Here we are again, where we’ve always been.
I’m reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. This is a book I’ve read before, and a book I will probably read again.
I read this book for the first time in Oxford, Mississippi, as part of a class on literature from the Pacific Rim. Possibly in the spring of 2008. Possibly in another season of a different year. At the end of the course, I wrote a paper about the novel called:
“A Tokyo Noir Fairy Tale History of War and Identity: Murakami’s Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and the Age of the Mashup”
Which is the sort of thing you call academic papers.
For some reason, if there’s not a colon, no one takes you seriously.
I presented this paper at a conference in Baton Rouge the year after I wrote it. So, someone liked it. Which is cool. I liked writing it. It was fun thinking about Murakami’s book in the context of The Long Goodbye, Sleeping Beauty, and A Stroke of Genius.
Here are some other things.
My Clarion class has just launched The Green Volume, our fourth in an ongoing series of yearly fundraising anthologies to raise money for the Clarion Foundation. I’ve contributed the first story I ever published. It’s called “Monsters and Virgins.” It was published in Fiction Weekly, which isn’t around anymore. This means the story’s no longer available online. So, if you want to read it, this is your one shot.
Here’s the press release:
The students from Clarion 2012 (a.k.a. ‘The Awkward Robots’) have brewed an eerily bubbling concoction of fiction for imbibing this Halloween! The Green Volume brings you stories of gnome-killing boy scouts, hologram-assisted self-interrogation, epic Norse monsters and the librarians who fight them, horrors both tentacled and branched, and more.
For fans of Sam Miller’s The Art of Starving (Junior Library Guild Selection, Kirkus Starred Review), there is exclusive interview content from the Storylogical Podcast and the short story Allosaurus Burgers, about Matt’s life before he learned the Art. For fans of Lara Elena Donnelly’s Amberlough (the sequel to which, Armistice, drops March 28, 2018), there is a never-before-seen cut-scene from backstage at the Bee.
All proceeds (after hosting fees) going to The Clarion Foundation.
I’ll write more about all of this later in the week, but I wanted to put it out there now. That way you have it.
There’s nothing that says this will get made. But, it reminds me how so much of the iconography of Quantum Leap affected me as a kid. I loved that show. It taught me to fear windowless vans, devil women, and stepping foot into untested time travel machines.
Okay. I guess that’s not entirely true.
I was not unattracted to the devil woman.
Also. I’ve just realized how much Quantum Leap has in common with Doctor Who. Time traveling do-gooder. Inscrutable, but lovable, technology. A desire for home.
I loved Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s book, Harmless Like You.
I wrote her a fan letter after I finished it. It’s still in my notebook somewhere. I should probably send it to her. Who doesn’t love mail?
Here’s something else she wrote. It’s a short piece. And wonderful.
Happy demon-hunting, readers. Or whatever, you know, one does on Halloween. I don’t know. I’m in England. There’s a pumpkin impaled on the fence around the square. I don’t think that means what they think it means.