Past Imperfect (Charlie Tiptree Book 5)

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Ellis told me recently. Ellis started the series with local poets Susan Rich and Harold Taw, and the three have been curating ever since. I feel like I might hermit for a little bit. Is this garden party the end of WordsWest forever? Ellis refuses to shutter the whole thing permanently. Settle in for a while; we saved you a seat. Moira Macdonald on a dispute over copyright, and the ethics of appropriation when a work is in the public domain — the UW Press has been publishing No-No Boy since it was first published in On Father's Day, I often think of this piece by local writer Scott Berkun about how this day can be hard for people who didn't know their father, or had a bad relationship with him.

While Scott wrote a whole book "in part to redefine who I am, and how I relate or did not relate at all to the father of my birth" there are many who struggle more quietly, perhaps with less ability to frame or explain the hard feelings. Scott's tips on making it through are sound, but I especially like his first:.

Ashley Fetters explores Dad jokes: what they are, why they are, and why we can't stop loving and hating them. I'm on the love side, myself as a Dad, so perhaps obligated , but I can see why so many find them, um, pun ishing. Casey Rae's new book about Burroughs and his influence on music is excerpted in this piece on Long Reads, centering around what Dylan learned from the cut-up writer.

Burroughs influence is hard to overstate, the most unique of the Beats — the group he is, by association and very poorly grouped with. Unlike the Beats, Burroughs was not down-and-out — he came from a great fortune, and lived his life as the son of incredible privilege that afforded him the ability to talk about things people of his station did not: drugs, homosexuality, just to name a few. His genius was in the method of communication. And, of course, his influence. Ellis is a poet and educator.

She's worked with Seattle Arts and Lectures' Writers in the Schools program, and is a co-founder and co-curator of WordsWest , a monthly literary series in West Seattle, which is ending its five-year run on Wednesday, June 19th read more in our interview with her. Planning to read something by Miriam Toews — not sure which one!

And I want to explore poet Hannah Sanghee Park. Do you wish you could do a take-back on one of your answers? I actually don't have a favorite question — each question asked is both a surprise and a delight, as are my responses! There are, however, two questions I generally avoid answering:. My taste in books is mercurial, perhaps because of all the mercury I ingest as a byproduct of my hobby handcrafting artisanal fluorescent light bulbs in preparation for the day the sun dies.

I will say today, my favorite book is Idaho by Emily Ruskovich but who knows, tomorrow maybe I'll discover Shakespeare or some shit. As for regretting an answer, I don't usually dwell on my actions long enough to form regrets, but I actually do have one: It was my response to this question about whether "good" literary translations can exist. What I failed to note in my response is that many of the works we consider classics already are translations — the Iliad and Odyssey , the Inferno , Brothers Karamazov , Les Miserables , and Crime and Punishment are some of my favorites depending on the day and how many light bulbs I've got in my system.

Ensler will appear in conversation with Amy Wheeler, the executive director of the amazing writing organization Hedgebrook. Every month, Nisi Shawl presents us with news and updates from her perch overlooking the world of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror. You can also look through the archives of the column. Actually, though, SFFH is written in over a score of languages, and it posits a myriad more. Neil Clarke, editor and publisher of the online magazine Clarkesworld recently received the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award for his work bringing stories in Chinese and Korean to Anglophone readers, and there are plenty of additional translations for us to enjoy — SFFH originally published in Spanish, Japanese, Nigerian, Italian, and many other human tongues.

Though situated squarely within the SF genre, the Betty series harks back to fantasies aimed at children such as Dr. There are thriving communities dedicated to the creation and study of non-human-and-also-non-beast tongues. Conlangers have imagined new grammars, syntaxes, even alphabets as part of their constructed languages, then made the fruits of their obsessions freely available to all. Will children learn them easily? How do you show different registers — formal elocution versus slang, intimate versus impersonal, and so on? How should they change over time?

Because languages do change — swiftly, unexpectedly. Vowels shift and meanings mutate until translations become necessary not simply between nations but between generations. ShakespeareanEnglish is semi-unintelligible to most modern English speakers. If humans years from now speak some new version of English, what will they understand of our own?

Undying entity Chance known to the Senegalese people as a djombi , who at the end of Indigo was forcibly incarnated as a child of the wise cook Paama, joins forces with forensic therapist Miranda Ecouvo to ferret out the party ultimately responsible for a series of nasty murders. As Dr. Ecouvo walks labyrinthine paths through futures that include her possible death and, alternatively, a severely limited, pain-filled life, paradoxes give way to passionate curiosity and stubborn good intentions.

Strictly speaking, Erin K. In short, dense chapters, Wagner relates the encounters of Ward Miquita with the people of the planet her father conquered.

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She encounters an unexpected obstacle: her hosts contend she has no right to access the sacred memories the injured AI holds. Gorgeous images of a richly strange world cover this ethical armature in a sweetly fleshy narrative, a joyful ferment of words. Once again I recommend attending Readercon which prides itself on being the antithesis of a media-focused convention. And a concert. However, those are only two events on top of the usual literary fare: panels, interviews, readings, and the small-group discussions with pros listed on your program as kaffeeklatsches.

In other words, Readercon is, as the name implies, pretty solidly text-oriented. The majority of the participants pictured are African descended, but other ethnicities represent as well, giving off a nicely inclusive, welcoming vibe. Wish I could say the same for Geektopia. I didn't enjoy the Silver Surfer as a kid, because as a kid I was interested in the plot of superhero comics — I was most interested in learning if good would triumph over evil spoiler alert: it would.


