Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Heinlein collection = ~675

Some of my loyal readers no doubt know I collect stuff by science fiction’s Grand Master, Robert A. Heinlein (you could hardly miss the fact if you’ve been to our flat). Indeed, we have a great many books in our place, quite aside from my collection of Heinlein stuff.

Sometimes people ask us how many books we own, and we have no idea really. I thought I’d just count the Heinlein stuff first, since it would only take 15 minutes or so : )

As of June 11, 2009
  • Hardcover books (fiction) by Heinlein: 171 (including 30 leather-bound editions and 19 foreign language editions)
  • Paperback books (fiction) by Heinlein: 191
  • Hardcover collections containing fiction by Heinlein: 33
  • Paperback collections containing fiction by Heinlein: 41
  • Pulp magazines containing fiction by Heinlein: 120
  • Nonfiction books, etc. by/containing Heinlein: ~50
  • Books, articles, etc. about Heinlein: ~47
  • Related books, games, comic books, etc.: ~82
  • Audiobooks and misc. CDs: ~20
  • DVDs: 7
  • Records: 1
Total books and magazines: ~675

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

On voting for the lesser of two evils

“There may not be someone you want to vote for but there is certain to be someone you want to vote against.”
– Robert A. Heinlein

Don’t get me wrong, I’m voting for Obama–Biden not only because I want to see the Republicans lose the White House and the Congress, but also because I share some of their ideologies.

But I’m not a registered Democrat, never have been, and I’ve almost always been disappointed by the Democratic Party and its members, for my entire adult voting life.

It’s just that I’m always way more disappointed by the Republicans.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Farking Zarquon! Eoin Colfer is writing a sixth Hitchhikers’ book!?

The author of the popular Artemis Fowl series has been contracted by Hyperion books to write a sixth book in the evermore inaccurately named Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.

The sixth book is reportedly titled And Another Thing... and is scheduled to be published in October 2009 by Hyperion.

The book has been sanctioned by Douglas Adams’ widow Jane Belson: “I am delighted that Eoin Colfer has agreed to continue the Hitchhiker series. I love his books and could not think of a better person to transport Arthur, Zaphod, and Marvin to pastures new. The project has my full support.”

Colfer told the BBC he feels “more pressure to perform now than I ever have with my own books,” adding that he was “determined that this will be the best thing I have ever written.”

Colfer told the BBC his first reaction was “semi-outrage that anyone should be allowed to tamper with this incredible series. But on reflection I realized that this is a wonderful opportunity to work with characters I have loved since childhood and give them something of my own voice while holding on to the spirit of Douglas Adams.”

I suspect there will be a lot of negative criticism for the eventual outcome. Fans tend to have strong opinions about the purity of their favorite writers’ oeuvre. For fans of Douglas Adams, perhaps doubly so.

Interestingly, almost this exact same thing happened just a few years ago with my other favorite writer (Adams and Heinlein are the two faves, in case you haven’t been paying attention). A partial manuscript was uncovered from the Heinlein Archives at UC Santa Cruz, and Spider Robinson was asked to complete it. The result, Variable Star, was not exactly a Heinlein book, but still an interesting read and not so disastrous as I’d imagined it could have been. I actually liked it a fair amount.

So I will adopt a cautious skepticism about the sixth Hitchhikers’ book, dust off the Artemis Fowl books I haven’t read yet, and wait for 2009.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Top 5

An Epic Conversation with Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi, Part 1
An conversation between Cory Doctorow, (technologist, author, and BoingBoing mainstay) and John Scalzi (sci-fi author and noted purveyor of Whatever). The video editing is a bit annoying. Actually, I like all of it except the incredibly annoying, loud intro music. They also use it between cuts. Laaaame. Oh, if you are interested, part two of the video is here.

“This I Believe” by Robert A. Heinlein
This short piece makes my cry every time I read it. The Heinlein Foundation recently found a recording of the original radio broadcast for Edward R. Murrow’s radio show in 1952, and posted an MP3.

Caduceus Cellars
Tool’s Maynard James Keenan has a winery.

Stephen King’s “N.”
An original 25-episode video/comic series. A new episode every weekday through August 29.

Waxing the winker
A couple guys go to LA’s (apparently) famous waxing salon Pink Cheeks. Yeah, um, definitely NSFW. And btw, “anal bleaching?” Ew.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Russian Heinlein book featured on io9

One of my rare Heinlein books has been featured on io9, Gawker’s sci-fi blog (“In Soviet Russia, Space Opera Really Was Operatic”).

io9 was doing an article Russian science fiction book cover artwork and must’ve seen the book cover I posted to my Flickr group Heinleinia.

