I keep forgetting to update my website! BAD WRITER, BAD.
A short list of things that are going on or have gone on or are about to go on:
1. I now have four copies of my favourite book. How did this happen? I’ve got no self-control is how it happened. There’s the original horribly battered paperback that I bought in a used bookstore sometime around 1998, which is coming apart at the seams and was intended, I said a while ago, to be turned into book art. A wreath or paper flowers or a papier-mache replica of Sean Connery’s head or something (Copy 1). I bought a nice new copy to replace it, which was so nice and new that unfortunately I never opened it for fear of sullying it with my horrible fingers (Copy 2). It came on sale on Amazon for $2 so I bought it for my Kindle (Copy 3) but to my enormous, theatrical, unexaggerated shock, it turned out to be different from the original text, despite claiming to be the same translation. I hadn’t realized I’d committed so much of the book to memory till I ran across the first line that was different, shrieked, and tried to throw my phone across the room. Then I thought: OH DEAR GOD, WHAT IF THE NICE NEW COPY IS ALSO THIS VERSION? THIS VERSION THAT IS DIFFERENT? THIS VERSION THAT IS BAD?!?! And then last week when I was at the used bookstore I found a copy that was the same as Copy 1, but with a different cover; however, inside, it was all the same, same font, same translation, everything (Copy 4). So when Copy 1 eventually falls apart, I’ve got a backup. I’m thinking another copy will probably be needed soon though, because Copy 2 and Copy 3 are STRAIGHT-UP SATAN.
2. Brain problems? Me? Ha ha ha, perish the thought.
3. MY OTHER NEW FAVOURITE THING: Pseudopod accepted my story ‘Four Hours of a Revolution’ – written last October, accepted in April, released in August, it seems already peculiarly, insultingly out of date for what the world has become. Last October, before The Incident, it seemed clear that it was set in an impossible, dystopian world, a world in which all the great disasters had overcome our little band of heroes. This August, it seems boringly contemporary. It could be set a week from now. I am confused at how this happened – not at fiction, but at the world itself. But I love this story, I’m painfully proud of it, and might write more about it later. For now, go listen to the buttery man-vocals of the Angel of Death, and participate in the forum! Also update: It also got a shout-out on Maria Haskins’ roundup of 20 Splendiferous Short Stories from August! Pretty proud of that. Maria reads a bollocks-ton (forty-five imperial scrote-tons) of short fiction, so I trust her taste more than I would that of someone who reads a couple of stories a week (or month, like me). (Which is to say: no, I still cannot accurately assess the quality of my short fiction and am always amazed when I receive an acceptance.)
4. BEHOLD THE EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL COVER OF AN UPCOMING MYTHIC DELIRIUM WHICH CONTAINS ME, art by Lasse Paldanius!
They accepted my Olympic-themed story ‘The Water and the World,’ which I admit I had completely forgotten about. One of those things where the previous venue had it for like six months and then when I got it back I submitted it to one more place and immediately erased from my brain. Anyway, it’s a charming little mythos story that doesn’t, initially, seem like a mythos story; it’s about what it means to be not just good at something but the best, and what it means to be not the best but to only be a witness to the best, and then to wonder what else your duties might be, as just a witness.
5. THE FIRST OF TWO LOVECRAFT ANTHOLOGIES! Yes, this might be a repeat, but I’m in ‘Ride the Star Wind’ with my story ‘Fortunato,’ which contains a) space marines, b) bad decisions, c) some light cannibalism, and d) quite a lot of yelling. A very Premicular story, I should think. Unfortunately, this also resulted with me falling in love with the main character, Frank Rossi, and her little squad of ne’er-do-well (i.e. n00b) space marines, and am already scheming as to where she can appear again. (This was also the story I was complaining about on Twitter where I didn’t realize I’d stolen the name of the story from the name of an Edgar Allen Poe character. Seems to have worked out in the end though.) I have some thoughts on colonisation and imperialism in this story and I hope to write a bit about that in a later blog post.
6. THE SECOND OF TWO LOVECRAFT ANTHOLOGIES! My beloved, creepy-kid-and-possession story ‘The Evaluator’ is out in ‘A Breath from the Sky,’ which I’ve talked about before. Both anthologies launched at the NecronomiCon in Rhode Island last week, and while I couldn’t be there, I can’t wait for people to read both books! There is…less cannibalism in this one, but everybody’s still got issues. Some of the players are already popping up of their own volition in other stories, as is the unnamed company for whom The Evaluator himself works. This doesn’t happen often, so I’m giving it a decent amount of side-eye. It feels like writing fanfiction of my own stuff.
7. Question: Is a sequel basically fanfiction of the first book. Discuss.
8. Upper Rubber Boot books accepted my story ‘Below the Kirk, Below the Hill’ for their upcoming Broad Knowledge anthology! Man, this was a weird one for me – I’m terribly pleased that they liked it. There’s a mother-figure, which doesn’t often happen; there’s a child-figure. There’s a lighthouse that is reluctantly manned, and gods that are reluctantly worshipped. Everyone in the story wants to be somewhere else and they cannot be. They are tied to the place and to each other and to their duties, and to break free is almost too big and scary a thought to consider, let alone implement. And yet implement it they must. Escape becomes a duty in and of itself. I’m haunted a little by this story; I wonder whether, if it had been set in the prairies, it would Strongly Resemble Anyone I Know
9. Is that it? I think that might be it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things though. Next update, hopefully: story notes, thoughts on auditory processing problems, and anything else that’s upcoming! (I’ve had thirteen story acceptances this year, which seems like both a miracle and EXTREMELY BAD LUCK. I hope I get one more, to clear that number off the slate.)