Here’s a few nice things that people I internet-stalk have produced lately. (“Things”, haha, of course they’re all books.) No, these are not suggestions for getting me gifts. In fact, I’ve already got myself at least one item from this list, but I’m not telling you what, so you dursen’t gift me for fear of doubleups. So there.
First up, three for lovers of obscure facts and oddities. I haven’t read any of these yet, but they come from people with good online track records so I expect they’ll be good value.
Mark Rosenfelder has published The Conlanger’s Lexipedia. A “conlanger” is a person who invents languages, but he also claims it to be “Perfect for conlangers, conworlders, language freaks, firefighters, actuaries, Methodists, snipers, spies, baritones, lepidopterists, Mind Flayers, and gnolls!” (I suspect the list is not exhaustive.) I’ve spent many happy hours lost in his site but I didn’t realise he wrote books: this seems to be his fifth (including a novel), but I can’t find a page listing them all at once. Anyway, I would expect this one to be entertaining and informative even if you’re not inventing languages. And if you’re considering buying it, it seems like now might be a good moment.
Greg Ross has a book out, titled after the site whose high points it collects: Futility Closet. “An idlers miscellany of compendious amusements”, who could resist that?
Kevin Underhill has also collected some blog material, under the more imaginative title of The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance (almost titled The Brazilian stutterers’ discount, which if anything would have made me more likely to buy it). This is a collection of odd laws (subtitle: “And Other Real Laws that Human Beings Actually Dreamed Up, Enacted, and Have Sometimes Even Enforced”), a spin-off project from his legal-humour blog, Lowering the Bar.
And then there are my standard plugs for two comic projects I think are especially worth supporting:
I thought John Allison had a new Bad Machinery book out, but I must have been dreaming. So there is still the first one (also in hardcover), which is very lovely, and plenty of other merch while we wait for the next Bad Machinery case to hit print.
I think it was John Allison who said something like —I’m failing at finding the quote at the moment, which may mean that he said something completely different and it wasn’t him who said it anyway, but in any case here’s what I remember him, or possibly someone else, saying, roughly paraphrased— “Working in webcomics is like giving away hotdogs for free, then trying to make a living from selling tshirts about them.” Which I think means, when these folk do find a way to actually sell you, you know, the hotdog itself, it’s great to encourage them (and more importantly, the hotdog publishers, I’m not sure this metaphor is really working with me any more) by buying hotdogs. Their comics in print, I mean.