Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Sunday, June 11, 2023


 Openers:  The blue neon sign over his head blinked on and off, advertising two-for-one dinners at the Hlaf Shell from five to seven.  The pungent odor of fried seafood surrounded him like a cloud, leaving a greasy taste in his throat.  He stepped up to the plate glass window, cupped one hand to an eyebrow and scanned the interior of the restaurant to see if Vangie was still on duty.  Things were working out well, he thought, spotting her immediately.  Fair complexion, short blond hair and a tightly stacked body.  Perfect.

Vangie stood behind the counter making change for one of the customers.  Smiling, she looked up and her eyes met his.  She had hungry eyes, how well he knew the type.  Anticipation of the evening's events gave him a rush, making him nervous and slightly aroused at the same time.  He'd frequently waded in the shallow end of the criminal pool, tonight he would explore the depths.  He moved away from the window.  the restuarant closed in an houor, time to arrange things on the boat.

Most of what he needed lay safely hidden in the black satchel he kept in a locker at the gym.  The tricky part of the operation was attaching a metal extension rod to the top of the sailboat mast and he couldn'r accomplish that in the marina, unnoticed.  It required hoisting himself up the mast in the bosum's [sic] chair. and that feat alone might draw unnecessary attention.  He had his wirk cut out for him, but he would have to do it out of sight, away from curious observers.

-- Beyond Gulf Breeze by Joyce Holland (2000)

Sally and Pete Malone lost their daughter-- their onbly child -- to a car accident about a year before.  It was only after her death did they discover that the unmarried Becky had been pregnant.  As a way of coping with their loss, the couple spent the past year sailing the Caribbean, where Sally was nearly killed while investigating a murder.  Somehow that experience brought them closer together while at the same time helped heel the wounds over their daughter's death.

Now Pete's brother-in-law was very ill from heart failure and Pete went to offer his siter and her husband whatever solace he could.  Sally, whop doubted she could be arouind Pete's sister for more than a week without going crazy, decided to use the time to visit her niece Ruby, who was running a bookstore in Gulf Breeze.  Sally moored off the small town while Pete flew to be with his sister.  Gulf Breeze has been described as the UFO center of America, and Ruby, it turned out, was very involved with a local group of UFO enthusiasts called the Sentinels, who would meet by the shore every evening to watch for the strange, unexplained phenomena they called "Bubba."  Bubba was a light display they felt was caused by an alien spaceship.

The following day, Sally was walking the shoreline looking for old bottles in the sand, when she came across Vangie's body.  The girl was nude and had a number of excised wounds on her body and had evidently been electrocuted.  She had been murderred, but was it by aliens as some were beginning to believe?  Vangie was the first in a planned series of deaths designed to be a smokescreen for the killer's eventual true victim.

Sally, having solved one murder before, was interested in investigating this one.  Because the victim was the same age as Ruby, she feared that other young women, including Ruby may be in danger, so Sally inserts herself into the Sentinels and their UFO researches.

There is another murder -- a young woman bludgeoned and then set on fire.  Although the manner of murder was different, Sally suspects the two deaths are related.  A last minute late night boat chase reveals the killer and stops him claiming a third victim.  All is well again in Gulf Breeze.

This was one of five mystery novels by local authors I had picked up over the past year, and the first of the five I had read.  I had a lot of problems with this one.

It's a nautical mystery without much nautical.  It's a serial killer novel without the suspense.  The sleuth, Sally Malone, is unconvincing despite the author's best attempts.  Sally is one to make many friends wherever she goes because of her caring, empathy, and "depth" -- none of which is convincingly displayed.  We learn late in the book that Sally is very religious, just not religious, it seems.  Also nonconvincing are the other characters in the book.  Gulf Breeze was actually a UFO 'hotspot" back in the 80s and 90s. but the entire UFO scene portray in Beyond Gulf Breeze falls flat.  (The author admits that her original skepticism on the subject changed radically as she researched for the book, and the novel now reads like an apologist screed.  The fact that UFOs are [IMHO, which is the only HO that counts] bovine excrement made the rough handling of this subject unsettling.)   The book itself was published by some indy  -- and possibly, vanity -- publisher is evidenced by the shoddy design, packaging, and proofreading.  And why did the author insist on capitalizing the names of birds -- Pelican, Seagull, Heron, etc.?

