Ron Salomon Announces His LiveJournal

Ron Salomon sends an e-mail announcing he has joined us here in the 21st Century. Yes, he has started a blog:

Hope everyone at your end of the world is OK. Any hints for slowing down kids aging? I just wrote a short note to Dave Langford that now that Second Son Aaron has matriculated into Jewish Manhood [?], I got no kids! I got two men who call me dad. Not the same thing but close to what it was. And yes, I even miss the diapers, the potty, the scrapes, walking, the words.

But anyways I should be writing about myself, since It’s all about Me Me Me.

I am now available if not comprehendible at LiveJournal, succumbing to many years of questioning why I wasn’t participating. By those same fans who now will be ruing the day. Ruing? Anyhow please spread the word, which is Faanboy, which is my handle [or am I retroing to the CB ‘70s?] to read my Stuff and Nonsense and hopefully to at least say hello electronically to myself, me, Ron. The LJ friend thing would be nice to have too.

That’s it. An early Boo!

Polling the Pros

Reason Online has posted the results of its 2008 election poll.

As Campaign 2008 entered its home stretch, we asked a variety of policy wonks, journalists, thinkers, and other public figures in the reason universe to reveal for whom they are voting this fall, for whom they pulled the lever the last two times around, what they’ll miss most about the Bush administration, and which president they’d most like to have waterboarded.

I guess the waterboarding question is what passes for rational discourse in Reason editorial meetings.

Three well-known science fiction writers submitted answers, Gregory Benford, David Brin and John Scalzi. Only Benford picked a waterboarding victim, while Brin and Scalzi responded negatively to the question itself.

I rather enjoyed Scalzi’s playful but sincere answers here. He’s much more strident on his home turf, Whatever, which I always come away from feeling like I’m supposed to hang my head and do the line from Henry V, “Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame.” But I haven’t so far.

Reference Director!

I’ve read Eric Linday’s Gegenschein for many years. It seemed safe to assume that Eric, like nearly all fanzine editors, named his zine for something of interest to fans, maybe a character or place found in a science fiction or fantasy story, as the Coulsons did with Yandro.

I’d forgotten that I didn’t know the meaning of Eric’s title. Then today I read an article about Zodiacal Light, and it suddenly jumped off the page at me:

Also difficult to see, though actually perhaps a trifle brighter than the Zodiacal Band, is the “counterglow” or Gegenschein. This is a very faint oval patch of light about 10 to 20 degrees long and 6 to 8 degrees wide (overall, comparable in size to the Great Square of Pegasus) and situated exactly on the ecliptic at that point diametrically opposite to the Sun in the sky. If the Sun has just dipped below the western horizon, for example, the counterglow would be just above the eastern horizon.

Where zines get their names would be a fertile topic for a Corflu trivia contest.

Journey Planet Starts Second Orbit

Chris Garcia alerts the media that a new issue of Journey Planet has appeared, his collaborative effort with James Bacon and Claire Brialey.

I’ve been looking forward to the issue because Diana contributed an article. But they certainly didn’t do her any favor in the way they presented her material. Diana’s article was dropped in between long series of questionnaires answered by femmefans. Several other contributions suffered the same fate. The effect is to make the authors of the articles look like they didn’t get the memo.

2008 Rotsler Award

Toronto-area artist Taral Wayne has won the Rotsler Award, given annually for long-time artistic achievement in amateur publications of the science fiction community. Established in 1998, it carries an honorarium of US$300.
The award will be formally announced on Saturday, November 29, 2008, at the Los Angeles local science fiction convention “Loscon”, held every year over the U.S. Thanksgiving Day weekend.
Taral’s work is by turns serious, sexy, and satirical, with a fluent line and strong composition. At home with space equipment and strange creatures, he was also drawing anthropomorphic animals long before most in North America had heard of anime or manga. The Rotsler Award is sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, a non-profit corporation, which in 2006 hosted the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention. The award is named for the late Bill Rotsler, a talented and prolific artist over many years. Current judges are Mike Glyer, John Hertz, and Claire Brialey.

The 2008 Loscon [] will be the 35th. An exhibit honoring Taral’s work will be in the Art Show.

For more about the Rotsler Award, visit

Keeping Company in Glendale

Diana Pavlac Glyer and Will Vaus Students in Narnia costumes

Diana launched the paperback edition of The Company They Keep with a book signing at Glendale‘s Mystery and Imagination Bookstore on October 25. She appeared in tandem with Will Vaus, who is doing a tour for his youth-oriented biography of C.S. Lewis, The Professor of Narnia.

A lively crowd of more than 40 came out to hear and meet the authors, including a whole batch of high schoolers in Narnian costume, the students of John Long, one of Diana’s former research assistants.

We’ve eagerly awaited the paperback edition, which is just coming out now (announced for October 30). The publisher arranged an expedited shipment of copies for the event.

Will Vaus blogged about it afterwards, and posted some nice pictures.

The Professor of Narnia teamed up with Inklings expert Diana Pavlac Glyer, author of The Company They Keep, for a special Narnia Night at the Mystery & Imagination Bookshop in Glendale, California last night. We were joined by many and various Narnia characters. . . .

Thanks to John King Tarpinian for connecting us with the bookstore. (John himself had an excused absence, to escort Ray Bradbury to a showing of King Kong at the Alex Theatre down the street.)

The only thing we wish might have worked out in a luckier way would have been for our friend Joseph Bentz, who attended the signing, to have realized right then that Will Vaus is the son of J. Arthur Vaus, gangster-turned-evangelist. Bentz is currently writing a book about conversion stories, and the elder Vaus is one of his subjects.

Will penned an entire book about his dad, My Father Was a Gangster. Will also met the local crime kingpin:

My father worked for the infamous Hollywood gangster, Mickey Cohen, during the late 1940’s. Despite the fact that my father quit organized crime in 1949 he and Cohen remained friends. Thus it was that when Cohen got out of jail in 1972 I got to meet him and spend time with him on a number of occasions. Cohen was the epitomy of respectability around women and children. In fact, he gave me a signed photograph addressed to “my little buddy Billy”.

Coincidentally, this week the Los Angeles Times is running a seven-part series on the LAPD’s old Gangster Squad and its efforts to nail flamboyant gangster Mickey Cohen. Vaus, mentioned in the second and third parts, worked for the Cohen organization as a wiretapper.

Advertising That Doesn’t Work

There are two kinds of web advertising that don’t work. The first kind simply fails to make me want to pay for the product. The second kind breaks the site so I can’t read its contents.

This morning SF Signal was cluttered with an ad that failed in both ways. The ad for the latest horror movie can’t be shut off, and when it’s finished running still obscures half the text in the lead article.