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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
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Yesterday I got an e-mail from Danielle Ackley-McPhail saying that C.J. Henderson's widow, Tin, wanted to maek sure that there were people to stand up and say things about C.J. during the funeral this morning. I volunteered to be one of those people (along with Dani, John L. French, Jamie Chambers, Marc Cerasini, and various friends, family members, and close friends of C.J.).

Here's what I said:
I'm not sure when I first met C.J. Henderson, but it was probably at a convention, and I think he was trying to sell me a book. I look back over the past 20-plus years that I've been attending science fiction and comics conventions, and C.J. has always been there.

The thing that has stood out to me about C.J. is how he was first, last, and forever, a professional. He was always thinking about the next story, because there always was a next story. Whenever someone came to him with a writing gig, he said yes—and then figured out how he was going to accomplish it. And accomplish it, he almost always did. Because he was just that good.

But it wasn't just his work ethic—which was amazing—or how easy he was to work with—he understood the process well enough to be accommodating to the vicissitudes of the publishing industry—or the ridiculous number of different genres that he not only wrote in, but thrived in. What stood out about C.J. was his willingness to reach out to new and up-and-coming writers and give his time and advice. I can think of half-a-dozen writers off the top of my head—many of whom are in this room—who list C.J. as one of their mentors. He remembered all the people who helped him when he came up in the field, and wanted to continue to do for others what they did for him.

At LI-Con earlier this year, C.J. told the story of his first trip to New York. He walked into the offices of a publishing house and found an editor and asked him questions about how to become a writer. Because, apparently, nobody told him you weren't supposed to do that. That editor sat down and talked with him and gave him some advice that C.J. continued to follow and treasure.

Sadly, C.J. is not the only well-loved genre writer we lost to cancer this year. Jay Lake also lost his similar battle. I have no idea if Jay and C.J. knew each other, but I suspect they would have gotten along. After Jay died, a fellow writer told a wonderful story about how she was angsting about a project and not sure if it would work or if she could do it or if it would sell, and Jay just stared at her and said, "Screw that, just do it."

Those five words Jay said—well, okay, he used a word other than "screw"—pretty much sum C.J. up. He never worried about how to do something, he just did it.

That even extends to his lovely wife, Tin, to whom he was married for three decades. I remember when I heard him tell the story of how he saw her for the first time and decided right there that he was going to marry that woman. As always, he figured out the how later.

C.J. always was generally proud of his own accomplishments, but the only time I ever heard him speak with heartfelt pride was when he discussed Tin and their daughter Erica, whether it was the story of how he fell in love with Tin or of how he and Erica collaborated on Baby's First Mythos: Learning with Lovecraft.

I only got to work with C.J. a couple of times. Once he wrote a story for an anthology I was editing, and once I wrote a story for an anthology he was editing. But we always saw each other at conventions and—between his selling people lots of books—we'd always talk about all kinds of things. He was always jealous of the projects I worked on and I was always jealous of the projects he worked on. We mostly liked the same TV shows and movies, and I particularly remember his lengthy tirade on how awful The Amazing Spider-Man movie was.

He was a cynical S.O.B., and he was a curmudgeon of the highest order. Nobody could piss and moan the way C.J. could. But he was also a genuinely happy person mostly because he got to write all the time and go to conventions all the time and how cool was that? He was never afraid to be silly or ridiculous because life is too short to take it too seriously—as today's gathering is a horrid reminder. He was never afraid to be absurd.

And while he would do panels and Q&A's and such, the memory that we will all carry of C.J. at a science fiction or comics convention will always be him sitting behind a table piled high and deep with his books, selling them to an unsuspecting reading public by the sheer power of his determination and awesomeness. You didn't walk by C.J.'s table without being engaged by him, and it was very rare that he didn't get you to at least pick up one of the books, if not buy one or more of them.