The local flavor is strong.  Actual locations are mixed with fictional one, as is the history of the area.  (It was interesting to get an explanation of the unusual white sand that is found along the Emerald Coast, for example.)  And nearly a full page is devoted to a recent true-life murder case in nearby Fort Walton Beach, which is where the author lived (and, coincidently, the subject of a nonfiction book the author wrote).  There were times when the author truly needed to restrain herself.

All that being said, this could have been a winner.  A strong agent and a strong editor might have turned it around.  The bones are there.  In fact, the novel as it stands is better than anything i could have produced.

Mary Joyce Holland (1940-2021) was born in Rahway, New Jersey.  Most of the information I have about her is taken from her obituary.  She moved to Fort Walton beach after meeting her second husband.  A self-avowed boat couple, they spent much of each years traveling the rivers of America in their trawler.  A former literry agent, Holland was the past president of Emerald Coast Writers (Destin, FL) and a columnist for Northwest Florida Daily News.  She was the author of five novels:  Boat Dollies (the first Sally Malone mystery), Beyond Gulf Breeze, Murder by Design, Bones in the Schrank, and ... who knows?  (There are a number of authors named Joyce Holland and various online sources conflate both them and their writings.)  She published one nonfiction book (referenced above), Me, My. Myra:  Sex, Lies, Money and Murder in Florida's Emerald Coast.  FictionMags credits four short stories, two vignettes, and one cartoon to her -- one vignette, "Pretty Kitty," Murderous Intent, Winter, 1999, won a Derringer Award.  (The author erroneously claimed it appeared in the Summer/Fall issue.  And FictionMags itself lists her birth year as 1950, with no death year.  **sigh**)

Sadly, Joyce Holland appears to be an author who never reached her full potential.


