31 October 2011

Incomplete Review

The Robert Sheckley Omnibus (Penguin Science Fiction)  The Robert Sheckley Omnibus by Robert Sheckley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I skipped the longer works in the Omnibus, the novel Immortality Inc and the story "A Ticket to Tranai," and focused on the shorter pieces.  I'll come back to them eventually.  Here are some brief thoughts on everything else...

30 October 2011

"Who ever told you that you could work with men?"

I need to read more fiction by men.  There, I said it.

I know how it sounds, what with all the stuff going on at DC Comics these days, to say nothing about the general He-Man-Woman-Hater's club vibe that some parts of genre-dom still have (even in writing circles).  Hell, anyone who doesn't know me and sees The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy in my goodreads "currently reading" list might well roll their eyes and write me off as a toolbag.  But I have a good reason.

Everyone who does know me as a writer, or has read this blog, knows of my love of M. Rickert, Aimee Bender, Carol Emshwiller, Karen Joy Fowler (her short work, at least), and Kelly Link.  I've recently acquired and devoured collections by Joan Aiken and Margaret St. Clair.  My favorite issue of Tin House thus far is 33: Fantastic Women.  The only novel I've really, truly enjoyed in the past few years was Sarah Shun-lien Bynum's Madeline is Sleeping.  I wish I could write like Lydia Davis, Ann Beattie, and Amy Hempel.  I also wish I had Fran Lebowitz's brain.  These writers have really sort of set the bar as far as what I look for in a story.

Sure, there are male writers who do that for me, too.  Etgar Keret, Ray Vukcevich, Howard Waldrop, Peter S. Beagle, Harlan Ellison, Raymond Carver, Barry Hannah, and... um... and... and...

See, therein lies the problem.

19 October 2011

The Green Flash

The Green Flash and Other Tales of Horror, Suspense, and FantasyThe Green Flash and Other Tales of Horror, Suspense, and Fantasy by Joan Aiken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I couldn't believe my luck when I found this collection at a local used book store! It didn't finish quite as strongly as it started, but there are pieces that were clinics on short-story writing. Here's how I thought of each story...

18 October 2011

Mabuhay ng Pilipinas, Motherf--kers! (Part 2)

It's true that a good offense is the best defense.

In Filipino Martial Arts, a good offense sometimes involves taking your attacker and "picking the eyes out, and of course, let him eat it."

Well, of course.  Because why stop at taking out the kidney when you can FEED YOUR ATTACKER HIS OWN EYEBALLS!!

16 October 2011

Confession (or, Sorry, M.)

I picked up the latest issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction because it had M. Rickert's new story "The Corpse Painter's Masterpiece."  I'll buy anything with M. Rickert's name on it.  I wish F&SF had a "Just the Issues with M. Rickert in It" subscription option.  I have every issue with her stories since 2006 (except for one I've misplaced somehow).  I have both her collections, Map of Dreams and Holiday, and copies of her stories in Ideomancer and Interfictions 2.  I've spoken about my love of her writing here, and other places.  Yes, on my list of Favorite Writers, she is #1.  The very top.

I say all this so that you can have of sense of just how much it really and truly pains me to say: I wasn't that into "The Corpse Painter's Masterpiece."

12 October 2011

Mabuhay ng Pilipinas, Motherf--kers!

Just three of the reasons I'm proud to be Filipino:

Toadies of Filipino martial arts practitioners talk the best smack...

We take Good Friday really fucking seriously...

We... uhh... apparently also take cosplay really fucking seriously...
(The video's in Tagalog, but you'll get the gist.)

Reminds me of what Dad always used to say: "Aba!"

10 October 2011

"Something tells me I'm into something good..."

I'm not complaining, but I'm just stating the fact that 2011 hasn't been a very productive year.  Oh, I've produced things.  I pulled off my first academic presentation and am still awaiting word of what could be a huge publication score.  I have things coming down the pike in the next couple of months.  But you know, I think part of my damage is that for a couple of years now, I've been writing "made-to-order" stuff.  I think I need to write something for me.  But what?

I don't know a lot about the Brill Building.  I have a sense about its place in musical history.  I have a vague notion of what they talk about when they talk about the "Brill Building Sound" (and of the controversy behind that term).  I kinda know some of the big names involved.

But here's the thing: I know is that it's the place where I want to set my next short story. 

08 October 2011

Rod Serling Conference 2011

Sorry for the unimaginative title, but it was taking me too long to come up with something other than "Submitted For Your Approval."  Tell me that's not the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Rod Serling.  But aside from being lame, my presentation at the 2011 Rod Serling Conference last month** wasn't about The Twilight Zone, but about Rod Serling's Night Gallery.  Specifically, H.P. Lovecraft Adapted for Rod Serling's Night Gallery.

I pulled the presentation off, despite massive tech fail (thanks to help from the conference's tech crew), but here's the play by play of the shindig...