Goodbye, August

A-Bomb Terror

by Yoshito Matsushige

Hiroshima, August 6th, 1945. The mushroom cloud, photographed approximately 1.6 miles from ground zero.

“Those of us who experienced all these hardships, we hope that such suffering will never be experienced again by our children and our grandchildren. Not only our children and grandchildren, but all future generations should not have to go through this tragedy. That is why I want young people to listen to our testimonies and to choose the right path, the path which leads to peace.”

~ Yoshito Matsushige (via Iconic Photos)

Go, August. Go away.


Weekend Read: GLITTER & MAYHEM


Welcome to Glitter & Mayhem, the most glamorous party in the multiverse.

Step behind the velvet rope of these fabulous Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror tales of roller rinks, nightclubs, glam aliens, party monsters, drugs, sex, glitter, and debauchery.

Dance through nightclubs, roller derby with cryptids and aliens, be seduced by otherworldly creatures, and ingest cocktails that will alter your existence forever.

Your hosts are the Hugo Award-winning editors John Klima (Electric Velocipede) and Lynne M. Thomas (Apex Magazine), and the Hugo-nominated editor Michael Damian Thomas (Apex Magazine).

Join glittery authors Christopher Barzak (One for Sorrow) and Daryl Gregory (Pandemonium) on the dance floor, drink cocktails with Maria Dahvana Headley (Queen of Kings: A Novel of Cleopatra, the Vampire) and Tim Pratt (Marla Mason series), and skate with Seanan McGuire (InCryptid series), Diana Rowland (Kara Gillian series), and Maurice Broaddus (The Knights of Breton Court series). The fantastic Amber Benson gets the party started with her floor-rattling introduction (Calliope Reaper-Jones series).

We’re waiting.

Drax says: I had intended to submit a story for this collection earlier this year. I didn’t. The usual excuse: I “ran out of time.” So I am very interested in the shape and sound of the debauchery to be found in this anthology.




It will take a day (or so) for B&N and iTunes to catch up, but you can purchase digital copies of these “spectacular” books at Smashwords for less than a buck right now.

Carry on, wayward sons and twisted daughters, and everyone in-between.





As you know, science fiction conventions can be a great place to meet people, and interact with fans and online acquaintances. In recent years, before large cons, folks have taken to blogging about their personal preferences for friendly interactions. Well, it seems like a good idea—so here are mine.

I don’t remember that thing you think I said, did, tweeted, or pointed to three years ago. So don’t bother bringing it up. In fact don’t even fucking talk to me.

Actually, don’t look at me. AVERT YOUR EYES when you see me coming down the hall.

Don’t talk about the elevator in the goddamn elevator, as I’ve said a million times already. How come nobody remembers that one!

I don’t care about your stupid book.

You smell. Yeah, it’s not about how I like to be treated per se, but it’s true. You smell.

Remember when I said don’t talk to me. Don’t try to talk to me by offering me drink or holding up a sign or doing sign language.

Yes I like cookies and snacks but please don’t offer me any because I don’t want to think about your filthy disgusting hands and rank and wormy fingers. I certainly don’t want to sit across from you as you eat a tasteless hotel salad or an inexplicably expensive hamburger. Your horrid mouth makes me want to weld your lips shut forever.

I have a broken toe and am wearing a hard boot. If you’re curious as to how I broke it, well it was when I shoved my foot up the ass of the last person who looked at me, came up to me, and said, “Hey, remember when you made that post about marzipan and Full Communism? Haha, that was funny! How is your dog?”

Don’t you dare give me a goddamn business card or bookmark.

I pronounce the word “corset” like so: cor-say. I do this to annoy you.

What do I think of Texas? I hate Texas. How was my flight—I’m guessing it’ll be shitty.

I can’t hear a word you’re saying, so don’t just repeat yourself with the same words, tone, and volume. What you should do instead is open your mouth wide, take the fire extinguisher from the wall, point the nozzle at your mouth, and squeeze the trigger.

I think Ben Affleck will make about as good a Batman as anybody else. Okay?


Don’t filk at me.

Please don’t attempt to show me a racist movie because you think I need a lesson on what racist movies look like.

Now let’s all have a fun Worldcon, fans!


Text © 2013 Nick Mamatas

Worldcon Promo from here


Big Country — Live at Rockpalast — Grugahalle Essen March, 15 1986 (FULL CONCERT)

BC fans, this is an amazing concert. I am incredibly happy and grateful to have stumbled across this today.

Long live Stuart’s memory. Stay alive.


Weekend Reads



Transcribed from front flap copy:

This volume of fifteen stories, both science fiction and fantasy, introduces an up-and-coming author to the Gollancz SF list. Kit Reed is a very clever writer indeed, managing to achieve three-dimensional characterisation and valid atmosphere within a limited number of words—and she is brilliant at horror and irony.

Used copies of this excellent collection may be purchased here.


GUN MACHINE by fucking Warren Ellis, finally!

I know, right? This book pubbed on Jan 1st of this year. It’s already in paper. And I’m only getting to it now.

Warren Ellis reimagines New York City as a puzzle with the most dangerous pieces of all: GUNS.

After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for twenty years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose.

Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he’s walked into a veritable deal with the devil. An unholy bargain that has made possible the rise of some of Manhattan’s most prominent captains of industry. A hunter who performs his deadly acts as a sacrifice to the old gods of Manhattan, who may, quite simply, be the most prolific murderer in New York City’s history.

