Looking at Playbills from the past

November 30, 2014

old playbills

So I’m going through some very old stuff that I kept in a trunk in my room in the house where my mom just moved out of, and found a few really old Playbills (I’ve got a huge number of them in a drawer here, but didn’t realize that I had kept a few older ones there).

Among other things, I discovered that I did not, as I thought, see Herschel Bernardi as Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof in March, 1967 — there is one of those notes in the program that apologizes because Bernardi was ill; the role was played by Harry Goz. However, that was made up for by the fact that the role of Tzeitel, the oldest daughter, was played by Bette Midler. Who knew?

And two years earlier, I had seen Bernardi in the musical Bajour (which I actually have some vague memories of, because there is a comic song sung by an anthropologist who talks about the places she doesn’t want to go, including one line about “the tse-tse fly,” which I remember thinking was hilarious). Other people in Bajour: Harry Goz (yes, the same guy I saw in Fiddler two years later), Paul Sorvino, Nancy Dussault (who I saw in The Sound of Music a couple of years earlier than that), Mae Questel (yes — the “Betty Boop” Mae Questel) and Chita Rivera.

Bajour was my 11th birthday treat (each year, I was given the choice of a party or a musical and I usually chose the latter). I just wish I could go back into my own head at age 11 and see it again, now that I’d be more aware of who the actors were…


Sale! Short story “Sophia’s Legacy” to Mythic Delirium

November 24, 2014

I’m aware that lately I’ve been so distracted by various events in my life — nothing bad, just a bit intensive — that I’ve been neglecting my writing, my friends, and a lot of other stuff. Apologies — that should end soon. But meanwhile, despite all that, I’ve managed to sell my story “Sophia’s Legacy” to Mike Allen’s eclectic and marvelous journal Mythic Delirium. (Mike is also the editor of the Clockwork Phoenix series of anthologies, two of which I had the pleasure to be part of.)

I don’t know when the story will actually appear, but until then, you can check out the latest issue of Mythic Delirium.


Subversion is going out of print: Last chance to get a copy!

November 20, 2014

SubversionIt’s hard to believe, but it’s been three years since Crossed Genres published its first stand-alone anthology titled Subversion: Science Fiction & Fantasy Tales of Challenging the Norm.

I was lucky enough to have a story in that anthology — The Red Dybbuk, about how the spirit of a revolutionary woman affects her granddaughter and great-granddaughter. I was especially lucky because there were so many other wonderful stories in that book, by authors such as Daniel Jose Older, Kay Holt, Cat Rambo and many others.

The book will be going out of print as of December 1st, so this is your last chance to get a copy. And I recommend it — not only because my story is in it (although I can’t say that doesn’t have some responsibility for this blog entry <g>), but because it’s simply a good anthology. As my grandmother would have said: Give a look.


Now published: Sf story “Topfuntersetzer” at Periphelion

November 12, 2014

Every though I work as an online technology editor, it still surprises me sometimes how fast it can be between the time that a story is accepted and actually published.

So I’m happy to announce that my story Topfuntersetzer has been published by Perihelion Online Science Fiction Magazine. It’s free, so be my guest and take a read, if you’d like. Hope you enjoy it.


Sale! Short story “Topfuntersetzer” to Perihelion

October 20, 2014

One of the quickest sales it’s been my pleasure to experience: My story “Topfuntersetzer” to Perihelion Online Science Fiction Magazine. I sent the story out around 12:30 pm yesterday and got the acceptance about four and a half hours later, which has got to be some kind of record, for me at least.

(What is a “topfuntersetzer?” Well, that’s what Google is for, isn’t it? <g>)

Perihelion gives the impression of an old-fashioned science fiction magazine: Currently, it has a front cover that features a spaceship and a child in a spacesuit; it offers science fiction stories along with articles on science and reviews of novels and films. Very much like the kind of thing I grew up reading — which is nice, since I wrote “Topfuntersetzer” with a bit of a nod toward those old-fashioned, slightly-tongue-in-cheek types of stories.

I look forward to being included.


What — and who — are genre conventions for?

October 14, 2014

Just got back from Capclave, a somewhat modest but very active science fiction/fantasy convention in the Washington DC area. Looking at it as sort of a microcosm of fan-run conventions (I’m not going to count events such as ComicCon, which are run by commercial entities — those are larger and different, and somebody else can write about those), I started to wonder: What is more important to the attendees? The panels? The parties? Or just the ability to hang out and socialize with new and old friends, and with writers whom you’ve always wanted to meet?

In my case, it’s a combination of all three. I love being on panels, and exchanging views with the smart, talented people I meet on them (and yes, people on those three Capclave panels I sat on, I mean you). I also love sitting in the audience, relaxing and listening and making notes. And I like just hanging out in the bar or the lobby and chatting with folks I only see once or twice a year (and whom I otherwise might not have the chutzpah to approach because I’ve been reading their stuff for gawd knows how long).

Other people I’ve talked to come just for the parties, or just for the panels, or just for the book signings, or just for the evening events. In fact, I’ve read the blogs of people who went to the same convention I went to — say, Readercon – and have come away with the impression that we attended two completely different conventions.

Which, I’m beginning to think, is the hallmark of a good genre con — a place where a variety of people get together, find each other, enjoy themselves the way they like to, and then leave feeling they’ve accomplished something — either by learning something new, or meeting somebody new, or hanging out with friends, or a combination of all three. (Of course, some business is sometimes done as well…)

A con can’t necessarily be all things to all people, but it can be different things to different people. And that’s a good thing.


Why six people make a successful reading

October 11, 2014

I had a reading at Capclave yesterday at the dinnertime hour of 6 pm. About 6 people showed up – and I consider it a success. Why?

Because those six came. They could have hung out with friends in the hallway or checked out a panel or gone out to dinner.

Because nobody walked out. They all stayed and listened.

Because at least one of the six complimented me on the story afterwards.

Because at least one of the six tweeted about the story afterwards.

For somebody from out of town (Capclave is a Washington DC con) , who sells perhaps two to four stories a year, I consider that a successful reading.


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