"There is a black sun which is not visible to the human eye. It is our beacon and its fire burns within us." -- Akkadian temple inscription



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Black Sun

Steven Kaye's irregularly updated blog

I've got a TypePad blog, Thousand-Faced Moon. I'll be posting to it more than Black Sun, so you should probably check it out.
Back from a weekend with the 'rents, which included a delicious lunch at Legal Seafoods, one of the many things I miss about living in the Boston area. They've opened a restaurant in a mall near my parents', and it's wonderful. Oysters on the halfshell the size of matchbook covers. A bucket full of steamers. I think Dad's fallen in love with the key lime pie. Next we have to clone Andrew and Tyler and drop them in the middle of New Jersey. Gaming-wise we're set, except for desperately needing to widen the aisles in the Compleat Strategist. Comics-wise, I'm happy with Jim Hanley's Comics Universe. Someday I'll find a good picture of where I used to live, but for now leave it at "Holland Street, across from the T station and next to the Chinese restaurant." Assuming that Chinese restaurant is still around. And don't get smug about the Red Sox, Durrell. We're just lulling you into a false sense of security.
Blogging will be light for a few days, as I'm spending the long weekend with my folks. Ordered the first issue of The Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives from Small Beer Press, and I got a note back a few hours later from Gavin Grant that he was on the road, but would send it out as soon as he got back. While I'm off eating home-cooked meals and enjoying functional airconditioning, why don't you check out Project Pulp?
Smoking Mirror ordered me to pick up a copy of A Scattering of Jades by Alexander C. Irvine now that it's in mass market paperback. It also wanted me to look for this Scattering of Jades as well, but one thing at a time. Although John Bierhorst's praise is no small matter. Anyway, Irvine's Scattering manages to mix up P.T. Barnum, Aztec mythology, the Burr Conspiracy and Tammany Hall politics into a spicy secret history gazpacho. No, I can't believe I just typed that either. Just buy the damn book. Now I just have to wait a whole year before his next novel, One King One Soldier One King, One Soldier comes out. From Irvine's website:
In it, you'll discover interesting things about Arthur Rimbaud, the Ark of the Covenant, baseball, the Grail quest, and some other stuff.
He's got several short stories and poems on his website, he edits a zine and it looks like the man's a small press fiend as well. And hey, he's from Ann Arbor, home of my alma mater. What a weird coincidence. Stop smirking, Smoking Mirror. The title of Irvine's book comes from an expression used by the Aztecs to denote a wise man imparting his lessons. Besides the human sacrifice that everyone knows about and being one of the few people the Spanish could beat up, they were an amazingly aesthetic people.
Silliness on Friendster continues, with me seriously thinking about befriending Death, Repo Man and Giant Squid, among others. I bet Giant Squid wouldn't have a meetup at a vegan restaurant where the waitress laughs at your attempts to use chopsticks. As if that's a Confucian thing to do. Perhaps Pure Evil will be my friend. Then that waitress will learn the error of her ways.
Jason Kottke posted a helpful guide to the New York subway a while back, which was highly commented on. However, Jason failed to provide rules for getting on/riding in New York subway cars, thus providing me with a flimsy excuse for a blog post.
  1. If your baby carriage is so large that it can be mistaken for a sulky, you may wish to consider a less-crowded car. Or a more effective method of birth control.
  2. Do not wait for the doors to begin closing before you lunge through them. We're all impressed at your ability to flow through tight spaces as though you had no skeletal structure, but we still want to kill you.
  3. Do not hold the door for your friends several dozen yards behind you. When civilization falls and cannibalistic zombies roam the earth, you won't be so eager to hold the door, will you, Mr. Smartypants? Consider this early training.
  4. (For men only) While you may very well be hung like a mule, there is no need to flaunt your genitalia by sitting with your legs akimbo, taking up the seats next to you.
  5. Do not make direct eye contact with the other passengers. But everyone knows that one.
I considered adding one about not blocking the doors, but let's be realistic here.
97 degrees today. 97 should not be an outside temperature, not this early into summer. A radio station, sure. The first word in a bizarre Brendan Behan quotation, OK. So here's the plan. Create a diversion by shoving hapless tourist under the merciless hooves of Central Park Carriages. In the confusion, "liberate" a canister of liquid nitrogen from a convenient street corner. (image "liberated" from http://www.cockeyed.com. Anyone who can recommend a good cheap digital camera so I don't have to do this sort of thing?) Nonchalantly walk canister down steps of Columbus Circle subway station, pausing to shake fist at globe, symbol of a world that hates and fears me. Ride with smoking canister of liquid nitrogen to Penn Station, eyefucking anyone who dares to look in my direction in classic New York subway rider fashion. Change for PATH station and prepare for bio-vitrification!
© 2002, Steven Kaye