broadswords and blasters

Time for a semi-regular update on my thrilling adventures in authorville. In between reading and reviewing some fine anthologies and a bit of nonfiction, hacking and slashing through the Friday night DCC sessions, and desperately trying to catch up on my Netflix queue, I’ve actually gotten a lot of writing done.

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broadswords and blastersOn the whole this has been a productive year for me, but I don’t have a huge number of announcements to show for it. Most of the stories I placed over the past few months won’t see print until some time in 2020. But there are worse problems to have.

In the mean time I’ve had my head down, ignoring some very tempting open calls and working on a novella (or novel, we’ll see) that probably won’t be ready for the call it was intended for. I actually outlined this one, too.

Alas.

So I will still keep plugging away at the eventual novella, with giddy and unfounded hopes of finishing it before the new year. But I’m also giving myself permission to work on some other short pieces as the inspiration strikes.

And speaking of short pieces, my pulpy sword-and-sorcery story “Dust Claims Dust” appears this month in Broadswords and Blasters Issue 11. I don’t normally write this type of fantasy–having realized that weird horror is more my natural state–but sometimes a story just happens.

I’ll also have a bit of flash coming up at Harbinger Press later in November, which is more in keeping with my usual tendencies.

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Once we’re past Halloween, the holidays will be on top of us with all the attendant commotion. Writing time will be hard to carve out, but there are a lot of great markets open until December 31. With any luck, I’ll be able to do it all.

Updates to follow!

Monster She Wrote

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror & Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson provides a slick, quick, entertaining overview of forty notable creators of horror and related genre fiction. The profiled authors range from some of the earliest female authors (Margaret Cavendish, Ann Radcliffe) to the more recent (Angela Carter, Jewelle Gomez), with additional mentions of many new, current authors. Some of the women in these pages are obscure, some are household names–and all are well-qualified contributors to the horror field.

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Monster She WroteMonster, She Wrote is at times a little too glib, quick with a quip but light on details. Even with living, currently-active authors, Kröger and Anderson rely more on basic wiki facts than the writers’ own words about their work. Each of the capsule biographies offers a glancing look at the author’s life, a brief summary of her most famous novel or story, a few of her major works, and a short list of other authors whose style or subject is similar to the featured creator. 

Kröger and Anderson use snippets of quotations in place of illustrations to provide a taste of each author’s style. The quotes piqued my interest, and I would have liked to see more of them. The two also include helpful information on any recent reprints and reissues, to point readers in the right direction.

The profiles are presented chronologically, and the timeline defined by overviews of the various subgenres–gothic, haunted house, pulp, the occult. These analyses are shallow, but they do provide a comfortable structure to the overall effort.

Kröger and Anderson conclude their survey with a review of the current state of horror, and the women who make it. They recap the various subgenres and give shout-outs to several writers working within each one.

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Monster, She Wrote is a light, fast read that doesn’t delve too deeply into any particular aspect of women-penned horror. It’s a good resource for someone beginning to get into the subject, and an effective way to find out about some of the major works of some of the major players. It’s also a fine reminder of some truly talented authors who should not be forgotten–no matter when they wrote their monsters.