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Yunchtime Goes Hexo

Well, as much as I love WordPress, I finally got tired with the updates and the response times when the shared hosting MySQL instances got bogged down. Since I’ve been moving away from CMS in general

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Reyes Cárdenas and the Moons of Mars

Recently I checked out a copy of Altermundos, Latin@ Speculative Literature and Popular Culture from the library. It contains many fascinating and important essays on the history and current state o

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The mystique of Keleck

My first taste of any artwork associated with Keleck (aka Kelek), was at Boskone this year, where Andy Gelas brought my attention to two French paperback editions of Conan. These were Conan Le Guerrier, and Conan Le Cimmerian, in the Titres SF editions from the early 1980s. Needless to say, the eye-popping contrast in red and black, and the the purity of design in these covers hit me like a sucker-punch in a Philip Marlowe story.   Le Cimmerian has a pure movie-poster effect, with that smashing red background, and the bare skin of the figures has a smooth air-brushed look, while the tightly delineated designs on the metal are all perfectly highlighted. The first thing I noticed about Le Guerrier is the darkness of the figure, of the rich draperies, of the stairwell vanishing into shadow. The hair is certainly done the same way as Le Cimmerian: frizzy threads in direct highlight against the background. But in Le Guerrier, the eyes, the skin, the deliberate brushstrokes on the wall, and the marble steps; they have a very different aesthetic from the super-slick air-brushing of Le Cimmerian. What is going on here?

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The Elephant Man as Reality T.V.

A review of The Blind Men and the Elephant by Russell M. Griffin You would think that a novel investigating the inner life of a freak — indeed, the freak of freaks: Elephant Man — woul

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Rankled into Action, 2017

Happy New Year to all living beings! Live long and prosper. It’s been a troublesome and unpredictable 2016 — not that the clump of 365 consecutive days has any particular significance, but si

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Victory at Standing Rock

Yesterday we were notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not grant the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the Dakota Access pipeline. Instead, they will prepare an Environmental Impact Stat

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Placing Names: it is a thing!

Well, about three years and a field of poppies later, the combined efforts of a zillion scholars have arrived on my desk in a physical manifestation of printed paper, green bindings, and a snappy lit

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Green Chili Jones: Solved

So what is it with New Mexico green chilis? Is it something in the soil? Something in the dusty valleys scorched by the desert sun where even lizards fear to crawl and only the toughest, gnarliest lif

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Fallout from Quincy Adams: Readercon 2016

It’s strange to think about the fun-fest of Readercon — which it always turns out to be — as a hotbed of controversy where ripples of fallout will radiate outward for weeks and months after the event. On the other hand, science fiction fandom is a sort of canary in the coal mine of society at large. The feuds and alignments and banishments and rapprochements that swirl around fandom, punctuated by mass scrimmage events (also known as cons), are now inextricably linked to the culture wars raging around us. It wasn’t always this way. Long ago, in never never land, cons were communal freak-outs held by like-minded escapists as a sort of exhibitionist rebellion against the bleakness of mundane culture. A con was where your propellor beanie, flowing cape, Vulcan ears, and purple velvet bag-of-holding concealing a pint of scumble were perfectly normal, and you were surrounded by fellow fen celebrating the freedom to be weird.

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Redemption Song

Andreis Peregudovs being led to find the stolen stash of money. Pondering the depths of guilt and despair, the criminal is led to the scene of a crime. His handlers are not brutal, they to