Mensa appearance this weekend

This coming weekend, March 3-5, I’ll be at Central New Jersey Mensa’s Snowball Regional Gathering. It’s one of the longest-running RGs in American Mensa, and always a good time. This time, I’m not just attending, but actually on the program. On Friday, at 7:30pm, I’ll be giving a talk on “Punctilious Punctuation,” and I know all of you who are going to be at the RG will want to see my talk (mind you, I’ve got some stiff competition in that time slot: Lesley Schierenbeck talking about “Dark & Dirty New Jersey History,” and John Devotti’s always wonderful “Monster Trivia.”

After I’m off stage, stick around in the same room for the Mensa Foundation and RVC2 Meet and Greet. And at 2:30pm Saturday, RVC2 Trebor Lefebvre will be running “Everything You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know About Mensa.” I’ll be there, too.

But the other program item I’m really urging you to attend is Saturday at 10:30am. One of my authors, Michael A. Ventrella, will be talking about “How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative.” Michael is a wonderful speaker, talking about a topic on which he is very knowledgeable, and it’s an especially timely topic. We’ll also have copies of his book, How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative, available for sale (and possibly a few other of his titles that I’ve published).

Should be a great weekend. Hope to see y’all there!

Science fiction convention weekend (second of 2023)

I’ve been kind of busy recently, so I’ve neglected to post my usual announcement that this is a convention weekend. This time, it’s the science fiction convention Boskone, in the Westin Boston Seaport District. Sound familiar? Yep, this is my annual dose of cognitive dissonance, as I was in the very same hotel last month for Arisia.

As at Arisia, I’ll be spending most of my time in the dealers’ room, which is again in the Galleria. The room will be open Friday 5–8pm, Saturday 10am–6pm, and Sunday 10am–3pm. And I’ll have two brand-new, never-before-seen titles for sale, as well as the Gardner Collection. Come check it all out!

If you’re looking for me on programming, I’ll be on the following panels:

Saturday, 11:30am, Marina 1: “Editors: After the Draft” with Amber Bliss, Jeanne Cavelos, and Trisha J. Wooldridge

Saturday, 1:00p, Marina 2: “Writing and Submitting in the Face of Rejection” with Esther Friesner, Nicholas Kaufmann, John Langan, and Marisca Pichette

Hope to see y’all there (except you Mensans, who will probably be at New Hampshire Mensa’s RG. I’m bummed I won’t be able to join you.)

Asimov’s reviews Three Time Travelers Walk Into…

ThreeTimeTravelers_FrontIn his review in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, Peter Heck recommends Three Time Travelers Walk Into… (edited by Michael A. Ventrella, published by Fantastic Books in May), calling it “highly entertaining” and “thoroughly readable.” He also includes specific mentions of Gail Martin’s “The Mystic Lamb,” Peter David’s “A Christmas Prelude,” Jonathan Maberry’s “The Adventure of the Confounded Writer,” and says “one writer—no spoilers here—gives a younger version of himself a chance to alter history after meeting two of his mentors and the version of himself who has lived through our history—a tour de force of time-travel twists and turns.”

On Dhalgren, electronically

9781515424192A while back, Fantastic Books published On Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren: the definitive collection of reviews, commentary, and discussions of the classic novel. I was (and still am) thrilled to have been a part of this book, working closely with Delany himself to see that it was published in the form he wanted.

Publishers Weekly said of the book “Samuel R. Delany’s influential and divisive 1975 novel Dhalgren gets a full critical treatment in this immersive and comprehensive collection.… Fans of Delaney’s classic will want to snap this up.”

It is, however, one of the more expensive books we’ve published, because it contains a bunch of color illustrations. So for those of you who wanted the book, but couldn’t justify the price tag, the ebook version is now available. As with all of our titles, we’re selling the ebook directly from our new web site. It’s also available from the usual retailers.

Pie again

IMG_8414I think I’m finally figuring out pie crusts. Hadn’t baked a pie since early December, but I tried a couple of new things this time, and… well, take a look. I think it looks better, and it tastes very good, too!

The first picture is fresh from the oven. Can’t wait! But I have to wait. I’ve discovered that if I let it cool, and then put it in the refrigerator over night, the taste and texture are much better starting the next day. So I wait, and I salivate.

IMG_8417The second picture is after I cut the second piece (because the first was a complete mess — tastes great, photographs terribly). The filling is apple and pear with raisins. The crust is my modification of a standard crust, with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar in it to complement the filling. Now the hard part is keeping myself from eating it all at once. Yum!

