katsu: (Default)

Things SFWA is in charge of:

  1. The Nebula Awards!
  2. Writer Beware!
  3. SFWA.org
  4. GriefCom!
  5. The SFWA Emergency Medical fund
  6. The SFWA Bulletin and other publications that say “SFWA” on it like that one awesome cookbook with the super alcoholic Irish coffee recipe in.

Things SFWA is not in charge of:

  1. Worldcon
  2. The Hugo Awards
  3. The success or failure of your book
  4. Bees! (OR ARE THEY  AREN’T THEY?  AREN’T? ENGLISH IS HARD HELP)
  5. This thing
  6. The Hugo Awards
  7. Any member’s personal website like this one oops
  8. George RR Martin’s beret
  9. People who pronounce nuclear like “nuke-YEW-ler.”
  10. The Hugo Awards
  11. The second law of thermodynamics
  12. The way Cat Rambo’s hair keeps changing color, as if there’s nothing dependable left in this world and we’ll all just go spinning off into the void at any moment
  13. The Permian extinction
  14. El chupacabra
  15. The way cilantro tastes soapy to some people and not to others
  16. The Hugo Awards
  17. Chemtrails
  18. The really shitty traffic on the local highway you have to use every day
  19. The Hugo Awards
  20. Quantum entanglement
  21. That mysterious glowing substance that you shouldn’t have licked but you did it anyway because you were a dumb teenager and in fifty years you’re probably going to die of eyeball spleen cancer
  22. March Madness
  23. The fact that we STILL do not have a Black Widow movie and yet Ant Man? Seriously?
  24. HAARP
  25. That garbage music kids these days listen to
  26. The Hugo Awards
  27. This guy
  28. The fact that chocolate is so fattening goddammit SFWA why
  29. Bacon, cats, or John Scalzi
  30. That you can never find a pen when you need one
  31. Or that you finally find a pen and IT IS ALWAYS OUT OF INK
  32. Rainbow suspenders (or “embarrassingly enthusiastic weather braces” for our British readers)
  33. That thing on Donald Trump’s head
  34. The Hugo Awards
  35. THE MOTHERFUCKING HUGO AWARDS

I hope this clears things up.

 

 

*** – I am not an officer in SFWA. I am not speaking in an official capacity for SFWA. This website is not sanctioned by SFWA. I keep trying to text SFWA and it won’t return my texts any more either, I don’t know, maybe it’s just busy? Call me, baby.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

katsu: (Default)

It is 11:37 in the dark of night. The hour of yeasting. Sian’s sprawled across her brand new reclining sofa, only just bought from Sofa Mart by way of a downright predatory loan because she wanted to own leather furniture for once in her goddamn life and had already decided to be buried with it. Stainmaster, they told her. Tough enough to withstand a pack of great danes or half a day with a rambunctious toddler.

But they didn’t say jack shit about evil fairies. She’s just finished part one of a two-parter for Criminal Minds and is eating hummus directly from the plastic container with a spoon because after your fourth twelve hour shift in a row while holiday music does an endless loop and summons forth the devil in the automotive aisle at Target, going to the grocery store sounds about as appealing as doing lines of ground glass off the floor of a truck stop bathroom.

Sian knows she’s fucked the minute she sees the sparkly puffs of flour out of the corner of her eye, and catches the smells the sweet scent of baking bread mixing unappetizingly with the acrid stench of scorching leather. “Oh, come on.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

katsu: (Default)

from: christian bile
to: katsuhiro at gmail.com
date: Thu, May 8, 2014 at 4:13 AM
subject:

hey i’d like to know if u r an illuminaati member?

Good question! Actually, I’m an Illuminaaati member. They’re easy to get confused, but one is sort of an off-brand Illuminati that’s generally manufactured in sweatshops by children who are held under terrible conditions and paid almost nothing, and the other is a shadowy, terrifying global organization whose agents sneak into your house in the dead of night and make certain your car tires contain the appropriate amount of air pressure. They also have a highly disturbing yet intensely helpful habit of being already waiting at the proper intersection with a tow truck before before your car has broken down. Almost as if they know it will happen. As if they engineered it perhaps.

