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…

American Gods: Wandering in the Desert for 30 Years

Warning: might contain spoilers. Like many people, I thoroughly enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. It was a fantastic journey through mythology and how the ideas humans worshipped grew and changed over centuries and millennia. When the television series of the book was announced, I was thrilled. I looked forward to meeting what the filmmakers and…

Valuing Your Own Work

I recently came across a post somewhere — sadly, I’ve forgotten where it was and who wrote it — about valuing one’s own work. The context was self-published books, and while I don’t have a vast amount of experience with this, I do have some, and I’d like to share my experiences with you. The…