Friday, September 4, 2015

FFB: THE STARCHED BLUE SKY OF SPAIN by Josephine Herbst (HarperCollins 1991), or a bohemian Leninist writer's progress and further education...

In its first half, as a collection of four essays, one never before published and two among the more famous items in The Noble Savage (Saul Bellow and co.'s first magazine project) and a third appearing in New American Review several years later (the Savage having been tamed into folding early on), this book can be frustrating even as it's rather easy to read. Josephine Herbst was a woman with a passion to write and a passion for justice, and one who had a sensible, nagging dissatisfaction with the log-rolling and willful blindness that being a member of any sort of Movement can require...at least, if one is going to have an easy time of it.  The larger sense of the frustration is perhaps unfair--when she glosses quickly over her interactions with many of the most clangorous writers of the 1920s (young Katherine Anne Porter, Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford, et al.), or her work with H. L. Mencken at The Smart Set or on unnamed pulp magazines (for all we are allowed to know, possibly including Black Mask) to get to an extended reminiscence of an end of summer sailing trip along the Maine coast, she is writing about what she wants to write about, and what was most important to her about the incompletely liberating young adulthood that had followed a good but not altogether pleasant childhood, one which had prepared her at least with desire to go forth and Do Great Things beyond the standard domestic life of Mid-American women of her time. (We learn that she was in university for three years before completely leaving her family's home, and that she spent time in France and Germany apparently in the '20s, but little more than that.) Rather less unfair is noting overindulgence in what Twain or Borges would call "Fine Writing," particularly in the first, unpublished essay, where a man's suspenders remind her of ladders and various colored stains are cited to no great end on a collection of her mother's correspondence...which much build-up is given about how Herbst dreaded and craved unsuspected revelations when she read the letters after her mother's death, but that thread of the narrative is almost immediately dropped, with not even a "ah, well, that turned out not to be the case" or something similar, as she moves onto other relatively quotidian matters. There is perhaps a reason no one chose to publish the first essay before the book's appearance, even though it does give an excellent sense of the time, just after the turn of the 20th Century, and the detailed account of a family vacation to visit the Pacific Ocean, for the Nebraska girl and her extended family, reminded me of similar passages in the autobiography of science fiction writer Jack Williamson, who had famously moved house as a child with his family via Conestoga wagon at about the same time. The practical feminism and unwillingness to accept the unacceptable her mother imbues her and her younger sister with is not the least of the gifts she's given in those years. She does very much get across the sense of how thrilling it was to see so many of her friends and peers energized by the new trends in literary and other arts, even when, for example, it was clear that some of the contributors to transition, the most famous of avant garde little magazines of the time, were simply aping the Joyce prose their work was published alongside. (And how it seemed both amusing and simply sensible that she and her peers might turn from writing something challenging for This Quarter or transition and then turn, without moderating their voices too terribly much, to work for such far more establishmentarian magazines as The Dial or American Mercury.)

 The latter two essays deal more with her adult experiences as a political radical and someone trying to do well with her art, while not choosing to write intentional propaganda, nor willing to parrot that which she is being instructed to say or write by those who Know Better, get to the heart of their matters more consistently and tellingly. You knew that Ernest Hemingway was a pampered  jackass (full stop) during his sojourn in the Spanish Civil War, literally feasting and partying while the Spaniards around him and not a few of the various temporary emigres were starving and rather more abruptly dying while actually conducting the war against Franco's Carlist, Fascist and related insurgents, and if you didn't, you need to read the title essay.  Herbst and her ex-husband had taken the kind of eye-opening trip Emma Goldman had not enjoyed decades previously to the USSR under the Leninists, and now the Stalinists by the time of Hebst's visit, and how (as Bakunin had put it back in his arguments with Marx) beating the people with the people's stick was not only visited on the Russian and other Soviet peoples but to those who sought to further the supposed champions of the proletariat. While they were in the orbit of the likes of Whittaker Chambers in the 1930s, and how that affected her attempt to do her part during US government work in World War II. 