The book in question (pictured here) has always been a bit of a mystery to me. It’s a Russian edition of Stranger in a Strange Land published in 2003, but because most of the text is in Russian, I can’t get much information from the title and copyright pages. I found the book for sale on eBay last year.

One of the commenters on io9’s post noted that the cover of the Heinlein book features a painting by Donato Giancola, which was a nice find. Giancola’s produced some great work in his portfolio. Though I’ve never been able to figure out why this particular piece was chosen for the Heinlein book, as it bears no resemblance to anything in the story.

io9’s post also linked to Russian science fiction fan club Solaris (text in English), which features a gallery of other Russian Heinlein editions.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday top 5 + bonus 5

I didn't have time to post a Top 5 last week, so here's a double dose.

Because games should be educayshonal.

The Black Sabbath Show
I think every 1970s metal act should've had a cartoon.

Desktops for true web dev geeks
If you don't know what a div tag is, you're not going to get these at all.

Fart in the duck
Oh, those wacky Dutch.

Robots playing Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy"
"LEV the thereminbot and his newly-built pal thumpbot play "Crazy" with help from a 20-year-old MT32 synthesizer. OK, Lev's a bit out of tune, but hey, ROBOTS..."

New funny stuff from the Duncan Bros.

"BBS: The Documentary"
Anybody remember dialing up to BBSes before the Web? I guess everybody needs a hobby: Some guy spent four years filming a documentary about BBSes.

"Planet Earth"
This is a spectacular series from the BBC. I will second my friend Olya's recommendation too: Get the BBC version featuring David Atetnborough as narrator, not the Discovery Channel version featuring Sigourney Weaver. I mean, I like Sigourney and all, but she ain't no Attenborough. It's available in HD btw.

A flickr group for Robert Heinlein fans
Okay, so I'm a dork, but I started a group on flickr.

The Green
I wish I had cable so I could watch programming like this. In a poll ten years ago, almost 80% of Americans said they'd call themselves environmentalists. Yet most people do very little to make the environment better or raise awareness. Programming like this makes me optimistic.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Google's going to the moon

Google is sponsoring a new X Prize challenge — the first commercial lunar landing. Most of the $30 million prize will go to the first private company that can land a robotic rover on the moon and beam back a gigabyte of images and video to Earth.

Can you imagine? It's been over 30 years since we went to the moon, and we haven't been back. Think about it. That was last century. At this point, there are two or three generations of children who have no memory of the first lunar landing taking place during their lifetime. Including me, by the way. I was one month old.

I met X Prize founder Peter H. Diamandis at the Heinlein Centennial in July. His talk was simply amazing.

X Prize site: article:

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Starting a group on Flickr

I've been researching how various community sites handle their offerings and features for groups, so I decided to make a Flickr group. I'd participated in a couple before, but I'd never made one of my own on Flickr.

It was easy to set up and fairly feature-rich, although I think the discussions feature needs a little work. I did a Flickr search for "Robert Heinlein" and then invited a dozen or so people to join the group and add some of their photos. Within about an hour I had five group members.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Red-headed creatures

I've been a fan of Robert A. Heinlein since grade school and I've mentioned here and in other venues how much I've been influenced by his characters, how much I've learned from his books.

I recently found a magazine that published two of his poems, which had never been published before, shortly after his death in 1988.

If only I had read this a few years ago.

"The Witch's Daughters"
by Robert A. Heinlein, 1946

Have no truck with the daughters of Lilith.
Pay no mind to the red-headed creatures.
Man, be warned by their sharp, white teeth;
Consider their skulls, and their other queer features.

They're not of our tribe, with their flame-colored hair;
They're no sib to us, with their pale, white skins;
There's no soul behind those wild green eyes
Man, when you meet one — walk widdershins!

When they die, they pop, like burst soap bubble
(Eight hundred years is their usual span.)
Loving such beings leads only to trouble.
By Heaven, be warned, you rash young man!

— —

Oh man, I married one of those "red-headed creatures."

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Heading to Missouri for a week

Velma and I leave Sunday morning for seven days in Missouri. We'll spend a bunch of time with her family in and near the capitol Jefferson City, including the 4th of July, and we'll also go to St. Louis to visit friends and the awesome City Museum.

Then I'll head to Kansas City for the Heinlein Centennial on 07/07/07. I've been looking forward to this event celebrating the 100th birth year of one of the most influential authors of the 20th Century, and certainly the most influential on me personally. Yes, I'm a dork.

Our friends Carmen and Teg, Olya, and Laura will be looking after our problem child Orson. May the Force be with them.

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