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Communing with the Masters

February 19th, 2012

It’s about community, not competition.

A number of people have submitted emails in response to the news post I put up yesterday, and some have asked about the meaning of the Dante quote:

e più d’onore ancora assai mi fenno,
ch’e’ sì mi fecer de la loro schiera . . .

The lines are from The Inferno, Canto 4, a scene in which Dante leaves the dark wood to find himself in a pastoral region that sits apart from the errors of the world and the terrors of Hell. Here, in a place beyond time, he joins with five masters of his craft:  Homer, Horace, Ovid, Lucan, and Virgil. These are the writers he has long admired, and he sums up his feelings about finding himself among them with the aforementioned lines, which can be translated thus:

And more honor still, much more, they did me
In that they made me one of their own band . . .

It occurs to me now, particularly after seeing the cover of Voices displayed alongside five other Stoker Nominees at SF Signal, that I might have included one more line in yesterday’s quote.

Here are the full three lines of Dante’s tercet:

e più d’onore ancora assai mi fenno,
ch’e’ sì mi fecer de la loro schiera,
sì ch’io fui sesto tra cotanto senno.

 And in English:

And more honor still, much more, they did me
In that they made me one of their own band,
So that I was the sixth, amid so much wisdom.

I think that’s fitting. It’s not about the competition, about winning or losing against the other works in the collection category. It’s enough to be allowed to stand alongside five of my favorite writers, counted as a member of their band. It’s community, not competition.

Do you agree?

HWA Announces 2011 Bram Stoker Award™ Preliminary Ballot

January 21st, 2012

NOVEL:
RECS:
◦Lamberson, Greg — Cosmic Forces
◦Longfellow, Ki — Houdini Heart
◦Malfi, Ronald — Floating Staircase
◦O’Neill, Gene — Not Fade Away
◦Warner, Matthew — Blood Born

JURY:
◦Conlon, Christopher — A Matrix Of Angels
◦Dunbar, Robert — Willy
◦McKinney, Joe — Flesh Eaters
◦Oliver, Reggie — Dracula Papers, Book 1: The Scholar’s Tale
◦Thomas, Lee — The German 


FIRST NOVEL:
RECS:
◦Bird, Allyson — Isis Unbound
◦Lee, Frazer — The Lamplighters
◦Reynolds, Graeme — High Moor
◦Talley, Brett J. — That Which Should Not Be
◦Wagner, Jeremy — The Armageddon Chord

JURY:
No ballot required, the following works will proceed directly to the Final Ballot. Please note these works may not be described as Nominees until the Final Ballot is formally announced.
◦Jacobs, John, Horner — Southern Gods
◦Roche, Thomas — The Panama Laugh 

YA NOVEL:
RECS:
◦Faherty, J. G. — Ghosts of Coronado Bay, A Maya Blair Mystery
◦Holder, Nancy — The Screaming Season
◦Maberry, Jonathan — Dust & Decay
◦Matthews, Araminta Star — Blind Hunger

JURY:
◦Blake, Kendare — Anna Dressed in Blood
◦Kraus, Daniel — Rotters
◦Ness, Patrick — A Monster Calls
◦Oppel, Kenneth — This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein
◦Roth, Veronica — Divergent

GRAPHIC NOVEL:
RECS:
◦Hill, Joe — Locke & Key, Volume 4
◦Maberry, Jonathan — Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher
◦Maberry, Jonathan — Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine
◦Mignola, Mike and Golden, Christopher — The Plague Ships
◦O’Reilly, Sean; Nassise, Joe; Weick, Halston — Candice Crow

JURY:
◦Brosgol, Vera — Anya’s Ghost
◦Fialkov, Joshua Hale — Echoes
◦Jensen, Jeff — Green River Killer
◦Moore, Alan — Neonomicon
◦Smith, John — Cradlegrave 

LONG FICTION:
RECS:
◦Breaux, Kevin James — Dark Water: Beaming Smile
◦Calvillo, Michael Louis — 7Brains
◦Little, John R. — Ursa Major
◦O’Neill, Gene — Rusting Chickens
◦Schwamberger, Ty — The Fields

JURY:
◦Hodge, Brian — Roots and All
◦Kiernan, Caitlin — The Colliers’ Venus (1893)
◦Lindqvist, John Ajvide — The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer
◦Shearman, Robert — Alice Through A Plastic Sheet
◦Straub, Peter — The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine

