Aletheia ARCs now available

The first review copies of my new novel Aletheia are available from Crystal Lake Publishing. Contact them, or me, if you’d like an advance read.

Here’s a taste:

Nose Island was a glacial booger sneezed up by Funes Lake, five miles to the north of town. Most people you asked swore that it had always been there—first an Iroquois graveyard, then a potters’ field, leprosarium, orphanage, or toxic dumping ground during the Eerie heyday—but how and when it came into the Zabriskie family no one exactly knew. Some said a poker game gone sour, others said a favor owed or interest paid on some unimaginable debt—there was even talk of a curse. Over time, subsidence and falling water levels created treacherous structural currents around most of its perimeter—the lake-effect weather that was a feature of the area, along with various other environmental anomalies meant the island itself was mostly invisible and all but inaccessible. Being private property, of course, no one had set foot on it for decades.
Or if they had, they couldn’t remember.

GAMUT MAGAZINE IS LIVE!

Sorry to shout, but this is pretty exciting: the first issue of Gamut Magazine is live. Have you got your subscription in? If you supported the initial Kickstarter campaign, just log in and you’re in for some of the tightest, baddest stories you’ll ever read. Complete with squirmy, quirky illustrations by Luke Spooner, George Catronis and Daniele Serra. Fiction by Ben Percy, Angela Slatter, Brian Evenson, Damien Angelica Walters, Stephen Graham Jones -just for starters. Subscriptions from as low as $10.

Five things to do/not to do at your first World Fantasy Con

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Thursday October 27

4:30 AM. My cousin drives me to San Jose airport from Gilroy, CA, to make my 6:20 flight to Columbus, OH. Howard Stern is on the radio and Lady Gaga plays “A Million Reasons” live in the studio. I start to cry in the dark truck, and I cling to my cousin on the curb, gripped by separation anxiety. Seriously. WFC? What was I thinking?

Inside at the check-in desk, I apologize to the check-in attendant. ‘It’s all right, no problem,” she coos like a dove. She takes my phone and gets my luggage tagged. I tell her I suck at good byes.

‘Good byes?’ she says. ‘So you’re going home?’

I shake my head. I have no idea where I’m going….

Where I went was World Fantasy Con in Columbus, Ohio. You can read all about it, in my latest LitReactor column, here.

Cover Art for Aletheia

Revealing Ben Baldwin’s final cover art for Aletheia, out soon from Crystal Lake Publishing.

Pretty much one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve seen, still can’t believe it’s mine. Thanks to Joe Mynhardt from Crystal lake for setting this up.
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In other news, just found out I’m on the Weird Fiction panel at World Fantasy Con in Columbus, Ohio with two of my heroes – Ellen Datlow and Michael Kelly. Unfortunately won’t have the actual book to flaunt—copies won’t quite be ready yet—but I’ll be reading from it anyway.

Writing the Weird resumes August 30

I’ll be teaching weirdness over at LitReactor again soon. August 30. Spaces left—hope to see you there.

Three of my students that I know of have sold their stories from the class. Here’s some hype:

[This] LitReactor class was unforeseeably phenomenal… It’s the most I’ve ever learnt in a writing class, and if all LitReactor classes are as genuinely relevant and engaging as that, then they might be on to some kind of creative revolution.” —Emila B.

Review of “Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories,” and Gamut sale

My review of Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories is over at LitReactor. Neat collection, lots of stories and images that linger. Couldn’t really name a favorite, because of the breadth of styles and subject matter, loosely connected around the idea of naked souls bared to elements not always of this world, but I have to say that Josh Malerman’s story, “The One You Live With”‘d have to be one of the ones I read twice.

Also, Gamut Magazine picked up Rogues Bay 3013, my AI story with, I guess, Frankenstinian undertones. Or maybe they’re undertones. This Gamut, by the way, is the one to watch. Get your subscriptions in, is my thinking. And submit if you have anything. They tend to reach their 300 sub limit 24 hours after opening, so it might take some planning, but worth it. The main thing is to subscribe. That’s their model, and I think the ave subscription is $60/year, which is just a few bucks a month, well worth the incredible material they’re packing into every issue, from what I can see. And they’re using the money to pay writers pro rates, so you get pro fiction. All the way.

