Thursday, January 28, 2010

Soon... Soon...

In the next week or so, I'll be launching a new website. Not a replacement for this little blogish thing -- to which I've become emotionally attached over the last few years -- but this one will be an advertisement for myself (thank you Norman Mailer). Specifically, it will be to pimp my talents as a reader of my own and other people's books.

Not much to say about it. It's not going to be revolutionary. I hope it will be a good-looking site and one which is easy to navigate. I hate cute sites that explode and have burning skeletons on them and... Well, you know!

This will just be me, a short bio, some sound clips and descriptors and the contact information.

So if you happen on this page and are already interested because you've heard me on the StarShipSofa or Escape Pod and have something you've written that cries out for a voice, give me a call, send me a note, let me know.

Monday, January 18, 2010

As Seen on TV

I’m not a fisherman. My father, was. In that way that people with passion have of viewing their personal joys, he would take me, holidays and birthdays, to some river or lake and sit me down, bank or boat, and get me to be quiet, observant of water and the signs of fish. I accepted his efforts in the spirit which he offered them. They were generosity. He was giving something of himself.

I never learned to like the sport.

Later - much later - I was watching something on late night television. As a constant, interrupting every 12 minutes, was Ron Popeil. Among other things, he was hawking his dad’s invention, the Popeil Pocket Fisherman, an item at the time I thought was about the niftiest thing I’d ever seen. I was still young, and this was a long-ago part of the old century and there were few marvels abroad in the world.

Okay? I hated commercials that interrupted “Citizen Kane," “Rocketship X-M” and whatever else kept me close to that dream-state young American males of the 60s seemed to pull over them like a blanket in the after-midnight of the heart. Still…that thing, the little thing you could stick in the glove compartment and which took the place of the whole trunkload and backseatful of stuff my dad and I trundled and packed before setting forth on what I knew would be a long day of bobbing and sweating and silence…even if we were just heading up to Antietam Reservoir. Well, that was worth a few minutes.
Later, when I reached the age of being a fully realized self-seeking smug American male, I thought, “why not just tell him? Say, ‘I don’t like fishing.’ There it is.” I didn’t. And, by then, he was no longer insisting I go with him.

Later still, I was glad that I hadn’t. I would have missed having to sit in a boat or on a bank, the silence and the seeking for fish signs with my dad, whom I wouldn’t have for too many more years. The Pocket Fisherman? I bought one. Not from a late night pitch by Ron on behalf of his dad’s invention. I found one at a yard sale. Bought it. Loved it. Used it to cast lead sinkers in the yard. I got good. I had it for years. I never fished with it. Finally, it was beautiful. And it represented the bright edge of a long-remembered gift from my father.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


I wanted to let all 6 of you who frequent this place know that the benefit sale of my novella, LORD DICKENS'S DECLARATION, went very well at the British podcast site StarShipSofa ( Thanks to a push by a large number of people in the genre community including Neil Gaiman, Corey Doctorow, John Scalzi, Poppy Z. Brite, Matthew Sanborn Smith and others, sales more than tripled the expectations of the StarShipSofa's editors.

I'm not arrogant enough to think it was because of me or the story -- of which I am proud -- but rather, the affection in which the Robinson's are held and the good-will of the Season. So, if you helped, thanks. I hope you enjoy the story and will stop back over to listen to it. The three-part audio epidsode is still available for free at the Starship. It begins on Aural Delight number 111 and goes through number 113.

On a separate note:I found out yesterday that my short story, THEN JUST A DREAM, was voted Best Short/Flash Fiction of the Year by the StarShipSofa in Great Britain.This is the piece that won the Flash Fiction Contest at the World Horror Convention in Toronto in 2007 -- the one Marty Mundt didn't enter -- so this is the DREAM's second award. Maybe I actually ought to try to sell it. That above? That's me, 50 pounds ago and reading, as they say, like a motherfucker to get THEN JUST A DREAM read under the time limit.

In added awards news, I tied with Spider Robinson for the StarShip's Best Narrator of the Year. Which amazes me. If you've never heard him, Spider is fantastic.

If you're interested by the way, you can still contribute to the Jeanne and Spider Robinson fund by going to the StarShip, scrolling down to the first episode of LORD DICKENS... and pretend you're going to buy it. You'll be directed!

Or you can just click on this:

Happy New Year, Happy End of the Decade. The picture below? Just a reminder of the Season that's slipping past and of the tree the cats knocked down last night.