Tags: fury road


Howard Hughes Doesn't Hug

Fucking fuck all what fucking dreadful day.

Rain all day, the last of our bit of Ida pass overhead. Currently, it's 75˚F. That's our high for the day.

Something Chris W. said to me today: "Yeah, I think the idea that we could see the light at the end of the tunnel made it a lot harder to deal with when we realized it was an oncoming train." Which does an eloquent a job as I could ever do of explaining how hope fucked me over. Going into April and May, dutifully getting my vaccinations, looking towards a return to some semblance of normalcy after a year in self isolation, only to have those expectations dashed by anti-vaxers, Republican disinformation campaigns, misinformation spread by foreign hackers, the whole insane anti-mask thing, the science deniers, all of it. That is why, I know, in July my resolve began to fray, and I began to spiral, and now I am in this place of anger and bitterness and fear from which I cannot even imagine actual escape. The light at the end, indeed.

But you know, we still need money, so there's the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

The afternoon's film was George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), which feels ever more relevant.

Aunt Beast

11:56 a.m.

"Out here, everything hurts."

A little bit of cloud cover today, a small chance of thunderstorms this evening. But the heat continues. Currently, it's 91˚F, with the heat index at 100˚F. Our high was 92˚F, and our max heat index was 105˚F.

I'm gonna try to make this short. Last night, the insomnia came back.

No writing today, little sleep last night.

We are reaching the point where, once again, even the idiots in Montgomery cannot ignore that something has to be done. Thanks to the Delta variant and low vaccination levels, Alabama now has the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in the nation, worse even than Florida. Our vaccination rates are improving very, very slightly. We've finally broken 40%, but we're still at 51st place nationwide. And the cases are soaring.

Resistance to masks is bizarrely fanatical in this state, as in much of America.

All the hopeful, modest plans Kathryn and I had back in May have been scrapped – visiting her family in Rhode Island, my going back to McWane part time, a little field work, research-related trips to Texas and Chicago. Here we stay. Again.

So, fear, anxiety, dread, boredom, resentment, frustration, and anger. Take your pick, kittens.


This afternoon's comfort film was Mad Max: Fury Road.

I listened to more of the Ape's Wife and Other Stories audiobook – a somewhat overwrought reading of "Tidal Forces" and a very decent take on "The Sea Troll's Daughter." I talked more with Bill Schafer about Vile Affections.

I can't find my old college slide rule, and I fear it's lost.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

6:42 p.m.

"You give them the colors, and the bells, and the wind, and the dream."

Rainy today, except when it was sunny. Our high was only 84˚F. That's our current temperature, with a heat index of 90˚F.

Another frustrating day, after another night when I hardly slept.

I read. I answered email. I worked a little on the cave matrix.

Today movie was Inception, which I'm now watching as frequently as Fury Road.

I bitched about the train wreck that is Governor Kay Ivey and the State of Alabama's plan to deal with the continuing pandemic. And also about the people who won't wear masks and the people who won't be vaccinated. They are COVID-19's greatest ally, and they make it strong.

Fuck it. Have a gander at my cool new ASIH t-shirt.

Aunt Beast

4:44 p.m.
Roy Batty

"Then who killed the world?"

Sunny and clouds by turns, today. Our high was 85˚F. Currently, it's only 73˚F. We are having a coolish summer so far.

Today was not especially more worthy of comment than yesterday. I managed some email and reading. I spent some time trying to clean my office.

The afternoon's comfort movie was Mad Max: Fury Road, which I think I am now watching about one a month.

And here it is already July. What the fuck.

Aunt Beast

12:49 p.m.

"I'm pinned down by the dark."

Mostly cloudy today. I think there was some rain before I got up at 7 a.m. I think I remember the streets being wet. Our high was 84˚F, and it's currently 82˚F, with the heat index at 83˚F.

I started a new story this morning, currently labeled "Untitled 46." That might change, but it might not. I did 1,016 words.

Later, after reading for a couple of hours, I did some work on Winifred.

The afternoon movie was (what seems to have become my monthly viewing of) George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). After dinner, I worked on some of the cave matrix. And now...here we are. A very productive and pleasantly unremarkable day.

The publication of Dr. Anthony Fauci's emails has mostly proven, once again, that the Trumpers and Far Right QAnon nuts can see the face of Jesus in any old grilled cheese sandwich.

As I said yesterday, and the day before yesterday, Spooky has eBay going again. Want one of my out-of-print, hard-to-find special editions, direct from me, signed by me to you, and want all the money to go directly into my pocket (well, minus eBay's cut and the IRS)? Yeah? Follow this link. Yeah, sorry. The link will have to do. The white rabbits are all busy with QAnon crap.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

7:57 a.m.

