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[personal profile] greygirlbeast
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Spooky just quoted the Agricultural Commissioner of the state of Florida to me. "This snail is one bad dude," she said. Well, she said, he said. These are our mornings.

Yesterday, I didn't work. My body isn't exhausted. I've actually been getting more sleep than I did for a long time (finally having discovered the effective anti-insomnia cocktail...for me), but I've been working so much. For a long time, I was truly too ill to take on more than...this gets sort of funny. Even when I was very ill, I was working a lot. I'm making a living as a freelance, and so there's no choice but to work. Health is not relevant, not really. Regardless, about a year and a half ago, I began getting better, and taking on more work, and conceiving new ideas, and, at this point, I go to sleep working out problems in my fiction and wake up doing the same thing. Okay, more the former than the latter. But it's catching up with me, and my mind and nerves are tired. All thus fucking work. So, I didn't work yesterday.

I suppose autumn is here. I haven't spent much time outside, but it must be here. I feel it. It isn't looking in. Why would it bother? But I feel its dry brown eyes upon me, if only because I'm in the way. Not that I believe the autumn is something that can literally have eyes. And speaking of the autumn, and Hallowe'en, Spooky is having a Hallowe'en Sale (!!!) in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries. 20% off on everything! And if you don't buy something, she'll get sad, and when she gets sad.... Well, trust me. You don't want her sad. So, please...buy something. The necklaces are truly amazing.

Actually, I hate that word. Sad*, I mean. It's a child's word. There at least twenty synonyms in the English language that are far more suitable to mature vocabularies. Of course, if you are a child, by all means, good word. Use it till the wheels fall off.*

I'm having a great deal of frustration as regards futurism at the moment. I don't mean the artistic movement that arose in Italy about 1910 (including Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, Antonio Sant'Elia, Tullio Crali and Luigi Russolo, plus the Russians Natalia Goncharova, Velimir Khlebnikov, and Vladimir Mayakovsky). I mean futurism in the many senses that it is employed by those who wish to analyze trends and then forecast. But I don't mean those looking for better futures (there are none), and I don't mean those who believe the future can be accurately forecast (that's almost impossible; not quite, but almost). What I have in mind is far simpler: communicating to people that the future will be alien, just as the past is alien. That is, alien to us, from the Here and Now. And convincing people they do not currently live in some incarnation or portion of the future (excepting that this came after that; well, that's bloody obvious, and now you're even older). I mean, the future will be different, and the farther you move into the future, the stranger (less like now) it becomes. That everything evolves, and not just technology, but culture. SF writers have an especial problem with evolving culture, economics, biology, medicine, politics, and especially with evolving language. But...I'm not actually concerned here with writers. Even the worst SF writer is ahead of the curve in this regard. I'm talking about...oh, never mind. You can lead a horse to a fine Bordeaux, but it's just gonna want the oogy, muddy, stinking water in the drinking through, where all the rodents poop. Some will know of what I speak; others will not.

Did I mention that Spooky is having a Hallowe'en Sale (!!!) in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries. I did? Just checking.

Last night, we happened to see a rather good movie, Christian Alvart's Case 39 (2009), with Renée Zellweger, Ian McShane, and Jodelle Ferland. I went in not expecting much, and was pleasantly surprised. You could call this a "horror movie," and maybe it is. But I find it more interesting to think of as a film about terror and horror (and those aren't the same emotions, you know, regardless of how linked they may be). Also, while this film clearly comes from the demonic child/possession tradition, it immediately struck me as a story about a fairie changeling, and (though the word demon is tossed about a couple of times, and we see a crucifix and a Bible, the Xtianity thing is almost absent). So, it may be Alvart had something far less concrete than a "demon" (sensu Xtianity) in mind. It may only be that he understands the American mind, needing something familiar, would fix on "demon." Anyway, Case 39 is not a particularly original movie, so if you're that sort (and I hope you're not), don't waste your time with it. It plays old tropes, but it plays them well. It's not brilliant, but it is good, and it's stuck with me. There are elements it borrows from better films, but it borrows them well. And, even in an ending that might seem hopeful, step back, and you'll see the overwhelming bleakness and horror still in play. It's streaming free on Netflix.

Later, I read a truly awful story in the Halloween anthology, Lyllian Huntley Harris' "The Vow on Halloween." Never heard of Lyllian Huntley Harris? Well, neither had I, and with good reason. The anthology's editor (who freely admits this tale is "pure pulp and quaintly romantic") notes that the story was, in a 1985 anthology, mistakenly attributed to the Irish novelist Dorothy Macardle. Turns out, though, it was published in Weird Tales in 1924, by a Georgian woman (that is, Georgia, USA), and her name was Lyllian Huntley Harris, and she couldn't write for shit. Virtually nothing else is known about her. She died in 1939.