I'm completely sure when I last saw C.J. Henderson. It was definitely at a convention, and I'm sure he tried to sell me a book. It was Balticon, held in a suburb of Baltimore over Memorial Day weekend. Traditionally at Balticon, Dark Quest Books—one of C.J.'s many many many publishers—has held a launch party. This year, the party's prime organizer, the mighty Danielle Ackley-McPhail, told a bunch of us in secret that it was also going to be a surprise party for C.J. and Tin. Memorial Day weekend was also C.J. and Tin's 30th wedding anniversary, and so Danielle surprised them with a cake and presents and cards and such. There was also an auction for which all the proceeds went to C.J.'s considerable medical bills.

But the high point of the evening was when C.J. asked for the microphone and for quiet, and he then turned to Tin and, in front of a room full of people all watching with anticipation, he sang Tony Bennett's "Because of You." Even though his body was ravaged with the cancer and with the chemotherapy, he belted the song out in a resounding voice, and it was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life. There wasn't a dry eye in the place when he was finished.

If I'm forced to have a last memory of C.J., I'm glad that's it, because it was C.J. in a nutshell: at a publishing party, at a convention, declaring his love for his wife, while singing something frivolous and delightful and silly.

Beating the cancer was the first time that he couldn't figure out how to accomplish the task he'd accepted, and we are all the poorer for no longer having C.J. in our lives, and the only consolation is that we did have him in our lives in the first place. Through the words he wrote, through the personality he displayed, through the warmth he expressed, he left the world a better place than it was when he arrived. And that's a legacy we all should aspire to.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: "Jack in the Green" by Jethro Tull

kradical
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Ferengi Love Songs"
Quark is depressed and goes home to his moogie, only to find Grand Nagus Zek hiding in his closet. Meanwhile, Rom and Leeta are getting married -- probably. The DS9 Rewatch sings some "Ferengi Love Songs."

An excerpt:
I mean, you know what you’re getting right there in the title and everything. And the actual love stories here are enough to make you want to throw up, y’know, a lot. Zek and Ishka’s mushy talk is particularly vomit-inducing, not aided by Wallace Shawn’s screech and Cecily Adams’s bellow. (The recasting is unfortunate here. The late Adams does the best she can, but Andrea Martin is an impossibly tough act to follow.) Rom and Leeta are only marginally better, and it mostly works because nobody says “Aw!” more adorably than Chase Masterson and Max Grodénchik cries exactly like the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Mother Goose" by Jethro Tull

kradical
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I FOUR YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!!!

Keith at four

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Heart of New York" by Art Garfunkel

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So my writing schedule is getting entertaining........

Right now, if all goes according to plan, I'll have a 50,000-word novel and two short stories all due in the general vicinity of Labor Day. I can't say what the novel is -- though I'm really going to enjoy writing it if it happens, and it's part of a new line of tie-ins that I'm going to, I think, have a lot to contribute to -- but the short stories are the X-Files and V-Wars tales.

I'm not going to get approval on the novel until the end of this month, so the rest of July is going to be spent working on Without a License, my short story collection: finishing the new Cassie Zukav story for the collection, "Seven-Mile Race," revising the new Dragon Precinct story for same, "Partners in Crime," writing introductions for the stories, and figuring out what order to put the stories.

After that's done, I need to get the XF and VW stories done before diving into the tie-in novel. Busy busy....

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "Inside of Me" by Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul

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Back in college, I discovered a local trio called the Washington Squares. I honestly don't remember if I was first exposed to them on Vin Scelsa's radio show "Idiot's Delight" (on WXRK at the time, still running on WFUV), or if it was when they played a concert at Fordham when I attended. I know I saw them at Fordham, but I can't remember if I was a fan of theirs already. In any case, they were a sort of neo-beatnik group but with lots of post-punk Reagan-era cynicism that played throughout the 1980s, breaking up in 1994 when one of the band members died. Here's their cover of Hoyt Axton's "Greenback Dollar" from a 1987 concert in Maine.

