a few items of possible interest

First, there is a lovely review of my second collection, You’ll Know When You Get There, at the site “See the Elephant,” written by Paul St.John Macintosh. You can, of course, purchase You’ll Know When You Get There from its publisher, Swan River Press.

Second, my Shirley-Jackson Award-winning story, “The Dying Season,” has been reprinted at Nightmare Magazine, where you can read it for free. I strongly suggest that if you like the story, you should buy the anthology it appears in, Aickman’s Heirs, which also won the Shirley Jackson and is one of the best anthologies I’ve read. (It’s available on Kindle as well.) Oh! And there is also an interview with me, largely about the story, at the same site.

Third, the writer David Surface has written a lovely piece on his blog feature, “One Great Story,” about one of my early published stories, “These Things We Have Always Known.”

Fourth, I’ve written a couple of pieces about other writers for Women in Horror month. Check out the list of recommendations at Mark West’s Women in Horror mixtape, and over at the Ginger Nuts of Horror, Jim Mcleod asked me to write about a woman horror writer who’d influenced me in the past and also a newer one that I would recommend.

Black Static. Bleak Days.

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cover art by Joachim Luetke

The new issue of Black Static is out, and in my bimonthly column, I talk about the intersection of politics and art:

What, then, are we to do, those of us who look at the world around us and see a narrowing, a meanness, a falling back to fight old battles we thought were won? And how can stories about monsters help anyone in times like these?

The magazine has the usual mix of terrific fiction, art, reviews, interviews, and commentary and includes the debut of Ralph Robert Moore as my fellow columnist. You can get this issue free if you subscribe now.

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I can scarcely believe what a different world we are living in, and what a bleak one we are on the brink of, compared to my last post on this blog. You’ll be hearing from me more here than usual in the weeks and months ahead, because I have a lot to say and a lot to process and I have to believe that words can save us, or I’ll give in to despair.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

Resist. Dissent. Make art.

That’s all I got.

a call for submissions

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I’m guest editing an issue of the science fiction fanzine Journey Planet called The Write Stuff. We’re looking for all kinds of articles about the writing life–the good, the bad, advice, anecdotes, etc.

We’re not looking for how-to-write articles or articles that wax about the joys of writing. What we’re looking for is real nuts-and-bolts type stuff, honest straight talk about the business side of things, and the ugly truths. You’ll be writing for an audience of aspiring writers and fans of speculative fiction who have an interest in looking under the hood of things.

If you’d like to write something for us, drop me a line (lyndarucker at gmail dot com). If you think you’d like to write something for us but you don’t have any ideas, also drop me a line, and we will work with you to think of something! Deadline is mid-February-ish.

interval

I always find it kind of annoying when people talk in their blogs about how busy they are (except you who are reading this; I am sure if you do this on your blog you do it in a way that’s utterly charming). It’s not as annoying as “I have thrilling news I can’t share,” but that’s a rant for another day. Anyway, I find it annoying, BUT (does anyone besides me on writing that word hear Pee Wee Herman say to Simone, as they’re sitting in the big dinosaur heads, “Tell me about your big but?” Anyone? Just me? Okay then) I’m about to do that, or at least I am briefly noting that February is shaping up to be a very busy month for me but I’m still trying to keep my blog from falling into total radio silence.

So I wanted to share a couple of cool blogs I’ve found lately:

Got Medieval is a blog of things medieval, especially medieval marginalia. If that made you go “whuh…”, hang on for a moment. You know how when you get bored you doodle little things in the corners of pages? Well, so did the monks and the nuns and the other folks hanging out around medieval manuscripts back in the day. This may be the most charming thing (I know, I used “charming” up in the first paragraph, too, but it’s the best word for what this is) that I learned from studying medieval lit. I know, I know, it’s presentism to make a remark like Gee whiz! They were just like us! but they weren’t, you know, aliens either, and there’s something about the idea of a bored monk doodling round the edges of a sacred illuminated manuscripts that makes them seem a little less of an unknowable cipher to me, at least. I doodle therefore I am human. I’m surprised we don’t find doodles round the edges of ancient cave paintings, although I suppose the lack of portability for cave walls meant that they weren’t getting carried to boring cave person meetings.

Second blog: Come Here to Me! A blog about Dublin history and culture. Frequently updated and just fascinating, particularly if you know and love this city at all. Highly recommended.

farewell to the poe toaster

This story made me sad. You see, since at least 1940 and some say for even longer, a mysterious figure has turned up at the grave of Edgar Allen Poe on his birthday (January 19) and poured a bit of cognac, toasted, and left behind the bottle of cognac and three red roses arranged in a very specific configuration. Over the years there’s been a great deal of speculation as to who may be behind this ceremony. It’s said that there was some indication that the tradition was passed on to the next generation some time in the nineties.  But it seems to have come to an end at last, with the toaster failing to turn up for the third year in a row. And so a literary mystery ends with something of a whimper. It was a lovely mystery while it lasted, though.

There’s also a Poe house in Philadelphia, by the way, not just the one in Baltimore. A couple of years ago my friend David Surface wrote a terrific piece on his blog about his visit to that Poe House here.