Holy crow, it’s the end of November already. How’d that happen?
Work on Lovecraft Country continues apace. I’ve passed the halfway mark, and more importantly, the remaining gaps in the story arc have been filling themselves in neatly. I’m not yet at that magic point where I’ve got the complete novel in my head, but I can see it off in the distance now and know that I’ll get there.
In other news:
* Wednesday’s New York Times had a story from the granddaughter of a Bronx landlord who claimed 13-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald liked to shoot at the neighbors with his BB gun. Reading this, it occurred to me that I’ve never seen a film about the JFK assassination that unambiguously portrayed Oswald as acting alone. But once you admit the possibility, he seems like exactly the sort of character who’d decide, on his own, to try to murder a public figure.
* Laurie Anderson wrote an incredible piece for Rolling Stone about her life with Lou Reed, and their last moments together.
* A Buzzfeed staffer ranked all 144 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is great if you’re in the mood to waste huge amounts of time debating the opinions of a stranger. But what else is the Internet for, amirite?
* Now that the Seattle weather’s turned cold, I put out the hummingbird feeder, and almost immediately got a customer. This led to a breakfast-table conversation with Lisa about whether this was the same hummingbird who visited us last winter. Then, while I was checking hummingbird lifespans on Wikipedia (3-5 years on average, so yeah, it could be the same guy) I noticed that our Anna’s hummingbirds are described as “medium-sized,” which begged the question, “If that’s medium, what does a small one look like?”
This is a bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. Wish we could lure some to Seattle, but seeing as they are native to Cuba I doubt they’d like the climate much.
For the next
two four weeks, The Mirage English-language ebook is on sale for just $1.99 from all the major U.S. outlets, including Google, iTunes, Kindle, Kobo, and Nook.
From what I can tell, the sale extends to at least some international markets as well—I’m seeing an equivalent reduction in Kindle edition prices in continental Europe, Japan, India, Brazil, and Mexico.
Also, the Polish-language edition of The Mirage has just been published by REBIS. Cool cover!
UPDATE: The Mirage has been chosen for the Kindle Big Deal, so the sale has been extended through October 28th.
Still just .193 on Pluto.
That kitchen-timer ding you may have heard from the direction of L.A. last month was the sound of the existing Bad Monkeys television option expiring. The film and TV rights have now reverted to me and are once again available. If you should find yourself at a dinner party with Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Jane Espenson, Marti Noxon, and/or whoever was responsible for the Hannah McKay subplot on season 7 of Dexter, feel free to drop this into the conversation.
As always, if you’re interested in acquiring the rights yourself, the person to contact is my CAA agent, Matthew Snyder.
* I’m curious whether all the New York Times ads for Carl Hiaason’s latest novel will give my Monkeys a free publicity bump.
* If you’re a fan of Looper or Brick, you should check out writer/director Rian Johnson’s other film, The Brothers Bloom. (I’d put Johnson on my list of dream adapters for Bad Monkeys but he apparently only does original material, which I can’t argue with.)
* What Would Phoebe Do has an interesting series of posts about why certain subjects are better explored as fiction than in first-person essays. (Parts I, II, III, and IV.)
* Last Thursday’s link to this guinea pig armor auction was one of my most retweeted tweets ever. No surprise there.
Just a reminder: The Mirage ebook is available for $1.99 from Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google. The sale runs through next Monday, June 3.
Lisa and I saw Iron Man 3 over the holiday weekend. Some quick (and mildly spoilery) thoughts:
“Nothing’s been the same since New York.”
* It was a lot of fun—much better than Iron Man 2—and a good end to the series, assuming, as both he and Gwyneth Paltrow have been hinting, that this is Robert Downey Jr.’s last non-Avengers turn in the suit.
* Obviously Marvel is going to want to continue to
mint money make sequels, but RDJ is so integral to the character of Tony Stark that I don’t think swapping in another actor would work. Better they have him hand the suit off to someone else. The obvious choice would be Rhodey Rhodes, and if I’m not more enthusiastic about that idea, it’s only because the character as written so far has been pretty much Generic Black Sidekick. Don Cheadle’s great, though (if you haven’t seen House of Lies yet, do), and if they give him an actual backstory to work with, a War Machine/Iron Patriot movie could work.
* Pepper in the suit—and later, as the girl who was on fire—was a nice bit. (Did she get to keep her regenerative powers at the end, or did Tony “cure” her? The film seemed unclear about that.) Like a lot of geeks who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, I am predisposed to want to see women in power armor, so the idea of a Rescue spin-off intrigues me, but I don’t know if Gwyneth or the money people would really go for that. (What I’d really like to see is Jenette Goldstein in power armor, but good luck pitching that movie: “She’s a fiftysomething ex-Marine who runs a custom bra shop in L.A. and designs military hardware as a hobby…”)
* I wish they’d done more with Rebecca Hall’s character, Maya Hansen. She struck me as more of a plot device than a person, and her last-minute change of heart seemed like a contrivance—a pointless one, since it accomplished nothing.
* Nice finesse on the Mandarin, though.
A heads-up for my German fans who’ve been emailing to ask if and when The Mirage would be available in translation: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag has officially set publication for March 2014. The novel will be available in both hardcover and ebook editions.
* The American ebook of The Mirage is still on sale for $1.99.
* Just finished watching season 2 of The Borgias. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, this is like the non-fantasy version, with Charles VIII’s army replacing the ice zombies and Machiavelli’s The Prince serving as the tie-in book. Really well done.
* Last Saturday was the 2013 championships for the Rat City Rollergirls. Grave Danger beat the Sockit Wenches 202-167 in a close-fought bout. But the best moment of the evening came during the mid-bout break, when Method of Madness proposed to Jalapeño Business. Jalapeño said yes, and the crowd went wild. This tops the previous coolest thing to happen off-track this season, Nancy Pearl’s Feb. 9 halftime appearance where she did a live reading of Where the Wild Things Are. Mazel tov to the happy couple!
The regular derby season is over, but the post-season bouts start next month, with visiting Montreal and London teams going up against the Rat City all stars. Full schedule is here.
* Cat font!
They’re a rare golden variation of the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, and yes, they’re real. (via @paleofuture)
Breaking radio silence for a quick heads-up: The Mirage ebook is on sale for $1.99 this month at Amazon (where it’s part of their “100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or less” promotion), the iTunes store, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. (ETA: Google too, now.)
In other news:
* As you’ve probably guessed from the lack of recent posts, I’m hard at work on Lovecraft Country. Long way to go yet, but so far all is well.
* Lisa and I watched Lincoln the other night. Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal, and Sally Field is great too in the handful of scenes they gave her, but otherwise we were underwhelmed. Beyond the obvious criticism—this is a film about the end of slavery in which black people serve only as bit players—it felt like Spielberg was trying to have it both ways, portraying Lincoln as a flesh-and-blood politician, as willing to engage in corruption as any other, while still hanging to the notion of Lincoln as a sainted, larger-than-life figure who of course transcends the moral judgments that apply to lesser Republicans: “When Lincoln does it, it’s not a crime.”
* Django Unchained, on the other hand, was great. (Yes, Kerry Washington needed more to do.) And now I really want to see the remake of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter starring Daniel Day-Lewis and written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Though Tarantino’s version would probably be Frederick Douglass: Vampire Hunter. Which I’d also be up for.
* A cat, a shark suit, a Roomba, and a duck. The Internet just keeps getting better.