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reviews


I continue to be overwhelmed and amazed by the enjoyment people are getting out of my humble work(s) of fiction about incestuous flaky fops. As of now, A Pretty Mouth still has a five-star rating on Amazon, I’m gearing up to do a Q&A in February over at The Next Best Book Blog (which should soo be putting up my recipe for an Infernal!, my Calipash Twins-themed cocktail), and just a day or so I noticed that A Pretty Mouth had made a best-of list—to be specific, Black Heart Magazine’s Best of 2012.

Gabino Iglesias, their poetry editor, was kind enough to say about my book:

Fun, unique, sexy, Lovecratian literature of the highest caliber. I wanted to paint my walls with some of the lines in this book. It’s simultaneously classic and new and the prose is undeniably authoritative. This is the kind of book that weak writers read and decide to stop writing because they’ll never be this damn good.

Wowza. Seriously. And the fact that I’m on the list with Stephen Graham Jones, Tom Piccirilli, and several other amazing writers makes my inclusion even more pleasing. Pleasing being an understatement. See, that’s the kind of “undeniably authoritative” prose that gets me this kind of praise!

Thanks again, Mr. Iglesias! And if you, dear reader, would like to own your very own copy of A Pretty Mouth, well… 

Been a while since I did a publicity roundup for A Pretty Mouth! Things have been going great with the novel so far, and while (regrettably) I still haven’t been able to pin down when an ebook will be available for purchase I’ve heard my publisher is “working on it” for those of you waiting on a digital copy. I’ll make a big announcement when it happens as I know many people (other than myself) have expressed an interest in seeing the book in a digital format.

Anyways! Amazon has a few new reviews, bringing my book up to eight (five-star!) reviews:

A delightful romp through the macabre and depraved, made all the more appealing by the author’s obvious enthusiasm and gleeful verve. … She has a fantastic tone that is equal parts horror and wonder, and she managed to capture my particular favorite flavor of corrupt degeneracy with flair and titillation. Spot on!

and

A PRETTY MOUTH is a book of sensual prose, telling dark, sexy stories. Yes, a mix of sex and horror. Not so much violence, but the creepy edge of horror. … there’s something exciting about the discovery as well as something deliciously disturbing about it. I recommend it highly.

Also, Innsmouth Free Press was kind enough to review my collection!

Tanzer’s greatest asset is the sheer glee of her stories. She seems to be in it for the fun of it. And, because she is having fun, it is difficult not to have fun with her. … Ultimately, Tanzer takes a leap and I admire any writer who does. There is too much safe stuff on bookshelves. Tanzer’s wild collection, though, is not afraid to crash. Tanzer has a swagger of her own which shows in these stories and that, more than anything, is the drawing point for the book.

Finally, a colleague and friend of mine, John Glover, wrote me an early Christmas present in the form of a review/mythology for my person:

 The legend says that Molly Tanzer was born on a starless night in the middle of a battlefield, and that when the sun rose, the ground was carpeted with detached limbs and excavated fundaments. In the middle of this lay a babe, swaddled in black satin, attended by leather-masked beasts with hands of stone and iron. As the sun flew high, reedy pipes wailed and the emissaries of a cult that had long awaited her arrival rode thither out of the east, and strange patterns formed in the dust in the sky.

Hell yes! He goes on to talk more about the collection:

Having said it already in more flowery format, I’ll now say simply that Molly Tanzer is the real deal. A Pretty Mouth is a weighty and strange collection, and one that promises to repay more than one reading. From adroit turns of phrase to morally complex characters to simply good stories, this book has much to offer.

I remain amazed by the response to my collection of weird dirty stories. It’s thrilling to have written something people seem to like, and doubly thrilling that people are taking it in the spirit in which it was intended.

All this, along with the lovely response I’ve received from my live chat with the Lovecraft eZine people? I may faint, bring me my smelling salts!

I suppose what I might be getting at is that you could do worse than pick up my collection for the nerd/weirdo in your life for whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year… ahem.

Oh! And don’t forget, my Folly of the World giveaway contest is still going on! You have a few more days—weekend days if you catch my drift—to come up with an appropriate cocktail and try to win a copy of Jesse Bullington’s latest opus. Get thee to a liquor store! I’m working on mine, though I shan’t be formally entering the contest (I have a copy; I just like making the world a little more bubbly whenever I can), so you have no excuse. So far I’ve mixed Jesse two entries, though I shall not reveal which two. Both were good, though one was so strong Jesse described it, after a sip, as “putting hair on the inside of his chest.” A few new entries have made this an interesting race for the taste so you might should think long and hard before submitting. Or just mix a bunch of shit together on a lark and take your chances. There’s worse ways to spend an afternoon!

