Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

July 3, 2014

Periodic reminder that I yet live

I should be writing. This is my free time and I should be using it productively, because otherwise I won’t feel productive. Because all I managed to get to today was a job interview, a business lunch, a school presentation by six year old kids on ecological conservation, a stack of tax forms, a month’s worth of tax reconciliations and two loads of washing.

I don’t know if I’m doing this “time away from the workforce” thing right.

Speaking of which, a status update if anyone wants it – I’ve started properly looking for work now. Nothing so far. But quite a few more employment consultants (aka job pimps) now know my name. They all seem nice.

Anyway, I also managed to sock away twenty minutes to scrawl some notes for a short story which I’ll probably start writing in a few minutes, not that I’m warming up to the task. (Thanks for hanging around while I worked through this nonsense).

Here’s some things going on around the interwebs, just so you don’t feel like you’ve completely wasted your time by clicking on a link:

Apex Magazine has a poem by Rose Lemberg that sat just right with me. I don’t know much about poetry but…

Tansy Rayner Roberts is doing a science fictionalised retelling of The Three Musketeers (in Space!)  and it is fabulous. I am currently foreswearing all forms of crowd funding during my hopefully-temporary period of careerlessness, but Musketeer Space is on my to-patronise list when I feel free to spend money again. I heartily recommend this project to everyone – it’s just plain fun, and Tansy’s take on the Dumas classic doesn’t suffer from gratuitous padding in the way that the original paid-by-the-installment serial might have occasionally fallen prey to.

Another podcast that has assumed the loftiest status in my playlist, namely “play it the second it downloads” is the terrific Rachel and Miles Xplain the Xmen. It’s exactly what it sounds like – two highly engaging and cheerfully sarcastic X-fans attempt to clarify nearly fifty years of ridiculously convoluted X-men comics history in small, digestible chunks. All the temporary deaths. All the retroactive continuity. All the fashions (oh, the fashions). All the inexplicable love for Scott Summers and highly explicable love for Katherine Pryde. My favourite bit is their opening schtick where they briefly summarise some character’s ludicrous history, honing in with surgical precision on the exact moment the character jumps the shark 🙂  If you have any love for the X-Men, but like me and probably everyone else you’ve ever met would not have the slightest idea where to begin to understand their freakishly complex back story – or if you just like listening to people enthusing about something they love while still finding positive ways to engage with its most stupid and problematic elements – then I really can’t push you any more forcefully towards this show. But if you need encouragement, they recently interviewed one of my personal comics gods, Greg Rucka, about his current series about the young version of Cyclops having space adventures with his absentee father Corsair, who is an intergalactic pirate. COMICS ARE SO GOOD YOU GUYS!

And just while I’m on the subject of podcasts, Welcome to Night Vale just broadcast its two-part second anniversary story (a recording of a live show with a small army of guests stars, so slightly off-format from the usual). It’s really good, is all I wanted to say. I still love it to bits. I don’t really drink liquor, but if anyone wants to get me one of these “If You See Something, Say Nothing and Drink to Forget” hip flasks, know that I will love it and you unconditionally. (Don’t though – shipping is probably a killer).

And now I think I’ll go to bed, because my to-be-read pile is teetering on the brink of instability, and that’s before I even think about the fifty-odd unread titles on my kindle.

Next time, I promise to write something that’s actually about something.


October 24, 2013

TMoRP Day 8 – A short story I read this week which will mess you up

Again I break with my own rules in order to bring to your attention a short story I read this week. Frankly, I can’t wait until I get to the October entry to talk about it because this is a story that made me Feel Stuff.

Specifically, the Stuff it made me Feel is ‘creeping horror’. It scared the shit out of me, so you may want to take that as a bit of a cautionary note before reading on.

Okay, so the story is called ‘each thing i show you is a piece of my death‘ by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer (or vice versa, depending on where you read it). And yes, the title is all lower case.  Someone I follow on Twitter (it might have been Alex Dally MacFarlane, I think) posted a link to it and gave it a rave review. So I followed the link and I read it on the web at the Apex Magazine website, where you too can read it for free.

What I discovered almost immediately after I finished it (and stopped blinking rapidly and feeling a bit unwell) is that it’s also reprinted in Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness. Which happens to be the book I’m reading on my Kindle at the moment. And this story happened to be the very next story I would have read had I not put down the Kindle to browse Twitter.


Or not. Whatever. I thought it was creepy, when I realised what had happened, but then again I’d also just read the creepiest damn story I’ve seen in a while. So I was probably in a highly suggestible state or nuts. Make your own call on that.

Anyway, all I will say about the story is that

(a) it’s a collection of transcripts and file notes, making this the short story equivalent of a ‘found footage’ movie (but, you know, better than that) and

(b) if you *really* didn’t like that fly moving around in the paused film in The Ring you should stay the hell away from ‘each thing i show you~’ Also maybe avoid it if if anything else about The Ring upset you, but the fly thing would be a definite warning sign.

I will add, for anyone still in some doubt, that this is a great story to read late at night when you are alone and maybe just a bit tired. It could be that I’m wrong  – certainly it’s too late for me to make a less foolish choice in that regard. ‘each thing i show you~’ has put both Files and Barringer on my must-read-when-I’m-up-for-some-horror list. If you have a list like that one, you could certainly do worse than check this story out.

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