Trump won. America voted for him. People I know voted for him—people who know me, and knew my father; who claimed to love us, who are familiar with our Jewish ancestry: they still voted for someone who has declared intent to start a registry of people based on their faith; someone who has threatened mass deportation based on ethnicity. I am sure people you know voted for him—people who claim to love you, whether you are queer, brown, Trans*, black, a woman, poor, or just a decent human being who tried to explain to them the importance of voting against someone who stands for white supremacy, “braggadoccious,” and actually literally sexually assaulting women and girls.

People we don’t know voted for him too. Lots of them. Enough to put him in the White House.

I watched it happen at the world’s worst election night party (through no fault of my lovely hosts). Early in the night it had been full of excited, if nervous people, chatting happily of this and that, eager to see a win for the most qualified presidential candidate in recent history, whose victory was all but assured. We quickly went quiet as Rachel Maddow began to lose her shit on MSNBC. The results came in—or rather, didn’t—for long enough that we all sensed it in the wind. People split into other areas of the house, glued to phones or laptops or the TV. We were silent, shocked. In tears I called a friend, who told me to be patient, to wait, that it would be all right.

It was not all right. The next morning, I saw the same friend had messaged me at 1 AM MT, after I’d given up and gone to sleep, with just one word.

“sorry.”

In the wake of it, I have not been well. I am grieving. Something has cracked deep inside of me; some part of me is leaking out. I think it is my civility; my willingness to swallow my sighs and my anger and instead speak calmly. Maybe it’s my lifelong goal of being the approachable, easy going feminist who takes the time to explain issues patiently and who endures sexism with a smile and a handshake because you win more flies with honey.

On Wednesday afternoon after the election, as I was working at the coffee shop, a young white man elected to explain to me all about HRC’s “flaws.” I stopped him at some point, which surprised this entitled bastard, in order to say, “Actually, I’m a big fan,” which shocked him.

“You can’t possibly mean that!” he said, in mock astonishment.

“No, I really do,” I replied.

At that point he decided to explain to me how “corrupt” HRC was, and that if I was a fan, I couldn’t possibly have read much about her, or be informed about what she really is. I stared at him, standing next to my friend and boss, who was also too angry, too tired from fighting tears all day, to tell him what we really thought about him and his white male opinions—about his certainty that his thoughts were more reasoned, more valid than my own. About his feeling that in the wake if this defeat, I should be listening to him, not he to me.

It sent me to a dark place, out of which I have not yet crawled. Why didn’t I tell him to shut the fuck up? My boss would have supported me. I know that under normal circumstances she would have sent his ass packing with his fucking iced coffee, no room for cream.

I don’t know. I don’t know how to feel; what to do. When I go outside now, I see white men and white women, who overwhelmingly voted to put Trump in the White House… and I wonder, what are they thinking? Are they enjoying having told American women that they’re garbage; that they actually can’t be anything they want, ha ha? Do they see Trump’s victory as a sign that their Islamophobia, their racism, their misogyny, their hatred, is “correct” and “moral” and “just” now? Are they feeling anything at all, or are they able to just roll their eyes and say to themselves, “it’s just politics, what’s the big deal?”

It’s no longer just politics. It never was, of course, but it’s more obvious than ever before.

To anyone who says “don’t be angry” or “this is a time to set aside our differences and work for unity,” reflect on this… feeling as if the people around you hate you because of who you are is depressing, and it is terrifying. This is not a time for unity. It’s a time to say “I will never ally myself with fascism, or with those who support it.”