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "Baba O'Riley" by Roger Daltry & the Chieftains

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Ties of Blood and Water"
Kira has herself some serious-ass Daddy issues, as her father figure (Ghemor) returns to the station to die, which reminds her of when her actual father died. Bonus: Weyoun's back! The DS9 Rewatch makes some "Ties of Blood and Water."

An excerpt:
This is the first look at the Weyoun/Cardassian-in-charge dynamic that we’ll see a lot of for the rest of the series, first with Weyoun and Dukat and later with Weyoun and Damar, and what’s particularly fascinating about the former here is that there’s such an obvious difference between their two approaches to all of this. Dukat has everything invested in this—he wants to restore Cardassia to its former glory, going so far as to keep the title he had during Cardassia’s glory days, and insisting on Cardassia’s autonomy even as a Jem’Hadar stands behind him on his shiny new battleship and Weyoun’s there to keep an eye on him. For his part, Weyoun seems to just be enjoying himself, but also doesn’t seem to give all that much of a damn. The intrigue and plotting is an intellectual curiosity at best, but doesn’t really have a helluva lot to do with anything important. Being cloned isn’t the only reason why Weyoun is always left standing...

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Angels Don't Fall in Love" by the Bangles

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new Dragon Precinct story on Kickstarter -- Danthres & Torin's second case!
So I had so much fun writing "When the Magick Goes Away," the first case solved by the partner team of Torin ban Wyvald and Danthres Tresyllione from Dragon Precinct and its sequels, that I figured it was time to write a sequel that tells the story of their second case.

So, as with "WTMGA" (and, for that matter, "Gan Brightblade vs. Mitos the Mighty"), I'm going the crowdfunding route, and offering the story up on Kickstarter. For just two bucks, you'll get a copy of the story, which will show the growing pains of the Torin-and-Danthres partnership as they adjust to each other and to life as partners in solving the crimes of Cliff's End. For five bucks, you can get this and "WTMGA," and for nine bucks you can get all three of the Dragon Precinct Kickstarter stories. Plus there are other nifty rewards for more money......

So please! Go! Support!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Evangelina" by Arlo Guthrie

kradical
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Much Ado for realsies this time
After the comedy of errors (ahem) that was our attempt to see Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte Theatre on Wednesday, we decided to take another shot at it on Sunday. I was having lunch with a friend out on Long Island, but Wrenn went ahead to the standby line around 1pm, and she was closer than we were on Wednesday when we were on that same standby line.

I joined her at 5, and we got to gang up on two French chicks who tried to cut the line (and tried to play innocent and snooty at the same time, something that only French people can actually pull off generally), and sure enough we got tickets! And there was no rain! Which was good, as Sunday was the closing performance....

The play was superb. More than worth the effort. I knew that Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe played Benedick and Beatrice, respectively, but I didn't know that the Johns, Glover and Pankow, were playing, respectively, Leonato and Dogberry. Pankow (probably best known as Ira on Mad About You) was spectacular as Dogberry. I am second to none in my love for Nathan Fillion, who played the role in Joss Whedon's recent film adaptation, but Pankow blew him out of the water. (We will not discuss Michael Keaton's disastrous turn in the role in Kenneth Branagh's film.) As for Glover, he's never not brilliant.

Pedro Pascal, of Game of Thrones fame, had a lot of fun with Don John, basically diving full-tilt into his villainy. He pretty much wore a neon sign that said, "ASSHOLE!" and it worked, since the only reason the plot actually happens is because John is a shit, and I like the way Pascal just embraced it.

But the show was made by Linklater and Rabe. I first noticed both actors in Seminar on Broadway two years ago. I found myself wondering how the play would've been if the entire cast of the other show had been in it, with Jerry O'Connell as Don Pedro, Hetienne Park as Hiro, and Alan Rickman as either Leonato or Don John.

