Thursday Thoughts?

So on a Thursday when I’m writing my latest Realms of Fantasy reviews and have just realized, due to some pissed-off stares from the cats, that I forgot to change the kitty box last night (one second while I go do that…), a couple “thoughts” (inasmuch as the random neurons firing in my brain can be considered true thoughts). What Thursday thoughts do you have, beyond, “VanderMeer is a weirdo”?

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Movie Review: The Band’s Visit

The Band’s Visit finally made it to Tallahassee theaters this past week. I went in expecting an amusing movie of culture clash and came out realizing I’d seen a deeply profound film that was equal parts comedy and tragedy. The qualities of silence and stillness are used to great effect, especially in the recurring shot of the Egyptian band, lost, standing by the side of the road. In the opening sequences, there’s an understated humor to this shot. In the ending scenes, it’s a source of great sadness.

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Seven Deadly Words of Book Reviewing

Marty Halpern directs my attention to this compelling and poignant piece on Papercuts.

My least favorite words in book reviews are actually:

Crepuscular
Bovine
Slime-aided
Gravid ovoid
Barnacular
Steinivented
Thorgock
Fluvid
Grottitated
Mandibular (unless they are talking about my new character Juan Mandible Sick-Eyes)

Bowing Out of Editing Prime’s Best Horror

Ann and I have reached the reluctant decision to bow out of doing Prime’s Best Horror reprint antho for 2008 stories. We have too many projects and we need a break after two years of reading for a lot of anthologies. Stefan D., who edited the 2007 edition coming out soon, will edit the 2008 edition. He’s a wonderful editor and reader. Any manuscripts we received will go to him, but since we didn’t make a formal announcement, just one on this blog, it’ll be no big deal. No doubt this frees us up, too, for other opportunities that may be just as wonderful or more so.

Weird Continues: Shark God Versus Octopus God Podcast

StarShipSofa has an awesome podcast of my f–ed up riff on Fijian folktales. The page with intro is here and the direct link is here. I think it sounds great! Grant Stone does a wonderful job of reading it. I’ve always wanted to make a hamster-provocateur say the word “Dakuwaqa” over and over again.

Grant’s voice for the shark god sounds exactly as I imagined him–as a kind of small-time hood.

A long time ago, when Dakuwaqa the Shark God was young and not so wise, he made all who lived in or near the sea fear him. They feared him for his knives that posed as teeth. They feared him for his relentlessness. They feared him for his speed. They feared him because the bloodlust was buried so deep in him that he loved to fight.

Dakuwaqa could take many shapes, but he enjoyed the shape of shark the best in those early days. It fit him. It fit his aspirations.

Seen The Situation in the Wild?

The Situation from PS Publishing, downloadable here, has begun to show up on people’s doorsteps. I’m madly impatient to see it, although I know the huge box of them I’m getting will take longer to arrive than individual copies. If you’ve seen The Situation in the wild–is it as gorgeous in 3D as it seems in 2D?!

New Weird Wednesday!

Today is New Weird Wednesday, in case you missed it on the calendar.

The New Weird antho, an April BookSense Notable selection, has a brand-new MySpace Page, which includes a rather trippy and buggy video, free download of Jay Lake’s “The Lizard of Ooze” from the book (along with a short interview), a podcast of the same story by Jay, a slideshow of NW-related titles, and (so cool!) music from, among others, Henry Kaiser, Tarantella, Robert Devereux, Doug Hoekstra, and Danny Fontaine, much of it rare. So go check it out, have fun, and be-friend us! And, if that weren’t enough, Tachyon’s offering a substantial discount for direct orders right now. (A huge thanks to Matt Staggs, btw, for his help.)

As noted on this blog, The New Weird anthology has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, with a rave in The Guardian (“A damn fine read.”) and a profile forthcoming in Kirkus (along with other cool stuff we can’t mention yet). Momentum keeps building for this “reprint” anthology, called “a milestone” by The Fix and featuring almost 100 pages of original material.

What’s has been going on with NW in the reviews department lately? I’ve obsessively compulsively compiled all links for those who are interested here, and also below the cut.

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In the Boston Area? Check out the Insect Lab

Mike Libby writes to say: “Just wanted you to know that I will be exhibiting work from Insect Lab at the upcoming CraftBoston show at the end of the week. Many new pieces will be on display along with a great variety of work from other craftsman and artisans! And on Sunday I’ll be giving a behind the scenes presentation about the work, along with inspirations and influences. If you’re in the area, hope you can make it and hope you’ve been well.”

If anyone is there and takes photos, I’d love to post a few on this blog!