Momentary Sayonara

There’s nothing really to say. And the last thing I want to do is lecture like Neal Pollack. So I’m going the hell away for a week or so. I leave these pages to the annoying spammers, the killer barflies, and perhaps the Superfriends, if they even remember their passwords. No bullshit hiatus here. Just casual indifference and a return to these pages after a much needed lost weekend with Paul Giamatti. I might even teach a red state virgin a thing or two about reproductive rights.

Oh, and fuck you, Homeland Security.

[UPDATE BEFORE FLIGHT: Holy hell. Maud’s opened up a can of whoopass on Neal Pollack. On the Pollack question, I should point out that Lenny Bruce’s last days were spent reading from law books pointing out the absurdity of true writ. It was, by all reports, the dullest standup comic routine ever devised.

[Also, McSweeeney’s Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories, Michael Chabon’s followup to the Treasury of Thrilling Tales, is (so far), a marked improvement over its predecessor and well worth your time. It certainly helps that RotR fave David Mitchell has a Number9Dream-like tale in there, propinquitous to cool contributions from Margaret Atwood, Poppy Z. Brite, Jonathan Lethem, Roddy Doyle, China Mieville, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King and Peter Straub. Charges of nepotism aside (Julavits and Waldman show up), I’d love to see Chabon edit one of these things every year or two. Of course, if he could include a few overlooked folks like Paolo Bacigalupi, Barry Malzberg, Kelly Link, and the prolfiic Paul Di Fillipo, his rants against genre ghettoization might have more credibility. Now, flight.]


  1. Couldn’t agree with you more, but feel compelled to point out that Kelly had a story in Thrilling Tales (it was actually inspired by the concept of the …is this a cat? zine by FOW).

  2. I agree too. Started reading the collection last night and got thrilling goosebumps. FWIW, the Julavits story gave me the serious CREEPS. I kept looking over my shoulder.

    p.s. Isn’t Maud’s whoop-ass a marvelous thing?

  3. Gwenda: Actually, I cited Kelly Link specifically BECAUSE she appeared in the last one. The thing about these Chabon compilations is that if they intend to introduce an audience to “thrilling tales” or “astonishing stories,” then it would be prudent to single out the resolute storytellers that can be found in the so-called genre mags. That’s all I’m saying.

    Haven’t hit Julavits yet, Carrie, but Mitchell’s sentence, “Hotel rooms store up erotic charge, and men sleeping alone are its copper wires” alone is worth the price of admission.

  4. Literary sidenote: Brad Leithauser’s Seaward also has a great passage about the irresistible urge to masturbate in motels. (An impulse, I should add, not confined to men.)

    Maybe there should be an anthology of this type of story as well? “Thrilling Tales of Pulling The Copper Wire at The Ramada”?

  5. Ah, I see what you’re saying. The way I read it originally was that the credible would come if he included them, which he has (at least one cited anyway). I personally think he earned street cred by including Carol Emshwiller in vol. 1; everything else is cake. I can’t remember how the biographical notes were written, but it seems like it would be odd to single out the fact that some of these writers are genre and some aren’t overtly other than in listing publications? Anyway, my head hurts and I’m away from my books!

    (And I thought the Conjunctions issue that came out around the same time had much stronger fantastical work.)

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