Can’t imagine what chance I really have here, against who-all I’m up against, but “Captain’s Lament” (from Clarkesworld) is shortlisted for a Black Quill over at Darkscribe. Register and vote? Not necessarily for me, but, y’know, for the best story. As for links for others :
New story up over there, “These Amber Waves of Grain”. Good company. I wrote it the same sitting almost with that “‘Tis the Season,” in Passages North. And with one I always forget to try to get published, about an archery accident / nipplebotomy (or, not -botomy, yeah, but I don’t know the right-sounding suffix for ‘amputation,’ though I suspect it’s ‘excision’-related, and it’s not only about that, but about a dog too, and a son, of course. A father. But aren’t they all).
Here. Keeping this so short so you can read him instead. It’s so good, so right.
I’d guess we’ve all got holes in our reading. Which I’m likely saying just to make myself feel better, yeah. Anyway, Faulkner, say. I’ve read maybe five of his novels? But I don’t feel bad about that either, because I was pretty bored about two novels in. And Hemingway, man. Only made it through two there, and wish I could scrub those out. And, probably only thinking this because I was at Powell’s last week. Both sad I hadn’t read a lot of the stuff and happy too, because I still had it to read. The best invention, I think, it’s going to be one that can burrow into our memories, erase certain books, just so we can read them again. I mean, to read Catch-22 for the first time again. Or The Crying of Lot 49. The Virgin Suicides. Love Medicine. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Deliverance. Ubik. It. I’d pay for that, yeah.
Links, that is:
— in the mail today, the French version of Native Storiers. Five stories from Bleed Into Me in it.
— the flyer for Wednesday in Portland. Which I really thought I’d linked already, but the world’s a confusing place . . .
Anyway, hopefully HEROES and TERMINATOR are both new tonight. Just bought another bike too. Becuase, yeah, that’s just what I need. Like this hasn’t already been a weekend of painkillers and muscle relaxers and whatever else I could find. [ just noticing, actually, that I guess the weekend’s over, been that way for a day or so. in defense, though, that/this was a very smeary day for me — the high point being THE ORPHANAGE, which is just so, so cool ]
The only connection there being that I’m writing about both of them now: hit RANT the other day, and, like SNUFF, I really dug it. I’m liking the direction he’s going lately. Anyway, I guess that’s the complete text of my review there, ‘I dug it,’ but, specifically, and all spoilerly, so watch out, he does a move in RANT which is just so, so slick. But again, don’t read this if you haven’t read RANT. Anyway, there’s this one part where Echo’s telling Rant’s story a bit, saying how Rant’s dad told him to specifically look for her, when it’s impossible either of them could, at the point, even know her, which already gets our narrative suspicions tingling, but then the immediate follow-up to that is somebody else, I forget who, but somebody close to her, he says not to believe a word she says. And that’s so, so wonderful, as it introduces an element of uncertainty into the story. The illusion so far’s been that all these voices speaking at once, there’s authority there, as they’re not conradicting each other. But now there’s this kind of internal conflict just in the storytelling. Which just amps everything up fastlike. But he’s not done yet, either: later in the story, the text ‘gains back’ its seemingly lost authority by using the very questionable science of (possibly real, possibly not) time travel to ‘allow’ what Echo had said to be true. It’s a very, very slick move. Only thing I’ve seen even somewhat close is in DAVE THE BARBARIAN, when Chuckles the Silly Piggy, tired of being foiled again and again, just kidnaps the show’s narrator, makes him narrate it such that Chuckles is finally on top.
Don’t know if everybody’s been keeping up, but over at Popmatters Marco Lanzagorta (of the never uncool “Dread Reckoning“) has been doing a Night of the Living Dead fortieth anniversay essay collection the last five days. Some ridiculously cool stuff, including a little intro from Romero. Anyway, got a piece up there today, as a Happy Halloween trick. Title / link: “The Kind of Murder Happy Characters We Have Here.” About, um, you guessed it: zombies. Too, the illustration they gave me’s so cool, so perfect. Would nab it, paste it up here, but you need to get yourself over to Popmatters, just see it all.
Which really isn’t that many, I know. I mean, I used to love cueing up the whole STAR TREK series, watching them back to back. Anyway, all over the spectrum here:
SYNECHDOCHE, NEW YORK. Free screening with Charlie Kaufman there for the Q&A. Which was great. Or, great if you like watching somebody writhe under a series of ridiculous questions. But he handles them well, seems like a good guy. And, as for SYNECHDOCHE, I don’t know. I mean, I was all over BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and ADAPTATION, and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND was fun, in that good HEAVEN CAN WAIT way. And this one, it has all the trappings, for sure — the intelligent kind of slapstick Kaufman’s known for — but . . . it’s kind of like if you give David Lynch just free rein to make a movie about making movies, you get something like INLAND EMPIRE. Which I thought was great, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been sold on Lynch for a long time now, so am maybe not the best critic. SYNECHDOCHE, though. For the first fifty minutes or so, it’s great, is all kinds of fun. Even though, sure, you can feel the narrative kind of holding its breath, getting ready to spool out into the comic unknown. But then the story, it starts getting just so nested. Which again, I mean, I worship at the PKD altar, I cut my teeth on Barth; nesting’s what it’s about. The problem here, though, I think it’s that we get that initial carpet pulled out from under our feet — whoah, this is all kind of a play? reflections of reflections etc? — but then the narrative stops escalating. Or, the development, it’s all horizontal. There’s no more carpet to deprive us of. The same way THE MATRIX blew us away, thereby kind of dooming the next two if they didn’t do the same thing, so the first half of SYNECHDOCHE sets the second up to fail. Not at all sad I went, though.
Texas Monthly‘s been doing this serial novel, TWIN WELLS. I’ve got chapter 11. Podcast too. Here. First line: “Baldwin wished he could have mustered a bit more surprise when the dead man rose from the road in the sheriff’s headlights.”
New interview up at Rain Taxi.
And a third link too: I’m on Facebook now, finally. Been getting the invites forever, never clicked all the way through until now. This could be the link. Maybe?