SHORT FICTION:
RECS:
◦Bailey, Michael — “It Tears Away” (The Shadow of the Unknown)
◦Lillie-Paetz, Ken — “Hypergraphia” (The Uninvited, Issue 1)
◦O’Neill, Gene — “Graffiti Sonata” (Dark Discoveries)
◦Palisano, John — “X is for Xyx” (M is for Monster)
◦Warren, Kaaron — “All You Can Do Is Breathe” (Blood and Other Cravings)

JURY:
◦Ausubel, Ramona — “Atria” (The New Yorker Magazine, April 4, 2011)
◦Ballingrud, Nathan — “Sunbleached” (Teeth: Vampire Tales)
◦Castro, Adam Troy — “Her Husband’s Hands” (Lightspeed Magazine)
◦King, Stephen — “Herman Wouk Is Still Alive” (The Atlantic Magazine, May 2011)
◦Saunders, George — “Home” (The New Yorker Magazine, June 13, 2011)

SCREENPLAY:
RECS:
No ballot required, the following works will proceed directly to the Final Ballot. Please note these works may not be described as Nominees until the Final Ballot is formally announced.
◦Ball, Alan — True Blood: Spellbound (Episode #44)
◦Goodman, Cory — Priest
◦Nolfi, George — The Adjustment Bureau

JURY:
◦Gimple, Scott M. — The Walking Dead, episode 13: “Pretty Much Dead Already”
◦Gimple, Scott M. — The Walking Dead, episode 9: “Save the Last One”
◦Noxon, Marti — Fright Night
◦Ovrehahl, Andre and Havard S. Johansen — Troll Hunter
◦Sharzer, Jessica — American Horror Story, episode 12: “Afterbirth” 

ANTHOLOGY:
RECS:
No ballot required, the following works will proceed directly to the Final Ballot. Please note these works may not be described as Nominees until the Final Ballot is formally announced.
◦Carbone, Tracy L. — NEHW Presents: Epitaphs
◦Hutton, Frank J. — Tattered Souls 2
◦Skipp, John — Demons: Encounters with the Devil and His Minions, Fallen Angels, and the Possessed
JURY:
◦Dann, Jack and Nick Gevers — Ghosts By Gaslight
◦Datlow, Ellen — Blood And Other Cravings
◦Datlow, Ellen — Supernatural Noir
◦Datlow, Ellen and Terri Windling — Teeth
◦VanderMeer, Jeff and Ann — The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities 

COLLECTION:
RECS:
◦Burke, Chesya — Let’s Play White
◦Connolly, Lawrence C. — Voices: Tales of Horror
◦Gresh, Lois — Eldritch Evolutions
◦Haines, Paul — The Last Days of Kali Yuga
◦Morton, Lisa — Monsters of L.A.
◦Ochse, Weston — Multiplex Fandango

JURY:
◦Fowler, Christopher — Red Gloves: The London Horrors
◦Kiernan, Caitlin R. — Two Worlds and In-Between
◦Llewellyn, Livia — Engines of Desire
◦Oliver, Reggie — Mrs. Midnight and Other Stories

 NON-FICTION:
RECS:
No ballot required, the following works will proceed directly to the Final Ballot. Please note these works may not be described as Nominees until the Final Ballot is formally announced.
◦Bannatyne, Lesley Pratt — Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America’s Fright Night
◦Mamatas, Nick — Starve Better
◦Mogk, Matt — Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies

JURY:
◦Crawford, Gary William, Jim Rockhill, and Brian J. Showers, Eds. — Reflections in a Glass Darkly
◦Rupe, Shade — Dark Stars Rising
◦Shultz, David E. and S.T. Joshi, Ed. — Letters to James F. Morton
◦Tibbetts, John C. — The Gothic Imagination
◦Wood, Rocky — Stephen King: A Literary Companion

POETRY:
RECS:
◦Alexander, Maria — At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent,the Damned & the Absinthe-Minded
◦Clarke, G.O — Shroud of Night
◦Borski, Robert — Blood Wallah and Other Poems
◦Simon, Marge — The Mad Hattery
◦Ward, Kyla Lee — The Land of Bad Dreams

JURY:
◦Addison, Linda — How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend
◦Boston, Bruce — Surrealities
◦Marshall, Helen — Skeleton Leaves
◦Schwader, Ann K. — Twisted in Dream
◦Simon, Marge — Unearthly Delights