State of the TAM - 14 Oct

Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque

What’s Up

It isn’t officially GRL until Wednesday, but I consider myself at GRL anyhow. The first step of the Left Turn at Albuquerque Road Trip is officially over!

Rhys Ford and I drove from San Diego to Yuma, Yuma to Phoenix, Phoenix to Gallop, and Gallop to Albuquerque. Along the way we ate at the Space Age Restaurant in Gila Bend (well worth a stop!), at the Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse in Gilbert with the ever-delightful Gloria Lakritz, and I had my first root beer float in Holbrook New Mexico (where we were going to stay except we couldn’t get the hotel we wanted to call us back!). We also played with penguins (who make a delightful churring sound when they are happy and like to peck shoelaces), stopped at various random curio shops along the way, purchased a grey hoodie that turned out to be blue (ah well), and enjoyed a lovely drive through cacti, deserts, and forest.

Mostly lovely. At one point I was making plans to pee at the side of the road and then disappear from history and polite society to live like the free-peeing outcast I had obviously BECOME. LUCKILY we reached Holbrook in time. Where I promptly refilled.

Much coffee has been drunk!

ANYHOW. It is now GRL time. Sorta. Prep time for actual GRL time, lots of swag to sort and panic to have when we realize we left something behind.

As you know you can find me here at various points throughout the convention. Do come by and say hi, check out my books, take some swag. No really, don’t want to haul it all back home with me!,f_auto,q_auto:good/

Oh and bonus penguin…

Fire HD Tablet Winner!

Congratulations to Cat Clontz! Thanks for entering the competition and I hope you enjoy your tablet!

Book Rec of the Week

As a picky eater myself, I have to throw my support behind Luke. Some things just aren’t meant to be on a plate!

Twice Baked

When the pickiest eater in America is tapped to judge a cooking competition along with his chef ex-boyfriend, will it be a recipe for a second chance… or disaster?

Luke Walker’s humor about foods he can’t stand made him an internet celebrity and his blog, The Pickiest Eater in America, a huge hit. He plans to bring that same lighthearted comedy to the show—but he won’t be the only host.

Meyer Thibodeaux might be a famous chef, but he’s solemn, uptight, and closeted. He’s also  Luke's ex. As different as they are, the sparks between Luke and Meyer never really went out, and as they work together, each begins to see the other in a new light, and the passion between them reignites, hot as ever. But secrets, gossip, and rumors on the set could sour their reunion.

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Buy Now

It was Kirsty MacColl’s birthday last week. I remember seeing her perform in Belfast once, and she was amazing.

Deal of the Week

Must Read of the Week

This is just the most awesome bat information. I love bats. I like to imagine that Gotham bat conversation is mostly about that weird Big Bat that keeps getting into fights with people. And like, bats are just constantly telling Batman everything he needs to know but he never listens. Animal Man rocks through one day and everyone thinks he’s amazing, and he’s just ‘Um, well, actually it was the bats? They know where Joker lives too if that helps?’.

*I am FAIRLY CERTAIN that Animal Man could talk to animals through his connection with the Red, but it’s been a while since I read the comics so I could have made that up. I could also do some research and find out, but then I’d have to find a way to insert Doctor Doolittle into the DC universe and I don’t want to.

Researchers “Translate” Bat Talk. Turns Out, They Argue—A Lot

A machine learning algorithm helped decode the squeaks Egyptian fruit bats make in their roost, revealing that they “speak” to one another as individuals

Fruit Bat

Plenty of animals communicate with one another, at least in a general way—wolves howl to each other, birds sing and dance to attract mates and big cats mark their territory with urine. But researchers at Tel Aviv University recently discovered that when at least one species communicates, it gets very specific. Egyptian fruit bats, it turns out, aren’t just making high pitched squeals when they gather together in their roosts. They’re communicating specific problems, reports Bob Yirka at


Useless Site of the Week

Just in case anyone needs to check if they are awesome or not.

Am I Awesome?

Poetry of the Week

Ciaran Carson, Versatile Belfast Poet, Is Dead at 70

Ciaran Carson, whose poetry and prose captured the pungency, tensions and rich heritage of Northern Ireland, especially his native Belfast, died in the city on Sunday. He was 70.

Laura Susijn of the Susijn Agency, which represented him, said the cause was lung cancer.

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