  • Gregory Benford, Furious Gulf.  Science fiction novel, the eigth in his Galactic Center series that began with In the Ocean of Night.  "Containing the remants of humanity from the planet Snowglade, the spaceship Argo hurtles toward its uncertain destiny, the bold and brilliant Captain Killeen at its helm.  But he has grown increasingly isolated and anguished in command.  The ship's gardens are failing, its voyagers face starvation, and there are dark whispers within. talk of mutiny.  Killeen's will, however, remains as strong as ever, his determination to reach the /True Center of the galaxy bordering on obsession.  Amid a mad swirl of incandescent suns and ghostly blue clouds of galactic dust, beset by hostile worlds controlled by mechs -- a vast and violent artificial intelligence whose only meaning, only mission, is the complete extermination of the human race -- Killeen pursues his desperate search, convinced his people's one hope of survival lies in the True Center.  The crew has followed him this far on faith, a faith now being tested to the loimit.  Even his own son /Toby, groomed for leadership, is beginning to question his father's command."
  • Lawrence Block, The Naked and the Deadly.  Collection of early articles and stories that Block wrote for the men's adventure magazines (Real Men, All Man, Man's Magazine, For Men Only, Stag, and Male) from 1958 to 1974 as "Sheldon Lord," "CC Jones," "John Warren wells," and under his own name.  Articles such as "Pleasure Cruise for 137 Corpses" and "They Called Him 'King of Pain' "  stand side by side with three Ed London mystery stories and two extracts from Bloch's Even Tanner books, as well as an exc ept fromone of his "nonfiction" sex books by "John Warren Wells."  Included ar full color MAM covers, interior pages from the magazines, and information about reworked art related to the stories.  A glorious collection!  Edited by MAM experts Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle.
  • William S. Burroughs, The Ticket That Exploded.  "Experimental," "literary" satiric novel with science fictional overtones from the influential Beat Generation writer.  "This novel of modern America in the grip of total communications control -- a world of computers, tape recorders, and other bizarre electronic devices -- may have seemed like a grotesque lampoon of technology gone mad when it was first pubished in 1962.  Now [...] The Ticket That Exploded reads like a chilling prophecy, a nightmare vision of scientists and combat troops, of ad men and con men whose deceitful language has spread like an incurable infection."  This is a satire that takes some getting used to.
  • Sylvis Cole & Abraham H. Lass, The Facts on File Dictionary of 20th Century Allusions.  Nonfiction, reference.  May be handy for any whippersnappers out there.  
  • Lionel Davidson, Under Plum Lake.  Young adult fantasy.  "It begins on the wild cliffs of Cornwall.  A young boy, attempting a dangerous and forbidden swim, nearly drowning, spots the entrance to a cave.  Days later, drawn to return, he finds steps, a ledge, a platform below.  He jumps.  Someone is there, beckoning him into a winding tunnel under the water, leading to a fantastic world.  This new world has many realms.  There is a forest and a deep, purple blue lake -- Plum Lake.  Under Plum Lake, there are valleys and mountains and a blue sky, lit by the sun.  Fish swim in the air.  Time slows, then stops.  You can feel your ideas forming.  There is a city of fabulous beauty.  The boy begins to learn the secrets of this world, Egon, and of ours.  He has adventures -- terrifying and exhilarating -- testing him in ways that fascinate, challenge, and bewilder him.  He is enthralled.  He is in a dream, but it isn't a dream..."  Davidson was a well-respected crime and spy novelist, winner of three Gold Dagger Awards from the Crime Writers Asscoiation.  I believe this was his only fantasy novel, although he did write three chjildren's bookss as "David Line."
  • Garner Dozois, editor, Galactic Empires.  Anthology of six original space opera novellas by Stephen Baxter, Neal Asher, Robert Reed, Ian McDonald, Peter F. Hamilton, and Alistair Reynolds.
  • John Gardner, Cold Fall.  A James Bond novel.  "Their past includes the most deadly terrorist act in U.S. history.  their plan for the future is the world's worst nightmare.  They are the Children of the Last Days (COLD), and America's last days are coming soon.  But the U.S. has a new weapon in this COLKD war:  a British import, code name 007..."  This was the last of the sixteen James Bond novels that Gardner wrote for the Fleming estate; Raymond Benson then took over, writing the net nine novels in the series.
  • Woody Guthrie, House of Earth.  Novel of Dust Bowl America.  "Tike and Ella May Hamlin struggle to plant roots in the arid land of the Texas Panhandle.  The husband and wife live in a precarious wooden farm shack, but Tike yearns for a stately house that will protect them from the treacherous elements  Thanks to a five-cent government pamphlet, Tike has the know-how to build a simple adobe dwelling, a structure made from the land itself -- fireproof, windproof, Dust Bowl-proof.  A house of earth.  Though they are one with the farm and with each other, the land on which Tike and Ella May live and work is not theirs.  Due to larger forces beyond their control -- including ranching conglomerates and banks -- their adobe house remains painfully out of reach."  Although Guthrie fnished this novel in 1947, it remained unpublished until 2013, when the book was released, edited by Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp.
  • Harry Kressing, The Cook.  Psychological horror novel.  "The Cook may be described as a fable of horror and delight.  The sinster weapons are marvelous food, flattery and, if necessary, neatly accidental murder.  It is brilliantly, beautifully written.  Conrad is a cook of marvelous cleverness.  His recipes are enchanting.  They make thin people fat and fat people thin.  Slowly, ever so slowly -- just by cooking -- Conrad manipulates the lives of his employers until they end up becoming his servants.  And what began as a simple tale ends up a subtle but frightening styudy of the psychology of evil."
  • Dennis Lehane, The Drop.  Crime novel.  "The Drop follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters -- "money drops" -- in the underworld of Boston bars.  Undet the heavy hand of his employer and cousiGeorges Simenbon, n, Marv, Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the past of a neighborhood where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living -- no matter the cost."
  • Georges Simenon, The Lodger.  Psychological novel.  "A dubious business venture brings the dark, elegantly dressed Elias Nagear from the sunshine-filigreed Istanbul to Brussels, a city of gloomy skies,  The gloom extends to the venture, which never takes off the ground.  Elias soon finds himself ill and penniless, all but abandoned by his curvaceous and lustful companion, Sylvie Baron,  Sylvie, it seems, has focused her sights on a supremely confident and opulent ship-owner nicknamed Van der Boomp.  Elias, consumed with illness and uncontrolled passion, is driven to a desperate act that will leave him psychologically on the run."  It's been decades since I have read a novel by Simenon.
  • Whitley Strieber, Alien Hunter:  Underworld.  A Flynn Carroll thriller.  "As part of a top secret CIA project, Flynn Carroll's police unit is tracking down rogue aliens from another world -- criminals who have committed brutal and bizarre murders.  Flynn has been forbidden to take lethal action against the alien murderers -- but as the bodies begin to pile up, something must be done.  Flynn finds himself cut off from his team, struggling to discern the true nature and mission of this terrifying enemy, all while protecting those around him from this horrific, bizarre threat.   But as Flynn gets closer to the truth, he finds himself facing not only some of the most dangerous and frightening criminals ever seen, but also questions about his own existence:  who -- or what -- is he?"  I have not followed Strieber since he swallowed the Aliens-Are-Among-Us Kool-Aid, so I though I'd give this one a try.
  • John Varley, Red Thunder.  Science fiction novel, the first book in the Thunder and Lightning series.  "The loss of the Mars-bound Ares Seven ship was the final blow to the U.S. space program.  Everyone's accepted that the Chinese will be the first to reach the Red Planet.  Well. almost everyone.  In a deserted Daytona warehouse, seven suburban misfits are constructing a spaceship out of old tanker cars, determination, and all-American guts.  They call her Red Thunder, and they're geared the beautiful beast to rescue Ares Seven and beat the Chinese to Mars -- in just under four days.  That's over three million miles an hour.  It would sound like history in the making if it didn't sound so insane.  Is it possible?  Anything's possible."  Varley is always entertaining and thought-provoking.

Dandy Horse:  217 years ago, the earliest form of the bicycle, the "Dandy Horse" was introduced.  Invented by Karl von Drais, a German forest official and notable inventor.  (Von Drais also came up with the earliest typewriter with a keyboard, an early stenograph machine, a device to record piano music on paper, the firsr meat grinder, and two four-wheeled human-powered vehicles; the name given to a foot driven human-powered railway car, "draisine," is still used today for railway handcars.)  He called his invention a laufmaschine.  (Dandy Horse was a perjorative term soon to be in common usage.)  It was also known as a velocipede, a driasienne, a pedestrian curricle, a hobby-horse, and a swiftwalker.  This early ancester of the bicycle did not have pedals; it was powered by the rider's feet on the ground.  It was the first means of transport to make use of the two-wheel principle.  With a hinged front wheel and handlebar to allow steering, the Dandy Horse could double a person's walking time over even ground.  Von Drais received a patent for the devicein February 1818.

The bicycle began to truly evelove in the early 1860s with the addition of a crank drive and pedals on the front wheel.  In the 1880s, a chain drive was added, connecting the front cranks to the rear wheel, creating the first modern bicycle.  In 1888 the first practival pneumatic tire was invented, bringing about a Golden Age of Bicycles in the 1890s.

Here are more pictures of the dandy horse than you will ever need to see:

Ha!:  When Joe's wife went into labor, his brother Andy stayed with him in the waiting room.  The doctor came out and told Joe, "Your wife is about to give birth.  Would you like mto come in the room to view the event?"  Joe was a little nervous, but agreed.  In the delivery room, he took one look and immediately passed out, knocking his head severely on some of the hospital equipment.  When he waoke, the doctor told him had had received a significant injury and had been uncoinscious for two days.  "But don't worry," the doctor said.  "Your wife has been resting comfortably and you are now the proud father of healthy twins -- a boy and a girl.  In fact, since you were unconscious and your wife was resting, your brother named your children for you."  Joe went crazy, "My brother's the biggest idiot in the world!  How could you let him name my kids?"  The doctor tried to calm Joe, "It's okay, He named your daughter Denise."  "Well, actually that's not bad.  I should give my brother more credit than I have been,  What's the name of my son?"  "Denephew."

Happy Holidays:  In what I assume must be a blatent nod to my ego, today is Superman Day.  It is also Loving Say, a day we need much more of.  June 12 also marks National Peanut Butter Cookie Day (yum), Natioanl Jerky Day (beef, elk, buffalo, salmon -- take your pick), and International Falafel Day.  It's also Red Rose Day (how better to celebrate Loving Day?), Little League Girls Baseball Day, and World Against Child Labor Day.  (I assume the last may not be celebrated in several states this year.  **sigh**)  Although it's usually celebrated tomorrow, some places celebrate International Chacaca Day today; chacaca is a cane-based alcohol that predates rum by nearly 100 years.  For those of a philosophical bent, it's Ghost in the Machine Day.  Because June 11 fell in a weekend, today is Kamehameha Day in Hawaii this year.  Empty nesters whose adult children have returned to the roost may wish to take note of Crowded Nest Awareness Day.  And -- there are really some good one out there, today is National Automotive Service Professionals Day. 

And the birthday of Jazz great Chick Corea (1941-2021), winner of 27 Grammy Awards.  Here he is just a little bit (but not really) out of his wheelhouse:  

Florida Man:
  •  Florida Animal Peter P. Python (not his real name) and clan are being blamed for the explosion in the rat population in the Everglades because they are eating the rats' predators and not the rats.  This is good news for the rats but bad news for humans because the chances of spreading diseases such as hantavitus and Everglades virus are increasing.  In other news, Florida Animal Porky P. Pig (not his real name) and more than 599 of his closest friends have been rounded up by Escambia County animnal control officers.  It took nearly four days for the officers to capture the pigs from the 8-acre property of the In Loving Swinemess Sanctuary.  The pigs, who took the concept of procreation to its limits while at the same time having no concept of boundaries, kept resisting capture.  The porcine situation got so out of hand that the sanctuary's owner called the animal control agency last week and reportedly said, "I can't take this any more."  My daughter, who works at the county animal shelter, told me that the pigs have not been sent to the shelter, but were rehoused at various other locations.  To my knowledge, none have been converted to bacon.
  • In what can only be a stunning testimoney for Florida family life, Florida Man Donnie Adams was rushed to a St. Petersberg hospital after an infestion from a bite he received grew worse.  Turns out the bite had infected him with flesh-eating bacteria.  And what bit him?   A relative.  While at a family function, a dispute between two family members got a tad more than heated.  when Donnie attempted to break things up, one of them bit him.  "There's a lot of really bad bacteria that live between the teeth in the gums in our mouths," said Dr. Fritz Brink, who operated (twice!) on Donny's leg.   Brink did not specifically say Florida teeth, Florida gums, and Florida mouth, but I believe that was impied.  Brink and his team manged to save Donnie's leg.
  •  Florida Woman and Unforgiving Neighbor Susan Louise Lorincz, 58, of St. Petersberg, is charged with slaying her neighbor, Ajike Owens, 35, a Black mother of four.  Lorincz admitted to police that she repeatedly called Owens' children racist slurs in the months leading up to the shooting.  On the night of the shooting, Lorincz reported came out of her house and gave the children the finger, saying, "Get away from my house, you Black slave."  Lorincz said that for the past two years she has had problems with neighborhood children not "respecting" her, including the Owens children, ages 3 to 12.  She had previously placed a "No Trespassing" sign on the common property between her apartment building and the one where Owens lived, despite having no legal right to do so.  On the day of the incident, she called police to complain about children threatening her and trepassing.  That night, she threw a roller skate at children playing basketball outside her apaprtment building, hitting one of them on the foot.  When Owens later came to knock on her door, Lorincz said she thought she was going to kill her and fired a gun through the doorway, killing Owens instead.  The sheriff's office delayed charging Lorincz for several day while they invetigated a possible "stand your ground" defense.
  • Florida Man and real estate mogul M. Patrick Carroll has been banned from various Miami-area restaurants for bad behavior.  He was first banned from the restaurant Carbone and others owned by the same comany after using a racial slur on a service manager and for getting upset that a server poured a glass of wine that Carroll did not approve of for a guest.  He was later banned from a local sushi restaurant after following a customer into the ladies room and then spitting on an employee who tried to get him to leave her alone.  This led to a lawsuit against Carroll, who accused the employee of "c**kblocking" him and threatened to "beat [them] up."   There have been documented instances in the past of Carroll's alleged domestic abuse, including one 2019 telephone call in which he admitted to hitting his now ex-wife.
  • What goes around comes around for Florida Woman and Congresswoman from Florida's 27th Congressional District Maria Elvira Salazar, who had blasted her Democratic predecessor for violating federal conflicts-of-interest and financial disclosure law.  Now, Slazar is accused of breaking the same law.  Oops.
  • Florida Woman Angela Denise Scott, 30, of Pensacola, is charged with Aggravated Assault on an Officer, Resisting an Officer with Violence, Trespassing, and two counts of Aggravated Assaault.  Police had been called to a Pensacola residence in reference to Scott causing a disurbance/  They were informed that Scott had two outstanding warrants for Assault and Trespassing.    Scott resisted the officers and tried to leave, but the officers wrestled her to the ground and placed her in handcuffs.  She also resisted being placed in the patrol car.  When they tried to get her into the car, she bit one of the officers.  On the right bicep.  Breaking the skin.  So he punched her in the face.  Because of her outstanding warrants and past history, Scott is being held without bail.
  • Florida Moron Jacob Pursifull, 20, hopped two fences to the alligator enclosure at Busch Gardens on June 1 so his two buddies could film the escapade and post it on social media.  Pursifull, who surprisingly did not earn the nickname "Stumpy," was arrested for frst degtree stupidity. 

Teenage Devil Dolls:  Sometimes if you are in the mood for really questionable entertainment, you have to look at the bottom of the barrel.  The barrel doesn't get any bottomer than the 1955 teen explopitation flick Teenage Devil Dolls (also known as One Way Ticket to Hell).   Barbara Marks (age uncertain; this is her only acting credit on IMDb; her only other IMDb credits were for producing 11 episode and one special of the daytime series After Forever in 2018-20, for which she received a Daytime Emmy in 2019) plays high school beauty Cassandra Leigh, who falls in with the wrong crowd...bikers!  She starts doing drugs and failing classes; soon she has blown any chance she had of college.  So she marries her very dull, non-biker boyfriend Johnny Adams (Robert Nolan, who has only four credits one IMDb; the next one being an uncredited trumpet player on a 1956 epidode of I Love Lucy).  Bored, she goes back to drugs and the biker gang.  She crashes a car and is released into the custory of her mother and stepfather.  Cassandra is sent to a convelescent home where she has easy access to smuggled dope.  She and another girl, Margo Rossi (Elaine Lindenbaum; you guerssed it -- this is her only credit on IMDb), run away and begin selling dope on the streets.  The two earn the wrath of the big pusher in town,     , who kidnapped them and get them hope;essly hooked on heroin, then sends then to sell dope to school kids   The police crack down on the dope trade, and "[w]ith no dope around, the addicts become raving lunatics and many die in the streets."   The girls hook up with two Mexican boys, who plan to steal a car and head to Mexican and start selling dope again.  The police give chase and the four have to abandon their car and run into the desert, where they eventually go nto heroin withdrawal and are forced to give themselves up -- all except gang leader "Cholo" Martinez (Bamlet "Bam" Lawrence Price, Jr.; more on him down below).  Robert A. Sherry played police Lt. David Jason, who tried to ehlp Cassandra get straight; Sherry's only other role on IMDb was as an uncredited Floight Surgeon on the previous year's The Bridges at Toko-Ri.  What is ninteresting is that Sherry's character is voiced by another actor, Kuirt Martell, who had uncredited roles in two films in 1952 and four appearances as Boyd Cofflin in Dragnet previous to this; Teenage Devil Dolls was his final credit on IMDb .

Not a pretty ending for a pretty high school girl.  Let that be a lesson to all you whippersnappers!  As the movie poster proclaimed:  "One touch of the needle -- A lifetime of torture!"

Now back to Bam Price, Jr.  He not only played the Mexican gang leader in this flick, he also produced, directed, wrote and edited it.  As you may have guessed, this was his onely acting credit on IMDb.  And his only producing credit.  And his only directing credit.  And his only editing credit.  And to top it off, he cast his father, Bamlett Lawrence Price, Sr. as Cassandra's stepfather (and, yes, this was Senior's only credit on IMDb).  Anthony Gorsline, who played Jimmy Sanchez (his only role on IMDb) is listed as one of three Procution Assistants, none of whom had any other credits as production assistants, and IMDb snarkily notes that the three are believed to be the complete additional crew.

This is worse than when Mickey and Judy decide to put on a show in the old barn. 

Check it out:

Good News:
  • Sealed vial reveals the small of Ancient Rome with patchouli scent from the time of Jesus
  • Artist transforms drab city street by painting 130 houses, increasing the value of each
  • Puffer fish create beautiful underwater art mandalas
  • Giant rubber duckies return to Hong Kong Harbor
  • An answer to global warming?  Fungi
  • Security guards save choking baby
  • Single atom x-rayed for the first time in a breakthrough that could change the world

Today's Poem:
Danse Russe

If I when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees, --
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself
"I am lonely, lonely
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!"
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades, --

Who say say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

-- William Carlos Williams


  1. Have never heard of the Dandy Horse before.

  2. Algis Budrys had a long, glowing review of "Kressing"'s THE COOK when it was published, collected in BENCHMARKS...I have meant to seek it out for some decades, in a low-intensity way.

  3. Love your list of "incoming" books! I have a copy of GALACTIC EMPIRES around here somewhere. I should find it and read it because I enjoy all the writers included in that volume edited by Garner Dozois,