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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:

  • Do You Measure Up?
    The average size of an erect penis is 5.17 inches. So don't sweat it fellas.
  • Woodward’s Gripe Water
    Gripe water is what people used to give to kids to calm them down if they had colic, teething pains, etc. But what exactly was in the stuff? According to wikipedia, the main ingredients were alcohol, dill oil, sodium bicarbonate, sugar, and water. But this ad makes me think there must have been a little something extra in the Indian formulation of the stuff. via reddit
  • Johnson Smith Catalog Item #33
    Which is your favorite?
  • Dancing Paper
    I saw this BC* so.... let's call it art. *Before Coffee
  • Look- A Squirrel!
    A drunken squirrel that is. Either that or he's half bunny.
  • Come A Little Closer
    One Berlin funeral service's strategy for drumming up new business. According to advertolog.com, the subway billboard was "done by Jung Von Matt/Spree Berlin advertising agency for brand: Bergemann & Sohn in Germany. It was released in the Sep 2006."

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

Recent posts:

  • Bowery Boys Pulps March 3, 2015
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE March 2, 2015
    Interested in some Fielding-style steampunk?http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/03/paul-di-filippo-reviews-ian-weir/
  • New Review at the B&NR February 24, 2015
    A look at Reif Larsen's new novel:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/review/i-am-radar
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE February 22, 2015
    I look at the new novel by Tom McCarthy:http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/02/paul-di-filippo-reviews-tom-mccarthy/
  • Borderlands Books Is Staying Open! February 21, 2015
    For a while it looked as if Borderlands Books in San Francisco was going to close, which would have been a terribly sad thing.  Now, though, they've come up with a program of sponsorships and it apprears they might stay open after all.  So if you have a spare $100 and like great bookstores, here's a good thing you can do with it.I wrote the following post before they figured out how they might stay in business, so it has an elegiac feel to it.  I'm still posting it, though, because it was one of the strangest things that ever happened to me, and anyway I liked writing it.  So there.Despite the fact that I get my most of my books at Dark Carnival, which is closer, I always liked heading out to Borderlands for a signing or just to see if they had something new.  Their staff is extremely helpful and enthusiastic, and they don't seem to have succumbed to cynicism or just plain exhaustion when dealing with customers.  (Believe me, I've worked at many bookstores and know whereof I speak.  There's the customer who says, "Hey, I'm glad this is out -- now I can order it from Amazon."  Or, "I can't remember the title, but it's a mystery and it has a red cover."  Or…)  And they always seemed to have the book I was looking for, even if I didn't know I was looking for it when I got there.My strongest memory of Borderlands, though, is of leaving the store one night after some event.  I remembered I'd left my car on Hazel Street, two streets over, and I set off to find it.  But, weirdly, there was no Hazel Street when I got there.  Maybe, I thought, it was really three blocks over, or two blocks and then a left turn…After I'd searched a while I headed back to the store, feeling puzzled.  Jude Feldman was just closing up, but she stopped what she was doing and took out a map of San Francisco.  And -- there was no street in the entire city called Hazel Street.I went back to where I thought I'd left the car and walked around some more.  Then, footsore and bedraggled, I headed back to Borderlands.  Jude was really closing up this time, no fooling, but she very graciously let me use their phone to call Doug so he could pick me up.  "Go home and go to sleep," she said.  "You'll probably remember where you parked in the morning."And of course she was right.  I woke up during the night and remembered pulling over two lanes to snag a parking space (parking is very tight in the area), so I had to have parked on a main street.  We headed back the next morning, and drove around, and there it was, on Guerrero Street.Only -- what was Hazel Street?  I have no idea.  I am terrifically talented at getting lost -- I've been lost in Venice and Jerusalem, and once I went up what I was convinced was the World Trade Center's Tower A only to come back down and realize that it was Tower B.  (I actually spent some time staring up at the towers, looking for a bridge between the two, which was the only way I could explain it.)  But I'd never invented an entire street before.Perhaps the store created a kind of weirdness black hole, that drew strange things into its gravitational field?  It makes as much sense as anything else.  Anyway, I was very grateful for Jude's kindness, and the welcoming atmosphere at Borderlands.
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE February 19, 2015
    Here's my take on a fine debut novel:http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/02/paul-di-filippo-reviews-judd-trichter/