As soon as the Afterword (it was going to be an Introduction, but now it shall be an Afterword) for A is for Alien is finished, the ms. will go to Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press, and it will be out of my hands. At least until the page proofs. And I can get back to work on The Red Tree. Well, right after I write a 3,000-word Introduction for Joshi's Arthur Machen collection.
Anyway, after we did another five or six hours of work on the AifA ms., Spooky and I took a mountain of books back to the Woodruff Library at Emory, and then had blisteringly spicy Thai noodle bowls for dinner. After dinner, back home, I suffered an absence seizure (which are beginning to seem almost routine). I crashed on the sofa, too exhausted for anything but the passive comforts of television. We watched an episode of Millennnium, "Maranatha," then the new ep of Deadliest Catch, and then the last episode of Season One of Millennium, "Paper Dove."
And there's this email, from Tim Huntley, regarding Sirenia Digest #29:
"I wanted to offer some (very brief) words on 'Concerning Attrition and Severance'. I am pleased this story was not a hidden piece and that it did make it into the Digest. As well as resembling a disturbing twist on Huis Clos peopled with Cenobites, the piece made me think of Pirandello (well, Six Actors in Search of an Author, to be exact).
"And, on today's anniversary of Sigmund Freud's birth, an almost randomly located line from Einige Charaktertypen Aus Der Psychoanalytischen Arbeit (1916): 'Let us leave it to future research to decide how many criminals are to be reckoned among these "pale" ones.' Perhaps not a citation - or a paper - that has anything truly in common with your story, but it seemed an apposite conjunction of sorts.
"'Flotsam' was another splendid brine-soaked piece which lingered with me and spiraled in my thoughts across this May Day weekend. Together with 'Concerning Attrition...' it made #29 feel like an old-style Digest in that it was, as your Prolegomena informed, comprised of two rich vignettes."
The parallel with Barker's Cenobites seems natural, in retrospect, though, with "Concerning Attrition and Severance," I was trying for something a bit more subtle and a bit less concrete than "The Hellbound Heart." Thank you very much, Tim!
Someone else asked for details on Robert McCloskey's Time of Wonder, so I thought I'd post a scan of the cover of Spooky's copy (behind the cut, mais oiu):
Oh, and here's a marvelous little thing, which I can now stare at to my nerdy heart's content, thanks to sclerotic_rings, the Solar System Visualizer. It even includes numerous extrasolar star systems!
And once again, because it is my Royal Birthday Month, the Amazon wish list thing. A mere 19 days until that dreaded -04...