glad I had a chance to go there one last time, in January, when Paul Witcover and I read together at NYRSF. RIP.


Hi, NYC friends! Yes, it's a last-minute surprise to me too, but I'll be reading with the excellent Paul Witcover THIS COMING TUESDAY EVENING, January 5th, as part of the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series at the South Street Seaport Museum. Doors open 6:30 pm, readings begin 7:00 pm. Suggested donation is $5. See below for all the details, and we hope to see you there.

Please note, if you haven't been to a NYRSF reading at the Seaport lately, that the location is slightly different than it used to be....

--> The New York Review of Science Fiction Readings
and the
South Street Seaport Museum present <--

Paul Witcover
William Shunn
Amy Goldschlager -- Guest Curator

Tuesday, January 5th -- Doors open 6:30 PM
$5 suggested donation
South Street Seaport Museum
12 Fulton Street -- Fifth Floor
(directions and links below)

A new year is upon us, and we continue to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and look forward to new horizons at the same time.

--
William Shunn -- a past Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon Award nominee -- is the author of over two dozen short stories, which have appeared everywhere from Asimov's to Salon. His novella, CAST A COLD EYE, a ghost story co-written with Derryl Murphy, is just out from PS Publishing. His memoir THE ACCIDENTAL TERRORIST can be heard as a podcast via his Web site at http://shunn.net.

--
Paul Witcover is the author of the novels Waking Beauty, Tumbling After, and Dracula: Asylum. His short-story collection, Everland, was released last spring. He is a former curator of the NYRSF reading series, and will be guest-curating a reading later this year.

--
Amy Goldschlager was the fourth doctor, er, curator of the NYRSF Readings. (Sorry. Regeneration's been on my mind lately.) She is a print and online editor who has edited science fiction, children's, and craft books for several major publishers. She has also written reviews for Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Audiofile magazine, and ComicMix.

--
The New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series is celebrating its 20th season of providing performances from some of the best writers in science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, etc. The series usually takes place the first Tuesday of every month. We have been known to move from one venue to another within the museum, so check each time. Sadly, we will be seeking new digs as of March.

Admission is by a $5 donation. If circumstances make this a hardship, let us know and we will accommodate you.

Jim Freund is Producer and Executive Curator of The New York Review of Science Fiction Readings. He has been involved in producing radio programs of and about literary sf/f since 1967. His long-running live radio program, “Hour of the Wolf,” broadcasts and streams every Saturday morning from 5:00 to 7:00. Past shows are available "'on-demand" for about 6 months after broadcast. (Check http://hourwolf.com for details.)

---
WHEN:
Tuesday, 1/5/10
Doors open at 6:30 -- event begins at 7

WHERE:
The South Street Seaport Museum
12 Fulton Street -- 5th floor
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=12+fulton+street,+ny

HOW:
By Subway
Take 2, 3, 4, 5, J, Z, or M to Fulton Street; A and C to
Broadway-Nassau. Walk east on Fulton Street to Water Street

By Bus
Take M15 (South Ferry-bound) down Second Ave. to Fulton Street

By Car
From the West Side: take West Street southbound. Follow signs to FDR
Drive Take underpass, keep right - use Exit 1 at end of underpass. Turn
right on South Street, six blocks.
From the East Side, take FDR Drive south to Exit 3 onto South Street
Proceed about 1 mile.

By Boat
http://nywaterway.com/ferry/terminals/wallstreet.asp
or http://www.nywatertaxi.com

LINKS:
http://hourwolf.com/nyrsf
http://southstreetseaportmuseum.org/
http://nyrsf.com

--
Coming up:
2/2/10: Sheree Renée Thomas presents Ama Patterson & Daniel José Older

--
The New York Review of Science Fiction magazine is celebrating its 21st year!
Subscribe or submit articles to the magazine!
New York Review of Science Fiction
PO. Box 78, Pleasantville, NY, 10570
NYRSF Magazine: http://nyrsf.com

--
To add someone to this infrequent mailing list, change an address,
or remove yourself, please send a note to NYRSF_Readings@hourwolf.com.
This is not a listserv or automated service, so no need for geeky 'subscribe' commands.

Eight years later

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I consciously realized something this evening that has been nagging at me for a few weeks now, which is that tomorrow morning, when the new episode of my podcast goes live, there's going to be a line on the front page of my web site that reads "September 11." I'm not looking forward to seeing that.

It helped this evening that Laura and I had a good friend over, and that date was one of the subjects we chatted about on the back deck amidst the wreckage of banana daiquiris, white Russians, and Tomintoul 27yo served neat with water back. I was glad to hear that I'm not the only one who gets so angry that he has to withdraw from conversations of the sort that I had a few weeks ago, when a random stranger at a bar I like to frequent on Friday afternoon tried to tell me that the American government was behind 9/11. (It's not exactly a counterargument, but my favorite statistic to trot out in such circumstances is that Manhattan [a/k/a New York County], the very borough that was attacked by foreign nationals, voted 80% for Al Gore in 2004.)

Anyway, if you have some time, browse over to my survivor registry tomorrow, read some of the posts from that confusing day, and try to remember what it was like to feel the world changing around us.

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