Nov 22, 2010

Brave New Worlds Cover and TOC

From editor John Joseph Adams comes the cover and ToC for Brave New Worlds, his anthology of dystopias. I mention this because my and F&SF story "Peter Skilling" is part of the anthology, which is due out from Night Shade Books in January. Most excellent company to be in, as you'll see in a sec...

* Introduction — John Joseph Adams
* The Lottery — Shirley Jackson
* Red Card — S. L. Gilbow
* Ten With a Flag — Joseph Paul Haines
* The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas — Ursula K. Le Guin
* Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment — M. Rickert
* The Funeral — Kate Wilhelm
* O Happy Day! — Geoff Ryman
* Pervert — Charles Coleman Finlay
* From Homogenous to Honey — Neil Gaiman & Bryan Talbot
* Billennium — J. G. Ballard
* Amaryllis — Carrie Vaughn
* Pop Squad — Paolo Bacigalupi
* Auspicious Eggs — James Morrow
* Peter Skilling — Alex Irvine
* The Pedestrian — Ray Bradbury
* The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away — Cory Doctorow
* The Pearl Diver — CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan
* Dead Space for the Unexpected — Geoff Ryman
* “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman — Harlan Ellison®
* Is This Your Day to Join the Revolution? — Genevieve Valentine
* Independence Day — Sarah Langan
* The Lunatics — Kim Stanley Robinson
* Sacrament — Matt Williamson
* The Minority Report — Philip K. Dick
* Just Do It — Heather Lindsley
* Harrison Bergeron — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
* Caught in the Organ Draft — Robert Silverberg
* Geriatric Ward — Orson Scott Card
* Arties Aren’t Stupid — Jeremiah Tolbert
* Jordan’s Waterhammer — Joe Mastroianni
* Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs — Adam-Troy Castro
* Resistance — Tobias S. Buckell
* Civilization — Vylar Kaftan
* For Further Reading — Ross E. Lockhart

Nov 1, 2010

Political Advice from H.P. Lovecraft

Not sure how much social commentary you want from a guy who had a cat named Ni**er-Man, but this is a pretty excellent rant.

As for the Republicans—how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and ...provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.
- Letter to C.L. Moore, August 1936 quoted in “H.P. Lovecraft, a Life” by S.T. Joshi, p. 574

(from Mark Tiedemann)

Oct 29, 2010

Maybe I Should Have Set Buyout in Arizona

I was thinking about influence and insurance and politics one day back in 2000, and I started a book that I thought would be called Buyout. About eight years later, after many fits and starts, I finished it and it came out in 2009. If you haven’t read it, Buyout tells the story of a private corrections company that creates new laws in the state of California to keep a constant supply of prisoners coming through their prisons, and to make sure those prisoners are from the most profitable demographics.

Now come these pieces in Salon (“Private prison industry helped draft Arizona immigration law”) and on NPR (“Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law”) about a private corrections company that essentially created new laws in make sure they would have a steady flow of inmates.

Sometimes people expect SF to predict the future. I don’t, and I certainly didn’t predict this. Buyout began as a thought experiment and expanded into what I think is a pretty good novel, but it’s no effort at prediction. To me, it's a story about a guy who thinks he has a chance to do the right thing and get wealthy in the process...and, of course, nothing is ever that simple. It's a story about the rationalizations we live by, and their consequences. (Plus kind of a homage to some of the things I love about Philip K. Dick.) Even so, by the time I finished writing the book, the scenario seemed more real to me than it had when I started. Now, thanks to this Arizona story (and this one about Pennsylvania judges taking kickbacks to funnel youth prisoners to their private-prison cronies), it’s a little more real yet.

Oct 28, 2010

Megatron Vs. the Reaper!

Over at Suvudu, they're doing a series of cage matches between the great villains of SF and fantasy. Most recently, on Wednesday, they threw Megatron and the Reaper (of Shannara) into the cage, and you can vote on the result!

Here's my take.

Here’s the way this plays out. The Reaper comes in low…

…oh, wait. That’s the only way it can com in against Megatron, who’s four times its height.

Um. The Reaper’s claws slash at…

…oh, wait. The Reaper is a prisoner of the Forbidding, sprung so it can kill a bunch of elves on its way to meeting its maker at the hands of Will Ohmsford. Its claws are great against flesh and bone—and even steel—but it’s never come up against alloys that are powerful enough to endure millions of years.

