I am slowing down on To Each Their Darkness, because it’s less about writing so far, and more about a whole lot of films I haven’t seen. I plan to keep inching through it–so far, it’s had two absolutely harrowing anecdotes that do genuinely touch on the subject of darkness–but I’ll move at a slower pace.
I will also slip away, behind its back, to start up with a book I’ve been waiting for forever, even before I knew it was finally getting written. It’s called Remote, it’s by Donn Cortez, and speaking of darkness, it’s the sequel to a truly horrific novel called The Closer, which in addition to being one of the spookiest thrillers I’ve ever had the privilege to read, is set in East Vancouver, and features big parts of my backyard terrain, including Bon’s Cafe and the annual Parade of Lost Souls.
The Closer has one of the best final lines of any novel I’ve ever read. I won’t excerpt it… it only makes sense in context. But I assure you, it’s killer.
I don’t know anyone else who’s read it… it’s so dark, it falls outside what most of my friends prefer. It’s like Dexter dialed up. Anyone know it?
So I am keen to see where the story goes next.
And while I’m talking books, Elizabeth Bear’s Range of Ghosts is out! I reviewed it extensively here, and recommend it wholeheartedly.
In food news, I’ve finally made the pumpkin peanut soup recipe posted by Badger, from Vegan on the Cheap. It was nummy delicious.
Save the date, local peeps! There are now three short weeks to April 10th and the release of Blue Magic in trade paperback and electronic editions. If you’re here in Vancouver, there will be a launch on April 19th at the UBC Bookstore downtown, 800 Robson Street, 7:30 p.m. I’ll read, there will be at least one prize draw, and I’m working on getting in a special guest artist. Come one, come all!
In other news–if it’s Tuesday, Buffy must be in retrograde. I mean danger. Or is that Dawn? My rewatch of “Ted” and “Bad Eggs” is up at Tor.com.
Speaking of Buffy, my fellow BtVS fans and good friends Lizben gave me this fabulous Buffy TeeFury t-shirt on the weekend, by way of a belated birthday present. Isn’t it awesome?
Blue Magic will be out on April 10th, which is a mere 124 days from now, and I am excited and extremely proud to have the official go-ahead on showing you the cover art…
Lovely, mmm? This is a composite image–the portrait is by photographer Clayton Bastiani and the nebula (here’s the original) comes to us from NASA. The exquisite design is by Jamie Stafford Hill. All of this effort was pulled together by the Tor Books art department, and in particular the wonderful Irene Gallo. Thank you, team Tor! It’s a beautiful cover and really appropriate.
What I love about this cover–besides that it looks so at home with the original Indigo Springs art and that it’s gorgeous in its own right–is that the figure could be one of several of the characters from the novel… but that’s something I’ll talk about in a later post, after more of you have read it. I’m actually contemplating a Who is She? contest, to run after Blue Magic‘s available… when? Oh, April 10th, that’s right.
P.S. If you click on the image, it gets bigger.
I’m pleased to announce that my dark fantasy novelette, “The Sorrow Fair“, is available in the Kindle Store for the princely sum of $0.99. The novelette made its original print appearance in 2008, in the now-defunct Helix Speculative Fiction, and was edited by William Sanders and Lawrence Watt-Evans. Here’s a taste:
Gabe tried to push past the child, to hop over the turnstile. She grabbed his forearm with irresistible strength, turning it palm-up and swiping her candy floss over his wrist. The fibers smoked where they touched him: there was a smell of acid and a blister rose on his forearm. Swelling to the size of his fist, the skin mottled and blackened, scorched first into indecipherable patterns and then into something recognizable: a printed rectangular ticket.
“Admit one,” it read.
Setting the candy aside, the Girl Scout pulled out a straight razor.
“Stop,” Gabe objected, but he couldn’t pull free.
My chosen Exquisite Words quote from this past Monday came from Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, a book that inspired my choice of setting for this story: reading Larson’s book and especially the history surrounding the invention of the Ferris Wheel was what drew me to Chicago, and The World’s Fair, for this.
I don’t remember that much, besides that, about the process of writing “The Sorrow Fair.” It was written right smack in the period when I was going to Alberta for a lot of family funerals, and the story certainly holds a resonance with the sadness that permeated those years.
But it has romantic love and music and all the kinds of weirdness you’ve probably come to expect from me. I was pleased with how it turned out, I still am, and I hope you will be too.
There are a lot of kinds of humor and everyone laughs at different things, but I think it takes a real gift to make any reader laugh out loud using prose–because so much of funny is about tone and expression and context. Where you get that back, with just text, is voice and one of the many things worth admiring about Vonnegut–and the reason he makes me laugh–is that he had voice to burn.
If I may insert a personal note at this point: When I was alive, I often received advice from my own big brain which, in terms of my own survival, or the survival of the human race, for that matter, can be charitably described as questionable. Example: It had me join the United States Marines and go fight in Vietnam. Thanks a lot big brain.
–Kurt Vonnegut Jr., GALAPAGOS
On a completely other note, I am playing with an app called Tripcolor, to see if it would be a good way to send Italy pics to you all over the holidays and make you totally jealous. Hmmm, that doesn’t make it sound like a good idea. Anyway, said playing is happening here.