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Catching up (again)

The last couple of days have been solid frustration. Sunday was good, and I did another 1,201 words on "Untitled Grotesque." But then the words wouldn't come on Monday, and yesterday was consumed with all sorts of the "busyness" that comes with writing, but is not actually writing. I hope to finish "Untitled Grotesque" today, if the words will come, and if I can shut out all the work that keeps me from doing the work that matters.

I have the cover (behind the cut) for the new edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder, featuring photography by Travis Burton (the same Travis Burton I thank in the acknowledgements to Daughter of Hounds). If you have not yet pre-ordered and would like a copy, you should probably do so soonish.







Thanks to confusion over which publisher would have which rights to "Little Conversations" (a.k.a., "Salammbô Redux") — and I suspect I am partly to blame for this mess — there has been a bit of musical chairs involving "Little Conversations," "The Steam Dancer," and "The Ape's Wife." Though it was originally slated to appear first in the Subterranean Press anthology Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy, "The Ape's Wife" will be replacing "Little Conversations" in Clarkesworld Magazine, sometime in the next day or two. It will also be included in the forthcoming anthology, Realms: The First Year of Clarkesworld, and in the signed chapbook version of Issue 12 of the magazine. "The Steam Dancer," originally intended for the Fall 2007 issue of Subterranean Online, will be replacing "The Ape's Wife" in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy. And, finally, an as yet undetermined story from Sirenia Digest will be replacing "The Steam Dancer" in the Fall 2007 Subterranean Online. Does that make sense? I hope so. As soon as "The Ape's Wife" is up, I'll post a link here. A good bit of yesterday was spent tweaking the story, and I think it's one of my best from the last couple of years (it was written back in April and May, you might recall).

Let's see. What else. Well, there have been movies. On Monday, disgusted with the lack of progress on the new story, I talked Spooky into a 4:30 matinee of James Mangold's remake of 3:10 to Yuma at Midtown. We were both very pleased with it. I saw someone refer to 3:10 to Yuma as the "best western since Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven" (1992), which might be true were it not for John Hillcoat and Nick Cave's The Proposition (2005). Then, last night, because we truly can be idiots sometimes, Spooky and I rented the unrated cut of Martin Weisz' The Hills Have Eyes 2. I have virtually nothing good to say about this film. It isn't scary. It isn't shocking. It isn't any good. It's actually quite a bit worse than Alexandre Aja's remake of The Hills Have Eyes (2006). The characters are, at best, targets, and in the absence of suspense, characterization, story, cinematography, and subtext, the film is little more than a cumbersome exercise in sadism and misogyny. It is, in all ways, both artless and pointless. I'm not slamming the film for being gory or vicious or bleak. I'm slamming it for being lousy and catering to the lowest possible common denominator. Move along...

One of the greatest frustrations I have in trying to explain the allure of Second Life to the uninitiated and the unaddicted is the difficulty of reproducing high-resolution images in this blog. But, Spooky (a.k.a Miss Artemisia Paine) took this shot last night, of Professor Nishi at sunset, on the roof of the Palaeozoic Museum in New Babbage with her telescope, and I was determined to include it here, regardless of the fact that this is a crappy, pixilated 72-dpi version of the image. It's behind the cut, and does not do justice.







The platypus says it's time to bring this entry to a close and drink my coffee. The monotreme knows what's best. Comments?

Postscript (4:31 p.m.): "The Ape's Wife" in now up at Clarkesworld Magazine. Just follow this link. I do detest the way that web publication places spaces between paragraphs. I've been told, again and again, it's because people won't read unbroken blocks of texts, but if that were true, they wouldn't read books. Okay, so most of them don't. Anyway, yes, the story's up, and I do hope you like it. I'd love to hear your reactions (unless you hate it, in which case I'd rather not know).

Comments

( 20 comments — Have your say! )
nykolus
Sep. 19th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
wow. awesome freakin cover. i need to get on the ball and order that thing before it's too late. ...not that i needed convincing otherwise.

and will "The Ape's Wife" be appearing anywhere/when else for our greedy, grubby, little paws or is clarksworld it?
greygirlbeast
Sep. 19th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
and will "The Ape's Wife" be appearing anywhere/when else for our greedy, grubby, little paws or is clarksworld it?

For now, Clarkesworld is it.
stsisyphus
Sep. 19th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
Spooky (a.k.a Miss Artemisia Paine) took this shot last night, of Professor Nishi at sunset...

Well! Doesn't she look like a grand ol' Belle dame? Very distinguished.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 19th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)

Well! Doesn't she look like a grand ol' Belle dame? Very distinguished.

Through all the horror and cataclysm, somehow she has remained dignified.
blakesrealm
Sep. 19th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Great cover!

