Duh. The Mojo page I

Duh. The Mojo page I pointed out yesterday was written by Catherine Yronwode, who used to be publisher/editor in chief of Eclipse Comics.
Very interesting site actually, which I visited before and left shortly after finding out what she was doing lately.

Eclipse is a sad story, having gone belly-up and leaving the rights for some cool comic titles, like Miracleman/Marvelman in limbo. Pity.

Lots of good stuff on Yronwode’s site, anyway.


What is “Mojo”?

You heard the word used in various contexts, from “Austin Powers” to Blues songs,
but what the heck is it? Well, apparently, it’s a personal charm used in African-American folk magic. The link comes from a very interesting site about this Hoodoo tradition.


Finished Jack Faust on Saturday

Finished Jack Faust on Saturday (and put an Amazon link; go see what other people think of it). It’s a fast-paced book, ambitious, but not sprawling – a condensed novel of ideas, like good old fashioned SF used to be.

The premise is this: Faust is a disillusioned scholar who makes a pact with infernal beings (a civilization from another universe, actually) to gain true and complete Knowledge. They let him know everything, and in return, all they want from him is that he accepts the truth in what he learns. Even though they explain that they desire the destruction of humanity, even after they show him where this knowledge will lead, he accepts the bargain.

The begining of the book is entertaining, as Faust struggles to have his fellow scholars accept 20th Century ideas, builds a flying baloon (and skips town to avoid paying the debts on it), and generally batters his modern sensibility against the 16th Century’s plodding ways.
However things get dark, as technology fast-forwards and the main characters (Faust and his beloved) are seduced into taking more and more immoral decisions. Faust repels the Spanish Armada with rockets, speeds through France in a stolen automobile hopped up on amphetemines… It’s no realistic realization of how modern technology would affect the 16th century; Rather, it’s a parable of the 20th Century, with all its wonders and horrors. Especially its horrors.

Jack Faust is a bitter and angry tragedy wrapped with SFnal wish-fulfillment, a fast-moving plot and plenty of in-jokes (such as Faust nailing the Periodic Table to the door of a Wittenburg church).

Read it, and read other Swanwick as well: His short fiction, which made up half the Hugo nominations list this year, his dark dark Fantasy The Iron Dragon’s Daughter, and his stylish cyberpunk space opera noir novella Stations of the Tide. Vaccum Flowers and In the Drift are also worth a read, but I found the former a bit of a mish-mash and the latter a bit of a downer.


Reading Jack Faust now (by

Reading Jack Faust now (by Michael Swanwick). Page 230. a theory of relativity is being invented while England repels the Spanish Armada.

Swanwick, as usual, rocks. The book is a lovely rewrite of the Faust story, but the central conceit is batting its wings against its limitations now.

Let’s see how things go.

You want a link? Find your own, I ain’t getting no kickbacks from Amazon or anyone.


In my further adventures at

In my further adventures at putting the word out I sent e-mail to a list of people, with the recipients all BCC’ed. Two responses I got saw it as spam, one forgiving, the other terse and reproving.

On the other hand, I got a forwarded e-mail calling on people to boycott Vita that had more addresses on it than god’s own mailing list.
And interestingly, whenever I get some mass e-mail from an unknown source, I look for my actual name in the list of recipients.
I guess we tolerate forwarded crap with much more forgiveness than e-mail that looks like a mass forwarding (by omitting the other recipients names – it looks comercial).