Suddenly, I saw the solution…

towel rackThis is the towel bar in the guest bathroom of my apartment.

It looks okay, but it’s not really practical. Those curvy little points at the ends of the hooks dig into anything hung on them.

I was sitting and looking at it last week, trying to think of a way to make it useful, when suddenly I realized what was wrong — and how to solve the problem.

The towel rack was installed upside down.

I’ll be at two Volumes Bookcafe events in October

Deep Dish October 2019The Speculative Literature Foundation’s October 3 Deep Dish SF/F reading in Chicago will feature Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Jane Rosenberg Laforge, and Scott Huggins. The Rapid Fire Readers that evening will be me, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Jeremy John, and Anaea Lay. I’ll read an essay about a key difference between literary fiction and science fiction.

The readings will start at 7 p.m. at Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave. Volumes offers snacks and beverages, including wine, beer, coffee, and soft drinks. And it sells lots of fine books and gifts.

More information is at the Volumes website and the Facebook event.

I’ll also be at Volumes at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 24, to launch the novel Interference, the sequel to Semiosis.

More information is at the Volumes website and the Facebook event.

You’ll be very welcome at either or both evenings!

Interference launch Volumes

The crap you don’t mind

ddb 373-06-scanMy late friend Suzanne Allés Blom, author of the novel Inca among other works, had a theory about why books are categorized as science fiction, romance, thriller, Western, literary, etc.

As you know, Sturgeon’s Law says that 90% of everything is crap; that is, most science fiction, romance, thrillers, Westerns, and literary fiction, etc. (along with movies, poetry, comics, you name it) simply isn’t great stuff.

But 10% of it is great. Sue thought that pretty much all of us would like the best of anything. I agree. I prefer speculative fiction, but now and then I read the best in Westerns, romance, thrillers, literary fiction, etc., and I enjoy it.

I also read a lot of speculative fiction that’s not in the top 10%, and I enjoy that, too. I can tolerate speculative crap, although romantic or literary crap sets my teeth on edge.

Sue believed that’s why there are categories. They help lead us to the shelves where we will probably enjoy most of what we pick up. Categories don’t exist just to help marketers know how to sell a book and to tell booksellers where to put it. Categories exist to protect us readers from the wrong kind of crap.

Photo of Sue Blom by David Dyer-Bennet at the 1976 Midamerican Convention.