 

Don’t forget about The Folly of the World cocktail contest that’s going on right now! Two Three entries so far, one of which is poisonous, so if you folks want more books by Jesse it would behoove you to submit something…

Last night on the Lovecraft eZine Chat so graciously hosted by Mike Davis, I, perhaps not unexpectedly, got talking about my passion for 18th century lit, specifically women’s novels which reference slavery/the slave trade, a topic which took up most of my classes for my Master’s. Somewhat more unexpectedly, a viewer wrote in to ask what might be some interesting titles fitting that description that interested readers could check out! Holy moly, how awesome! 18th century novels are a passion of mine, and I think they’re under-read, so I was over the moon.

That said, rather than rattle off a bunch of titles for people to scribble down, I promised to post a list of some of my favorites that deal with Caribbean slavery, the middle passage, women’s interest in abolition/amelioration, etc. So, here is that list! It’s just a starting point, dear listeners and readers, thus once you plow through these, hit me up and I’ll dig up some even more obscure titles. And ones that do waaaaay more than that lone shout-out in Mansfield Park to the slave trade that always gets all the attention. Whee!

don’t you just love how this is EVERY COVER of EVERY BOOK written by a woman before 1900?

Belinda, Maria Edgeworth. 1801. Technically 19th century but whatever. Also features an eyebrow-raising parody of Mary Wollstonecraft, so that’s entertaining.

A Description of Millenium Hall [sic] and The History of Sir George EllisonSarah Scott. Love these books. So cray. Sarah Scott was really interesting so make sure to read the critical introductions, class!

The Adventures of David Simple. Sarah Fielding. This is long and weird but there’s a whole Jamaica connection, though one a bit less direct than the three above titles.

The Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph. Frances Sherridan. This is probably my fave 18th c. novel, transatlantic connection or no! Glad to see it’s in print again. My copy is hideous and full of errors due to being a scan from some old microfiche. The things I do for love…

The History of Mary Prince. Mary Prince. Not a novel, but a fascinating account of the life of a liberated Jamaican slave in her own words (allegedly; again, the critical introduction is really interesting).

Oroonoko. Aphra Behn. A classic. “Long” 18th c. rather than the regular kind, but highly influential on later works about slavery.

Oh, and because I talked about it for way too long:

Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and his Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World. Trevor Burnard. One of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read, but highly informative about the conditions of 18th century Jamaican slavery.

This list might not have the best, or most representative books written during the (long) 18th century, but they are on the topic as asked! Hope they’re enjoyed. I babbled about a similar topic back when Historical Lovecraft debuted a million billion years ago, so you can check that out, too, if you like. Cheers, and thanks for the question! Super-fun to look up all these gems and think about the horror of humanity once again. It had been too long!

No, that’s not a typo.

So everyone who has encountered me likely knows about my penchant for the 1985 Jeffrey Combs-starring Stuart Gordon film Re-Animator. Herbert West is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters—I adore the film version and have great affection for Lovecraft’s original “Herbert West – Reanimator”—but today I want to talk about a different Dr. Herbert West. I want to talk about … Reaninator.

Dr. West, I presume?

I’ll be guest-lecturing on Lovecraft and the idea of fanfic/riffing/artistic use of his ideas/something for a class on Japanese Literature at CU this week (terrifying!). Whilst putting together my Re-Animator “case study” I learned about an anime called Demonbane (2006). The first episode is entitled “I am Providence.” Obviously I had to check it out, right?

I guess at one point Demonbane was one of those PC hentai games, then became a Playstation racing game (??) and then was serialized as a manga and an anime. Whatever; the important thing is that Demonbane has a bunch of weird riffing on Lovecraft (beyond just the titles of the episodes). For example, Our “Hero” Kuro Daijuuji lives in Arkham and was once a secret sorcery student at Miskatonic University. Also, through a sequence of events too insane to describe, in the first episode of the show he encounters Al Azif, the Necronomicon. She (yep, duh) looks like this:

INDEED! “Al,” as Daijuuji calls her, binds herself to him by kind of making out with him during a fight, because of course she does. Afterwards he can transform into Super Sayian Kuro Daijuuji and use a giant robot to fight cultists and stuff. It’s not all that important, really. Oh, and if you think Al Azif looks intriguing, you should definitely watch the show! The Pnakotic Manuscripts are also a subservient hot chick in a silly dress that seems designed purely to show flashes of panties! You know, I should really message Nate Pedersen about this. I haven’t seen a single reference yet to eldritch undies in The Starry Wisdom Library, but I guess it’s true that I haven’t read all the entries yet.

