A reviewer of An Uncommon Day at the Lake
thought I was making a pun on "day" because the women in the story — Lovely and Happy — have the surname "Day." I was not. It was absolutely reasonable of him to think so; but until he pointed it out, I didn't even realize there could
be a pun.
Likewise, if I died tomorrow and someone checked all the presets on the radio in my car, he would think I had a secret fondness for Beyoncé or some other tripe. But I do not. The presets were there when I acquired the car. They spew at me when I swap out CDs. I have never changed them, because I don't use the radio.
How many assertions are made about authors based on "evidence" that is wholly without relevance or meaning? Many, I am sure.
I finished my story for Cirsova. It is called The Unshrouded Stars
. If Alex the editor refuses The Impossible Footprint,
I'll still have a backup submission for 2022.
In the draft of my cover letter I mention this backup. Originally I described it as "weird-horror SF." I called it SF because it is set on the International Space Station (even though, in my usual fashion, I am a little unspecific, calling it just "the Station," trying to imply a world just a little to the left of ours).
Thing is, though, there is nothing science fictional
in the story. It's not even near-future. It is set on the ISS, which is real
. Being in space is very relevant to the story but the setting is no more fanciful than a train or a castle. This story set on a space station
contains no science fiction!
That's remarkable to me.
Anyhow, I revised the description to "weird-horror."
Every so often I submit The Giant's Walk
to a publisher. Self-publishing has proven pointless. Today I received the most recent rejection. I never really
expect acceptance. I know the book is eccentric. Rejection still disappoints me.The Baron of Nevada and His Branded Broads
Come on. That is a fantastic title. It comes from the cover of a men's magazine from 1962. Now, I suppose that the author was not unaware of the title's absurdity; yet I believe that he was earnest, as well. We have lost something if our only response to such a title is ironic snickering.
I think an excellent project would be to take such titles and write one's own appropriate tales — not in mockery, but seriously. To be sure, most such stories were soft-core pr0n, and that I would not do. But sexy and adventurous... Mmm!
I changed the title of this monthly miscellany to Mermaids & Termites
because I like the sound of that and it nicely suggests the miscellaneous mode.
I also re-coded the blog page to present random quotes at the top, instead of solely the heretofore static "If you like your religion..." quote.
Every time I go back into the blog code these days, it is a strange and melancholic task. I once coded for a living. I am able to change things now not because I really remember how, but because I can decipher other code and mimic it as needed. God help me if I ever have to recreate this website. Backups notwithstanding.
I usually turn on subtitles with British TV shows because, let's be frank, they barely speak English in the UK; and I've often wondered if the subtitles provided by Amazon Prime are made by humans. Recently a character said that someone had been doing something "since the ball wall." Eh? It took my brain a moment to ignore the subtitle, review the audio I had just heard, and realize that the character had said "since the Boer War." Though a human might have heard "ball wall," I can't imagine he would have been so utterly smooth-brained to record it that way. Amazon Prime either uses some sort of inadequate AI or has farmed out their subtitling to morons who couldn't care less.
I am unlikely, in the short term, to take up the tale of the branded broads, but having finished The Unshrouded Stars
I do need something to work on. Misha Burnett has himself temporarily set aside And Who Shall I Say Is Calling?
). I could pick up the baton. I will immediately, if he resumes his interest. In the meantime, though, I think I will start the fifth Hamlin Becker tale. I do have another short in progress — weird-horror again, called Sympathy of Clocks
— but that might be better left as a post-Becker activity.
Becker and the sisters Day need another adventure, I think.