The new Dune opens here on the 21st. I am undecided as to whether I want to go see it dubbed in Spanish. In DF (Mexico City for the uninitiated), shows are listed as either ESP or SUB, for Spanish or subtitled. Given the choice, I would go to an English version and deal with the subtitles intruding on the visuals. Here in Oaxaca, there is no such distinction between showings, and I suspect it will all be dubbed. That will make the visuals better, without all the pesky words at the bottom, and would ostensibly be good practice for my language skills. What would you do, assuming you had a moderate proficiency in Spanish?


80 words

A while back, I entered Atmosphere in a writing contest. I'll find out in February whether it wins. In the meantime, I'm getting constant invitations to enter other contests. Today it was one asking for an 80 word story. Turns out I have to subscribe for $10 a month to enter, so no thanks. (Entering my novel cost $65)

So here is my 80 word story.

“Thank you,” she said, for what he wasn’t sure.
It wasn’t as if he knew what he was doing, or had some kind of innate ability. In fact, he was quite aware that he was painfully inexperienced and inept.
Yet “thank you,” was what she said.
Many years later, it occurred to him that he had been nothing more than a donor.
“You are welcome,” he whispered, and then laughed, in that dishonest way that terribly sad people often do.

Best review of my book yet!

I met this woman and her husband in Wichita, by chance. Mentioned my book in casual conversation and she ordered a copy on the spot. Here is what she had to say:

What a treat! The characters grabbed me from page one. I was impressed by the author's ability to keep the many characters distinct and relatable. Each character was made into someone I could see and hear as I read. I felt like I knew them.

There were plenty of details, and yet never did I find myself skimming ahead to skip over an overly expansive description, because there were none (unusual for me not to skim ahead!). All the details needed were provided, but never more than were needed. Some very important facts were dropped like Easter eggs in an open field. They were there and obvious, but the author trusted his readers to pick them up, without making a huge fuss over them.

Science fiction by its nature is a balance of suspending logic and having believable (within the suspension of logic) situations and mechanics. This book nailed it!

Having met the author randomly under a giant statue at the confluence of two rivers in what seemed like the opening of a great book itself, I was excited to buy his book. I love reading "first novels," and didn't expect it to be this GREAT! I had to double check his bio to be sure I had it right about it being his first, because this does NOT seem like a "first novel." It was more in the league of a Crichton or Koontz.

Nicely done! Now, I NEED that second book!

He Died 50 Years Ago Today

I was 12. I had no idea how much we had lost.

"To me, politics is nothing more than the search of certain individuals for private power. They can cloak it in any ideology and any romantic, philosophical bullshit terms they want, but it’s essentially a private search for power. I think your politics, your religion, your philosophy are not so much what you smoke, what you drink, what you wear … your hair, your face, what you’ve done. Your religion or your politics is what you devote the majority of your time to. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s outbursts of achievement. I don’t think it matters whether you’re a communist, anarchist, capitalist. It doesn’t matter."


JXDN - Pray

I saw this kid mentioned in Rolling Stone. I went through a number of his videos. All are solid compositions, reminiscent of 90's bands like Eve6. Most were a bit too teen love gone wrong song for my taste, but that is where he's coming from and who he is singing to.All of them are tight and catchy. He has a great future. This song is a powerful suicide prevention fundraiser.