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But the older I get, the more fondness I find in my heart for the Silver Surfer. He's a silver Oscar statuette on a surfboard, soaring through outer space and musing aloud in huge, unselfconscious monologues about ideas like guilt and loneliness and destiny and forgiveness. Every Silver Surfer comic is a journey into interiority. The bad guys and their motivations don't really matter. What matters most is if the Surfer can come to some kind of a comfortable understanding with his own place in the universe, even if that understanding lasts just until the next issue.

It ties in to a whole bunch of current Marvel Comics, but narration catches up new readers with relative grace in the first few pages. The first thing any great Silver Surfer comic needs is a brilliant artist, and Moore is one of the best to handle the character since Moebius. Every page is stunning — gorgeously designed, sumptuously illustrated, and delightfully weird. It's rare to find a comic artist who appears to be raised in a vacuum — whose work doesn't feel like a retread or a generational step up from some other comic artist.

Moore's pages feel unique. In a few layouts, the action flows smoothly in what most comics artists are trained to believe is the "wrong" direction, and it's as easy to follow for western readers as a Peanuts strip. One page just looks like Surfer floating above a weird cosmic blanket, and Moore makes it twice as compelling as any superhero fight you'll find in a new comic this week.

I have no doubt that Moore's art in black and white is beautiful on its own, but Stewart's coloring elevates the book. By contrasting the darkness of a black hole with the colors of the interstellar firmament, and by plunging the Surfer into a hostile pit of browns and oranges, Stewart divides the book into a few distinct sections that reflect the character's interior life.

And Cates seems to understand the character's need for internal monologues. The Surfer spends an early part of the book luxuriating in self-pity over his complicity in the death and destruction of his past. He comes face to face with an existential loneliness that leaves him shaken, and then, well, there's a concluding bit that reveals a villain and it ties back into something else that Marvel is doing right now and things appear to be getting a little crossover-y.

The Silver Surfer is a character who almost always excels when he's left on his own. When he's thrown into a battle scene with dozens of other heroes he immediately becomes a generic powerful guy, albeit one who speaks in ten-dollar words. But even if Cates can't manage that tightrope walk, though, Moore's art will be stunning enough to make Silver Surfer Black a must-read. It will happen at Greenwood Elementary from 11 am to 3 pm. Save the date! Matthew Inman, the east side cartoonist who found huge viral fame under the name The Oatmeal, just announced his retirement from regular cartooning.

He's signed a movie deal and will be working on that film for the foreseeable future. He didn't offer any details about the movie, but he did disclose that he worked on the recent animated feature The Secret Life of Pets 2. An author lost her book deal after she was publicly shamed for tattling on a public transportation worker for eating in pubilc.

The response to the author from her book's distributor, Rare Bird, is a beauty. You should read the whole thing:. Statement from Rare Bird pic. Our poet in residence for June, Katy E. Ellis writes narrative poetry that feels as lucid and as clear as a photograph. In "To Squamish Waters, , she tells a Duwamish man's story about the high cost of reincarnation, and "All Signs Are Dares" is the story of a bracing nighttime car ride that becomes more dangerous — even deadly — than it needed to be.

Both are complete stories that in prose wouldn't feel out of place in a story collection by a Northwest writer like, say, Raymond Carver. From the moment her very first creative writing teacher in 9th grade handed her books by Tom Robbins for inspiration, she has been an eager participant in the Northwest tradition. Ellis says the teacher was reticent to let her participate in his class because he believed that "freshmen can't write poetry," but her hard work and determination earned her a rare privilege: by the end of the year, the teacher ceremoniously announced to the class that he was wrong, and that freshmen were capable of being poets.

When I ask about how community informs her work, Ellis offers a jarring answer: "I was excommunicated from my childhood church," she says. She laughs and adds, "that is such rich fodder right there. The manuscript that Ellis is working on now, titled Stranger Land , explores that connection to place and to people. Additionally, the book is informed by Ellis's position as a local of a city that is growing at a ridiculous pace, "I do think about feeling like a stranger in Seattle now.

Ellis founded it with poets Susan Rich and Harold Taw,. After five years of readings, WordsWest is coming to a close next week, on Wednesday the 19th. Five years seemed like a good round number, and we wanted to end on a high. But Ellis is already putting out feelers for writing groups to join and artists to share work with. It's all part, she says, of her search for "a thing that's bigger than me and bigger than all of us. And Ellis refuses to close the door on WordsWest forever.

Yesterday, news leaked that a book distribution company called Readerlink LLC is trying to best Elliott Management's offer. I wouldn't trust a hedge fund to run a lemonade stand: they exist to extract money from real businesses, not to build communities or bring a new model to chain retail.

I think the only options are giant world-crushing chains or customer-obsessed indie bookstore; anything in between is just begging to be crushed or bought and absorbed or liquidated. Montana author Bryce Andrews's nonfiction book Down from the Mountain is a whodunnit about the death of a grizzly bear.

In a way, we're all to blame. A Duwamish man told the story to my daughter at a school assembly. He drummed in a world of children who walk into the water and who return as Salmon for the villagers to eat. Always the ocean down our street keeps up its chop and spit and rush and I pay bills, sack lunches, wash clothes in cycles spinning my hand-me-down story, the one I will not give her. She plucks each bone of a stolen story from the dish in her hands and feeds them to the waves that slosh against her legs like underpinnings of a miles-long pier.

