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Everyday Life in Postapocalyptic America

Yesterday is a vicious blur of words. I did another 1,113 words on "The Maltese Unicorn." I'd hoped I'd be finished by Friday. I'm going to Boston on Sunday (the long-delayed birthday dinner), and I very much wanted to put this puppy to bed beforehand. I fear, however, I won't be finishing until maybe Tuesday. I've already spent twelve days on this story, not counting all the research I did back in May. It is becoming a vast and moody thing, this tale.

My thanks to everyone who bid in the most recent round of eBay auctions. New auctions will begin very soon, maybe as early as this afternoon.

My author's copies of The Ammonite Violin & Others should be along any day now. If you've not yet ordered a copy, I hope you'll do so.

What else to yesterday? It was such a long stretch of writing (as was Monday), I wasn't up for much when it was over. I signed contracts for a reprint of "The Bone's Prayer." I proofed the galleys for the author's note section of the forthcoming The Red Tree mass-market paperback.

I read a paper in the new JVP, "A new basal hadrosauroid (Dinosauria, Ornithopoda) from the Turonian of New Mexico." After dinner, Spooky and I watched an episode from Season Five of Deadliest Catch (because I'm a crab-fishing nerd), and then she trimmed my hair, which was very badly in need of a trim. Then we played four hours of WoW, and Gnomenclature and Klausgnomi both reached Level 26. I think when they reach 30, we'll be switching back to our blood elves, Shaharrazad and Suraa, to finish up Lich King. Then we'll likely spend the summer on our space goats...um, I mean our Draenei...before switching back to our blood elves in the autumn. It's good to have these things planned out, I think. Later, when I tried to go to sleep, all I could think about was work, and I had my first bout of insomnia in a couple weeks. I finally had to take an Ambien, which i am increasingly loathe to do. I read Patton Oswalt and Patric Reynolds' Serenity: Float Out, a nice one-off from Dark Horse. And finally, about four, I got to sleep (only to be awakened before ten by construction noise).

Last night, someone wrote to thank me for my part in the documentary Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (2008). But he also brought up the fact that I was the only woman interviewed in the film, and the way that, in general, women are scarce when it comes to Lovecraft criticism and Lovecraftian anthologies. There's no way to not agree with this. The problem is readily apparent, and, in fact, I was a little uncomfortable watching the final cut of the documentary, the absence of female commentators is so conspicuous. This is one reason I was very pleased with ellen_datlow's Lovecraft Unbound. There are stories by twenty-two authors, and eight of the authors are female, which is far more than average for an anthology of Lovecraft-inspired stories. Consider, The Song of Cthulhu (Chaosium, 2001): twenty authors, one woman (me). Or Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth (Fedogan and Bremer, 2005): twelve authors, only one woman (me). Or The Children of Cthulhu (Del Rey, 2002): twenty-three authors, three women (including me). Or Cthulhu 2000 (Arkham House, 2000): eighteen authors, but only three are women. Or Black Wings: Tales of Lovecratian Horror (PS Publishing, 2010): twenty-one authors, two women (myself included). I could go on, but I'll wait until another time. This is a very complex subject, and one I should return to some day when I can do it justice. However, yes, I do see a definite gender bias at work here.

The platypus is eager, so...I should get to it.


( 12 comments — Have your say! )
Jun. 9th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I am looking forward to reading Lovecraft Unbound.
Jun. 9th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)

I am looking forward to reading Lovecraft Unbound.

It really is an excellent collection.
Jun. 9th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
I was quite pleased with it.
Jun. 9th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
Lovecraft Unbound ranks as one of my top favorite anthologies. Every one of her anthologies delivers, but this one is wonderful.
Jun. 10th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Do you think that a lack of women in Lovecraft's work is one factor that a lot of women are not attracted to his work?

I don't think that's the only reason, but I am sure that it plays into it at least to a small degree.
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)

Do you think that a lack of women in Lovecraft's work is one factor that a lot of women are not attracted to his work?

I think that's definitely a factor.
Jun. 11th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Um, I rather think some of it was that he was scared of women. Even though married at one point.

He was scared of many things.

I was living in Cambridge, going to MIT, when I read the story where the horrible monster was chasing the protagonist through a tunnel, and the protagonist's deteriorating mind was screaming "Harvard! Central! Kendall!" etc., which are stations on the Boston subway system's Red Line. Lovecraft thought subways were frightful things.
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:39 am (UTC)
Didn't Joyce Carol Oates (one of my favorite writers) do the introduction to a Lovecraft Anthology?

It's one thing if she turned them down, but how could they NOT ask her to say something? It's Joyce. Carol. Oates. Who is considered by practically everyone to be one of the writers alive. And who loves horror and mentioned Lovecraft in the introduction to her book of horror-ish short stories (or, grotesque and arabesque short stories, as she put it). Sheesh.

(not that I don't think your work is up there with hers--you topped my "best book read in 2009" list and she topped my "best book read in 2008" list; I think you are both among the best writers alive--but more people know about her; how could they miss? )
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)

Didn't Joyce Carol Oates (one of my favorite writers) do the introduction to a Lovecraft Anthology?

She did, yes. She also had a story in Lovecraft Unbound.
Jun. 10th, 2010 05:49 am (UTC)
It is so weird. I was hooked on HPL back in junior high (1973). The paperbacks with the nasty cover illustrations are still in my attic. Proper place for them, eh? I carried them as a proud badge of weirdness.

Despite his flaws, he spoke to the alienated. That's why I loved reading his tales. He wrote outsider art. Did he know how he would touch certain outsiders? Can't answer that one.
Jun. 11th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
There are already many comments on your very last post, so I'll post here and if you see it, good, and if not, I won't be missed. You must know of this site, yes?: http://www.cthulhulives.org

Because if you don't, that would be a terrible failure of the webiverse. We have the two carolling CDs and the silent movie. The silent movie is perfect. It does have some females in it.
Jun. 11th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Lovecraft Unbound is wonderful. It may be the first anthology I've enjoyed cover to cover. I bought it because I have a strict policy of buying everything I can of your work so it was just icing on the cake that the other authors came through.

I can't believe how many anthologies that are just Lovecraftian that you have been a part of. I need to look for those books. ^_^
( 12 comments — Have your say! )