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Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower.
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.

—William Wordsworth

A long bath with floaty octopoid toys helped a bit, so I feel compelled to make an actual entry. Hopefully, by now, everyone out there who has subscribed has herhisit's copy of the June issue of Sirenia Digest. And like I said a couple of hours ago, comments are especially welcome just now. Sometimes, it feels like all the writing I'm doing for the digest just sort of...vanishes. It's not like the old-fashioned hard-copy stuff that gets reviewed and "reviewed." Though I generally dread reviews (and I loathe "reviews"), I'm starting to feel as though a circuit isn't being completed.

Yesterday was mostly spent on Sirenia Digest, and I've already written about An Inconvenient Truth. But, it remains to be said that yesterday was a good mail day. Indeed, because of one particular package, it was a remarkable mail day. First, the June 2006 issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology arrived, loaded with wonderful things. So far, I've just begun reading a paper on the first complete non-plesiosaur pistosauroid, from the Triassic of China. Spooky got Legendary Pink Dots and Edward Kaspel CDs from blu_muse. Also, the hardback edition of Subterranean Magazine #2, which included "Bradbury Weather," arrived.

And then another box, from Cemetery Dance Publications, came — and Lo! — a sight which I thought mine mortal eyes ne'er would behold. This package, it contained a single shrink-wrapped copy of John Skipp's anthology Mondo Zombie. Now, there's a very, very, very long and equally peculiar story behind this book. It's a yarn of such prodigious length and complexity, of such sudden twists and turns and plummets into unseen abyssal troughs...well, I'm not going to go into it here. I don't even think I remember all of it at this point. Suffice to say, in February 1994, a year before anything of mine had actually appeared in print, any fiction, I got a phone call from John Skipp, who'd been given my number by Linda Marotta (who'd read The Five of Cups a few months earlier), asking if I'd write a story for the fourth Book of the Dead anthology. For those who do not know, in the early '90s, John Skipp & Craig Spector coedited two volumes, Book of the Dead and Book of the Dead 2: Still Dead, set in the world of George Romero's zombie holocaust. The books sold quite well, and Bantam contracted for two more volumes. I was thrilled to be asked to write for such a high-profile anthology, and that March I wrote a short story called "Two Worlds, and In Between." And I mailed it off to John Skipp. And then...well...then the whole thing sort of went to Hell. Which might not have been so bad, except it kept coming back from Hell. Anyway, "Two Worlds, and In Between" was eventually published in Steve Jones' White of the Moon (1997), was collected in From Weird and Distant Shores, and appeared in a couple of other places, as well. There was even very nearly an indie film version. But. I never thought I would actually see anything like the book that Skipp set out to publish. And yet...yesterday, this package arrived. Behind the cut are four photos documenting The Moment:

And now it sits on my bookshelf, and I am amazed. It's almost frightening, seeing this book whose beginning extends back into those time-dimmed days of prepublication. Well, almost the same book. Some of the authors pulled out over the years. Some, like me, pulled out and then got pulled back in again. If you happen to have a copy of From Weird and Distant Shores, there's a longer account of the trials and tribulations of Mondo Zombie in the appropriate afterword. 1994-2006. Twelve frelling years. Almost my entire career between now and this book's conception. Wow. You go, Skipp. If anyone out there wants to buy a copy, click here.

There's more news, but I think maybe I'll save it for another post, later this evening, as that was rather long, longer than I'd intended, and I need to get dressed. And I need a salad. And maybe some vodka.


( 4 comments — Have your say! )
Jun. 22nd, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
This package, it contained a single shrink-wrapped copy of John Skipp's anthology Mondo Zombie.

Whoa. Mazel tov. There are still miracles in this world.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 02:04 am (UTC)
Congratulations on the Mondo Zombie pub! It must feel good finally to have that in your hands.

Random sorta related question: how much/how often did you write back in the pre-publication days? You talk in your LJ now about your writing habits these days, and it would be cool to know how much you wrote then. I've read some of your older interviews & profiles, but most of them seem to have come along after you were at least a little bit "established," and there doesn't seem to be as much in them about your craft at the time. (If you ever take a notion to publish essays or a book about your working methods, views on authorship, etc., I think it would make compelling reading.)

Belated though this is, I was so sorry to hear about Sophie. It's never easy to lose those close to us, but I am glad you got to be with her to the end. Sometimes that helps.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
Random sorta related question: how much/how often did you write back in the pre-publication days? You talk in your LJ now about your writing habits these days, and it would be cool to know how much you wrote then.

In a furious attempt to "get my act together," I began writing in June '92, all day, almost every day. And, truthfully, not much has changed since then. Except I write a lot faster now than I used to write. I think the only period in the last sixteen years when I didn't write (or at least not-write) for the better part of most days was during my time in Death's Little Sister ('96-'97), which prety much threw everything out of whack.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
I received three copies of the digest, one while I was at work, two at home. I wait to savor the vignettes from "The Black Alphabet" like tiny shots fine barlywine ale. Likewise I wish to take in Sonya Taaffe's work when I have time to sit and enjoy it, especially since you have mentioned it as being worth than twice her anthology's price.

So far, what I've gleaned from the alphabet has been a tad disconcerting, but with the assured legendary, timeless tones of an historian recalling extraterrestrial myth. It seems like the effortless expertise of Robert E. Howard recalling the years after the oceans drank Atlantis.

Have you read Elizabeth Hand's Mortal Love, by any chance?

( 4 comments — Have your say! )