Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Last Night of Summer

Well, tonight is the last night of summer.  Yeah, I know that officially summer doesn’t end until the equinox, which is still a few weeks away.  And in the US, Labor Day, which is a week from tomorrow as I write this, is traditionally considered the end of summer.  But classes start in the morning, and my days of at least theoretical flexibility are pretty much gone for the next three and a half months.  In reality, I’ve been back at work and hitting it pretty much full steam since early July with only a few moments here and there to slip away.

Back at the beginning of the summer, I wrote this post, in which I outlined some changes I was implementing over the summer, along with some plans I had.  How did I do on accomplishing the plans? Continue reading

A Review of Datlow’s The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eight

Datlow Best Horror EightThe Best Horror of the Year, Volume Eight
Ellen Datlow, ed.
Night Shade Books
Trade paper $15.99
ebook $14.99

Since this is a review of a horror anthology, I’m going to run with that theme and say August has come from one of the circles of Hell. Just which one, I’m not sure. I need to brush up on my Dante. I finished this book two (three?) weeks ago, and I’m just now getting a relatively quiet and uninterrupted moment when I’m not too wiped out to put coherent sentences together. (The previous post doesn’t count. A careful reading will show I wasn’t in a good mood, and I don’t write reviews when I’m cranky crankier than usual.)  The only part of the process that went the way it should was requesting the book and the quick response.  Thanks to Brianna Scharfenberg of Night Shade Books.  Delays in reading the book and posting the review are entirely mine.

Datlow is one of the most accomplished editors in the field.  I know that any project, whether reprint or original, will have a top-notch selection of stories.  That’s the case here.  Not every story was to my taste, but then I don’t expect them to.  The only anthology that will be completely to my taste will be one I’ve edited, and maybe not even then. Continue reading

Some Thoughts on HPL, on the Occasion of His Birth

LovecraftOther than the Dublin Ghost Story Festival (which I can’t afford to attend), there’s not a lot happening this weekend of any significance.  Which is fine, because there won’t be much to distract from observing HPL’s birthday today.  I intend to read something by him later, provided both the two-legged and four-legged people in the house will leave me alone.

I thought I’d mark the occasion by sharing a few thoughts.  It’s become particularly fashionable in recent years to bash the Gentleman From Providence.  While this is nothing new, it seems to have gained momentum.

When I was younger, the most common complaint I heard was that Lovecraft’s prose was too purple.  I didn’t pay that much attention to the criticism at the time because I was more into science fiction.  It was only as my interest in fantasy began to eclipse my interest in SF that I really started getting into his work.  I’ve always found his writing to be readable.  While there is some merit to the complaints about Lovecraft’s style being outdated (which to a large degree boils down to matters of taste), they’re not a deal breaker for me.  Continue reading

Still Not Dead Yet

Yes, I am alive, at least for certain definitions of life.  I’ve just been swamped with ending a term, preparing for one that’s off to a bit of a rockier start than usual, and getting a child ready to start high school in a school that has over 2,000 students.  Among other things.

Most days, I only have a few minutes of stillness and quiet (internal and external) to focus on reading/writing/blogging.  I’m hoping that will change by Labor Day, when everything should fall into a routine.

To the two people to whom I promised reviews, I finished the books over a week ago.  I will write them as soon as I can do a professional job that isn’t rushed.  I’m hoping that will be this weekend.

Is the Second Summer Term Over Yet?

Well, no, actually it’s not.  I ruin some people’s day give the final on Thursday.  I’ve got a few posts lined up, I just need to finish an anthology (one story left), and two novels (both nearly done).  Because of some things I’ll go into when I write the con report, I went to Armadillcon last weekend.  It was a late minute decision.  Since I got back, I haven’t gotten anything done in terms of blogging or writing until this evening.  My son’s summer ended last Monday when band practice started, and the week has been hectic for all of us.  Things should settle down a bit by the end of the month, and hopefully I’ll post a little more regularly.  Anyway, I haven’t died or dropped off the face of the planet (at least not entirely).