Certain lines can’t be uncrossed,
Certain maps will get you lost,
Once you’ve past the border then you’ll have to play the game.
Roll the dice but count the cards,
Break the glass but keep the shards.
The world is out of order. It’s been broken since you came.
The broken doors are hidden in the blood and in the bone.
My darling child, be careful now, and don’t go out alone.
This is an odd one because the work itself doesn’t exist.
What I’m quoting is a fragment of Don’t Go Out Alone, a children’s book that exists in-universe in Mira Grant’s Parasite, but is not confirmed to be fully transcribed. (Mira Grant is a pen name used by Seanan McGuire, so we’ve got an author who created an author who created an author… it’s turtles all the way down. Well, turtles with scalpels.)
Parasite is a lovely book; compelling characters, good pacing, a mounting sense of dread. The lines from Don’t Go Out Alone just chime through it and accentuate it. Absolutely worth reading.
I have a short story that’ll be appearing in the No Shit, There I Was… anthology from Alliteration Ink! The anthology theme is pretty straightforward; you could submit any specfic story, as long as it started with those five magic words. It’s currently being funded on Kickstarter; an ecopy of the anthology is $5, although nearly as many people are going for the trade.
Alex Acks is doing a daily discussion of the stories over on his blog while the Kickstarter is running, and today he wrote about mine; you can read what he had to say here, and I am sharing this because I am… well, gleeful and flattered and so pleased that apparently my story did what I wanted it to do!
(The discussions are compiled under the no shit anthology tag, and make for excellent reading, joint and severally.)
 Omigod more of my words are going to be in print.
Yesterday, my contributors copies of The Weird Wild West came in. (They should have come sooner, but apparently there was some trouble, for which I suspect I should blame Canada Post; in any case, I would like to say that everyone at eSpec Books was absolutely lovely to deal with, and thank them all.)
I’m in a book. I’m in a book with an ISBN, and people said nice things about my story. One of the editors had a lovely reaction to it, and Amazing Stories called it a strong start to the anthology, and overall I am hugely pleased.
And the art is beautiful. I can’t take a good picture of any of the full-page pieces (and I suspect that might not be cool, in any case), but look at my extremely clumsy picture of that beautiful story header. Look. <3
Anyway, it’s on Amazon; you can get it starting at $5 for the ebook, or in trade paperback. And there’s a lovely page at the front with all the author’s names, and space for signatures; I’m planning to take one of my copies to cons, and get as many as I can.
The proof is this: they are here, the Goster County dogs.
This is one of those moments where you really need to read the story in order to appreciate the line, which on the one hand I kind of tend to avoid–but on the other hand after four years of wanting a copy of Bob Leman’s collection Feesters in the Lake, I am looking like I will actually get a copy of Feesters in the Lake, and I am celebrating.
I’ve spoken about Bob Leman before. His writing, from what I’ve seen, is elegant and restrained. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it understated, but his horror whispers, it does not shout.
You can read “Loob” in full at Weird Fiction Review.
It’s been a bit hectic recently and the notes I was getting ready for a couple of posts aren’t in finished shape, and I can’t pull them together tonight. I’ve actually got some pretty awesome news, and want to post about it in a day or so, but right now I’m pretty sure I’d make a terrible botch of it.
That said: I aten’t ded! And will be back, hopefully after some sleep helps.
Oh, where are you coming from, soldier, gaunt soldier,
With weapons beyond any reach of my mind,
With weapons so deadly the world must grow older
And die in its tracks, if it does not turn kind?
Stephen Vincent Benét isn’t very well-known for his science fiction, as far as I can tell; he wrote “By the Waters of Babylon“, and the story is known, but since he was better known for other work and came to science fiction late in a relatively short life, his name doesn’t bubble to the top very easily in genre discussions.
I ran across the poem while looking up The War Game (1965, BBC, an “and you though Threads was upsetting” kind of mockumentary), which uses it as an epigram. About once every eight months I run across it again, and then I spend three days humming it to a tune that’s something like “The Streets of Laredo”.
This time, I thought I’d share; the text in its entirety is here.