Inhuman Swill : Page 161
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Dating to save

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An Alert Reader sends these Christian dating tips my way:

Dating to Save: 10 Dating Tips
I don't know about you, but #1 would sound like a come-on to me and make me hot, but the date would end at #2. Now, the Koran—that might keep me interested.
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Dusk at Cubist Castle

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I'm listening to the very first Olivia Tremor Control album, Music from the Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle, for the very first time, and I think I have a new favorite album for the time being....

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Good review

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I'm not sure how I missed this two issues ago in Locus, but Rich Horton, never a big fan of my stuff in the past, said this about Electric Velocipede #6 in his July short fiction review column:

The Spring Electric Velocipede is very impressive. This is the sixth issue of a 'zine which has previously published some interesting work, mostly slipstream but quite often more distinctly science fictional than similar 'zines. This is far and away the best issue so far. Among several strong stories, two stand out. William Shunn's "Why I Think I'll Be Staying in [sic] Tonight" is told by a man to a woman he has long been interested in, as he refuses her request for a date. Why? Well, he saw this implausibly beautiful woman, see... but it's not what you might think. It's subtly about the danger of getting what you ask for. Even better is Alan DeNiro's "A Keeper," a deliriously surrealistic SF story, set in Brasilia, under the rule of King Juan Juan. An artist, whose job, as with all other artists, is to paint portraits of King Juan Juan, finds himself "cursed" by a "keeper." He ends up flushing a talking goldfish down the toilet to seek out the woman who cursed him; I found it very strange in the best of ways.
Still plenty of time to get your own copy of EV6—or to subscribe and catch my alter-ego Perry Slaughter's fiction debut in EV7.
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Rant and rave

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Just listening to Joe Jackson's Blaze of Glory, and a bridge lyric that was begging to be repeated leapt out at me:

Now who wants to be just a bug that they trample You see what has happened, of course 'Cause instead of using the force of example Now it's just the example of force
Apply to current events as you see fit.
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1984 redux

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I made it to my 20-year high school reunion and back in one piece. I was quite nervous going in, with my little speech clutched in one sweaty hand and Laura's hand in the other, but almost immediately I started running into perfectly delightful people I hadn't thought about for, in some cases, two decades. Even people who intimidated the hell out of me in high school shook my hand and seemed genuinely pleased to be catching up.

Hell, I'll say it. It was fun.

Some people looked exactly as they had in high school. Some people had changed so much as to be virtually unrecognizable without the little yearbook-picture tags we all wore. But almost everyone I saw looked better now than they had in high school. It was a nice thing to see.

Laura disappeared almost right off with my good friend Darin Goff's wife Lani to secure a good table for the banquet. They had never met before, but hit it right off. Together they snagged a perfect location—close to the front, but right next to a door in case any of us needed to slip out. Another good friend, Brett Clay, joined us at the table with his wife Therese, and I was pleased to see we were all drinking. Yes, there was a bar at the banquet—supplemented by the Talisker I had smuggled inside in my Scottish hip flask, and which we not-so-furtively shared around the table. (Well, actually, I elected to hold off until after my speech, seeing no point in overlubricating my tongue.)

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"Do you also—?"

On second thought, never mind.

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Manic subway preacher

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"When you go home tonight, don't get high! Don't get high when you go home tonight! When you go home tonight, don't you get high! Read the Bi-i-i-ble instead!"

Um, I'm sorry—are those my only two choices?

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I just wanted to congratulate you on an amazing performance. How you always managed to step to the side the moment I tried to get around you—positively telepathic. And let's not forget the sudden stop right at the narrow passage between two other shoppers. I came within a hair's breadth of plowing right into you, which must have been your object all along.

Don't get me wrong—there's a long and proud tradition of Bill's-progress-foilers in this country. I just want to know how you learned the position was vacant and knew to audition. As far as I'm concerned, the job is yours.

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No respect

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Who approved this decision about removing the entire music section from the Borders at Kips Bay without consulting me? What—you think I can take time at lunch to walk all the way over there just to look at books? Please, let's get our chain of command right in the future.

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"...It just gets under my skin. I'm not cold. What's wrong with me that I need everyone to like me? I need therapy. Well, you're the only one I can talk to about it. Yes, so he was sending me these mash notes from Spain. Yes. I don't know what's going on with him, no. I don't know what he wants. Yes, so I wrote to tell him this urologist I'm seeing wants me to go away with him for the weekend. Fifty-two—he says. You know what he tells me? They're all latent. Meaning all urologists are latent homosexuals, I suppose. But what about going away with him for the weekend? No, you know what he said to me? We know where that will lead. How does he know where that will lead? No, he wouldn't just come out and say it. Nothing about our plans then. So what am I supposed to do about the weekend? Go with the urologist?"

I have to admit, I was tempted to walk over to her on the way out and say, "Forget 'em both. Spend the weekend with me," just to make it stop.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
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Order yours now!

William Shunn

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