Items Tagged: blogging

The Weird Universe explores a human and natural cosmos that is not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine. The usual suspects are Paul Di Filippo; Alex Boese, curator of the Museum of Hoaxes; and Chuck Shepherd, purveyor of News of the Weird.

Recent posts:

  • The Art of Emanuele Taglietti
    WUvians will surely be interested in a great new art book showcasing the weird comics covers of Emanuele Taglietti.
  • Beware of Killer Umbrellas
    As people enjoy the beach this Fourth of July weekend, the Ocean City Beach Patrol would like to remind everyone to beware of killer umbrellas. About five years ago (on June 30, 2010), Lynn Stevens was sitting on the beach, minding her own business, when an umbrella came plummeting out of the sky and impaled her leg. Here's her account of the incident: "It was a very windy day and the umbrella was lifted straight up in the air. It came straight back down and went through my thigh. The pole went into my leg about four inches and it just missed my femoral artery. It didn’t tumble like you see them do so often. Instead, it went straight up and came straight down... It took four men to hold the umbrella steady in the wind to prevent it from doing more damage. They literally sawed off the pole right there on the beach and left about a 12-inch length of the pole sticking out of my leg. They took me to PRMC and the rest of it was taken out in the operating room. It was a little unnerving because the nurses and doctors looked a little astonished to see the umbrella pole sticking out of my leg because I figured they had probably seen everything." That's pretty terrifying. The worst part is that there's not much you can do to prevent randomly being attacked by an umbrella that falls silently from the sky, because it's other people's umbrellas (improperly set in the sand) that are going to get you. You're at the mercy of their stupidity. Image source: Nikos Patsiouris, Flickr.
  • Exploding Chickens
    Spontaneously exploding chickens startle German farmer. Source: The Ogden Standard - Nov 17, 1950
  • Paddle Pops
    More proof that everything is upside-down in Australia, as good old Popsicles become Paddle Pops. Also, as in our previous entry on Gaytime Raspberry Roughs, I could easily imagine someone getting more than they bargained for when they requested a "paddle pop," especially if you went into a sketchy corner grocery store and asked for the flavor known as "dragon popper" and got some amyl nitrate instead.
  • Debtor’s Revenge
    In my latest about.com article, I explore the phenomenon of Debtor's Revenge — when debtors decide to get even by paying fines with pennies. Though it's not always pennies. Might be $1 bills, or some other form of deviousness intended to spite the debt collector. There were so many examples of this that I could easily have made the article 10x as long as it was. Also might have mentioned that, if I remember correctly, Chuck once declared this phenomenon "no longer weird."
  • Laundry Shaming
    This would be so great if it happened today. Can you imagine the ruckus on social media if some darling tyke came home with an accusatory advertisement pinned to its clothes? Original ad here.

The Inferior 4+1 is a Livejournal community maintained by Paul, lizhand, Paul Witcover, lucius-t and ljgoldstein.

Recent posts:

  • Blatant Self-Promotion July 2, 2015
    The Red Magician is part of a Kindle Monthly Deal, which means the Kindle version is being sold for $1.99 in July (along with other deserving books).Also, publication of Weighing Shadows has been moved back from October to November.  I'm trying to think of this as "Weighing Shadows will become part of the holiday buying frenzy" instead of "Weighing Shadows will get lost in the holiday buying frenzy."
  • Three Things June 30, 2015
    1. The American Library Association convention offered free galleys of upcoming books, a wonderful experience that was sort of like free-range grazing for readers.  I snagged a copy of The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse, which turns out to be the true story of the fifth duke of Portland and a woman who was certain he had also been living a double life as her father-in-law, T.C. Druce.  I haven't finished it yet, but so far I'm liking it a lot.  I love stories about eccentrics, and this book is filled with them.  You have to admire a sentence like this, for example: "Mrs. Thwaytes -- who had been left the then immense sum of 500,000 pounds -- had been convinced that she was the third person of the Holy Trinity…"  The book's coming out in October.2. Here's an interesting list of "Old(er) Women in SF/F."  I'm delighted that they noticed Alice Wood in my novel Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon -- one of the things I wanted to do with that book was write from the point of view of someone who isn't shown much in fiction.3. I really liked this story in a recent New Yorker (something I don't say as often as I'd like to), "The Prospectors" by Karen Russell.  It reminded me a bit of Kelly Link, funny and shivery-spooky at the same time.
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE June 28, 2015
    I take a peek at a new postapocalypse novel:http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/06/paul-di-filippo-reviews-nicole-kornher-stace/
  • At the American Library Association Conference June 28, 2015
    So I went to the American Library Association conference in San Francisco on the same weekend as the Gay Pride Parade, and just after the historic Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage.  What could possibly go wrong? [Deleted because a friend pointed out that this sounds as if I disliked the verdict, when in fact I thought it was fantastic and delightful and unexpected, and was just trying to say something about anticipating crowds and late trains.]  Luckily the BART ride over wasn't as crowded as I'd feared, and there was an upbeat, celebratory feeling even inside the conference center -- quieter than outside though, since these are, after all, librarians.I was supposed to be signing my book Weighing Shadows, but since it's coming out in October I was worried that the publisher wouldn't have any copies yet.  But when I got to the Skyhorse booth I saw an entire stack of galleys, so I was pretty damn impressed with how efficient they are.  They turned out to be skillful at other things as well, such as giving away copies of my book to librarians and coming up with promotional ideas.I guess I can admit now that I didn't like the cover at first.  It showed the main character arriving in another time period -- but her outfit was skin tight (I wanted to say, "They didn't have Spandex in the Middle Ages" but managed to restrain myself), and she had an odd, smirking expression.  It turned out I wasn't the only person who didn't like it, and I saw that the final cover had been retouched.  And people who stopped by for signed copies seemed intrigued by the description on the back, so that was great.This is the final cover.  I still don't love it, but it's better.I could have seen a panel with, among other people, John Scalzi and Larry Corriea, but I'm trying not to let this whole kerfuffle take up so much room inside my brain so I decided not to.  As Doug said, I should stop beating a dead Puppy.  (This is not in any way meant as a death threat!  It's an expression!  And it's ridiculous I even have to say this, but people have been known to misunderstand things on the Internet.)  I finally realized why I hate the expression "Social Justice Warrior," though, and I may write about that at some point.
  • New Review at the B&NR June 28, 2015
    I survey four new fantasy novels involving gods:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/review/dash-of-the-titans-classic-gods-in-4-new-fantasy-novels
  • A Report from the Field about the Purported Tor Boycott June 26, 2015
    The pouting about Irene Gallo has reached the point where the Rabid Puppies have called for a boycott of Tor books, which was supposed to have started last Friday.  In response, other people have gone out of their way to buy Tor books on Friday, in support of Gallo and Tor.I was in Dark Carnival Bookstore yesterday and asked the owner, Jack Rems, if he'd noticed any slacking off of people buying Tor books."Nope," he said.What about people going out of their way to buy Tor books?"Nope.""What do you think of the Hugo nominations?" I asked."They were nominated by puppies, or something?"And one final word from Jack: "People don't buy books from publishers, they buy books from authors."