1. Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy (Raven Electrick Ink), which contains my story "Visitations," is now available.
Writes Lisa Morton, author of The Halloween Encyclopedia, "Reading Jack-o'-Spec is like stepping into a Halloween party that's been going on for 2,000 years. There's something delightfully pagan about these stories and poems, something that captures Halloween's dark, autumn atmosphere. Whether it's a mad scientist invoking Halloween ghosts on Mars, boys trapped in not one but two haunted houses, or a rich evocation of poetic seasonal spirits, Jack-o'-Spec has something for all Halloween lovers."
From the product description: "Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy features the many faces of science fiction, fantasy, and horror Halloweens: steampunk Halloweens, post-apocalyptic Halloweens, alternate history Halloweens, outer space Halloweens, and noir Halloweens, not to mention new speculative takes on Halloween perennials, such as haunted houses, witches, ghosts, vampires, and, of course, jack-o'-lanterns."
"Visitations" falls into the alternate history category.
2. An interview with me has just gone up at Niteblade.
3. The Midsummer 2011 issue of WyoPoets' Newsletter, reprints my article, "The Many Shades of Dark Poetry."
4. Two of my reviews -- for Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us (Clark McCauley, Ph.D. & Sophia Moskalenko, Ph.D.) and Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight (Loren A. Olson, M.D.), are now live at Psych Central.
5. Another review is out for Mythic Delirium 24, this one from Tori Truslow at Sabotage: "'The Last Dragon Slayer' by Elissa Malcohn mixes prose-poetry and verse, and from its first lines clearly does not intend to play nicely with the dragon-slaying hero trope: 'She is the wet dream of every budding knight, the centerpiece of every quest. Her scaly head on a pike makes the ultimate maiden magnet.' In all these poems the central figure is changed irrevocably by journeying beyond what they’re used to; the reader, too, has their preconceptions of certain archetypes neatly twisted around."
6. Part 2 of the publishing workshop I gave with Lakisha Spletzer is also up:
7. My submission to William Gurstelle's Practical Pyromaniac Clerihew Contest garnered a Special Mention. It joins an entertaining collection of fire- and science-related poems.
8. And I've been playing Phylo, which is my first and thus far only Internet game. Actually, it's crowdsourced citizen science from McGill University's Bioinformatics Department.
From the website's description: "Phylo is a game in which participants align sequences of DNA by shifting and moving puzzle pieces. Your score depends on how you arrange these pieces. You will be competing against a computer and other players in the community."
The combined alignments can help biologists on a number of levels, including problem-solving with respect to genetic diseases. Turns out that humans prove far more capable than supercomputers at this kind of pattern recognition. (And it's great fun.)