Friday, July 21, 2006

Pirates? Pirates.


All right, America. If there's one thing these past two weeks have taught us, it's that you freakin' love pirates. Now, I'm no mathematician, but if my calculations are correct, Dead Man's Chest stands to gross approximately eleventeen-bagillion dollars, and why not? Swashbuckling Depp? Check. Undead barnacley sailors? Check. Giant mythical sea-creature? Also check.

So allow me to make a plug, and spread a little piratey joy. Namely, On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. After several years out of print, it's been rereleased in a lovely trade paperback edition. It's the story of John Chandagnac, a man crossing the Atlantic to exact revenge for his father's death. Along the way, his ship is taken by pirates, and he's given a choice: join them or die. What follows is a magnificent tale of adventure involving Blackbeard, zombies, voodoo, and a quantum-mechanical Fountain of Youth.

Still not convinced? Here's an excerpt (italics mine):

"All set?"

"I'd say so, Phil," Shandy answered with a tension-twitchy grin. "Far too many men, with nearly no provisions, the rigging all held together with nipper twine, and the navigator is a one-armed lunatic taking directions from a severed head in a box."

"Excellent," said Davies, nodding.

Seriously, folks. Do yourselves a favor and pick it up. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Low Interest Too Much

So. Another month, another guilt-fueled post. And as usual, there’s not much to report.

Not that nothing’s happening. I’m well into my third draft. I’m weeks away from my wife’s first ulcer-inducing read (visions of Funny Farm dance in my head). But none of that makes for thrilling blogging, and with summer comes the inevitable short-fiction-market slowdown. About half the print markets close, while the other half are as slow as molasses that for whatever reason doesn’t feel like reading my story.

Sorry. That one got away from me a bit.

Anyway, in the interests of teasing my readership (hi, Mom), I’ve decided to excerpt one of my stories here, a bit of noir entitled A Simple Kindness. However, I’m not so psyched at the prospect of losing a shot at later publication, so I’ve decided to translate it into Korean, and then back into English. Man, I hope this doesn’t forfeit my first gibberish rights:

Kind It It Is Simple
Is a fun, with realness. Goes out also after all this year and, in the place which goes wrong me is not yet positively. The kindness which is simple, anything compared to was. The possibility which there will be, is there was not I.
Me goes out and egg, criticizing but the thing I is to the place which goes wrong. She will not be beautiful, anyone of this she will go round and she will not happen until now, they the place. She was but. It is beautiful. The low interest too much.
On our lower part in width funeral chattering it hit lightly inside hour and the slender leg, me as her collection did to see, under being absent her skirt, the long thing only it did to sleep. Her or in opposition location with the seat at the time of side walking quality seven me it does and it does to sleep, and it catches certainly the messenger unit which is black in the gain and loss which is clear approximately from 116 distance reverses which it sees her, the sample. She did not see the tourist. New one, possibly. The first day worries. It intruded inside their suite and tie and the distorted face and her face it executed, it went out and and by the impulse which comforts her her worrying does not have anything to her which it talked her beat color head hair which falls to that piece and to respect, chess time she inspected the face of our colleague passenger.

I swear, I have no idea why her skirt is absent. Still, it does hold one's interest, does it not?