Welcome to the Stone Soup Weekly Digest! This is where I share what I'm up to and some of my favorite things from around the internet. Subscribe to Stone Soup to get this in your inbox every week.
This week saw a pretty massive social media shakeup over Elon Musk’s move to purchase Twitter. Personally, my relationship to that platform has shifted a great deal over the past few years, as the website has increasingly become a snowglobe of rancidity. My favorite thing about Twitter has always been that it gives me the ability to discover and support work by my peers and colleagues, but that seems to get harder every day as the website continues getting worse.
With that in mind, I asked people to link me to their newsletters so that folks (including me!) could follow and remain connected with them even in the event of a Musk takeover. Visiting other people’s newsletters is a real delight for me, and always feels a bit like I’m hanging out in a neighbor’s house. Going forward, each week I’ll be highlighting a neighboring newsletter that you might consider visiting. Don’t limit yourself to my personal favorites, though! Check out this thread to discover your next favorite newsletter.
Speaking of fantastic newsletters, The Full Lid is one of my personal favorites! This week, The Full Lid featured a truly gorgeous write-up of the first issue of my comic series set in the Buffyverse, The Vampire Slayer.
The Vampire Slayer is a neat magic trick, playing an old tune in a new way, welcoming to both old fans and new. Its manifesto is the purity of its concept, right there on everyone's faces: terrified not-quite-adults, standing against the darkness. Heroism, kindness, humour and love transcend everything from the dimension you're in to the tainted legacy of its source. Fighting evil with something from nothing. That's the gig. That's The Vampire Slayer, and this is a hell of a great start.
I’m deeply honored to have my work discussed at this particular neighbor’s house. Go give the full review a read, and then subscribe to The Full Lid for a regular dose of brilliant media discussion in your inbox.
I loved this Sam Hernandez poem about sauce packets, recycling, and the end of things. Hat tip to Meg Elison, who has impeccable taste and is the reason I got to read it.
In case you missed it, Stone Soup hosted a cover reveal for Weird Fishes by Rae Mariz, featuring art by Julia Louise Pereira!
Sarah Pinsker’s Lost Places will be published by Small Beer Press in March of 2023.
A half-remembered children’s TV show. A hotel that shouldn’t exist. A mysterious ballad. A living flag. A group of girls goes camping. Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Sarah Pinsker’s second collection brings together a seemingly eclectic group of stories that unite behind certain themes: her touchstones of music and memory are joined by stories about secret subversions and hidden messages in art, lost routes, last chances. Her stories span and transcend genre labels, looking for the truth in strange situations from possible futures to impossible pasts.
Visit a Neighbor: John Skylar's COVID Transmissions
John Skylar’s “COVID Transmissions” is a regularly-updated newsletter featuring updates, information, and analysis on the COVID-19 pandemic from an apolitical, scientifically-driven standpoint. Skylar says:
The newsletter represents my efforts to provide freely-available information My pledge is to provide you with regularly-scheduled updates on recent headlines, in-depth articles every few days regarding important topics in the pandemic, and some pandemic lifestyle content intended to encourage mental health, self-care, and a much-needed reminder of the lighter things in life during this ongoing crisis.
I’m Reading: Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
Joan has been searching for her missing husband, Victor, for nearly a year – ever since that terrible night they'd had their first serious argument hours before he mysteriously vanished. Her Métis family has lived in their tightly knit rural community for generations, but no one keeps the old ways . . . until they have to. That moment has arrived for Joan.
One morning, grieving and severely hungover, Joan hears a shocking sound coming from inside a revival tent in a gritty Walmart parking lot. It is the unmistakable voice of Victor. Drawn inside, she sees him. He has the same face, the same eyes, the same hands, though his hair is much shorter and he's wearing a suit. But he doesn't seem to recognize Joan at all. He insists his name is Eugene Wolff, and that he is a reverend whose mission is to spread the word of Jesus and grow His flock. Yet Joan suspects there is something dark and terrifying within this charismatic preacher who professes to be a man of God . . . something old and very dangerous.
Joan turns to Ajean, an elderly foul-mouthed card shark who is one of the few among her community steeped in the traditions of her people and knowledgeable about their ancient enemies. With the help of the old Métis and her peculiar Johnny-Cash-loving, twelve-year-old nephew Zeus, Joan must find a way to uncover the truth and remind Reverend Wolff who he really is . . . if he really is. Her life, and those of everyone she loves, depends upon it.
Featured New Release: Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher
Marra never wanted to be a hero.
As the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter, she escaped the traditional fate of princesses, to be married away for the sake of an uncaring throne. But her sister wasn't so fortunate – and after years of silence, Marra is done watching her suffer at the hands of a powerful and abusive prince.
Seeking help for her rescue mission, Marra is offered the tools she needs, but only if she can complete three seemingly impossible tasks:
- build a dog of bones
- sew a cloak of nettles
- capture moonlight in a jar
But, as is the way in tales of princes and witches, doing the impossible is only the beginning...
Add Nettle & Bone to your tbr here. Order it from your local independent bookseller, or order it via Bookshop.org to support independent booksellers throughout the US and the UK. For international shipping, you can try Barnes & Noble. If you prefer audiobooks, here’s a Libro.fm link. You can also request Nettle & Bone from your local library — here’s how to get in touch with them. And if you need to order from the Bad River Website, here’s a link that will leverage your order for good.
As you’re surely aware, queer and trans children are still under attack across the United States; Ukraine is fighting against a Russian invasion; AAPI communities are facing discrimination and violence. If you’re struggling to figure out how to help, here are some places to start.
If you’re a paying subscriber, come by the Stone Soup Supper Club for our weekly chat! I can’t wait to find out how you’re doing.