Friday, July 31, 2020

Linkout(s): Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, FINNA interview with Nino Cipri for Spectology, and More

I've been bad about sharing my critical work on this [defunct patreon] platform, so let me reassure that the help I'm getting over here is keeping me busy. The big critical post I had planned for this month - a ten(ish) episode podcast series that I'll be calling Island Demeter and features a rotating cast of friends playing tabletop roleplaying games - hasn't quite come together yet. I'm really hoping for August. In the meantime, the thing I'm proudest of is the above review of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I read the novel back in February and immediately started calling it my favorite book of the year (I've read a surprising amount of new fiction this year too!) and possibly my favorite haunted house novel ever (that's counting House of Leaves, which is still my go-to answer for "favorite book ever?" questions that I never actually get). I can't call it an important read or whatever, but it's so fucking good. The review has some spoilery stuff, but it's telegraphed.

 I also had an interview with the author of my second favorite book of 2020 so far go up on the Spectology feed. The book's called FINNA and it's about wormholes in an IKEA that lead to multiverses and transitioning from lovers to friends and it is very gay and makes my heart feel whole. The author's Nino Cipri and they were genuinely the best person to talk to. I've had folks ask how long we had known each other after listening to the interview. The answer, of course, is that we met on the call and talked for about two full hours, one of which ended up as that podcast episode.

And I've got stuff incoming, as well. There's the 10+ hours of recorded gaming that I'm working on. We're sitting on three more book tours for Spectology - one with Nick Mamatas, one with WM Akers, and one with Kathleen Jennings. I'm still making moves in that direction. I have a review of the anthology Women's Weird forthcoming at some point in Strange Horizons, and I think of it as a sort of companion to my Mexican Gothic review, diving into the implications of Weird Fiction, revisiting the politics of collections and (anti-)canons and, you know, maybe talking extensively about Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated.

I've also been doing organizing-adjacent work that I'll be sharing at some point. One thing with (former and current) coworkers might be one of the most important things I've ever worked on, depending on how it goes. And even the novel coronavirus can't keep Playdate down; we've got some really exciting things planned for the next iteration that could genuinely provide a much-needed model, if we're able to pull it off (and I'm confident we are because my co-organizers are fucking monsters).

So yeah. A little bit of appreciation for my patrons. Y'all have been an incredible resource for me. The support has meant that even in really brutal times for my mental health I've known that there's some folks out there who want to show material support for me to continue doing this jumbled whirlwind of critique and creativity that I do. And to do it in the way I want to, which is the only way I really can. It's huge, to me; thank you. And also don't feel any pressure to continue, haha.

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