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Magician Andrew Mayne discusses and signs his novel, Name of the Devil

Magician, author, and inventor Andrew Mayne, star of A&E's magic reality show Don't Trust Andrew Mayne will be one of our featured guests/workshop runners at our Weekend of Wonder extravaganza (Sept. 18-20 in Riverside, CA). He's also going to discuss and sign his new thriller, Name of the Devil: A Jessica Blackwood Novel on Tuesday, July 7th at 6:30pm at Diesel, A Bookstore in Brentwood, California.

In this electrifying sequel to the crowd-pleasing thriller Angel Killer (4.5 stars with 276 reviews on Amazon), magician-turned-FBI agent Jessica Blackwood must once again draw on her past to go up against a brutal murderer desperate for revenge at any price. After playing a pivotal role in the capture of the Warlock, a seemingly supernatural serial killer -- and saving the FBI's reputation in the process -- agent Jessica Blackwood can no longer ignore the world she left behind. Formerly a prodigy in a family dynasty of illusionists, her talent and experience endow her with a unique understanding of the power and potential of deception, as well as a knack for knowing when things are not always as they appear to be.

When a church congregation vanishes under mysterious circumstances in rural Appalachia, the bizarre trail of carnage indicates the Devil's hand at work. But Satan can't be the suspect, so FBI consultant Dr. Ailes and Jessica's boss on the Warlock case, Agent Knoll, turn to the ace up their sleeve: Jessica. She's convinced that an old cassette tape holds the key to the mystery, and unraveling the recorded events reveals a troubling act with far-reaching implications. The evil at work is human, and Jessica must follow the trail from West Virginia to Mexico, Miami, and even the hallowed halls of the Vatican. Can she stop a cold-blooded killer obsessed by a mortal sin -- or will she become the next target in a twisted, diabolical game of hunter and prey?

Would you like to learn from Andrew how to invent and make cool stuff? You can! Register here to join us at Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder.

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Fracketeering: Life in a capitalist sci-fi horror story

Fracking is the perfect metaphor for the service-charge, extraction oriented economy: "suck up a sky’s worth of valuable gas through a massive crack pipe, then pack up and lumber off to fracture and steal someone else’s underground treasure."

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Winners of the 2015 Locus Awards!

The winners from last night's Locus Awards Banquet in Seattle have been announced:

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New York from space towel


From Schönstaub, who make the amazing sized-to-order celestial rugs, comes the NYC from space beach-towel.

Stephen Harper ready to sign TPP and throw Tory rural base under the bus

The Canadian Prime Minister said he'd only sign the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership if it had safeguards for Canada's farmers, but now that it's clear that he hasn't got a hope in hell of being re-elected, he's ready to sign TPP and damn the farmers.

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Beer to be named after Joe Paterno, late coach who enabled Jerry Sandusky sex abuse

Jerry Sandusky, L, and Joe Paterno, R.  [Reuters]


Jerry Sandusky, L, and Joe Paterno, R. [Reuters]

For fans of beer honoring a sex-abuse enabler, this one's for you.

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Monster Cable founder sad about getting $0 from Apple's $3 billion purchase of Beats By Dr. Dre

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Noel Lee says he invented the headphones that are marketed by Beats by Dr. Dre. In May 2014, Apple paid $3 billion to buy Beats by Dr. Dre.

Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine got most of the proceeds of the sale and Lee got $0. Now Lee is suing for at least $150 million. Lee is the founder of Monster Cable, a company with an obnoxious reputation for threatening to sue any company that uses the word "Monster." I can't help feeling a bit of schadenfreude towards Lee, who has made many people miserable by hitting them with time- and money-wasting legal threats.

Book review: Wizard Defiant, a fun blend of tech and fantasy

Wizard Defiant (Intergalactic Wizard Scout Chronicles Book 1)

In Rodney Hartman's Wizard Defiant, space cadet boot camp meets elves and wizards.

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Gardner Dozois is selling his book collection


The celebrated and decorated anthologist and editor (that's him on the right, with me and Gene Wolfe) who served at Asimov's for decades is selling off his massive collection, which he hopes to keep intact.

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Ultimate t-shirt for trolling science fiction fans


$20-26 from Offworld Designs. (via Diane Duane)

Magna Carta of Space (1966), new laws for the final frontier

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In 1966, only five years after the first human went to space, aviation lawyer William A. Hyman published the Magna Carta of Space, a serious text proposing a new kind of Space Law. From the British Library:

As outer space exploration was unprecedented, it was unclear what issues lawyers might face when legislating for the ‘final frontier’ and what, if any, jurisdiction they had for imposing an intergalactic law code. Furthermore, as so little was known about space, it was largely up to the legislators’ imagination as to what might be legislated for, forcing them to consider unique questions in the history of jurisprudence.

* Do aliens have legal rights?
* Who owns the stars, planets and moons?
* Where does Space begin and a nation’s airspace end?
* What is the role of private industry in Space?
*Who will allocate radio frequencies and set standard time?...

Hyman’s book explicitly attempted to restrict the misuse of Space by belligerent nations, with articles 7 and 19 making provisions to ban ‘nuclear experiments in Outer Space’ and the prosecution of ‘War, in, by, or through space … forever’. As Hyman stated in his introduction, it was his expressed wish to create a Magna Carta of Space that was so ‘powerful’ it would ‘compel the proper use of space --- for peace’.

Magna Carta of Space (Amazon)

See more at "Space: The Final Frontier" (British Library, via @arielwaldman)

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Privacy activists mass-quit U.S. government committee on facial recognition privacy

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is trying to work out the rules for facial recognition -- whether and when cameras can be put in public places that programatically identify you as you walk past and then save a record of where you've been and who you were with.

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American Gods will be a TV series

Starz has greenlit a TV series based on Neil Gaiman's outstanding contemporary fantasy novel American Gods, in which all the gods of antiquity must find their way in America, coping with modernity and new ways of believing.

Assault Troopers by Vaughn Heppner

Assault Troopers

Humanity is nearly extinct, what few survivors that remain are enslaved to murderous aliens and used as cannon fodder. Can humanity possibly outwit the aliens and win its freedom? Duh.

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Hand-craft your own beautiful sweet potato dolls

sweet-potato-dolls25 easy-to-staple projects!

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Vintage ping pong snapshots

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Magnum photographer Alec Soth and writers Pico Iyer and Geoff Dyer, all Ping Pong fans, compiled a neat little book of vernacular photos related to ping pong.

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Listen to Isaac Asimov read his favorite short story "The Last Question"

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Isaac Asimov wrote "The Last Question" in one sitting. It appeared in the November 1956 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly and Asimov said it was "by far my favorite story of all those I have written."

It's fun hearing Asimov read it in his energetic Brooklyn accent. But if you listen to Leonard Nimoy's magnificent reading (below), you'll understand why it is usually much better to have a trained actor read a story, instead of the author.

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