Herbst was an interesting figure and doesn't spare herself much as she recalls the keys events (and not so key ones, except to her personally) that were not only important to the cultural but the political tumult of her century, and her capacity to refuse to blindly commit to any cause is admirable...this imperfect book is yet another unfairly obscure at the present, in part because it will tweak both discredited and entirely too robust (Papa Hemingway cultism) causes she had a better opportunity to observe than nearly anyone else. 

For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V on Wednesday: the links to reviews, interviews and more

Moonrise Kngdom



The selections (reviews, interviews and citations at the links below) of undeservedly (and a few deservedly) under-appreciated audio/visual experiences...apologies to everyone for yet another delayed presentation. As always, thanks to all the contributors and you readers... 

Allan Fish: Oliver Twist (1948 film); The White Balloon

Anne Billson: 5 Romantic Comedies 

Anonymous: L'Atalante

Bill Crider: Black Moon Rising  [trailer]

BV Lawson: Media Murder

BNoirDetour: Gaslight

Colin: Broken Lance

Comedy Film Nerds: Greg Fitzsimmons: Studio Ghibli, The End of the Tour, Wes Craven, etc.

Cynthia Fuchs: Meru; Approaching the Elephant

David Cramner: Jack Nicholson westerns

David Vineyard: The Intruders

Dorian: His Kind of Woman

Elgin Bleecker: The List of Adrian Messenger

Ellen Datlow: Sasquan (WorldCon 2015) Photos

Elizabeth Foxwell: A Slight Case of Murder; Great Lives: "P.D. James"

Evan Lewis: The Lady in the Morgue

Gary Deane: Laurence Harvey noir

Gary Dobbs: Rise of the Krays

Gilligan Newton-John: horror films on television

Harlan Ellison: Mike Hodel's Hour 25: "Charles Beaumont Memorial" with Richard Matheson, Roger Anker, Richard Christian Matheson and Chris Beaumont (KPFK/Pacifica Radio)

Iba Dawson: A Single Man

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Milton Berle on radio

Jackie Kashian: The HeatStephen Brophy on super villains; Maria Alexander and Aaron Vanek on horror (from the lo-fi days of 2010)

starring Jackie Kashian and Brandie Posey (some NSFW dialog)

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Louise Beavers

Jake Hinkson: Chicago: City of Film

James Reasoner: Moonrise Kingdom

Janet Varney: Kimberly Brooks

Jerry House: Sydney Greenstreet

John Grant: "Eroticide"; Bars of Hate

John Greco: Little Fugitive


Jon Warner: Boyhood


Jonathan Lewis: Doctor Who: "The Daemons"

Judy Geater: Angel and the Badman

Karen Hannsberry: The Best of Everything and...

Kelly Robinson: Clara BowLouise Brooks: Lost Films 

Ken Levine: tv presidents

Kliph Nesteroff: Pistols and Petticoats:"Petrified"

Kristina Dijan: There Was a Crooked Man; IndiscreetLost Heroes and...; Last Passenger and...; TCM September

Lance Charnes: Transporter: The Series (television)


Laura: Highway 13; Motor Patrol; Radar Secret Service; D23 Expo: Disneyland

Lindsey: Hi, Nellie; Our Town (1940 film); The Window

Lucy Brown: Scott & Bailey

Marilyn Ferdinand: American Graffiti

Martin Edwards: The Riot Club

Marty McKee: Martial LawThe Marine 4: Moving Target

Mystery Dave: The Young Girls of Rochefort

Nik Bloodstorm: Witch and Satanic Cult films (courtesy Kate Laity)

