The hardcover collecting my three-volume comic book biography of
President Barack Obama goes on sale tomorrow, October 28. With the
excellent Tom Morgan illustrating, this story follows Obama's life from
his birth through the campaign, election, transition and first 100 days
Obama's candidacy and election were history-making, but in a lesser way
so was this project: the first comic book biography of a candidate,
president-elect and president that followed him through those steps,
the first that wasn't sponsored, authorized or approved by any campaign
or political party. The book is strictly nonpartisan, thoroughly
researched and documented. It was covered on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC,
various network news programs and newspapers from coast to coast and
around the world.
In hardcover, it's a complete document of the president's life and
successful campaign, for the low, low price of $14.99. It's published
by IDW Publishing. Give it a look at a comic shop or bookstore near you!
...or so he says. He has to have his wife's help to use a computer (although he tweets an awful lot).
So should he be the guy deciding how corporations can control the Internets?
He has introduced a bill, misleadingly titled the "Internet Freedom Act of 2009," which is all about restricting the freedom of the Internet. I guess the word "Anti-" that comes before "Freedom" in his bill title disappeared because of a typo.
The FCC is in favor of rules keeping the Internet open, preventing individual providers, like cable companies or telecoms, from restricting what you can and cannot access online. They don't feel that a given ISP should be able to speed up your access to certain sites (in which that ISP might happen to have a financial interest) while blocking or slowing down other sites (which might have a point of view opposed to their interests, or a commercial interest in competition with theirs). So if Gimbel's made a deal with Time Warner Cable, and you got your internet via Roadrunner, they might decide to make the Macy's holiday promotion website hard to access. But the FCC (and the real Santa Claus) want to prevent commercial interests from making those decisions about an Internet that should rightfully belong to all of us.
To McCain and his ilk, this is "government control of the Internet!" And it must be stopped!!!
McCain, as pointed out earlier, really doesn't understand what he's talking about. What he does understand is that he's been bought and paid for by the telecoms. He was the #1 recipient of telecom donations in the January 2007-June 2009 period, receiving $894,379 (the next highest was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with a miserly $341,089, so McCain scored big-time).
And once again, Arizona's senators demonstrate their fealty to the ideal that the interests of big corporations who hand them lots of cash are far more important than the interests of the American people. And that they should both be thrown out of office as soon as possible.
This time next week Maryelizabeth and I will be back in San Jose, CA, where I went to college, for the World Fantasy Convention. This is the best convention of the year, as far as I'm concerned. It's intentionally kept to small, intimate numbers (as opposed to, say, Comic-Con's 125,000 or so close friends). When I started going, way way in ancient times, it was limited to 750 attendees. Now I think it's 1,000. It has one of the highest pro/fan ratios of any convention out there. It's where my agent has his annual, black tie family dinner at a very good restaurant. So I'm looking forward to it.
Should you also be attending (attending memberships are sold out, so if you're not already signed up you're out of luck) here are some places you'll be able to find me.
Friday, Oct. 30, there's a mass autographing session. I'll be participating in that.
Saturday, Oct. 31--Halloween, to you--there's a launch party for the anthology Hellbound Hearts, in which my story "Santos del Infierno" appears. It's in suite 2014/2015 of the Fairmont Hotel, which is where the convention's being held. Also at the party will be the book's editors, Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan, and contributors Chaz Brenchley, Simon Clark, Stephen Jones and Sarah Pinborough.
Sunday, Nov. 1, at 11:00 am, I'm on a panel entitled "The Weird, Weird West" in the Gold Room. Immediately after that panel I'll be racing to the airport, so stay off the roads!
The recent review of my first novel, Gen13: Netherwar, reminded me that, before this year is out, I should mention that as of June 2009, I've been a working novelist for ten years (and writing professionally, at least off and on, for 21 years, since my first professional short story sale, of "The Last Rainmaking Song," to the Bantam anthology Full Spectrum). For five years, I've been a full-time writer, with no day job. I am a lucky guy.
Of course, there are lots of people who share the responsibility for whatever success I've had, and I appreciate each of them more than I can say. Chris Golden, who asked me to write Gen13: Netherwar with him, our editor Keith R. A. DeCandido, Lisa Clancy, who invited me into the Buffy (and then Angel) publishing line(s) and then bought my first original work, the Witch Season quartet, and all the other editors who've had faith in my work, and who I won't name, because with an average of four novels a year for those ten years, I'd be sure to leave someone out... In addition to all those novels, there have been short stories. comic books and graphic novels, random other writing gigs, and the occasional blog post. It's kept me pretty busy.
