Thursday, September 30, 2004

H.P. Lovecraft biography returns to print

Necronomicon Press is reprinting S.T. Joshi's "H.P. Lovecraft: A Life." The book is being released on Oct. 1. This is supposed to be the definitive biography of Lovecraft. Copies of the original go for at least $100 and many times much more. And Joshi is the preeminent Lovecraft scholar. You can see some of his writing on his Web site and he is featured at the Lovecraft section of The Modern Word.
If you're interested in Lovecraft, get this book now, before it sells out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Anne Rice speaks

Several people have linked to this around the Internet so I feel I should march along. Anne Rice has apparently gotten fed up with Amazon reviewers and has written her own review of "Blood Canticle." She strikes back at her critics.

Getting really close to the subject matter is the achievement of only great art. Now, if it doesn't appeal to you, fine. You don't enjoy it? Read somebody else. But your stupid arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander. And you have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies. I'll never challenge your democratic freedom to do so, and yes, I'm answering you, but for what it's worth, be assured of the utter contempt I feel for you, especially those of you who post anonymously (and perhaps repeatedly?) and how glad I am that this book is the last one in a series that has invited your hateful and ugly responses.

But I leave it to readers to discover how this complex and intricate novel establishes itself within a unique, if not unrivalled series of book. There are things to be said. And there is pleasure to be had. And readers will say wonderful things about Blood Canticle and they already are. There are readers out there and plenty of them who cherish the individuality of each of the chronicles which you so flippantly condemn.

The review has a "real name" badge next to it, which means that if this isn't the real Anne Rice, it's somebody who has a credit card in her name (or access to her computer.)
You know, I kind of want to make fun of her for this, but I feel kind of sad. She's got tons of money and a rather rabid following. She's got (what appears to be) a happy family. (Well, her husband died recently, could that have anything to do with this?) Why get this upset over the crazies at Amazon? Does it really drive you that nuts that a few people make nasty comments about you?
I enjoyed the first few Vampire Chronicles novels, but haven't read them in years. If this is any indication where Rice's mind is at, I don't think I need to read any more anyway. (But one never knows, there are plenty of good writers who are neurotic, dysfunctional or just crazy.) Ah well, it's all kind of sad.
Looking at the negative reviews, there are a lot of them and many of them are by anonymous reviewers. But there's enough bad reviews from people who do leave their names that maybe Anne should realize, perhaps there is a problem with the book?

Undead salmon heart

Here's an item from a TV station. On a fishing expedition, producer cuts up a salmon. Later they find the fish heart on the bottom of the boat and still beating. There's a video of it beating at the site. Weird.

Resistance is futile

This essay compares the Borg's cube spaceship to the Christian conception of heaven as it is spelled out in Revelations. When we go to heaven, we will be Borg. You will be assimilated.
(Link via Website @ the End of the Universe)

Observations from the bottom of the page

I just noticed this blog: One Million Footnotes. The writer makes footnotes to nonexistent pages. Half of the entries come out like haikus, the other half as just interesting prose sentences. It's the kind of thing you check in on once a month or so, just because it's intriguing. The writer has gotten through 200 footnotes from May to today, how long will it be before he makes a million?
Apparently this person, Geoff Huth, is a crazed blogger, having eight blogs on blogspot alone. This one he apparently considers his home page.

The day the laughter stopped

One of the truly great blogs is leaving this sphere. The Minor Fall, The Major Lift was one of the first blogs I started reading. And he was probably the funniest on his best days. I'll miss him/her/it. For others in mourning, Sarah of Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind has set up a Requiem for a Blogger, where everyone can share their thoughts on TMF,TML's passing.
This might be even more sad if Ed Champion hadn't retracted his own retirement.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Looking toward NaNoWriMo

Wow, signups for NaNoWriMo are less than a month away. And I still haven't decided if I'll participate this year. I'm leaning toward "yes." Last year was a bit of a downer for me. About 2,000 words into the novel I was unhappy with it, but felt I had to press on. So I ended up writing a 40,000 word novel and 10,000 word afterword (which is perfectly acceptable by Nanowrimo rules) , which left me somewhat unfulfilled.
If I do it this year, I'm going to come up with something that's not going to end on Nov. 30. My last two novels are both sitting in files in my computer and paper in my closet. This year, there will be revisions, there will be something more. I want to get something more out of it, even if it's just some better revision skills.
Are there any readers participating this year? Any advice? Anyone want to comment on how ridiculous the whole thing is and how I'm wasting my time? Feel free, that's what the button below is for.

More Mieville

RevolutionSF interviews China Mieville.

To be prosaically specific for a minute, the Iraq war wasn't kicking off when I first started writing [Iron Council], so the Tesh War stuff wasn't intended as a direct parallel. But of course as it went on, inevitably that metaphorical element starting resonating, so it's not surprising that readers feel that's partly what's being talked about. But it's not 'really about' the Iraq War. If I want to talk about that, I'll just fucking talk about it. It is both something which has certain metaphorical resonances, and also something which is absolutely and literally true in the world of this story. Allegory would be to betray that literalised uncanny that the fantastic genres do so well.

