February 19th, 2008

spies i spy ispy

Cat opines that cat heaven is when a sunbeam falls across the monkey's lap.

Today is declared a day of napping. I'm in charge of resting up and not getting sick again before I go to New York tomorrow, where I will be one of four authors reading from Ellen Datlow's anthology Inferno at the KGB bar. The other three readers will be Jeffrey Ford, Nathan Ballingrud, and John Grant.

10 more days of vacation, before the Great Novel Deathmarch of 2008 commences. I'm getting quite restless and frustrated, which is a good sign, and I am envious of my friends who are actually producing words. I really, really want to be writing.

I think in part I've diagnosed what's wrong with me, on the production front. There's a bit of post-workshop-disease here. I attended an intensive one-week critique workshop last summer, and while it was incredibly beneficial to me, it's also left me hyper-critical of my own flaws as a writer. Normally, the cure for this is time, but unfortunately, I don't have time currently. So I am trying to use The Power Of My Brain to get some traction here. It's what it's there for, after all, and it's a trick I'm pretty good at.

Oh, and via ellen_datlow, the first review of The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, from Publishers Weekly:

The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Sixteen Original Works by Speculative Fiction's Finest Voices. Edited by Ellen Datlow. Del Rey, $16 paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-345-49632-4

Declaring that short stories are the “heart and soul of fantastical fiction,” prolific and venerable editor Datlow collects 16 impressive original stories in this unthemed anthology. Standout selections include Margo Lanagan's deeply disturbing “The Goosle,” which eloquently corrupts the Hansel and Gretel fable with bubonic plague, sexual slavery and mass murder; Jason Stoddard's “The Elephant Ironclads,” which describes an emergent 20th-century Navajo nation struggling to become a world power while staying true to its culture; Elizabeth Bear's “Sonny Liston Takes the Fall,” a poignant tale about the life, death and sad legacy of the troubled heavyweight fighter; and Pat Cadigan's “Jimmy,” a strange and supernatural coming-of-age story set in the moments just after John F. Kennedy's assassination. The thematic diversity and consistently high quality of narrative throughout make for a solid and enjoyable anthology. (Apr.)

via kelliem, giant Australian sea spiders!