Previously: All Signs are Dares. The medical profession is an odd bird: intimately engaged with human life at its most joyful and most sorrowful and most messy — and also, somehow, always holding itself apart. From William Carlos Williams to Henry Marsh, books by doctors betray that carefully guarded distance. Lawrence, who writes a different kind of doctor book. What we love about the Anchorage physician's novels is that they close the gap between doctors and the rest of humanity.

Lawrence's second novel, House of Jesus , follows a jaded surgeon to Haiti, just after the earthquake. Seattle surgeon Phillip Scott we also love that Seattle setting! Check out the first chapter from Lawrence's book, which he's generously sharing on our sponsor feature page this week only — and we guarantee you'll be pulled in.. Grab one of the last dates in June and July and put your book, event, retreat, or class in front of our readers. Two great small business owners come together in conversation!

It's about a woman who was born magic-free in a world full of magic. Seattle author Laurie Frankel joins Tara Conklin onstage to talk about The Last Romantics , Conklin's book about a poet who is asked about the meaning behind her most famous poem. I reviewed this one back in February. Eve Ensler's latest book is a searing exploration of child abuse and forgiveness and memory. It's about the apology that Ensler always wanted, but never received, from her own father.

Marshall, will read from and discuss their new play.


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It's pretty great that Deavel and Marshall are still creating new work together after all this time. Maybe all aspiring playwrights should retire from the bookstore business? Fishes of the Salish Sea , a new book from UW Press, has supposedly been in production for four decades. Authors and Ted Pietsch and James Orr have been researching the fish in our region, studying their appearances and characteristics down to practically the molecular level. Orr and Pietsch have been collaborating with Joe Tomelleri, a painter who illustrated every single one of the fish featured in the book.

It's not often anymore that you see serious academic texts combined with a more abstract visual art like painting. Photography is generally the only accepted visual medium in science texts, but it's hard to capture meaningful details in photographs of sea life, which is why this book serves as such a unique blend of artistry and science.

Arundel's copy for the event refers to the book as an "important" and "extraordinary feat of scholarship, devotion to the natural world, and exquisite artistry.

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Okay, but why does a book about fish matter? Well, honestly, because of climate change those fish might not be around for much longer, so while this book was intended as a work of serious scholarship it might serve as a memory bank for future generations who have lived through a Great Extinction. But I don't want to be such a Negative Nancy. This book is a huge accomplishment, and a beautiful piece of art. Why not celebrate its birth with the creators who wrote and illustrated it, and the staff who helped bring it into the world? You don't get the opportunity to celebrate the culmination of 40 years of work every day.

Each week, the Sunday Post highlights a few articles we enjoyed this week, good for consumption over a cup of coffee or tea, if that's your pleasure. But do we truly understand that this company is failing, from a consumer perspective, while succeeding wildly at extracting subsidies and avoiding regulation?

Do read this, even if you think you know all about Uber, the geeky detail will make your brain bigger. Well, anyway, it did mine. Ceridwen Dovey brings the receipts. Speaking of self-medicating, British ish brand Calpol has pulled a sort of reverse Munchausen, soothing parents by helping them soothe their kids. A Calpol booklet offering an immunisation guide for parents depicts a blissed-out baby asleep with her arms outstretched and a smile on her face. Taking down The Second Mountain , which seems to be a book-length mixed metaphor, is like shooting monkeys in a barrel of worms.

Or something. Angela Garbes is a Seattle-based writer. Go see her speak, and bring all your questions about the astounding, wonderful, and strange biology — and sociology — of pregnancy. I'm in early research mode for my next project, a book of essays about bodies, so I'm reading widely, sometimes superficially, getting lost in ideas, pulling on threads, and thinking a lot about craft. Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good — a collection of essays, annotated works, and interviews by adrienne maree brown — has been at the top of my stack for a while because I am enjoying it as much as I am struggling to move through it!

I feel like I'll just be happily living with this book for a while. I'd been wanting to shake up my relationship to my devices and social media for a while, and Odell's words and ideas were exactly what I needed to make that change. Since reading it, among other things, I've put a dozen plants in the ground, spent more time dancing and rolling on the carpet with my daughters, connected with friends IRL, and started leaving my phone at home when I run errands or go on walks.

Also I go on more walks. Shoutout to SPL's Peak Picks , which made it possible for me to pick it up at the library yesterday — no holds, no wait!! My guest post-it chooser for May was my littlest sister, the only family member not yet pressed into service thus far. I appreciated her decisive style, so unlike my own. I feel it is possible she should be in charge of many things. My intended ritual was initially sporadic; many nights went undocumented. I also dabbled in the impossible, using impractically ephemeral materials like faint pencil, privately writing captions or dates on the back where no one could see.

My now ex wife also poses a lurking risk in all the early years—exposing that familiar closeness feels so unseemly now, little relics like time bombs, our failed openness too naked to look at. I was still in grad school, where practicalities were tacitly treated as a bit shameful, small-time. An ideal artist has no limits. But museums have not come calling for us, so here I am, telling you what I wrote on the back.

In retrospect, it appears broken heating was a real feature of life in England. In early post-its I kept repeating the same kinds of treehouses I made obsessively as a kid, suddenly figured out why I love drawing so much. Carefully build my own safe world, logic is only darkly laughable, and the whole thing fits in the palm of my hand. The TV lesbians were on an otherwise unremarkable drama about finding missing persons. I felt a shocked elation as the missing lesbian, unlike most missing characters on the show, actually escaped death—the usual fate of our dramatized queer brethren.

