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Texas community newspaper The Good Life has a solid piece on Howard Waldrop that’s worth reading. The bibliography the accompanies it is a bit spotty, but you get that. Speaking of Howard, I just got an early look at his next story, “The Wolfman of Alcatraz”, which Ellen Datlow will be publishing at SciFiction on September 22. It’s a very solid Waldrop short that I’ll post more about a little later (I want to re-read it), which I think may mark a change in his work. As always, I’m up to my ears in other reading. I just received the new Terry Pratchett, Stephen Donaldson, and Jon Courtenay Grimwood books. I’m obliged to read the Donaldson, but the others look really good. I’m also tearing through as much short fiction as I can before I head off to the States. It’s beginning to feel like those year’s bests are due in about 20 minutes.

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The fine folk over at Golden Gryphon are just about to publish their latest chapbook, Mere, by Robert Reed. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at it, and it’s a worthy addition to their list.

Set in the same universe as Reed’s novel, Marrow, it tells of the unlikely survivor of a failed journey to join the interstellar circuit of the Great Ship, and how that survivor goes well and truly native over some thousands of years, before being faced with her past. It’s odd, touching and disturbing. I’m not sure yet if it’s one of the year’s best, but it’s well worth checking out. Kudos to Gary and Marty for another great job, well done.

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Apparently the first issue of the new Amazing Stories is just hitting the stands in the US right now, and it features new fiction by Timothy Zahn, Bruce Sterling, Ray Vukcevich, and Gene Wolfe, which is pretty impressive.

Following a note on Neil’s journal, I note that each issue will feature ‘”1,000 Words,” in which we provide an author with a picture, and the author tells us which thousand words it’s worth.’ The instalment features an 800-word Gaiman introduction to a 200-word Harlan Ellison story. Or, a 200-word Ellison afterword to a 800-word Gaiman piece of non-fiction. Guess it all depends on your perspective.

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Sometimes your kids make you proud…
Bought a copy of Disney’s The Lion King for the kids a little while ago. Hate it myself, but thought they might like the songs. Played it for them last night and they didn’t want to watch it (too scary). They woke up this morning, though, and asked to watch Totoro while eating breakfast. Their staggering good taste just makes me proud.

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Justine, who I can personally assure you is very cool, has just posted to her mumblings about receiving the galleys for her first novel, Magic or Madness, which is due for publication early next year. The cover looks terrific and I’m really interested to read the book. Her partner, Scott, has written some very fine books (which you should check out), and I’m fascinated to see what she’s come up with. Something to look forward to. Hmmm. Wonder if Scott’s finished that third novel yet…

…unavoidable stuff from jonathan strahan…