Miss Spooky's Lovecraftian Whatsits

Mostly sunny today. No rain after all. But our high was only 74˚F. We should be ten degrees warmer tomorrow.

I slept, so I worked. I did another 1,075 words on "Two Monsters Walk Into a Bar." And then I went back to work on Winifred, cleaning off marl with the new Dremel 4000.

Today comfort movie actually was a comfort movie. I was owed one, after enduring the three-day ordeal of Star Wars Episodes I-III. So, I got George Millar's Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

Anything else? I have to approve the cover for the audiobook of The Ammonite Violin & Others. I haven't done that yet. Oh, and please have a look in Spooky's Etsy shop, where she keeps all the cool shit she makes, including these handmade whatsit beasties that would make H.P.'s skin crawl (see photo below). And they can be yours, kiddos.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

4:25 p.m.
Roy Batty

"Plant one and watch something die."

A hot, hot day. I'm not sure what the actual high was, but I know the heat index made 102˚F at one point. Currently, it's 85˚F, with the heat index at 91˚F.

Today, I worked on the glyptosaurine paper, mostly studying the six osteoderms we have and reading or re-reading relevant papers, such as Chris Beard's 2008 "The oldest North American primate and mammalian biogeography during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum" and Robert Sullivan's 1979 revision of Glyptosaurus. And I played GW2, which I started playing again a couple of days ago, after a three-week break. And I watched Mythbusters and a documentary about the exploration of Mars.

Tuna sandwiches and fries for dinner.

Tonight, we watched Mad Max: Fury Road for the fourth time (counting the two times in the theater). Last night, we watched a documentary about Alexander McQueen.

Spooky's making the creepiest puppet....

Oh, but first, please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Good stuff, which I will sign and personalize. And it's still not too late to have a look at Spooky's birthday wishlist. Just click the link. Thank ye.

My Amazon.com Wish List

Later Gators,

5:13 p.m.
talks to wolves

"And the mouse police never sleeps."

Partly cloudy, mostly sunny, something like that, depending who you ask. Currently, it's 37˚F, with the windchill at 28˚F. Autumn has ended. We may see some snow flurries tonight and tomorrow.

I spend all day and all evening dreading bed. Finally, I take my pills and drag myself into it, around 3:30 a.m. or 4 a.m. or 4:30 a.m. And a few hours later, I awake to stark, blind, all-encompassing panic. Wake-up anxiety. This one's new for me. It began back in the summer, during the worst of the dry spell. I'd wake every morning to the horror that people are waiting on me to write a novel, but the words weren't coming. I'm talking cold-sweat, blinding anxiety. I'm talking palpitations and dry mouth. Now that it's December, I've still got that, but it's also being fueled, redoubled, trebled, by the ascent of Der Trümpenführer and his Half Reich of Deplorables. Crippling anxiety, with a dash of existential shock. I awake, and there's the writing anxiety, and then I remember what happened on November 8th, and it gets much, much worse. So, bed is a bad place. If I don't sleep, I don't have to wake up. You may or may not understand. You might or might not get it. Maybe you had to be there.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. The auction for a copy of Silk with an original vintage 1996 Death's Little Sister sticker ends in about four hours. Don't miss out, kittens.


This year, a first. I'm inviting Xmas/whatever holiday cards from readers, as a possible antidote to my depression and anxiety. After eschewing Xmas for more than fifteen years, I'm gonna try. We're even going to get an Xmas branch (no room for a whole tree). Just one card per person, please. The address is:

Caitlín R. Kiernan
P.O. Box 603096
Providence, RI 02906


Last night, after Mexican from the taqueria in Olneyville, we watched Roger Waters: The Wall (2014, dir. Sean Evans and Roger Waters), which records performances from the most recent Wall tour. It is an astoundingly powerful, beautiful film. I never thought we'd reach a time when The Wall (album 1979, film film 1982) would feel more horrifying relevant than it did when it was released. But it does. It is. So is Pink Floyd's The Final Cut, both of those together. They speak directly to Brexit and Trump, the alt-right and the current reemergence of fascism across Europe. Afterwards, we watched Mad Max: Fury Road, which I liked a great deal better on a small screen that was able to contain it's chaos and allow me to take in everything the director was trying to convey. Truly, I've rarely changed my mind so completely about a film. First time I saw it, you may recall, I loathed it. Second time, a couple of weeks later, I liked it, and I apologized for hating it. There is a protocol to watching this film. For me, there is. It wasn't at all what I expected, and, as I have said many times, expectations are the death of art. But now I have learned to see it, this opera of violence, as stylized as any film has ever been. And, yeah, there's no way to watch it now and not see Immortan Joe as the Horror Clown. The tagline could be "Pussy Grabs Back. Literally." Along with Inglourious Basterds, it will go on my list of films that can help us resist and survive the apocalypse, coming to the White House and Capitol Hill on January 20th.

