October 14th, 2013


my Sunday feeling

New York Comic-Con was most excellent this year. I'm too pooped to go to the effort of uploading all the photos, but most of them are on my "mobile uploads" album on Facebook, which is viewable by the general public even if we're not "friends" on FB.

But a great time was had by all. Didn't really get to do much podcasting stuff, even though it was a booth for The Chronic Rift, as real-life obligations kept Rift guru John S. Drew away from the con, but I sold lotsa books and met lotsa people and saw lotsa folks I hadn't seen in a while.

I also had some other folks in the booth. I figured I would draw some foot traffic to the booth if I had some other stuff besides my writing, and it also gave me a chance to help out a couple of friends. Two dear friends do face-painting and balloon twisting, and I had them both in the booth -- Lilly Hayes of Thoroughly Modern Lilly was there Friday to do balloon-twisting, and Margie Nugent and Karla Thompson of Making Faces Parties did face/body painting and glitter tattoos. They both did superb work, and made a lot of people at the con very happy.

Including me, and not just because I got to help two friends promote their business and make some money -- though that was nice -- but also getting to meet new people and sell a ton of books. Seriously, I sold a little of everything, and out of a lot of things (the only books I brought along that I didn't sell at least one of was Farscape Vol. 6: Compulsions -- sold out of all but two other of the ten Farscape trades, and those other two only had one copy each left, but poor Compulsions was unloved -- and my Scattered Earth novel), and the table was way emptier at the end of the weekend than the start. I also gave away lots of cards (which emphasized The Klingon Art of War coming out in May, and also listed other of my work), and did some networking and such (including touching base with an editor and with an audio company with whom I hope to possibly be working).

One person I got to see a lot of was Christopher L. Bennett, fellow author, who drove in from Ohio and crashed with us while he did the con, promoting his original novel Only Superhuman (newly out in paperback and audio, the hardcover having been released last year) and his Enterprise novel The Rise of the Federation.

I must also give mucho credit to Wrenn, who was hugely helpful in keeping me in food and drink and keeping an eye on the table when I needed to use the restroom or do that aforementioned networking -- not to mention driving me down Thursday and dropping me off with all the books so I didn't have to haul them on the subway.

Now, though, it's bedtime. This week, I have to start on the next Cassie Zukav story, "Fish out of Water," for Jonathan Maberry's Out of Tune anthology, not to mention maybe some day recording Dead Kitchen Radio again...........................
  • Current Music
    "Big Ol' Bone" by the Austin Lounge Lizards

happy Bartolomé Day!

Columbus Day has always been a holiday I've hated. Back when I was a kid, I never understood how Columbus could possibly have "discovered" something that had people on it. (Later, of course, I learned that he never even made it to North America, only arriving at the Bahamas and never getting that far.) Plus, of course, he was allegedly searching for Asia, so he not only allegedly "discovered" North America, he also mistook it for somewhere else entirely. And this guy gets a holiday?

The more I learned, the less impressed I was. The Oatmeal nicely sums up just how repugnant a human being Columbus was (thanks to fellow Chronic Rift-ee Krissy Myers for the link), but the short version is that he was a racist tyrannical homicidal gold-digging fucknut. A lot of the bullshit about Columbus that has been perpetrated over the years comes directly from an 1828 book by Washington Irving entitled A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, which was more of a hagiography than a biography, and also purest horseshit -- but it's the source of most of the rote myth surrounding Columbus that most people believe.

Having said that, the holiday comes from a good place. Columbus Day became a holiday in the 1930s after lobbying by the Knights of Columbus to have a federal holiday that showed the contributions of Italians and Catholics to American history. See this NPR article as well as this American Interest article (thanks to, respectively, The Mom and SM Rosenberg), but the short version is that Italians and Catholics were both heavily discriminated against in this country, and the Knights were working to reverse that prejudice. Still, while their motive were good ones -- speaking as an Italian American, I can safely say that we're still marginalized (I challenge folks to find a substantive number of Italian characters in pop culture who aren't mobsters and/or caricatures, especially compared to the number of WASPs and Irish characters) -- they really made a crummy choice of role model.

The Oatmeal suggests instead celebrating Bartolomé Day, after Bartolomé de las Casas, who was also a racist fucknut explorer, but who later in life repented and fought for the rights of the natives who were enslaved and murdered by Europeans. After all, redemption stories are way cooler than whitewashed genocide.

Or we could just call it "Monday." Hell, I'm a freelancer, federal holidays don't mean much to me..............

(This post grew out of a discussion on Facebook. Feel free to add to the discussion here or there.)
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    "Soda Pop" by John Fogerty