Maybe Not So Honorable

First off, my sincerest apologies for the extended hiatus. I’ve been on something of a literary deep-sea diving expedition, and yes, I’ve caught a few unusual specimens. More news on that later.

For now, I wanted to emerge for a few moments to share the news that my short story, “On The Generation of Insects” (originally published by Innsmouth Free Press) was listed as an honorable mention for the Best Horror of the Year anthology, volume 4, edited by Ellen Datlow and published by Night Shade Books. Congratulations to the other honorable mentions (which included TC Boyle!), as well as to the authors included in the anthology.

If you made it to the Next Words reading at Pop Hop Books & Curio in Highland Park this past Sunday, you got a salty little taste of the subaquatic pursuit that’s kept me occupied these past months. It was a great reading, a wonderful crowd, and a very cool little shop. If you couldn’t attend, it’s time to tune your dials back to Yesterday…more announcements should be coming shortly (this time I promise it’ll be less than year between posts…probably).

I don’t look…that honorable, do I?

Interview with a Rather Handsome Fellow

The intrepid journalists over at Innsmouth Free Press have seen fit to publish a four-question micro-interview with yours truly in their virtual fish wrap. It even includes a headshot in which your humble author is effectually indistinguishable from the various zoological specimens visible in the background. As you ponder my immeasurably profound responses, see if you can identify which of the hideous creatures pictured therein have made a terminal visit to the formaldehyde day spa, and which yet live.

New Fiction: “On The Generation of Insects”

With the dry heat of summer, all sorts of creepy (not to mention itchy and stingy) crawlies tend to spawn, seemingly out of the warmed-over ether. Looks like the solstice is officially set for June 21st this year, but that’s not going to stop our insidious little friends. In portside Innsmouth, where the mounting heat has made the pervasive fragrance of rotting fish carcasses more pungent than ever, the insects have already landed and begun their morbid feast.

“On The Generation of Insects,” my Lovecraftian take on historical fiction and antiquated medicine published by the Innsmouth Free Press, has finally been exposed to the sweltering light of day, alongside stories by W.H. Pugmire, Don Webb, Stephen Woodworth, Melissa Sorensten, and Regina Glei. You can find them all in Issue 7 of the Innsmouth Free Press. There’s even a prettied-up PDF version for those of you who like pictures and pull quotes.

There are some quite established writers in there, and I’m thrilled to appear alongside them. Stay tuned for a future post breaking down the fictive offerings in more detail. In the meantime, throw the windows wide, pitch a tent on the lawn, and enjoy the buzzing, churning symphony of the season!

(Nematode image courtesy of My Chesapeake Bay)

The Final Word on Spontaneous Generation

Innsmouth Free Press just announced their June 2011 issue, which will include, among other tasty morsels, my short story “On The Generation of Insects,” a nauseating and hallucinatory take on the experiments of Francesco Redi of Arezzo. A complete list of featured authors can be found in the lovely maroon-and-spirals cover art right over there ——->

If it’s been a while since 7th Grade Biology, Redi was a 17th-century Italian physician and naturalist whose “Experiments on the Generation of Insects” offered some of the earliest persuasive evidence in contradiction to the then widely-held belief that certain lower animals, such as insects and vermin, didn’t reproduce the way humans do, instead springing up all on their own given the right conditions. “The right conditions,” in this case, refers not so much to candles and wine as to goat dung or discarded bales of hay. Redi also wrote a badass fraudulent treatise on the origin of eyeglass, in response to an even more badass lecture from his friend Carlo Dati titled “The Invention of Eyeglasses, Is it Ancient or not; and When, Where, and by Whom Were They Invented?”

The story won’t be published for about another month, but, in the meantime, you can check out Redi’s original experiments on the American Libraries Internet Archive. There’s something about the revolting subject matter (maggots forming on raw meat) and the author’s scrupulous (Dare I say scrumptious?) attention to detail that combine to create a deliciously repugnant and utterly compelling read; I had to work hard not to copy/paste the entire text and call it a horror story. Perfect for all you closet Goths* out there.

*Postscript: referring, of course, to the gothic subculture, not to the East Germanic tribe composed of the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths. Though any Ostrogoths out there are welcome to give it a read as well. No Visigoths, though, the smug bastards.