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Yesterday, or the day before (I actually can't remember), FedEx brought an envelope from Dark Horse that I suspect contains the final issue of Alabaster: Wolves. I'm not sure, because I haven't opened it. Probably, I never will. I've said many times, I don't read my books once their published, once it's done.

Oh, Spooky says the FedEx envelope came day before yesterday. Regardless, Alabaster: Wolves #5 will be in stores August 15th. I approve of the quote from the Geeks of Doom website: ...Gentle and horrific and apocalyptic all at once. But only if apocalyptic is understood in its original meaning. That is, "a prophetic disclosure or revelation." And as long as horrific is understood to mean something much more complex than scary. The gentle part, I'll take that as is, thank you.

Yesterday, I only managed 1,256 words on Chapter Two of Fay Grimmer. My mood had the grim part down, but the fay kept slipping through my fingers.

A couple of days back, I declared on Twitter that I would write no more "dark fantasy" short fiction, but only "science fiction," until I was generally recognized as an author of science fiction. That is, until I'm released from the kindergarten of "horror" and allowed to play with the Big Boys and Girls. Mostly boys, but they have let a few girls in. I'm trying to decide if I can keep this promise. I want to, certainly. The chief concern is time, as I need much more time to write science fiction. But, you know, think about how Ray Bradbury earned the title "greatest living science fiction author," when he was surely as great a fantasist as any whose ever lived. And people think of Harlan Ellison as an sf author, when, technically, he's probably written more fantasy, of one stripe or another, than anything else. But, yeah. This is a thing I'm seriously considering. Novels are exempt. Also, today's standards are exempt. Fuck the droning dullness of "mundane" sf. Fuck the "singularity." You'd find me mostly (as always) playing in the unfashionable space opera, retro-cyberpunk, so-called "bio-punk" (which I do tons of already), and social (or "soft") sf sandboxes.

Probably, I sold two new books yesterday, the next collection and a novella. That ought count as a good day, shouldn't it? Shouldn't it?

So, what is this stone around my chest? Why is it so hard to breathe? Why these moribund ideations?

Why not?

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.
~ Sylvia Plath, "Lady Lazarus"

---

Don't forget, the Perseids peak this weekend, as Earth passes through the dusty remains of the comet Swift-Tuttle. So, look to the northeast and watch the sky fall.

And Jesus fuck, isn't the world sick of fucking zombies yet?

Gentle & Horrific & Apocalyptic, All At Once,
Aunt Beast

Comments

( 60 comments — Have your say! )
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thingunderthest
Aug. 10th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
I am both excited for the final Dark Horse installment of Alabaster:Wolves. I am enjoying it very much, but I always have a bit of sadness at the end of a tale I love and want more, so will probably sit unopened as long as I can withstand it, but I know I will succumb to its lure before long.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)

Fortunately, I know the ending.
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vulpine137
Aug. 10th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
Yay for new sales. Personally I stopped thinking of you as any one genre author a while back. You don't fit any one genre, I file your books in my 'weird fiction' shelves because well, when someone asks me for authors to read after they get into HPL, you're one of the names I rattle off as 'you'd probably like these authors'.

And while I am getting tired of zombies, they still trump vampires. I'd like more sea monsters though.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)

And while I am getting tired of zombies, they still trump vampires. I'd like more sea monsters though.

Depends on how the vampires are handled. Then again, I admit to a vampire fetish, so long as the vampires are genuinely gruesome. And yeah. Sea monsters. Though the word "monster" is suspect.

Edited at 2012-08-10 05:50 pm (UTC)
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slothman
Aug. 10th, 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)
I would think your science background has lots of great inspiration for making aliens really alien!

Out here in California, Pat MacEwen (physical anthropologist by day, science fiction writer by night) often does talks on “Alien Sex” at science fiction conventions, presenting all kinds of mindboggling behavior from real-world biology and asking: what would a sentient species be like with a reproductive strategy like that? I often go back to my notes from her presentations when I’m working on a species for Friday night game.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)

I would think your science background has lots of great inspiration for making aliens really alien!

And not how few successful sf writers are both good writers and have a background in science. For that matter, not how many successful lousy authors...well, same thing.
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David Szydloski
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
"And Jesus fuck, isn't the world sick of fucking zombies yet?"

Absolutely. I don't know why they are so popular.

I have to say though, I am intrigued by the new movie "Paranorman" by the same studio that did Neil Gaiman's "Coraline" adaptation.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)

Absolutely. I don't know why they are so popular.

I could write an essay...


I have to say though, I am intrigued by the new movie "Paranorman" by the same studio that did Neil Gaiman's "Coraline" adaptation.


Alas, I hated the Coraline adaptation, and will be skipping Paranorman.

Edited at 2012-08-10 06:15 pm (UTC)
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nykolus
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
I've always held a soft spot for your SF. I've lost count of how many times I've read THE DRY SALVAGES. That's great news for purely selfish reasons.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)

I've lost count of how many times I've read THE DRY SALVAGES.

Bow tie.
andrian6
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. Given I won't be seeing new images of Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbinder cavorting around a biomechanical spacecraft for several years, you're the only one qualified to fill in the gap.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)

Given I won't be seeing new images of Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbinder cavorting around a biomechanical spacecraft for several years, you're the only one qualified to fill in the gap.

