What I've Been Up To

I really haven't updated this page much. But it was so embarrassing the last time I looked at it that I had to make myself say something. I'm thankfully recovering from a long non-employment dry spell and from general malaise. TO help you find me on Google, I feel I should tell you I used to go by the handle "Len Bailes." In 2004-2005 I honed some of my teaching experience to write an IT exam training guide (CompTIA A+). Its publication has been postponed until 2007, when it will probably appear with a set of revisions for new exam standards. My last doorstopper, Maximizing Windows 98, is still in print in China and India -- but not so much in the U.S.A. Used copies can be found at Amazon.com, along with the rest of my back catalog.

For the last few years I've been helping to run a small s-f convention called Potlatch. I have a great time doing this and am usually also there in non-San Francisco years -- such as this one. In the hopes of providing a record for posterity of what goes on at these small literary conventions, I decided to track and annotate the Potlatch panel discussions, several years ago. Transcripts of Potlatch Panel discussions for the last several years are online.

People who know me well know that I've been a hard-case science fiction fan for most of my life. If you have a passing interest in "literary" science fiction, you may be interested in reading my sercon jottings. ("Sercon" is an s-f in-crowd contraction for "serious-constructive.") These are culled from from my contributions to various litcrit zines and online discussions.

Once in awhile, I still obey my lifelong compulsion to publish science fiction fanzines. ((As of 2015 I'm not sure whether I still intend to publish again, but my current general fanzine, Whistlestar, retains its title as an homage to the work of Cat Stevens.)) ("Morning has broken, call the repair man!"sings Patrick Nielsen Hayden. I guess this is what both Yusuf Islam and I thought we were doing when we decided to become high school math teachers.) I still respect Stevens/Islam for that career decision and love his music -- the Salmon Rushdie fatwah pronouncements notwithstanding. Whistlestar, the fanzine, is a limited circulation deal in print, but it's also available in PDF format. Another issue is in the works.

In my ancient 20th century life, I was all about listening to the Grateful Dead. In the 1970s, I drew this scruffy illustration of the GD Chinacat->Rider suite while listening to it at the Meat Market Coffeehouse in San Francisco. (If you have a 1024 x 768 screen display, maximize your browser window, to display both parts of the picture side-by-side.) I've thought for years that someone (a better artist than I am) should do an animated film of this classic song jam.

I still try to be a guitar player, now and then. We Sing, Higher Goals,and Liet. (c. Maintenant Pleides Music) are MP3 song samples from my sporadic attempts to be more than a school teacher/ harmonica player. **Higher Goals is a rough cut. I have other songs that I hope to release.

Coming someday, maybe, to this website: My Life in the Bush of Ghuists., a nostalgic fannish memoire. If you want to learn more about the subatomic world of "classic" science-fiction fandom, you can click here. I was at LACon IV, the 2006 World Science Fiction Convention, and also at Anticipation, the 2009 worldcon. and Renovation, the 2011 one. I'm planning to attend the 2013 worldcon in San Antonio. (This will be the third Lonestarcon.)

Footnote: I didn't make it to Lonestarcon3 but in 2015, I'm still trying to hang in there.