I agree totally with your thoughts on The Hills Have Eyes 2, what a piece of crap that was. Not a single thing in it really was worth the time investment, nor the rental slot on my que.

I must go see 3:10 to Yuma, I love westerns and some how had forgotten that this was currently playing. Thanks for the reminder.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 19th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)

Great cover!

Thank you. I'm quite pleased with it myself.

Thanks for the reminder.

You're welcome.
scarletboi
Sep. 19th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
That's the first cover in a while that's legitimately felt like one of your books to me. I like it, and its echoes of Glass Coffin.

I wish we'd been able to see you while we were in town. We miss you. *hugs*
greygirlbeast
Sep. 19th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)

I wish we'd been able to see you while we were in town. We miss you. *hugs*

I missed you guys, too. I'll try not to be so reclusive next year.
setsuled
Sep. 19th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC)
That's a great cover, and a great Nebari-ish Nishi.

I find myself thinking about "Little Conversations" a lot. I like the sort of "full stop" ending--the idea of questions surrounding something horrible and strange having a devastatingly simple answer from which there's no where to go. I'm short on time right now, I wish I could express myself better . . .
greygirlbeast
Sep. 19th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)

I'm short on time right now, I wish I could express myself better . . .

That was pretty well said, I think.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 20th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC)
Re: Professor Nishi at sunset...

Nareth would likely blush, were she able.
unknownbinaries
Sep. 19th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
Potentially weird questions.
Pardon if these are jumbled; I am pretty hopped up on cold meds, and have otherwise had a shit day.

I am curious about how you feel about the people who sell your limited edition stuff for astronomical amounts after the run is finished. Partly because it would piss me off that they were making that money, and probably partly because I will never really understand the 'collector' mindset.

And do you have a problem with people asking stuff about writing and Teh Biz here?
greygirlbeast
Sep. 20th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)
Re: Potentially weird questions.

I am curious about how you feel about the people who sell your limited edition stuff for astronomical amounts after the run is finished. Partly because it would piss me off that they were making that money, and probably partly because I will never really understand the 'collector' mindset.

Well, I don't think it much matters how I feel about it. It's legal, all except the ARCs (and that might as well be legal, as no one will stop it). If people want to pay those prices, I suppose I'm flattered. I'm more flattered when they pay me, though.

And do you have a problem with people asking stuff about writing and Teh Biz here?

Nope. But you should take any of my answers with a grain of salt.
unknownbinaries
Sep. 20th, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
Re: Potentially weird questions.
I mostly wanted to ask how you got SubPress to go for something as unconventional as an illustrated book of vignettes, let alone two, but I wasn't sure how you felt about people wanting that kind of information, here, as it easily could become an advice column. I'd like to assemble something in that vein at some point, and it's got the potential to be a very specific oddity that no one will touch.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 20th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)


NASA sees giant trilobite-shaped sunspot

Whoa...
bucketopants
Sep. 20th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
Horror Movies
If you are interested in a rental movie that's a slight cut about the normal dreck, try Severance, which is about a corporate retreat gone awry. Some nice little "officesque" conversations to distract you from wondering who is going to die in what order.
jcathartic
Sep. 20th, 2007 08:50 am (UTC)
Another reccomendation....
Sunshine. Fan-freakin-tastic movie.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 20th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Another reccomendation....


Sunshine. Fan-freakin-tastic movie.

Saw it twice in the theatres. Loved it. My favourite movie of the summer.
corucia
Sep. 20th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up about the revision to this issue of Clarkesworld magazine. I'd read the initial story when it went up two weeks ago - I'll have to read the new story! One story zooms out, the other zooms in.... lucky they didn't collide, or it would have been an twisted tangle of sentences and paragraphs. A mash-up of two CRK stories... hmm....
pwtucker
Sep. 20th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks for writing The Ape's Wife - yanked me right out of my office and thrust me into steaming jungles, past twisted girders and urban wreckage, through rivers of blood and into the presence of a sable god. I reread the first sentence several times, so taken was I by it, and was struck by my desire to read entire paragraphs out loud. Your writing is incredibly sonorous. Each time I thought I had a handle on what you were doing you'd kick the story to the next level, flip my nascent preconceptions on their head. I particularly enjoyed the religious matrix through which you told the story - brilliant. Kong/Jesus, Darrow/Hatshepsut? "But then we hardly need gorillas as big as elephants, now do we?" was a devastating line. One quibble: the "Yes, she still recalls a few hazy scraps of Greek mythology..." paragraph lurched out at me; the tenor of your narrative voice seemed to change, become obtrusive. Other than that, hot damn, what a story.
( 20 comments — Have your say! )

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