My appreciation especially goes out to those readers who've laid down their hard-earned cash for my books. That's the greatest compliment a writer can hope for. An extra-special shout-out goes to those who've bought my original works. I enjoy writing tie-ins and am thankful for every opportunity, and especially thankful that at this point in my career I only have to take tie-in jobs based on underlying properties that I really do enjoy. But my original books, the characters and universes that come entirely from my own head, are my true love. They only represent 1/5th of my total novel output, but I'm hoping to grow that proportion from here.
Finally, the greatest thanks to Maryelizabeth and the kids, who've been there through all of it, helping me along every step of the way. It's been an amazing decade.
Jon Kyl just can't not embarrass himself and everyone in this state who voted for him. He's so lame, he even embarrasses those of us who didn't vote for him, just because he has that R-AZ tag after his name whenever he's in the news.
His latest act of genius occurred this morning on Meet the Press. Host David Gregory said that while Kyl and other Republicans complain that health care reform will add to the budget deficit (although not if you believe the nonpartisan CBO study), they never make the same argument about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kyl said: "No country can afford to scrimp and save, or try to win a war on the
cheap. The president himself has said the war in
Afghanistan, against these terrorists who killed over 3,000 Americans
on Sept. 11 2001, is a war of necessity. You have to win it."
And yes, no one denies that the deaths of 3,000 Americans is a very bad thing. Gregory went on to the logical next question: "And is it a necessity to tackle the fact that there are more and more
Americans who die because they don't have access to health insurance?"
To which the genius Sen. Kyl said, "I'm not sure that it's a fact that more and more people die because
they don't have health insurance. But because they don't have health
insurance, the care is not delivered in the best and most efficient way."
He's not sure it's a fact. He's not sure.
Shouldn't he find out? If he was doing what he is paid to do, he might have read the Harvard study on precisely this topic. Surely he's heard it by now. Surely, having heard it, he would consider it his duty to follow up, to see what the study really says. If he hasn't read it, is it because he doesn't care about the 45,000 Americans who die each year because they don't have health insurance? And why is 3,000 American deaths, tragic though it is, worse than even 4,500 American deaths, much less 45,000? If these deaths--if even 10% of these deaths--are preventable, isn't it incumbent upon him, as a senior United States senator, to do whatever is necessary to prevent them?
His last word on insurance reform, delivered with a smarmy grin, was this semi-coherent statement: "In my, in my state this Oliver Wyman study, not the one that Chris
criticized--or that you criticized earlier, in my state increased
premiums for a family under this bill, $7,400. That's not the kind of
reform that Arizona families are looking for."
To which nobody bothered to shake him by the lapels and say, "That's why we need a public option, to create competition for the insurance companies that are already planning to raise their premiums, because only real competition will result in lower prices!"
Had I been the one shaking him by the lapels, I would probably have added "You moron!" after that. Because it seems like a guy who can be elected and reelected to the Senate should be pretty bright, but Kyl certainly gives no public indication that he is.
We saw Zombielandlast night. I'm not going into any great detail about it. If you enjoy funny (occasionally hilarious) movies, if you're a Bill Murray fan, if you want to see Woody Harrelson in the role of his career, if you like clever scripts and really imaginative visual effects, if a little gorey comedy doesn't put you off, go see it.
If you're a person who likes Twinkies (yes, I know it's hard to admit it in public...), sneak a pack into the theater with you to eat while you're watching.
It's a purely fun movie, start to finish--but not stupid fun. Smart fun. It's worth your $5.50. That is what they charge for tickets where you live, right? Because that's what we pay here...
President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize--only the third sitting US president to be so honored. That's quite an accomplishment. And as Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty says, the "appropriate response is congratulations."
Unfortunately, not all of his Republican brethren and sistren see it that way. Instead, most of them have joined the Taliban in denouncing the award and its recipient. Talking Points Memo is keeping up a running list of reactions, so I won't. But as frequent poster Randy Johnson said recently, if Obama cured cancer, they'd come out in favor of cancer. It's not surprising that they can't, even for a minute, take the high road and appreciate that the world actually likes our president. But it is disappointing. They cheered when we lost the Olympic bid, and they gripe when we win a Nobel Peace Prize. Nice.
UPDATE: Okay, I have to edit this a bit, because as more reactions come in, more Republicans are being decent and gracious, outweighing some of the early ridiculousness from people like Limbaugh, Michael Steele, and Bill Kristol. John McCain, who I chastised yesterday, said: "I congratulate President Obama on receiving this prestigious award. I
join my fellow Americans in expressing pride in our President on this
occasion." And other elected officials are making similar gestures. I'm pleased to see my low expectations not being fulfilled.