Electronic Eye of Argon

Untitled-41212Due to some outrageous formatting in the printed book, there’s no way to produce a standard ebook of Fantastic Books’ The Eye of Argon and the Further Adventure of Grignr the Barbarian. But due to the popularity of the book — and the new Fantastic Books web site — I decided to offer a pdf version of the book. It’s available, as of five minutes ago, for download only from the site, at this link:

Conspiracies and Cryptids

Untitled-89741Multiminded Press Release:

Cryptids? Conspiracies?

Let me ask you a question:

What if it’s all true?

Hitch a ride with some straight-6 witches, with a motorcycle club, on a rocket to the moon… Show up on the back of a sea creature, carried by a bigfoot, in the thrall of a fairy, or maybe on the wings of the children of the night. However you get here, hurry.

Gray Rabbit Publications is pleased to present the first book published under Mutiminded, our newest imprint.

Conspiracies and Cryptids, Volume 1: Everything Is True was edited by Charles Barouch, Jerry Wang, and Sylvia Goldin, and features stories by B.J. Thrower, Eric Avedissian, Marcy Arlin, Robert Dawson, Holly Schofield, James Ryan, Charles Barouch, Greg Cox, and Ef Deal.

Conspiracies and Cryptids, Volume 1: Everything Is True
edited by Charles Barouch, Jerry Wang, and Sylvia Goldin
$13.99, 128 pages (trade paperback), ISBN: 978-1-5154-4796-2

Conspiracies and Cryptids—and all Gray Rabbit books—are distributed via Ingram, and available through all major online retailers and specialty sf shops via direct order from the publisher.

Mensa Convention Weekend

Tomorrow starts my third straight weekend on the road. I’ll be at the first-time-ever Northern New Jersey Mensa Blast! Regional Gathering (in Newark, New Jersey). I’m looking forward to supporting this newest event from the recently reinvigorated group just across the river from here. And I’ll be speaking: Sunday morning I’ll be presenting “Isaac Asimov: A Centennial Celebration (Plus Three)”. Hope to see all you Mensans there!

Science Fiction Convention Weekend

This weekend is Arisia, at the Westin Boston Seaport District in Boston, Massachusetts. As I usually do at conventions, I’ll be on several panels, including:

Friday at 8:30pm: “Our Favorite Fictional Scientists” in Alcott (3W), with Timothy Luz, AJ Odasso, Charity Southworth, and Stephen R. Wilk

Saturday at 5:30pm: “So You Want to Be a Writer?” in Faneuil (3W), with M. Dalto, J.F. Holmes, Jadie Jang, and Amy J. Murphy

Saturday at 8:30pm: “Our Favorite Robots” in Stone (2W), with Michael A. Burstein, Shana Jean Hausman, Timothy Luz, and Danny Miller

Sunday at 1:00pm: “How Much ‘Alien’ is Too Much?” in Marina Ballroom 4 (2E), with Elaine Isaak, Alexander Jablokov, W.A. Thomasson, and Stephen R. Wilk

I’ll also be running the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room, which is open Friday, 5-9pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10am-7pm; and Monday, 10am-2:30pm. And yes, that Friday panel overlaps with the time the dealers’ room closes; I’ll have to figure out that bilocation thing.

Hope to see many of you there!

Labeling: a thought experiment

A thought experiment:

We frequently hear that the dysfunction in the US government is due to extreme partisanship. The few times our elected officials actually work with members of differing parties are hailed as wonderful examples of bipartisanship, rather than simply government as it ought to be.

But how much of that dysfunction, or that outright enmity, is a result of the team colors they all wear for no good reason?

Every time we report on those elected officials, whether on television or in print, it takes the form of Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) or Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senator John Tyler (W-VA) or Representative John Quincy Adams (D-R – MA). What if we dropped that letter before the state appellation? What if we didn’t bother listing the political party? Does it really matter to us in the news report? Don’t we already know which party they belong to? And if we don’t, does knowing it change our view of the news being reported, of the things being said?

The Super Bowl is a similar label. The owners of that name want the news to report on it as if it were news, but they want entertainment to pay them for the rights to even say it out loud. Perhaps it’s time we started viewing political parties the same way. After all, they’ve paid for their members’ careers, so why should we be giving them free advertising?

Gratuitous George Washington quote on political parties: “Political parties may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”