Saturday, August 29, 2009

for archiving and propaganda purposes

  • 14:09 did I mention I got held up by pirates? no better reason to be late to work, really. #
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

for archiving and propaganda purposes

  • 18:04 Churchill was not refering to this black dog - - he'd have been a happier man if he was. #
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

for archiving and propaganda purposes

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Saturday, August 22, 2009


Last Drink Bird Head

The insane kids at over at VanderMeer Industries have put together an anthology of flash fiction, with all proceeds going to charity. Contributor list as follows:

Daniel Abraham
Michael Arnzen
Steve Aylett
KJ Bishop
Michael Bishop
Desirina Boskovich
Keith Brooke
Jesse Bullington
Richard Butner
Catherine Cheek
Matthew Cheney
Michael Cisco
Gio Clairval
Alan M. Clark
Brendan Connell
Paul Di Filippo
Stephen R. Donaldson
Rikki Ducornet
Clare Dudman
Alistair Duncan
Scott Eagle
Brian Evenson
Eliot Fintushel
Jeffrey Ford
Richard Gehr
Felix Gilman
Jon Courtney Grimwood
Rhys Hughes
Paul Jessup
Antony Johnston
John Kaiine
Henry Kaiser
Caitlin R. Kiernan
Tessa Kum
Ellen Kushner
Jay Lake
Tanith Lee
Stina Leicht
Therese Littleton
Beth Adele Long
Dustin Long
Nick Mamatas
JM McDermott
Sarah Monette
Kari O’Connor
Ben Peek
Holly Phillips
Louis Phillips
Tim Pratt
Cat Rambo
Mark Rich
Bruce Holland Rogers
Nicholas Royle
G Eric Schaller
Ekaterina Sedia
Ramsey Shehadeh
Peter Straub
Victoria Strauss
Michael Swanwick
Mark Swartz
Alan Swirsky
Rachel Swirsky
Sonya Taaffe
Justin Taylor
Steve Rasnic Tem
Jeffrey Thomas
Scott Thomas
John Urbancik
Genevieve Valentine
Kim Westwood
Leslie What
Andrew Steiger White
Conrad Williams
Liz Williams
Neil Williamson
Caleb Wilson
Gene Wolfe
Jonathan Wood
Marly Youmans
Catherine Zeidler

It's been so long I couldn't remember what I'd written. Proofing the story was pretty much a fresh reading. It contains ninja. Which, you know, didn't really surprise me.

I'm tempted to point out names in that list, and have a sad little tizzy about sharing a ToC with them, but there are just! too! many! I skimmed the other stories. It is indeed a strange and wonderful collection. (DUDE. HOLY CRAP. I HAVE TOTALLY SNUCK ON TO THE GROWN UP'S TABLE. BOOYAH.)

It will be launched at the World Fantasy Convention this Halloween.

Best American Fantasy

The Best American Fantasy series has undergone a series of important changes, starting with the publisher. Underland Press has acquired the Best American Fantasy series, and will publish the third volume, “Real Unreal,” in January of 2010. BAF4, tentatively titled “Imaginary Borders,” will appear in March 2011. BAF3 contains work by, among others, Stephen King, Lisa Goldstein, Peter S. Beagle, and John Kessel, as chosen by guest editor Kevin Brockmeier with assistance from series editor Matthew Cheney. The full table of contents is reproduced below. The cover of BAF3 was designed by John Coulthart.

The guest editors for volumes 4 through 6 will be: Minister Faust, Junot Diaz, and Catherynne M. Valente. Each of these critically acclaimed writers will bring excellence and expertise to the position. BAF4 will include work published in 2010, as the series skips a year to accommodate the time needed for the change in publisher and general reorganization.

“Victoria Blake at Underland has worked hard to create the perfect home for this unique series,” BAF co-founder Jeff VanderMeer said, “and the guest editors we’ve put in place reflect an exciting diversity of opinions about and approaches to fiction. Each will bring their own spin to the volume they edit, and that’s going to be great in terms of keeping the series vital and relevant.”

Starting with BAF4, the series will consider stories published in English in Latin American publications, as well as translations of Latin American writers into English in North American publications. In short, any story published in English in a Latin American or North American publication or website, and written by a Latin American or North American resident, is eligible for inclusion in BAF. (As and when possible, and keeping in mind constraints such as expense and a need for additional personnel, the Best American Fantasy series eventually hopes to consider material published in Spanish and Portuguese.)

A series of staffing changes have also occurred. Matthew Cheney, who has done wonderful work on the first three volumes, will be stepping down as series editor due to other demands on his time. Co-founders Ann and Jeff VanderMeer will perform the role of series editor going forward, while Cheney remains in an advisory position. Former first readers Clayton Kroh and Tessa Kum will serve as assistant editors for BAF beginning with volume 4. Fábio Fernandes and Larry Nolen have been added in an editorial capacity, especially as regards the Latin American publishing community. Further staff additions will occur over the next year as necessary.

