Well, it’s molting season again for all fantasy writers. It should be over by the end of the first week of February. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve verbally committed my molted skin to an archive at a university library, where it will be stored in a temperature-controlled basement next to the molted skins of Jay Lake, Felix Gilman, Sarah Monette, K.J. Bishop, Jeffrey Ford, and Daniel Abraham, as every year. This is one small advantage fantasists have over SF writers and those in the literary mainstream, who have a very simplistic system of skin cell regeneration. As usual, Neil Gaiman will retire to his study, pull his so-called “leather jacket” over his head and burst forth from his moltings about ten days from now, to the accompaniment of Tori Amos on the lute. It’s painful but necessary, as our egos tend to grow too big for our current skins. But it does lead to seeing a strange image in my head of dozens of molted VanderMeers facing dozens of molted Jay Lakes in silent darkness.