New volume of SF from around the world: 28 stories from 25 countries

Lavie Tidhar writes, "The Apex Book of World SF 4 is out today - this is the fourth volume of the series began in 2009, and features 28 stories from 25 countries, seven of which are translations, and it is the first volume to be edited by Mahvesh Murad - marking this also as the first genre anthology ever edited by a Pakistani woman." Read the rest

Absurdly awesome covers from 1930s boys' magazine: The Hotspur


The Hotspur was a boy's story newspaper from Britain that launched in 1933 and featured fantastical covers with giant monsters, robots, and extraterrestrials in conflict with stalwart humans.

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Howard the Duck


Naturally the DVD for this incredible, baffling movie is only $6.48!

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Jenny Hart's embroidered cover for Postmistress


Our friend Jenny Hart illustrated the cover to Penguin's re-issue of The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. It one of six books in the Penguin by Hand collection, "comprising six of Penguin's most popular women's fiction titles of recent years, all with new and beautiful craft-inspired jackets."

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This poster for the Cincy Comicon pays homage to old comic book ads


Cartoonist Tony Moore (co-creator of The Walking Dead comic book series) designed this very fun poster for the Cincy Comicon (September 12-13), which pays homages to the old comic book ads for novelties and practical jokes. He did such a good job that I asked him to write a bit about it. Read the rest

How to help get guitars and instruction into the hands of inner-city and at-risk youth


MUSACK's goal is simple: get guitars and instruction into the hands of inner-city and at-risk youth. It's not about turning kids into rock stars. If it happens, great... hope they remember us. Our foundation wants to afford kids a platform to say "I exist. I'm here. I have something to say." In a world where school systems are seeing record breaking budgetary shortfalls, we're trying to pick up the slack in a real, feet on the ground, grass roots way. You want to learn how to play? We'll give you what you need.

Oddly, we started in Nantucket, of all places, 5 years ago when our charity founder, Donick Cary (writer on Parks and Recreation, The Simpsons, and Letterman), who was born and raised in Nantucket, noticed an alarming rise in suicide and drug abuse in the year-round community. Nantucket is a great place during the summer months, but in the off season, those that live there, largely an immigrant service population, suffer brutal isolating harsh winters. With little else to do, a large portion of youth on the island resort to drugs and despair. So Donick started MUSACK as a way out. More a community destination than a "school" per se, we made a deal with the kids: Show up regularly and we will give you everything you need to succeed. And it's been pretty amazing. In the 5 years since we've started, we've put some 150+ kids through our Nantucket program and this year marks the opening of four (working on five) locations in the Los Angeles area in inner-city areas that desperately need our help. Read the rest

Chastity belts were a joke, then a metaphor, then a hoax

Historian Albrecht Classen got so tired of hearing people blithlely assert that chastity belts were ever a thing that he wrote The Medieval Chastity Belt: A Myth-Making Process, explaining how a 15th century hoax that appeared in a manuscript that also feature fart jokes and devices for making people invisible became canon.

From Sarah Laskow: Read the rest

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Kickstarting a middle-grades SF anthology

Corie writes, "We have a project Happy Mutants may be interested in -- an anthology of science fiction stories for middle grade readers, with a focus on diversity and representation. We have 22 great stories from a wide range of authors, from Hugo and Nebula winner Nancy Kress, to relative newcomers in the field." Read the rest

Trailer for Patricia Highsmith movie about troubled 1950s lesbian love affair


Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in Carol, a new movie based on Patricia Highsmith's novel, The Price of Salt. Published in 1952 under the pen name Claire Morgan, it's about a troubled love affair between a rich bored housewife and a poor frustrated department store shopgirl. Some critics believe Nabokov borrowed liberally from The Price of Salt in writing Lolita.

The late Patricia Highsmith is the author of Strangers on a Train and the Talented Mr. Ripley (read my review here), both of which were adapted into excellent movies, so I have high hopes for Carol. RELATED: Patricia Highsmith's "Desert Island Discs" Read the rest

Piracy vs the MPAA: yet another box-office record smashed

The movie studios continue to demand Lord High Internet Executioner status because "piracy is destroying the film industry," even as box office records are smashed anew: Straight Outta Compton put its studio over the $2B mark in record time. Read the rest

Podcast: Ian McDonald talks about Luna: New Moon (also coming to CBS!)

Science fiction titan Ian McDonald's forthcoming novel Luna: New Moon is the subject of the latest installment of the always-great Coode Street podcast (MP3). Read the rest

Soda Pop Soldier, a novel of what is far too likely to come, by Nick Cole

I remember the Cola Wars, I lost so many friends. Nick Cole offers a fantastic look at the future of advertising.

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Some books that helped me with Surf Guitar

I wanted to play like Dick Dale. These books help me pretend. They are quite good.

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Nomad, Matthew Mather's frightening take on the apocalypse


In Matthew Mather's new novel, Nomad, an anomaly 100 times more dense than the sun is headed directly for the Earth. There is nothing we can do, no where to hide, humanity grasps at straws at the end draws near.

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Stephen Harper will use 12-18 year old junior rangers to fight the Russians

The largely aboriginal youth club -- historically called upon to fight forest fires and volunteer in parks -- is now part of the Canadian Prime Minister's "arctic soveriegnty" plan. Read the rest

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