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Books: Recommended reading is something I do here from time to time. The process of being an artist must expand further than "tips and techniques" books within our medium. For they are just about medium, meaning they are neither "rare nor well done".  Reading books that break your preconceived notions, that lead you to places you never had the nerve to dream of, is the best way of opening your mind. This will make you a better artist for you will realize that all the self censorship you do to yourself is nothing when compared to how some authors reveal themselves to us.
MyMother-Myself4/28/2015: My copy of "My Mother - Myself" came in today. My first published short story "Saying Solly" is on page 80. In the back there are write-ups  about all the writers and they left out one of my grandsons. I have four grandsons and one granddaughter.

This collection of short stories will be available at Amazon in a couple of months but if you want to order a copy before Mother's Day you can purchase a copy at...

All the contributors in this collection of short stories have donated their work.

For me it is in memory of Edy Henderson, who passed away before she was able to see this book come to fruition. We all know she's whispering "It's about time..." since it took 8 years.

3/21/16: Read "Saying Solly" here in the Bonsai Trailer Court. 
Metaphysical Detective Gif

Kirsten Weiss is the author of the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mystery novels and the steampunk/suspense novel, Steam and Sensibility. Her books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Follow her on Twitter @RigaHayworth

There are some advantages to being on FaceBook and being added as a "friend" by a favorite author. Today John Shirley posted that he'd be at The BrainWash Cafe in San Francisco (Folsom between 7th and 8th St.) and he would be handing out free copies of these two books, signed.

My sister came by after work and I asked (begged) her to drive me downtown so I could meet John Shirley (and his lovely wife Micky) and get these books. I gave him a covered tin and her a necklace. I'll find pictures of those in a bit.

The original CyberPunk John Shirley: City Comes A-Walking. He inspired William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.

What can't Neil Gaiman do? He writes poems, prose, screen plays, graphic novels. Does he tap dance? I wonder sometimes. "Anansi Boys" is the next book I'm reading by Neil Gaiman. To list all of the ones I have read would take up too much space. I recommend anything he does, even tap dancing, should he deem it an interesting thing to do. Why I didn't add him earlier was just grave oversight.

George Alec Effinger: When Gravity Fails "This is the fourth or fifth time I've been asked to give a public comment on an Effinger book; and each time I've done it; and each time I've said you people are cheating yourselves if you don't forego food and rent to pick up on Effinger's work. Now, *this* time, will you for pete's sake listen to me and buy When Gravity Fails? It's as crazy as a spider on ice skates, plain old terrific; and if you don't pay attention I'll have to get tough with you! We have your childen and your dog. Buy, read and marvel...or else."
-- Harlan Ellison on When Gravity Fails
K.W. Jeter - Noir: "The book is set in the Pacific Fringe – the only remaining industrialised part of the world – in a society where free market capitalism holds absolute sway. Even the dead, including the hero's wife, can be brought back to life as slave labour if they fail to meet their financial obligations. The internet has evolved radically so that emails can be seen fluttering around the recipient and pestering for attention, while strange online sexual experiences can be had through electronic surrogates called prowlers."
Tim Powers

Last Call

Expiration Date

Earthquake Weather

05-20-09: I just found out that Dr. Leonard Shlain passed away on May 11th. That makes me sad. He wrote The Alphabet vs The Goddess. ISBN # 0-670-47883-9, which I wrote a ramble about. He was also a pioneer in the use of laparoscopic surgery, which saved me from a bigger scar.  Here's the Wiki about him. His daughter, Tiffany, is the founder of the Webby Awards. There are a few famous people I mourn when they die, Dr. Shlain is one of them.
04-01-09: Books on anatomy that I have at my worktable.

This is a continuation of the sculpting discussion going on at CITY-o-Clay.

01-05-08 Links and ISBN#s added. These books changed the wrinkles in my brain.

Links go to the "Runagate-Rampant" web section.


Some of you might not know how much I love China Mieville. When Bushyaib told me that there’s a new book coming out we got very excited. So I blogged about it.  

Update: We were able to get "The City and The City" in paperback and we read it and were delighted. China Mieville makes effort to write in different genre and this was his "Detective" genre, with his own bit of weird fiction thrown in. I LOVE film noir movies and old time detective novels, like those written by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet, so this book "The City and The City" was right up that dark, rain soaked, foggy alley.

You Got to read this book,  by Max Barry

Jennifer Government, ISBN# 1-4000-3092-7

Links go to Max Barry's website.

08/30/07: A shout out to the three creative writing students met at Borders this evening. Should have written your names down I've totally forgot.

To the right is Un Lun Dun, the book we were discussing.

I'll load up some more reading suggestions this Labor Day Week End, a labor of love.


Suggested authors and the books that come first to mind. I read everything an author writes if I like one of the works.

I'm fond of the dystopian future where governments are pretty much moot next to multinational corporations. Mix that with inexplicable weather, a random Cthulhu monster and I'm all good.

Remember what we were talking about... certain works are so unique, so new, it's a life experience. Our brains change with the reading of these works; the words carving new wrinkles in our grey matter.

Jeff Noon: Vert and Pollen; the altered consciousness caused by the drug on the feather actually open a rift between dimensions, got to read both books to see how. Some images that remain is a pair of lovers who wove their dred locks together, that sort of love got to end tragic. The living and the dead can reproduce and produce a halfling of sorts. New world these books, new creatures and possibilities.