Stay tuned, kittens. Keep watching the skies.

Aunt Beast

The Red Tree

"My heart's a tart, your body's rent. My body's broken, yours is spent."

Warmer today. Currently sunny and 56˚F.

Sirenia Digest #121 went out to subscribers late yesterday afternoon, so if you're a subscriber you should have the February 2016 issue.

Two important matters:

1. Very soon, we've got to move out of this house in the Armory District, the house we've lived in now since June 2, 2008. That's almost twice as long as I've ever lived at any other address. We've known this was coming for a while now. Our landlord is selling the house (and no, I cannot afford to buy a house, so please do not suggest that; I can barely afford to rent). This means that we have to find a new place fairly soon, and it means we're looking at the expense of a move. While moving in state will be vastly cheaper than was our move from Georgia to Rhode Island, it certainly will not be cheap. We're planning on trying to get out of the city and relocate to South County. Please do not ask why I've abandoned my plans to head back to Alabama or Georgia. I don't feel like explaining that right now. We've decided the sooner we move the better, to escape the impending chaos of real estate agents and prospective buyers.

2. A couple of months back, I had a long talk with my agent, Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House (NYC), and she stressed how much better it would be if, this time out, I could give her a complete novel instead of sample chapters and a proposal. By better, I mean that by shopping a complete novel, she's much more likely to be able to land me a good book deal. And by good I mean better money, better promotion, and better distribution. However, I can't afford to do that. I need the money from an advance to live on while I write the novel. And this conundrum is a big reason my sales haven't improved over the years. So, Merrilee and Kathryn and I have devised a solution. I'm going to set up a Patreon account that will allow readers to make donations to help keep me solvent while I write the Next New Novel. We expect to kick off the Patreon sometime this week. It will be announced here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. So, details TBA. If I can bring in a minimum of $1,000/month, then I'll be able, finally, to write a novel the right way round. This is very, very important, so please stay tuned, and I hope you'll help out.*

I was pleased with the Oscars last night. Six Academy Awards (!!!) to Mad Max: Fury Road, the film I despised on my first viewing and loved on my second (the same thing happened with The Fifth Element). And one to Ex Machina. And one to Ennio Morricone. That's pretty sweet.

Aunt Beast

* The Patreon income would also help with the considerable moving expenses.

Postcript: No, selling film rights to two novels did not make me independently wealthy.
The Red Tree

"And I was a cage, a cage to you."

Overcast and cold, 33˚F, with the windchill at 16˚F.

Today, I need to begin something for Sirenia Digest #120.

Yesterday, about 4 p.m. (3 p.m. EST), my agent called and we had a long conversation about the next novel. It's that time. It's actually long past that time. I haven't released a new novel – the Quinn books most emphatically do not count – since March 2012. The novel that should have followed The Drowning Girl has long been delayed, and I can't delay any longer. Since the summer of 2014, I'd thought that novel would be Interstate Love Song. But I'm not where I need to be to write that book. It's a Southern story, and I can't write it sitting here in Providence. So, I've finally made the decision to shelve it and, instead, go with an idea I've had since June 2013, since the long train ride down to New Orleans, Currently, I have no title, and I'm not yet ready to divulge anything about the plot. But Merrilee and I talked about it, and she's optimistic. And I'm excited. It's been a long time since I've been excited about writing a novel. I'm going to begin it in February.

I didn't sleep well last night.

I've only just seen Gary K. Wolfe's Locus review of Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea, only just last night. It made me smile.

Last night we had Progresso soup and grilled cheeses for dinner, and then watched Tom Hammock's The Last Survivors (2014). The IMDb synopsis reads, "A teenage girl fights to protect the last working well in a drought-stricken valley from a greedy water baron." Which is true. And if you only had that to go on, you'd expect a western. At it's core, that's exactly what The Last Survivors turns out to be. It just happens this drought is at the end of the world. I was also struck by obvious parallels between Hammock's film and Mad Mad: Fury Road. In some ways, The Last Survivors is the far more honest of the two films. It's certainly the more realistic, not bogged down by the over-the-top Gwar, amusement-part thrill-ride nonsense of George Miller's film. True, Hammock's film could have benefited from a stronger script, and at times the acting is a bit wobbly, which points to weak direction (this is his directorial debut), but...well, it's streaming on Netflix if you'd like to see for yourselves. I liked it. We also watched the next episode of The Expanse. I think I'm going to grow fond of this series.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast