February 22nd, 2008


[fiction] Friday Flash — "To Repair Man"

To Repair Man

by Jay Lake

Ever wonder why barbecue joints always show a pig on the sign? Me neither. I mean, if those Twilight Zone aliens showed up to serve man, would there be a happy picture of Emeril Lagasse on their restaurant signs? Homie don't think so. Like the t-shirt says, if God didn't mean for us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?

So I got me a little workshop down by the county line which I got the bright idea one day ought to be the shape of a car. They got those big Cat dump trucks out at the quarry, about the size of a building each. Pops McGinty backed one into a trench a while back. They had to get the dragline to haul it out, and it's been up on blocks ever since. This gave me an idea.

When I ran into LeFarge drinking down at the Coon Dog, I made my move.

"Brandy," I said. His real name was Brandeis, but nobody called him that except the IRS and his probation officer. He also was the site manager for the quarry. "You going to do anything with that busted out Cat dumper Pops wrecked?"

LeFarge stared at me with his squinty eyes. "You got any idea what the parts value on that thing is?"

"Not a clue. I mostly work on Fords. I don't want none of that shit anyway. Just the body shell."

"Could sell it to the scrap cutters for good money," LeFarge mused.

I toyed with my Lone Star, the cold beading out on it like flop sweat on a twenty dollar hooker. "Could fix your pickup for free the next two years."

"You got a tow truck that big?"

"No," I said with a laugh, "but you do."

Two weeks later it showed up in three pieces on some heaver hauler flat beds down from Luling with new buckets for the drag line. I paid the drivers off with beer and reds, and got me a fine new building. Took some doing to get it in place, but my service bay is under the dump bed, and my business office is in the cab.

Big Yeller, they're calling me down at the Coon Dog now. Weird part is I'm getting some real goddam strange repair jobs in. Just this week feller came by with a Dymaxion car. Least that's what he said it was. I got my doubts — old Bucky Fuller never did put laser turrets on his, I don't think.

Feller asked where he could get some good haunch around here. I sent him down to the Long Pig.

◊ ◊ ◊

© 2008, Joseph E. Lake Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

[awards] Congratulations to this year's Nebula finalists

Odyssey - McDevitt, Jack (Ace, Nov06)
The Accidental Time Machine - Haldeman, Joe (Ace, Aug07)
The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Chabon, Michael (HarperCollins, May07)
The New Moon's Arms - Hopkinson, Nalo (Warner Books, Feb07)
Ragamuffin - Buckell, Tobias (Tor, Jun07)

Kiosk - Sterling, Bruce (F&SF, Jan07)
Memorare - Wolfe, Gene (F&SF, Apr07)
Awakening - Berman, Judith (Black Gate 10, Spr07)
Stars Seen Through Stone - Shepard, Lucius (F&SF, Jul07)
The Helper and His Hero - Hughes, Matt (F&SF, Feb07 & Mar07)
Fountain of Age - Kress, Nancy (Asimov's, Jul07)

The Fiddler of Bayou Teche - Sherman, Delia (Coyote Road, Trickster Tales, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Ed., Viking Juvenile, Jul07)
Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter - Ryman, Geoff (F&SF, Nov06)
The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs Of North Park After the Change - Johnson, Kij (Coyote Road, Trickster Tales, Ellen Datlow and Terri
Windling, Ed., Viking Juvenile, Jul07)
Safeguard - Kress, Nancy (Asimov's, Jan07)
The Children's Crusade - Bailey, Robin Wayne (Heroes in Training, Martin H. Greenberg and Jim C. Hines, Ed., DAW, Sep07)
The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate - Chiang, Ted (F&SF, Sep07)
Child, Maiden, Mother, Crone - Bramlett, Terry (Jim Baen's Universe 7, June 2007)

Short Stories
Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse - Duncan, Andy (Eclipse 1: New Science Fiction And Fantasy, Jonathan Strahan, Ed., Night Shade Books, Oct07)
Titanium Mike Saves the Day - Levine, David D. (F&SF, Apr07)
Captive Girl - Pelland, Jennifer (Helix: A Speculative Fiction Quarterly, WS & LWE, Ed., Oct06 (Fall06 issue -- #2))
Always - Fowler, Karen Joy (Asimov's, May07 (Apr/May07 issue))
Pride - Turzillo, Mary (Fast Forward 1, Pyr, February 2007)
The Story of Love - Nazarian, Vera (Salt of the Air, Prime Books, Sep06)

Children of Men - Cuaron, Alfonso & Sexton, Timothy J. and Arata, David and Fergus, Mark & Ostby, Hawk (Universal Studios, Dec06)
The Prestige - Nolan, Christopher and Nolan, Jonathon (Newmarket Films, Oct06 (Oct 20, 2006 -- based on the novel by Christopher Priest))
Pan's Labyrinth - del Toro, Guillermo (Time/Warner, Jan07)
V for Vendetta - Wachowski, Larry & Wachowski, Andy (Warner Films, Mar06 (released 3/17/2006 -- Written by the Wachowski Brothers, based on the graphic novel illustrated by David Lloyd and published by Vertigo/DC Comics))
World Enough and Time - Zicree, Marc Scott and Reeves, Michael (Star Trek: New Voyages, http://www.startreknewvoyages.com, Aug07 (Aired 8/23/07))
Blink - Moffat, Steven (Doctor Who, BBC/The Sci-Fi Channel, Sep07 (Aired on SciFi Channel 14Sep07))

Andre Norton Award
The True Meaning of Smek Day - Rex, Adam (Hyperion, Oct07)
The Lion Hunter - Wein, Elizabeth (Viking Juvenile, Jun07 (The Mark of Solomon, Book 1))
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling, J. K. (Scholastic Press, Jul07)
The Shadow Speaker - Okorafor-Mbachu, Nnedi (Jump At The Sun, Sep07)
Into the Wild - Durst, Sarah Beth (Penguin Razorbill, Jun07)
Vintage: A Ghost Story - Berman, Steve (Haworth Positronic Press, Mar07)
Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her
Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand
Rooms,and a Red Dog - Wilce, Ysabeau S. (Harcourt, Jan07)

Sadly, Mainspring Powell's | Amazon | Audible ] did not make the final ballot. It's good field, and I'm very proud of all my friends who are up for the award this year.

[links] Link salad, (almost) all science edition

Don't miss the new ARC contest — Limericks and haikus. Entry phase is almost over.

Genetic 'Junk' Could Answer Riddle of Vertebrate Evolution — I'm not sure the statements about emergent complexity are dead on in this article, but still interesting.

Pythons could squeeze lower third of USA — (Thanks to lt260.)

Six ton mechanical spider — :: wants :: needs bigger garage first ::

IBM calculates the force it takes to move atoms — (Thanks to my brother.)

Traumatic anal intercourse with a pig — Don't click on this link. Really. I'm not kidding.

Identical Twins Not As Identical As Believed

Plan 59: 1950s design — Oooh. Shiny.

Shorpy with Big Machine — Mmm. Things that go clank.

Time in saddle: 18 minutes
Last night's weigh-out: n/a
This morning's weigh-in: n/a
Currently reading: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image, by Leonard Shlain Powell's | Amazon ]

[conventions] Talking steampunk and New Weird at SC Book Festival

Just did a spiffy interview with Ann and Jeff VanderMeer concerning Weird Tales, Ministry of Whimsy Press, the New Weird (both the movement and their recent anthology of the same title), and steampunk (ditto the above). This will be up on the blog, the RSS feed and iTunes this coming Sunday.

Shortly all us author types are being hauled off to a reception hosted by the South Carolina Book Festival. Plus, we had more bbq for lunch!