Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Puddle Hopping

It's taken only a few days for the second largest snow storm in New York City history (in the last 150 years) to nearly vanish from the streets of Manhattan. Most of what remains is gray snow and slushy puddles that require, in some instances (above), a man-made assist to maneuver.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Judith S. Kaye (1938-2016)

Judith S. Kaye, the first female chief judge and the longest serving chief judge of the New York State Court System, died today. She played an instrumental role in founding the Center for Court Innovation, where I have been privileged to work as a writer and editor promoting justice reforms, and she was an outspoken leader in making courts more creative, user-friendly and effective. She wasn't afraid to stand up for what was right, dissenting in the 2006 case in which a four-judge plurality on the New York Court of Appeals ruled that same-sex couples didn't have the right to marry. "I am confident that future generations will look back on today’s decision as an unfortunate misstep,” she wrote in her dissent. (The New York Legislature legalized same-sex marriage in 2011).

I interviewed her a number of times, including for this article, which appeared in The Judges' Journal in 2002, and for a video about the Center. Excerpts of the video are available here.

My Tweet on the Front Page of the Times

I captured this image on June 25, 2015 to memorialize the moment when one of my Tweets scrolled across the front page of It was exciting in the moment but also fleeting. Now as I look at it, combined with the headline, I feel like, ever so briefly, I participated in history.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Podcast: Interview with David B. Coe

David B. Coe just finished a busy year in which he published three novels, two of which we discuss in this episode of New Books in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

His Father's Eyes (Baen, 2015) is the second book (the first, Spell Blind, was also published in 2015) to follow the adventures of P.I. Justis Fearsson, a weremyste whose investigations are interrupted once a month during the full moon when he slips into psychosis. Dead Man's Reach (Tor, 2015) written under the pen name D.B. Jackson, is the fourth book in the The Thieftaker Chronicles and focuses on Ethan Kaille, an 18th century version of a private detective (known poetically as a thieftaker) who also happens to be a conjurer.

While both protagonists share a number of traits (they're both crime-solvers and both have magic powers) the series are quite different.

The Thieftaker books are partly historical novel, ones in which Coe (aka Jackson) interweaves real people (e.g., Samuel Adams) and events of pre-Revolutionary Boston (e.g., the Stamp Act Riots, the Boston Massacre) with mysteries that Kaille is trying to solve.

"I spend an enormous amount of time searching for these tiny historical details to bring the verisimilitude to my story," Coe says.

Kaille's opponents (who include those who would like Kaille to meet the same end as the alleged witches of Salem) are external. But the eponymous protagonist of Coe's Case Files of Justis Fearsson series faces an internal enemy: the monthly psychosis that accompanies the full moon. These episodes are gradually making Fearsson permanently insane, as they did his weremyste father.

Related link:
  • Here is a blog post in which Coe interviews his two protagonists from the separate series, Justis Fearsson and Ethan Kaille.