Sei Shonagon and her glorious lists

Here’s a Christmas gift: this post, by the delightful Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown (recently the organizer of #mooreandme), which explains why and how Sei Shonagon‘s Pillow Book should seem familiar to contemporary readers: But the book, despite being written from and about a way of life that ended centuries ago, reads as nigh-freakishly contemporary.…

ArmadilloCon recap

ArmadilloCon was delightful, even though I was gimping around all weekend thanks to a twisted ankle during my Saturday-morning run. (Side note: why are ankles so weird? It felt fine for half a day after I twisted it and then just started throbbing in the middle of a panel. Thanks to everyone at the con…

ArmadilloCon reminder

Just a reminder that I will be reading, signing, and speaking on panels at ArmadilloCon in north Austin this weekend. At the Broad Universe reading, I’ll likely read the prologue from Alcestis, and at my own half-hour reading I plan to read the beginning of “The Former Hero,” my gothicky Much Ado About Nothing ghost…

The beautiful undead

Okay, one more post about Twilight and then I’m done for now, I promise. I wanted to link to the best article about the books I’ve read so far, Jenny Turner’s piece at the London Review of Books, “The Beautiful Undead.” Turner hits many of the same notes that other journalists and bloggers have: there’s…

Short story recommendation

Via Elizabeth McCracken on Twitter, I found Edan Lepucki‘s story “I Am the Lion Now“, up now at Narrative. A few paragraphs from it: Margaret thought she heard a suppressed roar coming from the kitchen. Before the turgid novel, she’d been reading a book about the history of al Qaeda; in it, the author told…

Pretty Monsters

Dropping in quickly to recommend Kelly Link’s new collection of short stories, Pretty Monsters. I got to hear Kelly read a wonderful story from this collection — “The Wrong Grave” — when she came to the UT two years ago during a visit to Austin for World Fantasy. If you click the link, you can…

one long flinch

I’m reading Julie Phillips’s biography of Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree, Jr. It’s excellent and I’m entranced. In the beginning I was merely interested, because I found it tough to relax into the biographical form as Phillips practices it. Having spent this semester working on (among other things) Austen’s use of modal verbs, I was struck and…

Congratulations to LCRW!

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, the delightful magazine that published my short-short “Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster,” was just nominated for a Hugo in the semiprozine category. Congratulations to editors and all-around fabulous people Gavin Grant and Kelly Link!