Everything tastes better with music

How’s the saying go? Everything tases better with Bluebonnet on it? That’s just 70s hype and pretty dang stupid. The truth is everything tastes better with music on it. On it, in it, about it, around it, through it, after it, under it, and behind it. The soundtrack of our lives contains a long list of greatest hits annotated, indexed, and personalized to carry us through to our senility, when everything will finally one day make sense. We’ll be happy then, thanks to the music playing in our heads.

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The Contenders Head for the Finish Line

Droomslang -- Dutch cover of DREAMSNAKEA few last contenders for the Bad Cover Contest, including the only cover I consider a true match, to beat or tie Droomslang.

I’m going to disqualify Gate of Ivriel through no fault of its own but just because I’m tired of bad covers with naked women. If anybody has any bad covers with naked men on them, I’ll consider them, but, jeez, enough already.

I once saw a cover that was said to have been for Dreamsnake, till cooler heads at the publishing company prevailed. It wasn’t a bad cover. It was kind of cool, to tell you the truth. But the naked woman with the serpent was so Not Snake that the cover would have driven away anybody who might have liked the book, and caused people to buy it who would have (justifiably) felt ripped off. Continue reading


Sarah Meets a Vampire

Okay, this is cheating. I know this is cheating, but it’s late, and I’m brain dead, and I’m supposed to be posting and…

But, my column “Things That Don’t Go Away,” is up on BookSpot Central. Today’s episode: “Hanging With a Vampire:”
[In which the author is discovered standing at her front door behind a pile of rice, holding her crucifix and holy water and calling out sacred names. Soundlessly, a silhouette slips up to the window, a pale hand is laid on the glass, and a rich voice, impossibly old and dangerously young at the same time begins to speak]

“Hey, can I come in? ‘Cause, like, the sun’s comin’ up and I’m gonna start sparkling any minute here.”


“Yeah. Can you let me in, please?”

“Holy cow! Get in here. Edward! I thought maybe…”

“Maybe, what? That I was like, a real vampire?”

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More Bead Creatures

Bead Creature

I’ve mentioned my bead creatures now and again. Recently I sent some to The Institute for Figuring for their Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibit at Track16 in Los Angeles. (Picture #41 is my creature.)

I put some other pictures of them on my website.

I’m ridiculously pleased to be in the exhibit.

— Vonda

You can find The Moon and the Sun at Book View Cafe, and new signed hardcovers at the Basement Full of Books section of my website.


Microsoft and Sun: Clash of the Titans?

Cross-posted from the Singularity Watch:
So I’m going along, minding my own business, refusing to upgrade my software whenever the engineers feel it’s time to extract a vig, when what drops into my inbox but a docx file. Uh oh. A new version of Word is out and it’s not backward compatible.

Did I mention how much I hate software companies? Not just Microsoft but Adobe, Quark, Filemaker, everybody. Except maybe Bare Bones. They’re cool so far. If they get universal on us, though, forget it. Once they have a large market share, it won’t be long before they start to piss me off too.

So anyway, this big turd, this docx file plops into my life. I click on it and obviously my pre-Cambrian version of Word (2004) doesn’t even acknowledge the file’s presence. It just ambles on, munching grass and waiting for the asteroid to hit. Some weird mammalian thing bundled with OS 10.4 called Pages steps up to volunteer as a 30-day demo after which if I don’t buy the full app, it promises to explode, taking my hard drive and the entire post-Cambrian software evolution with it. I don’t like to be held hostage by multinationals like Microsoft nor do I like to be held hostage by baby upstarts like Pages either, so I amble over to the Internet to search for an alternative.

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas Redux

Metro I was working on an introduction to my latest Book View Cafe story, “Cakewalk,” pointing out that it came from a real life sighting of a woman with a cake on her head, and suddenly I realized something important: I get a lot of my story ideas while commuting.

And not, mind you, while commuting by car. When I commute by car, I listen to the news and scream at the other drivers. Long distance driving is conducive to creative thinking, but rush hour traffic is not.

I get story ideas when I commute via subway. Continue reading


Copan, Tikal, Uxmal, Palenque

“Heart of Jade,” which originally appeared in Black Gate Magazine, was one of the first thoughtful fantasy stories I ever wrote.  At some point around about those days (2000) or so, I had realized that there was a very different “feel” between SF and horror – certainly.  I had realized that even among all the common elements of the various forms of the fantastic, when writing them, it was a different form of music.  Like the difference between swing and bebop.

Writing “Heart of Jade” was like taking a trip to Campeche or Yucatan (a link to a tour of the Mayan nation – called “Expedition of Jade”) in more ways than one.  I recently re-prepared the story for Book View Cafe, and it has been enough time that it read completely “fresh” to me.  I remembered that the main character’s name was Two Frog and the general setup and some of the language.  But of the details of the story – well.  That was a very different matter. Continue reading


FABLES #80: A Very Short Review

fables80Comics fans complain of the decompressed narrative, slow-moving plots that seem to be going nowhere. (The fashion equivalent would be side fat.)  Comics could be silly, they could be unlikely — and we are talking about a genre in which tall buildings are leapt in a single bound — and they could turn on a dime, but at least they always moved briskly along. This is no longer industry standard, so every time an issue comes along that hits the old mark, we must celebrate. And here you are, the latest FABLES. Continue reading


More on Movies

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)This is a followup to Nancy Jane Moore’s well-said blog post about movie budgets, about sf movies in general, and about The Day the Earth Stood Still in particular.

The original The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of my favorite movies, without respect to genre. (I have no opinion of the remake, as I haven’t seen it; its trailers didn’t make me want to rush right out to the theater, alas.)

It is possible to make a good SF movie without a huge budget. Continue reading


Okay, I’ve tried to be a good sport about this.

I’ve tried to say cheerfully we need a good, cold snowy winter to replenish the lake levels.

I’ve tried to be poetic about it, you can read the results in Thursday’s entries.

But I’ve been stuck in the house for two days now with a bored six year old and I’m losing my sense of humor.

I’m not asking for much.  Really.  I’m not even asking for double digits at this point.  Just a degree or two in the positive and a wind slightly less sharp than a straight razor.  That’s all, really.