By my reckoning, "Fish Wife" is the 60th story I've written specifically for Sirenia Digest since December 2005.
I generally stay out of internet spats, especially those involving writing and publishing, and especially when writers and publishers are the ones generating the spats. For example, the recent kerfuffle over whether or not internet publishing, especially sites that offer short fiction for free on the internet, pose a threat to the few remaining hard-copy speculative fiction magazines out there. I've seen good points made by both sides, but one thing has been gnawing at me. Repeatedly, I've seen advocates of internet publishing using the derogatory phrase "dead-tree magazines." As opposed to those that are only available online. That is, print publications. Do people really think that electronic media does less harm to the environment than print media? I mean, in theory, no paper is used for the posted version of the "ezine," but what about the energy required to run all those computers and websites? And the oil used to make all the plastic for those computers? And the hard-copy paperwork generated producing, manufacturing, and selling the computers and software? And so on and so forth? And never mind the fact that an awful lot of people are just going to print out the stories, anyway. I hate trying to read on a monitor. My guess is that, at best, online publishing is no harder on the environment, when all is said and done, than is print publishing. But I'm very skeptical of the claim that it's more ecologically sound. Though, if anyone has facts and figures to back up the claim, point me in that direction.
Yesterday evening, after the writing, we had a long walk down Benefit Street. There's still a slight chill in the air, and it's windy up on College Hill. But the trees are marvelously green. We visited the Athenaeum, and, on the discard shelf, I found a copy of the University of California's Pennyroyal edition of Frankenstein on sale for only a dollar. We walked as far north as the Horace B. Knowles Funeral Home, at 187 Benefit Street, where Lovecraft's funeral services were held in 1937. There are photographs behind the cut:
Okay. Not Benefit Street. Sméagol sleeping on my side of the bed, which he hardly ever does.
Benefit Street, view to the north.
There was a sort of installation up on the wall bordering the John Brown House (1786). A series of small placards, like this one. A few were illustrations from Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and others were just text, placed there by someone who'd grown up on Benefit Street in the '40s and '50s.
Moss with prominent sporophytes, growing from a stone wall.
Inside the Providence Athenaeum. I love that they have an extant card catalog (though it was last updated in January 1998).
The Providence Athenaeum, view to the southeast.
All photographs Copyright © 2009 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac