In what is the first and very likely the final time that her name will be mentioned in this space, I'd like to add a pinch of Sue Grafton into the mix and write that "A" is indeed for ArmadilloCon 2003, to which we'll teleport in a moment, but that "A" is also for Amis, Martin Amis, and he is where we'll begin today. Not that the news of Amis' Friday, Nov. 14, 7:30pm (that might be a bit specific for right now, I reckon), appearance at Barnes & Noble Arboretum is more important than the aforementioned Texcentric sci-fi convention (celebrating its 25th year, after all), not to mention the Texas Book Festival, which will be taking place Nov. 6-9; it's just that, well, Amis is Amis, London Fields is one of the finest novels of the 20th century's second half, and I just basically couldn't wait to let you know. Also: Amis' novel Yellow Dog will hit shelves on Nov. 4... As for ArmadilloCon: this weekend, Friday, Aug. 8, 4pm, through Sunday, Aug. 10, 5pm, at the Hilton North hotel. Preregistration has closed, but you can still walk up at a $40 rate and join the hundreds of other sci-fi lit, art, media, and gaming enthusiasts (to put it broadly), as well as authors, artists, critics, and other genre experts at seminars, signings, readings, and feedings. Recommended: "How Accurate Are the Lord of the Rings Movie Adaptations?" at 4pm on Friday, with Lillian Stewart Carl, R.L. Conrad, Aaron de Orive, Mitchell Graham, Warren Spector, and Martha Wells; "Memories of ArmadilloCon 1" at 9pm on Friday, with Neal Barrett Jr., Scott Cupp, Willie Siros, Robert Taylor, and Howard Waldrop; "The Golden Gryphon Experience" at 11am on Saturday, with Allison Baker, Barrett, Marty Halpern, and Joe R. Lansdale; and "Comic Books Worth Reading" at 10am on Sunday with Beverly Hale, Jason Henderson, Jess Nevins, James Owen, and Lori Wolf. But those are mere kids in the old Nyarlathotep, my friends. For the full dealio on the Dilly-o (sorry), check out www.armadillocon.org... In other Con news, JournalCon IV, the Web Writers Weekend, will take place at the Omni Austin Oct. 17-19. Past conferences have happened in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and San Francisco. We'll make fun of this more as it approaches, but in the meantime, consult www.journalcon.austin-stories.com... PSA: The Austin Public Library Commission will hold a public hearing to address the 2004 library budget on Monday, Aug. 11, at 6:30pm, at the Town Lake Center (721 Barton Springs Rd.)... Chronicle contributor and mysterious man about town Jesse Sublett has a book deal with Ten Speed Press' Boaz imprint. The memoir, tentatively titled Love & Death & Rock & Roll, is tentatively scheduled for a May 2004 release. Other Austinites succeeding in the publishing industry: former Observer Editor Karen Ollson, in a big way, with a two-book deal at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Greg Curtis, former Texas Monthly editor, whose Disarmed: The Story of the Venus de Milo will be released by Knopf in October... Finally, "A" is also for adios, au revoir, auf Wiedersehen, aloha, all the best, Kimberley K. Jones. Leaving the Chronicle but staying in Austin -- to study screenwriting and fiction at the Michener Center for Writers, no less -- Jones will be missed as an office ally and second-best writer at the paper, and as a friend for every kind of weather on any kind of day.
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