SuperNOIRtural Tales

SuperNOIRtural TalesSuperNOIRtural Tales by Ian Rogers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finally, a collection of Felix Renn adventures! These stories are so much fun. Renn, a wisecracking Toronto P.I. who keeps getting dragged into cases involving supernatural creatures and the mysterious, encroaching dimension known as the Black Lands, is a character I’ve enjoyed following for a few years now, and look forward to following for many more. Word has it there’s a Felix Renn novel in the works. Consider me first in line when it comes out.

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Another Anniversary

The anniversary of the September 11 attacks has started sneaking up on me. The days of preparing myself for it well in advance are apparently over. Even seeing the bright beams of light they shoot off into the night sky from Ground Zero doesn’t affect me the way it used to. I suppose that’s a kind of healing.

The New York Daily News has an excellent article (complete with pictures) about where the rebuilding of Ground Zero stands right now. Finally — finally! — One World Trade Center is almost done, twelve years later. (Just don’t ask me to call it the Freedom Tower, because seriously?) Even so, the building won’t be open until 2015. Neither will the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which was originally supposed to open back in 2006. But 2015 is a lot closer than it sounds, and after a decade of being mortified by the bullshit surrounding the rebuilding effort it’s nice to see a tall, landmark building at the south end of Manhattan again. That’s been missing from the skyline for too long.

In other good news, Osama Bin Laden is still dead. In bad news, all the crazy shit the Bush administration implemented after the attacks got worse under Obama, not better. Warrantless wiretapping? That seems almost quaint now in light of the NSA’s dragnet of every American’s phone and email activity. Extraordinary rendition? That’s almost nothing compared to “targeted” drone strikes, where some victims are reported as militants, even if they were just walking by when the bombs fell, simply because they were male and of a particular age. Oh, and now the President can assassinate American citizens with drone strikes without proof or judicial oversight. “Freedom Tower” indeed.

R.I.P. Bob Booth

bobbooth

(Photo by Jill Bauman)

I just received the following email from Matt Bechtel with devastating, if not entirely unexpected, news:

Dear Necon Family,

Papa is at peace, and free.

Bob Booth — writer, editor, publisher, founder of Necon and Necon E-Books, avid fan of horror and the written word, father, grandfather, mentor and friend — passed away last night shortly after 2AM. As you all know, Bob had been battling cancer for the last eight months (and had far exceeded any and all expectations at the time of his diagnosis, including his miraculous four days spent at Necon this summer). His passing was peaceful and dignified, completely without pain or fear.

Plans for a memorial mass are currently being made, and details regarding the services will be made public as soon as they are finalized.

Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Mary; his children, Dan and Sara; his granddaughter, Jillian; and by literally everyone who is reading this email / blog / post. The term “Necon Family” is not an empty platitude; Bob loved you all, and you touched his life as much as he touched yours. Your love, prayers, thoughts and well-wishes meant more to him, and did more for him, than I have the words to express.

Condolences can be sent to: Mary Booth, 67 Birchland Ave., Pawtucket, RI 02860. They can also be sent via email to Dan (daniel.booth77@gmail.com), Sara (saracalia08@gmail.com), or myself (bechtel.matt@gmail.com), or via this blog or Facebook post; you have our word they will be received and passed along.

On behalf of all of us — thank you, Papa. Safe passage. We love you.

I don’t have much to add to this. I don’t have the words right now. All I can say is that Bob Booth was a lovely man, and it was an honor to know and befriend him. I’m deeply saddened by the news of his passing. I’m so glad Jack Haringa and I got to spend a little time alone with him at the tail end of this past Necon.

There have been too many losses in the community recently. I would like a break now, please.

The Damned Highway

The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham: A Savage Journey Into the Heart of the American Nightmare, and Back AgainThe Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham: A Savage Journey Into the Heart of the American Nightmare, and Back Again by Nick Mamatas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hunter S. Thompson runs afoul of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos in this fast, fun novel. Fans of history, politics, and fungi from Yuggoth will love it. Fans of Nixon, G. Gordon Liddy, J. Edgar Hoover, and Mi-Gos may take issue.

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