Sunday, August 14, 2005


Kameron Hurley of the incendiary and fascinating Brutal Women will be guest blogging on VanderWorld starting on Monday, for two weeks. I will be taking some much-needed R&R from any kind of writing during that time and will not be checking my email or much else during that time. Having written three reviews, coordinated a book sale and contest, blogged continuously, done final rewrites and edits for Shriek, dealt with the day job, and written a 10,000-word short story in the last week or two, I am, as they say, burnt.

As for Kameron--I just love her blog, Brutal Women. It's honest, provocative, and just generally an excellent example of how you can combine the personal and the public, the political and the private, in a way that makes people want to read on.

Here's her bio, for those who might not know about her yet:

Kameron Hurley is a Clarion West grad, and got her BA in history at the U of Alaska in Fairbanks, focusing on South African political history. She received her MA from the U of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa with a dissertation on the history of women's resistance against Apartheid. She currently lives in Chicago. Her most recent work has appeared in Talebones and Strange Horizons.

One thing I will be looking forward to over the next couple of weeks is checking my own blog to see what Kameron's posted. I hope you will, too.

Also, I will post winners of the last line contest on September 1st. I need time to mull. (The contest officially closes at midnight, August 15th.)



(Evil Monkey: You're pretentious. and self-indulgent. Jeff: Am not. Why the insult? Evil Monkey: You don't know enough about hand-to-hand combat. Jeff: No, I don't. Why, should I? And if I do need to know, I'll pick up a how-to book on hand-to-hand combat, not a book on how to write about hand-to-hand combat. That'd be like buying a handle to put on a suitcase that already has one. Redundant and somehow remote. And, for the record, I usually like the posts on that blog. Evil Monkey: You're being pretentious again. Jeff: What's gotten into you? Evil Monkey: You're just so annoying. Jeff: Because I pointed out something on a thread? Well, okay, maybe I didn't express it correctly, but I know most reviewers get about five seconds to read any given book and it's really easy to get irritated with something that requires you to slow down and pay attention to it. So why should reviewers, of which I call myself one, too, automatically think they have the perspective to decide what's classic and what's not, what's important and what's not, considering that they're also being coerced by the PR flack that accompanies the book and the opinions of others? Evil Monkey: You're just contrarian. You can't leave well-enough alone. Jeff: No, I just think reviewers should stop "proclaiming" classics and whatnot and just analyze the darn book. Otherwise, it's just about ego. And that should be saved for hyperbolic book blurbs by authors blurbing their friends. Evil Monkey: You probably disagree with this guy, too, don't you? Jeff: And what if I do? Are you sick? Feverish? What's gotten into you? Evil Monkey: YOU PROMISED ME A COLUMN AND ALL I GOT WAS A SHITTY COMIC STRIP! Jeff: Er, well, I did, but then I got a little squeamish about unleashing you on an unsuspecting world. Evil Monkey: But, but, I went out and made t-shirts and everything... Jeff: Okay. Well, what about a refocus. Maybe it's not just a general column. Maybe it focuses on one thing. I'd feel more comfortable with that. Evil Monkey: ...That's fair, I guess. How about the State of Genre Fiction. Jeff [shuddering]: Er, no. I'd like to keep my career intact, thanks. Evil Monkey: The State of Genre Awards? Jeff [shivering]: Er, again, no. Evil Monkey: Movie tie-ins? Jeff: Sounds better. How about movie reviews? Evil Monkey: Only if it's no-holds-barred. Jeff: Fair enough. You can start in September. Now, will you stop insulting me? Evil Monkey: Only if you promise never to make a movie.)


At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't listen to the little hairy one - I reckon you'd make an excellent film...have a good rest, Jeff, and looking forward to hearing what Kameron Hurley has to say.

At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evil Monkey: You don't know enough about hand-to-hand combat. Jeff: No, I don't. Why, should I?

Good question. That's what the police are for. Why pick up CPR? That's what the doc's are for.


At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Methinks you are taking a parenthetical too seriously. But thanks for playing!


At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But seriously, Laird. I think you might be missing the only serious point there, which is that when I do research, I don't want a condensed/abridged version of the information. I want it unexpurgated and as close to primary source as possible. Otherwise, I might as well pick up Byzantine History for Writers or Mushroom Information for Writers.

As for hand-to-hand combat--I've got a knife for that.



At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Laird Barron said...


Ah, you're probably right. A friend of mine got mugged and I always think, if only, if only...

Peace on earth and all that jazz. ;)



At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Laird Barron said...


Post overlap. You've a point re: primary sources.

Knives are great. A walking stick will present you fewer legal hassles if you ever resort to its unorthodox applications.



At 6:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Eh, I'm burnt, like I said. In no condition to post like a human being or anything. LOL!

As for my knife--it is plastic. And retractable. I used to joke that if I were ever mugged, I would pull it out and start "stabbing" myself, in hopes this would so confuse the mugger that he would run off.



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