February 6th, 2013

Blood Oranges

"S.O.S. in morse code when the wind blows."

Yesterday, I wrote 1,462 words on Red Delicious. At this point, there are 2,187 words in the word bank – almost two full day's worth.

On a scale of One to Miserable, yesterday definitely gets an M. I was hit with an especially determined migraine that lasted from the moment I woke well into the night, when it receded to a dull throb. It wasn't even afraid of the Vicodin.

We finished Season Five of The Wire, which, of course, means we finished the series. Superb. Season Two lost its way, but once that was done, the show immediately righted itself again. The last season is especially good, and the last two episodes of the last season are fantastic. Just before sleep, I read Jan Strnad and Richard Corben's Ragemoor (Dark Horse).


And today is the official street date for Blood Oranges. I'm seeing a variety of reactions online, which are leaving me, by turns, pleased and baffled. I'm starting to feel as if I've written a sort of Trojan Horse. "Oh, look! Someone left this awesome new paranormal UF shifter romance novel just outside the gates of the city!" Only after they've towed it inside do they even think to look under the hood and discover their folly. This wasn't my intent. There's a "warning page" (actually, I was spoofing the idea of "book warnings") right up front that makes perfectly clear what sort of novel is Blood Oranges. But some folks apparently judge books by their covers (the Trojan Horse) and don't bother looking inside. I never buy a book without making sure it isn't filled with enemy soldiers, but maybe that's just me.

When I was a kid, my mother checked Watership Down out of the library, was extremely excited about reading it, then became rather annoyed when she discovered it's about rabbits. Yeah, Mom, I am laughing at you, but that was goddamn funny, and you know it.

Anyway...stuff I'm seeing online. Jessica Potts at USA Today is very much looking forward...but (cough, cough) has labeled it "Paranormal Romance" and is treating it as such. Back to the Trojan Horse analogy. Ms. Potts writes of me, "Her stories are weird — sometimes you might not understand them — but they are always good reads." Excuse me, but precisely what sort of simpleton actually says something like that in public? Of course, this is a column called "Happy Ever After." I'm pretty sure Blood Oranges is one of those adamantly anti-Happy Ever After books.

I begin to believe that the devotees of the "UF/ParaRom/shifter" white noise are so stupid they're actually "immune to satire" (thank you, K.H. Vaughn). Or to quote Andrija Popvic (via Facebook): This is reaching Pythoneseque levels of absurdity. I'm betting these folks also think "Born in the USA" is a jingoistic paean to traditional America... (Well, Ronald Reagan sure thought so!)

Next. Spooky found a review in a blog called "Breaking Pomegranates," which yields a quote I'd love to see on the cover of any future edition: Blood Oranges takes everything you know about urban fantasy, crumples it up, pisses on it, and lights it on fire. Yes. Thank you, "Breaking Pomegranates," and I'm glad you liked Aloysius.

Next. io9 includes it in an article called "All the Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You Can’t Afford to Miss in February," which is cool. And I rather love this: And the main character, Siobhan, is a homeless monster hunter with drug problems — until she gets bitten by both a werewolf and a vampire on the same night. The good news? This cures her heroin addiction. The bad news? Everything else. Yup. Hits the nail on the head.

And that's enough of that. New Book Day No. [Fill in the Blank]. Yay. Now I have to go write the next new book...

Always Look Inside the Horse,
Aunt Beast
Blood Oranges

A Very Special Auction

Upon publication of Alabaster in 2006, Subterranean Press gave me half the copies of the lettered edition of the collection, thirteen copies, A-M. Over the past six years, we've sold only three copies of the lettereds. One was sold with a doll Spooky made (the green-haired boy from "In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers"), one with the Dancy cigar box, and, last year, one with the strange bottle from ""In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers."

Yesterday, Spooky put up put up a fourth copy, Letter H, which comes inside a handmade "book cozy" (like the velvet ones she made for a handful of copies of Frog Toes and Tentacles). We picked out the fabric together, to find something that felt very Dancy. Spooky added an embroidered H to one corner, on a patch of white cotton cloth, which I think suggests a quilt.

The book is signed by me and Ted Naifeh.

So, here it is. Absolutely one of a kind. Not outsourced.

Aunt Beast