Sacred Beginnings

March 31, 2020

I love you under water
in the crescent cracks of rocks
where the roots of the rose begin,
inside the weather’s tailspin
where you colour my sleep
with your dance, and loving you
is worth more than I could ever offer.
I love you beside the coral reefs, even when
the serpent and shark are near. I love you
in the sandbox as we make our miracles
daily, pointing at every passing bird.
I love you with yesterday’s dinner
in the fridge, before and after the starlight falls.
I love you in each bubble we blow, in every fever we share,
and in our synchronized laughter, gracing
this mother and daughter sphere.

Allison Grayhurst

Worldbuilding?

March 31, 2020

Every moment of a science fiction story must represent the triumph of writing over worldbuilding.

Worldbuilding is dull. Worldbuilding literalises the urge to invent. Worldbuilding gives an unnecessary permission for acts of writing (indeed, for acts of reading). Worldbuilding numbs the reader’s ability to fulfil their part of the bargain, because it believes that it has to do everything around here if anything is going to get done.

Above all, worldbuilding is not technically necessary. It is the great clomping foot of nerdism. It is the attempt to exhaustively survey a place that isn’t there. A good writer would never try to do that, even with a place that is there.

M. John Harrison
Blog entry

Now, I have to tell you this: I probably won’t be writing any more supernatural horror novels, and I want to explain why this is so.

The field of horror writing has changed dramatically since the mid- to late-’70s. At that time, horror writing was still influenced by the classics of the literature. I don’t find that to be true anymore. It seems to me that horror writing — all writing, no matter what genre — needs to be about people, first and foremost. It needs to speak to the pain and isolation we all feel, about the disappointments we have all faced and about the bravery people summon in order to get through what is sometimes a crushing day-to-day existence. Again, I don’t find that to be generally true of the horror field as we enter the ’90s. Something of rubber stamping and cookie cutters has gotten into this field, and it’s an unfortunate fact that even the best writing is judged not by its own merit, but by what the general public understands to be “real horror” —namely, the brutal and brainless garbage that Hollywood throws out as “entertainment” for the “lowest common denominator.”

And, my friends, it’s killing us.

A sense of wonder and beauty has been drained from our field. It has happened slowly, over a period of years. Without wonder and beauty, our writing and our dreams are lifeless. Without humanity in our work, we are left with senseless rage and violence. Such things are all too common in our world: are we here to try to make things better, or to try to compete with the heavy darkness that is bludgeoning people’s minds into Silly Putty? I, for one, want no part in layering more darkness onto that weight, and calling it a “fun entertainment.”

It’s just not right.

Robert R. McCammon
The State of Where
Lights Out! Issue #5, February 1991

“Ever the man in men!” I said between my teeth. “Let a woman know her proper place: let her milk and spin and sew and bake and bear children, not look beyond her threshold or the command of her lord and master! Bah! I spit on you all! There is no man alive who can face me with weapons and live, and before I die, I’ll prove it to the world. Women! Cows! Slaves! Whimpering, cringing serfs, crouching to blows, revenging themselves by — taking their own lives, as my sister urged me to do. Ha! You deny me a place among men? By God, I’ll live as I please and die as God wills, but if I’m not fit to be a man’s comrade, at least I’ll be no man’s mistress. So go ye to hell, Guiscard de Clisson, and may the devil tear your heart!”

Robert E. Howard
Sword Woman

Social distancing –

March 31, 2020

Social distancing often fails in rural areas.

must promise

March 31, 2020

She said, “If I let you go, you must promise not to do anything to Mrs. Forsythe. Do you understand me?”

“No, Mother. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Please, Rhoda! Let’s not have any more charm or acting. We understand each other very well. Let’s be natural with each other from now on. You know quite well what I’m talking about.”

Rhoda giggled, nodded her head, and said in a matter-of-fact voice, “I know what you mean. But I won’t do anything to her.” And then, pressing her hands together, rolling her eyes roguishly, she added, “Aunt Jessie hasn’t got anything I want.”

William March
The Bad Seed