The Reaper shows Megatron its face, which only those about to die ever see…

…oh, wait. Megatron doesn’t have a soul for the Reaper to take. He’s got a Spark instead, which is part of the AllSpark, which is nothing like a soul, really, and what would the Reaper do with it if it got it?

So here’s how it breaks down.

Magic won’t work on Megatron. Fear won’t work on Megatron. The Reaper’s claws would be like the toenails of a gerbil against Megatron’s armored hide.

Killing is what the Reaper was made for…but the Reaper’s creator never imagined it coming up against a thirty-foot-tall sentient mechanical life form whose body is capable of walking away from the impact of a Sidewinder missile. With all due respect to demonic bringers of death and psychopomps everywhere, the Reaper’s bringing claws to a battle where the opponent has a fusion cannon. The Reaper has claws and powerful magic. Megatron has a weapon that essentially fires pieces of stars.

The Reaper’s never seen anything like that in the Forbidding, or even in the hands of Will Ohmsford. I mean, let’s face it. The Blue Elfstones are pretty badass, but they don’t really match up to a portable fusion cannon, now, do they? Megatron can fly. Megatron can turn himself into a tank. The Reaper's got no answer for that.

So where were we? The Reaper come after Megatron, all claws and terror and impending doom, and Megatron vaporizes it where it stands. Then, because he’s Megatron, he looks down at the shreds of the Reaper’s cloak and says…

…you know what he says.


Oct 1, 2010

Me at NYCC

Signing schedule for NYCC is shaping up. Right now, it looks like:

Fri 3-4 Signing at IDW booth #2115
Sat 11-12 Signing at DK booth #2415
Sat 4-5 Signing at Del Rey booth #2122
Sun TBD Signing at DC booth #2243

Could be other things going on too, but if you have stuff you want me to deface, I'll definitely be at the above locations at the above times. (Also, there might be free books at the Del Rey signing...)

See you there!

Sep 7, 2010

On Titles and Thinking Out Loud

I see that my maundering about a possible title for the Star Wars book has caused more of a ripple than I'd expected, or intended. Just so we're clear: That's not anything like a final title. That was me thinking out loud. No telling yet what the final title of the book will be.

Apologies if I've given a different impression...

Sep 3, 2010

New and Forthcoming, September 2010 Edition

In loose chronological order:

September 9: The Murder of King Tut #4
October 13: The Murder of King Tut #5
November 3: Iron Man: The Rapture #1
November 17: Iron Man: The Rapture #2
November: Murder of King Tut collected (I think)
December 7: The Seal of Karga Kul
December: Iron Man: The Rapture #3
January: Iron Man: The Rapture #4
January: Dark Sun: Ianto's Tomb #1 of 5

The Star Wars novel, tentatively titled Mandorla, is now scheduled for December 2011...and there's a lot more in the hopper, dates TBD.

Jul 26, 2010

DC Comics Year by Year

A glance at Ryan Sook's cover for DC Comics Year by Year, a chronicle written by (in chronological order) Daniel Wallace, me, Mike McAvennie, Matthew Manning, and Alan Cowsill. Cool. Look for it in October!

Jul 17, 2010

Tentative SDCC Schedule


10-11 Signing at Del Rey table. Free copies of BUYOUT and IRON MAN: VIRUS!
11-12 Signing with fellow MURDER OF KING TUT folks Chris Mitten and Ron Randall at IDW booth
12-1 Hasbro/Wizards panel, wherein we will talk about D&D, Transformers, GI Joe, etc. etc.


11-12 Signing TRANSFORMERS: EXODUS at the Hasbro booth
2:30-3:30 From Words to Pictures Panel, wherein a bunch of novelists will talk about writing comics

More details to come...and something will probably change.

Jun 28, 2010

Booklist on Transformers: Exodus

It's pretty rare for licensed fiction to get reviewed in the trades, but Booklist took a look at the Transformers: Exodus, and seemed to like what they saw:

Transformers: Exodus is precisely the origin story that the franchise needed. It’s entertaining, filled with the sort of epic battles Transformers lend themselves to, and keeps the reader breathless with anticipation even though we already know how it ends. Megatronus was a gladiator, until he got his name and started thinking about the way Cybertron’s caste system diminished the “bots’” potential. Orion Pax was a data-worker—-a librarian, really—-under the master archivist. The Archivist is more than he seems, and provides a great deal of context for the history of Cybertron, and a few key deus-ex-machina twists. Orion Pax, now known as Optimus Prime, is an honest character, who never asks for the greatness that is forced upon him; Megatron, on the other hand, is an egomaniacal tyrant. But in the framework of a political revolution and the civil war that overthrows a system that had practically calcified, there are terrible fights, friendships made and broken, and the beginnings of a genuine epic; above all, it’s fun to read.