As seemingly always, the roles of Hiro and Claudio were spectacularly unmemorable. The next good Claudio and Hiro I see will be the first, honestly. Broadway musical star Brian Stokes Mitchell deserves kudos for playing Don Pedro, by far the toughest role in the play, as he has to be playful and mischievous and friendly and sympathetic, but he also has to come down on Claudio's side of villifying Hiro, without losing his sympathy as a good character in the story. It's a tough balancing act, but Mitchell managed it, aided by his powerful, deep voice.

This was a great production of a delightful play -- I love the fact that the day is saved by police work (not especially good police work, but still....) -- and I'm glad that after all our adventures we finally got to see it.....

Current Mood: sick sick
Current Music: "Badlands" by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

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Dead Kitchen Radio Episode 41: "Stone Cold Whodunit"
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in honor of the 4th of July, a bit of a Sleepy Hollow tease
In honor of the Independence Day holiday, here's a tiny excerpt from my Sleepy Hollow novel Children of the Revolution. This is from Chapter 7 of the novel, which is a flashback to 1785 and in the point of view of George Washington. His wife Martha is suffering from a raging fever, and the cause is not a nice one.....

This excerpt is copyright 2014 by the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

The excerpt....Collapse )


To find out what happens next, you'll have to buy the book when it comes out in September. Preorder links at Sleepy Reads.....

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "I'm Just a Man" by the Randy Bandits

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We've lost another good writer and good person to cancer this year. C.J. Henderson has been fighting with a most aggressive form of lymphoma for a while now, and today -- while on his way to the hospital to do his latest bout of IV hydration -- he finally lost his fight.

My last memory of C.J. is Balticon in May, and it's a good one. We made the Dark Quest launch party also be a celebration of C.J. and his wife Tin's 30th anniversary, and it was a great party. The best part was when C.J. grabbed a mic and sang Tony Bennett's "Because of You" to her, while we all watched in admiring silence, which was one of the most beautiful things it's been my pleasure to experience.

That's probably how I'm going to remember C.J. That or sitting near him at a convention and watching him sell books from the sheer power of his resilience and patience and aggressiveness. He was always fun to talk to, he was always a great mentor to up-and-coming writers, and he was always a good guy.

He will be missed. *raises glass*

Current Mood: sad sad
Current Music: "John the Revelator" by Gov't Mule

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"We hold these truths to be self-evident," they said, "that all men are created equal." Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had ever bothered to write that down.
---President Bartlet,
The West Wing


The Declaration of Independence


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" by Paul Simon & Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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So Wednesday was quite an adventure.....

Since 1962, the Public Theatre has been doing free performances in the Delacorte Theatre, near the Great Lawn and Belvedere Castle in Central Park, mostly (though not entirely) of Shakespeare plays. You line up outside the theatre for most of the day, and hope to get tickets as they're given out.

I've been attending shows at the Delacorte for as long as I can remember, both as a kid with my parents and in the 1990s when Marina and I lived on the Upper West Side and had an easy time getting tickets (except in 1995 when Sir Patrick Stewart did The Tempest, the first time we ever failed to get tickets).

Productions that particularly stick with me decades later: Morgan Freeman and Tracy Ullman as Petruchio and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, re-done as a Western (starting with a guy who looked for all the world like Walter Brennan, declaring with his thick Southern drawl, "Waylcome tuh PAY-dyoo-uh!"); a production of Julius Caesar in which Jeffrey Wright was the best Marc Antony I've ever seen (he so totally nailed the "Brutus is an honorable man" speech); Hamlet with Sam Waterston (I was six, so all I remember is being really scared by the guy playing Hamlet's father's ghost); Henry V with Meryl Streep as Catherine (I was seven for that one, and only remember the Catherine-learns-English scene); and probably most memorably, Raul Julia and Christopher Walken in Othello (Julia did Othello all big and bombastic, while Walked did Iago from Brooklyn -- it was superb).

