Cats Laughing Again

Cats Laughing, a psychedelic folk rock band with authors Emma Bull, Steven Brust, and Adam Stemple, plus Lojo Russo and new addition Scott Keever, will play a reunion concert Friday, April 3 at Minicon.

Livestream audio and video from the concert, presented free on ConcertWindow, begins at 9:00 p.m. EDT. SisterTree, featuring Kerri Joy and Dee Brust, will open with a short set. Richard Tatge will provide a light show.

David Dyer-Bennet, part of the concert’s Beyond Conventions team, is spreading the word. “We don’t get paid for number of people connected, but it would still be cool if people wanted to have Cats Laughing parties at conventions or elsewhere, or even go so far as to present the stream in a program item.”

The reunion was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign that Neil Gaiman promoted in this amusing video —

The Cats Laughing Facebook page has plenty of photos of the band. And here is a clip of Emma Bull singing a bit of “Signal to Noise” at a recent rehearsal.

Bull Aces Surgery;
Lynch’s Tip Jar Explodes

Emma Bull told Livejournal readers today she emerged from her August 8 thyroidectomy in fine shape –

Out of the hospital and home on the couch, complete with cats. The surgery went well and my recovery likewise, except – A WHOLE DAY WITH (almost) NO COFFEE! I almost died. Okay, no, I didn’t, but the caffeine withdrawal headache was a drag. Will [Shetterly] banished it this morning with a triple latte brought to my hospital bed.

And within 48 hours after Scott Lynch declared he would help with Emma Bull’s and Steven Brust’s imminent medical expenses by giving them 2/3 of readers’ donations to his free online serial, Queen of the Iron Sands,  more than $3,000 had been stuffed in his tip jar.

Now that he’s able to help as he wanted to, Lynch also will be busy delivering the string of incentives offered if donations reached certain milestones — among them a promise to write the story one of his characters hypothetically submitted to Astounding during the Golden Age of SF:

$3000 In Chapter 2 of Queen of the Iron Sands, Violet mentions some of the short story titles in her own brief bibilography. One of them, as recorded in her letter from John W. Campbell, is “Cold Windings of the Murthalump.” Hit three grand and I’ll actually write this… in Violet’s authorial voice, as though it had been written by her around 1948-49, for publication in Astounding Science Fiction. The particularly fun thing about this is I currently have no idea what the hell the title refers to.

Lynch has set the bar pretty high. (For a stunt like this, why do otherwise?) The 1948-1949 period brackets the famous ”predicted” issue of November 1949 with Robert Heinlein’s “Gulf” and an installment of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy, plus the first appearances of other classics like E. E. Smith’s Children of the Lens, a couple of H. Beam Piper’s “Paratime” stories, a “Null-A” story by A. E. Van Vogt, Judith Merrill’s “Only A Mother”, Wilmar H. Shiras’ “In Hiding”, Jack Williamson’s “Seetee Shock”, and Hal Clement’s “Needle.”

If Lynch pulls this off he deserves another wave of donations – and then, of course, he’ll be able to help even more.

Support for Bull, Brust

Concerned about Emma Bull’s and Steve Brust’s mounting medical expenses, author Scott Lynch has decided to start sending “people who could use the boost” two-thirds of all donations by readers of his free online serial novel Queen of the Iron Sands. Bull and Brust will be the first beneficiaries of his new policy. Others will follow.

Both writers are facing surgery this month. Emma Bull told her Livejournal readers she is having a thyroidectomy on August 8. Steve Brust, briefly hospitalized for congestive heart failure in April, will have an automatic defibrillator implanted on August 22.

[Via Ansible Links.]

Loscon GoH in Crosswords

Emma Bull, one of Loscon 37’s guests of honor, was featured in the LA Times crossword puzzle on November 17.

Her first name was the answer to the following clue:

37 Down: “Bone Dance” sci-fi author Bull (four letters)

Science fictional references crop up in the puzzles with some regularlity and I became intrigued to know who writes them and does he or she have a connection with fandom?

Fred Piscop constructed the November 17 puzzle. By all accounts he’s a star in the world of puzzle-writing, though without any direct connection to fandom that I’ve been able to research so far:

Fred Piscop is from Bellmore, New York.  A graduate of Cornell, he took up puzzling full-time in 1995 after being laid off as a computer tech support specialist for a defense contractor.  When he’s not puzzling, he plays keyboards in a rock band, samples microbrews, and collects spelling errors in comic strips.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the story.]