I read some of Sam Weller's Ray Bradbury biography (2006) (Sam gave me a copy at Necronomicon 2018), which, like the harlan bio, just makes me sort of oddly sad. I can't help but feel like I was meant to be a mid-20th Century author. Tales of Pain and Wonder (2000), that was sorta my obituary to the century that was, in all way, my century. If only I had been born in, say, 1920, instead of 1964. Of course, then I would not have had the perspective that I had. Someone had to be there to mourn, I just wish it hadn't needed to be me.
I want to post a sort of definitive list of the authors who shaped my own writing. They are all, to a man, to a woman, 20th Century. Marl Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves (technically 1999) and Jeff VanderMeer's recent work (The Southern Reach Trilogy and everything thereafter) are sort of the only exceptions, and they are really too late for me to cite them as influences. It's more like I cite them as, man, I wish I'd written that. I'll think about a list and maybe post of tomorrow or Thursday. It is largely male. It is all white. It's predominately heterosexual, entirely cisgender. chiefly American, with a little British and Irish. That will annoy some folks, but I am what I am, and pretending to be something else would be a lie. And those are bad, right? Well, except you should keep in mind that the Lie, like the Truth, is the stock and trade of fiction writers.
If anyone ever sees fit to write my biography about me – and I hope I have long shuffled off this mortal husk if they do – it's gonna be a strange, strange book. I have been too many people in my time, some of whom never really existed outside my mind.
Yesterday, I finally took apart the shitty office chair I replaced a couple of months ago. It wasn't even all that old, but it was a fine example of Chinese manufacturing, and...well. Yeah. Held together with a lots of duct tape. American-made duct tape. I got it sometime in the late spring or early summer of 2016. I saved a handful of bolts and stuff, as I did with the chair before it, and those will become part of my archives at the John Hay Library (Brown University). By the way, my fingers are not really so freakishly shaped. as the recent Carter/Biden photos taught us (those of us who did not already know), cameras are liars, just like writers.