By RUTH LA FERLA
Published: January 24, 2008
Okay, really. I know that tattoos are in. More and more people are getting cut, inked, with bright colors and deadly semiotics. To bleed for art is noble in my opinion.
I guess that there are a lot, I mean a lot of people out there that are willing to pay for a fake. Fake tattoos, temporary tattoos are cool for children. The fad that Ruth Ferla writes about in her article, Tattooed for a Day, Wild for a Night, disturbs me a little. Temporary tattoos, like the ones being adorned by the fasnionistas, are false advertising.
There is pain involved in collecting tattoos, physical and mental. When you go around with that temporary sleeve or a ten inch dragon your back, you’re telling the word that you sat through hell as the artist cut ink into your flesh and endured days of itching as it healed. You are also advertising that you belong to a part of America that will never be fully accepted and understood.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think that temporary tattoos are good for tattoo artists and shops. They tap into a new client base, money is money after all.
Tell me what you think!
See my tattoos, Tattoo No 1, Tattoo No 2, Tattoo No 3, Tattoo No 4, they’re real.
Harry is a newly assigned MAN Operator, mechanized-automated-neurolinked (or, if you will, power armor designed for space maintenance), and is being checked-out on the equipment in 4.5 Gs. He trained on Earth in 1G. He is having a little trouble with the check list. He is laughed at.
But then, something happens and Harry is forced into action to help save everyone from destruction. Harry is enlisted by the notorious Bob Roberts. Harry takes his orders from Roberts and gathers the parts and tools to fix the station.
Everyone hates Roberts. Roberts is a hard ass and does not like to work with partners. I get the feeling that Roberts is like that detective that loves his job so much that he doesn’t want someone to come in and ruin it for him.
Anyway, more problems arise, more complications that prove that Bob Roberts is a hero.
This is a quick read. The writing is very engaging. The action and plot is tight. The narrative does not deviate from the problem at hand. There is very little back story and no flashbacks. This is very refreshing. As a reader, I like being dropped in a situation that propels itself forward with little to no effort.
You will want to find this story. I hope that can learn from it and fix a couple of my own stories to reflect this kind of focus.
Gleason, William. “Into that Good Night.” Analog. April 2008, Vol. CXXVIII, No. 4. P. 80 - 85
Here is my take. The main character is named Matthias. Matthias has the qualities of a god, or creator. There is mention of a bookshelf with several universes shelved in a row. The one that Matthias is looking through and concerned with in this story contains a young girl and her stuffed bear.
This girl’s parents are fighting in the kitchen. The fight escalates into domestic abuse. Matthias can’t take it and has to reach out to her through her bear. The bear speaks. She asks, “Are you God?”
From here the story becomes elusive for me. The reader is taken into Matthias’ world where he is experimenting, trying to create something important. However, it would seem that an elder or parent (the relationship is unclear, perhaps that is just the way it is among godlings) disapproves.
A question is raised, would this girl be better off dead? The other answer is for Matthias to meddle. And it would seem that getting involved has never turned out well for anyone and just disappoints Matthias. To find out what happens to the girl, you will have to read the story.
One of the interesting things about “The House Beyond Your Sky” is that I get the impression that Matthias is just a user of an existing program. Oh, he is a hacker working on network performance and always looking to upgrade, but still an end-user of an existing platform. It brings to mind the many types of SIM-universes that are at our disposal. As end-users we can create and manipulate small words of digital people. We can give those people lives, we can take them away. Is morality involved at all?
Anyway, this is a bizarre find, a good read, a hard read, a mind stretching read, a good story that bring the word art to mind.
Rosenbaum, Benjamin. “The House Beyond Your Sky.” Science Fiction: The Best of the Year 2007. Ed. Rich Horton. New York: Cosmos, 2007. p. 367 - 383
Ferry Traffic is the story of guy, a gen’x-er that has to take a ferry from one side to the other. All he wants is to be left in peace to read some unnamed book by his unnamed favorite author.
The tension in the story is caused by our modern-day devil, the cell phone. Another guy sits down near our Offspring worshiping hero. This guy’s cell rings. Some disturbing things are said. A Rear Window moment happens, but that is main fun of the story and I won’t ruin it for you.
