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Cream of the Cool

Also known as the cocked hat, the tricorn is a style of hat popular in Europe during the late 17th and 18th centuries, falling out of fashion by 1800.

Spanish soldiers in Flanders originally wore a wide-brimmed circular hat with a flexible brim that could be folded upward and 'pledged' to the crown of the hat. Individual soldiers could modify their hats in this way, and the style of pledging the brim upward in three…

They burn coldly out here, beyond the last light of civilization, far from the small dome that shudders in the sandstorms that come up every seven days. You mark time in the sweeping of grains against polycarbon, the slow erosion of the passing murmurs. Once, the clocks ran, but unsynced from the dying satellite high above, you only mark time in sevens. Seven Earth days to each sandstorm, seven months since the last of the team vanished off over the horizon to repair the transmit tower at Alpha…


Ono no Komachi (834?-900?) was a celebrated female poet in the early part of Japan's Heian Period (794-1085). Remembered as one of the Rokkasen - the six greatest poets of the early Heian - and as one of the Sanjūrokkasen - the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals of Japan's classical age, Komachi remains one of the most famous and beloved poets in all of Japanese history. She was also a legendary beauty, and to this day her name,

“For readers weary of literary fiction that dutifully obeys the laws of nature, here’s a story that stirs the Brothers Grimm and Salvador Dali with its claws.... as gorgeous as it is devastating.”
The Washington Post

In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, by Matt Bell
Soho Press, 2013
ISBN-10: 1616953721
ISBN-13: 978-1616953720

I’ll admit it. When I look for a novel