Oh, we saw the first episode of Season Four of Fringe, and...wow. More, please. I am impressed and pleased. There are points I could get picky about, but I'm not going to, because the show is just too much fun.

Also, here's an interesting bit of trivia. My first rejection slip ever came from the late, lamented Twlight Zone magazine in 1982 (at least, I think it was '82). The story was a stinker, and it deserved the rejection, believe me. Anyway, at the time, the editor was T. E. D. Klein, who wrote the excellent and surprisingly (to me) successful Machenesque novel The Ceremonies (1984) and the shorty-story collection Dark Gods (1985), and, sadly, very little else. But, yeah, my first rejection slip came from T. E. D. Klein, who, turns out, wrote the introduction of the forthcoming Hippocampus Press collection of Arthur Machen stories, which will feature the afterword I wrote in 2008 for a different collection of Machen stories. It's an odd little twist of fate.

Um...well...I have gone on haven't I?

Inveterate,
Aunt Beast

* Then again, there's really nothing wrong with the word sad. Not intrinsically. The problem is people who use it childishly, habitually, with marked naïveté. Usually, these are people with a stunted world view.

Date: 2011-10-03 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orrin.livejournal.com
But is that snail a bad enough dude to rescue the president?

Date: 2011-10-03 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

But is that snail a bad enough dude to rescue the president?

Better question: Is that snail a bad enough dude to lay waste to the Tea Party?

Date: 2011-10-03 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
I'm for the snail (just as long as the Tea Party isn't armed with salt). Perhaps when it's finished with those dolts, you can send it over here to get rid of David Cameron.

The "eyes of autumn" is a brilliant phrase/image. I'm trying to picture the rest of its face now - is there a story in this, perhaps?

Date: 2011-10-03 07:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I'm trying to picture the rest of its face now - is there a story in this, perhaps?

If there is, it's already been written by Ray Bradbury.

Date: 2011-10-03 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
Of course!

I've not read any Klein, but heard many good things about The Ceremonies.

Date: 2011-10-03 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I don't even think it's in print now.

Date: 2011-10-03 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrian6.livejournal.com
I have a battered copy of Dark Gods somewhere about. And I think the last episode of Fringe takes reflective introspection to a whole new level.

Date: 2011-10-03 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Cool, and yes!

Date: 2011-10-03 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joshrupp.livejournal.com
"Case 39" ...

At this point, I don't brake for small girls. Save 'em for why? So they can emerge from my TV and kill me? So they can make fucking BEES come out of my nose?

And half of the time they're vampires. And everyone's always surprised. Like, "Hey, what are you doing saturated in blood in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness? Why, SURE I'll carry you to civilization ..."

I don't see why modern horror film hasn't completely destroyed daycare.

Date: 2011-10-03 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Apt observations.
Edited Date: 2011-10-03 08:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-04 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com
I don't see why modern horror film hasn't completely destroyed daycare.

In Australia it would seem it very nearly has.

Date: 2011-10-03 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marisa sandlin (from livejournal.com)
I, too, am super pleased to have Fringe back. It's been fun so far to play Spot/Hear the Peter.

Also, Lincoln Lee! In his cool and nerdy incarnations!

Date: 2011-10-03 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I, too, am super pleased to have Fringe back. It's been fun so far to play Spot/Hear the Peter.

Yes. I know the 'shippers got pissed, but fuck them. Anyway, good stuff on its way!

Date: 2011-10-03 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingthedark.livejournal.com
Fringe has clearly come back strong. (I can't help but imagine that winning the cancellation dance by trusting their instincts and getting even weirder will have a powerful impact on this season.)

I think my first rejection was David B. Silva's The Horror Show and I might've been a preteen. Sometimes, I wish I still had hubris or chutzpah like that.

Date: 2011-10-03 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Fringe has clearly come back strong. (I can't help but imagine that winning the cancellation dance by trusting their instincts and getting even weirder will have a powerful impact on this season.)

I agree, but hope the creators are prepared for this to be the final season, as it likely will be. I'd like to see the story wrapped up, so we're not left hanging, as with Farscape and so many others. Also, honestly, I worry about the viewers being smart enough to keep up.

I think my first rejection was David B. Silva's The Horror Show and I might've been a preteen. Sometimes, I wish I still had hubris or chutzpah like that.

Oh, c'mon. You schmooze the world. You have chutzpah. Use it.

Also, Cog is missed.
Edited Date: 2011-10-03 08:52 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-04 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingthedark.livejournal.com
To me, Fringe did an astounding job in ep 2 with balancing the noobie snacks and the mindbendy.

Eh, not really conscious schmoozin'. I just happened to know a few hundred people who wanted to be writers when they grew up. Then we grew up and became writers. (Or you could say I read thousands of stories and hundreds of novels a year for about five years and kept track of who was actually good...)

I'll check Cog's schedule. He might be able to come out and play tomorrow.

Fringe

Date: 2011-10-03 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolven.livejournal.com
If you liked episode 1, then episode 2 will blow you away. The changes are So Very Subtle, and so damn smart. The writers of this show really Get the law of unintended consequences.

Re: Fringe

Date: 2011-10-03 08:52 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-03 08:26 pm (UTC)
blackestdarkness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackestdarkness
Inveterate,
Aunt Beast


At first glance I thought you wrote "invertebrate" and all manner of strange images popped into my head.

Date: 2011-10-03 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com


At first glance I thought you wrote "invertebrate" and all manner of strange images popped into my head.


That works, too.

Date: 2011-10-03 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] captaincurt81.livejournal.com
By the way, Locus October issue is out now and contains a very fine review of your Best Of collection. Yeah, you!

Date: 2011-10-03 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Hence, the comment I made yesterday about Gary Wolfe.

Date: 2011-10-03 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tziedel.livejournal.com
Will you be able to share the review with us?

Date: 2011-10-03 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Will you be able to share the review with us?

I should probably wait a few weeks or so. I was emailed a copy pre-publication, and Locus, which needs to sell magazines, might prefer I wait until the zine's been out a bit. But eventually, yeah.
Edited Date: 2011-10-03 10:43 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-03 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] edwarddain.livejournal.com
I missed most of last season of Fringe for some reason or another, but started up again and am now going to have to catch up. I've continued to be pretty happy with that program.

D.

Date: 2011-10-03 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I've continued to be pretty happy with that program.


It's wonderful, in a backwards, cockeyed, but dauntless, bold sort of way that I find utterly endearing.
Edited Date: 2011-10-03 10:45 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-03 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] edwarddain.livejournal.com
Yup! I continue to be kind of amazed that it keeps getting renewed and that the writers keep making it work. I never expected it to last as long as it has and stay as good in the process.

D.

Date: 2011-10-03 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marymayblood.livejournal.com
Thank you for the movie & music recommendations (today and always).

I missed seeing you at the HP Lovecraft Film Festival this year. It was just films this year, scaled back with no Cthulhu Con component. Die Farbe knocked my socks off. I know you've seen it already. I got to see The Whisperer in Darkness a 2nd time. So good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd5gWGfnK5M

My very favorite short was Dirty Silverware, but there were a few really good ones this year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0NXrOxI1IY

Date: 2011-10-03 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I still haven't seen Whisperer in the Darkness. But yeah, a shame there was no con element. Still, given there almost was no HPLFF in Portand at all this year...

Date: 2011-10-03 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessamyg.livejournal.com
I remember reading 'The Ceremonies' and 'Dark Gods' when they first came out, and it makes me feel old that they are now probably out of print. It was a great pity that T.E.D. Klein didn't write any more, especially considering the amount of crap that came out in that great horror boom. 'The Ceremonies' is definitely up there with some of my favourite books, along with 'Ghost Story' and 'Shadowland', and I really should look in boxes to see if I still have a copy. Trying to remember whether the novella 'Children of the Kingdom' from the collection 'Dark Forces' was in 'Dark Gods'; that was another very Machenesque story.

Date: 2011-10-03 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Trying to remember whether the novella 'Children of the Kingdom' from the collection 'Dark Forces' was in 'Dark Gods'; that was another very Machenesque story.

I think it was reprinted in the collection, yeah.

Date: 2011-10-04 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spank-an-elf.livejournal.com
I'm having a great deal of frustration as regards futurism at the moment.

Yeah, I am the lone idiot who thought "you have a problem with an art moment?" until your next sentence.

I wondered about Case 39. I'll watch it when my Renee Z.-hating professor is in another state teaching a night class.

I finally listened to Brown Birds. You made a convert. Any band who walks Sixteen Horsepower's terrain wins my devotion.

Date: 2011-10-04 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com


I finally listened to Brown Birds. You made a convert. Any band who walks Sixteen Horsepower's terrain wins my devotion.


Very good.

Date: 2011-10-04 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com
My beloved former housemate, Wednesday, has spoken well and enthusiastically about Case 39, I've been meaning to watch it.

I quite liked Insidious (2010) as an occult "horror" that didn't descend into labored Xtianity. Also, a medium in a gas mask for the win, as the kids say.

Have you watched The Tunnel yet? I remember you saying that a good Weird story isn't about the weirdness as much as it is about how people react to it (I think it was in reference to Dead Girl, which I LOVED), and that's what The Tunnel is about. I'm quite smitten with it. It could be described as being about terror and horror.

I don't think any of your movie recommendations (the ones I've followed up, at any rate) have ever steered me wrong. Thank you for that.

Date: 2011-10-04 06:01 am (UTC)
sovay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sovay
and her name was Lyllian Huntley Harris, and she couldn't write for shit. Virtually nothing else is known about her.

Oh, that is not the way I want to be remembered.

But I feel its dry brown eyes upon me, if only because I'm in the way.

There should be a song with that line.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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