21 April 2012

Every dog has his story

THERE WAS A MAN who had a dog who had–for the good part of every day–never heard of H. P. Lovecraft, though this dog enjoyed his Will Cuppy, always licking his chops over the line, “The nuthatch cannot sing and does not try.” . . .

out today in the newest issue of the daringly heretical Lovecraft eZine

TABLE OF CONTENTS for Issue #13 - April 2012

Ecstasy of the Gold
by Stephen Mark Rainey

Scale Hall
by Simon Kurt Unsworth

The Dog Who Wished He’d Never Heard of Lovecraft
by Anna Tambour

The Ourorboros Apocrypha
by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

Over the Hills
by Victor Takac

This Inscrutable Light: A Response to Thomas Ligotti’s “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race”
an essay by Brandon H. Bell

Lovecraftian Art
Eric Lofgren & Jonny Christopher Ledford


Co-editor: A.J. French

Kindle version: Kenneth W. Cain

Issue cover: Ronnie Tucker (text: Stjepan Lukac)

Story illustrations: Nick Gucker, Robert Elrod, Galen Dara, Steve Santiago

Story readers: Justin Zimmer, Morgan Scorpion, Bruce L. Priddy, David Binks

Publisher & Editor: Mike Davis

The stories are beautifully set, the artwork is delicious, and zounds! Each story is also presented in an audio version. "Ibsen" highly approves of Bruce L. Priddy's reading of "The Dog Who Wished He'd Never Heard of Lovecraft", and who am I to disagree?

Thanks, Mike, for giving me the opportunity! Writing this was so much fun, it must be illegal.

20 April 2012

"French crabs" and conchoidal fractures

The "French crab" tree being now 20 years old, finally decided to come out in her first fruiting. A rather enormous crop, too.

A Pippin of a Question
I always wanted French crabs, and put the question to all who know: What are these? For surely, if they are French crabs, I'm Dame Lobster Ther M'Dore, which reminds me to post this scrap here: "[A]n oyster long out of his shell (as is apt to be the case with the rural bivalve) gets homesick and loses his sprightliness"

The so-called "French crabs" posing with a Smyrna quince

Technical description: Many of these apples have stems that look like outie belly buttons

I'm not complaining, mind you. These are apples as apples should be, cracking with a sound like the earth breaking in half. These apples are so hard that one could be tempted to look for a Mohs Hardness rating, but that would be wrong. Mohs Hardness (not named after Mr Moh but Mr Mohs, who was born to be difficult) rates the resistance to scratching, and everyone who knows anything fun about MH knows that diamonds, which cream the competition when it comes to MH, can be smashed with a hammer. These apples would just laugh. You need your teeth for these gems, or a chisel.

The taste is so rich that the mouth is overwhelmed with appreciation.

Conchoidal fractures

"There were jellies, which had been shaking, all the time the young folks were dancing in the next room, as if they were balancing to partners. There were built-up fabrics, called Charlottes, caky externally, pulpy within; there were also marangs, and likewise custards,—some of the indolent-fluid sort, others firm, in which every stroke of the teaspoon left a smooth, conchoidal surface like the fracture of chalcedony …"
Elsie Venner by Oliver Wendell Holmes (this is also the source of the oyster truism)

"It Should Happen To You!" - deserves fame in our time

"What is this craze to get well known?"

What a screwy question.

Gladys Glover wants to "be somebody", and is, once she pays for her name to be on billboards.

"It Should Happen To You" has similarities to "Diary of a Nobody" which was also, it must be said, a satire.

"Have an opinion"
- Step 3 in WikiHow's How to Become Famous Using Social Media

19 April 2012

Yellow jelly and the ear that won't be lent

Thanks to rain, the leeches gallop and the fungi fruit.

Jelly fungus of a type that I wouldn't dare pin down

Not just wet behind the ear

Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear - antho to blast in June …

or earlier. Edited by Edwina Harvey and Simon Petrie, and with cover art by Les Petersen, this anthology from fresh young publisher, Peggy Bright Books, has such an intriguing title that part of the fun will be what that gun cotton did to these imaginations:

Joanne Anderton - 'The Bone Chime Song'
Adam Browne - 'The D____d'
Sue Bursztynski - 'Five Ways to Start a War'
Brenda Cooper - 'Between Lines'
Katherine Cummings - 'The Travelling Salesman and the Farmer's Daughter'
Thoraiya Dyer - 'Faet's Fire'
Kathleen Jennings - 'Kindling'
Dave Luckett - 'History: Theory and Practice'
Ian McHugh - 'The Godbreaker and Unggubudh the Mountain'
Sean McMullen - 'Hard Cases'
Ripley Patton - 'Mary Had a Unicorn'
Rob Porteous - 'The Subjunctive Case'
Anna Tambour - 'Murder at the Tip'

This year, the trees weren't parsimonious with persimmons

There can never be too many, though they ripen on every sill. How to stretch out the enjoyment? Slow-dry them in a warm oven. When they're hot, they're delicious as 'roasted' fruit. When they're cold, they're chewily scrumptious. And their looks separate the medlar-lovers from the common crowd.

Besotted with Persimmon! Previous Medlar Comfits posts:
The fruit for people who don't eat fruit
Cut persimmon
A persimmon calyx

15 April 2012

Warning: CRANDOLIN to be served up by Chômu Press

To be released in time for the feasting season: my novel CRANDOLIN.

"A fairy tale Dostoevsky would have liked … It's like it was written by a demented chef"
David Kowalski

The fit with Chômu Press is so perfect that I have hesitated to say anything here, for fear the feasting season will fall off the end of Time, or the End of the World will come at 2:00 the day before the release. So I hereby invoke the Writer's Prayer:

Please, Fate(s) or Who(m)ever,
Let The End of the World come the day after the release of my Important novel.

Chômu Press doesn't publish me-too fiction that you've read somewhere before wrapped in another title. They do publish the most intriguing and readable stuff. And they care about presentation. The productions are luscious, partly because they get some of the best artists involved as well as the superb designer, Anil D.Nataly. And mostly because they do insane amounts of work themselves.

Sure, I could have gotten CRANDOLIN published somewhere, but I have wanted the best, and the context I can put this press into, to show that I really do admire what they do as well as their guts, is to say that they're the Blaft of the UK. And anyone who's followed my love affair with Blaft knows that they're my favourite publisher in the world.

Quentin S. Crisp as editor is just what I always wanted for CRANDOLIN, and me! He's like a rain of vinegar hitting the mountain of me, a pile of bicarbonate of soda. He's what all great editors are — insidious drugs. I've been tripping for weeks. (And if you haven't read Crisp's own fiction, you're missing something major. He's a writer of classics, given the readership. I've just finished Shrike, and think it should be rereleased as a Popular Penguin, though it's hardly been read by anyone yet.)

Finally, CRANDOLIN is too original for agents to have been any more use than a sautéed umbrella. And I wouldn't have approached Chômu Press though it looks mouthwatering, because I grew too cynical about the whole fiction scene. So thank you, dear Starburst Poet (Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.), for not only picking me up from the muck of my own depression, but for being yet another wonderful editor; and then, after that, for turning out to be a big hairy yenta — a meddling matchmaker!

Of course, there are other brave readers to whom I am also indebted. They donated their blood to CRANDOLIN and their shoulders (at least) to me, without ever charging me for their earplug expenses. I shall reveal them as the novel turns.