I will also never join with those who are pointing fingers specifically at women and saying, “it’s your fault.” Yeah, the “bitch” there is silent, but it’s still loud and clear. It’s doubly hard to know who your friends are these days. The Right can obviously go fuck itself; they have spoken and spoken loudly on behalf of bigotry, misogyny, and violence, and fear. The sad thing is, the Left seems just as willing to paint women public servants as harlots or sell-outs, whether it’s the so-called Radical Left or just moderate fair-weather Democrats who just didn’t feel “inspired” enough to vote for HRC because they were too busy throwing a tantrum that their magic grandpa Bernie Sanders lost the primary. Yesterday I saw a prominent radical Leftist magazine sneering at HRC’s graceful concession speech (the radical left is just as disgustingly sexist as any other group, and will as far as I can tell never acknowledge/give two shits about the unique struggles of women when it comes to navigating the public eye), as well as willfully misrepresenting the brave and fiery Elizabeth Warren’s remarks on “compromising” with President Elect Trump (read what she really said here, without the sexist spin). I wish I were surprised, but it’s of course the divided left that lost the election for HRC as much as it’s the fascist alt-right, shrug-n-vote Republicans, and “fuck yeah” bigots who won it for Trump.

To whom can anyone turn? I just don’t know. There’s a movement, riffing on Brexit, where some of us are putting safety pins on our clothes as a way to signal being a safe person to talk to in these dark times. I admit I liked the idea, and dug one out of my sewing box. Just as quickly, of course, I see an article tearing down the idea and sneering at those who might be looking for a way to do something instant and meaningful and good. It’s just us “embarrassing ourselves,” apparently. Hatred and violence are tearing us apart, but so, apparently, are love and small actions that seem like an immediate way to stand up for what is right and kind while we plot and plan bigger things down the road.

I’m angrier at the Right than the Left right now, true. But the truth is, we all need to take responsibility. We all need to look at ourselves. We all need to figure out who we are, what we stand for—and what we stand against.

I don’t know. I don’t have answers. I wish I did, but all I have right now is grief and a desire to do my best for my piece of shit, abusive country—yes, even now, when they’ve told me and my friends that I’m trash undeserving of basic human rights and human decency. I don’t know. I don’t know. I wish I did.

But I do know I’ll be looking for answers, and looking for them quickly. I’ll try my best to do the right thing at a time when most of the country is reveling in supporting the rhetoric of violence, hatred, and evil.

We have turned down a dark path, and it will not “be okay,” as so many people are saying. We will have to make it okay. We will have to take action. I just don’t know what, yet.

Hi all! After a crazy few months of not blogging for different reasons, I’m settling into a new routine of not blogging for my usual reasons, and then doing frantic catch-up posts.

I’m excited to announce that things with Creatures of Will and Temper are moving along. I turned in the finalized manuscript last week, and am now turning my eyes to the as-yet unnamed sequel. Out over a year from now still, the mean time check out this article on the Cercle Saint-André-des-Arts, a fencing club that would have been around (in Paris) when Evadne Gray (my protagonist) would have been fencing in London.

Cool, huh? Just look at that place. It definitely looks like the Westminster Fencing Academy did in my mind.

Next up: Issue 03 of Congress Magazine is out today, delayed by stuff and things, but congres-magazine-oct2016still good. We have stores by Matthew Addison, Carrie Laben, Wendy Wagner, and Jason S. Ridler this issue. Cover by Arielle Croitor. Good stuff! The other news there is that Congress is going on hiatus until next year, probably February. When I began the project, I figured it would be winding down about when the manuscript now known as Creatures of Will and Temper would likely be snapped up; as it stands, I get to write a sort-of-sequel and I need to get into that before I slush a bunch of kinky porn stories. Ah, life!

Finally, I’m going to be at BizarroCon! I don’t have my full schedule, but I’ll be in on the 17th and teaching a workshop on “The Art of Dialogue” on Friday the 18th. That night will also see the launch of the reprint of Rumbullion: An Apostrophe. My publisher has brewed a rum stout to accompany the launch! It’ll be super cool. I’ve never attended BizarroCon, in spite of having actively published in Bizarro since 2012—it’s just never been the right time—so I’m pleased to have the opportunity to go this time.

And, for good measure, here’s the full spread of Rumbullion, for your viewing pleasure. Gorgeous work as always by Matthew Revert!

rumbullion-cover

Swords_v_Cthulhu_DRAFT_COVER_350Swords v Cthulhu is out, and you should get it… seriously. It’s been getting some nice reviews here and there, and features stories by Carrie Vaughn, Jonathan L. Howard, Wendy Wagner, Caleb Wilson, and so many more. Amazon’s a great place to get it, and so is the Stone Skin Press site!

