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Archive for July, 2012

This has certainly been a strangely Lovecraftian year for me! I’m not sure when it began, but so far I’ve placed three Lovecraftian stories, attended/participated in the Lovecraft Film Festival/CthulhuCon, and then this October, my sort-of kind-of Lovecraftian collection, A Pretty Mouth, will be coming out through LFP (a press that, by the bye, has been in the news quite a bit recently! Super-proud of my publisher and my fellow LF author Patrick Wensink).

The first Lovecraftian story I placed is forthcoming in The Book of Cthulhu II, and is one of the pieces that will be in A Pretty Mouth. Super-stoked to work again with Ross Lockhart, who rocks. But since then…

Nate Pederson, working for PS Publishing, is putting together one of the coolest concept anthologies I’ve ever heard of. I was a bit nervous when he contacted me, frankly, but it turns out I acquitted myself well enough that once again my Lovecraftiana is hanging out with stories written by my heroes and peers. Whee!

The Starry Wisdom Library …. well, Nate puts it better than me here:

What if, on the eve of disbanding, the Church of Starry Wisdom organized a rare book auction of the various tomes in their collection? What if the accompanying auction catalogue was privately published and privately circulated, disappearing for over a century until its recent rediscovery in the archives of Miskatonic University?  What if we could read the 1877 original today?

My new (and first) anthology for PS Publishing is just that: a “facsimile” publication of the 19th century auction catalogue, entitled “The Starry Wisdom Library: being a catalogue of the unsurpassed occult library held by the recently disbanded Church of Starry Wisdom, offered for sale at private auction Midsummer’s Eve, 1877 by Messrs Pent & Serenade of Arkham, Mass.” The anthology will be presented and designed exactly like a 19th century book auction catalogue, with entries describing the major books in the Church’s collection, accompanied by essays from “noted scholars” on the history of each dread tome. The “noted scholars” will be contemporary horror and speculative fiction authors.  Their contributions will be similar in length and content to Lovecraft’s own “History of the Necronomicon”, a slightly edited version of which will also appear in the catalogue.

Fuck yes! And fuck yes to Liv Rainey-Smith illustrating it. I was privileged to see her art first-hand at the Lovecraft Film Festival, and it’s perfect. A triple fuck-yes to the list of contributors, among them Ramsey Campbell, Michael Cisco, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Livia Llewellyn, Nick Mamatas, Joe Pulver, and Genevieve Valentine. More on the way, too, from what I hear!

My book was the Hieron Aigypton, one of those myriad way-obscure eldritch tomes that had only the briefest of descriptions: Written by “Anacharsis” around 200 BC, it contained a description of the dreaded ritual called miri nigri, and the “Revelations of Anacharsis.” This vagueness allowed me to do so much with the project that was self-directed and awesome, and I had a lot of fun with it. I’m proud of my piece and I know the whole anthology will be cool and beautiful.

My third Lovecraftian placement this year is my Victorian pornography/Lovecraft mashup about wanton fornication, magic drugs, and tentacles, “Holiday at Two Hoots.” It will be appearing in the anthology Coming Together, Arm in Arm in Arm, a charity anthology of tentacle porn. Proceeds will benefit Oceana, an organization devoted to conservation and protection of the world’s oceans. Fuck yes! I’m really happy to be in this, and I hope anyone who has enjoyed anything I’ve written that’s even mildly naughty picks it up. It’s for a good cause, after all. Here’s the contributor list, and the article about the antho that was featured on io9.

Very happy and proud to be a part of all these project, and I’m very happy indeed to see how beautifully A Pretty Mouth is coming along. I should be able to reveal the cover soon. I’ve seen a draft and it’s stunning. I can’t wait to show the world! But I must, as with all things.

That’s all for now. Be well, and healthy—and read lots of Lovecraft!

I conquered my second 14er last Tuesday: Mt. Bierstadt, the mountain that conquered me this past January. I went up maybe a third of the way with Courtney Schaffer and a few other friends, but the snow, cold, and need to slog through two miles of fresh powder along what, in summer, is just the road up to the parking area, made things a little hairy.

When it’s not freezing cold and snowy as hell, Bierstadt is no big deal:

Bierstadt is the mountain on the right. If you click on that picture you can see a little protuberance on the left-ish side of that big round mountain; that’s the summit. It’s a short hike (maybe 7 miles round-trip), and it’s essential in the summer to get up early to do it. Bierstadt’s closeness to Denver and relative ease makes it very popular, and the threat of thunderstorms in the summer means it’s much safer to start early. My hiking partner Jesse and I met up at four thirty A.M. and hit the trail at six thirty. We were not the first up there by any means.

To hike Bierstadt, you go through that valley on a series of bridges over the marshland, then wind up the ridge that’s in the sunlight in that picture. After that you head up up up but the ascent is never particularly dramatic. You do, however, reach one heck of a false summit:

Neither of those bumps is the top. Bwahaha!

Still, the absence of any hard or technical climbing to the summit makes it a breeze to get up that final ascent. You just kind of find patches of dirt and stable rocks to mountain-goat/scrabble up the whole way. I managed it easily in my Vibrams (the hiking kind).

Then you’re at the top! Someone had brought a poster to document their trip, and were passing it around:

Here’s the view from the top of where we’d come from. If you look to the right of the lake you can see a little loop of road. That’s the parking lot!

The back of Bierstadt:

Epic, amiright? That’s why people do 14ers if they’re not into the machismo aspect of the sport.

So then you go back down. No big deal, right? Well, it wouldn’t have been except that I misstepped and sprained my friggin’ ankle about a quarter of the way down. Well, I think I sprained it; it might be a bone bruise. Whatever it is, it’s still hurting. Whatever, anyways, the injury meant I had to hike about three miles back to the car. Here’s about where I sprained it:

That looks far, but it’s really just off the summit. 14ering makes for weird perspective.

The injury was not comfortable, and yet … it’s kind of awesome knowing the amount of pain I can endure and still get myself to safety, if things ever got really real on a hike. It was a hell of a lot easier with Jesse’s help though, mad props to him for tolerantly inching his way down the mountain with me in my hobbled state.

I’m off to Florida, and sea-level tomorrow, where I will continue rehabilitating my ankle!

I can never get to these con posts in a timely fashion!

Anyways, ReaderCon was awesome! I’d never been before, but certain people, among them Nick Mamatas, Geoffrey Goodwin, Michael Cisco, Caitlin Kiernan, Jeff VanderMeer, Livia Llewellyn, Nathan Ballingrud, Mike Marano, and John Langan made it an awesome and memorable experience. There were many, many others—lists like these only serve to exclude—but those mentioned above really made me feel welcome and at-home the whole time. Also I got a tutorial on push-hands and Chen-style Tai Chi from Nick and Michael Cisco which was kind of the coolest thing ever.

I only saw two panels: One on Frankenstein (that, sadly, was ruined by the moderator being a blowhard and a jerk to Genevieve Valentine), and one on “Wet Dreams and Nightmares” which was awesome and weirdly raunchy. Otherwise I worked the Prime Books and Clarkesworld tables, wandered around, and tried to find food I could eat. On that front, the first day and a half were pretty dire, but Geoffrey took me to a Trader Joe’s on the second night which enabled me to get provisions for the rest of the con. Oh, and Genevieve totally brought me a vegan brownie from the Tiptree bake sale because she is amazing.

Now I’m home again, catching up with reality. I had/have some deadlines going on, but the Major Thing I wanted to accomplish before ReaderCon was accomplished. Yay for that.

More anon, including pictures of the 14er hike I did on Tuesday that left me with a sprained ankle!