Ripped from the headlines

  • 3.05.19 Admiration: Lois Duncan, Weaponizer of Feminism


    Of all the writers who left the earliest, most significant handprints in my undried childhood cement, none leap to mind faster than Lois Duncan. Her dark, young adult worlds – published in an era when YA dark fiction was more anomaly than rule – sparked a fire in me for the weird, the twisted and speculative that still roars, decades later.

    I can’t recall why I picked up her books in the first place,
    though I suspect she felt instantly familiar to me because she was named Lois. My
    mom was named – is named – ... continue

  • 2.26.19 Meet the Beatles anthology: “Across the Universe”


    Words are flowing outLike endless rain into a paper cupThey slither wildly as they slip away across the universe

    — The Beatles, “Across the Universe”

    Now the story can be told: I am delighted to announce that I will be co-editing a brand-new anthology for Fantastic Books, Across the Universe: Tales of Alternative Beatles (working title), with co-editor Michael Ventrella.

    And our Kickstarter just went live this morning! Here’s the link.

    It’s all very exciting. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working with Michael ... continue

  • 2.25.19 The joys of taking books on vacation


    One of the great joys of vacation, for me, is a chance to arrive at my location and dive into a book. It sounds counter-intuitive — to travel hours in order to disappear into yet another world — but I just adore traveling through a city or the countryside, finding a perfect location, and getting cozy for an hour or more at a time with a book I’ve carried all this way.

    Reading while traveling seems to imprint both the place and the book in my mind in ways that either ... continue

  • 1.08.19 Arisia 2019 Schedule


    Come find me at Arisia in Boston from Jan. 18-21! I’ll be paneling, partying, reading and selling.

    Here’s my schedule:

    Saturday, Jan. 19, 8:30pm – 9:45am (St. James)It Was Nineteen-Eighty-Something The twenty-year nostalgia cycle took longer this time, but the Reagan era is back. 2018’s Ready Player One hid its plot in a fire hose of 80s references. Stranger Things views its horror through the lens of an event miniseries of the era. We’ve revisited the golden age of pro wrestling via GLOW, and followed a teen obsessed with ... continue

  • 1.04.19 11 Thoughts, Questions and Concerns I Had While Binging Netflix’s ‘You’


    You and I have a few things to talk about.

    Yes, there will be spoilers.

    1) The angsty villain protagonist stalker creepo is named Joe Goldberg (and played by Penn Badgley, who apparently had something to do with Gossip Girl). Anyway, I’m concerned about him being a Goldberg. I’m all for diversity but this is not going to be good for the Jews.

    2) Not that he appears to adhere to any religion, and is
    actively shown wearing a Santa hat and giving away presents. So maybe a
    non-Jewish Goldberg. ... continue

  • 12.07.18 Glenn Close on being a selfish artist, ‘hideous’ paintings and still missing ‘Damages’ Patty Hewes


    There was never any way I could get all of the greatness of chatting with Glenn Close into a single 800-word article for the LA Times Envelope, though I did my best. For those who liked that chat and were left wanting more, here’s most of the rest of the transcript of our conversation. We spoke in the Library restaurant of The Public Theater in New York City on October 9, 2018. Her new film The Wife was already in theaters, and she was simultaneously performing in the Public’s Mother of the Maid. Both the play of Mother and the ... continue

  • 12.4.18 50 Things I Can’t Stop Thinking of Since I Sent the New Novel to My Beta Reader


    I forgot to do this one thing in Chapter 20.
    The ending could be done in a completely different way.
    It’s too goofy.
    It’s not funny.
    It’s not funny enough.
    The serious parts are seriously inane.
    My main character doesn’t have an arc.
    My beta reader hates it.
    My beta reader is trying to find a kind way to tell me she hates it.
    Every day that passes since my beta reader got it is another day that proves she didn’t stay up all night reading it because she loved it so much.
    I should start something new.
    I ... continue

  • 10.30.18 This is what the alternate timeline looks like


    For centuries, genre writers have tickled their historical funny bones by speculating on what one would do if one could go back in time.
    There’s a lot of discussion about how you’d neutralize a burgeoning menace. You’d go back, figure out a way and change history for the better. Or, as “Doctor Who’ did recently, just try to make sure it stays on course:
    But there’s a seemingly equal amount of discussion about what happens if you do change the past, how it affects the future. And invariably — Back to the Future being the exception — it turns out ... continue

  • 9.06.18 Guest Blog: J.L. Gribble on Steel Time, Siamese cats, and telling us all she knows


    Happy book birthday to J.L. Gribble! This week, the fourth book in her Steel Empires fantasy/alternate history series, Steel Time, is being published by Dog Star Books, the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press, and I’ve happily asked her to answer a few questions about herself, and the book, here on my blog.
    As she summarizes the series: “In a world with vampires, warrior-mages, weredragons, and sarcastic violin players, time travel seems like the obvious next step.”
    By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, ... continue

  • 8.28.2018 How ‘Sharp Objects’ ultimately lost its teeth and cheated viewers in the process


    Warning: Spoilers. Oh, so many spoilers about the full season of Sharp Objects below.
    Sharp Objects, the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s (Gone Girl) first novel just wrapped up its one and only season on Sunday. Having missed most of its original run, I blazed through it in just a couple of days, and let’s just say that I have issues. Many, many issues.
    Bear in mind I have not read the novel, which came out in 2006. I had read Gone Girl before it hit theaters, and watching that whole thing unspool in front of an audience that probably hadn’t ... continue