Book o’ the Month

So this is cool: The Devil’s Alphabet will be the August book of the month over on Joseph Mallozzi’s blog. Mr. Mallozzi is a producer on the Stargate television shows, including the most recent in the franchise, Stargate Universe — but he’s trying to get fans to read SF too. Imagine!

Joseph’s gotten a wide range of writers to do BotM — including Michael Moorcock, Jeffrey Ford, and Jasper Fforde. Ellen Kushner is finishing up June, and Alastair Reynolds will be doing July. The blog also covers an entertaining mix of TV, SF, and general weirdness.

Anyway, I’ll be answering questions over there starting in August, so drop on by.

Oh, and on the Dracula front, Kurt Busiek and I opine about impalements and the new comic on Newsarama.

Public Relations on a Stick

This week, I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about impaling, impalers, impalees. The whole impalement spectrum, really. Early in the week I finished the first draft of Dracula: Company of Monsters #1, then had the Clockwork Storybook pros review it and give me notes. (Like: “Daryl, you can’t introduce two new characters, have a dense conversation, and put seven panels all on one page.”) Anyway, Kurt Busiek and the Boom editors are looking it over, and I’ll finish the final edits this weekend.

And in the past couple of days I’ve been doing PR for the book, mostly doing email interviews with the comics press. Kurt Busiek is doing all the heavy work on the interviews — the book was his idea, after all, and he’s the architect of this narrative edifice — so while he offers cogent explanations of the story and its genesis, I interrupt with wise-assery. It’s a job I like.

But the other day I had to fly solo. I had a great conversation with Sean and Jim of the comics podcast Raging Bullets. Oh wait, let’s get the logo:

Raging Bullets

See how it says “fan podcast”? These guys really are fans, and they talk about books they love — and it’s clear they’re having more fun than anyone else. They’re lifelong friends, and they’ve been doing this podcast for years.

They mostly concentrate on DC books, but lately they’ve been branching out, and they took time to have me on to talk about Dracula, the difference between working in prose and comics, and yes, impalements. I had a blast. You can listen to me at the 88 minute mark on Episode 212, if you’re into that kind of thing. (Thanks, Mom.) But  why not just subscribe to the podcast? You’ll have fun. Sean and Jim are the Click and Clack of Comics.

Pomp and Happenstance

Howdy, folks. It’s been busy times at Rancho Del Daryl.  #1 daughter graduated from high school this weekend, which we celebrated with a Chicago Hotdog Party. If you’ve never had a true, Chicago-style hotdog, words cannot express the pity I have for you. The neon relish I slathered on my dogs took the sting out of feeling like an old man whose daughter is old enough for college.

Then on Sunday I put the finishing touches on the first draft of my next book—working title Raising Stony Mayhall—and sent that off to agent and editor. And then I started serious work on issue #1 of Dracula: Company of Monsters. In the middle of all that I got addicted to Plants Vs. Zombies on my wife’s iPad. Life is hard.

Oh, and before I go, two items on the reviews front:

BookMark is our local PBS station’s radio book review program, and a couple weeks ago Noah Schoenholtz reviewed The Devil’s Alphabet—and a very nice review it was, too. You can listen or download on WPSU’s site.

And then there were a couple reviews on “Masked”, the anthology of superhero stories edited by Lou Anders, that’s coming out in July, and some reviews are appearing. One hand, we have the prolific reviewer/ human spambot Harriet Klausner, who is the sausage grinder of internet reviewers: books go in, and unrecognizable reviews come out. Her review of the book is a marvel of incomprehensibility.

And on the other, we have this just in from Publisher’s Weekly:

Anders (Fast Forward) delivers an ambitious collection of superhero tales that provide top-notch plots and characterizations while honoring their four-color roots. In Daryl Gregory’s superbly metafictional “Message from the Bubble Gum Factory,” a former sidekick finally realizes the broader implications of superheroes. Stephen Baxter nicely applies hard science to the futuristic “Vacuum Lad.” Gail Simone’s “Thug” and Mike Carey’s “The Non-Event” bolster predictable plots with solid characters and prose. Joseph Mallozzi’s “Downfall” and Marjorie M. Liu’s “Call Her Savage” embrace comics clichés and make them both more complex and more entertaining. Only Mike Baron’s dull, heavy-handed, and predictable “Avatar” stands out as noticeably weak, though Peter and Kathleen David’s witty “Head Cases” feels more like the opening of a novel than a complete story. Overall, Anders has assembled a solid anthology that provides first-rate entertainment. (July)

Oh, and Lou sent the contributors this link: The art director for the book, Richard Yoo, blogged about the cover – with some interesting alternative approaches they tried before arriving at the final product.

Okay, gotta go write about Vlad the Impaler. Happy summer, everybody.