The Mumpsimus's doings

Matthew Cheney, sometimes known as The Mumpsimus, has a review of Richard Butner's "Horses Blow Up Dog City & Other Stories" at SF Site. Also, the description of Cheney at the bottom of the review helped lead me to fiction by Cheney called Getting a Date for Amelia at in their 2001 issue. Unlike Cheney's story "Prague," which can be found in the archives of Ideomancer, this is a realistic story about a boy and his retarded sister, Amelia. I'd like to see Cheney do more fiction, it's no surprise he has a talent for it.

Heiress won't go away

Paris Hilton has been signed up to do a new movie version of "The Great Gatsby." Oh dear God, Hilton is Daisy Buchanan in real life, it doesn't mean she can act like, well anything. It looks like there has already been four movie versions of the book. I've never seen any of them, and I don't think I'm about to start now.

End of the Century

Johnny Ramone has died.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Comic books and Connecticut

I missed this event: Heroes, Heartthrobs & Horrors at the Connecticut Historical Society. It's a show detailing the important role my humble state played in the comic book industry. That Web site includes some interesting articles on censorship and the various companies that were headquartered in Connecticut.
I remember growing up that Charlton Comics was in Derby, just a town away from where I lived. If I had known then what I know now about Charlton (mind you, I was probably about 10 when they closed their comics shop) I would have visited and tried to see what went on there. It amazes me that Steve Ditko worked there, mere miles from me.
Anyway, the exhibit ended Sept. 7, though the Society hoped to have a travelling exhibit made out of it. No word on that though. In the meantime, Sequential Tart did a nice article on how it was all created.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Kelly Link interview

At Return of the Reluctant, Bondgirl interviews Kelly Link. It's a fun little interview and a good introduction to her if you don't know her work. Link's collection "Stranger Things Happen" is terrific. I've been taking my time getting through it, reading a story here and there, now and then. In the interview, Link says she will have a second collection out by next summer. It will include a story called "Some Zombie Contingency Plans." I can't wait to see her take on zombies. In the meantime there's this:

Gwenda: So, what’s your zombie contingency plan?

Kelly: In all situations, I like to ask myself: What would Jackie Chan do? Not because I have any sort of Jackie Chan skills, but because it's soothing to contemplate an imaginary Jackie Chan in imaginary action, kicking imaginary ass, zombie or otherwise. More usefully, what Jackie Chan does is improvise, using objects at hand. So we have a pantry with a lot of different kinds of jam, and some Lyle's Golden Syrup, as well as a lot of heavy, tall bookshelves, and several interesting fireworks, such as The Titanic, and The Naughty Elephant. There's also a lawnmower in the garage, and I've seen Peter Jackson's Dead Alive at least five or six times.

So although I'm not wedded to any kind of plan, I'm prepared to improvise ferociously.

Link and her husband, Gavin Grant, have also co-edited the fantasy half of the 17th annual Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, which is a terrific book and something everyone should be buying every year.
I got to say, I love this trend of bloggers interviewing writers. Maud Newton and The Mumpsimus have done a few as have others. It seems the latest evolution in lit blogs.

UPDATE: Bondgirl is having a "interviewapaschmooza." She has followed up her Link interview with an interview with Scott Westerfeld.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Cthulhu arises

SOTA, a toy maker, will be making an action figure of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu. There's more pictures here. It looks pretty good. It's nicely hideous, having lots of tentacles and weird protrusions and whatnot. Definitely something I'd like to get. They are also talking about doing two other Lovecraft figures, but haven't decided what. I'd love to see a Deep One figure and I like the idea of making an H.P. Lovecraft figure. We'll see.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Stupid reviewers

Jessa Crispin of Bookslut rips into a very stupid "review" of In the Shadow of No Towers. It's an entertaining read and she does a good job of pointing out how reading comics can be, and often is, a different experience from reading comics.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Mini-monster beached

A mini-Loch Ness monster has shown up on the shores of Parton, UK.

Another Parton resident told The Whitehaven News: “It seems to have a seal’s body, the tail of a whale, fins on top and sides, but also claws and really sharp teeth.”

There's a picture at the site that gives an idea of what this thing looks like, and its size, but not a lot of detail. I'll bet you it turns out to be a bloated fish. But here's hoping it's not.
Link found at Professor Hex.

China Mieville, "An End to Hunger"

The Register publishes a China Mieville story for everyone to read. It's called "An End to Hunger" and it comes from the book The New English Library Book of Internet Stories.
The story is based around Web sites like this one that offer seemingly easy ways to help feed the poor. In the story, the characters find out there's a little more behind the Web site than a few liberal do-gooders.
The story is slight. It's a chance for Mieville to make a few political points while using a pulp horror narrative. It's an enjoyable story, even if doesn't rank with Mieville stories like "The Tain" or "Details."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Zoran Zivkovic and an apology

Hello poor, beleaguered readers. I'm sorry I have left you bereft of postings for so long. In the coming weeks, I hope to change that. That is, if anyone still cares that I'm out here. We'll see.
I just read an interview with Zoran Zivkovic, the Yugoslavian writer, at Strange Horizons. Zivkovic is very interesting writer. I read The Library which was published as part of Leviathan 3. It's a great fantasy work filled with every permutation of the library. Well worth checking out. Actually, Leviathan 3 is an excellent, excellent anthology and will reward your time. I've already pre-ordered the next in the series, Leviathan 4, and I am looking forward to reading Leviathan 2, which I got from Night Shade Books recently.
Well, that's it for now. Hopefully, I'll have more to say in the coming days and weeks.