But can we go back to Stockard Channing for a minute? This month I harbored fantasies of brevity, but let us instead swoon languorously over Stockard Channing. View this post on Instagram View this post on Instagram 5. View this post on Instagram 8. One of the Seattle authors who was MeToo-ed last year seems to be angling for a comeback.

But I am curious about how thoughtful and deliberate it all seems. Cienna, do you think that shitty men can improve themselves? Has any man done a good job of responding to MeToo? Is it even possible? Or is fame a privilege that, once you abuse it by abusing women in not-illegal-but-not-right ways, you deserve to have taken from you forever? Whenever a human girlfriend invites me to her wedding, I like to take a voodoo doll of the groom as my date. This accomplishes two things: first, I am able to get fresh hair clippings and once a tooth! It's the least I can do to counter the ceaseless waves of shit women endure.

I won't get into the blah blah blahs of it because anyone reading this column is familiar with them, except to say that the metoo movement has shown that this isn't an issue of a couple of rapey apples, just as the anti-abortion movement isn't about preserving life. In that respect, can we blame men for treating us how they've been taught? The answer is yes. Yes we can. And we can demand more than public apologies and rehab. We should expect sincere, personal apologies to victims, not blanket statements that try to deflect, explain, or minimize abhorrent behavior.

We should expect to see these men ask pivotal questions like, "what can I do to begin to make amends for my actions? Where do I start? I don't think fame can be revoked at will, and even if it was, I don't think it would be as satisfying as it sounds. But we should expect that shitty men want to improve themselves for the sake of being better people although I haven't seen convincing evidence of it yet. It would be a shocking but welcome evolution, like watching a whale shit out chic polar fleeces from all the plastic she's ingested.

Seattle author Angela Garbes discusses her popular book about the biology and culture of mothering, which is now out in paperback. Every month, Olivia Waite pulls back the covers, revealing the very best in new, and classic, romance. We're extending a hand to you. Won't you take it? And if you're still not sated, there's always the archives. Two characters sit at a table, chatting—when suddenly, the bomb beneath the table goes off!

Suspense is what you get when, first, the director shows you the anarchist planting the bomb beneath the table, then lets you bite your nails watching those same two people chatting in blithe ignorance of the threat, while the clock slowly ticks down explosion-ward. The characters themselves are still surprised, in the second scenario. But the viewer has more information, and a fuller sense of what is actually going on in the story. In romance, what we have is people. Hearts and hands and a few stickier bits.

Expectation is an end point. Romance characters exist to be thwarted, poor souls. They almost never get what they say they want at the start of the book. How many times do we see heroes state that they just want a string of casual partners, so as not to interfere with the safe, predictable course of their lives? Better people, better partners, better citizens of whatever world they inhabit. We require that happy ending. We demand it as a right.

Reading tons of romances, over the course of years or decades, fine-tunes expectations even further. The genre, like any genre, rewards repeat engagement—you start to notice narrative conventions and trends, and the kind of moments that look like nothing special to an outsider, but which to authors and frequent readers might as well be stages with spotlights burning down upon them.

For instance: first kisses. The first kiss in the first romance you read is a singular experience. The first kiss in the fiftieth romance you read? You start to recognize the machinery of the story. And you start to select for the mechanisms that gives you, personally, the most satisfying result.

Literary fiction is the genre of surprise. Like a stage magician, pledging to pull a rabbit out of an empty hat. The story is a fiction, but what you feel is real. Like Alex, our American hero, this book has heard about this thing called subtlety and wants absolutely nothing to do with it. Alex is a mesmerizing combination of discipline and impulsiveness. Henry, our royal prince, is by turns perfectly dry and deeply vulnerable, a tweedy type whose formality masks a wicked sense of humor and poetry.

Their connection is electric, and irresistible, and unfolds with a remarkable view of the dizzy, dazzling hedonism of youth. If I could attend any one of the parties in this book I could die a happy woman. So I liked it a great deal, even if parts of it made me wince a little when they poked my own particular sore spots.

Others definitely are different! We all find hope in different things! I am very interested to see where the author goes next! The skin is soft, probably exfoliated and moisturized daily by some royal manicurist. The camera snaps nearby. His eyes are big and soft and blue, and he desperately needs to be punched in one of them. Pride and Prejudice retellings are never out of style in Romancelandia—see below—but despite some awkward moments this one is significantly more rewarding than most.

I am resisting the temptation to write you a full essay on exactly what changes Jalaluddin made to the original story and how brilliant her overall vision is. I mean, placing a story about hasty judgments and self-knowledge in the context of present-day Islamophobia and misogyny and how those systems intersect is already Full Galaxy Brain, but there are so many more aspects of this book that made me gasp and stop and scribble notes about parallels and contrasts. For example: our less-than-impressive rejected suitor, Mr. Darcy is possibly the most well-trod territory in all of romance, but traditional and devout Muslim Khalid is the sharpest take on Darcy I have ever seen.

What happens when your heart comes into conflict with your beliefs and traditions? Wickham figures often come off as merely inappropriately sexy, rather than actively predatory. Modern retellings like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and now Ayesha at Last translate this successfully by making the Wickham figure not merely a romantic rival, but also someone who trafficks in the worst aspects of online sexuality: revenge porn, coerced nudes, exploitative and misogynist sex sites.

