I came for the chairs; I stayed for the scooters.
Almost everything is scooters at Barcelona’s Bel & Bel Studio where old body parts from Vespas, Volkswagens, and other vehicles are repurposed into furniture and other works. They even do full restorations on vintage Vespas… when they’re not looting them for their shiny bits.
It was the fanciful office chairs that drew me in. Mind you, I’m awfully fond of the tired old chair I use here in the Secret Laboratory. But I flirted briefly with these streamlined beauties before I assured my chair that no, no, I would be faithful.
You can see why I was tempted.
But then I scrolled down to the self-balancing scooters, which by any other trademark would be called Segways… and suddenly I had a vision of myself zipping down the street in the dorkiest way possible, goggled and scarved, and I figured I was home.
You get the idea. If you’re going to look ridiculous, do it with streamlined style. In a perfect world, which at the moment would be a world where I didn’t need any exercise, you’d find me rolling off on one of these to the library, or to the grocery store, or down to the harbor, pretty much any day at all. With a big stupid grin on my face and that mounting sense of guilt and dread I get when I’m not working.
Anyway, do yourself a favor by dropping by the Bel & Bel web site where you can dream a little, if only for a few minutes. They’ve got loads of interesting furniture conversions and gadgets, as well as making-of videos. There’s plenty to keep you occupied.
I just ran across this curated collection of pulp magazines and reprints over at AbeBooks… a web site that’s like all my childhood’s used bookstores lumped together, but without the dust.
I kind of miss the dust.
But apart from that, there are all sorts of old pulps and paperback reprints over there. As you may imagine, I’m most interested in what we see here (Pulp-O-Mizer fodder!) but there are a great many Westerns and thrillers along with more reprints of Doc Savage and The Shadow than most of us really want to look at.
It may not be Something For Everyone, but it’s a Lot of Things For a Lot of People. You may be one of them.
Over at his Archonate blog, Matthew Hughes has posted an announcement for the eBook and audiobook editions of his late-90’s mystery novel Downshift. There’s a comedy of errors about its first publication and the circumstances under which he wrote its sequel, Old Growth, which will also soon be republished under his own brand.
Then, three months before Downshift came out, my editor departed for another publisher– a nonfiction house, so she couldn’t take me with her. Immediately my print run was cut, my tiny promotional budget went to another book, and the marketing effort, except for library sales, was a few mouse-sized squeaks. Months later, when I asked if there were remaindered copies I could buy, I was told, “Nope, as the returns came in we sent them straight to the pulper.”
Not so comedic, maybe. But then again, I think I remember one definition of comedy as a story that relates events to their human sufferer, while tragedy connects events to their hidden cause.
A paperback edition is forthcoming, which I know because (as usual) I laid out the book in mobi, ePub, PDF and print formats. This time I also did the cover, a nice match to the Old Growth cover that will also be coming along soon.
With stories (so far) by David Gerrold, Mike Resnick, Gini Koch, Jody Lynn Nye, Tim Pratt, Esther Friesner, Shaenon K. Garrity, and Laura Resnick, Unidentified Funny Objects #5 aims to continue UFO Publishing’s hilarious attempt at world domination – and so will unleash an Unstoppable Humor Machine in November, with a little help from you.
The Kickstarter project offers rewards that range from eBooks of previous humor anthologies ($5) through a paperback copy of UFO #5 ($20) and then rears up in its gel-filled tank to snap at unsuspecting lab assistants with a horrifying (though funny) head at the end of its colorful (though repulsive) neck with additional rewards that include original art and full sets of UFO Publishing’s eleven volumes of hilarity. And then there’s other stuff that wouldn’t even fit into a sentence that went on as long as that last one.
My rediscovery of humorous science fiction started with Henry Kuttner’s Robots Have No Tails and it isn’t done yet with the stories of Fredric Brown, only because there are so many of them. So I’m really happy to see people continuing that tradition with all-new stories in this crowdfunded series of anthologies. Be the first on your block to own one!
The Golden Age has posted a small collection of science fiction book covers and endpapers by Alex Schomburg (Alejandro Schomburg y Rosa), best remembered for these and for his extensive work for Timely Comics in the 1940’s. Timely would later become Marvel Comics.
Born in Puerto Rico, he came to New York in the 1920’s and began his career in illustration in the decade that followed.
Schomburg was a Hugo Award nominee in 1962 and went on to collect many other awards during the 1980’s before finally receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the 47th World Science Fiction Convention in 1989.
Of the pictures in this Golden Age collection I think I’m most fond of the endapaper design above. But you can see many other pieces (with an emphasis on his work for comics) at the Alex Schomburg Estate web site.