Okay! So: A Tree of Bones has been officially out for over a month, prompting an interview in Rue Morgue and a good review in Publisher's Weekly, as well as two very nice reviews on Goodreads, though one seems impossible to find anymore. I'm also finally at the end of my short story/anthology-fill duties for this year, all of which have been accepted by their various venues. That's seven separate stories. I also did a fair amount of preliminary work on my next CZP book, Experimental Film: A Novel, and roughed out and/or began a few other projects, as well as writing nine poems (two of them placed thus far), three new instalments of Lackadaisy fanfic and five film columns for chizine.com.
Next on the docket: “In Scarlet Town (Today)”, another post-Tree of Bones Hexslinger-'verse story, which will hopefully be packaged as an e-book along with “Like a Bowl of Fire”, which was originally supposed to be the supplement in the back of the Tree hardcover. I need to get it done by mid-July, which should be fun (since that's Readercon, essentially, which I go straight to from Polaris, the week before). And speaking of which, here's my schedule for both:
Fringe: There's More Than Two of Everything, Friday July 6, 7pm
Adults Should Read Adult Books, Friday July 6, 9pm
The Cabin in the Woods, Friday July 6, 10pm
Diana Wynne Jones: Her Works and Legacy, Saturday July 7 1pm
John Carter (of Mars), Saturday July 7, 5pm
Lost in the Middle Again, Sunday July 8, 4pm
The Cult of Cthulhu, Sunday July 8, 1pm
Reading: Sunday July 8, 2:30pm.
Thursday July 12
9:00 PM The Visual Generation. Gemma Files, Elizabeth Hand, Caitlín R. Kiernan, John Langan (leader), Lee Moyer. Last year's horror-related Readercon panels all brought in discussions of other media. Many of today's horror and dark fantasy writers were exposed to horror movies and television before ever picking up a horror novel. In a 2010 book review, horror critic Will Errickson wrote, "I can't imagine what it must have been like for authors such as Arthur Machen, H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, M.R. James, Sheridan LeFanu, et. al., to write horror fiction without having horror film as an influence." Yet despite these undeniable changes in the field, readers often disparage horror writing when they feel it tries too hard to be "cinematic," or when an author openly admits to being inspired by visual media. Is it time for us to get over this stigma and accept that horror literature and visual media are in an ongoing two-way conversation? Or are we in danger of diluting the craft and consigning the genre's past masters to obscurity unless they've been adapted to film?
Friday July 13
11:00 AM Group Reading: Mythic Poetry. Mary Agner, Mike Allen, Erik Amundsen, Leah Bobet, C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files, Gwynne Garfinkle, April Grant, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Shira Lipkin, Adrienne J. Odasso, Julia Rios, Darrell Schweitzer, Sonya Taaffe. Over the past decade, speculative poetry has increasingly turned toward the mythic in subject matter, with venues such as Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Stone Telling, Cabinet des Fées, Jabberwocky, and the now-defunct Journal of the Mythic Arts showcasing a new generation of poets who've redefined what this type of writing can do. Come to the reading and hear new and classic works from speculative poetry's trend-setters.
4:00 PM Wet Dreams and Nightmares. Samuel R. Delany, Gemma Files, Paula Guran (leader), Caitlín R. Kiernan, Sonya Taaffe. Writers such as Caitlín R. Kiernan, M. Christian, Cecilia Tan, and Paula Guran are well known in both speculative fiction and erotic fiction circles for creating what Kiernan calls "weird and transgressive" erotica. How does this subgenre use the tools and tropes of horror and dark fantasy to explore taboo aspects of sexuality and gender? How has it changed over the decades as sexual culture has evolved? And as the romance genre becomes more welcoming of both the erotic and the undead, how will weird erotica maintain its identity as something separate from paranormal porn?
Saturday July 14
11:00 AM Group Reading: ChiZine Press. Gemma Files, Nicholas Kaufmann, Nick Mamatas, Yves Meynard, Paul Tremblay. Authors published by ChiZine Press read from their works.
12:00 PM The Works of Caitlín R. Kiernan. Elizabeth Bear (leader), Gemma Files, John Langan, Sonya Taaffe. Since blazing onto the speculative fiction scene with the story "Persephone" in 1995 and the novel Silk in 1998, Caitlín R. Kiernan has consistently pushed the boundaries of the fantastic, often refusing to be classified and always delighting in transgression. Her work encompasses elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and erotica, to name just a few; she writes short and long fiction, comics and graphic novels, poetry, and song lyrics with equal facility. This panel will attempt an overview of her spectacularly diverse career.
3:00 PM Kaffleklatsch! (Newly added.)
7:30 PM Reading. Gemma Files. Gemma Files reads from A Tree of Bones: Volume 3 of the Hexslinger Series.
Sunday July 15
1:00 PM Autographs. Gemma Files, Jeff VanderMeer.
2:00 PM Queer/Were: Born This Way?. Samuel R. Delany, Gemma Files, Greer Gilman, Liz Gorinsky, Andrea Hairston, John Edward Lawson, Ruth Sternglantz (leader). In Marie de France's 12th century Anglo-Norman tale "Bisclavret," werewolf transformation can be read as a metaphor for homosexuality. In contemporary urban fantasy/paranormal fiction, the slippage between queerness and were-ness persists on several levels, even when the characters are nominally heterosexual. But what happens when a were isn't heterosexual? Ruth E. Sternglantz will look at how several authors of queer urban fantasy/paranormal construct the convergence of queer and were, and subsequent discussion will explore how authors of urban fantasy generally appropriate metaphors of queerness in the construction of their were characters.
So, yeah. Should be fun. And now, back to Hex City.