(I imagined that question being read in an extra gravelly voice, as if Batman has had food poisoning and been dry heaving for a while. No idea why.)

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

katsu: (Default)

from: candis.alston@xxxxxx
bcc: katsuhiro@gmail.com
date: Sun, Apr 13, 2014 at 1:37 PM
subject: INVITATION TO THE GREAT ILLUMINATI

Your email was selected among the ten lucky people giving the opportunity of becoming rich and popular by joining the great Illuminati network for more details please contact email ([redacted]) for more details.

Er. Wait. No. I’m not being given the opportunity, I’m giving the opportunity.

HOLY SHIT I’M ALREADY PART OF THE ILLUMINATI! AND I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW! That’s how amazing and secret this great network of rich and popular people is. I was already in the Illuminati and I didn’t even know it! Well, I’m glad to know that in addition to being rich and popular, I’m also so generous I’m helping people join an organization I didn’t even know I was part of.

Though I’m kind of disappointed that the Illuminati are about being rich and popular. I mean, rich, okay. But doesn’t popular kind of defeat the purpose of being a super secret and shadowy organization? And I thought there was going to be like…globe-dominating power. Manipulating heads of state like little marionettes and laughing with a rich deep voice while doing so. Can I have that instead of the popularity? I’d rather be the creepy shadow behind the throne rather than having an entourage of people who think I’m cool. That just seems kind of exhausting.

For more details I will be certain to contact the e-mail address (which is f-ing hilarious and I am sad that I had to redact it on the principle of the thing but let’s just say that apparently the GREAT ILLUMINATI use Outlook.com) for more details. The GREAT ILLUMINATI know that being redundant is the secret to being rich and popular and so is being redundant. DO NOT QUESTION THEIR METHODS. I mean OUR methods. Because I’m already there. I’m so rich and popular I didn’t realize I was rich and popular THAT IS HOW RICH AND POPULAR I AM.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

katsu: (Default)

[TW: Melodramatic suicide]

I lean against the metal door, the cold of it biting through the inadequate barrier of my jeans and jacket. My head throbs, skin pulled by the bandaid I stuck to my forehead to pull that split skin shut. It had looked disturbingly like a grin, gape-mouthed and toothless, on my forehead, like mockery. My head still throbs under it, though some pain is worth it, worth everything.

The wind tugs at the photograph in my hands, and I clutch it tighter to my chest, wincing at the sound of crinkling paper. Like somehow every wrinkle will become a crack in your dear body, though isn’t it too late to think of such things?

I let the skyline, gray with clouds and spiked with buildings, draw me away from the door, to the cornice that surrounds the roof. This is an old building, an ornate one. There is no fence, no railing.

It is on the edge of the cornice I sit. The stone is cold and hard beneath me, but I can still imagine myself in a different place, a different time. Instead of the dirty city stretched out before me, I see a stage. Instead of stone beneath me, I feel thinly cushioned wood. Instead of the wind, I hear the scrape of wood on wood. I can almost envision you then, sitting in that piercing spotlight, so upright and noble, yet sturdy, comfortable. Comforting.

These are the harsh truths that I have learned, in the time since our gazes locked across that theater: Strength offered in silence is ignored. People would rather have the pretty vase than the graceful pedestal upon which is sits. The world tears up those who offer themselves tirelessly, body and soul for their art, and casts them aside as soon as the first crack or splinter worries a thread in their overpriced trousers. Only the perfect image matters, not the far more interesting reality beneath, with its knots and imperfections.

I cannot say how many times I tried to reach you, but always circumstances got in the way, always other people running interference. Our only time together was across that stage, with that light an impenetrable wall between us. Not enough time, not enough time, and then time was up. That last day I arrived just in time to see you be hustled onto a waiting truck, to snap the photograph with my iPhone.

Oh my love, my love. I didn’t realize. If I’d known, I would have acted then. But we always tell ourselves that there will be a later, at some other time when we are better dressed or more prepared or just not so busy. I was a fool.