Of course, the most memorable production I saw at the Delacorte wasn't Shakespeare, it was Threepenny Opera on the night of 13 July 1977. I remember the date very specifically because in the middle of the performance (in the middle of a song, in fact), the 1977 blackout hit NYC. The singer finished the song (unaccompanied, as the PA piping the music onstage was out), and then someone else came on stage and said, "The lights are out on the east side; the lights are out on the west side. Go home!"

This year, they're doing Much Ado About Nothing (with Hamish Linklater) and King Lear (with John Lithgow). Wrenn and I really wanted to see Much Ado, but we didn't get our fecal matter together to see it until this week -- and it closes Sunday.

We woke up at 7am on Wednesday, finally arriving at the Delacorte at 9am, which was a half-hour later than I'd hoped. The line was very long, but we were told that we were in the "maybe" section. (People on the line are entitled to up to two tickets per person, but sometimes people join friends in line late, and you can't tell who'll ask for one and who'll ask for two, so just counting people in line doesn't help.)

So we sat on a blanket. Wrenn had her laptop and a proofreading gig, I had my tablet and a short story to start ("Seven-Mile Race," a new Cassie Zukav story I'm writing for my upcoming short-story collection), we had cold cuts and cheese and plenty of water and iced tea. Worst case, we'd have a nice day in the park.

Sure enough, we did not get tickets from standing in line. Based on the number of people in front of us, we'd have had to have gotten there about 90 minutes earlier. Which, let's face it, wasn't going to happen. *laughs*

Now, as things are currently arranged with S-i-t-P, there are four ways to get tickets. One is the way we tried. One is to sponsor the year's programming with $200, thus giving you one ticket to each play they're doing on the night of your choosing. The third is to participate in an online lobby. The fourth is to wait on a standby line to see if any of the online lottery winners don't show (they have until 7 to pick up their tickets) or if any of the sponsors who reserved a ticket for that show change their minds.

We considered the standby line, but also -- after sitting in 90-degree weather (in the shade mostly, but still) for three-and-a-half hours -- we wanted air conditioning. So we went to World Coffee on Columbus Avenue to cool off, then went to Magnolia Bakery to get cupcakes (because cupcakes are important), and then at 3.30 we hied back to the Delacorte to sit on the standby line.

This was a great theory until it started raining.

Okay, our original plan was to do Much Ado on Thursday, but the weather report indicated that the beginnings of Tropical Storm Arthur were going to be bringing precipitation down on the Delacorte Thursday night, and so it was a bad idea. (Mind you, that did happen tonight, and we're glad we didn't try today.)

But around 5 or so on Wednesday night, it started raining. It was a faucet, sometimes intense, sometimes light, sometimes clearing up, sometimes getting very very dark. We got very wet, but we'd been there that long, we figured we'd tough it out. Maybe it would lighten up by show time. And we were already soaking wet, and honestly after standing around in 90-degree weather all day, the rain was kinda nice.

At first. After a while, the rain got worse, and we were so soaked through we were worried about getting the chills. But a guy was selling ponchos for $5 each and we bought two, and we felt better. And then the rain lightened up at just before 7 when they released the unclaimed lottery tickets, but before that it had been a monsoon. We figured that rain would scare away a lot of lottery winners, and there'd be plenty of unclaimed tickets.

In that, at least, we were right, as we got two tickets! We immediately bought T-shirts to change into (and we felt so much better) -- and then the rain got a thousand times worse, with the added bonus of tons of thunder and lightning (including one bolt very close to the theatre).

Normally doors open at 7.30 and the show starts at 8, but they held off opening until a decision was made about whether or not the show would go on. At about 8.35 or so, they finally cancelled the show. By this time, we'd been standing under the overhang just outside the Delacorte with an increasing number of cranky wet people, giving the area the atmosphere of a 6 train at rush hour. At around 8.15 or so, I said to Wrenn, "I just want to either see the fucking play or go the fuck home."

We went the fuck home. Now we can wear the t-shirts we bought and say that "We went to see Much Ado About Nothing, but all we got were these lousy t-shirts."

