There's a nice review of To Charles Fort, With Love in Booklist:
Now largely forgotten, except as inspiration for the title of the glossy monthly, Fortean Times, Charles Fort (1874-1932) was an ardent skeptic who devoted himself to studying paranormal phenomena and eventually publishing his findings as The Book of the Damned (1919). In homage to him, Kiernan's third story collection presents 13 explorations of the less-reputable fringes of science. More than a few focus on anomalies that have mirror images in the real world. In one story, paleontologists discover on an Irish isle the fossilized tracks of fairylike creatures that predate the dinosaur era--similar tracks were actually documented in 1994. Other tales look into the dark possibilities of summoning spirits via a Ouija board and of a spectral animal haunting the hallways in a young couple's apartment. Each story is steeped in Kiernan's masterfully evocative, eerie prose, which echoes the best of Lovecraft. Fans of horror fiction who are just discovering Kiernan's rare gifts should use this volume as a stepping-stone to her equally brilliant novels (e.g., The Dry Salvages, 2004).
It's nice. Not perfect, but nice. I would hasten to add that I think these stories will appeal to many more people than horror fans. Too often, devoted fans of horror are working on the King/Koontz model and can't make heads or tails of what I'm trying to do. And Fortean Times is a silly rag that Fort would have disapproved of on general principle. Otherwise, nice. I do agree it makes a good starting point for readers new to my work.
We saw MirrorMask yesterday, and, for my part, I was extremely pleased with it. I was, in fact, delighted. A Dave McKean painting (or about a thousand of them) come to life, wrapped snuggly about a nice little story by Neil. I think I may have fallen in love with Stephanie Leonidas in her not-really-the-Dark-Queen's-daughter guise. Iain Ballamy's music was perfect. And all those pompous gits who are going on about the "unoriginal storyline" need whatever tool one uses to extract heads from asses. It's a fairy tale, and a fairly simple, unassuming story, and yes, you'll hear echoes of many other stories in it, because that's one thing that fairy tales do.
I have said many times that originality isn't something that readers and writers (and moviegoers) should worry themselves over. It's generally a waste of time. Originality is almost certainly impossible to achieve, and I'd much rather see a familiar story retold well than a "new" story hoping to get by on the weight of its supposed novelty. I've realized, recently, that as I consume stories, my consciousness breaks them down. They do not remain whole and intact. It's nothing intentional, just something that happens. I think it's the result of the way I assimilated Jung and Joseph Campbell. Their writings became these peculiar story enzymes. When I read or see or hear a story, I'm not usually sitting there thinking, Oh, I've seen this before. That's a given and will probably be a given for any literate, well-read person. I'm thinking, Does it work in this particular incarnation?. Everything we can imagine is contained within the monomyth, and if Shakespeare didn't have to worry about originality, then neither do I.
Originality is a delusion and a conceit in which I do not indulge.
We were going to see Serenity yesterday as well, but I was so exhausted, we decided to save it until this evening. Instead, we came home, made cookies, and watched Hammer's The Evil of Frankenstein.
Watch our eBay page today. I'm repeating the $2.50 Silk sell, since it was such a success the last time. I'm also going to be adding a copy of the leatherbound (I love that word), traycased, lettered edition of The Five of Cups, and the winner of this auction also gets Monster Doodle Sculpture #4. I'll start the auctions sometime this afternoon.