Shimmer #19 is out tomorrow (1 May 2014), featuring a new story by me: “The Earth & Everything Under,” which contains everything you would expect, that is to say, birds and witchcraft. You can see a preview of it, including gorgeous cover art for my story, here!
Stay tuned for more news this summer…
Hello, neglected blogosphere. This is a note to let you guys know that my story “The Bird Country” (which originally appeared in Shimmer Issue 15, and can still be read at the Shimmer website here) is going to be appearing in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013, edited by Paula Guran.
“The Bird Country” is actually an older story of mine, which I began while I was studying fiction with Scott Snyder, who at that time had not yet become King of All the Comics. I’m using that piece of information as a tenuous link to a discussion of comics, which keep me sane as I plow the icy waves of a Midwestern winter. In terms of comics, here is a thing I like: YOUNG AVENGERS, Y’ALL. New Young Avengers! Young Avengers with Kid Loki! I’m so excited about this title.
But here is a thing I do not like in terms of comics: many of the quotes in this article. I actually think that the series in question sounds like fun idea, but: “Women for good reason don’t feel particularly engaged in the superhero genre.” O RLY? “If someone like me feels uncomfortable walking into a comic shop, it’s no wonder most teenage girls and adult women wouldn’t set foot inside one.” It’s true that I actively avoid comic shops, but this is because I am generally treated as an alien by the staff. (It’s a girl! What does she want? She must need help. I bet she’s lost.) This doesn’t prevent me from buying a bunch of comics (digitally, used, or– mostly– in trades); I have issues with the representation of women in some of them, but the books themselves do not comprise the culture that’s off-putting to me.
I’ve recently been reminded of just how obnoxious the comics world can be for women. This is a phenomenon that always surprises me, since I have a massive love for superhero comic books. The biggest part of it seems to be an attitude that’s not really misogyny, but rather its cousin: a failure to consider women as fully human. It’s not hatred, but really a kind of condescension. Women, to men with worldviews like this, fall somewhere on a scale between children and pets. All right, perhaps robots: they’re not animals, they’re fully sentient beings, but they just don’t quite come up to the standard of human. So they have to be patted on the head and spoken to very simply. This attitude is why I avoid, for the most part, comics culture. I would end up leading a robot revolution if I had to deal with these things.
Here endeth my thoughts. Except: watch Person of Interest! It’s a weird show that entertains me.
And keep an eye out for The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror. It too will be entertaining.
I’m very excited to report that Rich Horton has selected “The Keats Variation” (which appeared in Strange Horizons) for inclusion in his Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2013 Edition. The preliminary Table of Contents is here, and I’m finding it pretty cool to see my name listed amongst those of so many people I admire!
Another update, this one for those of you in the Columbus or generally Midwestern area: I’ll be reading February 7th as part of the Ohio State MFA Faculty/Student reading series. The reading is going to be at Ohio State’s Thompson Library; more details are here.
I’m pleased to note that “The Keats Variation,” which appeared in Strange Horizons this past year, is going to be included in the forthcoming Wilde Stories 2013. It’s also flattering to see that Rich Horton listed it as one of his favorite stories in Strange Horizons this year. (Thanks to Steve Berman for the tip!)
I shall now return to my regularly scheduled merrymaking…
I am really bad about keeping up with this blog. And with correspondence. I apologize to all!
Recent stories available online:
“The Keats Variation,” graciously made available in two chunky parts by Strange Horizons
“The Bird Country,” posted by the will of the kind readers of Shimmer.
Thanks to all who have continued to support the strangeness!
Ellen Datlow has posted her full list of Honorable Mentions for 2011’s Best Horror of the Year, and I’m very pleased to learn that both “Bullet Oracle Instinct” (Shimmer #13) and “The House of Rejoicing” (Not One of Us #46) are included.
More news forthcoming! Stay tuned!
“Thou Earth, Thou,” which first appeared in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #27, has been selected for inclusion in Wilde Stories 2012: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction, now available for preorder at Amazon.
In other news, I’m currently devoting most of my waking brainpower (the part that’s not devoted to Tumblr or to for some reason understanding the Riemann hypothesis– the size of those other parts are roughly the same–) to writing a screenplay. It features magical noir detectives. Sort of. Oh, the joys of writing a screenplay. Sadly, however, writing a screenplay rather ruins a lot of television for you, because you’re sitting there thinking, “That’s a rather strange interposition of an establishing shot,” or, more often, “That’s nonsense. I could have explained that in a better way.”
I’m pleased to announce that a story of mine, “Wellspring,” has been selected for inclusion in the 2012 Masters Review. That is quite a Mainstream Literary publication! Have no fear, though; the story itself is still speculative fiction of the strangest kind. The ghost of Robert Aickman remains ever at my shoulder and in my, as the Anglo-Saxons might say it, heart-mind. (Or mind-mind. The Anglo-Saxons had complicated ideas about heart-mind interrelations.)
It has been a long time since I last posted here, dear few-and-far-between readers! I’m not really sure what to do with a blog, to tell the truth. I’m not really a blogging type of person.
But now you know the latest news.
You can now read “Seven Spells to Sever the Heart” at Fantasy Magazine, here.
In other news, here is a thing that, even when life is tedious, is good: re-watching all the Vislor Turlough episodes of Doctor Who. Here are some things that are in those episodes: (1) bondage space pirates, (2) bird-hatted old men, (3) Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, (4) the Fifth Doctor. And did I mention the bondage space pirates? They throw an Edwardian dinner party. I’m into it.
Oh, yeah, also Fantasy Magazine did a profile of me. That’s here. I don’t talk about bondage space pirates. I talk about Wittgenstein and other high-minded things.
The November issue of Fantasy Magazine is now on sale at their website! My story will be available to read next week, along with a characteristically peculiar interview with me. (Characteristic of myself, not of the magazine.)
Last week I went to a wonderful concert by the early music ensembles Dialogos and Sequentia. As I’m interested in early music, it was an enjoyable evening, marred only by two things: an atrocious cell phone ringing while Benjamin Bagby accompanied himself on the Germanic harp in a lament for Charlemagne, and the fact that one of the musicians bore a marked resemblance to Julian Assange– leading me to repeatedly imagine Julian Assange singing in a vocal ensemble, an idea so inexplicably hilarious to me that I had to keep biting my lip so I wouldn’t laugh out loud. It seems a possibility– Julian Assange in a vocal ensemble, I mean. The magic of the English countryside is strong, old, and full of whimsy. Maybe Assange will become an Ellingham Hall fixture, engaging in Morris dancing and attending the occasional local fete.