I’m very pleased that my short story “Hungry” (which originally appeared at Daily Science Fiction and which I wrote about on the blog here) has been reprinted in Heiresses of Russ 2014: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction from Lethe Press (Amazon link). Many thanks to editors Melissa Scott and Steve Berman for including my story in this great anthology!
“That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coalbins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.” ~Ray Bradbury, The October Country
We’ve almost made it through October Country ourselves, and me with very little to show for it. As regular readers will have surmised, the blog has been on an extended hiatus because of technical difficulties, which persist, and so the hiatus must continue for the foreseeable future. Of late, the job has eaten ravenously all my energy and free time, but I am ripping my way free for a Hallowe’en blog post, a small offering that will in no way tide any of us over.
I’ve been giving books at Hallowe’en to my nieces and nephews since they were babies and to some other young (and somewhat less young) folk for years, but I like that there’s an “official” tradition in place. As has been my habit since the tradition’s inception, here are some of my recommendations for books to give:
We’ll start with the newest Gaiman novel, with which, in case you’ve forgotten, I am quite deeply in love: The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Many things I liked about this book, but Gaiman wrote some moments that genuinely creeped me out, which is no easy thing to do. The story is a mix of genres: fairy tale and terror tale, an end-of-childhood tale and a memory tale.
My second recommendation I’ve written about before, too: In Search Of and Others, a short-story collection by the inimitable Will Ludwigsen. Unsettling and often heart-wrenching, Will’s stories will draw you in with their sublime prose as well as the masterful sense of unease. You’ll want for nothing weirder than this collection. If you don’t believe me, believe this starred review from Kirkus: ”Ludwigsen’s well-wrought, entertaining tales feel like a mashup of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, and his evocative, whip-smart prose steeps readers in a realism that’s mordantly funny and matter-of-fact but glimmering with whimsy and horror that leaks around the edges.”
For one day in rural central Wisconsin, the dead came back to life. Now it’s up to Officer Dana Cypress to deal with the media scrutiny, religious zealots, and government quarantine that has come with them. In a town where the living have to learn to deal with those who are supposed to be dead, Officer Cypress must solve a brutal murder, and everyone, alive or undead, is a suspect.
The visuals get graphic, sure, but the story and the characters are what compel me to keep reading. Seeley and Norton talk about Revival in this interview at the TFAW blog.
One of my favorite films is The Reflecting Skin (1990), written and directed by Philip Ridley and starring Viggo Mortensen and Lindsay Duncan. I’ve waited for years and years for it to come out on DVD, but the one available is a fairly poor full-screen transfer (an Italian and a German Blu-ray exist, but I don’t know anything about them; TRS is also available on the DVD 8-Film Contemporary Cult Classics, but I haven’t watched it yet to see if the transfer is better). Many disturbing things happen in the story, but the visuals are gorgeous.
♦ TURN THE PAGE.
If Hallowe’en wasn’t cause enough for celebration, then a new comic from Emily Carroll certainly is! I swear I was so happy when I saw in my Feedly that Out of Skin existed I almost passed out. Delightfully disturbing and unsettling. I like very much.
Taisia Kitaiskaia’s Ask Baba Yaga at The Hairpin remains one of my most favorite things on the internet. The one below hit home, but beneath that you’ll find links to other recent Ask Baba Yaga posts (and here’s a compilation if you want to eat them all).
In the interactive installation “What Will You Leave Behind?” by Nino Sarabutra, visitors are invited to walk on 100,000 miniature porcelain skulls that cover the floor of a gallery. Sarabutra enlisted a range of people, from relatives to students, to help make the skulls—she asked all of them to contemplate their lives as they worked.
Alas, my technical troubles are not over. Last week my internet access at home went out again (I had pre-published Friday’s post), and, after two hours with a great AT&T customer service rep on Saturday, it was working again. Then on Monday (yesterday) I couldn’t access the internet again. I did manage to get this week’s Video Friday post loaded and ready to go on Sunday, but I have no idea what’s causing the problems at home, nor does AT&T seem to know, despite the thoroughness of the three customer service reps I’ve spoken with in the last two weeks. Here’s hoping longer-lasting resolutions to the problem are on the horizon. Don’t give up on me quite yet, dear readers!
Beyond is a short film written and directed by Raphael Rogers (starring Bianca Malinowski) that has me intrigued—I hope Rogers continues the story.
Arya is the last remaining member of her family, a lineage with a unique genetic code that grants the ability to survive the folding of temporal and spatial boundaries…. In short, she can teleport. Tasked with exploring new planets, she is in search of something that will explain who exactly she is and where she comes from.
Be sure to watch to the very end of the film, beyond the credits.
"How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, trans. M.D. Herter Norton