Also, Congress Magazine #2 is live as of today, and we’ve got stories this month from Andrew S. Fuller, Jesse Bullington, and Cecilia Tan. This month also features an interview with Chuck Tingle, who is up for a Hugo this month in Kansas City, where, come to think of it, you can find me, since I’ll be there. My first WorldCon ever!

congress-august-2016But I’m not just working on edits… I’m also doing research for one of my next projects, my co-edited flash fiction and cocktail mixology manual, Mixed Up!, that I’m co-editing with Nick Mamatas. It’ll be out next year, and I’m already excited as I’m the drinks editor. I’m a bit tipsy (you’ll see why soon) and that means I get to wax prosy all about my cocktail opinions. Which, let me tell you, I have cocktail opinions.

Take the mint julep for example.

The mint julep is one of those drinks that gets a weird reputation. Not a bad one, not necessarily, but let’s say it’s a drink that’s easy to mess up. Which is a shame, because when it’s done right, it’s a drink you really want to savor. Mostly because when it’s done right it has four ounces of booze…

Anyway, I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, but if you want to experience pure summer in a cup, you might want to check out this little photo essay on making a peach mint julep.

IMG_2951First, throw four or five of chunks of ripe peach into a nice big glass. Add a bunch of mint. More than you think. Also a sugar cube. Put a bit of water in there, too. Just a splash, and make it cold.

Muddle the heck out of this mixture. Go nuts. Bruise the heck out of the mint and pulverize the peaches.

 

Don’t be shy.

IMG_2952

In the end, it’ll look like this: a slurm of pulp and mint and sugar and oh, it’ll smell like you want to just do a shot of it immediately.

But wait.

Next, you’ll add in the booze. I know this will seem intense, but trust me… pour in 2 oz of cognac, and then 2 oz of rye whisky, or bourbon if that’s what you have. Rye’s better, but bourbon is just fine.

IMG_2953If you happen to be lucky enough to have some Palisades Peach cocktail bitters, use those too.

Okay, now you have a huge mixture of just delicious things. But, it’s not cold, and let’s face it, it’s gotta be cold. So crack some ice. A lot. More than you think you need, trust me. DO NOT USE CUBES. If you have to smash it in a plastic bag, go ‘head. But if you’re smart, you’ll Prime an ice crusher. Why not? You’re worth it.

IMG_2954So, pour in a lot of ice, but pause to layer in mint, and ice, and mint, and ice, until you have just a lot of booze, ice, and peach-mint slurm. Put in a sprig of mint, and then…

Yeah. That’s right. Look at that thing. Garden mint, tree-ripened peaches, ice, liquor, peach bitters… sip it over the course of an hour or so, if not more. I’m usually a fan of slamming a cocktail—they’re supposed to be cold!—but a julep like this is a sipping drink. Take it slow. Relax.

Anyway, happy drinking! And happy reading. In fact, why not combine the two? I can’t imagine anything better than a drink like this paired with an afternoon or evening with eldritch tales of derring-do or sultry sexy times.

 

proof!Last week this was announced:

Regular readers of this blog (and those who checked out my fancy Locus interview) will recognize the novel as the formerly titled The Ginger Eaters. Which, cool title, but not as cool as Creatures of Will and Temper, which is gorgeous and resonates much better. The second book of the (ahem) two-book deal is as yet untitled, but it will be a related project. Sort of a sequel, sort of not. Anyway, I couldn’t be happier to be with JJA Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, joining my friend Carrie Vaughn, author of the Golden Age series and the Kitty the Werewolf books, and Hugh Howey of Wool fame.

In other news (somehow there is other news!) I also sold a story to Lightspeed Magazine. “Nine Tenths of the Law” is about Denver International Airport conspiracy theories and the slow death of a marriage. Both my editors described it as “fun,” which concerned me. Well, there is plenty of weird sex along with those aforementioned conspiracy theories!

