September 28th, 2008


As Kyle passes by.

Another good writing day yesterday. I did 1,590 words on "Untitled 33" (for Sirenia Digest #34), and I should finish the story this afternoon. This is one of the awkward pieces, in terms of length and format. Neither quite a vignette nor a full-blown short story. It's a dream cycle, spiraling through layer upon layer, with Vince's illustration as the terminal point. It never settles on a single theme, but has, instead, touched upon gender, the dissolution of self, murder, the weight of past events on the present, and so forth. Expect #34 either late on Monday or on Tuesday.

I was very pleased to see that "The Ape's Wife" received an honourable mention in the new Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Ellen Datlow writes, "Clarkesworld Magazine has consistently published strong work as they put out their two stories a month. Some of the best work was by Caitlin R Kiernan, Jeff VanderMeer, and Elizabeth Bear..." Not sure whether or not I garnered any other HMs for 2007. I'll have to remember to look next time I'm in a bookstore.

Please have a look at the latest round of eBay auctions. Thanks.

Another rainy day here in Providence, as Category 1 Hurricane Kyle spins past just to the east of us, bound for Newfoundland. I think this one was a narrow miss for us. It would be a wonderful day to be on the rocks at Beavertail, but, alas, I am shackled to this desk.

Yesterday, the mail brought the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, even though I'm not quite finished with the June 2008 issue. I only just got to S. Christopher Bennett's note on ontogeny and Archaeopteryx. It's not often I actually get excited by bivariate scatter plots, linear regression equations, and correlation coefficients, but the Archaeopteryx note is quite good, basically Bennett's defence of his interpretation of the nine known specimens of the taxon as a single "species," following from an awareness of interspecific variation resulting from ontogeny and, also, concerns about parsimony. Anyway, yes, very good stuff in the new issue, including a couple of new dinosaurs, but i'll have to wait until I finish with June.

For last night's Paul Newman film, we chose Alfred Hitchcock's Cold-War thriller Torn Curtain (1966), which is one of the few Hitchcock films I'd somehow managed never to see. But it's actually rather good, classic Hitch, though the spotlight belongs more to a cast of quirky secondary characters than to Newman or his costar, Julie Andrews. This is the film Hitchcock made after Marnie (1964), and he would direct only three films after Torn Curtain.

More WoW last night than I'd intended. Mithwen reached Level 20.7, and that was all fine and good and all, but then I had to go and create a blood elf warlock, Shaharrazad. I immediately fell completely in love with the blood elves. It's like a Disney film on a bad hit of LSD. Sort of Cinderella meets Aladdin, gone horribly, wonderfully awry. Because, you know, evil should be bright and perky. So...Mithwen and Shaharrazad will live their parallel lives, though, of course, they can never actually meet.

Postscript (1:56 p.m.): My thanks to sovay for sending me a list of all my honourable mentions from the new Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. They are

"The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)" (Dark Delicacies II: Fear)
"The Ape's Wife" (Clarkesworld, September)
"The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles" (Thrillers 2)
"Houses Under the Sea" (ibid.)
"Night Games in the Crimson Court" (Sirenia Digest #17)
"A Season of Broken Dolls" (Sirenia Digest #15)

Also, in her summation for 2007, Ellen Datlow writes that "Caitlín R. Kiernan's dark fantasy Daughter of both lyrical and unsettling." Of Thrillers 2 she writes, "The contributors are Gemma Files, R. Patrick Gates, Tim Waggoner, and Caitlín R. Kiernan. Each has at least one very good story, and one, a long one by Kiernan, is terrific." Cool.