Ellen Datlow has posted her list of honorable mentions (page 1, page 2) for Best Horror of the Year, Volume 2. Included among the many names are Altered Fluid’s own Alaya Dawn Johnson for her story “Far and Deep,” (Interzone #221) as well as yours truly for my stories “Saving Diego” (Interzone #221) and “The Spaces Between Things.” (Electric Velocipede 17/18)
In addition, three stories from Sybil’s Garage No. 6 received honorable mentions:
Toiya Kristen Finley’s “Eating Ritual,” James B. Pepe’s “I Am Enkidu, His Wild Brother,” and Genevieve Valentine’s “The Drink of Fine Gentlemen Everywhere.”
Yesterday I spent most of the day at the Lunacon convention in Rye Brook, New York. I traveled up with Mercurio and Alaya Dawn Johnson; it’s not very far from New York City where we all live. The con is held at the Rye Brook Hilton, a modest hotel much like the one for Readercon. Last year, I remember seeing more familiar faces, but this year it felt like the usual New York crew was conspicuously absent. I did have a nice conversation by the bar with Neil Clarke, however, the editor of Clarkesworld Magazine.
The panels went well, although twice the moderators didn’t show up so the panelists and I had to make due. My first panel, “Monsters of Modernity,” talked about the monster as metaphor for our fears. While I thought the premise of the panel was pretty basic (I believe most people understand this connection intuitively) we ended up having some very interesting discussions on the origins of vampires, werewolves and what the monsters of the future might be like. Bram Stoker brought vampires to the mainstream, George Romero did the same for zombies, James Cameron and William Gibson for monster AIs. What will be the next beast that haunts our dreams? Golems? Tax men?
The second panel (which I almost missed because I was ditzy after donating blood) was on the year’s discoveries in computing. We had our geek moments, and I was afraid of losing the audience as Robert Rosenberg and I went off on a technical discussion of IPv4 vs. IPv6. But the discussion turned interesting in the end as we talked about some of the privacy and civil liberty concerns that some of the new technologies will bring. The salient discoveries that I mentioned during the panel: Microsoft’s Pivot Application, HashCache, the iPad, Google Maps street view with “view user pictures,” depositing checks by photograph, and the BioNanomatrix’s Nanofluidic Chip. I’m too lazy to link them, so you’ll have to Google. My favorite, though, seems to be MS’s Pivot App, which I hope to use soon.
The last panel discussed print versus E-books. We talked about the benefits and limitations of each technology, how the multiple formats of e-books and the lack of standards is a headache for publishers, and how the technology can be expected to morph over time. I found this discussion the most interesting for many reasons, but mostly because I felt the audience had a direct interest in the outcome of the book industry (what else would we expect at a con?). About two-thirds of the audience members said they had bought an e-book and most people seemed very open to the idea of reading books on a pad-like device. But one woman came up to me in the end and told me how she prefers the visceral feel of a book in her hands. I know what she means. For me, it’s the smell, especially with old books, as many of the seminal books I read as a kid were second hand.
Overall, my experience was fun, but I felt something was missing at the con. Perhaps I was just missing my usual circle of friends, who as I said were conspicuously absent. And, sadly, I didn’t buy any books. Though Alaya did buy some smoked salt which smelled fantastic. Yes, they had a spice trader in the dealers’ room. The spice must flow.
Drop what you’re doing right now and go read “Small Burdens” by Paul M. Berger, now up at Strange Horizons. Granted, Paul is a friend of mine, and he’s in my writers group. But had that not been the case I’d still be recommending this uber creepy and subtly told tale of faerie and cradle robbing.
Tangent Online finally reviewed Electric Velocipede 17/18, of which my story, “The Spaces Between Things,” appears. They say:
““The Spaces Between Things” by Matthew Kressel is a touching near future story about a war between East and West in which the East has somehow acquired the ability to send messages through time which appear as metaphors in the protagonist’s present. A series of flashbacks intersperse with the protagonist’s present dilemma, revealing his personal story of love, coming of age, and the invisible connections between people. He reflects on these bits of his past while deliberating whether to counter the successful enemy attack by launching a nuclear strike. This story is excellent if a little slow at times.”
That last sentence pretty much sums me up perfectly, excellent, but a little slow at times.
Also in that issue (and review) is Mercurio D. Rivera’s funny and well-reviewed story, “Dear Annabehls.”