Drinks for the Season

by wjw on May 4, 2016

CclJmUBUMAANtQGI’m busy trying to finish a novel and a copy-edited manuscript of Impersonations, the short novel that will appear from Tor later this year.

Meanwhile the American election season rolls on.  New Mexico’s primary, which takes place next month, may actually matter in some way, which it never has in my lifetime.  Usually by the time we get around to voting, the presidential candidate’s already been decided, and leave us with the exciting choice for state treasurer or something.

Makes me want to have a drink or two.  Here are some cocktail recipes you might try.

[via Janice Gelb]



Go Pro

by wjw on April 28, 2016

I haven’t been online much, because I’ve been reading manuscripts in preparation for the Paradise Lost Writers Workshop and Retreat, taking place in San Antonio this weekend.

I’ll be teaching and offering critique of others’ work, along with Jaye Wells, Ken Scholes, and former Toolboxer (and Nebula and Andre Norton and Compton Crook Award nominee) Fran Wilde.

Nor will Fran be the only Toolboxer in the house— I’ll also be hanging with Barb Ferrer, Sean Kelley, Rosie Smith, Effie Seiberg, Sandra Wickham, and maybe some other people whose names have fallen off the cliff of my memory.

Paradise Lost is a nifty little workshop, packing a lot of action into a mere three days— but then it’s intended for people who want to bring themselves up to the professional level.

And speaking of going pro— and yes, I know this segue is pretty damn tenuous— I’m attaching a compilation video of people doing insane shit with GoPro cameras strapped to their foreheads, accompanied as always by tendentious music.

Hell, I figured I’d give you something inspirational for the weekend.  Because if you need inspiration for anything, like a new lifestyle or a new piece of fiction, these videos are totally good for that.  Just be sure to watch in full screen.


Looming Up Out of the Night

by wjw on April 21, 2016

lobsterDespite its frightening resemblance to a face-hugger from the Alien films, it’s merely a lobster.


Happy Birthday, Mrs. Mountbatten!

by wjw on April 20, 2016


It’s not like I’m a monarchist, but when someone spends 64 years as head of state, I feel she’s entitled to a bit of applause.


Dark Horse, Mad Dog, Warrior Monk

by wjw on April 20, 2016

You’ve probably heard of dark horse candidates, right?  Now, if certain deep-pocketed conservatives have their way, we may have a candidate that’s a mad dog.

That would be James “Mad Dog” Mattis, USMC, retired.  Former lieutenant general, former NATO Supreme Commander (Transformation), and David Petraeus’ successor as Central Command’s big honcho, with responsibility for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mattis’ campaign is being floated by the Usual Group of Shadowy Billionaires, whose front man is former Jeb Bush aide John Noonan.  The Shadowy Set is deeply worried that Donald Trump, described by Noonan as “a reality TV show lunatic,” might become the Republican nominee, get elected, and send American foreign policy to Wackoville.

So their plan is to have Mattis announce a third-party candidacy after the Republican convention and somehow get enough electoral votes so that neither the Democrat nor the Republican wins.  This would throw the election into the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Republicans, most of whom (it is hoped) would prefer Mattis to Trump.

The problems are numerous.  Firstly, the House hasn’t decided an election in 190 years, and (given that its collective level of maturity is probably well below that of the average kindergarten) probably isn’t up to the job.

Another problem is that Mattis doesn’t want the job, and has never run for office, anywhere, and has never won (or even lost) an election.  The Shadowy Billionaires have till the convention to try to talk him into running.

And lastly, I’m guessing the Shadowy Billionaires want someone compliant, like Jeb! or Mitt Romney.  Someone from the moneyed end of the spectrum, who will let them continue to quietly continue to buy up the world, or at least the North American part of it.

Yet somehow they think that someone named Mad Dog will let them run things.  (Mattis’ other nickname is “Warrior Monk,” by the way, reflecting both his unmarried lifestyle and his intellectual interests.)  After all, this is the guy who told his troops, “be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”

It would make for an interesting debate, that’s for sure.


Walters of the World

April 19, 2016

All my life, I’ve been keeping track of the other Walter Williamses out there.  On the whole, we seem to be a pretty distinguished bunch. To start with, there was my father, who was another Walter Williams.  We had different middle names— his was Ulysses, believe it or not.  After my dad was born (in […]

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Clip Officiel

April 17, 2016

After a few days of perfect springtime weather, winter descended again with wind and rain and cloud.  Which made me long for the tropics, so I thought I’d check out the music scene on the island of Mauritius.  (Which calls itself Maurice, by the way.) I used to stream music from a radio station in […]

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April 13, 2016

The entertainment has been interactive around here.  And no, I’m not talking about Xbox games. A few weeks ago we visited License to Spy, a traveling exhibit of spy gear sent from Australia to (for some reason) the New Mexico Museum of Natural History.  (See a dinosaur, spy on your neighbor . . . all good […]

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Why I Love Akira Kurosawa

April 11, 2016

In Metropolitan, I describe a scene in a film based on Constantine’s life.  Even though the book takes place in a fantasy world, it’s clear from the description that Kurosawa directed.

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Last Chance for the Toolbox

April 10, 2016

There are still a very few places left at Taos Toolbox, this year’s master class for science fiction and fantasy.  But if you’re planning to apply, you’d better get the applications to us in the next couple weeks, because after that, you’ll have to wait till next year. Remember, this year’s special guest instructor is […]

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