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Musing, Sirening, Etc.
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Been reading a lot of short stories, well, all year, really, and have been pretty good about reading everything in the good magazines online. Of the many many things I've read this week I especially liked "Calypso in Berlin" by Elizabeth Hand, which is pretty much exactly my kind of story. I love old mythic beings in contemporary contexts. I'm also greatly looking forward to the concluding half of Lucius Shepard's "Abimagique". The whole second-person address of that story actually works really well for me, perhaps because I identify so much with the protagonist (for a while, I dated a woman who reminds me quite a bit of Abi, without the hints of the sinister). But all issues of plot and character aside, it's the writing that hooked me here, that headlong, detail-rich, rhythmic prose that Shepard does so well. Paragraphs like his make me think "Why do I bother writing anything at all?" I wish I could make the language in the Bridge novel as rich as that. Ah, well. Something to strive for.

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When I'm working on a novel, I have a lot less time to read (and some of that time goes into reading stuff somehow related to the novel, like the book of bear stories I'm frequently dipping into), and since I'm doing horror reviews for A Certain Magazine that means I'm reading some books every month that wouldn't necessarily be at the top of my pile (horror anthologies, etc.). And this year I'm reading tons of short stories, so really, my opportunity to read novels is limited. In the first couple of weeks of a month, I get to read two or three books for pleasure. I look for books that are nothing like the one I'm writing, and since my novel is kind of heavy and dark, I'm looking for stuff that's lighter. Right now I'm switching between Varley's Red Thunder and Anna Tambour's Spotted Lily (she was kind enough to send me a copy). They're both very readable and good and utterly different from one another. I'll let you know what I think when I finish them.

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We're starting to make plans for Hawaii, finally. Ten days on an island far away from any and all troubles. Mmm. The thought of the honeymoon is making everything bright. It looks like it'll be affordable, too -- a lot of the package deals were dauntingly expensive, but once we start tweaking hotels and figuring out which options we really need, the prices get a lot more reasonable. Heather's doing all the heavy lifting on this one -- she's a better planner, in all ways, than I am -- and I love her for it. Plus, I'll have a whole new setting to write stories in! Seeing lava will be good for me. And snorkeling. And waterfalls, god -- I love waterfalls. And food and booze and so on. Should be a great trip.

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Oh, hey, go buy Doug Lain's collection Last Week's Apocalypse. Some great stuff in there. Oh, and did y'all hear that Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners is going to be reprinted by Harcourt? Saw it in one of the industry rags yesterday. Hurray for a big publisher giving money to the best short story writer of our time!



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