August 10th, 2006


So, I’m working on a number of ongoing projects, all of which seem to require research that’s outside my own field of expertise. That’s why I’m hoping the people here can recommend:

  • fiction or non-fiction about espionage in WWII
  • a good biography of Anne Sexton
  • a readable academic work about the traditional and modern Gothic genres
  • one or more television shows with great, snappy, well-constructed dialogue (I’ve already seen Buffy & Gilmore Girls, which were both useful in different ways)

For the curious, these are variously applicable to a number of different projects: my Gormenghast-inspired game; an amorphous world-building thing that may turn into either a game, a novel or a screenplay; my new play (!!), which I’m hoping can be ready for Fringe 2007; revising The End of the Line; and my ongoing quest to turn myself into someone who writes great dialogue.

Thanks in advance to my external brain, aka you guys!

Brief History of the Dead

I’m rarely tempted to buy books in hardcover - too little space, and my wrists prefer a lighter volume - but, oh, god, A Brief History of the Dead isn’t going to be out in softcover until January, and I can’t imagine waiting that long.  I read the short story that the novel grew out of, and I must have more.  The writing is gorgeous, the premise brilliant, the execution heartbreaking, and now there’s a whole novel of it and I don’t have it yet.  This must change.

In case it hadn’t already been implied, you should all, every one of you, go out and get your hands on this book, or at least on the original short story (published in the New Yorker and available online thanks to the magic of Google caching and/or the Wayback Machine).  Me, I plan to read the novel in tears, intensely, in the company of someone that I love very much.