Bill Rotsler’s Birthday

Today is the late William Rotsler’s birthday. It was often a feature at WESTERCONs, falling, as it did, on July 3.

Portrait of the Artist as an undissolute Man
by Bill Rotsler, drawn on July 3, 1976

I met Bill Rotsler at WESTERCON 29 on his birthday, that interim Bicentennial. (see “The Bison Tenniel — An Origin Story“) between July 2 (actual independence day, when Virginia’s resolution on “independency” was adopted by the Second Continental Congress) and July 4, when the “Declaration” was adopted by that same body. Continue reading

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Harlan Ellison Dead at 84

American writer Harlan Ellison died in his sleep at his home in the hills above Sherman Oaks, California yesterday.

Absent anything coherent to say, I will reprint a piece from his vorpal sword‘s archives.

In Which I Force Harlan Ellison to Work for FREE
26 JANUARY 2008 · 4:34 PM

From an upcoming documentary about that guy the proprietors and employees of Dangerous Visions Bookstore on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks (alas, R.I.P.) used to call “The angry old man up on the Hill.” If you’re having trouble seeing it, you could go HERE.*

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Must reading for just reading

Buy Hart Williams’ new ebook — Nine of Hart’s — at Amazon … everywhere. For all devices!

You can find it here


Courage.

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Nine of Hart’s is Published!

My latest ebook, Nine of Hart’s, was published on Amazon this morning. Consisting of sixteen short stories written over the course of my forty-plus year writing career, it encapsulates the arc of my fiction writing.

Here’s the Amazon blurb:

Sixteen short stories of unicorns, trophies, stuff found in attics, of Christmas invasions, Chautauquas, Family secrets, sequels to classic films, and imaginary musicals. Moving examinations of “what it means to be a man” in a new era without rulebooks or codes. And hilarity in equal doses.

Here’s the Introduction: Continue reading

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I Am An Elected Official, Officially

How weird is this? Yesterday, I received my certificate of election. 50 years ago, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. 40 Hotel, yards from where Kennedy was shot. 25 years ago, we were married.

50 years later, I am officially a Democratic Party Precinct Committeeman. (That’s what the official filing form says, at least.)

Courage.

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The Bully Pulpit

Today, the former head of the CIA had had enough:

 I will speak out until integrity returns to the White House
John Brennan / Washington Post

John Brennan served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2013 to January 2017.  —  My first visit to the Oval Office came in October 1990, when I was a 35-year-old CIA officer…

The Holder of the Office of President of the United States of America decided to personally attack a female comedian and, hopefully, destroy her life and the lives of those of her production staff: the writers’ room denizens, the director, the lighting crew, the camera crew, the set design crew, the graphics department, the editing department, and so on and so forth.

Because he didn’t like what his daughter was called.

This is more feckless than his sadistic plan — fully realized — to deny an FBI employee with a distinguished career record of his retirement and medical benefits. For reasons darker and more self-serving, in this case. Continue reading

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The Monster Tu Quoque Stalks the Land

The Sleep of Reason breeds monsters — Goya

Greetings and happy Decoration Day (stolen from the GAR and thence the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) by a Congress that names military bases after traitor generals. This is actually a fine segue into what I’m here to talk to you about. I awakened this morning with this topic and title in my head. And then I saw this, reinforcing the need for it:

White House Demands TBS Cancel Samantha Bee’s Show
The Daily Beast

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed comedienne Samantha Bee’s comments about Ivanka Trump on Thursday.  “The language used by Samantha Bee last night is vile and vicious.  The collective silence by the left …

This is the argument of a child. It is the tantrum of a child. The Latin-termed fallacy “Tu Quoque“* means, literally, “You too!”

[*  pronounced too KWO kway. ]

I don’t know of any parents that ever let that argument pass. If it was stolen cookies and “but Bart did it too!” was raised in Defense in Family Court, the answer was, invariably and universally (with small variants): “If Bart jumped off the Empire State Building, I suppose you would, too?”  Continue reading

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