Guidelines for BAF4 will be made available by January of 2010. Any publications sent to Matthew Cheney will be forwarded to the VanderMeers. Publications should not be sent to the guest editors at this time. Please address queries to bestamericanfantasy at or POB 4248, Tallahassee, FL 32315. The BAF website will be updated with all of this information shortly. Bookmark the BAF site and BAF blog for future updates.


Guest Editor Kevin Brockmeier, Series Editor Matthew Cheney

“Safe Passage” by Ramona Ausubel (One Story, Issue 106)

“Uncle Chaim, Aunt Rifke, and the Angel” by Peter S. Beagle (Strange Roads)

“Cardiology” by Ryan Boudinot (Five Chapters, 2008)

“The Pentecostal Home for Flying Children” by Will Clarke (The Oxford American, Issue 61)

“For a Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing” by Martin Cozza (Pindeldyboz, July 6 2008)

“Daltharee” by Jeffrey Ford (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

“Is” by Chris Gavaler (New England Review, Volume 39, Number 2)

“The Torturer’s Wife” by Thomas Glave (The Kenyon Review, Fall 2008)

“Reader’s Guide” by Lisa Goldstein (F&SF, July 2008)

“Search Continues for Elderly Man” by Laura Kasischke (F&SF, September 2008)

“Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF, January 2008)

“The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates” by Stephen King (F&SF, October/November 2008)

“Couple of Lovers on a Red Background” by Rebecca Makkai (Brilliant Corners, Summer 2008)

“Flying and Falling” by Kuzhali Manickavel (Shimmer, The Art Issue 2008)

“The King of the Djinn” by David Ackert & Benjamin Rosenbaum (Realms of Fantasy, February 2008)

“The City and the Moon” by Deborah Schwartz (The Kenyon Review, Spring 2008)

“The Two-Headed Girl” by Paul Tremblay (Five Chapters, 2008)

“The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death” by Shawn Vestal (Tin House 34)

“Rabbit Catcher of Kingdom Come” by Kellie Wells (Fairy Tale Review, The White Issue)

“Serials” by Katie Williams (American Short Fiction, Summer/Fall 2008)


The editors would like to call special attention to the following stories published in 2008:

“Run! Run!” by Jim Aikin
Fantasy & Science Fiction, September

“The Lagerstatte” by Laird Barron
The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow

“Within the City of the Swan” by Aliette de Bodard
Shimmer, The Art Issue 2008

“What the Redmond Men Found” by Matthew David Brozik
Zahir, Summer 2008

“The Loa and the Gaping Jaw” by Brendan Byrne
Flurb, a Webzine of Astonishing Tales, Fall-Winter 2008

“Jimmy” by Pat Cadigan
The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow

“Poor Little Egg-Boy Hatched in a Shul” by Nathan Englander
McSweeney’s, Issue 28

“Drone” by Gemma Files
Not One of Us, Issue 39

“All the Little Gods We Are” by John Grant
Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, edited by Mike Allen

“The Difficulties of Evolution” by Karen Heuler
Weird Tales, July/Aug 2008

“The Hand of the Devil on a String” by M. K. Hobson
Shimmer, Spring 2008

“The Last Dead” by Drew Johnson
Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 2008

“Far and Wee” by Kathe Koja
Weird Tales, November/December 2008

“Litany” by Rand B. Lee
Fantasy & Science Fiction, June 2008

“We Love Deena” by Alice Sola Kim
Strange Horizons, February 11, 2008

“But Wait! There’s More!” by Richard Mueller
Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 2008

“The Glazers” by Joyce Carol Oates
American Short Fiction, Winter/Spring 2008

“On the Banks of the River of Heaven” by Richard Parks
Realms of Fantasy, April 2008

“The Joined” by Helen Phillips
Mississippi Review, Spring 2008

“The Small Door” by Holly Phillips
Fantasy Magazine, May 19, 2008

“Creature” by Ramsey Shehadeh
Weird Tales, March/April 2008

“Detours on the Way to Nothing” by Rachel Swirsky
Weird Tales, March/April 2008

“The Body Autumnal” by Lisa Wells
Ecotone, Spring 2008

“A Different Country” by Wayne Wightman
Fantasy & Science Fiction, December 2008

“Two Tales” by Imants Zicdonis
Fairy Tale Review, White Issue

sometimes even the right is wrong

I had intended to blog more after passing that enormous deadline (and by 'passing' I mean exactly like kidney stones), but the story came back. A couple of times. And the Baggage story was waiting for final edits too. And I have to write story notes to go with it. And I have the damn lurgy.

And I just...don'

That's a blanket Do Not Want. I don't want to write emails, book reviews, blog posts, comments, To Do Lists. My output is not infinite, and right now, my brain is standing in front of a fridge containing a dried up piece of ginger and some moldy hummus and saying, "Dude, seriously, you need to go stock up."