Having said that, we did have fun. We enjoyed hanging out in the park, we got to have Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, which makes every day better, we met some fun people on the line, and we got work done -- Wrenn got through about a third of her proofreading job and I wrote 2000 words of "Seven-Mile Race."

And we're gonna take another shot on Sunday. We'll see what happens............................

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Adam Raised a Cain" by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

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I have set up a place where you can ask me questions on Goodreads, so you should go there and ask me things!

There are already six questions and answers up there, but they're pretty generic questions asked by the Goodreads staff. Having said that, the answer to one of them contains a bit of a tease for Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution..........

So go! Ask!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Freeze Frame" by the J. Geils Band

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We did a board-breaking circle on Monday at the dojo. There were eight of us, so we went around in a circle, first four of us breaking boards held by the person next to us, then switching so the other four could break them. It included myself, Senpai Danielle, Talia, Vivian, Helene, Alicia, Harold, and Kevin. Fun stuff.


Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Fly" by Moxy Fruvous

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Me at my last beach training as a color belt. This was taken in August 2009, two months before I got my first-degree black belt. I'm there with two brown belts who would also go on to become black belts, though they went up after me.

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Current Mood: thankful thankful
Current Music: "I Will Not Go Quietly" by Don Henley

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Business as Usual"
Quark goes into the weapons business. It goes spectacularly badly. Some great guest stars as the DS9 Rewatch sees that it's "Business as Usual."

An excerpt:
Even if the script was horrible—and, while it is a bit simplistic, it isn’t at all horrible—it would be worth it just to have an episode that puts Steven Berkhoff, Josh Pais, and Armin Shimerman together as often as possible. Pais and Shimerman are old pros at the character-actor game, and while Berkhoff is almost comically over-the-top it’s just enough to keep him legitimately scary. The whole episode’s worth it just to watch these three work together. Pais deserves particular kudos, as we’d heard a lot about Gaila, and it’s to the actor’s credit that the real thing more than lives up to the hype, as it were.

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: "Get Behind the Mule" by Tom Waits

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My Stargate SG-1 short story "Time Keeps on Slippin'" is done, and has been trundled off to Sally Malcolm at Fandemonium for inclusion in the forthcoming SG-1/Atlantis anthology Far Horizons.

The story has Samantha Carter as the POV character, and bridges the gap between two seasons of SG-1. I'll say more once MGM approves the thing.....

Onto the DS9 rewatch...........................

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: "Dixie Darling" by Dolly Parton & Arlo Guthrie

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Back in 1979, the U.S. government provided the Chrysler corporation with guaranteed federal loans, and the U.S. military also bought a ton of Dodge trucks, in order to save the company that was hemorrhaging money. For some reason, today's U.S. Supreme Court decision made me think of that, and also this Tom Paxton song written in the wake of the passing of the Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979, called "I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler," which I was first exposed to via Arlo Guthrie's cover of the song on the Precious Friend album. And here it is....

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: "I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler" by Arlo Guthrie

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Today for the second time in ten days, we went to the Bronx Zoo because, well, we're members and we can do that. While the trip on the 18th was for me and Wrenn, today was for two dear friends, Cat and Jack. Cat hadn't been to the Bronx Zoo in 20 years, and Jack had never been, so we let them take the lead. We saw World of Birds, Tiger Mountain, Jungle World, and the Congo, as well as the monkeys outside the butterfly garden, the bison, the swans and ducks, the deer, the polar bear, the snow leopards, the red panda, and more.

Then we hied to Mario's, our favorite restaurant in Little Italy, for dinner. My family are regulars there. Wrenn and I were regulars, but her continued unemployment has made going there every Friday night with my parents much harder. But today was a special occasion, so we splurged.

Just a delightful day. Oh, and it started with me recording an episode of The Batcave Podcast, where host John S. Drew and I discussed the two-parter with Walter Slezak as the Clock King, an episode that has the distinction of being co-scripted by Batman's co-creator Bill Finger.

