Not a bad day yesterday. An unremarkable day, tainted only by this nagging, dry cough I've had since the beginning of November. We are old friends, this cough and I. It first came to me in the late '80s, and usually returns once or twice a year. No diagnosis or medication has ever made much sense of it. Peppermint helps, but nothing else ever seems to. It rattles my eyeballs, and I half suspect it's some brand of psychosomatic. It was unusually bad yesterday. Oh, and there's this damn tooth, the one that had a temporary fix in September to buy me the time to finish The Red Tree. It's going hot, and I'd planned to have it extracted on Monday, but I think I may be able to last a little longer. But, these things aside, still a decent enough day.
We did housework. I puttered about on the computer. The day was peppered with writing-related odds and ends. To wit:
A is for Alien has received an excellent review from Booklist (reviewed by Regina Schroeder):
The grace and subtlety with which Kiernan inverts the roles of us and them, of those who seek to belong
and those who watch from the sidelines, makes for unnerving but extraordinary storytelling. When the
usual humans are the other, there’s a lot of rather dystopian ground available. Whether the focus is on alien
possession, as in “Riding the White Bull,” or on humans choosing to make themselves into other creatures,
as in “Faces in Revolving Souls,” Kiernan deals with transformations real and imagined, forced and
voluntary. She works on the self-centered strangeness of humanity with the way she approaches aliens as
indifferent, strange, and usually difficult to deal with. Kiernan’s style relies on clarity in prose, the
extraordinary related as if it were everyday, and a subtlety that belies her disturbing imagery. The eight
stories in this slim volume are, in short, exquisite containers for the strange paths of her imagined futures.
In reading these pieces, you become other, and the better for it.
Also, my comp copy of the sold-out limited edition of Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy was delivered yesterday. It includes my sf story, "The Steam Dancer (1896)." I think all that's left are copies of the lettered edition.
Also also, Vince is almost finished with the interior illustrations for A is for Alien, which include some of the best work he's ever done for my fiction. There will be a black-and-white illustration for each story. The platypus and the dodo both agree this is an excellenet day to preorder the collection, if you've not already.
Last night we re-watched two more episodes of Series 4 of Doctor Who, "The Fires of Pompei" and "Planet of the Ood." Spooky made chili for dinner. Late, she read to me from The Fellowship of the Ring. Hubero listened, too. He insists that Sméagol is a Byronic Hero, and I've learned not to argue with Siamese cats.