Ferry Traffic is available as a free Downloadable copy. So read it. What’s the harm, take a few minutes and discover that not all good fiction cost money.
For more fun, check out A Dribble of Ink, Moher’s blog where he reviews novels and other stuff.
Moher, Aidan. “Ferry Traffic." http://www.aidanmoher.com/writing.php
I'm a big fan of Henry Rollins and his angry man stand up. His opening about how much he HATES George W. Bush, 30 minutes of brutal why-did-he-get –reelected, was just was what I was looking for last night.
He also had great bits about complacency, the Siberian Express, Emoticons, and other stuff.
His ranting and raving got me fired up. America is one of the greatest countries and I am very blessed to live here; however, as an American I am pissed off at the American people.
How have we endured, or will have endured 8 years of Bush tyranny. He is a simpleton that somehow won the Presidency. The end of his reign of terror can’t come soon enough.
Please Vote in your local primary or caucus for your candidate of choice. Now is the time when your vote matters most. Your votes will determine the candidates that receive their party nominations.
If you do not vote, you are an ignorant, a coward, and worst of all complacent. Educate yourself on the candidates. If you are reading this, you have access to the internet and you can easily access information. Here are some links that you should take a few minutes and browse:
Meet the Press: Meet the Candidates
When you are done and you have made up your mind about who you think has America’s best interest in mind, go vote. Go Vote! Go Vote! Go Vote!
Personally, I support Obama. I have knocked on doors, written letters, and donated. I believe that he has worked hard to get to where he is today. His life has been hard. He has had no easy road to success. He is well educated and knows how to organize people. He is an excellent speaker. He knows how to pronounce non-monosyllabic words with ease. He also has the best interests of America in mind. To check out his views on the important issues facing our country, please visit his website: Obama 2008
No matter which candidate you support, you must vote. If you want to get fired up about change and out what you can do, educate yourself about the candidates and watch Henry Rollins: Live in the Conversation Pit, the hardest working artist in America.
The pace of the book has really picked up. The clues that Tick get are getting hard and even more dangerous. The latter half of part 2 introduces the plot’s main villainess and one of her henchmen. I won’t go into detail, so as not to spoil all the fun, but I really like the spy vs. spy action that ensues.
Complaint: Tick enlists his father into his the tornado of the clues. What I expected was that Tick’s father would ground him and Tick would have to decide to go against his parents to save the world, like all good heroes. What happens instead is that Tick’s father is gun-ho; then, the two of them rush off to investigate the first letter mailed from Alaska. What!?
Anyway, the book is still fun. However, I’m thinking that it might be more intermediate reader fiction rather than YA. The back of the book says 10 and up.
The book is broken in to 4 parts. So, look for more fun in the coming weeks. Until then, please why not join in the fun over at The Dashner Dude, James Dasher's blog or http://www.the13threality.com/.
Dasher, James. The 13th Reality. Shadow Mountain. Release Date: March 2008
I picked up my wife’s copy of Poetry and looked through the contents. I spotted The Solipsist and wondered what the heck does solipsist mean?
sol·ip·sism (sŏl'ĭp-sĭz'əm, sō'lĭp-) n. Philosophy
1. The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
2.The theory or view that the self is the only reality.
[Latin sōlus, alone; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots + Latin ipse, self + -ism.]
sol'ip·sist n., sol'ip·sis'tic adj.
I like this word. I would like to add it the words that I would consider for a tattoo. This word is also a nice title for the verse that followed.
The poem is an argument, an enthymeme if you will that all of creation is contained within you, me, and that guy on the bus who will just not shut up.
After reading this poem, I remembered why I spent most of my college days as a creative writing student of poetry. This poem made me question why I have spent the last five years studying fiction and prose.
Just look at these ending lines:
Which raises a question
that comes up again and again,
as to why
God would make ear and eye
to face outward, not in?
Here is everything that I’ve ever wanted to say about God, in such a small space. I need to read more poetry.
You can read it by clicking here: The Solipsist.
Jollimore, Troy. “The Solipsist.” Poetry. January 2008, Vol. CCXCI, No. 4 Ed. Christian Wiman, et all. p. 306
However, Satan is angry about loosing his bet over Job’s ability to remain faithful throughout the killing of his family, the lose of this riches, and the corruption of his body.