I’ve only watched the first four episodes so far, and it’s pretty much just fanservice and terrible CGI mechas battling each other for incomprehensible purposes. That said, the … let’s say 30% of Demonbane that isn’t fanservice and terrible CGI mechas is kind of cool. The main reason is that one of the minor villains is Dr. Herbert West.

As you saw above, this version of Herbert West is slightly different from other imaginings. I guess he is “Reaninator” as opposed to “Re-Animator” or “Reanimator,” but omg still. Yes, that is an electric guitar in his hand; he noodles on it constantly while talking immense amounts of shit, and the case also fires bazooka grenade things. That hot pantsless elf-eared girl by his side is his pet robot assassin. Her name is Elsa, she (in the grand tradition of EVERY ANIME) has a crush on Our Hero, and ends all of her sentences with “-robo” (included that detail just in case anyone wanted to quibble with my allegation that this show was essentially fanservice).

So yeah! Dr. West! Making robots! And guns? And not reanimating the dead, not at all, not once in four episodes! That said, he’s still Herbert fucking West. The source of Elsa’s crush on Daijuuji? He saves her during their first battle by snatching her out of the way of a missile, and she blushingly tells him that she’s never been held by a man before. Oh, Herbert. You would make a pantsless big-boobied gynoid elf-robot and then only use her for purposes of combat, wouldn’t you? Sure sure, long nights in the lab, not much time for yourself … whatever. We both know, and it’s okay, okay?

Anyways, the show is pretty amazingly terrible. If you want to go down the rabbit-hole, it’s on Youtube. Here’s Episode 3: Reaninator, but Dr. West does show up in the first episode. I’ll keep going with it, because despite my aversion to hokey nyuk-nyuk fantasy, I kind of love irreverent treatments of Lovecraft (as anyone who’s read my Lovecraftiana already knows). Have fun, don’t watch it at work probably, and enjoy!

 

I’ve been really boring of late (just of late?), mostly because a story has been obsessing me and I’m keeping my head down until I finish it. Also I’m in panic mode because I’m behind on pretty much everything and MileHiCon is next weekend, and I have a million things to do before then, including—most frivolously—finishing my costume.

But! I’m never too busy to pay attention to myself, so of course I have some spamming about A Pretty Mouth to do. There have been some new Goodreads and Amazon reviews, so an enormous thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to read my humble tome and post about it. But two reviews appeared online this week that … I’m just going to let them speak for themselves, okay? Because, truth be told, I’m a bit overwhelmed.

A Pretty Mouth was reviewed over at Seattlepi.com, and wowza. About the title novella, the reviewer says:

…the author mixes anachronistic language with historically accurate detail and strikes a perfect balance. “A Pretty Mouth” takes place at Wadham College, Oxford in the 17th century. The boys who attend the prestigious institution are typical of their age and degree of privilege. Their nefarious adventures will strike a chord with readers fond of stories about school days. But this magical tale is a far cry from the idealized world of Harry Potter and his little chums. These boys woo and taunt and brutalize one another. Their secret experiments are matters of life and death—and sex.

Another amazingly flattering quote, about “The Hour of the Tortoise” (also available in The Book of Cthulhu II):

This darkly romantic story is worthy of a Bronte, except for the naughty bits written by our heroine for her demanding editor. The naughty bits are hugely entertaining, by the way. The language, setting, and characterization are flawless; all contribute to a keen portrait of an intellectual woman undone by patriarchal power. The madwoman in the attic has nothing on our fair Chelone.

It’s so incredible, as a new author, to see people really “getting” what I was trying to do with these stories. Many thanks to S.P. Miskowski and Shock Room Horror!

A Pretty Mouth was also reviewed by Jared over at Pornokitsch.com, and again, I am nigh-speechless:

Molly Tanzer’s A Pretty Mouth (2012) is easily the best collection I’ve read this year and, honestly, for as long as I can remember. Effusive praise, but utterly well-deserved, as A Pretty Mouth combines skillful pastiche, gut-churning horror, atmospheric weirdness and atmospheric poignancy.

And as if that wasn’t enough:

The stories trace the descent of a single family through time, with Ms. Tanzer’s prose changing to incorporate the appropriate Edwardian, Victorian or Gothic style for each tale. My favourite is the Wodehouse/Lovecraft mash-up, but the author does justice to every tale. But, most importantly, despite being a stylistic chameleon, Ms. Tanzer’s prose is insightful, clever and distinctly her own.

Bring me my smelling salts! Seriously. Many, many thanks to Jared and Anne for taking the time to read and review my book. It means a lot to me.

All right! I must stop reading and re-reading my reviews and finish this friggin’ story, finish my costume, finish the book reviews I owe, finish reading a book about the sex lives of the Victorians so I can moderate a certain panel at MileHi, and also clean my house. Tinkerty-tonk!

Things have been both slow and hectic in my life of late. I’ve finally—finally—completed a piece of fiction, a short story around 5k words. It’s the first I’ve managed to write since Dad passed away. Not sure if my lack of writerly vim and vigor is related to his passing or to some anxieties regarding such heady, nebulous things as My Future that I’ve been feeling of late, but hopefully the worst of the drought has passed.

In more exciting news, last week I turned in my final proofreading pass on A Pretty Mouth, and I came away feeling very confident and enthusiastic about the project’s imminent publication. I still love the title novel as much as ever—maybe even more than when I wrote it, now that I have some distance from typing The End. Not sure about the hard date it will be available, but it will be mid-Octoberish, and I’ll definitely have copies to give away at MileHiCon. I’ll also be doing a few readings in Boulder and Denver, which I’m excited about. I really enjoy readings.

As I’ve been battling writer’s block (barf!) and proofreading A Pretty Mouth, other people have been doing cool, less navel-gazey stuff. Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles of Innsmouth Free Press are trying to fund a new anthology, Sword and Mythos which … well, the title should tell you everything about the theme you need to know. I think this is an amazing idea, selfishly (I write S&S and Lovecraftiana, and would love to see a market open up for that combination), and also more in a general sense of What The Community Needs.

Why? Well, because Silvia and Paula are two editors who really care about not just including, but featuring alternative takes on established genres in their anthologies. That means it’s awesome they’re attempting this project, because if you like S&S, but desire fresh, new entries into that genre, it can be challenging to get your fix. Not impossible, by any means, but definitely challenging. And when you throw in the monkey wrench of S&S plus Mythos fiction … yeah.

I think that’s why Silvia, in particular, seems incredibly passionate about, in particular, the S&S aspect of this project. Over at her blog, as a way of drumming up excitement for Sword and Mythos, she’s been writing essays about why fresh new takes on S&S/mythos fiction are important. So far she’s talked about people of color in S&S (and did a separate piece on racism in the genre), the prevalence of beef/cheesecake in S&S, princesses and regular ladies in S&S, and a few more.

So yeah! Read Silvia’s stuff; consider throwing them some cash if you can spare it. I know those dollars will be well-spent. Plus, you can get cool rewards for donating, like free e-books/paperbacks, a hardcover copy of Fungi, the forthcoming all-fungus release from Innsmouth, a coffee mug, and lots of other treats.

Two announcements re: A Pretty Mouth, my forthcoming debut!

First: I have an uncorrected advance .pdf and will send it out to interested reviewers. It would be super-cool to get some reviews/buzz going for this project, on Amazon (when the page goes up/book comes out, obvs) and around the Webs, so if you like, I dunno, Jeeves stories, Restoration class drama, Re-Animator, sword and sorcery, The Secret History, fops, or Victorian pornography, please consider reviewing the book!

Second: I’m super-happy to report that there’s already some amazing buzz going on around my little project, and my editor, Cameron, has compiled some a list of some of the blurbs on the LFP site. So far, Laird Barron, John Langan, Nick Mamatas, W.H. Pugmire, Nathan Long, Stephen Graham Jones, and several others have had some very kind things to say about A Pretty Mouth. A more complete list can be found via the link above, but here are some quick, fabulous, awesome soundbites:

A Pretty Mouth is a fine and stylish collection that pays homage to the tradition of the weird while blazing its own sinister mark. Tanzer’s debut is as sharp and polished as any I’ve seen.”  —LAIRD BARRON, author of The Croning

“This is form and content and diction and tone and imagination all looking up at the exact same moment: when Molly Tanzer claps once at the front of the classroom.” —STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, author of Zombie Bake-Off

Tanzer is an ambitious writer, and she is talented enough for her ambition to matter.” —JOHN LANGAN, author of The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies

 

Sometimes fortune smiles upon me. I posted on Facebook a few months ago how much I had enjoyed the batshit-insane post-apocalyptic barbarian queen epic She, and Ross Lockhart, friend/kick-ass editor of The Book of Cthulhu Jane Carver Of Waar by Nathan Longpinged me, asking if I’d like an advance copy of Nathan Long’s Jane Carver of Waar. I looked up the cover (left) and started drooling. Yes, I said. Yes, send this book to me, please.

I mean, omg, look at that cover! Big-hair muscle-babe in sweet armor uses a Gatsu-proprotioned sword to carve up purple tiger-taurs amidst an epic landscape? That is pretty much all I ever wanted from a novel. But a question came to mind: Could Jane Carver possibly live up to my expectations after I had gazed upon that wonderful artist’s rendition of a bad-ass warrior woman’s enviable quadriceps?

Yes. Yes, it could. Actually—no. Jane Carver exceeded every single one of my expectations in the best possible ways.

I mean, let’s talk about the protagonist: Jane Carver. Jane is a strong, punchy biker chick and ex-Airborne Ranger, who, due to circumstances, is forced to go on the run from the law … straight into a magical cave that transports her to an alien planet: Waar. Waar is populated with terrible monsters and all-too-human alien humanoids. They ride big chocobo-style birds and have a quasi-feudal society. So far, so awesome. Also: The gravity is less than Jane’s used to, meaning she can jump high, punch hard, lift heavy things, and go braless without pain. YES!

Jane, to her credit, takes all this in stride, and for much of the book ends up helping a male-model handsome (but hopeless-with-a-sword) princeling named Kai who early-on in the book has his sexy bride stolen from him by a rival nobleman-cum-asshole. Noble Kai, who speaks in luxurious courtly language, is the straight man to Jane’s joker. The dynamic is awesome, and often very funny. Take, for example, this early exchange, after Jane helps Kai extricate himself from the ruins of his coach, post violent bride-snatching:

I passed him some of the meat pies and veggies. “Eat. You gotta get your strength back.”

He took the chow, but offered some back to me. “And you? Do you not hunger?”

I hadn’t realized it ’til then, but I did hunger. I hungered like dammit. Traveling light-years in a second, or whatever I’d done, sure built up a powerful appetite.

That’s the tone throughout; Jane narrates the whole thing (College Feminist Molly says: Look how she’s a Subject rather than an Object! Hells yes!). Thus we see Waarian culture through her eyes, and Jane is not uncritical of what she finds. It may be a beautiful world full of thoroughly decent people, but misogyny, machismo, and double-standards abound among the folks she encounters. Jane, however, calls everyone on his or her bullshit, which is really fun for the reader. Not only does she freak everyone out by being a woman who looks unusual (Waarians are purplish, dark-haired, and on the shorter side; Jane is 6’2″, white, and red-haired), as well as being strangely strong and agile, but she freaks them out with her feminist and class-eliding notions, too.

Jane articulates her problems with Waarian culture beautifully, and without pretension, and with laser-pinpoint accuracy. Take, for example, Jane’s thoughts on lordly, incompetent, honor-bound Sai’s quest to win back his fiancee via single combat when she first encounters regular ol’ Waarians (instead of the noblesse):

…I understood these people. The guys were just guys. The chicks were just chicks. They wouldn’t die for some sucker’s idea of honor if you told them heaven was an eternal blowjob. They might die for love, or for friendship or even their country, but they wouldn’t throw their lives away because it was more honorable to be dead.

Sorry. I guess Sai was pissing me off a little at that point. I bet he could have ditched his title, got the girl and lived down here on Sailcloth Street and nobody here would have given him a second glance. But with his upbringing that would probably have been harder for him than dying. Oh well, fuck it.

Jane rolls with the punches (and throws them) which is gratifying and makes for smile-inducing reading. Even better: she never considers herself superior to the Waarians because of her appearance/opinions/abilities, just different. Jane is a very “live-and-let-live (unless you piss me off or hurt my friends)” sort of person. She may think she has a handle on things, but her opinions aren’t rigid and she’s willing to learn as well as teach. Long does a bang-up job of writing a first-person female protagonist whose feminism is unobtrusive but so omnipresent you can tell that’s just who she is. It’s fantastic. I mean, after reading the book I wanted a sequel, but more than that, I wanted to go to the gym and then grab a beer with Jane. So, yeah.

The novel hit all the right notes for me, basically. I can’t talk more about what I loved with out spoilering too much, so I’ll leave off here and just say, if you like well-written adventure novels, get this book when it comes out. It’s so goddamn good.

There was literally only one little thing that bothered me in Jane Carver of Waar, and wasn’t a big deal, though it does come in the first two pages, in Long’s prologue. I liked the conceit of the prologue just fine: that Long met Jane outside of a bar, and she provided him with the account that comprises the book. But then there’s a weird moment, before we’ve even met Jane, where Long tells us:

Jane is remarkably honest in her admissions of her failings, but sometimes I wonder if she is’t being too modest. She says throughout the tapes how ugly she is. Well, I met her, and though she was no Scarlett Johansson, she was by no means ugly. She had the kind of broad-faced, rugged good looks you associate with frontierswomen and female fire-fighters.

This comment rubbed me ever so slightly the wrong way. I understand what Long’s trying to do here—Jane is, after all, a 6’2″ female ex-airborne ranger, and even on earth that’s not something one sees every day, so Jane has certain opinions regarding her physical appearance that are informed by the beauty standards of our world. That said, I don’t give a damn if the heroine of a novel is butt-ugly or not, and I don’t need an outsider’s reassurance that “it’s not like that, objectively speaking” if a heroine says she’s not attractive. I didn’t feel it was a necessary remark; indeed, I felt it kind of undermined Jane’s authority in telling her own tale. That said, I understand why Long included this comment. I think it was with the best of intentions, and it’s true that body-worship is part and parcel of the barbarian epic. I just think it would have been fine to have Jane tell us about herself, rather than Long as he appears in his prologue, I guess.

Anyways, who cares, the book ruled like dammit, as Jane would say, and I would read a billion Jane Carver novels. The back-cover copy may read: “Jane Carver is nobody’s idea of a space princess.” Well, maybe that’s true for some people, but Jane Carver is exactly my idea of a space princess. Strong, foul-mouthed, bad-ass, socially aware in interesting and engaging ways, self-aware, feminist, malleable while holding strong opinions, crafty, intelligent, resourceful, and still entirely human in all the right ways. Yes! Yes, yes, yes. We need more books like Jane Carver of Waar out there. I actually delayed finishing the book for a few days because I didn’t want to leave Jane and Waar behind; hearing that Long has already planned a sequel, Swords of Waar, took away a little of the pain. I cannot wait to devour it.

There’s a really neat interview with Ross Lockhart, the fine gentleman who edited The Book of Cthulhu, up on Omnivoracious! Go check it out.

These semi-confessional accounts of horror, terror, and the unknown inspired by Lovecraft are…. oddly inspirational and life-affirming. It’s not just that nothing really makes you appreciate Something like life more than being chased by some oozy Shadowy Nothing through a dark forest strewn with odd ruins. A deeper impulse seemed at work, too, in many, many of the stories. Why, there was even what appeared to be useful advice for the modern reader!

Could it be that the lessons taught by Lovecraft were less mechanistic and existential, less hideous and ritualistic, than I had thought? I had to get to the bottom of this strange phenomenon—by interviewing the editor…

Fun times! Thanks to Jeff VanderMeer, and to Ross, of course!.

I have to blog (read here: brag) on this fine sunny Monday, because I just saw this review of “The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins” (my novelette which is extremely available for purchase in both Historical Lovecraft and the brand-spankin-new The Book of Cthulhu) by none other than the magnificent and mighty Caitlín R. Kiernan:

“Last night. . . I read another story from The Book of Cthulhu, Molly’s Tanzer’s “The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins.” And wow, this one’s a keeper. I’d never encountered this author before, but … imagine H. P. Lovecraft refracted through the lenses of Lemony Snicket, Edward Gorey, and any number of Victorian authors, and you get this wonderful and delightfully perverse short story. Brava, Ms. Tanzer … “The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins” is very, very good, and I’ll be keeping my eye open for additional work by that author.”

Holy shit? Holy shit! I loved Lemony Snicket’s series, read the whole thing from A Bad Beginning to The End, and, well, it’s not for a want of affection for Mr. Gorey’s work that I have a tattoo on my wrist of Beelphazoar from The Disrespectful Summons. It’s hard for me to imagine more lovely comparisons.

Many, many thanks, Caitlín! And thanks again to Ross Lockhart for reprinting “Infernal History” in The Book of Cthulhu, and to Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles for allowing my story to make Historical Lovecraft an infinitely less classy project. The Twins remain my favorite creations to date, and seeing they’re giving pleasure to others is a wonderful feeling.

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