Jun 27, 2010

Why Soccer Is Theatrical, in a Mathematical Nutshell

Size of NFL field: 48000 square feet.
Number of players: 22.
Number of guys with whistles: 7.
Formations: Players largely concentrated in one part of field.
Probability of something illegal happening: high.
Official eyeballs per player: 0.636
Official eyeballs per acre: 14/(48000/43560)=14/1.102=12.705

Official Eyeball Coverage Quotient; 0.636*12.705=8.080

Avg. size of FIFA regulation field: 81000 square feet.
Number of players: 22.
Number of guys with whistles: 1.*
Formations: None. Players all over the field at all times.
Probability of something illegal happening: high.
Official eyeballs per player: 0.273
Official eyeballs per acre: 2/(81000/43560)=2/1.859=1.076

Official Eyeball Coverage Quotient: 0.273*1.067=0.294


So it's 27.5 times as likely that a ref will see a foul on a football field as on a soccer field. If you were a player, you'd try to get that ref's attention too. Then there's the question of how widely spread the players are...difficult to quantify, but another factor that would increase the differential.

*3 if you count linesmen, who occasionally call fouls but are mostly there to flag offsides and out of bounds; when and if they wave their flags to make calls, the ref can wave them off and allow play to continue. But even if we grant 3 "refs" in soccer, the difference is still nearly a factor of 10.

May 13, 2010

A Funny

From the Eschaton blog:

Both Virginia and Tennessee have passed bills allowing people to carry a concealed handgun into establishments that serve alcohol. (It turns out that Plaxico Burress was a freedom fighter with a bad sense of timing and place. Who knew?)

Transformers: Exodus Cover

Click to view full-size...

Apr 28, 2010

Viking Jesus Rides a Raptor

Either that, or it's a T. Rex and Our Savior is 20 feet tall. There were giants in the earth in those days...(yes, I have confused my testaments--on purpose!)...

(image seen in this Gawker comments thread)

Apr 27, 2010

In Which I Crowdsource a Syllabus

Gentle readers: if you were to teach a course in the American novel, and you had for reasons of your own decided to use only novels that run approximately 200 pages or less, what would be your top ten? I'm particularly interested in what you think is the best recent work at that length.

Apr 16, 2010

A Pake Recipe for Jeff Parker

...because no! You do not have to choose between pie and cake!

In a pan or skillet, melt a stick of butter.
Whisk in 1cup flour and 1cup sugar.
Add 1cup milk. Let it get hot again.
Add 1 egg if custardy pie-like texture is desired, 1tsp baking powder (or more if a cakey texture is what you're after), and whatever fruit you have lying around.
Bake at 350 (or whatever) until done.

It's different every time. Pake!

Mar 17, 2010

The Personalities of Children, Divined Through Their Letters to the Tooth Fairy

Emma, about a year ago:

Hi tooth fairy
This is my third tooth.
I love losing teeth.
Sinserly toothless Emma

Ian, 10 days ago:

Dear tooth fairy I just pulled my tooth out It hurt a lot but I did it It feels realy weird to not have a tooth there but this only the second tooth I've lost here. Sincerely, IAN

In other news:


Ladeeeeez and Gentlemen,

BSCreview's annual Tournament of Books is underway, with a mighty field of contestants. A key first-round matchup: In this corner, CS Friedman's Wings of Wrath. And in this corner, Buyout (out, out, out) by Alexander C. Irvine (ine, ine, ine)...


Mar 14, 2010

Rocket Go Boom

This is an old video (well, three years) and maybe you've seen it already, but wow.

Mar 3, 2010

Your Photo of the Day

A Chance to Do Some Good

My sister-in-law writes:

We need your help! We've applied for a grant to help connect 10 libraries in Kenya, and the top 10 finalists are chosen through an open vote! You can learn more about our work by visiting our website:

Vote for Maria's Libraries! Just register, click on the link below, register and go to "Digital Inclusion" and look up Ariel Schwartz's project among top ideas: "Reducing space through digital inclusion": Each vote counts for ten points, so we're not that far behind! Please vote for us!
Please take a moment and do this. Then tell everyone you know!

