January 17th, 2009


Postcards from Europa (Pt. 1)

Yesterday was a day of mail. Well, yesterday was a day of pleasant mail. A package from txtriffidranch, including many things, but the most marvelous bit is a recording from 1966 of Harlan reading "Repent, Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman" and "A Boy and His Dog." I used to have these recordings, long, long ago, and lost them in one or another move, and I am very pleased to own them again. Thanks very, very much. Almost as cool as the British Museum Dimetrodon. Also, a package from mellawyrden, which, among other things, included a copy of Mac Wellman's A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds. And, also, a complimentary copy of the Fall 2008 Dead Reckonings arrived (Hippocampus Press), which includes S.T. Joshi's review of the 3rd edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder, "A Slow-Moving Tsunami" (though it says "Caitlín Kiernan, Remastered" on the cover). I will now shamelessly post a short quote:

Kiernan has inexorably ascended the echelon of supernatural horror with an array of distinguished novels and story collections that have already led some critics to rank her with such luminaries as Ramsey Campbell and Thomas Ligotti. The comparison with Campbell seems to me particularly apt, for there are few writers in the entire history of supernatural fiction who have simultaneously mastered both the short story and the novel and who have combined such copious productivity with such a high level of meticulous craftsmanship.

And if posting that quotation is self-aggrandizing, so fucking be it. There are precious few rewards, writing what I write, and being ranked, by Joshi, with Campbell and Ligotti is among them. So, yes, a splendid day for mail.

Unfortunately, it was a pretty lousy day, otherwise. Sometime after one, I had one of the worst seizures I've had in a while. I came to on the floor in the middle parlour, surrounded by Spooky and the cats. So I spent most of the afternoon in bed, dazed, feeling like I'd been run down by a truck. Spooky read me Chapter Four of The Red Tree, and I tried hard to pay attention. Mostly, I drifted and stared at the patterns the sun made on the bedroom wall. It was after dinner before I began to feel halfway decent again.

Last night, we watched George Clooney's Leatherheads, in which George Clooney plays Clarke Gable and Renée Zellweger plays Claudette Colbert. Well, no, not really, but pretty close. It was a thoroughly charming, film, despite the fact that football bores me to tears, and felt more like something from the late sixties or early seventies, during the nostalgia boom that spawned movies like The Sting and Paper Moon.

And today I will try, again, to begin the Long Sought Epilogue, because Herr Platypus is not a happy camper. Please take a moment to order A is for Alien, due out next month from Subterranean Press, if you've not already done so. I promise it doesn't suck.