Molting Season!

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.

Comments

  1. says

    Does the skin harden like a cicada? or does it stay floppy, like a half-deflated balloon?

    Inquiring minds want to know, in case we meet one walking down the street. ;)

  2. Dr Paisley says

    Does the skin harden like a cicada? or does it stay floppy, like a half-deflated balloon?

    Floppy, of course, they’re Fantasy writers. Science Fiction writers’ skins are hard.

  3. Tania says

    Floppy is the wrong word. Pliable, the skin remains pliable. Like a writer after you’ve provided them with enough adult beverage.

  4. Guttersnipe says

    “Pliable, the skin remains pliable. Like a writer after you’ve provided them with enough adult beverage.”

    You misspelled flaccid.

  5. says

    conjugal visits on demand.

    Not with each other, I should hope.

    Only with written permission slips, and proof of ‘influence’ or ‘homage’ to prevent plagiarism. ;-)

  6. says

    No no, please don’t misunderstand me…I am literally a Fanatsist who is a fledgling, I got my wings just a little while ago. They broke the skin of my back just above the shoulder blades, now it looks as though I’m in for a more radical change. It might be a coincidence, but I seem to feel the quickening whenever I am in the presence of good fantasy fiction. Therefore by my calculations, around the time that The New Weird Anthology hits the streets, I should have shed my skin completely.

    Excuse me now while I go find a quiet place to, for lack of a better term, “loosen up”.

  7. JeffVanderMeer says

    Now you have wings? It’s entirely possible that instead of being a fantasist, you have serious mental problems.
    JV

  8. says

    I believe Michael is actually a moth.

    I plan to make good, practical use of my skin by propping it in the car’s passenger seat in order to get into the HOV lane.

  9. Alan says

    If all these moulted skins are safely archived for posterity (and to avoid scaring impressionable young children), does that mean the job lot I’ve just snagged on ebay are all fakes?

    Dammit! I knew £8.73 (p&p inc.) was too good to be true…

  10. says

    Well, that’s probably one of my early ones, from when I was only in my mid-20s. I think I’d written about 4 good stories by then, so that’s probably too much to have spent.

  11. Timblynod says

    So long as the skins resist scrawling all over each other…but if they did I wonder what sort of tales they’d write.

  12. says

    Any chance of me getting enough molted skins to pin them and mount them under glass?
    There is a county fair coming up pretty soon…