This morning, while my friend Herky was qualifying for the Boston Marathon with a time of under 3:30 in the Pacific Northwest Marathon (way to go, Herky!), I was doing a little running of my own... running down to the local comic shop for Free Comic Book Day, that is. :)
Free Comic Book Day is a good time to reiterate a certain point that I feel fairly strongly about. Yes, the movies based on the comics are great (no, haven't seen Age of Ultron yet!) and the other comic-based products are fun (the Arkham Asylum videogame series has been a hot topic in our house lately), BUT... I think it's really important to remember the COMIC BOOKS.
The comics are the roots and the origins. The books present the special and unique sequential art. So when you're embracing the comic culture, don't neglect the foundation of the industry. Show some love to the writers and artists... go buy a comic book.
Made a great find at a used bookstore in Carson City, Nev., a few weeks ago, this copy of Astounding Science Fiction magazine from September 1957. It's pretty beat-up, with the back cover missing and the front cover torn and doodled on(!), but the cover story is Robert Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy, part one of a four-part serialization.
Also of note in this issue, a letter to editor John Campbell from Roberta Wild, secretary of the 15th World Science Fiction Convention, slated for Sept, 7-9, 1957 in London, with details about the event, including the fees: Membership fee $1; Entrance fee $1; Convention Luncheon $1.50; Hotel $2.85 for bed and breakfast, lunch $0.80, dinner $0.90.
Wow. Just wow. :)
I'll let you in on a little secret.
My story that appears in the REUNIONS anthology, published by the Short Story and Flash Fiction Society (on my birthday, believe it or not!), is actually a sequel to another story, one that is soon-to-be published in the OFF THE EDGE anthology by Futurological Press.
So chronologically, the order of the stories is "Christina and the Agency School" and then "Christina and Theresa and Cassandra." But the order of publication is "Christina and Theresa and Cassandra" and THEN "Christina and the Agency School."
I know... more background info than you ever wanted to read about, right? :)
But anyway, you can buy the REUNIONS anthology at Amazon, or even read it for free, if you are a member of Amazon Prime. If you do read it, do me a favor and leave a comment. Somebody once said that reviews are like tips to independent writers, and it's really kind of true.
And also click on over to the SS&FFS website and check them out, they are doing a lot to help promote modern ultra-short fiction!
Yes, I've been neglecting the blog. And yes, everyone else in the world has posted their own personal remembrances of the great Leonard Nimoy.
So if you're burnt out on Nimoy nostalgia, feel free to skip this post and wait for the next one. I promise it won't be as tardy as this one.
THE THREE FACES OF NIMOY
1. Of course, there's Nimoy's role as Mr. Spock. The photo at the top of this post was taken at the Trek convention in Las Vegas several years ago. We had the incredible pleasure of attending a presentation by both Nimoy and William Shatner onstage at once. What a memory.
On another note, I thought I'd bring up some Spock information that might not be so widely known. At least, I know that I was surprised when I read it. I tend to think of fan-fiction as a fairly recent phenomenon, but according to the 1975 book, Star Trek Lives!, fan fiction, complete with 'shipping, was quite a lively product of the Star Trek television series. In fact, the fan-driven fantasies about the Trek characters were so spicy that they resulted in the Star Trek fanzine running a full centerfold of Mr. Spock, complete with all that is implied by that statement. Wow. 'Nuff said.
2. Secondly, Leonard Nimoy was a great role model in the Jewish community. Of course, it's no secret that the Vulcan hand sign is something that he developed from memories of the Kohanim priestly blessing. And he's also talked about the Jewish values inherent in the Star Trek mythos, as well. Beyond the connections between ST and Judaism, Nimoy was active in a wide range of issues, from promoting the feminine in the Jewish tradition, to working against the claims of Holocaust deniers, to advocating a more 'big-tent' concept of Judaism.
3. And finally, he was a fellow resident of the Sierra Nevada. So many interviews and press items about Leonard Nimoy note his Los Angeles home, but up until very recently, he had a home here in the Reno-Tahoe area as well, and we were very proud to count him as one of our neighbors. In 2005, he performed in the Lake Tahoe Music Festival, narrating Garrison Keller’s "Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra." And when my daughter spoke with him at the 2009 Trek convention, he asked where she was from, and when she told him, "Reno," he replied, "Oh, I live there, too!"
So anyway, I hope that wherever he is, he gets a chance to see how much he meant to so many people.
I'm pleased and proud to announce that my short story, "Independent Contractor," has been shortlisted for the current Mash Stories competition.
You can find the story at http://mashstories.com/shortlist/independent-contractor/. Please click on over, give it a read, and if the spirit so moves you, vote for it in the Mash Short Story Competition. Being shortlisted means that my story is in the running to win, and while reader votes alone do not determine the winner, they are taken into consideration by the judges. (The link above goes to my story, "Independent Contractor," which I would rate at about a 'PG-13' advisory level. If you want to read some of the other shortlisted entries, please be advised that some are what I would definitely rank as being in the 'R' rating.)