"If I wanted to, could I depend on you, my friendB. TRAVEN JR. in BROKEN EGGS
So if we dream again, then maybe . . ."
--October 26, The Pretty Things
B. Traven Jr. stands on the exterior steps of the Abe Vigoda Memorial Theater in New York City. It is night, but between the two searchlights near the street and the light spilling forth from the glass doors in front of the theatre, it is well lit. He is speaking into a recorder, "A reliable source has told me to wait outside here. He claims that the literary event . . . Wait! I'm hearing a loud thrumming noise. It sounds like the boiler room in an early 20th century ocean liner. Holy mackerel! A British police box has just materialized before my very eyes. Could it be?"
He rummages around in his knapsack, pulls out a copy of the Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia (9781465402677)16.99, and says, "I knew this would come in handy. Ha, ha!"
The door of the Tardis cracks open and The Doctor sticks his head out. He looks perplexed, "Do I know you?"
"B. Traven Jr. here. And yes and no. You will know me in your next incarnation, and we will meet in the future, but not as of yet."
The Doctor steps out of the Tardis with his red-headed companion in tow, "Right! This is Donna Noble. There must be a reason I'm here. Hmmm, Abe Vigoda is still alive in my timeline. Something doesn't smell right. We better go inside."
They push through the glass doors, brush past the ushers, and then stand in the doorway into the amphitheatre. The hall is packed with an audience in black tie and formal wear. B. Traven Jr's eyes focus on the speaker at center stage and his blood runs cold.
Behind a lectern, Rupert Murdoch is on a dais speaking into a microphone, " . . . As the sponsor of this year's Gatsby Awards, I am proud to present these winning titles that exemplify both the talent and style of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald. This year's winner in fiction goes to Therese Fowler for Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (9781250028655) 25.99. And here to accept her award is Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings (9781594488399) 27.99."
Meg pecks Rupert on the cheek and says, "On behalf of Therese, I would like to thank you all for this wonderful award. She really wanted to be here, but Therese is in Mozambique researching her next novel. She said . . ."
The music from the orchestra pit rises towards a crescendo until Meg leaves the stage. The music stops.
Rupert smiles, "Sorry Meg. Time's up. I would also like to present the winner of the Gatsby Award in non-fiction to Clifton Spargo's Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda & Scott Fitzgerald (9781468304923) 26.95. Come on up . . ."
The Doctor's jaw drops, "Oh no, it is him! Rupert Murdoch is The Master!"
Odds & Sods
In the state of Michigan, there has been a huge void in the bookselling business. No, I am not talking about Borders. I'm not talking about Shaman Drum. I am talking about a reasonably priced Michigan photo book to have as a keepsake for vistiors or to give as a gift. I will fret no longer. Thunder Bay Press has released their latest title, Views of Michigan (9781933272351) 19.95. The void has been filled!
Pabst Blue Ribbon is hot with the hipsters. Paul Bialas is back with a new edition of Pabst: An Excavation of Art (9780985672522) 60.00, which now includes a DVD. Thumbing through these photos, one can almost see the ghosts of beers past . . .