Yesterday, I made notes for an sf short story which I am currently calling "The Pearl Diver." It's being written for Lou Anders' anthology, Futureshocks. I'm very pleased that, post-"Riding the White Bull," I'm being asked to do sf. I'll begin the story today. I think it will require ten days. Then I move on to the beginning of The Daughter of Hounds.
Yesterday, I read another paper from the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "A primitive marine gavialoid from the Paleocene of Morocco." Sometimes I think reading JVP is the most masochistic of all my masochistic endeavours. I also reread a couple of chapters of S. T. Joshi's biography of Lovecraft, including Chapter Twenty-Three, "Caring About the Civilisation (1929-1937)." I have been asked repeatedly, over the years, if I will ever write non-fantastic fiction, or, as a few tactless, narrow-minded individuals have put it, "serious fiction." These two quotes from Lovecraft's letters, adressing this very question, are better than any answer I've ever offerred:
Time, space, and natural law hold for me suggestions of intolerable bondage, and I can form no picture of emotional satisfaction which does not involve their defeat--especially the defeat of time, so that one may merge oneself with the whole historic stream and be wholly emancipated from the transient and the ephemeral. (HPL, 1930)
There is no field other than the weird in which I have any aptitude or inclination for fictional composition. Life has never interested me so much as the escape from life. (HPL, 1931)
I spent much of yesterday steeling myself to endure a whole hour of Stargate: SG-1, just so I could catch the promised preview of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars hidden somewhere in the muck. But then, at nine o'clock, I discovered it was to be a two-hour-long episode of Stargate: SG-1, and I faltered. I just couldn't sit through that much crap, not even for a glimpse of new Farscape. So Spooky and I watched the director's cut of The Butterfly Effect instead, which was quite good and much darker than I'd expected. As I told Spooky last night, I'd moan about its similarity to Threshold, but then I'd also have to moan about the same similarity with Donnie Darko, and as Donnie Darko is plainly superior to both Threshold and The Butterfly Effect, what's the point? This Zeitgeist dren sucks. After the movie, we flipped back and forth between They Live (possibly the worst of John Carpenter's low points) on AMC and you-know-what on the SFC, trying to catch the commercial breaks on the latter and, hopefully, the Farscape preview. In the process, I saw way too many lousy special effects, too much wooden acting, heard far too much bad dialogue, and was subjected to that big guy with the funny oval thing glued to his forehead. I'd given up on actually seeing the preview, but at 12:30 Spooky switched channels again at just the right moment, and there it was. All ten or fifteen seconds of it. Three shots of Chiana, and I think she was still blind in every one of them. Wow. I may burst before October 17th (when the first half of the mini airs; the second half will air October 18th). And yes, of course I know I'm a dork.
And speaking of Farscapery and being a dork, this coming week I must finally do battle with the Eyeball Nazis to secure new contacts for Nar'eth. I think Spooky, being a greater rebel than I, is going to order hers from Britian, instead.