Death Comes to Call

A friend of mine just died today. She was recently diagnosed with a Glioblastoma – a type of aggressive brain cancer. I now have three friends and acquaintances who have passed from this particular form of cancer in recent memory, when I can’t recall even having heard of it before the first one was diagnosed.…

Not So Great News

Local friends may have noticed that I haven’t been very upbeat recently. I went to the doctor last month. I’ve already had my annual check-up several months ago; this visit was relating to a specific issue that has cropped up in the last month or two. I’ve been trying to keep it under wraps, but…

Disappointing Zombies

I went to see the latest Jim Jarmusch film, “The Dead Don’t Die” recently. To be honest, zombies aren’t really my thing. However, I was highly impressed with Jarmusch’s moody, dream-like vampire film, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” and wanted to see what he could do with the mindless undead. I had been thoroughly captivated by…

Monarchs of the Garden

Last autumn, I tried to sow a tiny patch of ground outside our condo with a few milkweed seeds. I was rewarded this spring by finding a bunch of milkweed plants growing in that patch of ground. They started sprouting before we left on our trip to Venice, and by the time we got back…

A Golden Age of Toys

Twenty years ago, I used to write articles about toys for a living. I was recruited by a friend of mine, who in turn had been recruited by a friend of his. There were a bunch of us sci-fi fans who worked at this site, Collecting Channel, once it was up and running. I spent…

Who Killed Steampunk?

Recently, a blog post from a self-proclaimed steampunk fan posed that very question to his readers. He listed several reasons why Steampunk was dead: unsurprisingly, those reasons focused on a highly self-absorbed premise; that, because Steampunk wasn’t exactly the same as when he started, it must be dead. At the very least, it no longer…

Sad News

Nothing lasts forever. I just received word very recently that the publisher of an anthology I’m in will cease publication entirely, closing up shop for good. I hate to say it, but this news isn’t particularly surprising. The publisher has had a number of major personal issues crop up in his life over the last…