Feb 26, 2010

If You Were Following This Blog...

...I just changed all of the settings because there was something wrong with them, so now you have to follow it all over again. The widget is down and to the right.

Five People Who Made Me Want to Be a Writer

This question is not the same as my five favorite writers or the five writers I admire the most. Also, it's possible that if asked tomorrow, I might change two or three of the names. But here are today's five:

Harlan Ellison
Stephen King
Jack Kirby
Don Martin
Sam Shepard

Who are yours?

Feb 24, 2010

Some Questions about the Appification of Buyout

Nobody at Random House told me that Buyout was going to be an app. I've never talked to anyone at ScrollMotion, who designed the app. There are many things I don't know. Why is Buyout twice as expensive, for example, as some of the other books on the list? (It's $16.99. Worth every penny, I might suggest, but still more than the actual print book.) How will I be paid for the apps that sell? Does it say in the contract that those app rights are even Random House's to sell? Some of this stuff I could look up, probably, if I went into five-year-old files and found the contracts. But those contracts are probably silent on the question of apps, since, well, apps didn't exist.

Also, how come I don't get a free one?

Feb 22, 2010

Lit Mags Are Dead. Long Live Lit Mags. But Maybe Not Pure Psychological Realism.

Everyone with an interest in fiction should read this piece at Mother Jones, if you haven't already. Times are hard for litmags (most of them, anyway; but more about that in a sec). This piece has been out for a while, but I'm thinking about this now because it's gotten tied up in my head with this other piece, by Ted Gioia, called "Notes on Conceptual Fiction," at the website Conceptual Fiction.

Read them both and ask yourself: are litmags dying not because people don't read, but because litmags are clinging to literary models that are historically transient but assumed by the literary-academic establishment to be permanent? (I ask this question from a perspective within said establishment. I'm not hostile to it. But I do think that it, like any other respected and powerful institution, is very slow to react to cultural changes, and has a set of blinders that it tends not to notice until they are pointed, say, by the death of literary magazines.)

I think it's no coincidence that the strongest literary magazines right now are the ones least beholden to an editorial vision centered on psychological realism and the standard kind of beautifully arid atmosphere pieces that seem to be the primary product of intense MFA-program workshopping.

And, putting on my genre-nerd hat, let me say that I love the Gioia piece because it avoids the cheerleading instinct so common to genre apologia. It is possible, indeed desirable, to talk about what genre fiction does well without falling prey to zero-sum thinking and arguing that because genre fiction does some things well, literary or realist fiction does not, cannot, must forever be considered the wan and lonely spinster of the family of literatures. Everything can be good. Most things aren't.

Feb 16, 2010

I Keel Keeng Tut

As USA Today notes this morning, I am doing an adaptation for IDW of The Murder of King Tut, James Patterson's conspiracy-minded take on the death of the boy pharaoh. So I am neck-deep in ancient Egypt. Cool. Here's the first cover:

Feb 9, 2010

Beaker Sings Dust in the Wind

I come up for air long enough to present you with this...

Now back to book with Friday deadline.

Feb 6, 2010

Best SF/F v.4 Cover

Man, I can't wait to read this. I missed a lot of good stories this year:

Feb 5, 2010

Anno Iron Man Continues

Here's the cover for my novelization of Iron Man 2, appearing in your neighborhood bookstore on April 1:

Feb 3, 2010

Anatomical Figuration of Amazon/Macmillan

Bookninja, which is always worth reading, on the Amazon/Macmillan kerfuffle that will determine the course of Western civilization: "Somewhere around the duodenum, Amazon’s foot, which had apparently entered through its own mouth, met Macmillan’s foot which, as we saw yesterday, entered through Amazon’s rectum, and the two are having a kungfu battle amid the half-digested remains of America’s mid-list novelists. Heady stuff."

As one of those mid-list novelists (I think), I feel threatened by this image but consider it appropriate.

Feb 2, 2010

100 Stories for Haiti

Buy this book when it comes out. Not because I have a story in it ("Snapdragons," reprinted from the Vestal Review), but because it's a good thing to do.

Jan 30, 2010

Indomitable Iron Man B&W #1 Preview

A couple of pages--cover and title--snatched in the dark of night (actually on a brilliant and frigid seaside morning) from Comic Related.

