Travel, writing, marking essays, launching Midnight and Moonshine, editing, applying for jobs… Any and all of these things explain my general lack of updatery lately. That’s no excuse, you say? True. True. So I shall endeavour to fill you all in on the events of the past month in a short series of Mega-Catchup Posts — beginning with this one.
Basically, the World Fantasy Convention was awesome. It was the first one I’d attended — thanks, in large part, to a Professional Development grant I’d received from Arts SA (thank you, Arts SA!!) — and I still can’t believe what an amazing time I had in Toronto. For some reason, I imagined that I’d arrive at the con, not knowing too many people (a few, luckily!) and that all of the other, more established authors would have their other, more established circles of friends and that I’d wind up like a wallflower at the school dance, watching all the cool kids have fun while I scoped out the nearest exit. Well, that was SO NOT THE CASE.
Everyone was incredibly friendly, warm, and amazingly welcoming — honestly, this post is going to be filled with nothing but gush — and I was so happy to hang out with the lot of them for four days. Hurricane Sandy might have put a damper on the weather, but luckily the hotel bar had heat aplenty: fiery conversations, drinks, and the friction of elbows rubbing.
Ann VanderMeer’s wonderful introduction to Bluegrass Symphony is now up at Ecstatic Days!
Jeff kicks things off with a little stroll down memory lane…
I first met Lisa L. Hannett when I taught at Clarion South in 2009, and I was impressed with her originality and her prose. (She also looked like she could kick my ass, although that’s neither here nor there.)
Flash-forward just a couple of years and she has several short story sales and a collection, Bluegrass Symphonyout. The collection is just the opening salvo in what promises to be a great career. As I said in my blurb for the book, she “shows a stylistic flair and depth of story…Her fiction is smart, confident, and in her own voice.”
Publishers Weekly wrote: “Hannett’s first collection shows off her fondness for lush imagery, unsettling concepts, indirect prose, and multilayered plots…a collection for fans of weirdness, wonder, and oft-disturbing twists.” (There’s more info on the publisher’s page for the book.)
The rest be here. Go! Read! Enjoy.
I’m finding it hard to articulate how sad this makes me. Really. Wow. Words cannot express…
In the past five years, Ann has revitalised this prestigious magazine with her brilliant editorial work. And I’m not the only one to think so, considering Weird Tales has won one Hugo and been nominated for three more under Ann’s leadership. The stories Ann has chosen for publication have been so exciting, varied, new and (most importantly) beautifully weird, that it’s hard to understand why or how she can no longer be steering Weird Tales into the future.
I also want to point out, from a personal perspective, how important Ann has been for emerging writers like myself. In every email she sends, in every story she chooses, in every bit of advice Ann gives, it is abundantly clear that she cares about speculative fiction. About sharing it with the world. About encouraging writers to continue making the magical stories we all love so much. And about sharing the absolute best of these stories in the pages of Weird Tales.
It’s hard to face the end of an era when, to all intents and purposes, the era was at its peak…
The Uncanny Beauty issue of Weird Tales has a beeee-ooooo-tiful cover:
And it has a super-exciting ToC:
- “Secretario” by Catherynne M. Valente
- “A Concise & Ready Guide” by Ian R. MacLeod
- “Beauty & Disapperance” by Kat Howard
- “One Minute Weird Tale” by Lauren Beukes
- “Sisters Under the Skin” by L.L. Hannett
- “How Bria Died” by Mike Arnovitz
- “The Wakened Image” by Natania Barron
- Strange Faces – nonfiction by Theodora Goss
- Le Tarot de Gaga – feature by Amal El-Mohtar
- Sirens & Gargoyles – art by Callie Badorrek
- Our Queen, Our Mother Our Margaret – nonfiction by Paula Guran
- Galactic Tomboy to Sci-Fi Pinup Girl (and Back Again) – nonfiction by Rae Bryant
- Lost in Lovecraft: To Pnatkotus & Beyond – column – Kenneth H. Hite…AND MORE!
I’m in such amazing company in this issue (Catherynne Valente! Theodora Goss! Amal El-Mohtar!) I feel like I should get dressed up.