Paddy Lee: The Strawberry Blonde

Patrick Murtha: Mississippy Missippi Tu-Polo

Patti Abbott: 1976: Ten Best Films; The End of the Tour

Pop My Culture: Diane Franklin and Amanda Wyss

Raquel Stecher: Anatomy of a Murder

Rick: The NannyThe Witches; Boggy Creek films

Rod Lott: Surrogates; Stay Alive; The Scarlet Claw; The Jinx

Ruth: Ingrid Bergman


Sanford Allen: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Scott Cupp: Seven Footprints to Satan


Sergio Angelini: A Man Lay Dead (BBC Radio 4); The Alleyn Mysteries: "A Man Lay Dead"

Stacia Jones: The Last American Virgin

Stephen Bowie: Breaking Bad: a dissent

Steve Lewis: Crime Doctor; The Crime Doctor's Courage

Victoria Loomes: All About Eve

Vienna: Executive Suite

Walter Albert: The Circus Queen Murder

William Lampkin: Pulpfest 2015

Yvette Banek: "Krakatoa Katie"

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

the six (at least) horror and related fantasy annuals in English this year

To be released this fall by Undertow Books and ChiZine Publications: final contents might include one further story:

“The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud (Fearful Symmetries, ed. Ellen Datlow, ChiZine Publications)
 “Wendigo Nights” by Siobhan Carroll (Fearful Symmetries, ed. Ellen Datlow, ChiZine Publications)
 “Headache” by Julio Cortázar. English-language translation by Michael Cisco (Tor.com, September 2014)
 “Loving Armageddon” by Amanda C. Davis (Crossed Genres Magazine #19, July 2014)
 “The Earth and Everything Under” by K.M. Ferebee (Shimmer Magazine #19, May 2014) 
“Nanny Anne and the Christmas Story” by Karen Joy Fowler (Subterranean Press Magazine, Winter 2014)
“The Girls Who Go Below” by Cat Hellisen (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2014)
“Nine” by Kima Jones (Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History, eds. Rose Fox & Daniel José Older, Crossed Genres Publications)
“Bus Fare” by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean Press Magazine, Spring 2014)
“The Air We Breathe Is Stormy, Stormy” by Rich Larson (Strange Horizons Magazine, August 2014)
“The Husband Stitch” by Carmen Maria Machado (Granta Magazine, October 2014)
“Observations About Eggs From the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa” by Carmen Maria Machado (Lightspeed Magazine #47, April 2014)
“Resurrection Points” by Usman T. Malik (Strange Horizons Magazine, August 2014)
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” by Nick Mamatas (Searchers After Horror: New Tales of the Weird and Fantastic, ed. S.T. Joshi, Fedogan & Bremer)
“So Sharp That Blood Must Flow” by Sunny Moraine (Lightspeed Magazine #45, February 2014)
“The Ghoul” by Jean Muno, English-language translation by Edward Gauvin (Weirdfictionreview.com, June2014)
“A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide” by Sarah Pinsker (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2014)
“Migration” by Karin Tidbeck (Fearsome Magics: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris)
“Hidden in the Alphabet” by Charles Wilkinson (Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, ed. Michael Kelly, Undertow Publications)
“A Cup of Salt Tears” by Isabel Yap (Tor.com, August 2014)

