Thumbs up for The Fox’s Tower and Other Stories by Yoon Ha Lee. Science fiction and fantasy short stories.

I’ve raved about Lee’s work here before and will do so again. If you’re not ready to commit to his bizarre and wonderful trilogy about starship warfare based around calendars, try The Fox’s Tower. Most of the stories are at most a page or two, poetic and strange and warm.… >> Read more

Balthazar, before the lunch rush hits

Last night I lamented to a friend that so far the best food I’d tasted on my vacation was my friend Mandy’s homemade pot roast (which is, I grant you, hard to compete with). He suggested Balthazar. Why did I not just ask him to begin with? Balthazar was amazing – the latte, the food, and the service were all miles better than everything I’ve had so far.… >> Read more

Manhattan, Day 4

Today was my Met day. The friend I’m staying with lives in Midtown, so I decided to walk up through the park rather than take the bus. Of course it decided to rain buckets and buckets and buckets and I did not dry out in the four hours I was in the museum. Water even got inside the sleeves of of my heavy lined wool coat and my knee-high leather boots.… >> Read more

Manhattan, Day 3

Drew, the brother of my friend David, generously showed me around town today. First Central Park, then up to the Met Cloisters (which was never a monastery, but contains the cannibalized bits of several).

Then after some fuss with trains, down to Greenwich Village in the blinding rain to meet David and watch The Seventh Seal, as one usually does on vacation.… >> Read more

Walking up to the Strand

Yves Tanguy – Extinction of Useless Lights Vasily Kandinsky – Picture with an Archer Frantisek Kupka – Mme Kupka among Verticals Francis Picabia – I See Again in Memory My Dear Undnie Henri Matisse – The Blue Window Henri Matisse – The Red Studio Claude Monet – Agapanthus (detail) Cy Twombly – The Four Seasons (Winter) Nosebleeds at the Lyceum to see The Play that Goes Wrong

>> Read more

Manhattan, Day 1

I have twelve pages of journal filled, but until I have the chance to make that presentable, here are some photos.

The Cliff’s Notes version:

I love flying. It never gets old. I also love cities so much. Mostly because of the architecture. Going back to Seattle is going to make me sad. It’s good that I don’t live here because I would just stand for hours in Grand Central Terminal looking up at the ceiling.… >> Read more

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Hidden Universe Travel Guides: Vulcan by Dayton Ward. Science fiction.

A nicely done fake travel guide to the planet Vulcan, for hardcore Trekkies only. The author must have put in a lot of work. I appreciate the callbacks to a couple of the better novels, such as Uhura’s Song by Janet Kagan, as well as the reference to Mark Gardner’s Vulcan Language Institute (very politely sourced, even!).… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Paperbacks from Hell: the Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix. Literary history.

When I requested an advance reader’s copy of this from the publisher, my expectations were low. It might have been a boring catalog of authors and publishers. Or it might have centered around mocking old horror paperback cover art, while being light on historical detail.… >> Read more