Last post was number 600! That makes me laugh, somehow, because it means that I was on the cusp of that beautiful even number for over a year. The will to post one more time and I could have said, “Go me! Six hundred posts!”

It’s time to tell you what music I love this summer! Here are the songs that I’m enjoying listening to over and over again, lately:

So do you remember about eight or nine years ago, when I was obsessed with bhangra music? Oh, right, that was before I had a blog. Some of you have known me for that long, though, and know what I’m talking about. Anyway, for you newcomers, I went through this phase where I was totally obsessed with bhangra. My daughter’s Sanskrit middle name is a gift of that era. I finagled my way into an Indian wedding reception just to hear the stuff and dance. It was awesome. I still love it, even though I’m not obsessed with it the way I used to be.

Now I’m completely obsessed with electrotango instead. I mean, yeah, this makes a little more sense than my earlier bhangra obsession because tango originates in a place I’ve lived and a quick check at my tells you I listen to Thievery Corporation more than anything else except TMBG, and I’ve liked Gotan Project for some time as well. But I didn’t know there was more than Gotan Project. I thought Gotan Project was an outlier, a lone band kind of doing its own thing. Turns out there’s a whole genre there! And I LOVE it.

So in the last month, I’ve been listening to tag radio on A tag radio is a series of tracks that have all been tagged by users with the same tag. It’s a good way to get a solid mood listen, when you need a certain consistency in what you’re listening to. Or when you’re obsessed with a certain sound.

The tag I’ve been listening to is electrotango. I LOVE this stuff with intense singlemindedness. Tanghetto, Bajofondo, Supervielle, Federico Aubele, Bulevard Tango Club, San Telmo Lounge…I could (and do) listen to it all day. I wish I’d known to look for this stuff when I was in Buenos Aires last year.

The electrotango radio was in heavy rotation during the composition of both “Kenosis” and “Mi Buenos Aires Querido” and I believe they are better stories for having that musical backdrop. “Kenosis” in particular has been liked by almost every critiquer who has read it, and that sort of thing never happens to me. By and large, my stories are not well-liked, and never universally. (Some might wonder why, in light of that, I continue to write them, but that would be a question for another day. This is not the writing angst post. This is the electrotango is fantastic post).

The pinnacle of my obsession is “Perfume” by Supervielle. If you have a account you can hear it; it’s one of their free tracks. I love the lyrics, so dramatic and intense. You can rely on “Like water seeks thirst” being a blog title at some point. Listen, do you hear the tango? The sea? It sounds like Buenos Aires, that weird mix of nostalgia and anticipation: the wind and the water and the memories. Say it: “el impulso antiguo y sutil del eco de tu perfume”. Feel it in your mouth. It’s totally lovely and wonderful to say.

Right, I did say I was obsessed?

Ok, a music post deserves a scorekeeping update:

  • 2 points Sunjunkie
  • 2 points Jerm
  • 6 points Lanfaedhe
  • 2 points Dave Lartigue

WTG, Lanf, leaving all the other participants in the dust! But it’s not too late for folks to catch up, so keep playing.

If you’re wondering what the scoring is about, I give two points to the first person who comments with the line following on the one I give in my blog post title, when my titles are lyrics (which is often, though sadly, not today). There are unclaimed entries since I started the game back in July, if you’d like to dig through the archives and play along. Some day there will be a prize. I don’t know what and I don’t know when, yet. But it will be fabulous, in the style of the prizes awarded in Dave Lartigue’s leaf bag contest. I promise. (BTW, Dave, you are the first link under a google search of leaf bag contest. You must be so proud!)

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The hot weather getting you down? Then I have a wintry story for you, refuge from the brilliant sun. Go read Theodora Goss’ beautiful and poetic story “The Rapid Advance of Sorrow“. It will transport you. It will make you stop sweating. I promise.

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The last BSG episode was a serious disappointment to me. They’d done such an excellent job in the first half of the two-parter (I mean, — spoiler — plugging in the hybrid and having her scream,”JUMP!” could not have been more awesome), and I was sure spectacular things were coming, and then meh. I’ll have to add a corollary to my formula for good BSG episodes. The new formula: BSG episodes are good in direct proportion to the number of toasters on screen during the episode and bad in direct proportion to the number of lines Lee Adama has. Apollo and Starbuck, man, I get so sick of them.

I wish Annalee Lewitz, of io9, was their scriptwriter, because this, even with its problems, would have been so much better than what we saw.

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So we’re back, with another installation of a story I’d like you to go read, because I loved it a lot. It’s called “I’ll Gnaw Your Bones, the Manticore Said” and it’s by Cat Rambo. I love how delicately it’s done, and how gently. And yet, right there, hard topics but humanely handled instead of jabbed at you. Characters being complex and people-like. Very nice.

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Finally my rss feed to io9 pays off. Most of the time they blah blah blah about a lot of TV I never intend to watch, but this BSG backstory in 8 minutes is great. Funny and accurate.

Yay, new BSG soon (April 4). Won’t it be weird having a tv show to watch again?

Let me also state for the record my BSG good episode axiom: BSG episodes are good in direct proportion with the number of toasters that appear in that episode. The very worst episodes have no toasters in them at all. And no, humanoid models do not count for this calculation, which is why I say toasters and not cylons.

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Hello, dear readers. I’m going start doing something new. I’m going to pull up my internet megaphone and recommend short stories I enjoy. I have occasionally posted lists of my favorite stories of the past year or so, but this will hopefully be more frequent, say once a month or whenever I happen to be struck by a very good story. I may recommend offline stories, but I’ll tend to skew to online available stuff, so that if I say “Yay, go read this,” you can respond by immediately doing so. Instant gratification.

For now I’ll call this feature: good short story, go read it.

And my first great short story, go read it for the year is Ekaterina Sedia’s “Zombie Lenin” from new print anthology Fantasy.

I loved it for its Russian flavor and all around weirdness. Let me know what you think.

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I went to Viable Paradise in 2004, and it was a great experience. One of the best things about it was the number of really cool people that I met. My favorite person there, Ogi Ogas, was a player on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” last year (yes, it’s still on, I was just as surprised). He’s a really bright guy, I love his stories. He’s just as friendly as he was on the show, and he won half a million, and he wrote (and sold!) an article about his experiences here.

Another of my favorite people there, Suzanne Palmer, just had the story “He’s Got Skeletons” published online. It’s delightful and funny, you should go read it. I think she still owes me a story about three-legged camels in the Aztec jungles, though.

And speaking of three-legged camels, the person who wrote the most wonderful story I read while at VP as well as a really promising but frustrating and inconsistent story (giving birth to my diatribe about the three-legged camels) has just published a beautiful story at Clarkesworld. So now you can enjoy her poetic language too.

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