This book really puts the ick back in Wickham and gives us the proper emotional zing for the storyline. Ayesha walked Khalid to the door, and he took his time putting on his shoes. When he stood up, she noticed he had flour in his beard, and she reached out and absently brushed it away. His beard was soft, like spun cotton, and her hand lingered. He clasped her wrist to stop her, and their eyes met—hers wide in sudden realization, his steady. Ayesha blushed bright red, embarrassed at violating their unspoken no-touch rule.

He looked at her for a long moment, then gently, reluctantly, dropped her hand. We have a brash chemist heroine, a golden-boy hero, and a great many female characters on the side, all chipping away at the foundations of the patriarchy. We know how that goes, in Romancelandia.

She opened her mouth to protest, but stopped. Everybody does. Harvard people have a way of working it into conversation. It makes for a lovely change of pace. Trisha is definitely a genius and devoted to her medical work even if she struggles with her bedside manner, her politically ambitious family, and pedestrian tasks like remembering to eat.

Her lax approach to dining is one of the many ways she outrages DJ Caine, our British expat hero, an accomplished chef who worked his way up from nothing to a Michelin star—and whose sister needs a life-saving operation only Trisha can provide. It means this book has some heavier angles that readers ought to know going in. But in the expert hands of Sonali Dev, all the angst and anguish is worth it.

Also, my god, I could listen to DJ rhapsodize about food and flavor all damn day. Trisha Raje was without a doubt the most insufferable snob DJ had ever come across in his entire bloody life. But it had never bothered him. Not like this. Our heroine Polly Gowan is no debutante: she spends her days organizing strikes and supporting workers at a 19th-century Glasgow cotton mill. There are pub jaunts, and football games in the mud, and clashes with the tyrannical power of the law. And while we all love a good historical gown description some of us have even written whole romances about that, in fact!

The people on the ground, doing the actual labor, turning the great wheels of history one working day at a time. They—we—deserve happy endings at least as much as the nobs do. Rumors started spreading earlier this week that the adult imprint of DC Comics, Vertigo, was finally being shuttered. If you've only been reading comics for ten years or less, you might not think this is a big deal. But for people like me, who've been reading comics since the early s or before, this news carries with it a certain kind of wistfulness.

It's hard to explain now how important Vertigo was in a lot of comics nerds' lives. It's the only big-name comics publisher that would have given full support to Y the Last Man. A lot of the books that are now considered canonical came from Vertigo. But Vertigo had not produced a lot of work worth reading in recent years. Or rather, Vertigo couldn't be trusted to consistently publish excellent work.

The imprint's track record became erratic, and then it basically disappeared from view. So what was Vertigo's secret? Why did the imprint succeed so well for so long? Yes, talent had a lot to do with it. And so did a creative environment at DC that allowed creative teams to patiently build their worlds out without fear of immediate cancellation. But I think Vertigo's secret weapon was in its editors. Karen Berger founded the line, of course, and her stewardship was likely the single most important reason for Vertigo's early success.

Berger made space for other editors, like Tom Peyer and Stuart Moore, to follow their own dreams. And she allowed some exciting young editors, like Axel Alonso, to shepherd new and exciting projects through the imprint. Most people — hell, I'd be willing to bet that most comics readers — don't know what comic book editors do. It's especially tricky because a lot of comics editors don't do their jobs. But a good comic book editor is as much a part of the collaboration process as a colorist or artist or letterer or writer. A good comics editor will help define a book, and ensure that the writer keeps to those themes throughout the book's lifespan.

They will fight for the best ideas, and kill the worst ideas before they can fly out of control and endanger the whole project. They'll help every member of the team do their best work possible. And when a good editor leaves, you can tell by the rapid decline in quality. These are books that are adult without being pornographic or overly violent. They aspire to literature, while still remembering what makes comics so damn fun in the first place.

They tell stories about characters and not just plot points. They make room for what's great in comics, in a package that doesn't insult the reader's intelligence.


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I refuse to believe that this is an endangered market. There will be more Vertigos out there sometime soon. If you're reading it like literary fiction, the "character" we learn the most about in The Mueller Report is Robert Mueller himself. His character is throughout the book: intensely literal, a devout believer in the letter of the law, and an unquestioning devotee of the American experiment.

As the world saw in his quietly outraged public appearance last month, Mueller has a profound sense of right and wrong, but even his G-Man morality is nothing compared to his devotion to the law. Mueller announced that he could not indict a sitting president, and that he would have cleared the president of indictable offenses if he could. The inference, of course, is that President Trump committed indictable offenses, but Mueller is bound by duty to not say that out loud.

The big question is if Mueller made the right call by sticking to protocol. Is it possible that our times are extraordinary enough that the lantern-jawed advocate of fair play should have broken character and spoken frankly about his findings? Is Donald Trump enough of an existential threat to the country that Mueller should have dropped the coyness and sounded the alarm?

Only time can answer that question. It is a legal document, one which walks the reader — deliberately and with great detail — through the Trump campaign's connections with foreign agents and President Trump's attempts to kill the investigation into those dealings. It's not a page-turner, nor is it exceptionally accessible. But it is important. Even though there aren't many new facts in the book, seeing all the details laid out in order, written in dry legal prose, is simply stunning.

Nobody — not even Attorney General Barr — could read this report and come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is as innocent as a newborn child. Members of last night's book club had plenty of questions that The Mueller Report could never answer — about Russian money being funneled into social media, about whether Trump would be indicted on leaving office, about whether the country could ever recover from the damage that Trump's destructive policies are unleashing.

