Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Brendan is one of the most productive writers in Chicago today. He started Bad Grammar Theater when he lived in this weird space pod in the 1700 block of South Halsted. The Pilsen neighborhood of abandoned factories. You go under the 16th Street viaduct and you are in University Village. When I went to UIC in the early 80s, it was still shady storefronts and the Maxwell Street markets. So for a time, after Brendan removed to [REDACTED BY JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR], the readings were held at Powell's bookstore on Roosevelt and Halsted, which back in the day was home to seedy lawyers, doctors who performed electrolysis, and more hideous [REDACTED BY JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR] Then the store went and started closing at 6PM. Not to be deterred, Brendan found a place that was close to the Blue Line and the Orange Line, even the Red Line.

The Forte Framing Gallery just off North and Western. Run by Jude Mire and his wife, the painter Jill Cooper, Jude and Jill have now gone on to Nova Scotia, leaving their business running smoothly by their daughter Jessica. And so it is that once a month, people come to read and drink and eat, then say goodby for the next thirty or so days. So check out Brendan's newest novel, THE WHITE RABBIT SOCIETY. (By that, I mean buy a copy.)

We wouldn't be doing this without Brendan. Our strengths grew.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Every few episodes on CHICAGO PD, we film a scene at the old 6th District cop house on Maxwell Street, no longer anywhere near the dump it looked like decades ago, and I'm posting some interior shots of the history of the place. Currently it is occupied by the campus police, and don't get me started on the gentrification of "University Village". Check out YouTube for the theme to Hill Street Blues for scenes from when the area was still a ghetto with the only thing going for it was the Maxwell Street market.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


 Ed passed away in his sleep a few nights ago, in Denver, after suffering from Type 1 Diabetes for most of his adult life. I first met Ed in 1989, and there's a photo of him on a panel. We were in Seattle at the World Fantasy Convention. The bottom photo is of Ed and George R. R. Martin last October.

Ed was, like me, a short story writer. He had another thirteen years on me, plus he wrote science-fiction, and the late 70s markets for sci-fi were very good. He started up a writers group that grew so much that when I read at The Little Bookshop of Horrors In Arvada back in 1992, there were so many writers in the crowd that I felt as if I was at a convention. My novel, The Holy Terror, had just come out, but I was there to promote my novella For You, The Living. It was published by Roadkill Press, the back cover had an image of Ed himself being the roadkill, tire tracks over his torso.

I loved him for being who he was. He wrote columns for LOCUS, a science-fiction magazine, and would go out of his way to mention my books or chapbooks, including Pain Grin and True Tales of The Scarlet Sponge. One of the wonderful things about my life as a writer is that I've been able to meet so many wonderful writers and artists along the way. I'll catch up with you soon, Ed.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


 If you're a writer, artist, editor, publisher, or agent who's said "I wish I'd gone to WHC back during its height", Wayne Allen Sallee's essay for CLICKERS FOREVER: A J.F. GONZALEZ TRIBUTE, is going to take you there. Funniest thing I've read in a long time. And straight from the heart with no bullshit.

So with all those bone splinters in my elbow (see previous blog entry), I was still able to finish a 7500 word piece for Brian Keene's anthology, Clickers Forever: A Tribute to J. F. Gonzalez. That's actually the longest piece I've written in about a decade.

Jesus Gonzalez was an incredible person. He edited Iniquities, one of the better magazines that came out of, well, North America, in the early 1990s. And he died of lymphoma in 2014 at the age of 50. All monies go directly to his widow, Cathy, and daughter, Hannah.