Speaking of weird sex, Congress launched, and it looks gorgeous. Please check out our four fantastic stories, and our sponsor, Twisted Monk, purveyors of artisanal bondage rope. Not only is it fancy, they’re donating 5% of all sales to a relief fund for victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre, which means they’re doing more about that awful tragedy than most of the Senate Republicans in this country.

Well, that brought down the tone, so I should probably get back to it!

locusThis month’s Locus has a familiar name on the cover…

Yeah, what? I dunno! At ICFA, back in March, Locus asked if they could interview me. I had a lovely time chatting with Liza Groen Trombi, who was so fun and interesting it was very hard to stay on topic, and then we goofed around taking ridiculous glamour shots of me for a while. Anyway, the result of that pleasantness is an interview entitled “Ghosts ‘n’ Shit,” which is apparently one of if not the cuss-heaviest interview they’ve run, according to another editor.

In it I talk about Vermilion, The Pleasure Merchant, and the novel I just turned in to my agent, The Ginger Eaters, along with some other stuff… like the journal I used to keep as a kid where I’d go about my day surrounded by invisible snarky dragons. You can legit buy this at like Barnes & Noble. It’s on the news stand! So cool. Many thanks to the Locus crew for the fun time, the I’m sure brutal process of editing my interview into something coherent, and the gorgeous design and layout.

congress-june-2016Additionally, here’s the cover for Congress for our debut issue next month:

Stories by Livia Llewellyn, Robert Levy, Matthew Addison, and David Nickle. I’m really stoked about this. Not only does it look gorgeous (just wait until you see the site! Jeremy is a wizard) but the stories are all top-notch smut, this time all with a speculative bent. Not all issues will be so fantastical (or science fictional) but I’m excited it has a bit of genre flair.

I’m reading for the next issue already. If you have a pitch, query me. If you have a story with me, hold up I’mma gettin there.

Swords v Cthulhu is coming out this year, official cover release will be soon I hope, plus pre-ordering and such. Look for it soon! It’s pretty, and I’m so proud of the work our authors put into this book.

Otherwise… woof, I dunno. I’m working on the first short story I’ve written for myself, not for an anthology, in literally years, and it’s giving me back a bit of my joy over short form writing. This isn’t to say I’m not thrilled to have had two short stories accepted into anthologies already this year: “Cognac, Communism, and Cocaine,” co-authored with Nick Mamatas for Through a Mythos Darkly, ed. Glynn Owen Barass and Brian Sammons, and “That Nature Which Peers Out In Sleep,” for The Madness of Dr. Caligari, ed. Joe Pulver. It’s just that as someone who isn’t a particularly prolific short writer, having every single one I write be for a specific purpose, and for anthologies with lots of vision but a limited audience, has burned me out a little.

Perhaps I will muse on that more later. For now, I’m excited to finish this story—for love!—and begin the thrilling process of submitting to magazines again.

 

VermillionFrontCover_030415 copyThe Locus Poll and Survey is upon us, and Vermilion has made their Recommended Reading List in the First Novel category! This is super exciting, I’ve never made one of their lists before, for anything, so having my first novel in there is really wonderful. So yes, you can vote for Lou. (The link takes you right to the poll!) And if you did, well, I’d just really appreciate it.

Here are some interesting things about this, at least to my mind:

  • Anyone can vote in the Locus Poll. (Subscribers’ votes count twice, but anyone can vote.)
  • You must enter your name and valid email address to have your vote counted.
  • You don’t have to vote in all categories.
  • If you see more than one thing you liked in a single category, you put rankings from 1 to 5 in the boxes beside them, in order of your preference.
  • You can write in favorites you don’t see listed, like my publishers Word Horde or Lazy Fascist in Best Publisher. Just, you know, for instance. 

Okay! That’s all!

