Skip to main content

What I Read in June:

I read only a handful of new short fiction stories last month - I'm going to blame all of the awesome anthologies I was catching up with from the past year. In any case, here a trio of short stories well worth your effort to track down.

  • First off, finding "Great Black Wave" by David Tallerman on Nightmare was a real pleasant discovery. A very cool blend of military sci-fi and horror this is a story to read for a unique and well-described setting. A contingent of American soldiers descend upon an obscure Afghani village in search of a bomb maker. To examine a forbidden cave they employ a spider like, smart-drone. The apocalypse the drone unearths supplies the title of the story. A story like this really thrives on attention to detail, which Tallerman provides effortlessly.
  • All the Hippies are Dying by Gwendolyn Kiste. Most of the stories I've read from Kiste are weird horror or dark fairy tales. This is a bit closer to a slipstream vignette. As usual the author uses spare but powerful prose in a tale about a mother dying from an unsettling form of cancer. I think what struck me about this story is how the uses of magic realism somehow add to tension between the daughter and the mother in the story, as though the fantastical bits are just one more way the mother has let the daughter down.
  • Last Sailing of the Henry Charles Morgan in six pieces of scrimshaw (1848) by AC Wise. Creepy experimental story telling the apparent tale of the destruction of a ship and its crew at the hands of some kind of marine creature. I've read other stories that use a description of found objects to tell a story but few that made the resulting tale as immediate or compelling.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reading Response to "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

Reader Response to “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Morgan Crooks I once heard Flannery O’Connor’s work introduced as a project to describe a world denied God’s grace. This critic of O’Connor’s work meant the Christian idea that a person’s misdeeds, mistakes, and sins could be sponged away by the power of Jesus’ sacrifice at Crucifixion. The setting of her stories often seem to be monstrous distortions of the real world. These are stories where con men steal prosthetic limbs, hired labor abandons mute brides in rest stops, and bizarre, often disastrous advice is imparted.  O’Connor herself said of this reputation for writing ‘grotesque’ stories that ‘anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic.’ This is both a witty observation and a piece of advice while reading O’Connor’s work. These are stories about pain and lies and ugliness. The brutality that happens to characters …

Arisia 2019: Wrap Report

Arisia 2019 is over!

It’s back to the real world this week after an entire weekend in Arisia 2019. I go to this convention every year, but this one will definitely be special to me. For one thing, this is the year that felt, at least for a moment, like it wasn’t going to happen. If the debacle with the e-board wasn’t enough, there was the strike at the Westin. The convention felt slimmer this year for sure. A lot of people self-selected to not come this year and honestly with the smaller, more confined venue of the Boston Park Plaza, that was a decision enormously beneficial to my enjoyment of this con.
I had a blast. I was more invested in the panels this year because I wrote a portion of them. It’s one thing to go to a panel and listen for reading suggestions, or new ideas, or people to follow on social media, but it’s quite another to put together a panel of people to create a very specific conversation and then get to sit back to see how the discussion plays out. I loved that aspect…

Thoughts on the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Anything that persists for an entire decade as a recurring entertainment event begins to mean more than simple entertainment. It’s inevitable that once a franchise like the MCU has continued for long enough that its overall significance has to be factored in. I don’t think fans quite appreciate what genre movies like these used to be like before MCU.

It’s really not the special effects or effective mix of humor, action, and character development. It’s the fact that all three of things happen within the persistent universe. Because no Marvel movie is the last Marvel movie, and there’s always another one to develop the characters, fans have a different relationship to this franchise.

It’s more like what comic books are, obviously, where no matter what crazy stuff goes on in a crossover event, you have a reasonable expectation that your favorite character will be back the next month or the month after that.

There have been good MCU movies, mediocre movies, and one that I’m pretty sure quali…