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

Memo to my socialist dog

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I'm sorry, Ella, but you have to accept it. If you drag me a mile and a half to the park through a slushy wasteland on the front end of our walk, then there's no getting around a mile and a half home on the back end after you've worn yourself out. Stopping along the way and staring at random parked cars will not cause them to magically unlock themselves and chauffeur you home. I hate to be the one to tell you, but that's not how property works in our capitalist society. (Though it would be cool if it was.)

Also, the mail carrier is really trying hard to be your friend. Can you spot him a few points for that?

Ella gets flagged for detainment

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

The last time

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I wrote this poem to read at last night's Tuesday Funk—the 64th episode in the series, and my final night as host.

Bless the English language
for its charming, maddening
ambiguity.

Will I look back on this night
as the last time I was here
or the last time I was here?

It matters to me.
Does it matter to you?

Thanks one more time to everyone who contributed to the Hatchfund campaign supporting Laura Peterson Choreography's performance at the Kennedy Center on November 15th.

If you weren't able to attend the event, or to watch the live stream, I'm pleased to report that the entire performance is archived on video at the Kennedy Center website. So if you'd like to see what you helped to support, here are Laura Peterson, Kate Martel, Michael Ingle and Jennifer Sydor performing "Forever":

http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/videos/?id=M5654

Hi, gang! Laura and I are happy to announce that the new Ella calendar for 2014 is available now from Lulu.com. It features thirteen months of all your favorite Ella photos from 2013—well, okay, all our favorites—and it's far less pricey than in previous years! For a limited time you can get it from Lulu.com for the discounted price of only $11.99.

Click below and buy now, and you can keep acting Ella-Phantile all year long.

Ella-Phantile 2014 13-Month Calendar

Ella-Phantile 2014 13-Month Calendar

But that's not all! If you just can't get enough of Ella, we've created an alternative calendar for 2014—actually, it's our 2014 Ella-Ternative 13-Month Calendar! Same great low price! Thirteen different super-cute photos!

2014 Ella-Ternative 13-Month Calendar

Ella says, "Get 'em both!"

Don't bully my seer!

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5 November 2013, Chicago, IL

Dear Overlords at Munster Taverns:

Let me preface this email by saying that Lady Gregory's is one of my favorite places in the world.

This afternoon I ordered a Daisy Cutter with my burger. When my beer was close to the bottom, my server Jose offered to bring me another. I gladly accepted.

When he arrived with my second Daisy Cutter, I still had about a quarter-inch of beer in my first glass. He tried to grab my old glass, but I put a hand up to stop him. "Leave it." I said.

"Oh, I was just going to do this," Jose said, and he POURED THE DREGS OF MY FIRST BEER INTO MY SECOND BEER.

Well, I was stunned. I didn't say anything, but please, NEVER LET HIM OR ANYONE ELSE DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN YOUR RESTAURANT AGAIN. True, I would have finished what was in the first glass anyway, but you don't pour old, warm, backwashy beer into a new beer. It is DISGUSTING.

Christ. Kids today, uncivilized.

Sincerely,
Bill Shunn

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Hatchfund campaign to send Laura Peterson Choreography to the Kennedy Center. We raised over $6,700 toward this worthy goal.

I'm writing this from a bus heading south to DC from New York City. Laura Chavoen and I are on our way to see Laura Peterson and company perform "Forever" at the Kennedy Center tonight. If you won't be able to be there for this free public performance (in the Atrium Space at 6:00 pm), you can still watch the performance online:

http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/live/

Tune in at 6:00 pm Eastern! It's going to be awesome.

(Btw, you can still donate to Laura Peterson Choreography as they shoot for a stretch goal of $9,000. Contributions are being accepted through November 23rd.)

What is the sound of one hand clapping?
What is the sound of a tree falling in a forest?
What is the sound of a story without a reader?
What is the sound of tears on my typewriter keys?

Just resting

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Dead squirrel lies prone,
Chin resting on its two paws.
Looks like it's sleeping.

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