Thursday, January 14, 2010

Random photos from years ago

I just rescued from storage a couple of bins of old photographs, and these are among the first ones I saw in the cache.This is me at night in the living room of our house in Northport, Ala., in my natural nocturnal state, sitting and reading.This is Sydney, caught in the act of photographing the master bathroom of our Northport house. We were so proud of the first house we bought together that Sydney documented every room, once it was furnished. We moved in on Memorial Day weekend 2001.I'll spare you most of the room-by-room photos, but this one is worth mentioning because it documents that wondrous thing, an attached two-car garage. By the time we put our heads together to make a list of all the features we wanted in a house, the must-haves and the nice-to-haves, Sydney and I were such veteran apartment dwellers that an attached two-car garage didn't even make the list. When the Northport house turned out to have one, we both said, "Oh, OK, very nice," and thought no more about it. Then came the first trip home in the rain with groceries. "This is incredible!" we told each other, dancing with joy. No more splashing on foot through parking lots and scrambling up outside stairs in all weathers, just to get indoors after parking! You better believe an attached two-car garage was at the top of our list when we moved in 2006 to the appropriately named Frostburg, Md. I might add that we're unusual in our neighborhood in that we actually use our garage as a garage, and not as a storage unit, a workshop or a TV room.This photo shows one of our finest Kentuck Festival acquisitions hanging in our Northport living room. Doug Odom created this life-sized alligator from the pieces of a demolished barn. The flapping tail is made of rusty tin and is wicked sharp; you have to hang the piece high enough so the unwary don't cut themselves on it. Alas, we have no room to display it in our Frostburg house, so it's still in storage, still wrapped in the amazing homemade cardboard sheathe that Sydney constructed for shipping in 2006. How long is it? Exactly the length of the interior of a Subaru Outback; that's how we (barely) got it home. As we walked through the Kentuck crowd with this thing, the crowds parted in silent respect. "Oh," one woman said, "you're the ones who bought it!" We're thinking of lending it to some gallery or other exhibit space here in Allegany County, which could use more alligators.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I make a year's-best list -- twice!

Both my 2009 stories -- my PS Publishing novelette The Night Cache and my Dragon Book novelette "The Dragaman's Bride" -- are on the 2009 Recommended Reading List at the group blog Not If You Were the Last Short Story on Earth. Also making the list are stories by Peter S. Beagle, Ted Chiang, Karen Joy Fowler, Nancy Kress, Margo Lanagan, Kelly Link ... too many to name, but great company, certainly.

Rich Horton, meanwhile, reports that "The Dragaman's Bride" is one of "the three stories that I most wished to include and couldn't fit" into The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2010.

Thanks, all!

An early review of The Night Cache

Jonathan Strahan writes:
I love it. ... Duncan has taken a ghost story about geocaching and codebreaking and made it his own just by telling it in his own unique voice. ... Suffice to say that it's perfect for a cold Winter's night. It's certainly a story that will stay with me for a good long while.
Read the whole review here, at the fine group blog Not If You Were the Last Short Story on Earth. Thanks, Jonathan!

The Night Cache is on sale

My new supernatural novelette, The Night Cache, is now available for online order at the PS Publishing site, in both signed and unsigned hardcover editions. Here's a taste of Ben Baldwin's fine cover art. A larger version is here, at Baldwin's site.I'm delighted to appear in a catalog alongside Ray Bradbury, Basil Copper, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Zoran Zivkovic, my friends Scott Edelman and Paul Di Filippo, etc.