Pre-order your signed hardcover copy of Bill's forthcoming memoir The Accidental Terrorist today! Act now and get your book at least a month before the official November release!

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Our Dependency on Foreign Keys
Originally published online in two parts in Across the Margin, April 30 and May 1, 2015.

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latest inhuman swill posts

This will be a pretty technical post, so feel free to skip it if you're not interested in Perl coding and things of that nature.

When I started building my Accidental Terrorist Missionary Name Tag Creator, I knew I wanted to use the Perl interface to ImageMagick to overlay a name in bold white text onto the blank space on a name tag image like this one:

What's more, I wanted the name to look like it had actually been drilled out or stamped into the name tag, with maybe a slightly pebbled white surface to give things a nice feeling of texture.

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We had no idea that what we were really doing was a cover shoot for my memoir.

It was the late summer of 1987. I was stationed with my assigned mission companion, Elder Tim Bishop, in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. We lived rent-free in a small house owned by a local Mormon farming family. The house was a couple of miles outside of town, in the middle of a vast swath of wheat fields. The Kootenai River meandered nearby. Occasionally a moose would wander by or a bald eagle would sail overhead.

I'd been there since May, so I'd gotten to watch much of the growing and harvest process. At the end of the season, the farmers let us know that they would soon be burning the stubble of one of the fields, which would lie fallow the next year.

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The Accidental Terrorist Close the Book Campaign
My sixteen-year quest to publish my memoir The Accidental Terrorist is nearly over. I feel like I've been fighting my way down the field all that time, sometimes making progress, sometimes getting stopped cold, sometimes losing big ground. But now that it's fourth and inches, and I need your help to cross the goal line.

Okay, enough with the bad sports metaphors, and I'll try not to waste much of your time. What I'm asking is simple:

  • If you'd like to help, all you need to do is pre-order a copy of the book.

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  • latest proper manuscript format post

    A reader writes to ask:

    I know it's still acceptable to space twice after periods. However, if there's a close quote after a period is there actually only one space remaining after the quotation mark before first letter of the next sentence? Also, are there two spaces before the beginning of the quote, after the period closing the previous sentence?

    In both the situations you describe, use two spaces. Keep in mind that your two spaces go after the sentence's final punctuation, whether that's a period, a quotation mark, a question mark, or an exclamation point.

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    latest perry slaughter post

    'Deus ex Machina' by Perry Slaughter
    Sigh. Much as I try, I can't keep those crazy kids at Sinister Regard from putting out new ebook editions of my juvenilia. The latest novella to get this pixelation treatment is Deus ex Machina, my ridiculous sci-fi romp about an artificial intelligence who tries to kill God and take the Big I AM's place.

    The trade paperback edition of Deus ex Machina was released late last year, but for the ebook release Sinister Regard has given it a spiffily updated cover. And the ebook is available pretty much everywhere! Smashwords, Kobo, Nook, iBooks and Kindle all have it for a measly $1.99, and it's also available for your reading pleasure on such subscription services as Oyster and Scribd. How do you like me now?

    But wait! That's not all! Sinister Regard will be bringing out three more of my books in print and electronic editions over the course of the summer, including two that have never before seen the light of day! First, on June 16th, is Whether We Are Mended, my collection of three long sci-fi love stories, which is also getting a cover that's a vast improvement over its original hardback edition.

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    William Shunn

    About William Shunn

    William Shunn is the Hugo and Nebula Award–nominated author of over thirty works of short fiction, which have appeared since 1993 everywhere from Asimov's Science Fiction to Salon. A collaboration with Derryl Murphy, Cast a Cold Eye, came out from PS Publishing in 2009. For three years he hosted Tuesday Funk, an eclectic monthly reading series in Chicago, and he occasionally writes in the guise of Perry Slaughter.

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