Aletheia edit done and gone!

I write this in bed. I am reviewing books, having a look at courses I’ve been invited to teach, waiting on a call-back, and on a submitted story. And did I mention that I’m in bed?

I mean, specifically, bed at 1 pm, surrounded by cords and open laptops and phones and legal pads and my kindle and a stack of other books, including the wonderful Patricide, by D. Foy?

But getting back to my first point. In bed.

When my son was in junior high he and his friends would add, “in bed,” to the end of every sentence. Like the old guy at the pub who does the ‘Said the actress to the bishop.’ So (and thanks TP for the prompt), someone’d say, ‘I hate it when you get here early and you have to wait for Mr. Weiss,’ and the kids’d be all, ‘IN BE-ED!’

That kind of thing. Which is where I am. In bed. Because the edit’s in—and the visionary Ben Baldwin is working on the cover—this is a novel about memory, about a woman who returns home to her lake-town and gets bitten by the beast of memory. I read Borges of course, for inspiration, but also Kandell’s work on memory, more McCarthy (in fact, my agent-angel emailed me after reading a draft and said I am to Gila Monsters what Cormac is to watermelons—bless him) and Bronte and watched and finally abandoned American Horror Story at “Hotel.” My husband stepped up again as beta-reader. My son helped with spread-sheets, concept art, and comments like, ‘novel writing looks really fun.’ And sometime toward the end of the process, one of the people I love most in the world died, and I got shortlisted for a residency and a couple of prizes, and sold a new story, and have been asked to teach at a prestigious workshop and one best friend is miles away across this adopted country of ours, and another lost her job, and a sister went to Spain and tracked Don Quijote for me, and another was at the bedside of the person who died, as he lay dying, and kissed him for me, and he smiled.

Hands Across Australia

One of the astonishing pics taken by my friend Sarah Klenbort as she travels around this country with her family. Those shadows are camels, btw, on Cable Beach. Here are more, a freshie in the night, and rowing down the Drysdale River. More here.

Tunnel Creek croc

I’ll be visiting SK in Darwin in a couple of weeks, haven’t been around this country as much as I should have. Both of us are displaced New Yorkers, or replaced, or misplaced. Those camels up there speak to being in this place however I am, to this shadow of homelessness that follows me wherever I go.

ALone on Drysdale River

Wuthering Heights Wins by a Knock-Out

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read this novel, how many strips of myself I’ve lost to it. I’d just watched “Southpaw,” too, which is basically about Jake Gyllenhaal gettin all up in the guts of what it means to be a man—and he was as believable as hell, love anything JG does, but there was that little problem of Rachel McAdams’s character gettin all caught up in the cross-fire of men getting all up in dem guts of what it means to be a man. A little problem easily solved by a stray gunshot —which never really got satisfactorily resolved in the film—because as one male who I talked to pointed out—the stray bullet (or was it?) that killed the woman in the way, “wasn’t really part of the plot”. The plot was that her death left the ring free for the main event: two messed-up dudes leading each other to bloody and violent redemption.

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Wuthering Heights (1847) says no to such easy solace, follows that stray bullet right to its source.

‘You and Edgar have broken my heart, Heathcliff! And you both come to bewail the deed to me, as if you were the people to be pitied! I shall not pity you, not I. You have killed me—and thriven on it, I think. How strong you are! How many years do you mean to live after I am gone?

Heathcliff had knelt on one knee to embrace her; he attempted to rise, but she seized his hair, and kept him down.
‘I wish I could hold you,’ she continued bitterly, ’till we were both dead. I shouldn’t care what you suffered. I care nothing for your suffering. Why shouldn’t you suffer. I do!’

Them’s fighting words, and Wuthering Heights wins by a knockout, IMO.