Tri-State Magic Auction

Madhouse Manor

tri-state magic auction Maine/New Hampshire/Massachusetts Auction

ANNUAL MAGIC AUCTION

Sunday, April 19, 2020

BJ Hickman, MC and Auctioneer

LOCATION-The Chill Function Hall

580 US Highway 1 Bypass, Portsmouth, NH

It’s in the back of The Roundabout Restaurant and next door to the Holiday Inn

Time: Sellers Set Up8:30 am

Auction Viewing9:00 am

Auction9:30-4:00

Lunch Break1:00

Admission$7.00

To be a Seller – Contact Mike Aranda, Auction Chair(jediwakko@msn.com) to let him know that you wish to sell. Sellers will be placed in the order that you contact Mike.

Questions:Contact Mike or Nancy Frankel (corkysmagic@gmail.com)

NOTE: Everyone read the fine print please:

PARKING: The entrance to THE CHILL is at the right of the building. Sunday morning is a very busy time for the restaurant. Sellers may unload at The Chill entrance but there is NO PARKING in front of the restaurant. Everyone must park…

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Somebody Else’s Train Wreck

As a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (a famously contentious organization that once took six months of vicious internal debate and a nonbinding poll of the membership to decide how to abbreviate its own name†), I’m watching the current explosions over at Romance Writers of America with a connoisseur’s eye.

The thing that boggles me is that the so-called “ethics complaint” that their ethics committee (or maybe — it’s confusing — not the official ethics committee, but some sort of double-secret private ethics committee) brought against Courtney Milan boiled down to “Courtney Milan made mean comments in public about another member’s book.” To which all I can say is, if that were an ethics-complainable offense in SFWA, there wouldn’t be more that three or four of us who weren’t thrown out of the club for it.

Back in the pre-Web days, when the romance writers and the sf/fantasy writers were first meeting up with each other on GEnie and other online fora, there were some real first-contact cultural clashes that went on, a lot of them over the way that the sf/fantasy people were “rude and mean” and the romance people were “too sweet to be real.” Things calmed down after a while, and everyone got used to the idea that “fuck you” in one forum could be the equivalent of a friendly punch on the shoulder, and “bless your heart” in another forum could be the equivalent of a shiv between the ribs, and everybody got together behind the idea that writers deserved royalties and certain publishing houses were scum.

But I think now we’re seeing, among other things, the failure mode of the Culture of Nice: The ride may be smoother than you get with the Culture of Contention, but when the wheels come off they fly in all directions.


SFWA. Per  eventual official decree, the actual acronym is SFFWA — with the second F superimposed upon the first. It also says a lot about SFWA that the membership accepted this as a perfectly logical compromise.

Welcome Back to the Sun!

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it, and to all of you who don’t, may you have the happiest possible midwinter (or midsummer, if you’re in the other hemisphere) holiday of your choice!

(And if you don’t do holidays, have a pleasant non-holiday doing what you will!)

Also — it’s not too late to take advantage of my seasonal editorial sale, which runs through Twelfth Night (5 January 2020.)

 

Nashua Winter Holiday Stroll

Madhouse Manor

Come see the Granite State Magicians (including your handsome young friend, me) at the Holiday Stroll this Saturday, November 30th, in Nashua NH.Jim Macdonald, Magician

We’re putting on a free magic show as part of the festivities at 30 Temple Street, Lower Level, between 7:10 and 8:10 pm.  The performers will be Lord and Lady BlackSword, Wayne Harmon, Jim Macdonald, and Corky the Clown.

I promise you a good time! (And don’t forget all the rest of the events at the Winter Holiday Stroll….)

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Happy Official Start of Leaf-Peeping Season Day!

Hey, if we’re going to continue with the grand renaming of everything, I might as well plump for my own candidate.

This date has long been the time when the New England autumnal colors start to peak, up here at the northern end of their range.  A dedicated leaf-peeper can start up here and follow the colors southward to finish up in Connecticut, by which time we up here are looking at bare trees and starting to fret about the first snowfall.

Sigh.

I wake up and scan CNN for the morning news and find this:

“The “OK” hand gesture is now a hate symbol, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.”

I really really hate it when something long-time innocuous or even positive gets co-opted by the alt-right extremist nutjobs, so that it’s no longer available for use by normal people. Because while I may think that the proper response to such highway robbery — and it is robbery; they are taking something from us without our consent — is not passive acquiescence but active pushback, that is not how it works in today’s world.

(I mean, you can’t even fly the goddamned flag any more without people thinking that you are, at best, a MAGA-hat-wearing right-winger.)

And the most annoying thing about the OK-sign story? The part where it all started as a hoax on 4chan. I mean, I said to someone a while back that I could probably pick something — anything at all — and start a rumor that it was linked to something else despicable, but I hadn’t realized that someone had actually done it.

So We Watched Veronica Mars Season the Next

They call it Season Four, but it’s post-VM-the-Movie, so I suppose we’re supposed to regard the movie as Season Three Point Five?

