Archive for April, 2010

Der Orchideengarten

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Der Orchideengarten (Garden of Orchids) was the worlds first High Fantasy magazine. It was published from 1919 till 1921 in Germany.Weird Tales did not start publication until 1923. The stories are supposed to be mostly forgettable, but it was full of original artwork. I found a good blog post about Der Orchideengarten with some images.

There were 51 issues and I wish I could find some. The covers would make good covers for a short story anthology. (Most of the good ones have some nudity, though)

Only the worst Sci-fi/Fantasy book covers

Friday, April 30th, 2010

This site says it shows only the worst, and some of these are very bad. My problem with the site is that it shows one or two of my favorite books. I know the covers are bad, but I you can’t tell a book by the cover, as they say. I don’t anyone to figure the words inside are as bad as the artwork.

Not all of these covers are bad. Some of them are just not appropriate for the book, but if a lurid cover helps sell a good book I am all for it.

Good Show Sir – Only the worst Sci-fi/Fantasy book covers.

Baby Shower

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

The women that I work with are always having babies. I deny any involvement.

Yesterday Girija had her shower.

Mmmmm. Goodies.

Story idea

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets, then teams up with three complete strangers to do it again.

I am thinking of writing this story, although it is a humorous, log line of a famous movie. It has potential for a great fantasy, horror, or SF story.

This might also make an interesting eZine theme issue, or a good short story contest.

(if you haven’t guessed this is the plot of The Wizard of Oz!)

First image of Earth from the surface of Mars

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

NASA released in image of the martian sky showing Earth as a tiny dot.

The Atlantic | July 1982 | Living With a Computer

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

This is from 1982. I was practically penniless when I first read this article in the Atlantic. It would be three more years before I saved enough to buy my first computer. I can remember wanting a computer so badly that I could taste it.

I CAN HARDLY BRING myself to mention the true disadvantage of computers, which is that I have become hopelessly addicted to them. To the outside world, I present myself as a man with a business need for a word-processing machine. Sure, I have a computer: I'd have a drill press if I were in the machine-tool business. This is the argument I make frequently to my wife. The truth, which she has no doubt guessed, is that I love to see them work.

via The Atlantic | July 1982 | Living With a Computer | Fallows.

The hive named Justine

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

This is Ethel II and Justine. Justine (on the right) is slightly stronger than Ethel. It has been 15 days since they were installed and the hives are much calmer. The queen is busy laying eggs and the nurse bees are taking care of the brood. The first brood should hatch in the first week of May and that’s when I’ll find out how they are really doing. The workers are coming in with lots of pollen. I will feed them again tomorrow.

Sloop John B

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Someone sent me this link. This file is very poor AM quality, but there have been periods in my life when I thought that Sloop John B was the greatest song ever written. I’ve had it on loop for the last half hour and I’m not tired of it. (wav file – might not play in some browsers)

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

For about an hour today one of my tech blog posts was listed on the front page of – Hacker news. It was good for about 1200 unique hits, although very few stayed to browse other articles.

This is all very exciting since the tech blog usually normally gets 50 or so visitors a day. I spare everybody here the posts about code and networks and such and once or twice a week when I feel like a real geek I post there.

We’ll see if I get any return traffic from this blip, but I doubt it.

I just moved off the front page and the algorithm that ycombinator uses for ranking will soon make the link disappear. Links on Hacker news are very sensitive to the reader comments and ratings, so they rarely last long.  I’ll have to think of another odd article for them.


Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

A little flash creepy cellular automata for those who don’t have enough trouble falling asleep.

MONDO 2000

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Many years ago I bought a copy of a magazine called Reality Hackers because it had an interview with William Gibson. I subscribed and Reality Hackers immediately folded. The magazine transferred my subscription to a series of similar magazines including one called Mondo 2000.

I still think they owe me some issues but after 20 years it is too late to complain.

Instead, there is a FaceBook page that celebrates the weirdness of Reality Hackers, Mondo 2000 and the others. I still have some back issues and I will see if I can find them, scan them and put them online.

In the mean time, you can read about them here.

Warrior’s Drink

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Music makes this Great!

I sent two stories out today

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

I got lucky and all three meetings that I had today were canceled. I don’t have any deadlines for the next few weeks and I did not feel like writing java code today.

I took my story Carnival of Blood and rewrote the beginning so it would “grab” a little better and shipped it off. This particular editor takes six months to accept stories, but he has bought several of my stories in the past so I figure I have a chance.The story is based on the vampire in Durrell’s book Mountolive.

I then finished a story called The Fat Lady Funeral. I started this a few months ago, but stopped writing it because I realized that I was writing a horror story. It is also a humorous zombie circus story which makes it worse. I dislike horror and I’m not good at it, but I had a thousand words written. I finished it off quick, keeping it under 1500 words so I could enter it in the AussieCon4 short story contest. I had to change the setting from North Carolina to New South Whales and use the phrase “make ready”, which is Australian slang for something. Since I am already a supporting member of Worldcon, I can enter for free so I figured I’d take a stab at the $200 prize and recoup some of my money. It is hard to write a good short story in under 1500 words, though.

I don’t expect to hear from either venue before September.

I am digging through my unfinished stories to find that I might be able to complete today before I go home. I’d like to submit at least one story that I could get a response back in the next few weeks. So far everything needs too much work and I have to start the normal work-a-day grind tomorrow or I’ll get behind.

In the future everyone will have a bar code tattoo

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

In the future everyone will have a bar code tattoo and I have chosen mine. I saw this on Bob Margolin’s Facebook page. I have to start playing some Blues Harmonica again. It’s been too long since I’ve been to a jam.