It's Alive! It's Alive!
Ellen posted the table of contents to Inferno over at the Night Shade boards, and if it's possible I'm even more excited about the book than I was before. I get to be in the same book as Joyce Carol Oates! How cool is that? Not to mention personal favorites of mine, such as Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, and Lucius Shepard. Tragically, the release date is apparently not until October of 2007, by which time civilization may have crumbled.
Mia started first grade yesterday, an event which is world-altering to me, but which elicits little more than a rolling of the eyes and compression of the lips from her. Its chief effect, as far as she's concerned, is that she gets to get a new backpack. Last year's Dora the Explorer has been mothballed, and now she's sporting a sleek and sophisticated Hello Kitty triple-zippered wonderment, done in tasteful black with pink outlines and of course the Kitty herself, smiling mysteriously and at a jaunty angle. She also gets pocket-folders for the first time ever; one is bedecked with kittens, the other with flowers. When I told her I thought they were very cute, she quickly corrected me: "No Dad." (I'm not Daddy anymore.) "The flowers are cute. The kittens are cool."
I must also add that I've noticed, happily, a ruthless streak in her. Last week we celebrated her sixth birthday (it actually occurred while visiting her mom in Alabama, but of course we have to have a second celebration here at home) at a sort of year-round indoor fairground called Fun Depot. She rode the bumper cars there; at first I was a little worried because three boys (about eight years old, maybe) were holding court there, riding for free over and over -- probably the ticket taker's family -- and Mia can get her feelings hurt fairly easily. But as soon as she figured out how the controls worked, she turned into Mad Max ! Her little brows furrowed over an evil grin, her hands punched those controls forward, and she repeatedly knocked the bejeesus out of those other kids ... oh man. It made the heart sing.
Let's see, let's see ... there was an interesting exchange of opinions and assumptions over on Lucius's message board concerning a trio of short horror films that I highly recommend -- namely, Douglas Buck's Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America. I want to write about the films and some of the things being said about them, but just not at the moment. I'll get back to that in the next couple of days. (That'll be motivation not to let this blog go moribund for another month or two.)
I recently finished reading Michael Bishop's Brittle Innings, which -- without giving anything away -- is a wonderfully poignant novel about fatherless sons, wartime living in the American South, race relations, minor league and Negro League baseball, and Frankenstein's Monster. It is truly, truly a beautiful novel, and it's a wonder to me that it fared so poorly, and is so little remembered today. It's one of the warmest, saddest, sweetest fantasies I've read in a long time, and I hope it's destined for a second life somewhere down the road.
I'm just now starting James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, which of course promises to be a fascinating read. The sampled correspondence between Tiptree and Ursula LeGuin in the current issue of F&SF is well worth reading, too, if you haven't already.
Back in a few days with thoughts on Douglas Buck and his wonderful collection of short films!