Here are some pics from the zoo (more on Facebook):

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Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Loves Me Like a Rock" by Paul Simon

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Just back from a most excellent edition of "Lust for Genre," the reading series held at Singularity & Co. in Brooklyn in which authors read works by other authors. I participated in one of these in 2012 (back when it was called "I, Reader") for Hallowe'en, reading Algernon Blackwood's "The Tradition," and this time around it was me, Nelly Reifler (whom I met for the first time), my old buddy Emily Asher-Perrin, and host Ryan Britt.

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Ryan started off by reading from "A Niche in Time" by William F. Temple, a 1965 story that he found one day, and was shocked by its similarities to the Doctor Who episode "Vincent and the Doctor" (he wrote on the subject for Tor.com).

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Then Ryan introduced each of us readers in turn. Emily read from Voltaire's Micromégas from 1752, thus cementing her as the one with the oldest story, as hers wasn't even from the 20th century, as the rest of ours were.

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Nelly read from David Ohle's 1972 opus Motorman, a novel sufficiently convoluted that Nelly felt the need to provide a crib sheet for all of us to help us keep track of things.

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I concluded by reading from Alfred Bester's "The Devil Without Glasses," a short story of his that was found among his papers after his death and which was published for the first time in 1997 in the collection Virtual Unrealities, though it was written much earlier. I actually was the editor responsible for putting the collection together, and while Robert Silverberg picked the published stories to reprint, I had the responsibility of going through Bester's unpublished work and picking stuff to put in as being newly printed for the first time.

Of course, what you can't tell reading it is that Bester was in the midst of revising it when he died. The manuscript I had to work with had 13 pages of newer typeface (including one main character whose name was different) and pages 14ff were much older copies from the earlier draft. The problem was, the bottom of page 13 was not contiguous with the top of page 14. It was only about a paragraph's worth of stuff, but I had to write bridging material. That was fun, a 27-year-old editor trying to ape Alfred Bester's style. I was sweating bullets -- but it must have worked, as two decades later I could not tell you where my patch is in the story now. And nobody hearing me read it tonight noticed any major stylistic change (and Bester's style is distinctive). Whew.

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It was a fantastic evening. Wrenn, Dale, and I got to meet lots of cool people, among them Nelly and Singularity's intern Jen Gambel Wellington, got to see other wonderful folks like Mike Anderson and Kelsey and Leah, and a good time was had by all.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Kodachrome" by Paul Simon

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "A Simple Investigation"
Odo has sex, finally. Unforunately, it's with someone he's investigating. The DS9 Rewatch conducts "A Simple Investigation."

An excerpt:
Probably the biggest problem with this episode is encapsulated by the fact that Odo has nipples. Why does Odo have nipples? Seriously, that makes no sense on any possible level. I mean, yes, they’re there because Rene Auberjonois has nipples, but there’s no reason for them to be there. It’s indicative of the lack of thought that went into this episode, starting with not doing this when Odo was a solid, and then not really embracing the notion of how an animated pile of goo would have sex, but just having Odo kind-of act like a solid, ’cause, y’know, why not?

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Kodachrome/Maybelline" by Simon & Garfunkel

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Me being awarded my green belt in karate by then-Kyoshi Paul in 2006:

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Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Mother Goose" by Ian Anderson w/orchestra

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Farscape Volume 7: The War for the Uncharted Territories on sale NOW!
In case it wasn't clear from the review I posted, Farscape Volume 7: The War for the Uncharted Territories, which contains the whole 12-issue arc in its entirety, is now on sale at your local comic shop, and possibly at a bookstore here and there. It's co-plotted by series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon, co-plotted and scripted by me, with art by Will Sliney.

