All in all, a decent day yesterday. About 5:15, when all the work was finally done, the writing and e-mail, we walked to Videodrome, but didn't rent anything. Then we walked on to the market. It is very good to walk to places we ordinarily drive to. Not only does it help with that nasty carbon footprint, it gives me more a sense that I do, in fact, live in something vaguely resembling a neighborhood. It was so warm I had to take off my cardigan and cinch it about my waist. January 13th, and I'm walking in a tank top. And the dandelions are blooming, as are the Narcissus. Almost all the deciduous trees have buds. Spooky took photos of the premature and symptomatic flora. Maybe I'll post a couple of them later. The sun was going down and clouds were moving in from the west. It was almost dark by the time we got back home. I played FFXII, finally defeating that nest of bombs in the Salikawood. I watched Treasure of the Sierra Madre on TCM. These writing days, these 1,500+ words/per days every day, they leave me pretty useless afterward.
Last night, I came across a review of Threshold from Kliatt that I'd never seen before, though I'm pretty sure it dates back to the book's initial release in 2001. Anyway, it described the novel as "Gothic SF," and I thought, Yes! Yes, that's perfect! That's it exactly! I do not usually get euphoric about categorization. But the more I thought on it, the more it seemed obvious. All the events in these books, all these books I've written, they are not necessarily "inexplicable." I would argue this is true of a "dark fantasy" like Daughter of Hounds or Murder of Angels, but it is most certainly true of Threshold. Blend the basic tenants of SF with the elements of the old "terror Gothic" and you have a novel like Threshold or Low Red Moon.
This comment from mackatlaw, regarding an answer I gave to a meme on Friday night:
"Your Fears: Are for me to know."
I know how this was meant to be taken, but I chose to read it as, "Our fears are for you to know."
I live on Southside in Birmingham, between Rhodes Park and Saint Vincent's Hospital. Everytime I walk by Highland Park at night, I think about the scene in Threshold where the main character is chased by something awful until she reaches her apartment. When I drive on Highway 31 and see Sloss Furnace, I think about the interrogation scene in the sequel, with the people who work for the ghouls. This is by way of saying you have successfully passed on at least two disturbing pieces of your imagination to me. Is it viral, or more like xerox? In any event, I appreciate the relief from the tedium.
Which is to say, I am myself merely a self-aware bundle of perpetuating memes. And you know what William Burroughs said.
This morning was my fifth (I think) visit to the white room with the flickering fluorescent bulbs. I am quite certain now that it's a recurring dream. This is the same event, over and over again. It just seems that sometimes particular portions are clearer to my waking mind than they were at other, earlier times. This morning, for example, before the old Bakelite phone rang, and I went out onto the fire escape to watch the excavating machines, the legless albino woman was having me look through books of photographs. They were like "old-fashioned" photo albums, sturdy brown paper covers tied with brown string like shoestrings. The photos seemed to be B&W mug shots, or something like mug shots, only they're all of the same man, over and over and over. Maybe hundreds of them. I pointed this out, and she rolled her blue eyes and chided me for stating the obvious. Something to the effect of "You're not getting off that easily." Water dripped from the ceiling onto the open book, and I wiped it away from with a corner of the damp sheet. And I began to understand I was looking for something that would set one of these photographs apart from all the rest. The Marlene Dietrich song ended and started over again. All of this is still so clear. Only a moment away from me. The albino woman's hair smelled like violets and cigarette smoke. I could not have this dream again, and I'd not be disappointed.
Cold winter bleeds on the girders of Babel,
This stone boy watching the crawling land.
Rings of flesh and the towers of iron,
The steaming caves, and the rocks, and the sand.