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I just finished this yesterday and I still have a weird taste in my mouth.  Not metaphorically — I mean I literally have a weird taste my mouth, like I’ve been burping up kimchee and Miracle Whip.  It’s not really unpleasant, just disorienting.  Which is not a bad one-word encapsulation of La Farge’s ambitious and engaging novel.   A plot summary would be a ridiculous and futile undertaking.  The book begins with the disappearance of a H.P. Lovecraft scholar from a psychiatric hospital and the subsequent discovery of his clothing abandoned at the edge of a lake.  This is the trigger for an extended meditation on identity, art, truth, genre, fandom, popular culture, and obsession that ranges from Belsen to Mexico City, whose bit players include Isaac Asimov and William Burroughs.  Although played completely deadpan, there are a lot of deep chuckles to be found here layered in with the strange, especially for readers who have been marinated in the history of science fiction, fantasy, and horror in 20th Century America.  Highly recommended.

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I will write a story a week for the 6 week duration of the workshop.  Please visit my sponsorship page:

https://www.clarionwest.org/members/danielmarcus/.

Thanks!

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First track features me boy David on guitar

 

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(from my son, David)

On April 8-9th, I will be participating in the UCLA Dance Marathon to raise funds for the Pediatric AIDS Coalition. I will dance for 26 hours to raise awareness and funds for education and treatment for children with AIDS around the world. Prior to the event, I am fundraising a minimum of 260 dollars towards the cause. UCLA’s PAC has teamed up with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) which for 25 years has worked to raise funds and awareness to help combat AIDS worldwide. EGPAF is the primary beneficiary of Dance Marathon (70%) followed by Project Kindle (19%), UCLA AIDS Institute (10%), and UCLA PAC (1%). 
Anything helps! Please help me in taking a stand against pediatric AIDS and donate on my behalf by following the link below! 

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FOGcon 7 is here, at the fabulous Walnut Creek Mariott.  Honored guests are Delia Sherman and Ayize Jama-Everett.  Honored Ghost is Iain Banks.

Theme: Interstitial Spaces

“Interstitiality is a theme which is simultaneously genuinely interesting and potentially quite useful, and also a terrible cliché, so if you’re going to use it, it helps to be at least respectfully skeptical about the wilder claims of some of its theoretical partisans, I think. ”   –China Miéville, on The City & the City

I will be lurking about for much of the weekend.  Scheduled spots are:

 

Reading: Friday, 3 PM

Panel: Friday, 4:30 PM. Can Movies Based on Games Ever Be Watchable?

Panel: Saturday, 3 PM.  The Writer As Resistor

Workshop: Sunday, 3 PM.  Leading a Writers’ Workshop session.

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Happy to report that my short story collection, Binding Energy, first published by the fabulous and lamented Elastic Press, is finally available on Kindle. Salon called it “a cross between Raymond Carver and William Gibson.” Dirt cheap at $2.99

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I loved this book.  I’m a little older than the audience that would get a hard nostalgia hit from the smart, accurate invocation of being a geeky outsider teen in 1980s American suburbia, but not by much, and unlike other recent books that have riffed on the rich stew of pre-dawn-Internet pop culture  tropes (8-bit games, MacGyver, Vanna White, The Breakfast Club, Hall and Oates, to name a few), Fortress weaves them into a story about friendship, the anguish of adolescence, and the virtues of being a freak that should  accessible to anyone.  The story is told simply, conversationally, from a first-person narrator.  The language is plain but perfectly matched to the unfolding story.  The evocation of time and place is pitch perfect and, by the time we were done, I felt like I knew the characters.  This was a really satisfying read and I burned through it way too quickly.

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