Friday, June 24, 2005

The Night of Gargoyles

Last night I went to the reading for the new issue of Gargoyle at the Lubber Run Ampitheatre in Arlington, Va. Tucked away in the neighborhoods of Arlington, it wasn't the easiest of places to find, but still a nice venue. Lubber Run is a small outdoor ampitheatre with 100-150 seats, and a small stage. The turnout was light--about 30 or so--but considering it wasn't at a metro-accessible location, it was pretty good. It was an especially nice evening. The temperature was very mild, and the only insects flitting around were a scant few lightning bugs. Somehow they seemed to fit right into the atmosphere for the evening.

Co-editor Lucinda Ebersole kicked things off by introducing herself and Co-editor Richard Peabody as the "Katie and Tom of Gargoyle" and jokingly invited everyone to ask about their new religion. From there, things jumped right into the readings. Standouts for me were David Housely's fun sequel to the old Princess and the Frog fairy tale, Matthew Kirkpatrick's story of second string superheroes, and poetry by Moira Egan and Sandra Beasley. All the work read, though, was very solid and I look forward to digesting them more fully in their printed state.

The new issue is a special one; number 50 for Gargoyle, and sells for $18.95. But before you balk at the cost, it's a big honker of an issue, and holds what looks to be a lot of fine work. Gargoyle pulled in their usual mix of big names (Richard McCann, Elizabeth Hand, Rick Moody) underground luminaries (Lance Olsen, Lidia Yuknavitch), and a wide selection of known and unknown local talent. As kind of a capstone, the issue also includes a previously unpublished piece by Kathy Acker. I'm always a little wary when mags put out "undiscovered" works by dead authors, but it's a killer piece. I couldn't help but read it while I waited for the actual reading to start, and it's very surprising no one else ran it yet. Although I have several things to read for revewing purposes, I know temptation will lead me to reading the full issue within a week or two.

Today marks the start of a ten day vacation from work for me. I'm kicking things off tonight by going to my first National's Game, and I'll be attending lots of cultural events over the next several days. I'll be busy, but I'll try to keep regular updates when I can. My next post will probably be a review for Blumlein's The Healer.

Happy weekend to everyone.



Jen said...

Sounds like a good one. I'm a big fan of Moody's, and I've read a couple of Hand's books. Is she pretty big on the Sci/Fantasy literary world?

Hebdomeros said...

Most definitely. Hand's one of those fantasy writers who crosses over into lit mags quite easily. Clever ideas, and ver well done characters. I've read more of her short fiction than her novels, but Black Light is pretty good.

Jen said...

I've read Waking the Moon and Glimmering. I didn't like Waking the Moon all that much (the lead character was so annoying!), but Glimmering was pretty inventive. I remember reading that a lot of her die-hard fans thought she was selling out with Glimmering, but it kind of helped me bridge the gap to other sci-fi stuff.

Hebdomeros said...

I'll have to try Glimmering. Nowadays I tend to like work that walks the line between literary and genre over straight s/f and fantasy. Sounds like that one fits.