Tuesday, December 08, 2009

See these other horns? Lo! I blow them.

I have 2 copies of Weird Tales #353, 8 copies of Weird Tales #354, 3 copies the Murder By Death soundtrack to Finch, and 3 copies of The Church's soundtrack to Shriek.

#353 is pretty damn awesome, with special mentions going to Jeff Johnson's The Garbacologist (I love the bunnies), Caleb Wilson's Court Scranto (what was chilling was, for a long while, I forgot it was 'speculative'), and Hunter Eden's Selected Views of Mt. Fuji, With Dinosaurs (which is exactly what it says it is).

#354 is, hey, pretty damn awesome as well. Which you'd expect, really, since this is Weird Fucking Tales, dammit. Favourites were Richard Howard's Ambient Morgue Music (which you can read free on that link, and I encourage you to do so, 'cause you need some disquiet to unsettle you, sitting comfortably at your desk), The Men In That Water by Zdravka Evtimova, and one I'm particularly fond of, Kevin Veale's Twisted, which is pegged on the cover as "the greatest zombie story you'll read this year" and it totally is. Think "gonzo".

The two soundtracks are as different as the bands responsible for them, and each suits their book-genesis marvelously. I'm quite in love with the Murder By Death album. Aside from being luscious on the ears, it's also a surprise little object of beauty.

All these delectable items of art are available for the devouring. Leave a comment or email me, strictly first come first served. And, er, I must admit I'm broke right now, so if you're inclined to pay for postage, that'd be much appreciated. NOW, TAKE. THIS AWESOME SHOULD NOT BE WASTED SITTING ON MY DESK.

The devilish and debonair Jesse Bullington did not have his book, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart, available at WFC. This shat me to no end. "Nevermind," I said, "Orbit UK are usually pretty good about distributing to Australia, and Borders tends to carry US releases anyway, fie on them." O RLY? NO. NOT REALLY. So. Fine. Whatever. No, really. FINE.

All you kids in the US and UK who enjoy vulgarity and the like (come on, it has the word 'gross' in the title) have no excuse to not read this book. Go do so, so I may despise you as is proper.

Playing bad cop to Jesse's bad cop, I also met Molly Tanzer at WFC, who is every bit as kickass (there was far too much kickass at that convention, I have to say). She just took up the mantle of assistant editor at Fantasy Magazine. Booyah!

Where the first thing she wrestled into submission was Reading By Numbers by Aidan Doyle, who I've become acquainted with via internets/Jeff, and dude, when I saw this I did not think "it's a small world." No, I thought, "holy shit, the incest cannot be avoided in writerly circles!"

(Nasty story, by the way, naaaaasty.)

Mighty Deb is having a mighty give away, with 4 copies of Shadow Queen available. 2 copies for Aust & NZ, and 2 copies for everyone else. You who fall in the 'everyone else' catagory should definitely jump on the opportunity. I reread it while Not Typing, and damn, DAMN. WHERE IS BOOK TWO!?

She also linked two an incredible set of short essays by Justine Musk, the collection aptly titled why you need to write like a bad girl, part one:

She says, “I became my own rebellion.”

I would turn this phrase over in my mind, thinking that it sounded good, but what did it mean, exactly? Why did it appeal to me so much, and seem necessary to anyone who wanted to be an artist (or entrepreneur or hacker or any other thing that demands stepping off the beaten path)?

Probably because of this: the statement is rooted in such spirit and defiance. It’s not just a challenge to the conventional ways of living, the accepted wisdom, the status quo, the established Establishment, etcetera…but a challenge to the self.

And part two:

The double standard for selfishness still amazes me. The same culture that celebrates Ayn Rand’s “virtues of selfishness” will turn around and call women selfish and not exactly mean it as a compliment. Call a man ’selfish’ and he’ll shrug his shoulders; call a woman ’selfish’ and she’ll feel so shamed and cut to the core she’ll twist herself inside out to prove otherwise.

And to be a writer, or any artist, is to be inherently selfish. You must claim time for yourself, away from family and friends and jobs and so-called productive activity. You must claim that your art is important because it is important to you. You must make it a priority even though years will pass before you achieve anything that other people might recognize as ’success’, assuming you achieve it at all.

I have hollared "FUCK YES!" at Deb for drawing my attention to those posts, and could quite happily do the same to Madame Musk. I shouted it at the window when I finished reading it the first time, and I've read it a few more times since. It is true, and having it so cuttingly articulated felt like being delivered vindication I didn't know I was looking for.

It was easier not being able to type. It was mass-silence. There was nothing for me to do, so I did nothing. Now that I am allowed some highly restricted typing, I find myself twisting myself inside-out, to borrow the phrase. There are so many emails sitting in my inbox, all of them excellent little missives I want to feed, but-

But I have to choose. If I write to you, then I will not be writing my novel, my blog, my anything else.

That choice is eating me up, because yes, I feel selfish for letting these conversations lie stagnant, and I feel I'm letting people down, or slighting them, by failing to respond in a timely manner. I don't see that stopping.

But I choose this. I choose to be selfish.


  1. Be selfish, m'lovely. :) Let mine lie quiet and dormant but not fallow or dead; it'll keep. /Write./ I insist.


  2. Me! Me! Anything in writing! Actually, not anything, just anything from the things you can spare. They're all stuff I love. (Not so much the music, though - I'm just not listening to music right now, for some reason.) I can run to postage or I can meet up with someone surreptitiously in January and exchange fine reading for a bunch of recipes (if you want recipes). I would meet up with you, but ... Patagonia.

  3. I would love to read that "Selected Views of Mt. Fuji, With Dinosaurs" story; the formatting of the story title strongly remind me of one of my all-time favorite stories "24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai" (and generally of the various "X Views of Mt. Fuji" ukiyo-e series), and I cannot believe that that is a coincidence. (Plus, I quite liked the previous Weird Tales which you sent me.)

    I cannot think of any useful way to get postage your way, though. Could you maybe just hang on to a copy until September? Or is there anything from this side of the world which I could send you in return?

  4. Call it selfish if "selfish" is a glam antidote to "angel in the house", or call it answering a higher calling -- in any case, what Nadine said.

    (My word is "slythol" -- modern snake oil? Angel repellent?)

  5. I loved the last Weird Tales you sent me as well. I wouldn't turn down another. Or new music. I'm always interested in new music.

    I also have the problem of not knowing how I would send you postage, though.

  6. Anonymous9/12/09 04:22

    A suggestion for those not knowing how to pay postage would be to send a self addressed stamped envelope to Tessa.

  7. Thanks for the shout out, blood. Now email me thy mailing address so I can send you a copy of the book--I'm swimming in coins like Scrooge McDuck so don't hesitate, ACT!

  8. I do have paypal, but otherwise, eh. You'll just have to wait till payday before I post anything.

    (Selena, you need to give me a current postal address, I'm not sure if the one I have is still good.)

  9. If there's still copy of weird tales, I can mail an envelope and a copy of Che Guevara's Guerrilla Warfare.

    You will be able to sleep securely in the knowledge, that when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, you can build (among other things) a fully functional grenade launcher.

  10. I've seen Brothers Grossbart in the Melbourne Reader's Feast store, if you're still looking...

    And while I'm already a subscriber to Weird Tales and have both those soundtracks, if you've got any spare I'd be happy to pass them on to others as Christmas gifts (and pay for any postage).