Much has happened during my brief break from blogging, and I have lots of links to share, most of which I will save for another post, but for now I'm going to indulge myself in some self-promotion and rambling, because what would a blog be without self-promotion and rambling?

Therefore, some links to things I've written elsewhere: the first of what may be a series of dissents at the LitBlog Co-op regarding the current Read This choice, Michael Martone by Michael Martone (a book made up of contributors notes about Michael Martone, a form we at the LBC are playing with for a while, to see just how much a dead horse can be beaten before it vaporizes), a new column at Strange Horizons, and at Locus Online "A Field Guide to Recent Short Story Collections". The latter is a way I could have some fun noting various new books, some of which I've written about before, some of which I'm not comfortable doing a real review of because I know the writer too well or have done some work for the publisher, and some of which I just haven't had time to write a proper review of. (I should also thank Eric Schaller for reading a draft and saving me from some of my own scientific ignorance. Any remaining incoherence in the use of biological and ecological terminology is entirely my fault.)

While I was staying away from the internet, Cheryl Morgan decided to put an end to Emerald City. I will miss it quite a bit, though at the same time part of me is very happy for Cheryl, because I don't know how she has found the time to keep it running for so long, month in and month out, providing valuable coverage of wonderful books and of the world of science fiction and fantasy, and now she will be mostly free to read and write when and how she wishes. I will miss reading through each new issue, shouting out "Hooray!" and "Yes yes yes!" and "Wow, didn't know that!" and "What are you thinking?!?" -- it's been a publication that has made me clap my hands, stomp my feet, gnash my teeth; it has made me laugh sometimes, though never cry; it has made me frustrated sometimes, but never truly angry; and more often than not it has felt vibrant, idiosyncratic, and unique.

And in other news, I would like to officially welcome Meghan McCarron to the rural north. She now lives down the street from me and will be working at the same school I do. My secret plan to create a cabal of writers in central New Hampshire is continuing splendidly. Hannah Wolf Bowen and Nick Mamatas came to visit the other day, and Hannah got a lovely photo of Meghan wearing the local garb.

In honor of the U.S. release of Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek: An Afterword (a book that puts the fun in fungus), Meghan and I spent some time on the day of the book's release with mold and mildew.

Speaking of Shriek, it looks like I'll probably be at the screening of the movie at Pandemonium Books in Cambridge on Friday night, but I hope that won't cause people to stay away. Update 8/16/06: Alas, it now seems unlikely I will be there.