Once the Baggage story and Kidney Stone story are laid to rest, I'll have a lot more time and headspace, and I intend to do a whole lot of not much with either. In the last week Doubt and Paranoia, my dear long-time friends, have come back to visit, which means I've passed the point of being merely tired and under pressure, and have now run out of mental defences against the world at large. I'm not cool with that. Not at all. Gotta shore up the fortress walls. Gotta stake out some territory. Gotta find some silence.

Poor neglected blog. You got food comin' too ya. I still have most of a year of book write ups to do, MIFF and a couple of gig reports, and the rest of my Japan trip to put up. Just. You know. Later.

Hope you strange funny people are staying warm out there in Internetland.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

when you start the war, use arrows, spears, and swords grenades and cricket bats


Weird Tales won the Hugo, and there was much rejoicing! The magazine remains a fantastic piece of reading, each issue consistently surprising and brilliant in all it has to offer. Stephen H. Segal and Ann VanderMeer make for excellent skippers, and recognition of their excellence is far overdue. Huzzah!

Because they're so excellent they broke the excellence benchmark and have rocketed on through to being FUCKIN' OARSUM, our skippers are up for the World Fantasy Awards as well. Phwoar!

If I hang around them long enough, think some of the awesome will rub off?

My Name In Lights!

Gillian Polack announced the table of contents for Baggage, cut 'n paste below;

Deborah Biancotti
KJ Bishop
Simon Brown
Monica Carroll
Jack Dann
Jennifer Fallon
Laura Goodin
Y Green
Tessa Kum
Maxine McArthur
Lucy Sussex
Kaaron Warren
Janeen Webb

My emo-victim-poor-meeeeeee-waaaaaaaaah-oh-dear-lord-this-story-is-going-to-kill-me is among some fine company there. I expect it to totally lack manners and grace and embarrass the shit out of me.


I figure, if you're going to set fire to Rome, you might as well do it properly. By 'Rome', I do of course mean my life, my social life, my health, my sleep, my flat, my absolutely everything. And by 'fire', I mean 'pull an asteroid from the sky'.

Things I have never done;
  1. Collaborated on a story.
  2. Written in a shared franchise world.
  3. Gone from conception to final draft in one (1) month.

Things I just did;


Which is why I haven't been posting. Or responding to my email. Or answering my phone. Or anything.

This is probably going to remain, for a long time, one of the stupidest things I have ever done. I knew it was going to be insane and intense when I agreed to it, though, and let's be honest, that is 100% of the reason I said yes when the suggestion was put to me.

It wasn't without cost. I've been spending 12-15 hour days at work, staying back after my normal day in order to write, because my flat was too cold to do so. My back hates me. My knuckles, fingers, hands, wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders and neck all hate me. My eyes hate me. I've been living on painkillers for a bit over a week now. I didn't do the dishes for two weeks and my flat stank. I didn't do any washing and rocked up to work very underdressed and got in trouble. I ran out of food because I didn't do the shopping. I've neglected my friends and my family (which is probably for the best, because if I'd actually exposed myself to any of them their might have been no survivors). I have lost my ability to sleep entirely, my brain has been so intensely focused and processing. I'm exhausted to the point I just about threw up a cup of tea yesterday, and then I stay up till three in the morning working some more. And then I go to work. And then I do it again.

I wrote a 15k first draft in 7 days, which is pretty impressive.

Then I wrote a 25k draft in two days.

I am an incoherent gibbering mess, and so is my poor long suffering infinitely patient partner in crime. When I got up this morning, and checked my email to find a note stating the story had been submitted, I burst into tears. I'll post the details later, when things are confirmed one way or another.

I'm still young enough and dumb enough to try and prove a point, and the point is well proved now;




Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sniff Mah Pillow

I made vegetable soup yesterday. My arms and wrists are right buggered from all the chopping and stirring, and my flat smells like soup. My whole flat. Everything. I went to bed last night and mmmm, yes indeedy, my pillow smelt like soup.

If this isn't a compelling argument to never cook again, I don't know what is.

The smell is still hanging around. Possibly if it was, I don't know, something with a tomato base, I wouldn't find having hair that smells like lunch so off putting. But vegetable soup only smells good when it's hot and you're hanging over the bowl. Old, cold, stale vegetable soup is unattractive, to say the least.

My only course of action is to cook bacon.

I'm not even hungry, but dammit, there will be bacon.

Tilt Shift

I've spent the last seven months looking at cloud patterns, stars, sun sets, birds, wind, rainbows, sunshine and all the marvelous wondrous things in the sky. I've been so distracted that I forgot I was standing on the edge of a cliff.

Suddenly, all I can see is the abyss opening up below me.

Nothing has changed. I have not moved. The hole has always been there.

When enough time passes, I will remember that nothing has changed, I have not moved, the sky has always been there.