Saturday, January 10, 2009

Weird Tales & Hugo, sitting in a tree...

Currently at the parental unit, watching Dad prepare a roast. It's a tad warm for roast, it'll heat the house up unpleasantly, but these are the sacrifices one must make when there's a hunk of dead animal to be had.

Taking a moment to draw your attention to this tidy little list of STUFF that Weird Tales has produced in the last year and is eligible for the current round of Hugo nominations.

Best Editor, Short Form: Ann VanderMeer

Best Semiprozine: Weird Tales, edited by Ann VanderMeer and Stephen H. Segal

Best Novella: “Black Petals,” by Michael Moorcock

Best Novelette:
Renovations,” by Matthew Pridham

Best Short Story:

  • “The House of Idiot Children,” by W.H. Pugmire & M.K. Snyder
  • Landscape, With Fish,” by Karen Heuler
  • “Events at Fort Plentitude,” by Cat Rambo
  • “The Stone & Bone Boy,” by Calvin Mills
  • “The Heart of Ice,” by Tanith Lee
  • Creature,” by Ramsey Shehadeh
  • “The Yellow Dressing Gown,” by Sarah Monette
  • “The Talion Moth,” by John Kirk
  • Detours on the Way to Nothing,” by Rachel Swirsky
  • “All In,” by Peter Atwood
  • “How I Got Here,” by Ramsey Shehadeh
  • “Belair Plaza,” by Adam Corbin Fusco
  • “An Invitation Via Email,” by Mike Allen
  • “Mainevermontnewhampshiremass,” by Nick Mamatas
  • “The Stone-Hearted Queen,” by Kelly Barnhill
  • “Ganaranok,” by Rory Steves
  • The Difficulties of Evolution,” by Karen Heuler
  • “Right You Are If You Say You Are,” by Norman Spinrad
  • First Photograph,” by Zoran Živković
  • “The Gong,” by Sara Genge
  • “The Dream of the Blue Man,” by Nir Yaniv
  • “The Wordeaters,” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
  • “Out of Sacred Water,” by Juraj Červenák
  • Time and the Orpheus,” by chiles samaniego
  • “BleakWarrior Meets the Sons of Brawl,” by Alistair Rennie
  • “How to Play With Dolls,” by Matthew Cheney
  • “Far & Wee,” by Kathe Koja
  • The Last Great Clown Hunt,” by Chris Furst
  • “A Lake of Spaces,” by Tim Pratt
  • “Catastrophe,” by Felix Gilman
  • “The Matching Pair,” by Mark Budman
  • “Ms Ito’s Bird,” by Chris Ward
  • Wendigo,” by Michaela Morrissette
  • “Purr,” by Michael Bishop
  • “My True Lovecraft Gave to Me,” by Eric Lis
  • “The Man With the Myriad Scars,” by Ben Thomas

I've been sitting here for some time, trying to pick favourites, and I'm failing. Reading over the list is one long string of "oh yeah, that was good, oh and that! yeah! and-" etc etc etc. And not being at home, I can't flip through the magazines to reacquaint myself with any of the stories. Any recommendations I make, then, are based on those that made enough of an impression to linger in memory.


Okay, here we go.

"The Stone & Bone Boy" by Calvin Mills, "Creature" by Ramsey Shehadeh, and "BleakWarrior Meets the Sons of Brawl" by Alistair Rennie, if you were to put pliers to my toes and force me to choose on pain of toenail extraction.

I haven't read the latest issue, so can't comment on those stories unfortunately. EXCEPT, "Ms Ito's Bird" by Chris Ward. That was, I think, the second story I was asked to read. HOLY CRAP. PROOF OF INTERFERENCE. Any anomaly in quality from here on in is pure coincidence.

What I'd like to draw particular attention to is the novelette "Renovations" by Matthew Pridham.

This has nothing to do with Hugo nominations. That link is to an online version, free to read. READ IT. It is incredible. Ironically, I read it when my apartment was open for inspection, with people tromping in and out and the real estate agent doing what sounded like a lousy job of selling the place. In that story I realised that this tiny grasshopper was now minorly involved in the mechanics of the magazine, a magazine that finds and publishes brilliant, challenging stuff, and I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy, and damn proud.

I've read another of Pridham's stories, and it was even more gob-smackingly excellent. Keep an eye out for him. (On the off chance Pridham reads this, WRITE FASTER DAMMIT need moar nao.) Read "Renovations" and if you can vote, do vote! And if you can't vote, read it anyway!

Apparently the semi-pro zine category isn't going to live much longer, so if you love on Weird Tales as much as I do and are attending, please make an effort to nominate and vote.

I just noticed my name is now listed among the staff. I hereby give up being coy about my last name. For the record, there is not one original joke you can make with it.

Finally, nominate Ann. For an idea of all the amazing stuff she's edited recently, peek here. It feels redundant, stating how awesome she is, as the magnitude of her awesomimity goes without saying. Sometimes the things that go without saying get forgotten among the things that need saying, so I shall take this opportunity to remind you. Editors are the ones finding and bringing you the stories you love. Now is your chance to recognise and respect, yo.

Damn, that hunk of dead animal smells great. Think I'm going to loiter in the kitchen and get in the way now. Excuse me.

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