Thursday, February 15, 2018

R. E. Stearns

R. E. Stearns wrote her first story on an Apple IIe computer and still kind of misses green text on a black screen. She went on to annoy all of her teachers by reading books while they lectured. Eventually she read and wrote enough to earn a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Central Florida. She is hoping for an honorary doctorate. When not writing or working, R. E. Stearns reads, plays PC games, and references internet memes in meatspace. She recently moved to Denver, CO with her husband/computer engineer and a cat.

Stearns' debut novel is Barbary Station.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
I recently read Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys, and I adore it! Its original appeal was "Lovecraftian story written by a queer woman," which I always hope will result in a story that gets away from Lovecraft's well-known sexism and racism. Winter Tide plainly addresses those issues, and more. It doesn't shy away from a single difficult topic, including how racial minorities and gay folks were treated in the U.S. during the late '40s. Did I mention it's a period piece? It's a period piece.

Winter Tide is wonderfully quotable. I have been reading lines aloud to my friends and relations. For example:

"Even the most ill-formed words, set to paper, are a great blessing."


"They are not evil, but nor are they good to be around unless one has a truly important reason."

And also

"When she doesn't care about something, she's like a personification of the whole universe not caring."

Lines like that are scattered throughout Winter Tide, and one never knows what one will find on the next page. Some of the text is especially Lovecraftian, but most of the time Winter Tide reads better and has more depth of feeling than anything he ever wrote (and I would know, because I've read everything he wrote).

So, yes, this is a delightful novel. I recommend it to anybody who likes weird fiction, and to all Lovecraft fans, and to people who wish that the America of the Cold War Era had been more magical.
Visit R. E. Stearns's website and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue