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Nick Mamatas

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February 24th, 2009

Open Letter to George R.R. Martin [Feb. 24th, 2009|08:20 am]
Nick Mamatas
Hi George,

Listen, just make one more blog post, telling everyone how your big fantasy series ends.

That'll shut the impatient fans up.

If you don't know how it ends, make something up right now.

Hope that helps,

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Up Jumped The Devil [Feb. 24th, 2009|08:29 am]
Nick Mamatas
I sold a story this morning to an anthology called Up Jumped The Devil, the theme of which is songs by Nick Cave.

I was actually invited to submit a couple of years ago by editor Doug Warrick. At the time I said yes, and mentally appended, "Whatever, kid. Let me know when you open that pony ranch and start handing out the ponies to everyone who ever says, 'And I want a pony!' as a joke too," to my email. One gets a lot of dubious invites to phantom anthologies that just need one thing—a publisher—in the horror game. Well, a publisher and those mythical Big Names. (Hint, go look at all those anthologies Teckno Books puts out. See all the big names? Me neither. And if you think my name on a proposal will help you place a book, you have all sorts of horrible mental problems.)

But then Doug and his co-editor Kyle Johnson got an official okay from Nick Cave's people, which showed drive and the ability to write a nice business letter and get it in right of the front people. That's the famed 80% you get just for showing up.

And then just over a year ago, it became official. They sold their book to PS Publishing. Very good!

Then came Mo*Con, where I met the guys in person, and swept them off their feet. See:

This is why I very rarely get stiffed on payment, btw.

Then this past September, I ran into Doug again, at another convention, and asked him when he might be ready to pay for stories and he said, "Starting January 1st", and I said, "You'll hear from me in mid-January!" and he did, and I heard back from him today. The check is in the mail.

That's about as good as it gets in the independent press.

My story? Based on "Dead Man In My Bed": Enjoy the audio-only YouTube video.
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Full-Frontal Fantasy [Feb. 24th, 2009|12:42 pm]
Nick Mamatas
Today Cat Valente's new book Palimpsest comes out. If you've not looked at her previous books, you may still wish to check this one out as there is a lot of sex in it. Indeed, sex is actually a mode of supernatural transportation in the book, if I remember correctly.

Here is a semi-exclusive peek at some of the sex in the book!

But his arms were huge around her, slabs of flesh closing her in, keeping her safe. November had never been with a man so much bigger than she was. He dwarfed her, protected her with his mass, sheltered her in his coat. He tried to take it off, but November insisted, delighted with its rough wool against her heavy breasts. Her legs seemed so small around his waist, a doll’s limbs—but she didn’t want that, she decided. Didn’t want to make room for him inside her. November clambered up onto her knees and tucked her hair behind her, leaning down to take him in her mouth, a thing she rarely did and did not enjoy. But he wore a green coat, and he came to her door to take her to Fairyland.

Yes, she thought. Oh, yes. She wanted to thank him for ignoring her disfigurement, for behaving as though she were utterly whole, and the taste of him is neither sweet nor sour, but simply skin, clean and hard, so big she feels her jaw pop as he groans and moves the shaft of his cock in and out of her throat. November closed her eyes and pictured herself on the velvet seat of the Green Wind’s carriage--or is it Casimira’s? While the huge man in her bed swelled towards his private, wordless orgasm, she was a thousand miles away, in the clouds above Omaha, pushing open the coat of the Green Wind and sitting astride him, taking his—surely green--flesh into hers, rocking back and forth while the Wind moans and groans and digs his emerald hands into her buttocks.

But there, in Benicia, November closed her hand over the mark is black on the huge, strange man’s bare calf. He thatched fingers through her hair, and his cries echoed in her house like a list of things a man can want: god, god, god.

What are you waiting for, perverts? Go buy!
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From the latest Poets & Writers [Feb. 24th, 2009|03:49 pm]
Nick Mamatas
Amy Shearn writes in "Revenge of the Nerds", which is not online, so typos are mine:

I have a particular memory of graduate school that has come to define for me the new Life of the Writer. it involved neither drunken carousing by moonlight nor frisky bedroom escapades, but rather sitting in the computer lab alongside a few of my MFA classmates and peering down the row only to realize that our wrists were all armored in similar carpal tunnel syndrome-preventing braces. Clearly we were spending too much time in front of our keyboards.

Here is the mystery I have been chewing on ever since: Why don't writers get to be barely functional, substance-abusing eccentrics anymore? During my years at the University of Minnesota's MFA program—my class was, admittedly, a particularly staid collection of nice midwestern folk—more than one of us divulged, during tentative moments of confidence, that this was not quite what we had expected. Where were the mini Hemingways and the ersatz Fitzgeralds? Where were the pill-popping Bill Burroughses and Hunter S. Thompsons? Where were the Norman Mailers with their puffed-out chests and bellowing voices, or the Dylan Thomases with their taste for whiskey?

The article goes on to suggest that the need for tenure and self-promotions is what keeps writers so nice and meek. Also, rock stars—as if people still say things like "rock star"—have the glamour cachet now. If only those brew pub heroes could get on a tenure track, I'm sure they'd clean themselves up...which would of course lead to a deficit of carwash employees and such.

Now, I'm sure U of MN was a rocking place. Why I heard that one time one of the students drank so much ginger ale that he started hiccuping during class and couldn't stop. There was some chortling over that, let me tell you! At any rate, it seems rather silly to list a bunch of writers, most of whom would not have been interested in a MFA program or even welcome in one as either a student or instructor, and then compare them to current MFA students. There are a few references to the indulgent brat packers, who were influenced by the college system in the 1980s as well, but for the most part if you are eager to find weirdo eccentric writers, it's easy enough if you know where to look. For one thing, many of them are writing memoirs of sex addiction, drug addiction, stays at the crazy house, etc. There are plenty of such writers are the intersection of confessional and crime as well. Ultimately, if you want to be a wildman, why are you worried about making a living or going to school?

It's all a bad sampling technique.
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Stacey's Or, Oh and... [Feb. 24th, 2009|10:26 pm]
Nick Mamatas
I got my rebate from Verizon today for the phone I bought last month. It was one of those mail-in dealies, which I always view with suspicion. And the rebate came in the form of a debit card, of all things. I put it to good use at Stacey's, the famed bookstore that is going out of business at the end of March, if not sooner. Most of their shelves are already empty, and books are marked down 40 percent. But look at what I still was able to find today:

That's Raw Rumbles (three of Hal Ellson's JD novels, from a local press); two short novels by Zoran Zivkovic (Steps Through the Mist and Seven Touches of Music, in inexplicably classy hardcover thanks to Aio publishing), the brand new The Seance by John Harwood (who beat me for the IHG award in 2005), and an interesting book with twelve stories and interviews with their authors. Maybe I'll go to Stacey's one more time before they close, but likely all they'll have left is last year's calendars and the information desk.
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