Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Chris Garcia

Challenger #27 came to my hands as if called my merciful angels wishing to spare me from another afternoon of actual work. Here I am ready to LoC one of my favourite zines without fear…

Zenkitty brings up an interesting take on the dating matter of buying dinner. When I was dating Jen, the first girl I've dated since breaking up with Gen who is the mother of Evelyn mentioned in the article later in the issue, she was an old-fashioned Southern kind of girl who expected guys, i.e. me, to pay for dinner and such. This was a slight problem, since she made considerably more than me (though I've yet to meet many people who are salaried and make less than I do in Silicon Valley) and I only managed by smart movement of stuff from my various collections into the hands of other collectors who were willing to pay to have said stuff. Luckily, we didn't last. My current flame started out thinking that we should always go dutch, though things really changed to the point where whoever can pay will pay and so on. Luckily it all works out and neither of us is paying too high a percentage and neither of us is getting a free ride. Plus, we stay in a lot and that saves some bread too.

Congrats to Taral on his Fan GoHship! I've just put up an issue of The Drink Tank where Frank Wu does an interview with Taral about his life and career as a fan and fan artist. I like Taral's work a lot, I've seen it numerous places over the years but only became conversant with it after acquiring a full-run of Gallery. I'd love to see him on the Hugo ballot and to have him walk away with the Rocket. Him and Dan Steffan. They could tie.

And Marc Schirmeister and Kurt Erichsen and Charlie Williams and Randy Cleary and Alan White and and and … But at least we've got Taral on the Denvention ballot.

I'm not much of a Clarke fan. It's a tough thing to admit, even to myself. Yes, "The Nine Billion Names of God" is magnificent stuff, fueling my love of extremely short fiction, but too often I've tried to read him and felt like I was reading a scientific paper turned into a story and not a story with science in it. I couldn't make it through Childhood's End nor 2001, though I believe the movie is a dead-on science fiction masterpiece. Maybe I should give him another shot.

I've had an interesting experience with Clarke's oeuvre. I was too young to "get" Childhood's End, but loved The Deep Range and "The Nine Billion Names of God" -- I cheered for Rendezvous with Rama in its Hugo bid -- and came to believe he deserved a Nobel Prize for his influence on the genre and the genre's impact on the world. For the comfort of his presence alone, he will be missed: our Greatest.

Fat arms. I recently had a lovely chat with a friend who has fat arms. In fact, that painting included with the article could well of been of my friend Myra, only she's Filipino and doesn't wear glasses. She once said that despite her jowls, she's had only one problem: pulling a sweater over her head. She has claimed it's added minutes on to her dressing time during the winter. Such problems don't happen to me. I've merely got this giant belly that allows me to play Santa Claus without bulky padding, to hit the crash bar on doors without having to put my hands on them and to provide ample warmth when the heating goes out. Sometimes I feel as if Eskimos are following me waiting for the right moment to harpoon and flense me, using the oil they find to heat their little igloos.

Rosy's big diet thing these days is carbs, which -- she's convinced, which means we're convinced -- affect the human body more significantly than calories. We do battle regularly over the issue. I mean, which should I want most: a long life or a good pizza?

I've never made it to Comic-Con, and this year was going to be the year I went. Instead, I'm going to England for Eastercon and time and money won't allow me to make the trip. And when a report talks about Stone Cold Steve Austin (one of my all-time favourite 'rasslers), I'm always pleased. I love the eye-candy at Comic-Con. The reports on sites like always show off lovely ladies in skin-tight outfits. This year, since 300 was so popular, the ladies had oiled abs and such to ogle themselves.

[Brad Foster's] "Shriner Shuffle" piece made me think to mention how interesting your artwork for this issue is. There's been a big change in fan art over the last couple of years. Brad Foster's color work has gussied up many covers and interiors (like The Drink Tank and Askance from John Purcell) and others have slowly started to rise up. I really think that folks like J. Kathryn Feinberg, Espana Sheriff and Aldrich will be the next generation of fan artist and they're just starting to see the light of day. Really must make sure I get more from those folks.

Fan art is just one of the areas where zines have it all over blogs. I'd much rather read excellent text with a nice drawing than excellent text without.

Robert Rankin sounds like a hoot of a writer. Too bad I'm so far backlogged on books that I can't fit him in until at least 2009. The funny thing is that I've created soundtracks for reading books over the years. I just load up MP3s on my Real Jukebox playlist and let her roll. The only one I remember with extreme clarity is the one I did for Perdido Street Station. Opens with "Haus der Luge" from Einsterzende Neubauten, followed by "My Little Shirtwaist Fire" by Rasputina, "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" and "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus, ""Turkish Song of the Damned from The Pogues, "Prophet of Disease" by Goatsnake, "Let Me Entertain You" by All About Eve, a bunch of Sisters of Mercy and The Swans, Red Right Hand, Do You Love Me and Wild Rose from Nick Cave and an entire Tigerlillies album. Good for setting the right mood.

I've met Slash. I saw him in LA when I was down there in 1998 or so, saw him walking around and said "howdy" as he walked by. He responded with "hey." And walked on by. I've had that same conversation with a lot of celebrities over the years.

Alan Moore looks even crazier than I'd imagined. He's an amazing writer. I'd put anything he's written in the last decade up against anyone else writing in the same timeframe and I'd say that Moore would win … except maybe when compared to Mieville (who certainly has a similar feeling to Moore's work) and Stross. Other than those two, and maybe Iain Banks, he's the best!

He is indeed, but what I like best about Moore is his understanding of what comics/graphic novels are all about: visuals. Take a look at Rorsharch's battle with the SWAT team in Watchmen -- it shows that the guy knows action. I really look forward to that movie, though I don't like the look they've given Ozymandias.

I've loved musicals since I was a kid, but my family didn't have much money to go to New York or even SF to see them too often and I often had to rely on cast recordings and AmDram to get my fixes. I did see a bunch of them during college though, the plus of going to a performing arts school. To me, the perfect American Musical is City of Angels. It's the best piece of post-modern theatre ever created. You've got a truly American detective concept, mingling with a tale of a writer selling out and some of the best music you'll ever hear. It's a magnificent combination and it blends fantasy and reality flawlessly, showing how one both enforces and counteracts the other. A masterpiece. I also love Assassins, though it's only slightly in the category of the Fantastic. Brigadoon is another favourite of mine, mostly for the dances that every version of it I've ever seen feature. There was a musical version of Rip Van Winkle that I enjoyed when I was much younger. It's good to see Forever Plaid up there. I saw that show at least 3 times and always loved it. Sondheim's Into the Woods was another great one for a kid of 12 to see on American Masters from PBS. I've always loved Sondheim (I used to sing songs from Company to myself on the swings as a kid) and that was his most fantastical musical at the time. I'm currently working on writing a musical myself. It's not fantasy, but a screwball-ish comedy about three guys trying to make their fill for the rest of the year during the last night before Prohibition sets in.

Nolacon. I wish I had been there. It sounds like one of those times when I'd find the most interesting little nugget of joy and spin it around until I had cotton candy…

You've put out an issue that puts anything I'll ever do to shame. Well-played, Mr. Lillian. Well-played indeed…

With two Hugo nominations this year, you've played this game pretty well yourself. Thanks for the nice egoboo towards Chall in your "Hugo Handicapping" issue!


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