'tis the season to be creepy

It’s the first of October, so 2008 is already on the way out. The shops are groaning (and wailing) with Halloween gear, which makes me smile. I love seeing oozing eyeballs, skeletons, and ghosts for sale, and happy little children waving a zombie head at their parents and demanding, “Buy me the Wizened Skull of Lord Shambles!” The parents sigh dramatically as if over-burdened, until they spot the lopsided inflatable Frankenstein monster, and superstitiously add it to the shopping cart. I spot its face jammed against the window as the car trundles out of the car park, and it waves its plastic hand at me in glee. A new generation to terrorise.

Lots of people have been discussing the recent release of the latest edition of the reprint anthology Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, which is edited by Ellen Datlow, Gavin Grant, and Kelly Link. My short story “Bone Mother” received a honourable mention in the book, which is lovely. Thanks are due to the esteemed editors of YBFH for giving my story the nod, as well as to Sean Wallace and Paul Tremblay who edited the Fantasy collection in which my story appeared last year.

I haven’t been blogging here much lately, due to time constraints. I don’t publish short and pithy blog posts (perhaps I should), and regard my blog as a place to where I can loosen my belt and expand upon topics. As a result I’ve been converted to the charms of micro-blogging over on Twitter, where I tend to be more informal and yet concise (a 140-character limit to your post will enforce that). I’ve also been DJing over on Blip.fm, which is an online form of crack for those who love music. I’m sure a following wave of next gen online applications will wash over it eventually, but for now I’m enjoying playing some of my favourite tunes and discovering a lot of fantastic musicians.

Otherwise I just watched the first three episodes of True Blood, the new HBO vampire series that’s airing in the USA, and is based upon the series of charming novels by Charline Harris. Generally, I’m liking it, but the show is being driven by Alan Ball of Six Feet Under fame so that’s to be expected. The series has a great style, and is chock full of actors giving strong performances. We’re in the usual territory of a brooding vampire smitten by a cheery blonde, but there is enough novelty in the dialogue and characters to keep it interesting. I particularly liked the opening scene of the first episode, which was a humorous and smart introduction to the world of the show.

It has its problems: issues to do with pacing mainly, and that’s partly to set up the characters and the plot, but there are dollops of sweaty sex to keep you diverted at various points. I’ll be hanging in for the first season to watch how it develops.

I dug out my Charline Harris books afterwards. I’d read the first book some time ago, and picked up the next three in the series. I’m stuck into book two now, and I’m enjoying its breezy style. Still, it reminds me that poor Sookie gets the crap kicked out of her on a regular basis. Good job she’s the feisty type.