Inhuman Swill : Page 99
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

My appearance this morning on Jim Freund's "Hour of the Wolf" is now available to stream from the WBAI online archive.

(Or if that url doesn't work for you for some reason, try this.)

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Lupine time

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On my way to do "Hour of the Wolf" with Jim Freund on WBAI 99.5 FM in just a few minutes. I'll be reading a new, unpublished story this morning called "Not of This Fold." Mormon missionaries in space!

If you miss it, I'll post a link to the WBAI online archive later today.

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In these troubled, divisive times, at least the internets still have the power to make us laugh our fucking asses off:

A clip representative of Japanese game shows

My stomach hurts.

Update:  Perhaps I should have made clear from the outset that the clip involves guys getting whacked in the nards.
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Hard times at Kabab Cafe

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I was half-listening to WNYC this morning as I made the last preparations to leave, when suddenly I heard my friend Ali's voice on the radio. We had noticed that his restaurant, Kabab Cafe, has been closed since the blackout, and we keep stopping by to see if it is open yet.

Here is a transcript of the radio story.

I am going there for my birthday next week, should it be open yet by then, and would whether or not the place had had so much trouble. Those of you we've taken there will understand!

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Somehow, in general I think this list says a lot more about the people compiling it than about the books themselves. And it betrays a fairly anti-book, anti-education, anti-science bias.

And why isn't The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People on there? Ouch.

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Brigham Young & Crazy Horse

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Oops, sorry, I mean the Osmonds, from their hard-rockin' period:

I mean, seriously, this would have scared the shit out of me if I'd seen it on television at the time (1972). But they do seem to be having a great time going "crazy."

You know, Jimmy Osmond hit on my sister once at the BYU library....

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Over in her journal, [info]sallytuppence posed this question: "I'd like to hear, either in comments or linked to an entry in your blog, about how you started writing. I don't want to hear that you were a writer ever since you could hold a crayon in your chubby little hand, no. I want to hear about how you got serious as a writer. What catalyzed it? When did you start thinking of yourself as a writer?"

Though I've talked about some of this before, I thought I'd repost my answer here:

I suppose you could say I got the crayons from my first grade teacher. I was in a combined first/second/third grade class at Buchanan Street Elementary School in Los Angeles when I was six. It was October and our teacher announced a Halloween short story contest for the class. All the entries would be read aloud, and the class would vote on the winner.

Most of the stories were happy little tales of ghosts and haunted houses. I, who liked to scare myself watching bits of "The Outer Limits" and "Night Gallery" on TV when I wasn't supposed to, wrote a little story called "Rattlesnaks [sic] and Cobras." It was a first-person story where the narrator gets attacked by shapechanging snakes in his backyard and dies.

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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.

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Worldcon schedule

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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

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

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

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The dread book meme

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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?

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