Miscellaneous Stuffage and Stuffing

Some random notes, observations, and links:
  • First, welcome to readers who are reading this blog via the Asimov's and Analog magazine websites, where we have been chosen as a blog of the month. (And no, we don't make it a habit of referring to ourselves in the first-person plural, except when we're being particularly ironic or feeling immensely self-important, but sometimes it slips out.) I'm particularly happy that this site was chosen this month, because it's the month Best American Fantasy hits the stores, and the book contains a story first published in Analog, Geoffrey Landis's marvelous robot fairy tale "Lazy Taekos". And as for Asimov's, well, unfortunately there aren't any Asimov's stories in the book, but I've been reading the magazine since the late 1980s, and hope to do some things here in honor of its current 30th anniversary, including write about at least a few of the stories included in the fine anniversary anthology Sheila Williams put together for Tachyon.

  • When I was in Kenya, a number of people sang the praises of Uganda's Femrite, the Uganda Women Writers' Association. Via the Literary Saloon I discovered a new article about Femrite by Glenna Gordon at Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper, titled, "Ugandan women writers shine but where are men?"

  • There's an inside view of Femrite available from one of those people who sang its praises to me, Beverley Nambozo, at the new African Writing Online. Beverley got married last month, so this gives me a fine opportunity to slip in a public congratulations to her!

  • African Writing Online deserves its own note, actually. If you're looking for contemporary African writers to read, you could do worse than to seek out the writers on their list of 50. Or just start reading some fiction. Or poetry. Or reviews. And lots more. Go see.

  • Lost cities! Via a blog I recently discovered and am already addicted to, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Sitting Here Listening to This Recording.

  • Okkervil River has a new album coming out in a couple days. This alone is enough to make the month of August one of the best of the year. In preparation, I have been listening to "The President's Dead" (mp3) pretty obsessively, because I missed it whenever the MP3 was posted from last year's EP. (Here at Mumpsimus Central, the entire staff, which is composed of me, agrees that 2005's Black Sheep Boy is second only to Bach's Mass in B Minor as a great musical accomplishment. Even more oddly, there are some weird, coincidental connections between me and the band, so much so that I'm convinced if I ever encounter any of the members, particularly Will Sheff, in person the entire universe will explode. Or contract. Or something. Yes, this is what I spend my time thinking about these days. No, I don't need to get out more. I don't. I like it inside. It's nice and peaceful and ... who'm I talking to? Huh? Why are you asking?)

  • If you're anywhere near southwestern New Hampshire this week, go to the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's annual craft fair. Buy things from Rick and Beth Elkin, Paulette Werger, and Dan Dustin at the very least. What, you need to buy food? Don't. Buy beautiful hand-made objects -- they last longer.

  • Please know that I am trying to use fewer semi-colons in things I write. I am failing, but I am trying. Alas, when witty and politically astute writers such as James J. Kilpatrick call the semi-colon "sissified" and "girly", it not only makes me realize I am congenitally inclined to identify with the pretty little things, but also makes me want to use; semi-colons; again; and again; and; again!
  • Finally, at the LBC it's the beginning of a week of discussion of Nicola Griffith's Always. The week begins with part one of a roundtable discussion.

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