Thursday, May 26, 2005

Attack of the Deranged Snowmen

I finished reading Robert J. Sawyer's Mindscan in a matter of days. Yes, and I cheated too. Although it was my "in transit" book I ended up reading it at home over the weekend, because I couldn't put it down. I hope that Ramsey Campbell forgives me, because it meant I stopped reading The Overnight in order to do this.

While the week started off as a bit of a drag -- Alexander sick, my having caught his cold and not making it to the short-list for the Aurora's with my book One Hand Screaming -- it has started to pick up. Alexander slept through the night last night (he's feeling better), my cough is mellowing out and I received a very nice email yesterday from Ryan Oakley with a generous critique of my book. His favourite stories were my two "Snowman" stories: "That Old Silk Hat They Found" and "Ides of March" - he enjoyed how I took something innocent and sweet and corrupted it -- It's funny, I've received the most compliments about those two tales -- evidence, perhaps that a Canadian horror writer might fixate on horror involving snowy landscapes and characters?

I really miss Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes cartoon strip, especially the hilarious and morbid snowmen Calvin used to create.

Ryan is a talented Toronto area writer whose story I bought for North of Infinity III: Parnassus Unbound which I'm editing for Mosaic Press even before announcing the reading guidelines. He'd submitted the story for North of Infinity II, but when I read it I knew it was a keeper for the 3rd book, which I hadn't even started reading for.
I've since been reading through the submissions for NOI3 and, although behind where I'd originally planned to be, I've been chugging through. There have been a lot of great submissions, and what I'm doing for this one is holding onto the very best submissions until after the reading period closes - once that happens I'll have an excellent short list from which to pick the final selection. I like this idea, because it means that I'll be selecting stories not just based on their own merit, but also on how well they'll fit into the anthology as a whole. With Ryan's story as the only one that's a "for sure" here, I have lots of room within which to create a certain feel for the anthology - it'll also keep me from buying too many stories on the exact same subject area, and hopefully be able to round out the final pick with various different but complimentary styles of stories.

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