saulI’ve seen the excellent first three episodes of BETTER CALL SAUL — each episode better than the last — and started thinking about the series’ future. How to avoid the prequel curse? The trouble with prequels, everyone knows, is that we already know the “end”. We know Saul survives BREAKING BAD, so we know he survives BETTER CALL SAUL, and that robs the latter series of fundamental dramatic tension. Things can’t get epically bad for Saul because we know he lives to become Walter White’s self-assured lawyer, so I’ll never fear for his life and well-being as deeply as I feared for Walt’s.

But co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould are too smart for this. There’s a simple solution they’ve already teased in Episode 1. I haven’t read any articles about the series at this point, so for all I know this is a common theory, but here’s my guess: BETTER CALL SAUL won’t end before the chronological beginning of BREAKING BAD. The series will end with Saul’s life after BREAKING BAD, at which point it’s virgin narrative territory, and the full dramatic tension returns, and anyone who survived BREAKING BAD — including Jesse Pinkman — can return to play a role.

Now that I’m typing this, it seems ridiculously obvious, especially since the series opens with Saul working at Cinnabon in the throes of post-BAD anxiety. I’m probably the millionth person to think of it. But I’m jazzed with the idea, and I’d bet money that’s the way it ultimately goes: BETTER CALL SAUL will finally be both a prequel and a sequel.

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Ice Volcano Forms in Upstate NY

A five-story “ice volcano” has formed from a geyser in Letchworth State Park, NY.


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Bellweather REDO author sendMURKFINS

Slimy, four-legged eels, valuable and easy to catch in spring.


Read more about BELL WEATHER: A Novel (Henry Holt & Co., 2015).


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Twitter Fiction Festival 2015

I’m excited to be a featured author for Twitter’s Fiction Festival this May. I’ll be tweeting a murderous love story.

Please follow me at @Giganticide and I will tweet things at you.


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Captain America Survives -55 Degree Wind Chill

The overnight wind chill truly reached only -25 F, but still, Captain America was frozen solid after plunging into the frigid bucket


There he might have remained, encased in solid ice, were it not for his discovery and rescue. And who braved the wintry cold to save our icy hero? Was it director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury? No! It was Mush-head, the Greedo action figure who, in the early 1980s, was horribly mauled by the family dachshund.


Using what I believe was Hammerhead’s laser gun, Mush-head melted the ice and pulled Captain America to safety…


After sleeping much of the day, Cap awoke in a comfortable bed to soothing music… but something wasn’t right. When no one answered his worried questions, he escaped to the nearest computer and learned, to his astonishment, that he had been frozen far longer than he imagined.


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Town of Root

Bellweather REDO author sendTOWN OF ROOT

An isolated wilderness town halfway between the major Florian settlements of Grayport and Liberty, known for its remarkable weather, flora, and fauna.


Read more about BELL WEATHER: A Novel (Henry Holt & Co., 2015).


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Captain America in -50 Wind Chill

Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, tonight faces the frigid cold of Troy, NY.

With NOAA (an offshoot of S.H.I.E.L.D… or HYDRA!??) warning of negative fifty degree wind chills, Cap — perched heroically upon the snowy drifts of Winter Storm Neptune — suddenly plunged into the waters of a recently filled bucket, there to remain until his inevitable discovery. But will he survive? Check back tomorrow!

Note: Yes, we used the skunk removal kit bucket.



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Handel’s Sonata Op. 5, No. 4

I played a lot of 18th-century music throughout the writing of BELL WEATHER. Today’s selection is from Handel’s Sonata Op. 5, No. 4.


handel trios

Note: Beats Music membership required; they offer a free two-week trial.

Learn more about BELL WEATHER: A Novel (Henry Holt & Co., 2015)


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Siskel & Ebert Defend “The Empire Strikes Back”

Siskel & Ebert — their voices alone make me smell popcorn — cheerfully defend The Empire Strikes Back against an hysterically stodgy film critic. It’s great fun to watch. This 80s clip reminds me that Siskel & Ebert never turned into the old guard, in the negative sense, but remained lively throughout their careers. They didn’t slowly become this poor, bloodless fellow who recommends taking children to see Tender Mercies instead of Star Wars. They straight-up loved movies, and were smart enough to relax once in while and be dazzled.

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Song Bees

Bellweather REDO author sendSONG BEES

Bees that buzz individual melodies but harmonize as a hive.


Read more about BELL WEATHER: A Novel (Henry Holt & Co., 2015).


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