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Inhuman Swill : Page 79
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

I've just been listening to some Gordon Lightfoot. I'm not familiar with his œuvre beyond the three of four biggest hits, so I was a little puzzled when I heard him singing about the "ghosts of gay porn."

Ah. I learn from the track listing that it's the "Ghosts of Cape Horn." Well, that casts the song in a different light.

Funny enunciation you've got there, Gord.

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My main contribution to this evening's CD Mix of the Month Club for March is Into the Lens, a celebration of the great photography in which so many CDMOM-ers seem to indulge.

I'm feeling some urgency about these terrific little get-togethers, since there are only four left to go before moving day, so I'm sneaking in all the extra mixes I can. This time around the just-because-I'm-leaving-soon bonus mix is Four by Four: Four Letter Words from Four Letter Artists, the second volume of my four-volume Four Letter Words series.

There's also great news, in that our CDMOM mom, Lisa, had her baby Sienna yesterday. I feel like we're all aunts and uncles. Congratulations to Lisa and Yves, and to Sienna who will grow up with great parents and lots of good music around.

(The story so far.)

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So Laura and I went back to see our bowling-champion accountant last night to pick up our taxes. He met us rushing back from dinner at a neighborhood Italian place down the avenue. The news was so good that we went straight over to a bar called Dillinger's for celebratory beer and wings.

Of course, good news is relative, and in this case means the news was not nearly as bad as we feared it would be. We may still be able to afford to move to Chicago and go to Worldcon in Yokohama.

And of course, even if the news had been truly bad, we still would have gone to Dillinger's for consolatory beer and wings. They just wouldn't have tasted quite as good as the celebratory ones.

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The Roald Dahl Memorial Bill?

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I'd like to propose a law. My idea is inspired by a technique I proposed for preventing executives from prioritizing the most egregiously idiotic of projects, but admittedly those stakes are small beer compared to the problem my law would address.

The proposal is simple. Before declaring preemptive (i.e., unprovoked) war, the president would be required to sacrifice a finger.

I'm not talking about a clean amputation, either, with anaesthesia and all those modern niceties. I mean the president's finger would be hacked off with a dull saw, preferably rusty, while he watches. In the most appealing scenario, the amputation would be performed by a surgeon with experience in Civil War reenactments. The surgeon could have whisky, but the president could not.

Also, the stump would be cauterized with a red-hot branding iron.

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The type is moving

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It looks like it's working! I'm pretty pleased with this mirroring script I wrote. I've even been writing my own Moveable Type plugin to help customize my site. More later on all the exciting, grotty details.

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Type-ing test

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This entry is a test to check whether or not my new Perl script is working as an automatic cron job. If it is, this entry should automatically be mirrored to my new Moveable Type blog at approximately a quarter to the hour.

I will sit here not watching the clock.

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NYRSF reading tonight!

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I hope you intrepid New Yorkers will brave the cold and the wind tonight at the South Street Seaport to attend March's entry in the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series. I am guest-curating, and I'm very pleased that our readers tonight will be Lauren McLaughlin and Andrea Kail, who both come to written SF from the worlds of visual media.

Lauren McLaughlin spent ten years in the film industry, writing the films Hypercube, Specimen, and Prisoner of Love and producing American Psycho, Buffalo '66 and several others. After a brief stint writing the flash animation series "Maatkara" and the award-wnning "Chi-Chian" for, she abandoned her screen ambitions to write fiction. Her first novel, Cycler, is due from Random House in the fall of 2008. Her short fiction has appeared in Interzone, Year's Best SF, Sybil's Garage and Salon. She is also at work on a science fiction musical about transhumanist love. Her website and blog are available at

A native New Yorker, Andrea Kail is a graduate of the Dramatic Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. She has spent 20 years working in New York's film and television industry and is currently the script coordinator at "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." Her first story is set to appear in Issue 6 of Fantasy Magazine, and she was recently named a first-place winner in the Writers of the Future contest with a story that Robert J. Sawyer has called "a knockout" and "Hugo-caliber." Andrea has been advised to say, should anyone ask, that, yes indeed, she is working on a novel.

The reading series is held at the South Street Seaport Museum's Melville Gallery, 213 Water Street in Manhattan. Doors open at 6:30 pm, reading begins at 7:00 pm. A $5.00 donation is suggested.

Should be a great evening. I can't wait! Please come!

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ShunnCast #39

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Epidode #39 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill faces a bail magistrate, finds himself compelled repeatedly to pantomime his strip search, and contemplates the deep philosophical question of whether or not God protects missionaries. Special "existential dread" episode!

See also [info]shunncast.

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