We used random.org (it was really odd to see if choose 2 consecutive numbers!) to pick 5 commentors each of whom will receive a copy of The Monkey’s Wedding and then used it again to choose 2 of those 5 who will also receive an original copy of the issue of Argosy containing one of Joan’s pseudonymous stories—as well as any goodies we have lying around the office.
Here are the winners and their fave pseudonym, own pseudonyms, or theoretical pseudonyms (you can see more here):
“Alison” said, “My favourite pseudonym has always been Currer Bell, because it sounds like a name for the smartest cat in the world. I have only ever published under my own real name, but I used to blog as Girl Detective. It was a misnomer, though, as I rarely did any detecting. As for a pseudonym I would like to use, perhaps in a nod to my beloved Brontes, I would go by Argyle Bell. Just like the ring of it. (Heh. Sorry.)”
“Kate” told us of her fondness for “Edward Gorey’s pseudonyms, particularly Dogear Wryde and E.G. Deadworry.”
“Heather” amused us greatly with her names and stories: “Once in high school we all wrote down fake names on a marching band trip. I was the only one who didn’t get caught, because the band mom didn’t recognize “Emily Dickinson” as a fake name. I was embarrassed for her as I meekly called “here!” I’ve written under H.L. Shaw, assumed by those who don’t know me to be male, and my husband has written under a pseudonym assumed to be female, which amuses us greatly. Not that I’ve had the guts to use it, but I’ve always thought a good nom de porn (for a science fiction writer) would be Jane Pushbush Sr. (sorry, sorry).”
“Tammy” picked “Tabitha Stevens” as she “was a big Bewitched fan as a child, and our initials matched.”
And lastly Alissa disappointed us by revealing, “I once had a plan to write some science fiction stories under the name Buck Starweaver, but never actually did. I still think Buck might find his way into a future story or two as a character as opposed to my pen name.”
Meanwhile . . . out in the world the book acquired a lovely starred review from Publishers Weekly (yay!) and a few more pre-pub reviews.
We hope you enjoy this lovely and occasionally macabre collection and do feel free to spread the word. It’s readers like you who make the difference with books such as ours!
* “This imaginative posthumous collection includes among others six never before published short stories and two originally published under a pseudonym…. Wildly inventive, darkly lyrical, and always surprising, this collection—like the mermaid in a bottle—is a literary treasure that should be cherished by fantastical fiction fans of all ages.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Aiken writes with surpassing spirit and alertness, never ceasing to find interest or amazement in the traps people set for themselves. Some of the stories are slight, but Aiken’s elegant restraint and dry wit never fail to leave their mark.”
“From a bottled mermaid brought home from a sailor’s adventures at sea to a vicar reincarnated as a malevolent cat, fantasy is combined with magic, myth and adventure to form weird, wonderful and immersive tales.”
—For Book’s Sake
“Aiken’s vivid descriptions move nimbly through pastoral meadows and circus chaos, gothic grotesques and quirky romances. In the end, all of her narratives tease the reader by rejecting our desire for neatness or closure. No didacticism here. As Aiken’s narrator sweetly laments, ‘No moral to this story, you will be saying, and I am afraid it is true.'”
—California Literary Review