The conversation repeatedly leaned toward darkness. But I found it heartening that the conversation always came back to facts. What does Mueller say? What doesn't he say? When did this event happen? Can we even prove that this event ever happened? People kept trying to find solid ground on which they could stand.

For all his real estate deals, solid ground is the one thing that Donald Trump and his cronies will never be able to buy. When you build a kingdom on lies, you're destined to spend the rest of your days trying to avert disasters. Every day, the chaos president sinks a little bit deeper into a trap of his own making.

The best way to keep from drowning in lies is to only build on truth, and we have a lot more truth about Donald Trump this month than we did six months ago. Some good news about the state of independent bookselling from Publishers Weekly :.

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Cheatham wrote the poem that became Hi Blue Sky for himself, but he decided that he wanted to share it with children, to help them through the grieving process. Cheatham has brought the book to a number of young readers to make sure that Hi Blue Sky worked on its target audience. It could be a story for kids who lose a friend who moves away. On June 12th, Cheatham is celebrating the launch of Hi Blue Sky with a family-friendly happy hour reading at The Station coffee shop on Beacon Hill from 5 pm to to 8 pm , with pizza and chocolate.

I lost my job. I had to move. I lost my car. And then a friend took him to The Station for the first time. I love them all to death. And once I was there, the owners embraced me as a part of their community and they allowed me to create. Last week, when Special Counsel Robert Mueller talked for less than ten minutes about the criminal accusations surrounding President Trump, the world reacted with shock and surprise.

Which, really, is pretty damn weird considering Mueller offered no new information that couldn't already be found in the bestselling report that bears his name. It's been right there in his book this whole time. But even if you haven't read the book, you should join us for our conversation about the Report and what it all means. And I'm also taking this opportunity to announce a contest for attendees tomorrow night: if your copy of the Mueller Report is more beaten than mine but still somehow readable, I promise to buy you a drink.

View this post on Instagram My copy of the Mueller Report was in my backpack when I got caught in a rainstorm and now I have the most metal copy of the Mueller Report on the planet. It's free and you don't have to have read the entirety of the book to take part in the discussion. Join us! Show up for the series, and you'll get a tasting menu of what's current in verse. The question of whether poetry matters is a tired old argument. Poetry is endlessly adaptable to the needs of whatever time we're in. Poets adapt endlessly, and serve up language with infinite variety.

And SAL has a lens on it all. Check out the full list of names for this year's Poetry Series on our sponsor feature page , then reserve your seats today. I find it shocking how few people know that Neal Stephenson is a Seattle-area author — particularly since his books are very obviously influenced by the nature and culture of the Pacific Northwest. His latest book, Fall, or Dodge in Hell , a stealth sequel to his thriller Reamde , is a book that imagines what the Singularity might mean for our concepts of life and death.

Town Hall Seattle, 8th Ave. Orlando de Lange, a plant molecular biologist at UW, will discuss 26 "plants, people and places that define the green landscape and history of our city. Plus: Drinks! Fred Wildlife Refuge, Belmont Ave. A native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon, Imbolo Mbue is the author of the bestselling debut Behold the Dreamers, the story of a young Cameroonian couple whose new lives in New York are upended by the Great Recession. A large and fun panel of cultural landscape specialists, historians, drag queens, and small business owners will discuss what it means for a traditionally gay neighborhood to face gentrification and massive construction.

How do we preserve important places while still allowing new people to move in? Seattle Public Library, 4th Ave. First, there was the Intruder comic magazine, a free tabloid-sized comics newspaper that was delivered to comics shops and other cool locales around town. Intruder closed up shop and was followed by a similar publication called Thick as Thieves.

Given so much of the editorial staff is overseeing the transition from Thick as Thieves to Hair Flip , you probably won't see too much of a difference in this new first issue. And in fact, casual readers likely might not even be able to spot a negligible difference between Intruder and Hair Flip. That's okay. These new identities and frequent reinventions are part of what makes our local comics scene so vibrant. Print media is something different now than it used to be — it's simultaneously less valuable to advertisers but more valuable to readers. If you can't make something new, bring a new attitude to a print publication, why aren't you just running a fucking blog or something?

Better to keep things new and interesting, to keep handing the vision off to a new group every few years. Comics in this town have the energy and excitement of a thriving rock scene right now — best to harness that kind of energy with an of-the-moment magazine that might not exist a few years from now because it's too busy evolving into something else. That's how the really great scenes keep alive. Kudos to all of them for treating Bezos, as much as possible, as just another novelist.

The Elliott Bay Book Company hosted a reading of Ms Bezos' second novel in — and Mr [Rick] Simonson recalls some people questioning why an independent book shop would want to host a book associated with Amazon. However, he says: "I felt you can invite the other side in - and she's a legitimate writer who deserved a fair reading". Glenn Nelson expertly eviscerates David Shields's new documentary screening at SIFF , which returns to the ham-handed examination of race and sports Shields last attempted in his also eviscerated Black Planet.

You can read this article in much less time and with much greater pleasure than either Shields's book or Shields's movie. It builds on the time-honored colonialist tradition of the white man or, sometimes, woman feeling uniquely qualified i. Yancy Strickler isn't the first to worry about what happens when the good guys exit social media stage right.

Is social media a dark forest that needs heroes to tame it? Or is it the tiresome party we'll all be happy to leave? Do we get to choose? Imagine a dark forest at night. Nothing moves. Nothing stirs. This could lead one to assume that the forest is devoid of life. The dark forest is full of life. To survive, the animals stay silent This is also what the internet is becoming: a dark forest. This story, Stephanie Montgomery's story, includes a description of her sexual assault. It also includes a description of how, when her employer and the justice system both failed to stand up for her, Stephanie took matters into her own mighty hands , painting a billboard that calls out every part of the system that failed her.