I look down at the paper in my hands. At least I have this one token, this stolen moment in time. How many dreams I’ve had over this picture, imagining myself reading a book with you, or leaning back comfortably against you at our desk, or saucily pretending to be Liza Minnelli in Cabaret before we both dissolve into giggles.

Now just fruitless dreams never to be realized.

It was only today that I learned the truth, spoken in such an offhand way by a person I had only just met. How we got onto the topic of you, I no longer remember; I think rage knocked it from my head. All I can recall of the conversation was the amused, dismissive laugh and the words that broke my heart, the words that made me break open my head on his nose: “Are you kidding? After an entire run of getting thrown around and jumped on? All the chairs were falling apart. We had them recycled.”

Recycled. As if you are something so disposable. No. I do not wish to dream in a world like this.

I close my eyes and place myself back in the theater, with you across the stage. But this time it will be different. This time, I rise from my seat to launch myself across the stage to snatch you up.

The show can go on without us both.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

katsu: (Default)

Chapter 1

Lorn Gorstorfsson stood at the parapet, eyes piercing the uneasy night from above a gnarled red beard in which a sparrow could easily become lost. Overhead, the Harvest Moon hung, fat and full; much fatter and fuller, he thought bitterly, than the actual harvest.

That was the price, he’d been told, for ignoring tradition for so many years. Traditions existed for a reason, even when they seemed nonsensical, or even silly. They’d kept the people of Tyrafyl safe for countless centuries. It was only in the reign of the most recent king that things had fallen by the wayside.

And what a terrible harvest had been reaped, for that time of inattention: floods, terrible storms, bad harvests, and all while the king engaged in debauchery, ignoring his closest advisors and taking shelter behind the supposed infallibility of the crown.

Well, Lorn thought to himself with grim amusement, the man hadn’t seemed all that infallible when he’d fallen down those three flights of stairs and onto a pike someone had left so carelessly propped against a table.

Someone. Oops.

Only now there was a vacuum of power at the top of the onyx steps that led to the throne. And while life was unpleasant enough for the peasants and even minor (if ambitious) nobility like Lorn, with belts tightening by the week, there was something about that massive, carved wooden throne. Everyone wanted to sit in it. Everyone thought they knew best.

Even Lorn himself. He had ideas, about defending the country, about expanding the borders to compensate for the harvests and bringing new lands into the kingdom. No one had listened to him seriously before now, but perhaps they would.

This had been his idea, for all he regretted it now. A return to the old ways to place himself in better attention, bring some light onto his rather convoluted bloodline. And that was why he found himself standing out on the walls, breath steaming in the air, boiled leather armor the only thing between him and freezing in the unseasonably cold autumn night.

By all rights, there should have been a storm, perhaps one of the great autumn blows where there was snow and purple lightning, crashes of thunder crackling through the ice riming the streams. But no, it was just cold, cold and calm, not a breeze stirring the bare branches of the palla trees.

From within the keep, an unholy howl rose, cat after cat raising its voice as if shrieking at the moon. The hairs on the back of Lorn’s neck stood, as did those on his sinewy arms, what few were left behind after the wash of dragon fire he’d taken as a young man.

Four times, the cats howled, once for each of the quarters. He’d read in the tomes of lore this would happen, but had not truly believed it. After all, this festival had not been observed in his lifetime.

The doors of the keep boomed hollowly, four measured strikes, someone indescribably ancient and powerful asking to be admitted.

Lorn licked his suddenly dry lips, smoothing his beard down with one hand. “Destarn River Keep bids you welcome!” he shouted. After a moment of hesitation the other sentries followed suit. “Open the doors!”

As two guards, their own boiled leather armor less impressed and adorned than his own, hurried to man the giant winches that would open the formal gates, the cats howled again. In the sky, the moon washed red. And in the inner court of the keep, somehow over the din he thought he could hear the soft weeping of those chosen. Girls, their curls adorned with thorns and holly, waited with their milk white backs bowed under massive stone serving platters.

The Dining of the Cats was about to begin.

Originally published at katsudon.net. You can comment here or there.

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Tetsugawa Katsuhiro

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