 

I’ve received quite a few contributor’s copies between uh… November, when I last updated this blog, and now, so I figured I’d do a big roundup:

2016-01-26 09.45.50

Gods, Memes, and Monsters: A 21st Century Bestiary

Featuring more than 60 authors, this stunning volume brings a fresh take on the bestiary, the dictionary of mythological creatures, by imagining how beasts such as gorgons, minotaurs, and mantichores would cope in the modern age. Offering informational entries and short stories, the collection ranges from the horrific to the humorous, reacquaints readers to classic beasts, and introduces the newly discovered, thriving creatures of the cyber age like the meme mosquitoes, trashsquatches, and urbantelopes. From the casino where the griffin has taken up residence, to the gorgon’s new occupation and love interest, to the now happy sphinx who has moved to Manhattan, this bestiary is a unique and contemporary twist on the creatures that have captivated the human imagination since ancient times.

Contains my story “La Fée Verte”

The Burning Maiden 2

In this second volume of The Burning Maiden anthology we continue our mission to present the finest storytellers of supernatural fiction and verse: legendary literary voices like Ramsey Campbell, Laird Barron, David Liss, James Morrow and Richard Chizmar—but also breakout talents like Paul Tremblay, Molly Tanzer, Cullen Bunn and Joanna Parypinski. They offer us literary and unforgettable glimpses into the darkness of human nature.

Contains my story “Do Not Loiter in the Glen”

Cassilda’s Song

Cassilda’s Song is a collection of weird fiction and horror stories based on the King in Yellow Mythos created by Robert W. Chambers—entirely authored by women. There are no pretenders here. The Daughters of the Yellow Sign, each a titan of unmasked fire in their own right, have parted the curtains. From Hali’s deeps and Carcosa’s gloomy balconies and Styx-black towers, come their lamentations and rage and the consequences of intrigues and follies born in Oblivion. Run into their embrace. Their carriages wait to take you from shadowed rooms and cobblestones to The Place Where the Black Stars Hang. 

Contains my story “Grave-Worms.” I’m ultra-proud of this story, and this review:

There have already been some matchless stories in this book, and this story has the sound of a lighter at a crucial moment. The work is perfect, indeed matchless, as an example of a work that could easily have appeared in the original ‘King in Yellow’ book; it is elegant, literary, with the feel of the fin de siecle, as well as Truman Capote and Elizabeth Bowen. Those New York grave-worms, those shoals of the dead as bright young things. An apotheosis of cigarettes, and one particular brand, and the Yellow Sign thus seems here for the first ever time so exactly appropriate to smoking. And there are the business relationships (in parallel with the equally exquisitely done Colonial and Governance relationships of the Bulkin), the gender politics, the cynical sex, the glass ceiling (where starlight and skyscrapers change places), and the knotty debate between abstraction and representation in art. This is wildly good, sedate, too. I imagined when the heroine stood on the balcony with her cigarette that the climax was soon to be the balcony vanishing into avant garde nothingness and she falling to the lighted city below. I was wrong. The real ending was even better. Robert W. Chambers couldn’t have done it better.

Legacy of the Reanimator

The Legacy of the Reanimator collects the original serialized H.P. Lovecraft story, “Herbert West—Reanimator” along with it’s two sequels and a bevy of short stories from some of the most renowned Lovecraftian writers. Details of Herbert West’s life from childhood to death—and beyond can be found within The Legacy of the Reanimator.

Contains my story “Herbert West in Love”

Aleriel

First published in 1883, “Aleriel” is a visionary tale of space travel, evolution, and Utopian idealism. The titular character, a Venusian explorer, wanders through the Solar System in search of compatible life, including lengthy stays on Mars and, of course, Earth. 

W.S. Lach-Szyrma’s long-forgotten book addresses all the contemporary thinking of the period – political, religious and scientific – and brings them to life on an interplanetary stage. 

This edition carefully preserves the original text, including both of the author’s original prefaces and the endnotes. It also includes a lengthy new introduction by Richard Dunn (Head of Science and Technology, Royal Museums Greenwich) and Marek Kukula (Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich), discussing Mars in fiction and the role our Solar System has played in inspiring contemporary literature. 

“Aleriel” also comes complete with “Civilisation and Its Discontented”, a new short story by Molly Tanzer, revealing the unforeseen results of Aleriel’s passage through Mars. 

Not pictured:

Tomorrow’s Cthulhu: Stories at the Dawn of Posthumanity

Super science. Madness. Transhumanism. 

