A Brief Note on Current Events

Dr. Doyle's Blog

In a sane and rational world, it shouldn’t be necessary to state for the record that I thoroughly disapprove of alt-right supportersneo-Naziswhite-supremacists dirtbag racist whackaloons holding torchlit rallies, chanting racist slogans, beating up counterprotesters, and ramming cars into crowds of people with murderous intent.

It would be the sort of thing that any person of normal intelligence and good will should be presumed to be against until proven otherwise.

But that’s not the world we live in, so . . . let it be known that I thoroughly disapprove of all of the above things.

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Another Sign of the Changing Times

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Okay, I’ll admit to looking back at my first Epson MX-80 dot-matrix with fond remembrance; that printer was built like a tank, and survived both a transcontinental move and an international move without failing, and was our printer of choice for first drafts for a long time after that.

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One-Sitting Reads

Science Fiction for the ThroneThe mail brought our latest authors’ copies of an anthology with one of our stories.  This is Science Fiction for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads edited by Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial.  A collection of very short stories, Science Fiction for the Thronemostly if not all reprints, by authors including Jo Walton, Greg Benford, Fran Wilde, Cat Rambo, and us.

In our case, the short story is “The Last Real New Yorker in the World,” originally published in Newer York, edited by Lawrence Watt-Evans (Ace, 1991).

Science Fiction for the Throne is published by Fantastic Books.  ISBN-13 978-1-5154-1025-6.

Buy one; better still, buy a dozen.  They make excellent gifts.

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Ice Cream Wizard

Jim Macdonald Illusionist

Jim Macdonald, Illusionist

And so things come full circle (of magic).  The first novel that Doyle and I wrote together was the (still unpublished) Ice Cream Wizard.  A fantasy/SF crossover with some great bits — including the Secret Origin of Doc and Beka (two characters who you’ll remember from the Mageworlds series.)

Anyway, I went to the Ice Cream Ride in Turners’ Falls last weekend to do magic. I did magic, and had a great time.

While there, I met one of my fellow performers, a caricature artist named Otto Metzger, who did this picture of me.

(If you’d like to have Otto at your event, get in touch with Kaleidoscope Art & Entertainment.)


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Make Friendship an Action Figure

Friendship the Magician

Friendship the Magician

Help convince Mattel to make Friendship the Magician from RAW (it’s pro wrestling) into an action figure for their upcoming  Festival of Friendship series.  Sign the petition!

Mattel is producing a Festival of Friendship set as part of their Epic Moments series. But one character is missing, Friendship the Magician. To some Friendship was a goofy character out to make his audience smile, to others a villain who tore apart one of the greatest friendships in WWE history. Either way all fans can agree he was a very important part of this event. Mattel please consider adding a Friendship the Magician figure to your Festival of Friendship set.

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Summer’s Lease Isn’t Up Yet

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Any day now, though, the maple tree by the foot of our driveway will show its first patch of color.  August up here is almost as much the start of autumn as it is the last of summer, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I lived for long enough in Texas, where July and August are fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk months; and I spent three and a half years in the literal tropics when my husband/co-author was in the Navy and stationed in Panamá, where you got a choice between hot and rainy and hot and not-rainy (but still humid), six months on and six months off; and believe me, seasons are good, and New England seasons suit me fine.

(Granted, January and February are a frozen hell, but my theory is that no matter how much you like the climate where you are, there are going to be a couple…

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The Magicians’ Marching Song

(To the tune of The Caissons Go Rolling Along)


Over hill, over dale,
Catching rabbits by the tail
Magicians go strolling along!
Classic force, side-steal too,
I’ve got your card inside my shoe
Magicians go strolling along!

Then it’s Alakazam!
We just don’t give a damn
Cut our assistants into two!
(Three! Four!)
And where e’er we go
By our wands you’ll know
Magicians are strolling along.

Linking rings, zombie balls,
Playing gigs in wedding halls
Magicians go strolling along!
If some trick is a bust
Fix it up with Woofle Dust
Magicians go strolling along!

Then it’s Alakazam!

Misdirect, with a glance,
Hide some fishbowls in our pants
Magicians go strolling along!
Crystal  balls, cups of brass,
Gonna do a riffle pass,
Magicians go strolling along!

Then it’s Alakazam!

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Healthcare, of course

Or, something freelancers don’t get.


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Erase Una Vez en el Oeste

Today is the anniversary of a couple of iconic events from the Wild West:  One of the first, if not the first, actual middle-of-the-street quick-draw gunfighter duels,  and the first train robbery by the Younger-James gang (not the first train robbery of the Old West, though — the Reno brothers beat Cole and Frank to the draw, as it were).

The duel was between Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt on 21 July 1865 in Springfield, Missouri.   The quarrel between the men was over (possibly) unpaid gambling debts and (perhaps) over the affections of one or more young ladies.   The most proximate cause, however, seems to have been Tutt parading around town wearing Wild Bill’s gold watch (which Tutt had either stolen, or was holding as collateral for one of the aforesaid gambling debts).

They really did square off in the middle of the street, and at a range of 75 paces turned and fired.  Tutt missed; Hickok shot Tutt through the heart.  Given that Hickok was using a cap-and-ball black-powder revolver, and the range was in excess of fifty meters, that was pretty good shooting.

Wild Bill was arrested and charged with murder.  The charge was eventually reduced to manslaughter.  Bill pleaded self-defense.  The judge didn’t buy that, as Bill hadn’t taken every reasonable opportunity to avoid the conflict  But the jury found Bill innocent on the grounds that it was a fair fight.

The story grew in the telling, particularly because Wild Bill himself never let the truth stand in the way of a good yarn.

As for the Younger-James train robbery: On 21 July 1873 the gang took up a rail on the Rock Island Line (reportedly a mighty good road) tracks on a blind curve outside Adair, Iowa. The train derailed, killing the engineer. The gang, dressed as Ku Klux Klansmen, forced the expressman to open the safe, where they discovered that the payroll they’d been hoping to rob had been delayed and was on another train. The Younger-James gang then robbed the passengers and made their getaway.  They made off with $3,000–just short of sixty grand in today’s money.

So ends our excursion into the Famous Crimes of Yesteryear.

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The Magic Contest

The results of the first annual Granite State Magicians’ New England Magic Contest, held last Sunday in Peabody, MA:

  • In first place, Jude Giordano of Agawam, MA.
  • In second place, Tristan James of Kingston, RI.
  • In third place, Brad Beady of Hartford, CT.

Congratulations to all our contestants!

No one died, no one stabbed themselves in the hand, and no one is in jail. Therefore, success!


In Other News:

A couple of photos of handsome young me busking at Farmers’ Markets:

My schedule

  • Saturday: Lancaster, NH.  9:00 am – 12:00 noon
  • Sunday: Littleton, NH. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Tuesday: Berlin, NH. 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Thursday: Gorham, NH. 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Friday: North Stratford, NH. 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Illusionist Jim Macdonald busking at the Lancaster Farmers' Market.

At the Lancaster Farmers’ Market

Photo from the North Woods Weekly (Friday July 14, 2017, page ten.)

Jim Macdonald, Illusionist, busking at the Littleton, NH, Farmers' Market

At the Littleton NH Farmers’ Market

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