If you’ve been following along you may remember that late last year I posted some snippets of illustrations; and I posted them without any explanation at all. You may have hoped that by now I’d explain them.
In this, you would be wrong.
Instead, here are some additional unexplained graphic bits and pieces.
Andrew Liptak has posted an article about C. L. Moore over at Kirkus. The article – like the author herself – is well worth your time.
It’s hard to separate Moore from her collaborations with her first husband, Henry Kuttner. There’s something so appealing about the image of one of them typing away on a story and then getting up for a moment, only to have the other one sit down at the typewriter to continue, that it’s easy to forget that she had already made it as a pulp writer before they met.
She said later that she used her initials not to masquerade as a man, but so that her employers wouldn’t figure out that she was writing on the side. Another wonderful image is of this quiet secretary typing stories for Weird Tales after hours in the balcony that overlooked the bank where she worked.
If those early stories seem a bit overwrought today it’s only because she adapted so well to the Weird Tales house style; so much so that she was admired not just by hopefuls like the young Kuttner but also by the stars of that magazine, H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. As time went on and tastes changed she also changed, as you can see in the stories she wrote with Kuttner under their numerous pen names through the 1940s and the early 1950s.
Catherine Moore isn’t quite forgotten; she’s just more forgotten than she ought to be. Her estate (and Kuttner’s) is doing a pretty good job of keeping her work in print. You just need to look for it.
In the meantime, pop over to Kirkus and let Andrew Liptak explain to you why you should.
Yesterday’s post of pen and ink drawings I did for The Runestaff proved to be so popular over on Facebook that I figured I should follow up with more.
As I explained before, though, most of the drawings were auctioned off in fundraisers for the newsletter. I could only find about three or four more originals that I liked well enough to share. So instead I picked through the back issues and chose ten of the covers, which I’ve scanned right off the newsletters themselves.
That means that today’s quality isn’t as high. These covers are over thirty years old, and they were just photocopies even when they were young. But all the same, here they are.
I had plenty to say yesterday about my memories of The Runestaff. I doubt I have much to add here. So today, it’s mostly the pictures. As before there are so many of them that I’ve placed most under the “More” link below.
I guess I’ve only done a couple of retrospectives here at my blog. I have a kind of sheepish attitude about my oldest work, as you may have seen, in spite of that very early work being more visible than a lot of what I did afterwards. But today I’ve put together some slightly later work from the 1980’s. This is stuff that I remember with less embarrassment.
From 1981 through 1985, I first helped edit, and then edited, The Runestaff. This was a newsletter for the Barbarian Freehold Alliance, a large household within the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Freeholders were less interested in re-enacting the feudal system and more interested in cultures from the early Middle Ages. And… in parties: even when we were out of favor with the local feudals they still always came to our revels. Which were epic, as I recall. And we fought, of course, though not necessarily under the banners of the kingdoms where we lived. Sometimes we fought for the highest bidder, even when the bidding was in cookies.
Anyway, from its first issue through its thirty-fourth I drew most of the illustrations and covers for the little magazine, and I also wrote quite a bit of its content. While I don’t still have the originals for all of those drawings (most were auctioned off to support the newsletter and, well, me) I do still have some of them. I’ve gone through my stacks and scanned a selection of those drawings here.
Because there are so many images I’ve put most of them after the jump. So jump!
If you haven’t listened to the Writing Excuses podcast, you should know that it’s not only useful to writers. It is mostly useful to writers. But I think it’s also of interest to readers who’d like to know how stories work.
Okay, fair warning: there’s a lot to be said for not knowing how stories work. The more you understand about the mysterious innards of just about any thing, the harder it is to just sit back and enjoy that thing. You see that a lot if you happen to know people who work in film or television.
But if you’re the kind of person who will read the ingredients on a package of chorizo and still buy it, the Writing Excuses podcast is pretty interesting.
This month kicks off Season Eleven, whose topic is what Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells are calling “Elemental Genre”.
This isn’t the genre you probably expect. They’re not discussing “Bookshelf Genres” like mystery, romance, science fiction, or fantasy: they’re looking at themes and tropes that work independently of those categories. So, for example, Ant-Man is a superhero movie that’s also a heist film.
There are a gazillion kinds of stories that can be told in any Bookshelf Genre. And inside any one of those gazillion stories you find threads and subplots and themes that play to different sets of expectations: there may be romance within, well, anything; or elements of mystery, or horror, or adventure.
Season Eleven kicks off this week with an introduction to the whole idea. That’d be a swell place to start what looks like a pretty great season.