Inhuman Swill : Page 93
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Il a neigé

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Holy shit, it was snowing when I got out of the subway!

Of course, by the time I got to the office I could see blue sky and the snow had almost petered out.

And now the sun is shining through my office window.

All in ten minutes.

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Nebula Award nomination #2?

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The 2006 preliminary Nebula Award ballot has just been announced by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). My novella "Inclination" is up there in the novella category.

The preliminary ballot is essentially the Nebula longlist. SFWA members will now vote to narrow the ballot down to five nominees in each category. The resulting final ballot (a/k/a shortlist) will then be voted on in March, with the awards ceremony to be held the weekend of May 11-13 in New York City.

What? What's that you say? There are only four works on the preliminary ballot in the novella category? Well, don't that beat all? I guess that means those stories all advance automatically to the final ballot. Which would make me...

Holy shit! I'm a Nebula nominee again! (Er, somewhat unofficially.)

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Always a bridesmaid

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From a Times article about the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees:

The members of Van Halen to be inducted are the brothers Alex and Eddie Van Halen; the bassist Michael Anthony; and David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, who have replaced one another as the band's lead singer more than once. Gary Cherone, who sang with the group in the late 1990s between Mr. Roth's second stint and Mr. Hagar's, was not recognized.  [full article]
Ouch, Gary. But I guess Extreme still has its shot at Hall of Fame-dom.
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It must be a year now since we moved from our old place. Last week we received a whole mess of holiday cards, automatically forwarded from our old address, from folks who apparently didn't get the memo about our change of address.

Today, though, I got word from a friend that a holiday card they had sent to the old address was returned as undeliverable. This means two things:

  1. Our 12-month forwarding order has just expired.
  2. There is no longer a house at 23-33 31st Avenue where the mail carrier can deposit unforwarded letters.
Yes, our old house is gone. Not a brick remains. It's now a giant hole in the ground surrounded by a tall plywood fence (though the Google satellite image, off by a couple hundred feet, still shows the happy house unmolested). We need to go take some pictures.

I hope there's no critical snail mail out there on its way to the wrong address, because it ain't gonna reach us.

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More on the gas smell

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Gothamist has a roundup of reports on the Manhattan gas smell. Turns out my wife is one of the (numerous) folks who called 911 this morning to report it.

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No, I'm not getting a kickback

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Show and Tell and Other Stories, by Greg van Eekhout
I love to read, but I'm not the sort of reader who is willing, like some, to walk down a street or subway platform absorbed in a book or magazine. Greg van Eekhout, though, has forced me into that mold twice in the past 24 hours, the bastard.

I've been reading his chapbook Show and Tell and Other Stories in bites and nibbles over the past couple of days*. Both last night, on my way to meet friends for drinks in Brooklyn, and this morning, on my way to work, I arrived at my subway destination and had to finish the story I was reading on the hoof. I couldn't put the chapbook down.

Each of the six stories is odd, surprising, and moving in its own way. There's a good reason that Gardner Dozois chose the book's one original story to reprint in his upcoming Year's Best Science Fiction. You should get a copy of Show and Tell yourself, for only $7.00 including shipping.

This makes me all the more eager for a full-length van Eekhout collection, and a novel.

*Yes, I've had the chapbook since WorldCon in August and should have read it sooner, but I am a notoriously slow reader and, more to the point, an absent-minded and disorganized shelver of books.

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What's that smell?

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There are a lot of sirens racing to and fro in midtown, maybe in search of the source of this mysterious smell that's hanging around:

I didn't smell it on the street, but I sure smelled something funny in the elevator.

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You know ... fry sauce!

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One of the stranger things about Utah fast-food joints is the ubiquity of a condiment known simply as "fry sauce." I didn't exactly realize how strange it was, though, until I moved out of Utah.

An alert reader (sadly anonymous) of this blog brought a recent Associated Press article about fry sauce in Utah to my attention:,1249,650220850,00.html

It seems to have awakened a craving in me for the pinkish stuff, which I rarely think about unless I'm actually in a Utah fast-food joint. Fortunately, the craving can be overruled and outclassed by a visit to that Belgian frites joint on Second Avenue that has fifty varieties of mayonnaise, but fry sauce remains a weirdly compelling taste sensation, not just for me but for people all over the West, it now seems.

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Ella-tion 2007 12-Month Calendar
It took Laura and me a little longer than we had planned this year, but our 2007 12-month Ella calendar is finally available for purchase at the terribly reasonable price of $15.95, with shipping options as low as $1.91! Get yours today and have [info]ellapup hanging on your wall all year long!

We know this is what you've been looking forward to all winter.

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Possible good news for hungry New Yorkers, and for certain out-of-towners of our acquaintance. The late Second Ave. Deli may be making a comeback in Murray Hill. The New York Sun has the story.

That's not far from my office. Oh, I'm salivating!

(Via Laura. Thanks!)

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn