June 1st, 2007

I risk being shunned...

...admidst all these BEA goers, but how about LeBron James last night! Scoring the last 28 points for his team, pretty much singlehandly taking on the Detroit Pistons, and winning. One of the greatest, if not the greatest, basketball performance I've seen the days of Jordan and Magic. And maybe, considering his lack of a supporting cast, one of the greatest ever. Wow.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


Readers of this blog are aware that Book-Expo America (BEA) is ongoing in New York City.  What they may not know is that Black Rebel Motorcyle Club (BRMC) played a show here last night.  Armed with my trusty crapcam, I attended a BEA cocktail party hosted by Ron Hogan and Sarah Weinman of Galleycat, then headed over to Webster Hall for the BRMC show.   How do these two awesome events stack up in head to head competition?

      vs       Advantage BRMC
                 BEA                                                                     BRMC

 vs   Advantage BEA (barely)
White Feather & Dumb Bunny (BEA)       Death's Head Metal Guitar (BRMC)

But in round 3, it was all over!  The winner, by a knockout, BRMC!!

   If there is a band out there as relentless in its driving guitar attack and mastery of slow drone garage rock psychedelia, I'd like to hear them!  BRMC's 3rd  4th album, Baby 81, is just out, and the band seems at the peak of its powers as a live unit, and must be seen to be believed.  They played a long set of about an hour and a half, then came back for an encore that went on and on -- finally, after well over two hours, the show ended as bass player Robert Levon Been tipped his Gibson into the audience.  Apparently he's given away a bass a couple of times before . . .  Been there, done that indeed!

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Message from John Klima of ELECTRIC VELOCIPEDE

First, Paul speaking: EV is a mighty swell publication. Any support lent to John will help advance the whole field of short fiction. The website John refers to below is: http://www.electricvelocipede.com/

Hey Everyone:

Most of this is on the front page of the website. If you’re so inclined, please post this message wherever you can:

I came to some conclusions about the zine over Wiscon weekend. It may not be clear, but I've been doing this whole endeavor on my own. The past month or so, I've had a number of people express astonishment that I don't have any help in making the zine. I guess I just never considered getting help. Aside from proofreaders, I've done all the work myself.

One of the things I've come to realize is that the zine cannot grow past where it is without me getting some help. I have a very gracious person who's doing slush reading for me. This will be a great benefit for everyone. We'll see how things go; it hasn't even been a week yet. But so far it's going really well.

I have some help in creating a nonfiction element for the zine that will have all sorts of cool implications (online components, subscription levels, adding a new depth to the zine, etc.) starting with the next issue.

There is someone I have in mind to help with art direction. I'm hoping to make a move towards color covers in the next year, and I'll need help doing color separation.

I probably need more help. I have some people in mind to help out with different aspects of the business of making a zine, but for now just adding the help I briefly outlined above is a huge step.

Another thing that's become clear to me is that this zine will not be able to grow, and most likely, will not be able to survive if I cannot grow my subscriber base. I do not want to stop making Electric Velocipede; I plan on making issues far far into the future. My hope is that the decision to stop is something I make of my own volition rather than something that's made for me.

I've never asked for subscribers before. I've never done a subscription drive. I've thought about it in the past, but always decided against it.

Not this time.

If I can admit to myself that letting the zine limp on by doing everything myself is not a good thing, I can also admit to myself that I need support from readers. There are some really cool things I want to do. Some cool things I've got planned already (see below) that won't be possible without your help.

Things will be able to continue for a little while the way they are now without your help. But it will be something I won't be able to maintain indefinitely.

So, here are a few things to keep in mind while you consider whether to subscribe. I will be raising the price of the zine next year from $4 an issue to $5 an issue. The issue that's coming out next year for Wiscon will be a special issue, and therefore most likely $6 or $7.

The subscription price right now is $15 for four issues. That's currently a savings of $1 off the cover price. However, if you subscribe now, you'll get issue #13 this year, the special Wiscon issue, and two more issues for that same $15, a savings of at least $5 off the cover price and potentially more.

There is also a patronage subscription available. For $100, you get everything that I publish, for as long as I publish (shipping is included, even for international folks). I want to keep doing this for a long time.

I have two chapbooks coming out this year: one from William Shunn and one from Robert Freeman Wexler. I will publish at least two more chapbooks. I want to increase the number of issue I publish each year. I want to change over to perfect bound color covers. I'd like to pay my authors more.

What does it really mean?

It all boils down to the fact that I can't keep doing this on my own. I've come a long way on my own. But I'm not content to sit where I am.

I’m very excited about the things I have planned for the future.

I'm also able to admit that I can't get any further without help.

John Klima
Electric Velocipede
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Perhaps you already know PS Publishing, that world-famous firm helmed by Pete and Nicky Crowther.

The Crowthers are ably assisted by such folks as Nick Gevers and Robert Wexler, who help make PSP the source of many wonderful SF/F/H books. I understand they've even published work by, ahem, Hand, Shepard & DiFi.

But were you aware that PSP also publishes an outstanding magazine titled POSTSCRIPTS? Issue #10 is out, and it's a doozy.

This is not the usual perfect-bound paperback format which itself is very handsome. This is a hardbound Goliath of some 352 pages. About a quarter of this volume is a special tribute to Michael Marshall Smith, an excellent author. The rest is jam-packed with fiction from such luminaries as Joe Hill, Graham Joyce and, yes, ONE OF THE INFERIOR 4, namely Lucius.

For the very reasonable price of $25.00, the cost of a hardcover novel, you'll be getting a collectible treasure trove of wonderful reading.

A Little Contest

If you’re into it, look at the sentence below and write a few follow-up sentences, developing a mood and a character. Then tell me a little about yourself: gender, country of birth, relative age (under thirty, middle-aged, ancient of days), and occupation. The material that you develop is not for my use—anything you develop is your intellectual property, except the first sentence; that is my intellectual property. This is a not a writing contest, but rather part of a test that I’m developing as an element of story entitled “Champagne,” and I’m interested in gathering a range of responses to determine if the sentence achieves the desired result. The winner will be chosen on a purely arbitrary basis; good writing is not a criteria, but is always welcome. You may post your response or email it to me at:


The winner will receive a modest prize, a copy of the special Readercon trade paper edition of my story collection, Dagger Key, limited to 50 copies, which has the virtue of being printed without either story notes or intro, a $25 value that one day may be worth 26 or 27 dollars…or less. Unfortunately I won't be able to mail the prize to the winner until Aug. 17, when I return from Europe; but I will mail it if you provide address.

Now here’s the sentence:

Champagne had never killed anyone, yet he (she) dreamed about it constantly.