Lovecraft eZine Podcast Today (6/7/2020 6PM EST)

Today’s podcast, live at 6:00 pm EST (or watch any time in the future)! Our guests:

Craig L. Gidney is a speculative fiction novelist and short story writer, and Linda D Addison is a poet and writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction.

AND… we just might have a mystery guest. We’ll see! đź™‚

REMEMBER, if you watch live, you can text chat with us during the show! Or, you can watch later on Youtube at this same link. Later this week I will add the audio-only podcast version that you can listen to “on the go”, if you wish.

Linda D. Addison’s Wikipedia page: https://bit.ly/linda-addison-wikipedia

Craig Laurance Gidney’s Wikipedia page: https://bit.ly/craig-gidney-wikipedia

Pride StoryBundle!

Catherine Lundoff (of Queen of Swords Press) has amassed a StoryBundle of queer SFF ebooks for the low, low price of $5 (for $15, you get more books)! I’m honored to have A Spectral Hue included in this bunch of books. It supports a great cause, and is a nice way to celebrate my book’s birthday — June 18,2018 was the official release date

Here’s the official announcement:

Celebrating Pride Month with a StoryBundle has become an annual tradition, one in which we present a different and wonderful collection of LGBTQ+ books and authors each June.

This year, I’m curating the Pride Month Bundle for StoryBundle and it is an amazing lineup. We have novels and novellas as well as an anthology and a single author collection, each one a unique and terrific read. As always, at StoryBundle, you name your own price—whatever you feel the books are worth and you can designate a portion of the proceeds for our selected charity, Rainbow Railroad. Rainbow Railroad is a nonprofit that works with LGBTQ refugees, helping them to leave dangerous situations and safely resettle in new areas.

The 2020 Pride Bundle includes two works by creators from New Zealand, in honor of this year’s Worldcon. A.J. Fitzwater, author of the joy-filled collection The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper, is a Sir Julius Vogel Award finalist this year, as is editor Andi C. Buchanan, whose ground-breaking special issue of Capricious SF MagazineCapricious: The Gender Diverse Pronouns Issue, is also included in the bundle.

Like your queer fiction to have elements of the Southern Gothic, perhaps a touch of horror and mystery, coupled with sumptuous writing and compelling characters? You’re sure to enjoy A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney and Catfish Lullaby by A.C. Wise. Looking for beautifully written stories set in historical settings with a fantastical edge? We’ve got you covered with Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett’s Armor of LightFloodtide by Heather Rose Jones and Will Do Magic for Small Change by Andrea Hairston. Want adventures set just beyond the worlds we know? Come along on some glorious adventures with Grilled Cheese and Goblins by Nicole Kimberling and the novellas The Counterfeit Viscount and The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus by Ginn Hale. And finally, for something a little different, join author R.R. Angell’s cadre of queer college students as they play an unusual game set in virtual reality with an AI who’s more than she seems in Best Game Ever.

Not only is this year’s bundle an intriguing mix of stories, it’s star-studded too! Our bundle’s authors and editor have won the Astounding Award, the Otherwise Award, the Sir Julius Vogel Awards and several Lambda and Spectrum Awards, as well as being finalists for awards like the Nebulas. So there we have this year’s Pride StoryBundle – lots of variety, lots of new voices, a fun mix of new and classic tales, adding up to 11 great reads for a great cause! â€“ Catherine Lundoff

Mnemomics: The Elan of Stella Constance.

Dionne Warwick’s classic songs—”Walk on By,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” — always reminds me of my aunt Connie. She was my mother’s older sister and the black sheep of that family. She kind of looked like Warwick, with a similar skin tone and fashion sense. Connie wore her hair in a Jheri-curl, a style that really worked for her facial features. She was a tall woman, maybe 5’9 or so. At any rate, she towered over my mother, who was 5’1. She moved in with our family when I was ten or eleven. Previously, she’d lived in Philadelphia, where most of my mother’s family settled after living in the Carolinas.

Her first name was Stella but she always went by Connie. When she was sixteen, she got “in the family way” and was sent up North to avoid small town scandal. Her child was put up for adoption, but I believe that she never returned to the South. She married three times. I never met her husbands, but according to my mother, at least one of them was physically abusive. She moved in with us in DC when one of her marriages ended. She began working for my father as the receptionist for his dental practice, and lived in the basement room of our house.

