Review: When I left Home-My Story by Buddy Guy with David Ritz

Da Capo Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-306-82179-0


The great bluesman Buddy Guy’s story in some ways was the story of any bluesman who left the South for Chicago near the middle of the 20th century, lured by the electified sound of what’s now called the Chicago Blues, created by earlier artists like Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, and Howlin’ Wolf. In some ways it’s not like so many other artists’ stories at all, for so many of them lived and died in complete obscurity. That was not Buddy Guy’s destiny, and of course that’s the bulk of what this book is about.

Buddy’s early life as a sharecropper’s son in Louisiana, however, is not given short shrift. There’s a good deal of fascinating detail about what life for a black man was like at that time and in that place, the strong values his parents imbued in him, and what led him to music in the first place. This information has to inform the reader’s understanding of the next phase of his life, when he left home to make his fortune in Chicago. Continue reading

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 7, Part 3




Chapter 7, Part 3

“You know, for a former thief you’re not that good at skulking,” Dena said. “I think she might have seen you.”

Kel shook his head. “I sincerely doubt that. I once slipped into a mansion where the master and all his retainers were reducing the place to shambles searching for his wife’s lover, gained my desire, and left again without being seen.”

Dena frowned “What were you after?”

“The wife’s bedchamber, of course. After all, I was the one they were looking for. I was quite the lad in my younger days.”

“Now older but not a whit wiser. Take foolish risks on your own behalf, Kel, not mine. I need to know where Marta is going.”

“So why don’t you turn me into a gull or some other bird again? I could watch them from the air.”

“Until they go inside. And a rat or a snake is more suitable for you but likely to either become a cat’s dinner or be crushed under the wheels of a cart in this town. You’ve always claimed to be a proper thief, and this task requires one. Prove yourself.” Continue reading

The Books Are Manifesting


Author copies of Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate arrived by UPS yesterday, so it’s now a real book. Pre-orders should be fulfilling soon as the outlets get their copies.

I also have word that the PS Publishing limited edition has gone to press, and should be available for soon. Not sure how soon is soon, but “soon.” When I have links and such I’ll put them up. In the meantime, we can bask in Ben Baldwin’s cover.


It’s Not About HPL or the Award. It’s About Us







In sf/f there’s always one or more teapot tempests at simmer, waiting to come to a boil when the previous one, so to speak, runs out of steam. Every now and then, however, the tempest turns out to be a typhoon too big for that metaphorical pot, and it’s time to sort out where one stands.

Why? Greater or lesser, don’t these things always blow over eventually?

Sure they do. The question is, how much wrack and damage do they leave behind? How many reputations tarnished, friendships weakened or destroyed? How completely does our sense of sf/f as our “tribe” fail in the face of the latest reality check? None of these are good things, and standing idly by while it all happens is to share in the blame, whatever does happen. Certainly, it’s one thing to throw gas on the fire, but it’s not so very different to pretend that the fire doesn’t exist. Either way, the house burns down.

So here I am contemplating a lapel pin I received at World Fantasy Con in Washington, D.C., way back in 2003. It’s a copy of the World Fantasy Award in miniature handed out to the nominees and based, as is the WFA itself, on Gahan Wilson’s caricature of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. It’s the public face of the award and has been so as long as I can remember. And, as others have pointed out, H.P. Lovecraft was a virulent racist. Continue reading