The Marchest March that Ever Marched

Well that was a hell of a month. Not much read, not much acquired.

On the left is the new issue of Dreamforge, which tends to the hopeful and uplifting, which is much needed here in the Nth week of the quarantine. On the right is The Ides of Octember, A Pictorial Bibliography of Roger Zelazny. I picked this one up as a companion to the six-volume Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny. In the middle are the rewards from Dyrk Ashton‘s Kickstarter to release a hardcover version of his wonderful book Paternus: Rise of Gods. Dyrk is one of the first people I met once once I became a regular attendee at ConFusion. He is an excellent writer and a wonderful human being. He opened my eyes to the vast world of self publishing, which I admit I had not paid much attention to. The opportunities there are boundless.

In reading, not much has happened lately. I am still working my way through Rita Indiana’s wonderful Tentacle. I also pulled Thomas Piketty‘s Capital in the Twenty-First Century and Sheldon Wolin‘s Democracy Incorporated off the shelf and am about a chapter into each. In particular I can only handle a little of the Wolin at a time, as I find myself beset by fits of rage about once a page.

As for writing, I haven’t accomplished much since the early parts of March. Too many distraction and an increasing number of vicissitudes have kept that part of my brain too occupied and distracted to put anything meaningful on paper. In any event, once we come out the other side of the other side of the COVID-19 season, I expect the world, publishing and otherwise, will look much different than it did a month ago.

Books for Social Distancing

As of a few days ago COVID-19 has made landfall here in West Michigan, so we are all hunkering down for a long haul of avoiding significant social interaction. Fortunately I have several hundred books in the house that I have not read. They should last me a couple of weeks. I also have a job where I can work from home so, until the toilet paper runs out, I have no real reason to interact with other human beings beyond my wonderful girlfriend. She is a school teacher, so she will be hanging around the neighborhood for the next three weeks until the schools reopen.

On the left in the above photo is the latest issue of the superb Rain Taxi, because of which I will undoubtedly order several new books in the upcoming months. On the right is the latest delivery from Deep Vellum, Girls Lost by Jessica Schiefauer. 2020 is starting out with a much slower acquisition rate than the previous several years, and for that I am kind of happy, as I was beginning to feel the pressure of insufficient shelving. I mean, I still feel that pressure, but it is not an immediate concern.

In reading news, I am hopping randomly through volumes III and IV of The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, published by NESFA Press. These stories are just wonderful! I have been a Zelazny fan since I first read Nine Princes in Amber back in the early 1980s.

I am also reading Tentacle by Rita Indiana, one of the books from my subscription to And Other Stories. One chapter in and I am fully hooked.

My writing game has been significantly off these past few weeks so I am switching over fully to editing several short stories. I have four so far which I think will be worthy of publishing.

Assuming there is such a thing as publishing as we work our way further through this very stupid timeline.

Since you’ve made it to the end of this post, here is a picture of Poe.

 

A Collection of Links Concerning Roger Zelazny

This is a collection of links – articles, interviews, rememberances – of the late, great Roger Zelazny.

Zelazny reading at the 4th Street Fantasy Convention in 1986 (video)

NPR’s “My Guilty Pleasure” review of the Chronicles of Amber, published January 2012

Roger Zelzny, Hero-Maker; essay by Mary A. Turzillo

Suspended in Literature: Patterns and Allusions in The Chronicles of Amber; essay by Christopher S. Kovacs

Audio books of the Chronicles of Amber, read by RZ, posted on YouTube
Nine Princes in Amber
The Guns of Avalon
The Sign of the Unicorn
The Hand of Oberon
The Courts of Chaos

 

Books

This weekend I read, from cover to cover, The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. To call it a good book would be a shameful understatement. I wish I had picked it up about fifteen years ago.

The principle character (not the main character) is a Christ-like man named Larry Darrel. Since I am a child of the 80s and a product of my upbringing I couldn’t help but be reminded of the characters Larry, Darryl nad Darryl from Newhart . This is most likely coincidence, but if not then Bob Newhart is a much more subtle man than I gave him credit for.

There is a company called ibooks which is in the midst of reprinting the works of the late Roger Zelazny. If you have any interest at all in science/speculative fiction, then you owe it to yourself to read his books. His short stories are of a calibre which is so far above the standard of the genre that I would feel comfortable putting him on a shelf next to Chekhov and Kawabata.

This weekend I picked up Changeling and To Die in Italban. Of the books that I currently own, my favorite is the short-story collection The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth.

That’s all for now; I am busy reading.