I'm not here today. I'm . . . all together, children . . . on the road again! Never mind that. While I'm gallavanting about (our next door neighbor Pat refers to Marianne and me as "the gallavanters"), I thought I'd share with you a photo of me from my old days as a commissar in the CCCP.
Speaking of which, have you bought your tickets for the KGB raffle yet? The KGB Bar is a Classic Commie themed bar in the Village in NYC (the walls are painted red!) and Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a really quite splendid reading series which deserves your support. Once a year, they raise money by selling one-dollar chances for a wide variety of prizes. The best thing about which is that the tickets are prize-specific. So if what you want is a tuckerization by Lucius Shepard, you needn't worry that you'll end up stuck with a tour of Tor Books by editor Liz Gorinsky.
Actually, that last one sounds pretty cool. Tor Books is located in the historic Flatiron Building and the offices are a hive of activity as a great many inherently interesting people create books. Plus, they've got a tremendous set of shelves of all their new releases (and Tor prints a significant percentage of all the books you most particularly want) which people they like are allowed to pick and choose from.
I wouldn't mention that last except that Liz specifies that he winner gets to leave with "as many books as you can carry." So, on reflection, even if what you're after is the Zoe Van Gelder art on back of a Ray Vukcevich Manuscript, you should drop a buck on the tour.
Because -- trust me on this one -- you don't own enough books.
You can find information about the raffle here and this year's remarkable list of prizes here.
Above: In truth, the photo was taken by the astonishing Kyle Cassidy on his cell phone. Kyle takes better pix on his cell phone than I could with a RolleiFlex and years of courses. No idea how he does that. None whatsoever.