Spännande nyheter i höst

Just nu hinner jag knappt med livets vardagliga nödvändigheter, men snart kommer oktober och då lättar det. Och det kommer en massa spännande nyheter:

Tony Dekker är sångare och låtskrivare i Great Lake Swimmers. Nu gör den naturälskande Dekker solo-debut med "Prayer of the Woods" och det låter som Great Lake Swimmers förstås. Inte mig emot, det här kan vara en av årets bästa. Och i november kommer Tony Dekker till Stockholm...!

The Deep Dark Woods känns som en släkting till ovan nämna grupp. "Jubilee", första skivan med nya gitarristen Clayton Linthicum, har jag fått höra innan den släpps och DDW fortsätter att övertyga som ett av de mest spännande och suggestiva banden just nu. Ryan Boldt låter lika underbart frustrerat uppgiven och melankolisk som vanligt, så att varenda känselspröt darrar och kramar om varje hjärtslag.

Linda Thompson, en av de mest otroliga rösterna, kommer med ännu ett soloprojekt och det låter som alltid lika hänryckande. En spröd röst med ett så starkt uttryck att den rubbar berggrunden...! Ska bli mycket intressant att höra hela "Won't Be Long Now".

Ad Vanderveen släpper äntligen en elektrisk live-inspelad vulkan igen. Neil Youngs ande ligger som en dimridå över soundet på "Live Labor" och jag kapitulerar. Ad gör ta mig tusan bättre NY-skivor än Neil själv gör numera...!

Lägg därtill rykten om en ny Marti Jones-skiva, en politisk EP med Antje Duvekot, en dubbel kallad "Shout!" med Warren Haynes grupp Gov't Mule, en ny DVD med Show of Hands...

... och i november kommer äntligen Broken Fences nya EP "Stormy Clouds" - och hösten känns riktigt välkommen...!

What Is Currently Making Me Angry With the Heat of a Thousand Firey Suns

I need to update information on a website I control with information about a company in India -- and I was just on their contact page a few minutes ago, which loaded and gave me all the data I needed. However, that page now will not load, and no amount of googling or futzing around has made IE just show the god-damned cached page you had five minutes ago!

Back in the early days of the 'net, it wasn't uncommon to set your browser to "work offline," and poke through the pages you'd loaded before. But that seems impossible now, and of course that's exactly what I need right now.

I really, really hate it when technology removes capabilities.

Update, two minutes later: Before anyone asks, I has a couple of IE windows open at all time at work because our portal site is set up to only authenticate with IE, so most of the systems & resources I have to use only work that way.

Top Shelf Sale

Top Shelf, one of the finest publishers of interesting comics on this or any other continent, is having one of their periodic amazing sales right now, and I urge you to go check it out and buy a few things.

They have comics for a buck, graphic novels for three -- lots of stuff half off or more, and everything I've read from Top Shelf has been...well, top shelf.

I've blogged about their sales before -- they do this in September a lot -- and here's last year's post about the stuff I bought then, as a taster. Look, it's a whole lot of great comics at ridiculously low prices -- if that's not appealing, I don't know how you find the energy to go on living.

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 9/7

This week I have two books to write about, both sent to me unexpectedly by the Great Gods of Publicity. I haven't read either of them as of this precise moment, but either or both of them could turn out to be your favorite book of all time -- so I hope you'll forgive be if I get too flippant (which is my usual failure mode).

First up is Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, which is I think the first David Barnett novel to be published in the US. It's a steampunk tale, as you might guess from the title, in which a callow young man goes to his world's London (capital of the usual Victorian even-larger-and-more-impressive-empire of steampunk) to find the thrilling adventurer of the cheap press, only to find that his hero does not exactly live up to his billing. It's out from Tor in the US, as a trade paperback on September 10th.

And the other book is The Third Kingdom, the latest from Terry Goodkind. As I understand it, he's essentially continuing the series that used to be called "The Sword of Truth" -- or, at least, telling more stories of that series's main characters -- with 2011's The Omen Machine and this new novel. There's very little supporting material here to judge by -- the front flap copy just has a few paragraphs from the book, in which what I presume will be the Big Bad shows no effects from having several swords run through him; and the back flap is entirely quotes about how awesome Goodkind is. I'm pretty sure Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell are in massive danger from said unaffected-by-swords-guy -- they seem to be captives of cannibals on page 1, though that might be an unrelated danger -- but I'm also fairly sure that they will manage to save the world eventually. This is a Tor hardcover, officially publishing in August.

Incoming Books: First Week of September

A few books have arrived here recently, from various directions, and I like writing about books when they reach my hands (shiny, even if not new), and this is my blog, so I do the things I like here.

First up is The Elwell Enigma, which is not a new book in Rick Geary's "Treasury of XXth Century Murder," even though it's another closely-examined murder case of a century ago -- in this case, of bridge expert Joseph B. Elwell in New York City in 1920. No, this is an unrelated side book, self-published by Geary, and I have no idea what the backstory is that led to it existing that way. But this was the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, which I backed, and the time has now come for the real book to arrive. It's got both the pluses of the small-press/crowdfunded world -- it came with a bookmark, signed postcard, signed bookplate, and the book itself was signed to me as well -- as well as the minuses, such as the fact that the spine is completely blank. (New presses often forget there's a piece of book between the front and back.) I have no idea if this is now available to non-backers, or if it will ever be -- but I have one, and that makes me happy.

I also got two stray books from my recent order from HamiltonBook.com (which I will continue to plug as a great source for remainders and random books):

The 2011 Harper trade paperback edition of Tim Powers's On Stranger Tides, since I need to rebuild my Powers shelf. (And my fantasy-reading second son might be ready for Powers in another few years, though I'll probably give him Anubis Gates first when the time comes.)

And Men of Tomorrow, the now nearly-decade-old history of the early days of comic books by Gerard Jones, who has written more than a few comics in his day. (I was particularly fond of The Trouble With Girls, which he wrote with Will Jacobs around twenty years ago.) This is well-respected, and I've been vaguely thinking about reading it for a while -- and having a copy makes that slightly more likely.

(Normally I would include Amazon links in a post like this -- but Elwell isn't available anywhere but directly from Geary, and the other two are remainders best acquired through those channels. So I'll leave them off -- even if I included them, I'd have recommended that you not use them to purchase.)