Inhuman Swill : Page 106
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.
            

Okay, okay, God, we get it. We'll curtail our greenhouse gas emissions a lot. We'll pour all our research dollars into alternative fuels. We'll stop fucking around with oil, not to mention fighting over access to that poison. Just, for Christs's sake, turn down the heat!


It looks like something out of an old animated cartoon. There are police vans with huge ranks of loudspeakers puttering around Manhattan, exhorting citizens to conserve electricity. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that affectless, amplified voice declaring that the end is nigh.
When I arrived at my office building today, I was alone in the elevator up. The elevator was cooler than the lobby, but not by a lot. The lobby in turn was cooler than out on the street by some.

I pressed the button for 12. It was the only button lit. The elevator started up.

Full entry

Worldcon schedule

| No Comments
            

For those keeping score at home, I have my Worldcon schedule in hand:

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 4:00PM

THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM (Room 201 C, ACC, 60-90 mins.)
How we get the news is changing before our eyes. Newspaper circulation is down dramatically. Online blogs and podcasts have put reportage in the hands of average citizens -- for both good and ill. Advances in camera and satellite technology make it simple for reporters to bring the public stories from the most far-flung parts of the planet. What will the future bring? And how will we know what to believe?
William Shunn(M), M. Christine Valada, Esq., Tom Galloway, Cory Doctorow, Paul Fischer

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 5:30PM

THEATER, FANTASY, AND SCIENCE FICTION (Room 207 C, ACC, 60-90 mins.)
A discussion of fantasy and science fiction plays, today and through history.
Laura Frankos, Keith G. Kato(M), William Shunn, Lise Eisenberg

Thursday, August 24th, 2006 5:30PM

ADAPTING SF AND FANTASY FOR THE STAGE (Room 205 B, ACC, 60-90 mins.)
Today's SF and fantasy films rely heavily on computer generated characters and effects. How can you bring them believably to the stage? Or should you even try?
Steve Collins, William Shunn(M), Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Janet Wilson Anderson, Brian Coghill

Full entry

The dread book meme

| No Comments
            

I have been tagged with the Dread Book Meme by Jose over at Meme Therapy. As Trent Hergenrader has put it, now I've been rescued from impending productivity. Here are the questions:

  1. One book that changed your life?

    The Mormon Murders by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. And I was lucky enough to meet them once and tell them so.

  2. One book you have read more than once?

    Full entry

ShunnCast #22

| No Comments
            

Epidode #22 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill meets his new companion Elder Dedman, learns a novel new approach to tracting, and discovers the true meaning of the word "bucket."

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=22

See also [info]shunncast.

Full entry

My favorite song

| No Comments
            

I've talked here before about the home music server I created, which lets me and Laura listen to any of our 43,193 (and counting) MP3s from any location with a web browser and a broadband connection. My server has been operating for nearly three years, though it was only in February 2004 that I enabled it to keep track of what I listen to.

I hadn't checked my stats for quite some time, but this morning I thought I'd take a look and see what my most-played tracks are. I was pleased though not exactly surprised to see that Steely Dan's "West of Hollywood" (from Two Against Nature) occupied the top spot, with 23 virtual spins in these past 29 months. Less than once a month may not seem like very heavy rotation, but it's pretty significant when you consider that in that same span I've only listened to 23,898 of the tracks in my collection. (That's unique tracks I'm counting there, not the number of times those tracks have been played.)

I figure this is as good a measuring stick as any for saying that, in practical terms, "West of Hollywood" is my favorite song. And it is a great song. The lyrics hook me and always suck me in, and when Donald Fagen gets to the bridge part and croaks out, "She reached out for my hand while I watched myself lurch across the room, and I almost got there, I almost got there," I never fail to get a shiver. But the best part of this track is the, like, four minute Chris Potter sax solo, where Donald and Walter put the poor cat through a truly punishing series of changes and he just doesn't quit. It's an amazing outro to an amazing record.

So yeah, that's totally fair. I'll cop to "West of Hollywood" as my favorite song.

Full entry

One right up the tailpipe

| No Comments
            

After the various indignities of the day and long night, some of which were heaped upon me by others, some of which I heaped upon myself, I was finally on my way home from work last night at 2:15 am when the cab I was riding in stopped in the congestion that develops there after the east end of the Queensborough Bridge and was promptly rear-ended by another cab.

The speeds were low and the damage to the back bumper was negligible, but from my point of view it was like someone had slammed a refrigerator into my back. I got out of the cab and checked myself out, but I seemed to be okay. Nothing obviously injured. The cab drivers didn't fight or anything, but mine gave the other a stern lecture about tailgating. Both were very concerned about how I was.

I wrote down both medallion numbers just in case.

As we continued home, my cab driver complained of some neck pain. My back hurt, and my teeth ached, and my upper arm hurt a little, but it was difficult to sort out injury from shock and nerves. At home, Laura prescribed Advil and scotch. Mmm, Talisker. It helped me sleep, but of course it has not made waking up so easy this morning.

Full entry

Alaska can come too

| No Comments
            

I am surely not the first to tell you to look at this short Flash animation, but hopefully I won't be the last:

The End of the World

WTF? (Fucking kangaroos.)

Full entry
            

Did you ever send a message in IM that wasn't very complimentary toward some third party? And then, just after it's sent, you realize you sent it to the third party, and not to the friend you thought you were sending it to? And you can hear the third party talking loudly at the other end of the office, so you walk over to the friend's desk and quietly explain what's happened? And so the friend walks by the third party's office to check if they've seen their screen yet? And the friend comes back and reports that the third party is at a fourth party's desk talking, and says you should cause a distraction so the friend can get to the third party's computer? So you walk up to the third party, shaking, and ask if they can come see something at your desk? And you have no idea what you're going to show them, but the third party trails along with you, and all the time you're wondering if somehow they did already see the (very) uncomplimentary IM? And you sit down at your desk and fumble for some weird half-remembered problem with the site you can show them that will keep them looking over your shoulder for a few minutes? And you stumble over your words as your fingers fumble for the keys, and you're not making any sense even to yourself but you manage finally after a few tries to find the path through the web site that results in a very obscure error? And meantime your friend is slipping past you out the door, and the third party agrees that this is bad but not worth holding up work on other bugs? And the friend slips back into the room, but then slips out again almost immediately? So you start jabbering incoherently about how you're worried about what would happen if the clients happened to stumble across this path, and the third party considers this, sounding friendly but a little confused, and you wonder if it's because they did see the message you sent and are just trying to cover it up with a brave façade, or maybe your own nervousness is just rubbing off on them and you better get a grip, or maybe you're just scary in general and people in the office always walk on eggshells around you? And then thank fucking Christ your friend slips back into the room and nods that everything is good, and you let the third party go back to what they were doing? And lo and behold it turns out that the weird bug you dredged up is really something bigger, and suddenly the testers are IMing you other examples of it? And you're so fucking happy to fix the bug you can't even speak? And you resolve NEVER EVER to say a SINGLE BAD THING about anyone in IM or email or sign language or hieroglyphs or assembly language ever fucking again until the heat death of the fucking universe?

Nah, I didn't think so. Me neither.

Full entry
            

The upcoming reading with Elizabeth Bear is now listed on the KGB calendar.

Drop me a line if you want to attend and you'd like an email reminder the weekend before the event.

Full entry

Interviewed by a Norse god

| No Comments
            

It is a meme. It is the five questions meme. Here's how it works:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your journal with the answers to the questions.

Full entry
The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

Archives