  • Publication: Best British Horror 2015
  • Editors: Johnny Mains
  • Year: 2015-05-25
  • ISBN: 978-1-78463-028-7 [1-78463-028-4]
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing
  • Price: £9.99
  • Pages: 384
“Shaddertown” by Conrad Williams (Shadows & Tall Trees, Volume 6)
“Quarry Hogs” by Jane Jakeman (Supernatural Tales 27, Autumn 2014)
“Random Flight” by Rosalie Parker (Terror Tales of Yorkshire, edited by Paul Finch, Gray Friar Press)
“A Spider Remember” by Sara Pascoe (Dead Funny, edited by Robin Ince and Johnny Mains, Salt Publishing)
“Eastmouth” by Alison Moore (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris, Spectral Press)
“Learning the Language” by John Llewellyn Probert (Terror Tales of Wales, edited by Paul Finch, Gray Friar Press)
“Reunion” by Rebecca Lloyd (Mercy and Other StoriesTartarus Press)
“The Third Time” by Helen Grant (Ghosts and Scholars Book of Shadows, Volume 2, edited by Rosemary Pardoe, Sarob Press)
“Drowning in Air” by Andrew Hook (Strange Tales, Volume IV, edited by Rosalie Parker, Tartarus Press)
“Alistair” by Mark Samuels (Written in DarknessEgaeus Press)
“In the Year of Omens” by Helen Marshall (Gifts for the One Who Comes AfterChiZine Publications)
“Apple Pie and Sulphur” by Christopher Harman (Shadows & Tall Trees, Volume 6)
“On Ilkley Moore” by Alison Littlewood (Terror Tales of Yorkshire, edited by Paul Finch, Gray Friar Press)
“The Broken and the Unmade” by Stephen J Dines (Black Static, Issue 39)
“Only Bleeding” by Gary McMahon (Horror Uncut, edited by Joel Lane and Tom Johnstone, Gray Friar Press)
“The Night Porter” by Ray Russell (Shadows & Tall Trees, Volume 6)
“Something Sinister in Sunlight” by Lisa Tuttle (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris, Spectral Press)
“Summerside” by Alison Moore (Shadows & Tall Trees, Volume 6)
“Private Ambulance” by Simon Kurt Unsworth (Noir, edited by Ian Whates, NewCon Press)
“The Rising Tide” by Priya Sharma (Terror Tales of Wales, edited by Paul Finch, Gray Friar Press)
“The Slista” by Stephen Laws (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris, Spectral Press)
“Dog” by Reece Shearsmith (Dead Funny, edited by Robin Ince and Johnny Mains, Salt Publishing)