Paul Neilan: Apathy; he has a blog. His first novel and he's delightfully cracked. He was recommended by Max Barry, and that's a big deal. "The best book you'll read in years, the funniest novel ever. If you don't love it, there's something wrong with you, and if you do, there's also something wrong with you - but you won't care." 

Buy his book and allow him to write more.

DhalgrenDhalgren, "Samuel R. Delany’s masterwork, which in 1975 opened a new door for what science fiction could mean. A labyrinth of a novel, it raises questions about race, sexuality, identity, and art, but gives no easy answers, in a city that reshapes itself with each step you take." quote from Amazon.

Thought I'd add this since we were talking about it at the 2019 NaNoWriMo Kick-Off party on 10-21-19.
Same Delany's 3 novel setThis is the three novel set I was speaking about and I couldn't remember all the titles.

Volume One: Babel-17, Nova, and Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

Jack Wokack: Ambient, Heathern, Elvissy, Random Acts of Senseless Violence, Let's put the future behind us

"An information-dense, battering-ram English...that evokes and commands constant action.. Look for sequels. They will be loud and feral, and they'll fizz." The Washington Post Book World on "Terraplane".

Quotes that comes to mind are the commands "Ciggarette me" and "Newspaper me".  Image that comes to mind are the duel to the death business deals, gladiator style.

William Browning Spencer: Resume With Monsters;

It has a Lovecraft feel to the monsters. Here's the wiki for him.

From Publishers Weekly on Amazon
"Word processor Philip Kenan is not just stuck in a series of dead-end jobs in this satirical novel, but trapped in delusional fantasies about undead co-workers and monsters from the horror stories of H.P. Lovecraft as well... "

Steve Erickson: Anything... Amnesiascope, Days Between Stations, Rubicon Beach;

LA is the location, the time near future that's broken, multiple time zones in LA, rings of fire no one seems to put out, sand storms that bury apartments. Nothing is explained, it's just the environment the characters have to function in.

Speaking of William Gibson I'm just finishing up his new work, Spook Country (spooks as in spies). Compared to the cyberpunk trilogy of Neromancer, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, it's Gibson-lite. His later works are not as jam packed with gizmos, more character development, female pov in this one and in Pattern Recognition. I've not read a bad book by him ever.

Update: Read the third in the trilogy that started with Pattern Recognition and Spook Country: Zero History  It was great fun to run into characters who were established in the first two novels. One does become attached to even the "bad guys" and as always Gibson does not disappoint.

Oh how can I forget... Cory Doctorow: Over Clocked, Down and out in the Magic Kingdom, Someone comes to town, Someone leaves town (where the parents of the protagonist is a mountain and a washing machine... yeah, you got to read this), Eastern Standard Tribe. He's as fresh as tomorrow. The computer culture dream weaver, capturing our humanity through our tech. I read a few pages of one of his works and them bought five titles in one shot. The family has loved him, the books have been passed around with glee.

Jon Armstrong: Grey, just out 2007

"Jon Armstrong's debut novel puts a fresh suit of stylish clothes on the beloved body of cyberpunk, skewering high fashion, consumerism, and... the public fascination with celebrities.." Locus Magazine

"Grey is a truly extraordinary and original work -- a deft and raucous mash-up of William Gibson and J.D. Salinger by way of Fellini. It'll change our outlook, your brain chemistry, and your wardrobe."  Catherynne M. Valente, Author of The Orphan's Tales

Harlan Ellison

You may have read something Harlan Ellison wrote or saw a movie that was made from one of his books, or saw a movie where he wrote the screen play. Since the 1970s Harlan has been the bad boy/ amazing dude of SciFi, or as Wikipedia says "speculative fiction".

"Harlan Jay Ellison (born May 27, 1934) is an American writer. His principal genre is speculative fiction.

"His published works include over 1,000 short stories, novellas, screenplays,teleplays, essays, a wide range of criticism covering literature, film,television, and print media. He was editor and anthologist for two ground-breaking science fiction anthologies, Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions. Ellison has won numerous awards - more awards for imaginative literature than any other living author - including multiple Hugos,Nebulas and Edgars."

06-18-06: Father's Day Book Shuffle


06-27-07: A year or so back I was asked to contribute a short story to a collection called "If it's not one thing, it's your mother" I contributed Saying "Solly"

I just discovered the Editor, and my former bosslady, Edymay, used the picture of my Mom, Linda and me, on the blog page for the website, along with a quote from my short story that goes with the picture.

Needless to say I'm tickled she picked my story and family picture for the website blog.

I just had to share. I just discovered this page this afternoon. (retired)

Polymer Clay Creative Traditions: What I like best about this polymer clay book is how it shows other creative traditions that inspire clayers: fabric, glass, paper, stone and more. It's not "just another" polymer clay book.  I'm mentioned on page 121, my 15 femtoseconds of fame.


Five books that have been keeping me company while I convalesce. They are inspiring me on future projects with miniatures and polymer clay that are a bit of mini scenes and a bit of modern art.

05-15-03:  The Matrix Books and What's the Big Deal? Links go to the Biz site archive. I have to buy these books again. They were lent out and didn't come back.  

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