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I had the great pleasure of meeting Terry Pratchett several times, not just at autograph sessions but also at an epic Texas barbecue dinner here in Austin at the Ironworks*, where we watched this small man inhale vast quantities of meat. The next year, at WorldCon in San Antonio, he spotted me and complained that the BBQ pork ribs at the County Line on the Riverwalk simply weren't up to snuff.

He once called me a “procurer” for pursuing him for permission to do GURPS Discworld. Then he grinned at me and thanked me. (I was the art director on that one.)

He used to hang out on and and make comments. (Ah, usenet!)

I am very glad he got the opportunity to die on his own terms, at home with family and his cat.

I’m going to miss him and his very singular voice and commentary so very, very much.

* On a book tour in 1998 or so. He came to Austin and had an interview on KUT radio (our local NPR station) with John Aielli. It was scheduled for one hour and ran to three. (I just tried to find it, but it hasn't been archived anywhere.) Then he had a book signing at the late, lamented Adventures in Crime and Space bookstore, and we all piled into cars to go to Ironworks. It's an old-school place on Waller Creek in downtown Austin. That man could seriously pack away the food.

Book meme

Jan. 16th, 2009 07:18 pm
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Grab the book nearest you. Right now. Turn to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post that sentence along with these instructions in your LiveJournal. Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. use the *closest*.

I reached, and lo! there was a stack. Here are the 2 with words on page 56:

Unfortunately, there's no such easy cure for facials, but you've acquired various coping strategies over the past four years in DBA: a ristretto and a trip to the bathroom first, so you're awake and comfortable; a copy of the agenda and a full battery charge on your old-fashioned folio, so you can scribble notes on it and do what-if modeling on the fly; and a chunk of time allocated ahead of schedule so you know what the hell you're meant to be talking about. -- HaltinG StatE, Charles Stross (Just discovered this writer--I tore through The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue in a couple of days; this one is almost as good.)

The bases of the Nillsonia leaves are broad, so it seems likely that the stem was a stout structure. --The Encyclopedia of Pre-Historic Life (Bought at Half Price Books because it was old enough to have line drawings of dinosaurs and bones, which I want to use for my chasing and repoussage project this semester.)
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 ....Terry Pratchett's Nation. The lovely [profile] karenmtx brought me back an advance copy from BookExpo, and with one thing and another, I finally got around to reading it.

No, it's not Discworld. It's about a disasters and making a nation. Also swearing parrots, vomiting pantaloon birds, ancestors, and growing up. And gods. C'mon, it's Pratchett.

It's like drinking a lovely fizzy drink that doesn't go flat or start to taste funny at the end. I'm going to buy the hardcover as soon as it hits the ground, and I think you should too. Give one to your kid!

Random Things

Are you watching The Middleman? You should be. Hey, Criminal Minds fans, if you want to hear something really freaky, listen to the lead with your eyes closed--I found Hotchner's long-lost brother!

The lovely [personal profile] dremiel gave me Season 4 of Stargate Atlantis for my birthday. *beams*

Found these DVD sets "coming soon" on Amazon:

Cannon! OMG my mother loved this show. I may have to Netflix it when it comes out, since it's only the first half of the first season.

Jake and the Fatman! More William Conrad! Also destined for the Netflix queue for the same reason.

The entire Man From U.N.C.L.E. series. Wow.

WitchBlade--started out strong, ended with a bit of a whimper, but man, Yancy Butler is amazing. And hot.

And for you Joe Flanagan and Shemar Moore fans: the complete series of Birds of Prey.

Will have pictures of the last glass projects Sunday or Monday, since I have to pick the last one up.

Book meme

May. 11th, 2008 11:09 am
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 Gacked from [personal profile] ffutures, a meme!

The following is a list of Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning novels (not including retro-Hugos)
Bold the ones you’ve finished
Italicise the ones you’ve started but not finished
Underline the ones were you’ve seen the film/tv show

This will be my first week without therapy jewelry class. No classes for me this summer, because of upcoming carpal tunnel surgery and--hopefully--a new place to live. (Actually, my new 'job' is getting my flabby butt in shape. I have a meeting with a personal trainer at the Y this week.)  Maybe I'll be able to take a hot glass shaping class at UT Informal later this summer.

I saw Speed Racer yesterday. It's really a lot better than the reviews make it out to be. It's obvious that the Wachowski brothers are huge fans, and the script is pretty good. I loved the art direction--shiny--and the actors are all having a good time.
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 I am searching for a set of books that don't seem to be very available in the US.