This is the dawn of posthumanity. Some things can’t be unlearned. 

Gleaming labs whir with the hum of servers as scientists unravel the secrets of the universe. But as we peel away mysteries, the universe glances back at us. Even now, terrors rise from the Mariana Trench and drift down from the stars. Scientists are disappearing—or worse. Experiments take on minds of their own. Some fight back against the unknown, some give in, some are destroyed, and still others are becoming… more.

Contains my story “The Stricken”

2016-01-25 20.46.58I apologize for not being able to get my cat into the picture with the books, as is traditional, so here’s a picture of him just being adorable.

If you have some Christmas fun money to spend on whatever, consider some of the above! All curated by delightful individuals, and chock full of quality reads, these are all perfect reads for the snowy months to come. Enjoy!

pleasure merchantWell, today is the day. The Pleasure Merchant is released into the world.

It’s weird. I’m not sure what to say other than that I really love this novel. It’s my most personal work to date; it is absolutely one of those “yep, this is the movie that’s playing in my mind, all day every day, so now you know what I’m thinking about all the time” novels, as well as being the least speculative thing I’ve written. It’s also my first attempt at crime fiction, and playing with those conventions and tropes was super fun.

I’ve already posted reviews and blurbs, I’ve quipped about the apparent bawdiness level, and I dunno, I’m not sure what more there is to say except I hope it is read, and I hope that it is enjoyed.

If you would like to purchase The Pleasure Merchant, you can of course order it through your local bookshop or Barnes & Noble, but the easiest way is probably the Internet, seeing as it’s an indie release:

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

There will be a Nook edition forthcoming, I’ll announce when that’s available.

Anyway, this is probably super obvious but I really did write this one because I wanted to share it with you. I knew when I wrote the first line that it would come out through a small press; I knew it would be odd, I knew it would be sad and sexy and way too revealing. But I had it inside me, and I wanted to show it to everyone, for better or for worse. I mean, literally the first line of the novel is:

I have a story to tell you.

So… I did. And it was worth it, at least to my mind.

I hope you feel the same.

We’re entering the home stretch. The Pleasure Merchant will soon be here, and I’m very excited. It’s gotten some great write-ups and received to killer blurbs, so I figured the time was nigh to actually round them up and promote this beast. Oh, that link goes to the Kindle pre-order, so please do so! Paper won’t be available until November 17th, but feel free to set up an alert in your iCal and order it next month (too).

I’ll write more later about what the book is actually, you know, about, but here’s the back cover copy, in case you don’t follow me on social media and thus aren’t quite sure what the book is about yet:

“Forgive me, but I’m having some difficulty ascertaining exactly where magnetic north lies on your moral compass.”

London, 177—:

Apprentice wig-maker Tom Dawne’s dream is to complete his training, marry his master’s daughter, and set up a shop of his own. Unfortunately for him, when one of his greatest creations is used to play a cruel prank on a powerful gentleman, Tom is dismissed—and forced by fear of poverty and the need to clear his name to serve the very man whom he suspects set him up.

Tom quickly realizes he has bitten off more than he can chew… though as it turns out, it’s not actually more than he desires. As Tom becomes less of a servant and more of a surrogate son, his ambitions change, and so do his pleasures, until it’s no longer easy for Tom to tell if he’s pulling the strings… or trapped in a bizarre web of someone else’s making. Matters become no clearer when Tom meets the mysterious professional libertines who seem to lurk at the center of all his troubles: a man willing to procure anything for anyone, so long as it gives them pleasure, and his obscure assistant, whose past has been irretrievably lost.

Some might even say it was stolen…

Oooh. What could it mean??

Well, the people who know, AKA those who have read it, seem to think it’s pretty cool:

In Tom Dawne, Molly Tanzer gives us what might be the most engagingly ruthless social saboteur since Steerpike brought Castle Gormenghast to rubble… just one of the many dark and bawdy joys to savour in her latest, The Pleasure Merchant. —David Nickle, author of Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism

Note classy Canadian spelling of “savour.” You know it must be good! Also, Eutopia was probably the grossest novel I’ve ever read, and I read it in a day… so yeah I highly recommend it.

