First off, in writing news, my new essay series for Asimov’s has officially begun! You can pick up both the first installment, as well as a guest editorial about the series by yours truly, in the March/April 2022 issue.
Needless to say, I’m excited about this series, which will trundle along, coming out twice a year for the foreseeable future, and will galavant through cinematic history in a roughly chronological fashion. This issue’s essay is about George Méliès’ La Voyage Dans la Lune, as well as the history of the moon’s depiction in fiction throughout history.
The content of the essays are going to be dictated by whatever I find most interesting about the research process behind some of my favorite science fiction movies. For example, in the next installment, forthcoming in the September/October 2022 issue, will be about the 1931 Universal Horror Frankenstein adaptation, and how a landmark cinematic horror monster was born from such a deeply science fictional novel.
I spent a good deal of time these last few months dealing with an adventure of side effects from a new asthma med. Thus, not much reading or new writing got done. I certainly spent a good deal of time playing Witcher 3 and doing a bunch of puzzles. One of the few books I did read was Crow Road by Iain Banks. Before all the endocrinological excitement, I’d been picking at a strange horror story set in the Scottish Highlands, and I’d picked this novel up so I could take in the scenery through Banks’ eyes. It’s not so easy to find a copy of, but it is Banks at his finest, absolutely tremendous, and I heartily recommend it.
Otherwise, I recently absolutely adored (except for one kind of major quibble) Stephen Graham Jones’ My Heart is a Chainsaw. It reignited that certain joy I’ve always had in 80s slasher movies, and I’ve definitely sucked Shudder’s slasher selection dry over the past few weeks, while also finally watching every single Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th movie. It’s all slowly feeding back into the Scottish horror story, which I’m hoping to get rolling on soon.
Finally, I’m currently reading John Darnielle’s latest novel, Devil House, which seriously has the absolute most nostalgic 80s horror cover art ever. I mean LOOK AT IT. I’m loving it so far – the details he focuses on, the meandering road through his character’s lives. I never would have expected the lead singer of The Mountain Goats, a band I adore, to also become one of my favorite novelists. If you haven’t read anything by him before, I can’t recommend Wolf in White Van enough, but so far, this one has a shot at unseating that as my favorite of his books.
Hope you’re safe and healthy and as happy as it is possible for you to be, and maybe read some good fiction this month if you’re so inclined.