Hmmm. Let me sum up:

World's Best Nephew, who is not fond of reading (which makes me wonder if he is related to me), did actually love one book series I picked up for him over the years at various library book sales: the "Adventure" books by Willard Price. The ones I bought him have disintegrated/disappeared over time. I'd like to get him another set.

He's graduating high school, you see. I want to get him something he'll appreciate and will make him smile. (He is used to odd presents from me, and has told me he'd rather have them than "something boring".)

They seem to be pretty widely available in the UK/Canada. If anyone has seen a large clump of them for a reasonable price (or heck, all of them), I'd be happy to PayPal you and pay for shipping, or send you the Trade Goods of your choice from Austin, Texas. Yes, they're mostly available on or, but the shipping! Plus, I'd rather support someone's local bookshop if I can.

He graduates May 31.
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So last night I'm at Barnes & Noble, picking up [profile] ltlj's Stargate: Atlantis novel Entanglement that I'd ordered last week. Wander over to the Young Adult section. There, on an endcap, are four copies of Fat White Vampire Blues. Excellent novel, just not what I'd consider "teen" fare. So, in order to keep the writer from being lynched by a bunch of outraged suburbanites, I let one of the employees know. 

Me: Sir, I'm probably the last person who would normally be bringing this up...I mean, it's a great book, and I'm amazed you have four copies, but I just don't see Fat White Vampire Blues as a young adult novel.
B&N: (Spots cover from an aisle away. blanches.) Oh. (scans book, looks annoyed, takes them over to SF.) Thanks, ma'am!'s not a large store; one of the smaller B&N's I shop in. No one "noticed" anything until I pointed it out. Must be nice to be selectively blind. When I worked in bookstores, I never was. (I only rearranged one author by series last night. Tanya Huff, in case you were wondering.)

And today I heard the Pogues. On TV. Being used in a Cadillac commercial. It is truly the end times.


May. 4th, 2007 09:18 am
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Why the hell do certain people feel a need to comment on the size of my books? Or my reading habits in general?

I had two large paperbacks with me (almost done with one, have the back-up in case I finish it), and one was out on the desk. Two people in the space of ten minutes felt the need to walk into my cube, pick it up, riffle the pages (which drives me insane. seriously.), and make comments like "That's the thickest paperback I've ever seen!" and "Oh, a fantasy." pause "Like Harry Potter, huh?" (Um, no. Read the blurb for once, dumbass.)

This is an old, old peeve--it goes back to growing up in small town Texas in the 70's, and being mocked mercilessly because I liked loved to read. It was always, "Whatcha readin'?" (Standard answer, even now, "A book."), usually followed by "Why you readin' thay-at?" I put up with this for 18 years, before I blew out of there. Even now, it puts me in a slow burn for hours.

And both of these women read, too. It's just that what I read isn't nearly as highbrow (or mainstream) as what they read. The younger does sometimes read Neil Gaiman and such, but only at the urging of her boyfriend.

Sorry. This just--hit a lot of buttons, and it happened yesterday, and it still pisses me off.


Books read:
A Deeper Sleep, by Dana Stabenow  The new Kate Shugak mystery, this is a weird blend of humor (Kate's stalking of Trooper Jim Chopin) and frankly creepy mystery, with an ending I still haven't decided on.

Gardens of the Moon, Steven Erikson   This is a BFF (Big Fat Fantasy), but has no resemblace to Jordan, Rowling, Friedman, Goodkind, or any of the other ones crowding the shelves. Erikson is an anthropologist, and it shows. This is the first book (he's up to 7 in the UK, 6 here), and events in it will be referenced 2,000 pages on, and he doesn't go back and do an info dump for the slow kids. He expects you to keep up, which is refreshing. It's a series nominally about war and empires, but it goes much farther and deeper than that. He has made me laugh out loud and cry like a little kid. Read them!  I buy his books as they come out in the UK, and the only other author I do that for is Terry Pratchett.

On the plus side: I have a show tomorrow--the Violet Crown Festival. And I'm meeting  [personal profile] researchgrrrlSunday for brunch!
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I am so in love with Blood Ties it isn't even funny. I loved the books, and they've done an excellent job of translating the feel of them to TV. It's so refreshing to have a vampire who's not angsting over being a vampire*. He likes being a vampire. To have a hot, tough, female lead who snarks right back at the vampire, and who keeps both said very hot vampire and equally hot ex-partner at arms' length, while being kinda bitchy about it.  Tanya Huff has a blog about it too...she's also on LJ as

[profile] andpuff.