Thank you.
handful_ofdust
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
On sovay's advice, I am going to make my next chizine.com column an appreciation of your SF--The Dry Salvages and A is for Alien, specifically. So if that's where you're going from now on, count me in. Then again, I feel honour-bound to point out that it wouldn't really matter to me which direction you headed in, because I'd be on board anyhow.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)

Across the board, I am flattered, and thank you tremendously.
ashlyme
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
I'll be happy to see more SF from you. "A Is For Alien"'s probably due a re-read; I've gone through "The Dry Salvages" at least twice.

Well done on the sales!
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)

Well done on the sales!

But I am weighed down by this indifference.
martianmooncrab
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
I would write no more "dark fantasy" short fiction

you are labeling yourself. Stop that. Write what you want and call it what you want, if its steampunk unicorns with shapeshifting investigators and draugs, call it SF.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)

you are labeling yourself.

No. Not exactly. I am retaliating against those who labeling me, in kind.

Edited at 2012-08-10 06:47 pm (UTC)
fornikate
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
i'll never get sick of zombies. it's been 30 years and i still love them.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)

i'll never get sick of zombies. it's been 30 years and i still love them.

When they became a joke, I started tuning them out. Also, when people ceased to be able to distinguish between zombies (reanimated corpses) and violently diseased cannibals and murderers.
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esanko
Aug. 10th, 2012 07:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tip on the Perseids- did not know-
Harlan Ellison... I've read every word he's ever written that I could find. There really are no words. A god. Bradbury, JG Ballard, Silverberg. I stopped reading SF a while ago because I couldn't find anything new like them. The genre became boring- stale. I will continue reading anything you write whatever you decide to call it. Speculative fiction.
"Moribund ideations". You rule. Congrats on the sales! Less moribundness...
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)

The genre became boring- stale. I will continue reading anything you write whatever you decide to call it. Speculative fiction.

I pretty much stopped after early Gibson.

Less moribundness...

I try.
corucia
Aug. 10th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)

Glad to hear of more book sales! I'm away next week so I'll miss the last Alabaster release, but I have it pulled for me at my local comic store.

More SF from you is always welcome - Dry Salvages is a splendid read, as are the stories in A is for Alien. I think the readers that need to pigeonhole authors are looking only for comfort in their reading, and so want everything predictable and familiar. Deviations that make upset that equation are not welcome. Those who are looking for the Other in authors' works are often hoping for innovation and departure from an author's norm - perhaps the author will present something that the reader hasn't considered, thus fulfilling their desire for Other.

Sparkly vampires and too-fast in-your-face zombies have been done to death and dust, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps if they swapped everything around? A sparkly zombie and a too-fast vampire! No, wait... 30 Days of Night did that with the vampire. And I guess we've always had the sparkly zombie, although everyone calls him by his first name, Jesus. Never mind.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)

too-fast in-your-face zombies

See, those are the one's I like (though, usually, they're actually diseased living, and so not zombies). And vampires ought be swift, feral, vicious, the marriage of beast and man, of the hammers of death and sex.

More SF from you is always welcome - Dry Salvages is a splendid read, as are the stories in A is for Alien. I think the readers that need to pigeonhole authors are looking only for comfort in their reading, and so want everything predictable and familiar. Deviations that make upset that equation are not welcome.

It's more than that with SF. "Horror" is seen as a literary ghetto, and fantasy is often seen as, well, less than deserving of serious consideration. These are the attitudes of many SF authors and readers, and is evident at cons, etc.

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whiskeychick
Aug. 10th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
I do it so it feels real.
Also ala Goo-Goo Dolls (who obviously was reading Plath when they wrote: "Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive..."

I think an inherent part of being an artist is that striving to more, do better, do faster, ad nauseum.

Also think that as artists -- and think I've even typed these same words here on your journal before -- that we feel things deeper, swifter and more painfully, so we may let someone out in the wide world know they are not alone.

Congratulations on the new contracts/sales. Take a few hours and celebrate. Go swim in the sea. I always notice that you kick ass in your productivity right after communing with your apparent element. Perhaps the stone feels lighter then?

Done with Zombies myself. Since the third episode of the TV version of Walking Dead (the comic was much better) which I just could not finish because, well, the writing was terrible.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 10th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
Re: I do it so it feels real.

I think an inherent part of being an artist is that striving to more, do better, do faster, ad nauseum.

Unless...never mind.

Take a few hours and celebrate. Go swim in the sea.

The deadlines say no.
dipsomaniac
Aug. 10th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
That Plath poem is like my M.O.
clockworkwasp
Aug. 10th, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
I suspect I've said it here before but I love your science fiction stories. Whenever I go back to The Dry Salvages and A is for Alien I'm sad that you say that they've never received as much recognition; partly because it means you are less likely to write more of it.

My copy of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart has arrived (UK) with The Yellow Book which is just as beautiful as you said it would be.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 11th, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)

Whenever I go back to The Dry Salvages and A is for Alien I'm sad that you say that they've never received as much recognition; partly because it means you are less likely to write more of it.


I know how it sounds, because I know how people want to believe art works, but if people don't want it, I can't get paid to write it, so I don't write it.
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( 60 comments — Have your say! )