Connie had a real zest for life. I remember my mother—who was very prim and proper—and her would spend evenings drinking beer and laughing about the Old Days. I learned that Connie followed the horoscope like a Wall Street trader follows the NASDAQ. She told raunchy and vulgar jokes to me and my brothers. She loved blaxploitation movies, Chablis, cigarettes and yes, Dionne Warwick. 

Neon Hemlock and Baffling Magazine

I will be co-editing Baffling Magazine, a new flash fiction venue that specializes in Weird Fiction with a queer bent, alongside dave ring, who runs the Neon Hemlock micropress. (“Weird Fiction” isn’t strictly Lovecraftian/cosmic horror here; it includes the new fabulism of Kelly Link and Jeffrey Ford).

A submission announcement will go up soon. In the meantime, you can check out the mostly skeletal website here.

https://www.bafflingmag.com/

Speaking of Neon Hemlock, they are also running a chapbook contest (poetry/fiction/nonfiction categories) for the OutWrite Literary Festival, which happens every summer. It is only opened to writers in the DVM (District-Virginia-Maryland) area and has some awesome judges.

https://www.neonhemlock.com/news/submissions-opem-to-2020-outwrite-chapbook-competition

Finally, I will be reading some fiction on Neon Hemlock’s Instagram feed on June 17, along side Eboni Dunbar and Suzan Palumbo. More info —

https://www.facebook.com/events/536502893678102/

New Gidney Fiction in FORBIDDEN FUTURES

Check out my illustrated flash piece KnaivetĂ© in the magazine Forbidden Futures. It’s a cross between Jack Vance and Jean Genet…. Warning: the issue is only for mature (18+) audiences…..

FORBIDDEN FUTURES has never shied away from controversial subject matter, but for this special issue, we tack recklessly into the riptide of controversy, trawling for taboos to smash. And if you think there’s nothing left out there that needs smashing, step into our orifice.

Penguin Classics Meme

There’s a meme generator thingy going around — where you cast your book(s) as Penguin Classics. Lemming-like, I obliged.

The image I chose was drawn by Katie Wigglesworth, a friend of Ross E. Lockhart, the publisher of A Spectral Hue. Lockhart described the synopsis of my book to Wigglesworth and she doodled a response.

Incidentally, I would have been on a West Coast mini-tour today (reading at Writers With Drinks (San Francisco) and at the Copperfield’s bookstore in Petaluma, where Ross works in addition to his duties as a publisher).

Here’s to lost and future opportunities.

Henry Darger, Detective: on Curious Toys, by Elizabeth Hand

A disclaimer: I’ve known Liz Hand since we both took a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing course at the Writers Center in Bethesda, back when she lived in the DC Area.

Another disclaimer: I’ve been into Henry Darger’s work for almost as long. Part of my research for A SPECTRAL HUE included a visit to the Intuit Center for Outsider Art museum in Chicago (which houses a large collection of Darger’s work). Ultimately, my Outsider Artist novel is very different from Liz Hand’s book, with melds together the thriller/crime genre with historical fiction. But my knowledge of Darger marginalia made reading this book extra-pleasurable.

Curious Toys navigates genre modalities deftly, hopping from the viewpoint of a creepy killer of little girls, to the police officer in pursuit, and, scenes with Darger, who suffers from some unidentified mental illness. 

But this is ultimately the story of Pin, a fourteen year old girl who dresses as a boy to help her move through the various milieus. Both Pin and her mother live in a cardboard shack at the edge of Riverview, a giant amusement park where Pin’s mother works as a fortune teller named Madame Zanto. Both of them have suffered a fairly recent tragedy: the disappearance of Pin’s special needs younger sibling Abriana. Pin spends the time when her mother working as a drug mule, shuttling marijuana cigarettes between Riverview and the silent film studio, Essanay Studios. During her off time, she wanders the amusement park, which is also frequented by a local oddball—Henry Darger. The two of them—separately—witness a horrific crime, one that shares a similarity to her sister’s disappearance.

The novel is a thriller, but it also operates as a coming-of-age novel. Pin is at least lesbian (if not non-binary) and the crafting of her sexual identity makes for some of the most moving moments in the novel. Curious Toys also is a historical novel, with Ragtime/Zelig-like cameos of historical personages beyond Darger; Charlie Chaplin and Wallace Beery have small roles. There’s an atmosphere of verisimilitude in the novel, rich in description of turn-of-the-century Chicago in all of its grime and glory. The book shines and becomes luminous when Hand describes Darger’s secret magnum opus and explores the relationship between Pin and the famed artist, who are both misfits in their own way.