Jan 29, 2010

Alanis Morissette is the Dark-Haired Girl

This conversation with writer/director John Alan Simon has me real real interested in this movie version of Radio Free Albemuth, which occupies a strange place in the PKD canon. Odd to see it being the first of his books to get a serious and faithful* film treatment.

*(Blade Runner being serious but not ultimately faithful due to the absence of Mercerism and Joe, and...well, lots of things, among them electric sheep. Read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? if you don't believe me.)

Jan 28, 2010

The Perils of Eclecticism

Quoth Paolo Bacigalupi in a recent Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast:
I think almost all of the big respectable science fiction and fantasy magazines have the same exact problem which is that they're eclectic. And, eclectic products have a much harder time finding an audience who will follow them.
Part of me wants to work out a reasoned and thoughtful response to this. Part of me wants to kind of despair because I think Paolo is (mostly, more often than not) right, and my output is nothing if not eclectic. But if I had to write the same kind of story over and over for the rest of my career, I'd quit writing. Apparently eclecticism will doom me one way or another.

[from io9]

Jan 25, 2010

Every City Its Own Genre!

The most excellent supernatural/noir novelist Charlie Huston tells the Austin American-Statesman that LA is a more SFnal city than NYC, which is one reason why his most recent book, Sleepless, is SF. He moved to LA, it seems, and the SFness of the place overcame him.

This got me thinking. Which is America’s most science-fictional city?

After trying out a number of candidates, I realized I couldn’t decide because there were so many cities that seemed SFnal in different way. From this realization I formulated a theory that goes something like this: All American cities are in some way science-fictional, but that each city in America has a kinship with a particular subgenre of SF.

So here’s an experiment. Below is a list of the thirteen largest urban agglomerations in the United States, per the Census Bureau. Next to it is a list of thirteen SF subgenres. Match ‘em up!

New York





Bay Area








Space opera

New Wave









Alternate history

Dying Earth


(Another way to play this would be to look around you and create your own genre for the city where you live. But that’s another post, and probably one you should write…)

Jan 22, 2010

A Toothache-Fueled Rant

Dear Internet:

I do not care about your cat.

Your baby is cute. Your impulse to tweet about it constantly is not, and smacks of desperation. And just so you know, everyone hates the following things: waiting in line, stupid people (especially at work), work, not having any work, dating, not having anyone to date, bad food, things that are too expensive, politicians you disagree with, government inefficiency, bad behavior, corporate corruption, human misery, lack of courage on the part of those we want to admire, people who don't do what they said they would do, the Yankees. It’s not just you. We don’t need to hear about it.

Internet, not only do I have no interest in the function of your gastrointestinal system, your commitment to making sure I am informed as to the function of your gastrointestinal system makes me think you have problems with narcissism. I can also tell when you’re complaining about something just so everyone will know that you are So Cool you have this particular Cool Kid problem. This is also narcissistic. Not to mention masturbatory.

Dear Internet, sometimes I think you do not have my best interests at heart.
I have all kinds of awesome Bejeweled secrets, but I’m not going to tell you what they are. I have to have something to keep to myself.

Dear Internet, I want to put all of the lost baby unicorns and Hot Teens in My Area and ambitious mobsters and shiny jewels and imprisoned Nigerian princes and iHearts and magic weight-loss pills and cretinous citizens of Zoo World together in a burlap bag big enough to contain all the disappointments and resentments of everyone I care about. I want to set that bag on fire. I want to tweet about setting that bag on fire. I want my new profile picture to be a picture of that bag on fire. I want to turn that burning bag into its own YouTube channel and eventually into a book deal.

Here are some truths, Internet. Your idiot status memes do not fool anyone into thinking you care. Well, except for I guess they do. Internet, someday you will reach China and even Myanmar in your full pornographic and limitless glory. This will be a great day because then many more people will become citizens of Yoville and Ashton Kutcher will have many more followers on Twitter.

Internet, the stupider you get the smarter you make me feel. But before I can feel smart I must deal with the fact that because of you I want to rescue all of the following: the baby emperor penguin, the lost Nigerian princeling, Firefly, the books Borders is about to throw away (but not the people Borders is about to throw away), the victims of today’s natural disaster in Unluckyplacetobebornistan.

Internet, I really feel like sometimes you’re not very concerned about truth, and the only good thing about that is that the more time I spend around you, the less concerned I am about truth.

