Friday, September 25, 2009

Flash for Literacy


I was working so hard on the novel yesterday that I completely lost track of what day it was. So I still have to post my Friday blog. Luckily, I've just received my marching orders from Ann and Jeff Vandermeer to flog the living bejabbers out of their new charity project, Last Call Bird Head.

LCBH is an anthology of over eighty works of identically-titled flash fiction by an equal number of writers, all written so as to justify that selfsame title. All profits go to ProLiteracy which is . . . well, a pro-literacy organization.

I wrote a nice, crisp science fiction tale for the volume. Quite a good story, actually. The other contributors are: Daniel Abraham, Michael Arnzen, Steve Aylett, KJ Bishop, Michael Bishop, Desirina Boskovich, Keith Brooke, Jesse Bullington, Richard Butner, Catherine Cheek, Matthew Cheney, Michael Cisco, Gio Clairval, Alan M. Clark, Brendan Connell, Paul Di Filippo, Stephen R. Donaldson, Rikki Ducornet, Clare Dudman, Hal Duncan, Scott Eagle, Brian Evenson, Eliot Fintushel, Jeffrey Ford, Richard Gehr, Felix Gilman, Jon Courtney Grimwood, Rhys Hughes, Paul Jessup, Antony Johnston, John Kaiine, Henry Kaiser, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Tessa Kum, Ellen Kushner, Jay Lake, Tanith Lee, Stina Leicht, Therese Littleton, Beth Adele Long, Dustin Long, Nick Mamatas, JM McDermott, Sarah Monette, Kari O’Connor, Ben Peek, Holly Phillips, Louis Phillips, Tim Pratt, Cat Rambo, Mark Rich, Bruce Holland Rogers, Nicholas Royle, G Eric Schaller, Ekaterina Sedia, Ramsey Shehadeh, Peter Straub, Victoria Strauss, Mark Swartz, Alan Swirsky, Rachel Swirsky, Sonya Taaffe, Justin Taylor, Steve Rasnic Tem, Jeffrey Thomas, Scott Thomas, John Urbancik, Genevieve Valentine, Kim Westwood, Leslie What, Andrew Steiger White, Conrad Williams, Liz Williams, Neil Williamson, Caleb Wilson, Gene Wolfe, Jonathan Wood, Marly Youmans, and Catherine Zeidle.

Did I mention that it's an astonishingly ugly book? Oh, yeah. Look at that cover! There's an equally ugly but stylistically different black-and-white illo on the inside too. And designer John Coulthart placed bobbing bird heads in the corners of the pages, making the whole thing also serve as a flipbook.

Ugly, ugly, ugly. You almost certainly need a copy.

You can get the official word (and order an advance copy if you like) here.

Oh, and by the way . . .

You caught that India's Chandrayaan-1 probe found water on the Moon, right? Everywhere on the Moon. If not, check it out here and here.

Note the fact that water was found in the samples brought back by the Apollo astronauts but written off as Earthly contamination -- becasue everyone knew there was no water on the Moon! This is science as it's practiced in the real world. Stumbling, fallible, but ultimately able to correct its errors.

Oh yeah, and the American Museum of Natural History is displaying the first-ever hand-woven eleven-foot-long piece of brocade from spider silk! New York Times article here. AMNH video here.


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