Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bill Gates - Reanimator

Hey, I was in the States last week. Or this week. I forget because I am probably still lagged from jetting over 9 hours of timezone. Yes, I was in Seattle (via Amsterdam, hence the extra hour) at the behest of a small company over there name of Amazon. You might have heard of them. You may have heard negative things about them, things about monopolies and doing the independents out of business and destroying the publishing industry. Well, all I can say is that they know how to treat an author. And if they treat you well too, dear reader, then that's a pretty good deal. Right? See them as the dark overlord if you like, but I can assure you that they are a bunch of bright, imaginative men and women trying to find new and better ways of doing things. And they are book people. There is a new paradigm going on and they are at the heart of it, cutting unseen shapes from the rock-face. Lucky them. Lucky you.

Lucky me.

Oh yes, I love going to America. For one, I like hearing that accent. It is an accent purpose-built for pop culture, and having it around makes you feel like you're on a movie set. But Seattle is a bit different. Not that I have even scratched the surface of the USA, but I can tell an anomaly when I look at one. For starters, parts of it stink. Bad. I am talking urine. Also something unidentified but much worse, over by East Pine St. Whatever that thing is, I don't want to see it. I suspect it is Lovecraftian, and better left untampered with. Seattle is that kind of town. To see the Great God Cthulhu rising from the depths of Lake Washington would not surprise me. Of course, my mind would be scrambled before surprise could even register, but you know what I mean.

Maybe that's what Bill Gates is. Maybe he is one of the Old Ones - the tentacled one itself - returned into our midst under a vaguely human form to entrance us with his DOS and Windows 3.1 operating systems. I saw him while I was there, by the way. I took the advice of author William Lashner and went to a Mariners and LA Angels baseball game, and they trotted him out to do some guest pitching before the game. I'm pretty sure I also saw Kurt Cobain, down by that big totem pole near Pike Place Market. Is that possible? Could Bill Gates have brought him back to some awful semblance of life somehow, using ancient and unthinkable magic? Cobain did appear to have small gills on the side of his neck, so who knows?

Friday, August 02, 2013

I Hear Thunder

I have been neglecting this blog of late, so it's good that from now on I have an excuse to update it at least once a month. Yes, I speak of the monthly book charts. July was good, but not as good as June, which was pretty awesome by Mangel standards. (But hey, Mangel standards are pretty low. There probably isn't even a bookshop in Mangel. But there *is* a tattoo parlour.)

So, without further prattle, and with the thunder and lightning kicking off behind me, here are July's charts:

  1. Deadfolk
  2. Made of Stone
  3. Fags & Lager
  4. King of the Road
  5. One Dead Hen
  6. Stairway to Hell

So that's pretty much no change, other than #1 and #2 swapping. And the fact that I called it "Fags & Lager" instead of "Booze & Burn" this time. Obviously Fags is my preferred title, but titles are overrated anyway. Charles Willeford's THE DIFFERENCE is still the same book if you call it THE HOMBRE FROM SONORA. And a hell of a book.