Peter sent me Joe Hill’s 2oth Century Ghosts a couple of days ago, and, I must say, the man is a God. Some of what he does is so absolutely brilliant, so clearly and deftly capable, that the words get completely out of the way and make way for other truths. This is the answer to a lot of my questions. There isn’t a story in there that’s written just for its own sake. Each and every one of them brings something new and memorable to the world, something that didn’t exist in the same way before I started reading.
I’m also reading Richard Matheson’s short stories (at least I was, before Peter sent me Hill’s short stories…) and I must say, I’m not getting the same vibe. There’s certainly a great deal I can learn from them, but they aren’t the direction I see myself going. I mean, seriously, how many stories must one write that revolve around a frustrated writer hating everything around them because the world gets in the way of his life’s work. I GET IT.