  • Publication: The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2015
  • Editors: Paula Guran
  • Year: 2015-06-24
  • ISBN: 978-1-60701-454-6 [1-60701-454-8]
  • Publisher: Prime Books
  • Price: $19.95
  • Pages: 576
Content (in alphabetical order by author)
  • Kelley Armstrong, “The Screams of Dragons” (Subterranean Press Magazine, Spring 2014) 
  • Dale Bailey, “The End of the End of Everything” (Tor.com, 23 Apr 2014) 
  • Laird Barron, “(Little Miss) Queen of Darkness” (Dark Discoveries #29)
  • Elizabeth Bear “Madam Damnable’s Sewing Circle” (Dead Man’s Hand, ed. John Joseph Adams) 
  • Richard Bowes, “Sleep Walking Now and Then” (Tor.com, 9 July 2014)
  • Nadia Bulkin, “Only Unity Saves the Damned” (Letters to Lovecraft, ed. Jesse Bullington)
  • Gemma Files, “A Wish From a Bone” (Fearful Symmetries, ed. Ellen Datlow) 
  • S. L. Gilbow, “Mr Hill’s Death” (The Dark #4)
  • Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter, “The Female Factory” (The Female Factory)
  • Maria Dahvana Headley “Who Is Your Executioner?” (Nightmare Magazine, Nov 2014)
  • Stephen Graham Jones, “The Elvis Room” (The Elvis Room)
  • Caitlín R. Kiernan, “The Cats of River Street (1925)” (Sirenia Digest #102)
  • Alice Sola Kim, “Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying” (Monstrous Affections, eds. Kelly Link & Gavin Grant/Tin House #61) 
  • John Langan, “Children of the Fang” (Lovecraft’s Monsters, ed. Ellen Datlow) 
  • Yoon Ha Lee, “Combustion Hour” (Tor.com, 10 Apr 2014)
  • V. H. Leslie, “The Quiet Room” (Shadows & Tall Trees: 2014, ed. Michael Kelly)
  • Ken Liu, “Running Shoes” (SQ Mag, Issue 16, Sept 2014)
  • Usman T. Malik, “Resurrection Points” (Strange Horizons, 4 August 2014) 
  • Helen Marshall, “Death and the Girl from Pi Delta Zeta” (Lackington’s, Issue 1, Winter 2014)
  • Brandon Sanderson, “Dreamer” (Games Creatures Play, eds. Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner)
  • Simon Strantzas, “Emotional Dues” (Burnt Black Suns)
  • Steve Rasnic Tem, “The Still, Cold Air” (Here with the Shadows)
  • Lavie Tidhar, “Kur-A-Len” (Black Gods Kiss)
  • Jeff VanderMeer, “Fragments from the Notes of a Dead Mycologist” (Shimmer #18)
  • Kali Wallace, “Water in Springtime” (Clarkesworld, Issue 91, Apr 2014)
  • Damien Angelica Walters, “The Floating Girls: A Documentary” (Jamais Vu Issue Three, Sept 2014)
  • Kaaron Warren, “The Nursery Corner” (Fearsome Magics, ed. Jonathan Strahan) 
  • A. C. Wise, “And the Carnival Leaves Town” (Nightmare Carnival, ed. Ellen Datlow)
  • Publication: The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Seven
  • Editors: Ellen Datlow
  • Year: 2015-08-11
  • ISBN: 978-1-59780-829-3 [1-59780-829-6]
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books
  • Price: $15.99
  • Pages: 416
“The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud (Fearful Symmetries, edited by Ellen Datlow, ChiZine Publications)
“Winter Children” by Angela Slatter (Postscripts #32/33 Far Voyager, edited by Nick Gevers, PS Publishing)
“A Dweller in Amenty” by Genevieve Valentine (Nightmare Magazine, March 2014)
“Outside Heavenly” by Rio Youers (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris, Spectral Press)
“Shay Corsham Worsted” by Garth Nix (Fearful Symmetries, edited by Ellen Datlow, ChiZine Publications)
“Allocthon” by Livia Llewellyn (Letters to Lovecraft, edited by Jesse Bullington, Stone Skin Press)
“Chapter Six” by Stephen Graham Jones (Tor.com, June 2014)
“This is Not for You” by Gemma Files (Nightmare Magazine, September 2014)
“Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)” by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Sirenia Digest #100, May 2014)
“The Culvert” by Dale Bailey (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October 2014)
“Past Reno” by Brian Evenson (Letters to Lovecraft, edited by Jesse Bullington, Stone Skin Press)
“The Coat Off His Back” by Keris McDonald (Terror Tales of Yorkshire, edited by Paul Finch, Gray Friar Press)
“the worms crawl in” by Laird Barron (Fearful Symmetries, edited by Ellen Datlow, ChiZine Publications)
“The Dog’s Home” by Alison Littlewood (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris, Spectral Press)
“Tread Upon the Brittle Shell” by Rhoads Brazos (SQ Magazine, Edition 14, May 2014)
“Persistence of Vision” by Orrin Grey (Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Exile Editions)
“It Flows From the Mouth” by Robert Shearman (Shadows & Tall Trees, Volume 6)
“Wingless Beasts” by Lucy Taylor (Fatal Journeys, Overlook Connection Press)
“Departures” by Carole Johnstone (The Bright Day is Done, Gray Friar Press)
“Ymir” by John Langan (The Children of the Old Leech, edited by Ross E. Lockhart & Justin Steele, Word Horde)
“Plink” by Kurt Dinan (Postscripts #32/33 Far Voyager, edited by Nick Gevers, PS Publishing)
“Nigredo” by Cody Goodfellow (In the Court of the Yellow King, edited by Glynn Owen Barras, Celaeno Press)

itle: The Year's Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2014 
Editors: Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene 
Year: 2015
Type: ANTHOLOGY 
Series: Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 
Series Number: 5