Now, Satan has another wager, a wager he can not lose. He wagers with God that humanity will loose its faith in creation and in a creator if given a plausible alternative.
God agrees and sets out to provide proof for humanity to find of something that Satan dreamed up called Evolution. As part of the all of this, what I think is the funniest idea that I’ve heard of in a while, is that God uses the Flood to reset the playing field like you or I would clear off a chessboard before starting another match.
This is such a good story. Don’t miss it. Something Magic This Way Comes is available March 4, 2008. You should preorder a copy.
More reviews of the stories in this volume will be forthcoming as I finish them. Thank you The Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' Book Review for sending this book on to me.
Flint, Eric. “The Flood Was Fixed.” Something Magic This Way Comes. Ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Sarah A. Hoyt. New York: DAW, 2008.
Friday, January 11, 2008
"During the wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer:"Look, I'll give you $100 if you'll change the wedding vows. When you get to the part where I'm supposed to promise to 'love, honor and obey' and 'be faithful to her forever,' I'd appreciate it if you'd..."
Click here for the rest: Money Talks!
You Are 70% Left Brained, 30% Right Brained
The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.
The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.
I’m not a big fan of personified animals. I think that it is creepy to know that your pet is judging you or has needs beyond food and affection.
In this story a gene-spiked dog is narrating. Through the dog’s narration the reader finds out that he is working in some kind of lab where other animals are being spiked, or well, the gene cocktail is being mixed to upgrade humanity and animals alike.
What I think is funny is the way that he looks at non-spiked female dogs. He is not attracted to them because they are just dogs; no true rational thinking going on there, just base loyalty and love for their human masters.
The writing is engaging and a good story is spun in just under three pages. If this wasn’t a dog story, I’d be jealous.
Gunn, Eileen. “Speak, Geek.” Year’s Best SF 12. Ed. David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. New York: EOS, 2007. p. 210 - 213
This story, at least for this reader, asks the age old question, a time loop question, of which came first, the hospice care of your dying self or the life that leads up to it?
The main character had a life. He had a job. He had a wife. Then enter the future dying version that he must care for. He loses his job. He loses his wife. He now knows the exact moment of his death.
So which came first in the time loop? Or really, does it matter? Just beware and plan. You never know when your future self will be delivered to you.
MacLeod, Ian R. “Taking Good Care of Myself.” Year’s Best SF 12. Ed. David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. New York: EOS, 2007. p. 421-424
The tattoo is on Book Junkie's right arm.
Here are a few words that I was thinking last night after seeing this post. My right arm is taken, but I have been searching for something for my left.
soph·ist (sŏf'ĭst) n. One skilled in elaborate and devious argumentation. [Middle English sophiste, from Latin sophista, from Greek sophistēs, from sophizesthai, to become wise, from sophos, clever.]
mis·an·thrope (mĭs'ən-thrōp', mĭz'-) n. One who hates or mistrusts humankind. [French, from Greek mīsanthrōpos, hating mankind : mīso-, miso- + anthrōpos, man.]
en·thy·meme (ěn'thə-mēm') n. Logic A syllogism in which one of the premises or the conclusion is not stated explicitly. [Latin enthȳmēma, from Greek enthūmēma, a rhetorical argument, from enthūmeisthai, to consider : en-, in; see en-2 + thūmos, mind.
pro·le·tar·i·at (prō'lĭ-târ'ē-ĭt) n. The class of industrial wage earners who, possessing neither capital nor production means, must earn their living by selling their labor. [French prolétariat, from Latin prōlētārius, belonging to the lowest class of Roman citizens; see proletarian.]
My degrees have been earned largely for pleasure. I like writing. I want to write for a living, but those jobs are far and few between. Scarcer yet are the job that would support a fledgling author of short stories.
New Hampshire your people are known all around this land for being noble, independent, and truth seeking.
Please consider Barrack Obama as your candidate of choice as you head to the poles tomorrow.
There is a lot of hype about Obama being the candidate of change and of hope. It is his platform. It is an attractive one and the United States does need to change directions drastically.
