The Witch Who Came in from the Cold

Wow. This is a really enjoyable book, written by five authors–Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Ian Tregillis, and MIchael Swanwick. It was originally released on Serial Box (not currently available there), and this is a novelization.

The story so far… Prague, 1969-1970. The height of the Cold War. The CIA is working on extracting a defector, the KGB is keeping a close eye on what the CIA is up to… into the mix we get and ancient magical war which is beginning to heat up again.

Ice & Fire, East & West, compelling characters, people in the spy life who are unaffiliated, people in the magical life who are unaffiliated. Cross-cutting agendas, mixed loyalties, just enough spycraft, and a really interesting magical world…

It’s a novel with everything you could want from a premise like this, but also not enough since the world is deep, and the characters worth caring about.

He Wore A Hat

And he said things that made people uncomfortable.

I have not listened to the above recordings in, probably, ever. It is possibly full of NSFW words.

Kirk Wilson was a guy I knew in days when it seemed like outrageous was a good way to go about things. In those days, a friend and I created something which we intended to be a good thing for outrageousness to grow alongside, in the protective lee of our plans.

Kirk ran around in that protective lee like a demon. He was short because of some named condition. He had a limp. He had buggy eyes. He had a casual distain for how you felt about his appearance, and used that disregard to his advantage. He wore a hat, and called himself Hatter. He was on my writing staff for a couple of months as an artist before I knew it, and for a couple of more months before I knew his proper name.

He moved to Chicago, and learned that being outrage is a lifestyle choice with consequences. Eventually, like Bartleby, had Bartleby gotten all up in your grill about everything you did, and he did, and that guy on the El did, and the way the wind blew his black canvas trenchcoat around, he died. My life is better because he was in it, and it would be better still if he could still be in it. Here’s some of his art.

Kirk Wilson art

Viral: The Fight Against AIDS in America

Written for the youngest of young adults, high school students, this book takes an unsparing (but not salacious) look at the origins of the disease. It also offers an unsparing look at the causes of the epidemic, and forthrightly addresses reasons for why it continued to spread for as long as it did. Social, political, economic, and medical challenges faced by, and overcome by, People With AIDS are examined in tough, passionate prose. The lessons Ann Bausum weaves through this powerful book illuminate both the days from a generation ago, and highlight the power of organization–a lesson of particular importance for every generation.

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. –Douglas Adams