Portents of August

Finally got my registration done for the MFA program I’m jumping into. Locked and loaded. Starts October 2. Stoked, excited, fearful. Finally some smoking barrels. I’ll be working under Stephen Graham Jones for fiction and will attempt some screenwriting for my cross genre elective. This is a reinvention of epic proportions, and I’m not looking back. I’m on page 620 of GRRM’s A Storm of Swords (thanks mom) and have to choose five books a quarter to read and analyze (scatter-brained, so don’t look for transitions or segues). This list keeps changing. I am a huge fan of the grimdark sub-genre (whatever that means) and am tempted to fill those slots with steel, blood, and moral ambiguity, but there’s so much more I enjoy reading.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence is in my top slot. I grabbed it as an Audible trial pick (then cancelled) but can’t really feel the weight of it without a physical copy in my hands. I’ll go all day with audio short fiction, but novel length is a drag no matter who’s narrating. Something by Corey, Fletcher, Okorafor, and Jemisin, perhaps. That leaves out horror, but my dark ways will more than make up for it.

Zero submissions this month. Two publications coming up. Speaking of audio fiction, my short story “Spare Parts” was purchased as a reprint from StarShipSofa and should be coming out any day now (my, how the wheels turn). Their 500th episode is a piece by Harlan Ellison that you probably shouldn’t miss. Doo-doo-bee (a.k.a. our puppy) is going through it lately. Skin scrapes and steroids and runny-runs has me on edge, but puppies are resilient, I keep telling myself.

Disappointed by some pro-rate publications lately. Publicly scoffing at slush pile entries is not cool. Send a form rejection and keep it pushing. Next month marks two years with Grimdark Magazine and I’ve learned a lifetime worth. I’ll get on blogging about the value of reading slush for a strong market one of these days. Deathnote came out on NetFlix this month (or last) and I can’t help but cringe every time a live-action version of a manga series is botched beyond recognition. Stick to the hard-copies (an omnibus of the entire series was just released, pick that up for sure). Huge book haul from my favorite thrift store last weekend. Among them is a Glen Cook novel said to be one of the cornerstones of grimdark fantasy. I’ll hit the lines after Storm of Swords is done.



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