Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Penny Dreadnought Omnibus! Volume 1 now in 3D

Penny Dreadnought Omnibus! Volume 1 is now in full, 212pp 3D, and it's delicious! Even if you've already bought each original issue, THEN bought the e-edition of the Omnibus to have it in one convenient package, wouldn't you still like to purchase this handsome paper edition, perfect for displaying on your bookshelf, mantle, or ottoman?

No? Well, a guy's gotta try.

Hey, The Hoard is coming out in less than a month, and it's been garnering some good reviews. Check out the review from Foreword if you want a better explanation than I could give of the themes I was exploring.

Foreword Reviews
Wistfulskimmie Book Reviews
Fresh Fiction

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weird Names

As cold weather sets in and my knees hurt, I get more cantankerous. Just kidding! My knees have constantly hurt since I was like 8, and I’m always cantankerous!

Anyway, remember that post I wrote about words in descriptions that stop me dead in my tracks? I stand by it. Unless I’m told by someone trustworthy that something with a description containing one of these words is awesome, I’m just going to pass it by, because there’s too much stuff to choose from. You have to filter. The word “teenager” is just part of my filter.

Another part of my filter isn’t a specific word, but a class of words. Names. If a character has a wacky or loaded name, I’m going to assume the writer is not writing for me. The most recent example of this was On Unfaithful Wings. I don’t even know why I bother checking Pixel of Ink, honestly.

Anyway, the protagonist of this series of books is named Icarus Fell. Really? REALLY?

Boom, I know this author's aesthetics are totally contrary to mine and I don’t need to bother reading this.

1. The protagonists parents were Juggalos, named their poor child something stupid thinking it profound and this haunts the protag for life. That would be awesome, actually. I’d even read a serial killer story about someone driven to murder by being named Lotus Carnival Smith.
2. The protag has a silly nickname. That’s fine, especially if there’s a good reason. For instance, Judas Coin is a great name for the heavy metal protag of Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box, because it’s not his real name.
3. The book has an absurd/tongue-in-cheek/silly/over-the-top/whateverwhatever vibe. But being dead serious with a ridonk name isn't cool.

What I don’t believe is that normal parents named their child something badass that also happens to coincide with events in their dark future.

Need more proof? Let’s go on averages. Look at the average of normal names to wacky names in contemporary fiction by adults (contemporary because I’m not talking about names in works set in the far past nor future). Then go look at the average at Wattpad, a writing site filled with teenage writers (who I’m sure will progress past this, no diss to them, but they prove a point). Just a sample of the names of characters in the top paranormal stories on wattpad:
Aramis Rayne
Audrina Knight

I’m tired of talking about this. To summarize, silly names are silly. Always default to whatever is less stupid.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

September Reads

Yikes. So in September I read half of what I did in August. September is also the month I started writing my 2013 DarkFuse books. I think the seesaw effect is apparent: more written, less read. I hope to do better in October, while keeping my word count high. Writing this month was like pulling teeth, but I'm in a good groove now.

The good news is, the quality of what I read this month was very high.

Horns by Joe Hill
I really liked Heart-Shaped Box. I LOVED this. It's more bizarro than straight horror, but with a concern for and success with satisfying conventional storytelling expectations. It also has one of the most interesting portrayals of a sociopath that I can think of.

It’s Not All About Me by Robin Dreeke
“Once you have rapport then compliance with any request you offer follows.” Due to that promise, I was hoping to be able to use this book as a springboard to a horror story. It's actually primarily about diminishing the ego and the author gives some examples where he's practically Buddha or Jesus for not up and shooting somebody. It's a good read, but not what I was expecting.

A Tasting of Thistles by Dennis Boyer
 Very well-written speculative flash stories of the sort that overtly explore philosophical concepts through fiction.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
 Read it as part of working my way through Modern Library best 100 novels of 20th century list. Good, though it didn't do as much for me as some others on the list recently have.

Skin Medicine by Tim Curran
 So damn good. Up there with Gunslinger for my fav horror western.

Darkness Weaves by Edward Wagner

Biohazard by Tim Curran

Old Flames by Jack Ketchum
 Didn't love the first novella, but really enjoyed the second.

 Best Layman I've read so far. 

I Will Rise by Michael Louis Calvillo

 Just from the title, I knew I was going to enjoy this book. Totally nightmarish noir. Great stuff.