June 10th, 2007


I Am the Most Powerful Man In Retail!

A week ago, I mentioned my cousin Jana Martin's book Russian Lover and Other Stories and linked to its Amazon page.

So what did I see when I visited the Amazon page today? Her book, which is a collection of short stories that appeared in numerous prestigious literary journals, now has the following titles in the "Customers who bought items like this also bought" section: Monster Island, Monster Nation and Monster Planet by David Wellington, Plague of the Dead by Z.A. Recht, and Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. All horror novels!

And in the "Tags customers associate with similar products" section, I found: dan simmons (7), vampire (3), post-apocalyptic (3), and urban dark fantasy (2). None of which have anything to do with her book.

It all happened because I linked to it from this blog and all you horror-types clicked through! I am the most powerful man in retail! I control all marketing categories!

I owe Jana an email. Maybe she'll accept my apology for destroying such a promising career so quickly!

A Night of Tonys (Now with 10% More Minor Spoilers)

First off, big congrats to jewellwelles, whose show, Spring Awakening, won Best Musical and eight million other Tony Awards tonight.

And then there's that other Tony: Tony Soprano. I loved how tonight's series finale played on all our expectations/speculations about how it might end, from the opening shot made to look like Tony lying in a casket (with organ music on the radio, no less!), to the scene where you think Tony might be meeting with the Feds to turn state's evidence in return for witness protection, to the scene where you think A.J. and his girlfriend are committing suicide. Masterfully handled. And the scene where Tony starts opening up to A.J.'s therapist? Priceless.

I'm iffy about the ending, but the more I think about it, the more perfect it seems. Sopranos season finales always end with the family sitting down for a meal anyway, right? (Though I will say the use of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" was inspired.)

So long, Sopranos. I'll miss you.

Tonight was also the premiere of John from Cincinnati, which was cute and interesting but also a litte meh. Then again, I thought the same thing about the premieres of Carnivale, Six Feet Under and Heroes, all of which I grew to love, so I'll be giving it more time before I decide if it's worthy of the TV Nerd's schedule. It definitely fell victim to first episodeitis, that peculiar ailment where the writers -- in this case, David Milch -- when introducing all the different characters, exaggerate each of their quirks and traits in order to lock them into the audience's mind in large, noticeable chunks. Also, I have to admit I'm kind of over the "magical, Christ-like innocent" trope. I think it died a natural death with Peter Sellers' Being There, and should remain buried.