BEST NEW HORROR #26  Edited by Stephen Jones: 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
INTRODUCTION: HORROR IN 2014The Editor 
SECONDHAND MAGICHelen Marshall 
THE CULVERTDale Bailey 
THE PATTER OF TINY FEETRichard Gavin 
THE FOUR STRENGTHS OF SHADOWRon Weighell
THE NIGHT RUNSimon Kurt Unsworth 
HOME AND HEARTHAngela Slatter 
DUSTRebecca Lloyd 
SUFFER LITTLE CHILDRENRobert Shearman
THE NIGHT DOCTORSteve Rasnic Tem 
THE DESECRATORDerek John 
THE WALKDennis Etchison 
DIRT ON VICKYClint Smith 
SKULLPOCKETNathan Ballingrud 
TESTIMONY OF SAMUEL FROBISHER REGARDING EVENTS UPON HIS MAJESTY'S SHIP CONFIDENCE, 14-22 JUNE 1818, WITH DIAGRAMSIan Tregillis 
AT LORN HALLRamsey Campbell 
SELFIESLavie Tidhar 
MATILDA OF THE NIGHTStephen Volk 
THE COLLECTED SHORT STORIES OF FREDDIE PROTHERO, INTRODUCTION BY TORLESS MAGNUSSEN, PH.D.Peter Straub 
BURNT BLACK SUNSSimon Strantzas 
NECROLOGY: 2014Stephen Jones and Kim Newman 
USEFUL ADDRESSES
...PS Publishing is also reprinting some past volumes of the series, including last year's, with EC Comics-esque covers:

Friday, August 28, 2015

FFB: I CANNOT TELL A LIE, EXACTLY and other stories by Mary Ladd Gavell (Random House 2001)

Most collections of short crime fiction or fantastic fiction, and collections prepared by people who also work in those fields (thus many western story collections, for example) are usually scrupulous about listing previous publication credits, usually magazines that were the first to publish the fiction collected. In contemporary mimetic fiction, for no good reason I'm aware of, one is lucky, usually, to find a small paragraph or sentence tossing off a quick list of magazines that were the sources of the stories, with no indication of the issue or even which stories appeared in which magazine, with, usually, the exception of detailed citations of The New Yorker, in American books...whether as an attempt to toady to that magazine or in some sort of attempt to pretend that it is the exceptional newsstand source of fiction, I'm not sure (perhaps they have a policy of asking for explicit credit when granting reprint rights). 

Sadly, this task was not really necessary for this, the first and

presumably only collection we'll see from Mary Ladd Gavell, who was managing editor of the journal Psychiatry at the time of her death in 1967, at the age of 47, and whose first published short story was in that magazine as a sort of memorial. "The Rotifer" was an excellent tripartite metaphor for the difficulty, to say the absolute least, in attempting to aid others in their lives, and somehow Martha Foley was made aware of its publication in the journal, and liked it enough to reprint in The Best American Short Stories 1968; in going through the volumes in the course of editing The Best American Short Stories of the Century in 1999 (or, more likely, in reading the galleys of what the series editor had provided for him from the volumes), John Updike tapped "The Rotifer" for inclusion in that latter volume, so every blurb and review writer dutifully notes that Updike "discovered" the Gavell story, a feat somewhat similar to Discovering a donut in a box of donuts. Foley's not mentioned, because why would we? None of the other stories had been published until this book appeared in late summer, 2001, just in time for a certain tragedy in NYC, and the often less remarked-about corresponding ones in Pennsylvania and Virginia, to capture most chattering-class attention.

