I have been struck with some sort of plague for the last week. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had the flu for this long of a stretch. I guess this is what happens these days in the age of flu shots to people who don’t get flu shots. I always argued that by getting flu shots, we were making the viruses stronger. Now I have proof. Unfortunately. Welp, if you can’t beat ‘em, join em! Guess who will pony up for a flu shot next season!
Around the same time I got sick, I also got revision notes for Blood and Tempest. So I’ve been dragging my hacking, phlegm-spewing self to the keyboard every day anyway. While I wouldn’t want to write a rough draft while being this sick, there is a sort of merciless, cold eye that being sick brings that I find is actually helpful at this stage in the revision process.
A few things I want to bring to your attention:
I wrote a piece on The Mary Sue about using fantasy to step outside binary concepts of gender that I’m very proud of.
Bane and Shadow got a starred review from Library Journal.
My Spanish publisher, Minotauro, pointed me to this video review of Hope and Red in Spanish. The reviewer looks very pleased, so presumably it’s positive. If any Spanish-speakers among you care to confirm or deny, I’d appreciate it.
I saw an early version of the German cover for Bane and Shadow and it looks super badass. Hopefully I can share soon.
Speaking of badass, here is a picture from my Portuguese publisher, Saida de Emergencia, showing the promo they ran in FNAC stores in mid March.
I just finished Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. This is the first novel in his Southern Reach trilogy. I have been a Vandermeer fan since his early novels Veniss Underground and The City of Saints and Madmen, so I knew I’d enjoy this one. In fact, an autographed hardcover edition of the collected trilogy has been sitting on my shelf for a while now. As some of you know, I am a huge proponent of delayed gratification. I’ve also been slogging through a great deal of a research (which I will share next time) so this was a much deserved pleasure reading break for me. And it truly was a pleasure. Vandermeer is able to balance the bizarre and relatable in a way I find endlessly enjoyable. Ostensibly, it’s about a group of people who are sent to investigate an area (probably what was once Florida) in which an “Event” has happened that has made it uninhabitable for humans. Things go sideways real quick, but not in a typical horror sci-fi movie way. If you’re looking for a book that answers all the mysteries at the end, well…this isn’t it. I don’t know. Perhaps by the end of the trilogy there will be some answers? I suppose I’ll see. But honestly, I love to revel in his strangeness so much, I won’t be disappointed if we never get any concrete answers.
Apparently there’s going to be a movie starring Natalie Portman at some point. While I think Portman is well suited to portray the protagonist, I’m not sure how a film version will play for a book that hinges so much on the inner workings of a potentially unreliable narrator.
So I’ve been listening to a lot of Metal lately. Specifically the subgenre of “Doom” or “Sludge” Metal. One thing I learned early on in my sampling of the genre is that the vocal work is mostly dudes growling. Out of curiosity, I started looking to see if there were any Doom Metal bands with female singers. Happily, it wasn’t long before I came across the recently released Created In the Image of Suffering by King Woman (man, do I love metal album titles…)
Now, I know Metal is not for everyone. But in the spirit of exploration, I urge you to give this a listen before you completely dismiss it.
And that’s it for the newsletter. Now back to revisions and flu meds for me :)