Nothing was going to happen. No justice, just another rape, the world moved on. The MeToo movement had opened up the conversation, sure, and it had also spurred men into hyperdefensiveness and aggression, but when the smoke cleared, had anything really changed? Where were the arrests, the convictions? An idea began to take hold. She was going to paint something, something huge. Knox Gardner is a poet and photographer, as well as publisher and editor-in-chief of the unique and wonderful local press Entre Rios Books — a press that focuses on collaborations between poets and artists.

He's the author of two collaborations: Twelve Saints , with Nia Michaels, and the brand-new release Woodland , with musician Aaron Otheim. Gardner will be appearing twice in the near future in support of Woodland : Sunday, June 2nd, at Open Books see our Event of the Week column for more details , and the official book launch for Woodland , Monday June 13th at Hugo House , where he will be joined by Otheim. It seemed appropriate being in NYC and in our new gilded age, and over the last few weeks with all the new restrictive abortion laws subjugating women, perhaps more so.

I feel like I must have read Age of Innocence in college, but I am not sure. I almost always end up reading the end of books first, so I know this is going to be a tragedy, but what I was not expecting is how funny and bitchy Wharton can be. My book is all marked up with zippy one-liners for my inner queen. Seriously, all queens should be reading Wharton. Oh Miss Bart is going to make some bad choices! I had the good fortune to find in a used book store on the same trip, Drift by Caroline Bergvall.

This is a deep, profound work by both the writer and book designer — truly a collaboration in design much like Don Mee Choi's impressive Hardly War with Wave Books. Our publicist has been encouraging me to start taking our press in a more national direction — and to publish work like this, well yes, I would. This book peers in to the despair of the refugee crisis, into our deep past, to create something so startling and immediate.

One brutal thing since starting the press is how much less time I have for reading and yet how many more books are piling up around the house. These are the books currently at the top of my list:. But I tend to read until I fall asleep on the couch, and then I wake up to the sound of Mayte chowing down on the fifth chapter of whatever sleazy erotic historical novel I happen to be in the middle of at any given moment. You are wise to realize that some bad habits are impossible to break — for instance, my bad habit of buying memorial plaques dedicated to people I dislike and bolting them to park dumpsters.

Instead of changing her behavior, change yours. Try buying Mayte a couple of books to chew on while you read. Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard and Infinite Jest by whatshisface are both very long, terrible books that would give Mayte's geriatric jaw a healthy workout. You should be able to find deeply discounted copies of them at your local used book store. If you do move in with your girlfriend, I suggest investing in a lawyer's bookcase they have glass doors. If you choose your sleazy historical erotica with care, it could help set the mood.

If you've never stumbled on a bad link or fat-fingered a URL here at the SRoB you may not know that we feature art from Christine's Reading Animals series on our page. We thought it was about time to give these amazing portraits the resolvable URL they deserve, so we're going to run them as an occasional series, starting today, with this amazing beaver. For as much as incel-driven conservative comics groups love to whine about "social justice warrior" movements in comics, the truth is that comics are currently in a relatively apolitical period.

Of course superhero comics are full of cheerleading for inclusion, and you can find a ton of easy Trump parodies in all the usual places. But aside from a few smart books like Black and Young Terrorists both of which were originally published by Black Mask Studios , for whatever that's worth you don't see many contemporary comics taking on uncomfortable political discussions.

Goodnight Paradise is a deeply political book. The description of Goodnight Paradise sounds like pretty much any sunbaked noir: a young woman is killed and one man, an outsider named Eddie, investigates the mysterious circumstances of her death. The trail leads him to the seat of power in his city. But the particulars of this noir are unlike any I've seen before: Eddie is a homeless man struggling with mental disorders and addiction, and his city is Venice Beach, California, which is the home base of Snapchat. Thanks to a tight, clever script by Joshua Dysart, Goodnight Paradise hums along while giving us enough atmosphere to appreciate the dynamics of Venice Beach: the homeless people sit on benches and in run-down RVs, sneering at the young and affluent Snap employees wandering past with their hired security forces.

The beach itself is a kind of no man's land where everyone gathers, but every situation is fraught with class distinctions and seething hatred. Alberto Ponticelli is the perfect artist for a hard-boiled detective comic: he understands the importance of characters who look the same on the 5th page of the fifth issue as they did on the third page of the first issue. Their world has to be rock-solid, and readers have to be able to understand where everyone and everything is in relation to everything else.

Without a solid sense of worldbuilding and character consistency, the mystery would feel airy and insubstantial. Ponticelli keeps everything grounded and makes us care deeply for Eddie as a character. Colorist Giulia Brusco contributes more than just a beach-y spray of color to the book: part of the backdrop of Venice Beach is the smoke and smoggy orange-smeared sky caused by nearby forest fires. The fires get earlier every year, and they contribute to Eddie's claustrophobia.

When his mania gets out of hand he sees fires everywhere: on people's heads, on buildings, in palm trees. The whole world is burning. Though Goodnight Paradise is set in California, it could almost as easily be set in the Seattle of , where tech overlords try not to stare directly into the eyes of homeless people and where the skies turn orange and belch smoke every summer. We Seattleites intimately know the rhythms of income inequality and of climate insecurity that drive the waltz of Goodnight Paradise. Mirrors are like that, sometimes. I keep thinking about this Reason magazine article which argues that Robert Crumb is in danger of being "canceled" by PC culture run amok or whatever the so-called "woke" kids are doing these days.