Drax says: I so intensely hated the first four pages of this book it was sick—and this comes from an ardent WE fan and supporter. The first four pages are over-edited, hyper-cynical, cliché-ridden, and easily dismissed; the fact that GUN MACHINE entered The New York Times Bestseller List on its first week of publication both supports and refutes my estimation of this book’s opening pages: crass commercial clichéd crap. HOWEVER, once Warren the Mage has spilt the appropriate noise required to draw flocks of listeners, he slyly (and quickly) reveals magic and wonder and mystery, and I was hooked.

I am relieved that WE really is a good novelist. More power to him. Scope it.




Credit TK. From here


“Alas Vegas,” Stunning Tarot illustrations by John Coulthart for a Vegas-themed role-playing game





Now, I think John Coulthart walks on water, okay? Brilliant designer, outstanding draftsman, super-swell generous guy into wicked nifty stuff, etc. But I have to admit when he mentioned a few months ago that he was working on a Tarot project, my blood didn’t boil with enthusiasm; it didn’t even simmer. What’s he going to bring to the Tarot table? thought I, because I am a warped frustrated old man, bitter about the power I used to wield with the deck, long fled, long gone. Well. Then I saw John’s designs for the 21 Trumps and the exclamation Holy shit my eyes are melting was woefully inadequate, as you can see from the samples above. John’s imagination and invention has never been stronger than what’s currently on display at his site and I am low and craven cur for ever doubting him.


Warren Ellis Interviewed in The Paris Review


Illustration by Molly Crabapple

Somewhere, on an NSA server in Utah, there sits an email from Warren Ellis threatening to strangle me to death with my own intestines.

Our all-caching surveillance state is something that might have been thought up by Ellis himself. A writer of novels, comics, essays, and movies starring a machine-gun-toting Helen Mirren, Ellis looks more deeply than most into our potential futures. Born in working-class Southend-on-Sea, he is best known as the writer of the canonical graphic novel series Transmetropolitan. A decade before the Internet-enabled explosion of independent journalism, Transmet corrupted a generation of young reporters, giving them the notion that journalism was the bullet that could “blow a kneecap off the world.” In January, he published bestselling Gun Machine, which exploits genre conventions to explore the ghost cities that exist in both high finance and the minds of the insane. Most recently, Ellis released Dead Pig Collector, a novella about love and body disposal, as a Kindle Single with FSG. He is currently at work on his first book of nonfiction.

We’ve been friends and sometime collaborators for a decade. When I told him I’d like to interview him for The Paris Review, he demanded proof that the editor hadn’t confused him with the violinist Warren Ellis of The Bad Seeds. When Sadie emailed to confirm that she realized he was, in fact, the bestselling author, he wrote me back: “I DIDN’T SAY ‘BEST SELLING’ YOU HORRIBLE INFANT!”

Ellis wears a field hat, drinks very old whisky, and chain-smokes Silk Cut cigarettes. He is forty-five years old.

You’re semi-crack-addicted to information. Whenever we talk, you have a podcast, the Economist, some ambient drone music, and a reader full of links open. Dead Pig Collector was inspired by an article you read on Chinese garbage disposal. Tell me about your information consumption.

This is going to be just another way for you to insist I listen to the sounds of insects having sex and calling it music while you pollute your apartment with the strains of some idiot with a ukulele wailing about consumption and sodomy.

We call that culture. As an Englishman, you wouldn’t understand.  

What would you know about culture?  You come from the town that gave the world the cronut.

 Cronuts are tasty. As an Englishman, you wouldn’t know what that word means.

We have a joke in this country about American food. It goes like this: “American food.”

Read the entire interview by Molly Crabapple in THE PARIS REVIEW.


August Repeat: SONGS OF FUTURE EGYPT (poem)


I wish this were a mirage

woven for our cameras.

But I saw it. I was there.

The old woman blew in from the desert

like a broken-winged bird,

she planted her feet in the Valley of Kings

and managed the levitation of the pyramids,

coaxed them by the power of her voice

to rotate slowly in the noonday sun.

She appeared nightly on the news

to give vent to her demands.

Her eyes smoldered sightlessly

in the wizened folds of her sockets

as she bent toward the camera

and spat words in a soft spray of sand.

At the bottom of our screens the translation:

Egypt has risen.

Behind her stand legions

fierce with the emblem of

the Sphinx on their crisp

new uniforms of brown and gold and white,

faces scraped and shining with saliva

drawn from their once slack lips. They wait

for the word

to strike their camp of diesel and dust,

to throw open the tombs and crack wide the planet.

Their necrotic majesty’s face fills the screen:

This is the war you always dreaded.

Now days of war and waste

are all we have,

black needles from the sky

and venomous shrieks of victory

from the withered lips of a

4,000 year old madwoman.

Not mad, she hisses from her

crooked hook of a throne. Furious.

She is everywhere, now.

She no longer needs

screens, speakers, translations.

She watches from above,

her empire reclaimed,

a planet conquered

beneath her heel

and she whispers

All will be well

in the coming

fall of my cloak,

be well, be well,



Boston, 1988 + Bethel 2009 + Now February 11, 2011

© Simon Drax

Graphics: Soldier and Pyramid—Getty. Woman—Uncredited via tumblr


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