The Rime of the Postmodern Mariner

More ramblings of Rhys Hughes.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Meme What You Say

The latest edition of Estronomicon has appeared online. This free webzine is edited by Steve Upham of Screaming Dreams fame. Steve is a superb designer and illustrator, one of the best in the independent press. I have been privileged that two of my book covers are his work (The Postmodern Mariner and Twisthorn Bellow) and I'm always highly impressed by his dedication, his perfectionism and inventiveness.

Today is Epiphany, which means that Twelfth Night was last night, and all Christmas festivities should have ended on the stroke of midnight. Failure to take down decorations will result in the Devil eating your head. However, the tradition has become a bit muddled and many sane humans believe that Twelfth Night is tonight. So let's be liberal and allow ourselves one last Christmas-related fling...

For myself, this modest last seasonal gasp consists in plugging the Christmas-themed edition of Estronomicon, which contains three of my stories, all very short. The first, 'Christmas Overtime', dates from 1992; the third, 'Stale Air', was written in 2007; but it's the second one I want to draw special attention to. 'The Precious Mundanity' was written last month, but I feel (perhaps mistakenly) that's it on a higher level than the others. This is because it utilises a conceit that is very simple and obvious and yet to my knowledge has never been thought of before.

And that's the hardest kind of writing to do, isn't it? Indeed, I have secret hopes that 'The Precious Mundanity' is a meme or that it will eventually become a meme; in other words a story that will be transmitted like a virus, orally or in written form, maybe mutating in the process but retaining its essential core. Stories can turn into memes, although it's a rare phenomena. I doubt my effort will ever prove as contagious as Fredric Brown's 'Answer'.


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