This has the Kkore invasion of the Uncharteds, which was set up in the previous stories Red Sky at Morning and Compulsions, as well as the Scorpius comics arcs in Let Seeping Dogs Lie and Glorious Basterds. It all comes to a head here, as each nation in the Uncharteds falls one by one to the Kkore, leaving only the Peacekeepers -- now under the command of Aeryn Sun -- to face the Kkore alone. Everything changes in this storyline, as Crichton, Aeryn, Chiana, Rygel, and the rest must face their greatest foe.

This trade includes one portion -- originally published as issue #17, entitled "The Mediocre Escape" -- which features only Rygel and Scorpius as they escape from the Kkore, and it's one of my favorite things I've ever written (and the issue Will had the most fun drawing).

So check it out!

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Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Something So Right" by Paul Simon

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Guys, I hate to do this, but we're in a serious bind right now. I've got projects in the hopper, and the long-term outlook is generally good, but short-term we need to do things like feed ourselves (not to mention the dog and cats), and it's gonna be a bit before the Money of Substance comes in.

To that end, I've put a copy of the Doctor Who anthology Decalog 3: Consequences up on eBay -- this 1996 anthology has, not only my first Who story, but also the first Who story by current show-runner Steven Moffat -- and I'm also putting out this latest version of my regular reminder that I have several of my books for sale, including a few new items I dug up in the garage (also when I found Decalog 3....).

So please buy my books. I'll autograph 'em and everything! You'll be glad you did. Just send the amount of the books you want (listed below), plus $5 for shipping domestically (if you're doing international, e-mail me at krad at whysper dot net, and we'll discuss how to handle international postage) either via PayPal to keith at decandido dot net or send a check/money order for the amount to me at PO Box 4976, New York, NY 10185-4976. (Be sure to provide a shipping address and to whom you want the book(s) inscribed.)

EDITED TO ADD: Thanks to a huge outpouring of support, we are sold out of some stuff already....

Here's what's available:

anthologies/collections
These three anthologies that I edited are from the mid-1990s and are long out of print. They include tales by Harlan Ellison & Robert Silverberg (collaborating!), Tanith Lee, S.P. Somtow, Anne McCaffrey, Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Alfred Bester, among many more.
SOLD OUT The Ultimate Alien -- $15
SOLD OUT The Ultimate Dragon -- $15
SOLD OUT Virtual Unrealities: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester -- $15

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Xander Years Volume 1 -- $7

Cassie Zukav
SOLD OUT Bad-Ass Faeries: It's Elemental -- $15
Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet -- $15

Command and Conquer
Tiberium Wars -- $8

Dragon Precinct
Dragon Precinct -- $15
Unicorn Precinct -- $15
Goblin Precinct -- $15
Gryphon Precinct -- $15
Tales from Dragon Precinct -- $15
any 3 Precinct books -- $40
any 4 Precinct books -- $55
all 5 Precinct books -- $65

Dungeons & Dragons
Dark Sun: Under the Crimson Sun -- $8

Farscape
comic books

I have various single issues of the Farscape comics for $4 each:
Gone and Back #1-3
D'Argo's Lament #4
D'Argo's Trial #1-2, 4
D'Argo's Quest #2-4
Farscape (ongoing) #3-8, 12, 14-16, 21-23
graphic novels
SOLD OUT Compulsions -- $15

movie novelizations
Darkness Falls -- $7
Resident Evil: Genesis -- $7

Tales of the Scattered Earth
Guilt in Innocence -- $15

Spider-Man
Venom's Wrath -- $10
Down These Mean Streets -- $8

Star Trek
Corps of Engineers: Out of the Cocoon -- $15
The Klingon Art of War -- $26
SOLD OUT Tales of the Dominion War -- $15

Super City Police Department
The Case of the Claw -- $15

World of Warcraft
Cycle of Hatred -- $8

Young Hercules
Cheiron's Warriors -- $3
The Ares Alliance -- $3
both YH books -- $5

Current Mood: worried worried
Current Music: "The Indifference of Heaven" by Warren Zevon

who is this guy?
Keith R.A. DeCandido
User: kradical
Name: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Website: DeCandido.net
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