2017 Wrap-up

Well, 2017 has been…a year.  Not a good one, to be honest, on pretty much any level.  That’s all the intro I think I can muster.  Here’s some things about some things.

Writing

All that said, I did manage to do a few things, and I’m grateful to have been able to work on them and have access to outlets that are interested.  Here’s a round-up of interviews and articles I worked on at weirdfictionreview.com.

Gateways to the Weird: An Interview with Matthew Bartlett

Psychic Rituals and Political Machinations: An Interview with Nadia Bulkin

Review: “Spells” by Michel de Ghelderode

Interview: Tartarus and Singing Stones with R.B. Russell

Interview: Weird Fiction and More at Valancourt Books

I finished my first work of fiction in 3 years since moving to Rhode Island, called “The Crickets Will Sing.”  I’m pretty happy with it and feel it’s significantly more complex than any short horror I’ve written before.  More on that when it has found the right home.

I’ve recently seen an update that Thinking Horror, Vol. 2, which has an essay from me but was delayed due to circumstances beyond the publisher’s control, is progressing along to the design phase.  Final ToC is here, and I’m honored to be included next to so many people I admire or who have been on my radar to read.  I’ve updated the ole bibliography page with some of this updated info and have also added a couple things that had been omitted.  For 2018, I’m toying with the idea of self-publishing a few older works that I don’t really have a better home for but that I’m pleased with enough to put them into the world.

NecronomiCon

NecronomiCon 2017 came and went in the blink of an eye,  I was delighted to participate in a number of ways.  I spent some time volunteering, which is a wonderful way to be involved.  I was also a panelist on a discussion called The Dreaded Surreal: Landscapes in Weird Fiction, with Craig Gidney, Mike Griffin, Eric Schaller, and Jeffrey Thomas.  It was my first time doing such a thing and I hope it went well.  I know I got a lot out of participating.  For a list of some of the works that were discussed, have a Twitter thread.

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Pictured also: Jeffrey Thomas & Michael Griffin.  Photo credit: Todd Chicoine

I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct the Guest of Honor interview with Stephen Graham Jones, a writer whom I greatly respect.  The interview was published in edited form in the convention memento book, which is available at the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences store in Providence and features lots of worthwhile reading.  The full version, which ended up at around 5k words in total, should also be available through other means in the future.

I met many wonderful people for the first time and caught up with some others I’ve become more and more acquainted with over the last few years.  Too many to list here, but if I talked to you for any length of time at NecronomiCon, I enjoyed it.  The drama stirred by and focused around certain (relatively) high-profile people is absurd and not representative of the experience of the convention if you’re there in good faith to learn, socialize, and have fun.

Reading

I feel like I’ve had hardly any time to read this year (thanks, miserable excuse for a healthcare and disability system in the U.S.).  Some highlights:

I spent the early part of the year in Stephen Graham Jones-land, getting refreshed on some things I’d read and exploring some others that were new to me in preparation for our NecronomiConversation (I will not apologize for this neologism).  Those few months significantly deepened my appreciation of his work, and I can heartily recommend digging in with a collection like “After the People Lights Have Gone Off” or the experimental novel “Demon Theory.”  “Mapping the Interior”, released over the summer, is also stellar.  I read some other work of his this year, but those are my three picks if you want a place to dive in.

There are also a couple of favorites available for free on the onlines: Xebico and The Night Cyclist

Some other noteworthy things I read this year that you should seek out: Palladium at Night by Christopher Slatsky, The Weird and the Eerie by Mark Fisher, Shadows and Tall Trees Vol 7 edited by Michael Kelly, and She Said Destroy by Nadia Bulkin.

There’s a lot more that came out recently that I wish I’d gotten to read by now, like Nightscript Vol 3 edited by C.M. Muller, Borne by Jeff VanderMeer, Looming Low edited by Justin Steele and Sam Cowan, The Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath, and Never Now Always by Desirina Boskovich to name just a few.

Most of 2017 has felt like all crisis, all the time.  To cap it off, our beloved feline companion was recently diagnosed with terminal kidney disease, which has been an ongoing heartbreaking experience these last few weeks.  Most of what I’ve mentioned here has provided a needed and fulfilling respite from some of the onslaught.  Maybe something you’ve read about here will help you find a bit of respite as well.

I’ve also finally added a damn contact page if you have need of such for some reason.

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