The crime writer who made me want to write a crime novel also weighed in…

The Pleasure Merchant is a hilarious, sensuous, and ultimately ferocious quasihistorical novel about that most crucial of periods: the dawn of the modern era. The merchant class flexed its muscles, scientists turned their attentions to the workings of the human mind, sexual mores were challenged in public and in secret, and in every corner of society the unseen hand of the marketplace dominated all. Tanzer’s clever slicing of the era reveals every social stratum of her world—their conflicts, their compromises, and their kinks. Read this book to learn what you’ve been soaking in your whole life.” —Nick Mamatas, author of Love is the Law and I Am Providence

Ferocious! Clever. Like a border collie! Who uh writes novels. Grr! Also, please note the second link is also a pre-order link. I was lucky to read the ARC of I Am Providence and it’s really good, so I’d advise anyone who likes crime, Lovecraft, or murder mysteries to pick it up.

The Monitor really liked it:

Covering the course of a single year, this fascinating novel subverts Pygmalion, rags-to-riches and boy-meets-girl tropes to memorable effect, turning Tom into a tragic figure whose increasing rage against people on the margins of respectable society turns against him in the end. The narrative style is a delightful pastiche of Georgian and Victorian suffused with striking sensuality and modern sensibilities, as if Charles Dickens and Jane Austen had a child together and raised her on shojo and yaoi manga. The voice of the Pleasure Merchant’s apprentice will stay with you for days.

It’s stayed with me for over a year, so one would hope so!

The website Horror Novel Reviews also had some lovely things to say:

Tanzer’s thematic fundamentals are consistent to one degree or another throughout her entire oeuvre – the malleable nature of gender identity, both natural and forced; class stratification and the difficulty of social mobility; and pervasive eroticism and sexuality expressed in a wide variety of… er, shapes, sizes and methods. But some readers may be surprised to find that The Pleasure Merchant eschews overt genre components in favor of a more traditional Georgian morality play. Given that style and structure, the author’s voice is pitch perfect, particularly with dialog. Her characters are driven by impetuosity, false assumptions, and inflated egos. With The Pleasure Merchant, Molly Tanzer continues to cast a wide net over scattered genre tropes, and appears to be doing a damn fine job.

A damn fine job! I’ll take it.

Finally (for now!) the site The Novel Commentary was also down with the weirdness:

Above all, I was impressed with the mystery. Again, I can’t help but compare it to Jane Eyre or a Charles Dickens novel. The mystery builds slowly, against a backdrop of … upper class manners and fringe science theories.

At times funny, at times creepy, and in the end, profoundly touching, this book is definitely worth picking up.

The Novel Commentary also called me “the modern Brontë sister” so, you know… depending on how you feel about Villette, you might like?

I’m really excited that people like this weird little book so much so far. It’s probably the most personal thing I’ve ever written, so the impending release is a little nerve-wracking. Keep your eyes here for more updates!

I’ll be at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival this weekend, in Portland, OR. So, if you’re in the area, come by and catch a movie, see a panel, or just wander around the Hollwood district and I’m sure we’ll run into one another!

If you are attending, and are interested in seeing me be awkward on panels, here’s my schedule:

  • Thursday night, VIP reception(s)
  • Friday, 9-10 PM, EOD Main, “The Re-Mythology of Lovecraft” (me, Hite, Stross, Lockhart, Hoade)
  • Saturday, 4-5 PM, EOD Main, “Cthulhu and ____” (me, Stross, Goodfellow, Koch, Glancy)
  • Saturday, 8-9 PM, Classroom, I’ll be reading, along with Wendy Wagner and Andrew Fuller. Not sure if I’ll read from The Pleasure Merchant or something else.
  • Saturday, 10-11 PM, EOD Main, “R’leyhan Roulette” (me, Goodfellow, Hite, Kessler, Glancy)

That’s all the information I have at this time. I’ll be at the various receptions and probably at some of the after parties, too. Feel free to say hello!

 

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