Friday, December 2, 2011

48. A little more } year end reading.

As a contributing editor for Open Letters Monthly I periodically criticize the organization and less frequently submit an essay. This month, see “Our Year in Reading.” My bit’s very highfalutin, Virgil, Vergil, epics, and “Ozymandias. ” Do read it though, and the other editors’ recommendations, too, but before you link away let me add to my list, with a little less finesse, a few titles more.

I mentioned James Belflower’s Commuter here once before. I will write about the Side Real Press anthology Delicate Toxins—I haven’t finished reading it yet—but thus far two stories really impressed me: Angela Caperton’s “Tlaloc” (I owe you a letter, Ms. Caperton) and rj krijnen-kemp’s “Dogs.” I’ve been afraid to write about Christopher Barker’s collection Tenebrous Tales because Barker is rumored to be evil, and I generally try not to invoke the names of demons. I liked his story “Subtle Differences.” And by virtue of being an Ex Occidente title, the book itself is exquisite.

For a buck I picked up The Year’s Best Horror Stories VIII (edited by Karl Edward Wagner in 1980) for the Alan Ryan story. Not the same Alan Ryan who writes for The New York Review of Books (sorry for the mix up, Mr. Ryan!), but the Alan Ryan who wrote a handful of excellent stories in the 1980s, then disappeared—though apparently continued to write. Ryan died this year.

And Voice of Ice / Voix de Glace by Alta Ifland. The book, part of the 2007 Les Figues Press "TrenchArt: The Parapet Series," is tall and slim like a Zagat guide, but black, and filled with little stories en fran├žais and in English. "I speak from inside the stem of an ice flower." Very beautiful.

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