November 10th, 2006


Now it can be told...

This was briefly embargoed, but per this announcement, my Interzone story "The American Dead" will be reprinted in Jonathan Strahan's The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year from Night Shade Books.

So, let's see, that's a story set in Latin America about the decline of the United States, originally published in England and now reprinted by an Australian editor. Hmm...globalization is N UR HOWZ, genre!

Holy pete...and happy holidays, early

As discussed yesterday, the auctionlet for the Neighbor will be running in early December. I'll have a swell teaser a bit later today, along with an up-to-now list of goodies for your charitable holiday needs. Also, I am in discussions with a Kind Volunteer who may run the auctionlet on my behalf, easing some logistical hassles. More about that as it develops.

In the meantime, however, in addition to making an auctionlet donation, the evanescent and incarnadine mizkit hath stepped into the fray with a matching fundraiser for holiday fund gifts for the Neighbor. I am croggled.

Mother of the Child and I were discussing last night all the generosity which has been shown already toward the Neighbor by this diverse community. Many of you are strangers to me, outside our online identities, and with one or two exceptions, all of you are complete strangers to her. Your support reinforces my faith in human nature and the essential goodness of each of us.

Thank you.

Where's the fun if you're not kicking the other guy in the head?

It's not going to be much fun to be a Republican on Capitol Hill for a while. The same smug triumphalism that has reigned among conservatives since the Reagan years is going to come back to haunt them. As are the tactics the GOP has long used against Democrats as well as wayward members of their own caucus.

"We will twist their arms until they break" was the Stalin-esque announcement of Arizona Republican Jim Kolbe. The hard-ass, horse-head-in-the-bed threat is a defining characteristic of this current set of House leaders, whose willingness to go to extreme lengths to get their way has become legend. In 2003, Nick Smith, a Michigan legislator nearing retirement, was told by Republican leadership that if he didn't vote for the GOP's Medicare bill, the party would put forward a primary challenger against his son Brad, who was planning to run for his seat.

Members who cross DeLay & Co. invariably find themselves stripped of influence and/or important committee positions...

    -- Matt Tabbi, "Four Amendments & a Funeral", Rolling Stone, August 10th, 2005

The rules changes which have been instituted during the Dozen Year Reich to castrate and box in the minority are going to be very hard to live down. The sense of unrestricted power which came with drinking their own "Permanent Majority" bathwater is already generating payback -- witness Lincoln Chaffee's defection today on the lame duck Bolton renomination. It's probably a lot of fun to be a schoolyard bully when you think you own the principal's office. As I've said before, watch for a number of rules changes during the lame duck session, along with sudden new-found concern for bipartisanship and the value of the minority party in promoting the balance of divided government...just one more round of blatant hypocrisy from your GOP, the party of good government.

I know I've said the liberal/moderate/progressive coalition that has now come to a tenuous hold on power needs to govern with ethics and grace, but I'd much rather see them do it on the Republicans' own terms. That way, the GOP knows when they win fights (and they will, the numbers now are too thin for veto- or filibuster-proofing) that is in part due to the grace and comity which they themselves were cheerfully eager to snatch away when they were riding high.

In other words, fuck 'em, but not too hard.

ETA: Speaking of filibusters, the GOP Senate leadership must be down on their knees right now thanking the God they pretend to believe in that they didn't follow through on the threat to eliminate the filibuster. Man, payback is a bitch...

Why the Bible?

cyperus_papyrus has rightly called BS on me for my hand waving dismissal of young Earth Creationists as idiots. It's more a subtle issue than that, one I plan to talk more about as time permits.

In the mean time, as I'm contemplating, I'm curious about a couple of lines of thought. I'm making the very obvious correlation of rejection of evolution with a certain type of religious faith. I suspect that very, very few secularists reject evolution, the intellectual fraud that is Intelligent Design notwithstanding. That being said, I'm considering faith-based thinking. I want to toss out a couple of questions here, especially to any people of faith who might happen to be reading.

In the very most basic terms, how does a Christian (or did you personally) come to understand that the Bible has a truth beyond any other collection of written words? Why is it different from me writing on a piece of paper, "Everything I have written down is the word of God?"

Is there a direct scriptual basis for Biblical inerrancy, or is that a matter of interpretation? I don't recall ever seeing a verse which said in so many words, "this and only this is the sole and only truth."

I will moderate comments on this post, partly in case someone wants to go into nonpublic detail, and partly to control snark. (I don't usually object to snark in my comment threads, but it would be counter productive here.)

Auctionlet update

Per earlier discussions here and here, the holiday benefit auctionlet for my Neighbor is gaining steam. The whole idea was kicked off by corvida, who offered to donate a piece for possible auctioning. Her work can be viewed at

So far, here's what's been put up for the auctionlet.

kristine_smith has donated a Tuckerization in an upcoming novel or short story
dinogrl has donated holiday-themed jewelry
scarlettina has donated a hand-made necklace
rosefox has donated hand-made jewelry
deedop and Chef Chopper have donated sponsorshop of a killer triple chocolate mousse cake to be given to the Neighbor for a holiday dessert
saycestsay has donated an official Jay Lake tie-dyed socks (yes, she is one of my suppliers)
kadath has donated an official Mainspring scarf, the only licensed piece of merchandise associated with that book
ramblin_phyl has donated tatted bookmarks
mizkit has donated a print of one of her kitsnaps photos (in addition to doing yeoperson's work on her own blog in connexion with all this)
jeliza has donated one of her LE prints
ramurphy has donated an embroidered tea towel featuring a Celtic knot
Mother of the Child has donated one of her needlefelted dolls
the_child has donated an original artwork in crayon and pencil
jaylake has donated a set of 8x10 prints of the doll's head photos

There will eventually be a gallery of all these wonderful items, but as corvida was thoughtful enough to kick this off, I'll start by featuring her contribution.

Lucky Number 7 (c) 2006 Michaela Eaves

"Lucky Number 7" is 3.5" x 3.5" encaustic on poplar. Encaustic combines wax, mixed media, and pigments. This particular painting includes acrylic and oil paint, stamps, and a rubber tree leaf skeleton. The luminescence of the work doesn't really translate well to the screen, but there is a warm glow that seems to emanate from it. It's ready to hang on the wall or tree and doesn't need framing.

It was originally made a set of holiday ornaments, but is suitable for hanging all year 'round in that small perfect spot that you haven't yet found anything cool for. Since this was made to help out a deserving family, the concept for the piece is meant to evoke fortune and good karma to all involved.

Keep the auctionlet in mind for your holiday gifting needs. All proceeds will go to a Christmas gift fund for the Neighbor to use for herself and her grandchildren.