Weird Tales at last!After 18 months and many emails later, I finally received my copy of Weird Tales. For a while Weird Tales was plagued by administrative turbulence, but they’ve recently been bought out by Wildside Press, a highly respectable publisher, who promises in the new issue to smooth things out. They even promised to give me three more issues ( 4 issues per year) to make up for my troubles. I thumbed through it this morning, and though it’s rife with advertizing, it looks promising, with a story from Jack Ketchum, among others.

The much praised new Doctor Who series is planning a new spinoff series called Torchwood with Captain Jack. BBC calls it a sci-fi paranoid thriller, X-Files meets This Life. I enjoyed Captain Jack’s character in the Doctor Who series, and it will be interesting if they take the intelligence and irreverance of the show with them to the new series. With Doctor Who, I always felt that though the end of the world was nigh, and the drama and tension high, you would never be left hanging without a non-sequitur from the good Doctor to lighten the mood. When his faithful companion makes a cell phone call five billion years back in time, the doctor says, “Wait till you see the bill.”

According to this article from, life’s building blocks are abundant throughout space. I remember reading the “dirty ball” or some other such hypothesis that said organic comets rained down on Earth early in its history, seeding the oceans with the components necessary for life. One hypothesis even went so far as to say that life may have originated inside comets as their centers got mushy as they approached the sun. With news that these compounds may exist everywhere, it makes you wonder how many Earth like planets might exist out there with life — perhaps intelligent — of their own. There is something terribly fascinating to me about standing on an Earth-like world and looking up at an alien sun. It is my belief that humanity will one day do that. Anyone care to place a bet on the year? Twenty bucks says 2852.

The White StripesLast night on Charlie Rose I saw an interview with the band the White Stripes. I always appreciate a band more when you see the human side, not the MTV glam that wanna-bees exude from their pores. The White Stripes are made up of the husband and wife couple, Jack and Meg White. While Meg seemed to have either swallowed her shy pill or stayed up a little too late the night before, Jack was eloquent and interesting, carrying an affectatious cane at his side and sporting the Johnny Depp moustache-hairdo. He said what I like to hear, that he’s not in it for fame, but for some internal desire to explore the music, what can be done with just two musicians without electronic manipulation (it’s just a guitar and drums, nothing else). They played an acoustic set after the interview, Meg on bongos and Jack playing a bluesy lamentation, “As Ugly as I Seem.” I’ve been on a recent wave of music discovery, and I just might have to check out their stuff now. Charlie Rose never has duds on his show.