Crumb was not in attendance at the event. And then someone else makes a judgment against Crumb by citing some panels of a Crumb strip featuring a caricature of Crumb sexually violating a drunken young woman. Those are pretty much the only examples of cancel culture in the story. Robert Crumb was and is a significant figure in the history of comics. He's one of the most gifted cartoonists in history.

He made a lot of interesting work. His stories with Harvey Pekar were some of the best collaborative comics in history. And he also made a lot of dumb, derivative, pseudo-shocking work that hasn't aged well. It's okay to like Robert Crumb. I own several of his books. You can own all of them. You can wear t-shirts of his drawings. You're allowed to give his books as gifts. You can donate them to libraries. You can put displays of them up at bookstores. You can do whatever you want with them! Nobody is punishing you for any of that. But it's also okay to not like Crumb's work.

You can say that his treatment of race was far too facile, and that the treatment of women in his work is abhorrent. You can choose to not own any Robert Crumb books. You can make speeches about how much you dislike Robert Crumb. If you're a big Crumb fan and you're talking about Crumb in public, someone might want to talk to you about Crumb's racial or sexual politics. That's their right. But you can tell them to fuck off.

That's your right. Nobody is being canceled! Just because you like something doesn't mean someone else has to like it, too! Honestly, I think the true friction behind this Crumb story is the anxiety of one generation replacing another. The generation that venerated Crumb is horrified that younger generations don't also venerate Crumb.

Surely the kids simply don't have the proper context or a deep understanding of his milieu? Groth says as much in the Reason story, claiming that "I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people booing Crumb are not familiar with his work. Thing is, older generations don't get to dictate which artists enjoy a place of prominence with younger generations, or why.

Those of us who are alive right now have very little say as to which artists will survive in the cultural memory for the next hundred years. And very often, the artists who dominate the conversation among their contemporaries are diminished by the passing of the decades. Whenever I read a piece now about cancel culture, I remind myself to look at the consequences. What rights are being stripped from the artist? What are the motivations of everyone quoted in the piece?

What are the real-world ramifications of the actions described in the story? More often than not, the ramifications involve the artist having to face down criticism, or finding their place in history being contested by younger people. And I find it very hard to care if that's the case. Because honestly — people booing your work? Younger generations arguing that your work isn't as valuable as it was once perceived to be? That's not cancel culture, buddy; it's just art.

Seattle-area sci-fi author Ted Chiang this week inaugurated a fun new series for the New York Times , "in which science fiction authors, futurists, philosophers and scientists write op-eds that they imagine we might read 10, 20 or even years in the future. Like the best science-fiction, it's a mirror to our present time. Not so long ago, Elissa Ball was a Seattle reading dynamo.

You could find her at readings all over town, sharing her poetry and clapping enthusiastically for her friends. Then she moved to eastern Washington and we saw much less of her. Full disclosure: I'm participating in this event tonight, but Ball is the real reason to attend. She was kind enough to talk to me yesterday about what to expect tonight and how Seattle makes her feel nowadays. What can audiences expect from you tonight? I actually started doing stand-up in Seattle around So I quit comedy for about six years and just tweeted my puns, wrote a couple joke books, made goofy memes, and performed humor-heavy poems instead.

It seems as though you've picked up a few hyphenates in the time since you've moved out east of the mountains. A disaster occurs. Read those three first. For Malzberg completists only i. The Key Club heads to the Bran factory. A strange, but memorable, concoction…. Busby, 2. I have yet to read any of his novels. No thanks. Sentient sea lion-like aliens live on the island, however, due to the arrival on humankind on their world have experienced a crisis of faith man fishes for their gods.

The story balances discussions of the microcosm the single landmass on the planet, the three missionaries, the two government officers who watch them and the macrocosm the universe, God, powerful alien beings in an engaging and meaningful manner. Eklund shies away from a blatantly anti-religious stance held by a lot of 70s authors for a more sophisticated debate….

Terry Carr. I plan on seeking out more of his short fiction. A series of unusual occurrences transpire, and the his apocalyptical premonitions? I need to find the Tiptree somewhere. I need to read more Tiptree in general. Do you have a recommended compilation? Reblogged this on Walttriznastories's Blog and commented:. More information of science fiction from the past keeping the thoughts of minds from the past alive.

Have you read any of the stories? Any of your favorite authors from the period in the collection? Thanks for the kind comment. I read the Tiptree only a year or so ago. Probably the aging brain cells are the problem here…? But littered among it are some real gems. The problem is finding them.

Its interesting that this anthology has four well-known editors as authors as contributors. It would be interesting to compare the writings of Knight, Malzeberg, Carr, and Dozois with some of their anthologies and see if there is any similarity between the two. All four were also magazine editors. Come to think of it, Silverberg was also a magazine editor, and his novels and anthologies were in constant rotation during my formative reading years during the sixties.

They were reprint anthologies filled with stories that often verged on Magic Realism, and illustrated by Kelly Freas. But, it would be intriguing to break down the numbers. But yes, distinct from the UK for sure. Love that inscription: BORN. How about a ten best Malzberg covers? My ten favorite Malzberg covers already appear, crystalline, in my mind… probably as I love their contents so much. Perhaps, perhaps. Again, whenever I feel the tug of a whim I put together an art post…. I rarely plan things.

100 Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time

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