Sunday, February 24, 2013

This Week, I Have Been Mostly...

READING: The Harlequin by Laurell K Hamilton. I can't seem to quit this series, although I'm not entirely sure why. Possibly it's two parts nostalgia, one part car-crash voyeurism and one part instruction of the 'what not to do' variety. This one has Edward, which is always good value, and it also has more talking than sex, which hasn't been the case for a while. I just wish so much of the talking wasn't slut-shaming.

Short Stories: 69-80 of 500. Faves this week:

The Wanderers, by Bonnie Jo Shufflebeam at Clarkesworld 
The voice is wonderful, with just the right amount of 'offness' to be credible and intriguing without becoming incomprehensible. There's a dark sense of glee in the narrator's anticipation of violence, and an unexpected pathos when it doesn't pan out--like a little boy crying because the flies he was going to pull the wings off are already dead.

I Heard You Got a Cat, I Heart You Named Him Charles by M. Bennardo at Daily Science Fiction.
A perfect flash, with so much story told in so few words.  Plus, this is creepy with a capital CREEP.

WRITING: A 4k contemporary fantasy about a goddess who goes for life coaching.

  • Django Unchained, which I thought was tremendous: some absolutely wonderful performances. 
  • The first Black Mirror, 'Be Right Back'. The central idea was almost identical to that used in Caprica, but--possibly because this was so much more 'right around the corner'-- it was far, far creepier here. I spent most of it cowering, yelling 'haven't you ever seen any piece of science fiction EVER? This stuff Does Not End Well.' The actual ending, although still very unsettling, came as kind of a relief. 
  • The Losers, which was a very generic action film but really made me miss John Winchester. 

  • When you hear a cover version of a song before the original, do you tend to prefer the cover?
  • What percentage, roughly, of the stories in any given issue of a magazine would you buy for your own, if you had one?

BEING GRATEFUL FOR: the fact that beginners can benefit from the wisdom of those who came before us, like this by Helena Bell on cover letters. Gotta love the Internet!

PUBLISHING: What Doesn't Kill You, a 4,500 dark fantasy from Transient Tales Vol 1, as a standalone e-short. It's great that we can now release stories individually, like singles, as a taster. Gotta love the Internet part 2! (Link goes to Smashwords: Amazon in progress)