I'm not sure I understand the excess of modesty that led Gavell to make no effort to publish any of her short stories during her life, if she didn't...as they are polished, pointed and remind everyone (including me) of Katherine Anne Porter and almost as often of Lorrie Moore; I'm put in mind of John Cheever and Theodore Sturgeon and Joan Aiken in certain moods as well, and that's good company to travel in...also Wilma Shore, though while these stories share a similar generous feminist spirit, they usually aren't quite as fraught or blatantly pointed as Shore's or Muriel Spark's. The first story, "The Swing," turns out to be a fantasy of loss...the inevitable loss not of a child, but of the relation between a doting mother and her son as a child, as he grows into a man. Gavell delicately traces the slow diminishment of the lives of the protagonist and her ailing husband in their late lives, and what seems at first to be a sort of waking dream of her son as a preschooler returned to her for nocturnal chats at the backyard swing. Bradbury would've made this adorable; Vonnegut wry, but with some flippant asides. Instead, it's pared down but not stark, and utterly deft.


Among the more common criticisms of contemporary mimetic fiction as it's published in The New Yorker and similar venues these years is that it tends to be about superannuated adolescents who have difficulty taking seriously the effects of their actions and behavior on others; self-involvement rules OK to such a degree that alternate approaches to character are almost unseen. Happily, in such stories as "The Rotifer" and "The Infant," Gavell manages to gracefully impart not only, for example, the need for some post-partum recuperation for the mother but also the fierce devotion she can feel simultaneously with the resentment of the world too much with her and moving through her.


Kaye Gibbons, in her introduction, wants you to know that this kind of fiction is still needed, that which manages to see the weight of human interaction as more than just a set of guilty oppressions, means of keeping people from their better lives that Were Gonna Be Like Paris. True, but it's notable how often this kind of fiction is rather shunted aside, as it was, apparently, even by its author at time of creation...perhaps because she thought she'd be able to get to that novel when she retired. 


Too often, it just doesn't happen that way, of course, though usually not as severely as it has for Mary Gavell.


Clay Smith's fine piece about Gavell and her book in the Austin Chronicle, which, however, tells you Much too much about "The Swing" beforehand, if one hasn't yet read it. Mike Ashley let members of the FictionMags list know about that article, after Barry Malzberg brought up Gavell and the book. Thanks, folks.

For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August's Underappreciated Music: the links









The monthly assembly of undervalued and often nearly "lost" music, or simply music the blogger in question wants to remind you reader/listeners of.

Patti Abbott: Nick Cave (the sound-suit Cave)

Brian Arnold: Japanese SF television series theme music

Love: Da Capo

Side A
1. Stephanie knows who 00:00
2. Orange skies 02:38
3. ¡Qué vida! 05:32
4. Seven & seven is 09:16
5. The castle 11:43
6. She comes in colours 14:49
Side B
1. Revelation 17:37

Jayme Lynn Blaschke: Friday Night Videos

Paul Brazill: A Song for Saturday

Jim C.: Sonny Criss


Sisters of St. Nicholas Convent Choir: Great-Lenten Chants: "Open to me the doors of penance..." (courtesy Anon.)


Sean Coleman: Motherload: "When I Die"


Bill Crider: The "5" Royales: Forgotten Music; Song of the DayForgotten Hits: Local Charts

Cullen Gallagher: rediscovering vinyl

Sonny Criss Orchestra: "Sonny's Dream"


Jeff Gemmill: Juliana Hatfield: 20 Questions; Top 5sPaul McCartney: Wingspan Documentary; 3 Girls...


Jerry House: The Arthur Godfrey Show; Daily Music+; Hymn Time

George Kelley: Jackie DeShannon: All the Love: The Lost Atlantic Recordings


RiffTrax: "Coffeehouse Rendezvous"


Kate Laity: early Springsteen; The Original Beekeepers: How the River Runs Dry

Jacqueline T. Lynch: western film theme music

Todd Mason: for Gunther Schuller: Orchestral Third Stream Music; sinister songs

Patrick Murtha:  "Olympus 7-0000" and other Larry Blyden musicals


The Virgin-Whore Complex: "I See More" (nsfw lyrics)


Lawrence Person: Shoegazer Sunday

Charlie Ricci: Black 47: New York Town


Vienna: The Sound of Hitchcock

Deanta: "The Lakes of Pontchartrain" 
(for the people of New Orleans and Biloxi)