Where's all the cool Highlander/Buffy/Angel/Supernatural crossover fic for this fandom? If anyone knows where it is, please point it out to me.

Books: I finished Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay. Maybe I'm getting older, but the best bits of this were the descriptions of the Provence countryside and history. I did enjoy the shout-outs to the Fionvar Tapestry, but the actual story left me a little blah.

Finished Unshapely Things by Mark del Franco. Pretty good premise (druid lost his powers, works with the police, interesting AU), it really begs for a sequel. Solid, interesting, and I'll probably pick up the next one.

I'm starting to re-read the Steven Erikson Malazan Book of the Fallen series, since the next one comes out in 3 weeks, and I have an order in with Edge Books for the next British hardback. Yes, they're that good! (A friend lent me the first one and about .000001 seconds after finishing it I went online to order the next 3 from (This was before they were available here.) These are long, dense, plotty, tough, keep-up-I'll-only-explain-this-once fantasy novels that are totally wonderful. Not cute, no simple, easy answers, people die, things from the first book show up 4,000 pages later (literally). This is some of the best BFF (Big Fat Fantasy) out there, and it's not written for slackers. Highly recommended!


There is an incubus in the latest episode. He's really hot and funny....and he's played by Craig Veroni! Peter Grodin! And he's seriously hot, and you get to see him without his shirt for most of the episode! (And he and Henry Fitzroy, the vampire, share this hilarious bonding moment about how women have changed over the last couple of hundred years. I so wanted Duncan McLeod to be there...)


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Altered Carbon, Richard K. Morgan If you are a fan of noir mysteries or hard SF, go and buy this book. It's amazingly good, especially since it's a first novel. The sequel will be bought tomorrow.  (After I vacuum the house and make at least 6 pairs of earrings.)

And the Guilty Pleasure of the Week: Innocent in Death, Nora Roberts. These "In Death" futuristic cop books are like really good popcorn. Well-written, with a decent backstory and world. I didn't want to like these, but Locus started reviewing them. They are a lot of fun, and aren't fluffy at all.


Night of the Comet, probably the BEST Eighties Sci-Fi/Zombie/Post-Apocalyptic Movie EVER MADE, is out on DVD. I got it at Fry's for $10. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!


For some unknown reason, the SciFi Channel showed four episodes of Special Unit 2, one of my favorite and short-lived UPN shows.  Now if they would only show all the others, I could burn them to DVD and inflict it on everyone!

And you thought your day was bad... 

OMG, KAVAN SMITH IS TEH HOT  (and apparently the tattoo is real)
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A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the great California Earthquake of 1906  by Simon Winchester. Finished this a while back. I still don't think it's as good as his book on Krakatoa, though.
The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner. I was and am a huge fan of Swordspoint, and this is an interesting continuation of the series. Not sure why it's nominated for a Nebula, though.
Three Days to Never by Tim Powers. He still doesn't know how to end a book, but the ride is worth it. I love how he blends fact, fiction, rumor, and speculation to make a weirdly coherent universe that just might be around the corner from this one. Or in this one.
Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. Sequel to Moon Called. I dearly want someone to write a novel about werewolves and vampires that doesn't stick the female protagonist in the middle of a love triangle. There are many reasons I stopped reading Laurell Hamilton, but there is the main one in a nutshell. I may or may not read the next one.
Finally, finally read A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin all the way through. It's only half a book. He admits it. I still loved it.

Working on:
Unshapely Things by Mark del Franco. Interesting take on 'magic meets the real world', with druids, and fey and fairies, in present-day Boston. I'll let you know.
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. Kind of uneven, but there are some gems in this collection.

And I must go to bed early tonight. I have such a huge sleep-debt it isn't funny. No class next week, though, which will help.
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As gakked from [personal profile] riani1, I'll start a list of what I'm reading in RL (i.e., not fanfic).

Finished A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 by Simon Winchester. I'm not as fond of this as I am of Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883, for some reason. Still a mighty good read.

Also finished The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan. A perfectly decent YA about being the son of a Greek god...

Have started on: 
Fragile Things, short stories by Neil Gaiman
Firestorm by Rachel Caine (very fun series about Weather Watchers. Plus, she's a friend.)
Let Them Eat Flax: 70 All-New Commentaries on the Science of Everyday Food & Life by Dr. Joe Schwarcz

I tend to have books-in-progress with me or on the nightstand. With me, I read them in the gym and at lunch.I'm working my way through Geodes: Natures Treasures and Agates: Treasures of the Earth mainly at shows, in order to look smart. :-)


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