Change can be a very scary thing when you think about it. Change often leads us through a time of uncomfortable transitions.
However, with any new president, democrat or republican, changes will be made, change is inevitable.
The question becomes who will you trust to guide you, our country, through those changes? Will you trust career politicians that worry more about their record and their image than the people? Will you trust candidates that actively court big business and extreme interest groups? Will you trust the future of this country to those seeking their 4 to 8 years of fame?
Or could you take the risk and hope for something different? Could you put your hope into someone who has worked in his community as a leader? Could you believe in someone who as accepted the call of the common people? Could you vote for a candidate that wants to give the government back to its people?
Yes, Obama stands for change. He stands for involvement. He cannot enact change by himself. He admits as much. Barrack Obama needs you, me, your next door neighbor, the beautiful state of New Hampshire, to make change happen.
If you are serious about helping this country rediscover its potential, please vote Obama.
However, regardless if you choose to vote for Obama, please exercise your right as a free citizen of the United States of America and make your voice heard by casting your vote.
My wife and I just got home from a Minneapolis Obama 2008 campaign rally at the Bar Abilene located in the Uptown neighborhood.
It was a great event. The place was packed full of people from every walk of life. It was truly inspiring to see that kind turnout.
This event was designed to recruit volunteers for phone banking, door-to-door canvassing, and for the very import job of precinct captain.
Fire it Up! speakers included, R.T Rybak, Keith Ellison, Sam and Sylvia Kaplan, and several other very important Obama supporters.
FIRE IT UP!
READY TO GO!
|You Are 78% Non Conformist|
I saw this on 1 More Chapter!
When I pick up a new anthology or short fiction magazine, I always gravitate towards the shortest short first. I like to see just how short the editors are willing to go.
What I like about this short story is that it takes our present battle with fascism and relocates it to a different world in a different galaxy in the far future. In this future, Aaron owns a frontier-like bookstore where a bookstore probably has no business of being. The people question its existence and sales are low. However, Aaron sees it as his mission to bring literature and history to those who need the wisdom of the past to see and correct the problems their settlement struggles with.
The ending is a sad one. I won’t ruin it for you, but the fearful, ignorant, and faistis with a painful victory. However, there is a gleam of hope that Aaron’s dream will be carried on by others.
Find it! Read it!
Hemry, John G. “The Bookseller of Basset.” Analog March 2008, Vol. CXXVIII, No. 3. P. 78 - 81
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The majority of this story is spent tracking the organist and then running from the organist. It never becomes clear what set the organist off, made him pick on the narrator, but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that the narrator is obsessed. He has to know why he feels that the organist is up to something evil that only he can see and hear in the music. The narrator feels that it is his duty to help his congregation by reveling and purging this evil.
Then the narrator looses track of the organist only to then be stalked by him all the way home to The Court of the Dragon, which disappointingly is just a court yard with a dragon archway. Perhaps the archway is evil, but its presence is played up in any significant way, the archway just is. The read might think that the archway is evil, I mean, it is locked and keeps our narrator from escaping the organist. Still, it is not animated and it is not described in much detail.
I never read a story that contained an evil organist, but why not an organist? The haunting sounds on those large pipes can seem very evil. And for this reason, I like the story. However, the ending device of waking up and having the story basically start over is a tired one. I wonder how fresh this device was when this story was first published about 1895?
Chambers, Robert W. “In the Court of the Dragon.” The Yellow Sign and Other Stories: The Complete Weird Tales of Robert W. Chambers. Ed. S.T. Joshi. Chaosium, Inc. 2004 p. 47 - 53
Short Story Reviews
A STUDY IN EMERALD by Neil Gaiman
NEEDLES by Jens Rushing
GIVE IT UP! by Franz Kafka
ABDUCTED SOULS by Robert Reed
MUDCOLORED BEAUTIES OF THE PLAINS by Alicia Conroy
Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology. Ed. James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
- BICYCLE REPAIRMAN by Bruce Sterling
- THIRTEEN VIEWS OF A CARDBOARD CITY by William Gibson
- SEARCH ENGINE by Mary Rosenblum
- WHEN SYSADMINS RULED THE EARTH by Cory Doctorow
Extra Movie Reviews