Anyhow . . . good show, better than Original Season Three, also better than VM-the-Movie.  And like everyone else on the internet, I have opinions about That Ending.

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER  ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

Actually, I think it was a good ending for the season, mostly because it could be worked multiple ways depending upon the future, if any, of the televised Mars-verse.  To wit:

If there are no more Veronica Mars series, specials, movies, or related works, then the fact that Logan died is genre-appropriate, since VM takes place in one of the sunny California suburbs of the Land of Noir, and in noir detective fiction everything always ends up sucking, especially for the detective protagonist.

If there is another series, or another movie, then the “we never saw a body” and “nobody ever actually says the ‘dead’ word” factors come into play, and more choices open up.  Again, to wit:

If they can’t get Jason Dohring to come back, or if he doesn’t want to come back, or if they just don’t feel like working with the character any more, then Logan stays dead as a string-art nail.  Dead!Logan could either just be a part of Veronica’s Tragic Past, or he could be the heart of her next investigation, since another of the rules of the Mars-verse is that nothing is ever what it seems to have been the first time around.

If, on the other hand, they do want to keep on working with the character, and we’ve got NotActuallyDead!Logan in play, then we’ve got the how and the why of that to drive a future season. The current season made a lot of hay out of Logan’s intelligence work, including sudden summonses to active duty while he was supposedly on extended leave, and references to combat experience, and the fact that he’s learned to speak Arabic — not an easy thing; Uncle Sam will teach it to you if he thinks you’ll need to know it, but the course is no picnic — and maybe it was just window-dressing, but it could also have been positional play for possible future stuff.

(And am I the only person who thinks that the tale of how Logan Echolls transformed himself from “aimless layabout with anger issues” into “responsible US Naval officer with what looks to be a good career going for him” would actually have made an interesting story all on its own?)

Also — I initially tried to hide the spoilers more subtly with a cut tag, but my html-fu wasn’t up to the task.

HORROR FOR THE THRONE

Over on Jim Macdonald’s blog, an ANNOUNCEMENT:

Madhouse Manor

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Ian Randal Strock’s Fantastic Books has contracted with James D. Macdonald, Judith K. Dial, and Tom Easton for an anthology of 40 short horror stories to be called

HORROR FOR THE THRONE

ONE-SITTING READS

We will open for submissions on August 8, 2019. Submissions will close September 15, 2019.  Proposed publication date is early 2020, in all the usual paper and electronic formats.

We’re looking for reprints.  Previously published where the rights have reverted to the author.   500-2000 words.  Pay is $20 flat fee for non-exclusive reprint rights.  The stories should NOT involve bathroom horror.

Send submissions (and questions) to Tom at profeaston@verizon.net.

The book will join SCIENCE FICTION FOR THE THRONE and FANTASY FOR THE THRONE on Ian’s dealer table at numerous conventions (as well as on his website at fantasticbooks.biz and on Amazon etc.). With luck, everyone will decide they just have…

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These Days, the Internet Would Fall on Their Heads.

It’s not only future right-wing conservative Supreme Court justices who engage in youthful hijinks involving blackface; once upon a time, the young Virginia Woolf and her friends did something much the same, impersonating the Prince of Abyssinia and his entourage and convincing the CO of HMS Dreadnaught to give them a royal welcome and an official tour.

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(That’s Woolf on the far left, in drag and — frankly — fairly unconvincing makeup.)

Everybody seemed at the time to regard this as a jolly good prank, with the exception of the British Navy, which was embarrassed. (What the Abyssinians thought about the whole affair doesn’t seem to have been recorded — if, indeed, they heard about it at all.)

There’s a 2017 New Yorker article about the affair that waxes pontifical about the symbolic meanings underlying the hoaxers’ acts. It makes some interesting points . . . but as far as I can tell, the hoaxers were just upperclass intellectual twits whose agenda, if they had one, could be boiled down to “make Authority look silly.”

“An Accomplished Man and a Gallant Officer….”

From Jim Macdonald’s blog, the first stop on our Major Andre Historical Tour:

Madhouse Manor

John André, A Representation of Major John André…going from the Vulture Sloop of War, aquatint, circa 1781. John André, A Representation of Major John André…going from the Vulture Sloop of War, aquatint, circa 1781.

Although I grew up in the area I had never paid much attention to this part of American history.  I therefore determined that, since I was once again in southern New York for a science fiction convention that I would go down a few days early to follow the path of Major John André, Adjutant-General to the British Army during the American Revolution.

Haverstraw Beacj State Park

Our first stop was the Treason Site, where Major André met with Lieutenant General Benedict Arnold.  We drove up from Nyack, NY, under clouds that threatened rain, to Haverstraw, NY.  There, in the woods that are now Haverstraw Beach State Park, André came ashore and met with Arnold. From Nyack you go north on Rt 9W (Not, as you might think, 9 West, but 9W.  There…

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