Internet, I sort of feel like you needed to know that. You're kind of clingy.

But mostly what I wanted to say is that I do not care about your cat.

Jan 21, 2010

Blogging at Barrelhouse

The sadly misguided souls over at Barrelhouse, that most excellent magazine of literature and pop culture, have enlisted me to blog for them on a regular basis from now until whenever they figure out what an awful mistake they've made. This may result in decreased frequency of posting over here, but who knows? Maybe my capacity for yammering will expand, following Boyle's Law, to fill whatever yammering space is made available.

If you have ideas about the kind of thing that a guy like me should blog about at a site like Barrelhouse, let me know. Comics? SF/Fantasy? Books in general? Soccer? Baseball? What's interesting?

And if I were any kind of real writer, I would tell everyone that Iron Man: Virus started to show up in bookstores today.

Jan 16, 2010

The Wall Street Journal Understands Me

According to that august, um, journal (paraphrase courtesy of Deadspin):

Out of the typical 2 hours and 54 minutes of the average NFL broadcast, a whole 11 minutes actually feature live game action. So next time you want to call out soccer or baseball fans for following a sport where nothing happens, you might want to tend to your own garden.

I have been arguing exactly this point in bars (well, not just bars) across America for years. I fear decades, even.

(As the Deadspin article notes, Wired's Dave Banks did a couch-potato version of this analysis for his Geek Dad blog in 2008.)

Jan 15, 2010

How Artists of Loose Morals Might Exploit the Super Snake

Saw this article this morning, and it got me thinking. (What especially got me thinking was the hyperbolic headline.) All over Hollywood, hack screenwriters must be trying to figure out how they can surreptitiously adapt Anaconda to the Miami-Dade hinterlands. Cue Jon Voight: "The Everglades can keel you in a thousand ways..." Would that be awesome or what? I want Super Snakes rampaging through Fort Lauderdale (Broward County, I know, but imagine the Spring Break scenes!) or South Beach. And I want Jon Voight in it as a crusty airboat tour guide who stumbles upon the mother of all Super Snakes. Maybe he could even bring Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube along for the ride, as ecological dreamers out to stop the poaching of alligators (although he has a secret past, since when he was in college he and a bunch of drunken fraternity brothers set an African rock python loose, which started the whole mess; he'll have to die at some point to expiate this Original Plot-Generating Sin...). The Super Bowl should be involved, too, and probably a hurricane. That's what I want.

Jan 12, 2010

US World Cup Draw Looks Better and Better

Look at this performance by Algeria--against that powerhouse Malawi--in the African Cup of Nations. If we can't beat these guys...

Jan 11, 2010

It's Raining Tonys

That's the title of a little prose story I wrote for Indomitable Iron Man Black and White #1, out on Feb. 3. There are also three or four short comics by the likes of Howard Chaykin and Paul Cornell. It'll be fun. Check it out. Cover and copy:

Iron Man does battle with a hyper-intelligent space probe bent on terraforming the planet! And Tony battles Titanium Man while fielding calls for Stark International! All this and more in this all-new, all-action, all-black-and-white one-shot in the spirit of the Mighty Marvel Magazines of yore, but ALL-NOW in style! The Iron Mania never lets up for a moment over these four stories by some of Marvel’s hottest writers! One-Shot/Parental Advisory…$3.99

(The title of this post could also refer to 2010, from my perspective. I just got author copies of Iron Man: Virus in the mail. It's out at the end of the month. Then there's the movie novelization, out in April or May, and something else later this year...)

Edgar Allan Poe and Clint Dempsey

Have nothing to do with each other and nothing in common beyond Southern origin. Just to get that out of the way.

But there is interesting Poe-related news today, as the Baltimore Sun reports that Poe's descendants are set to declare which of the many contenders they feel has the most claim to be the City of Poe (and perhaps his final resting place, since everyone's always talking about exhuming him). One wonders if Ladbroke's has odds on this strange little competition (which many of the alleged contestants appear only dimly aware of). I'm guessing the whole thing will be settled about when I get my lakeside house on Mars.

And just because, here's a video clip of Clint Dempsey's golazo against Stoke last weekend:

Jan 5, 2010

Gringo Donovan Conquers Mexico

From Soccer By Ives:

Who would have thought that any American soccer player--let alone Landon Donovan, whom the Mexican soccer fan has always loved to hate--would have enough of a profile south of the border to be in a commercial? Strange times we live in...