Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Amoeboid Politics

Glogg won,
a massive landslide of 3 to 1
(Fiblum had voted for itself);
after lunch, the runoff was a unanimous 3-0
just before dinner, Glogg, Jr.
was appointed Sec. of Provisions.

Monday, September 26, 2016

I have a poem at Polu Texni

Co-authored with Kendall Evans


Dreams and Nightmares 104 update

I am pretty excited to be back on schedule after several years of publishing Dreams and Nightmares issues just a little later than I wanted to. I will be mailing subscriber copies of this issue at the end of the week, and it is the September issue. Yay!

The January issue is mostly full, but I still am looking for a few poems and illustrations for it. And the May issue is wide open.

Bad Roberta Goes to the Beach

Bad Roberta Goes to the Beach

One summer Saturday Bad Roberta's parents decided to take the family to the beach. They packed up the car with a cooler, a beach umbrella, sand chairs, beach towels, sunscreen, sand toys, water toys, swim suits, a picnic lunch, and everything else they needed for the trip. Bad Roberta had to sit in the way back because she caused too much trouble and made too much noise up front. Her parents sat in the front seat, and her little brother slept in his car seat in the middle seat. Bad Roberta amused herself by eating all the best parts of the picnic lunch and sticking a pin into all the water toys. 
Bad Roberta painted "Who farted" on Gerald's tummy in sunscreen while he slept.

When they got there, Bad Roberta's parents had to take three trips across a half a mile of burning hot sand to carry all the stuff from the car to the beach. "Ow, ow, ow, ow!!" they shouted, as they hopped from one foot to the other across the sand. Bad Roberta ran straight to the ocean and dove in. She jumped waves and splashed water in other kids' faces while her parents set up the beach umbrella, spread out the towels, and got everything else set up. Bad Roberta's father decided to blow up the water toys. He started with Gerald's duck. However, no matter how hard he blew, the duck didn't get any bigger. "There's a hole in this duck!" he shouted at last, "I'll have to inflate something else." Alas, the story was the same. No matter what he tried to blow up, there was a hole. "Robertaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!" She was nowhere to be seen.

"Do you think she drowned?" he asked her mother hopefully.

"We'd better find her before she gets into trouble," she replied. 

"Gerald's asleep. I'll stay here with him; you go look for Bad Roberta." Bad Roberta's father set off down the beach, looking especially for evidence of trouble, and listening for screams and shouts. After he'd gone about half a mile without finding anything, he turned around and went back.

"Have you seen her?" he asked, when he got back to the umbrella. Bad Roberta's mother shook her head. So Bad Roberta's father walked a half a mile down the beach in the other direction. Still there was no sign of Bad Roberta. This time on his way back to the umbrella he had an idea, and he started to run. When he got back there he was panting. "I bet she left the beach," he gasped, "I'll go look." He checked the parking lot. The car was still there and no one was in it. Then he went across the street to the row of restaurants and shops that lined the beach road. He went into each shop and looked around carefully. "Have you seen an obnoxious little girl who likes to cause trouble?" he'd ask. No one had seen her. Finally, he went into a restaurant called "Chez Lobster." It looked VERY expensive. And there, at a table in the far corner of the room, he finally found her. He stomped right over to the table. She was just finishing a seven-course meal. "Bad Roberta!" he shouted, "you are coming with me." He grabbed her wrist and started to march her towards the door. The waiter intercepted them.

"M'sieur," he said politely, "the bill." The bill came to $247.33!! Bad Roberta's father did not leave a tip.
When they got back to the beach he explained what happened. Gerald was crying and Bad Roberta's mother had had all she could take. They packed up and went home. Gerald had spent most of the time at the beach asleep on his back. In the car on the way home, his tan gradually got darker and darker, spelling out "Who farted" in bold white letters in the middle of his chest.


Centauran punk
blasting from his implant
red sun; blue trees
it's a trial for a human
puberty here lasts decades


Worse Than His Dad

think of it as boneless chicken,
in a hard shell,
with teeth,
can eat anything,
and with a smart mouth

yeah, that Moreau has a lot to answer for

Sunday, September 25, 2016

You Only Die Once

Beaton, MC, 2017, Death Of A Ghost: GrandCentralpublishing.com, ISBN hardback 978-1-4555-5830-8, e-book 978-1-4555-5828-5, audiobook 978-1-4789-0248-5, US $26, $13.99, $32.48 respectively.

The title kind of gives it away. There wouldn't be a ghostly death in this book. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth mystery series doesn't have a whiff of the supernatural in it, unless you count "Highland telepathy," which is actually a form of intuition.

The latest installment about the unambitious and easy-going Highland detective is as entertaining as ever. The village of Lochdubh is lucky to have the smartest detective in Scotland. Following the twists of this plot is like trying to wrestle an alligator (without the possibility of being eaten). If it wasn't for Macbeth, it's very likely that no crime would ever be solved in the Highlands. Yet he stays in his quaint tiny village, taking his dogs with him almost everywhere, fishing and loafing whenever possible, and keeping his head down. This is not easy, given the crowd of busybodies and disreputable characters surrounding him, and the screwups at the police station in the "big city" of Strathbane.

The titles of these books follow a very strict formula. However, the stories themselves are quite inventive. In this case, a disappearing ghost is replaced by a dead professor, convincing evidence of recent smuggling activity, and more deaths. Not to mention attempted murders. The book is a page turner. Even right before the end you still don't know how everything is going to come out. Spoiler alert: Macbeth is still alive on the last page.

One nice thing about this series is that Macbeth actually has a life. Things happen to him, romantically and in other ways, that have consequences. If you want to observe the unfolding of his life, it would be best to start at the beginning of the series. However, the murder mysteries themselves are completely independent of one another and you can jump right in with Death of a Ghost and enjoy it thoroughly. I also like how comfortable the author is with Highland life. Things are not explained for an American audience, but it is not difficult to pick up on slang and culture from context. One last thing. If you buy this book and like it, there are 31 more that you can be sure you will like as well. And they are still coming out regularly. A good and prolific author is a treasure.

Out in February, 2017.