Planet of the Apes #10 is out in stores this week, and Carlos Magno, the genius behind the artwork, just KILLS IT in this issue. There’s a huge battle, and Carlos crams the pages with awesomeness. Dafna Pleban, our editor on the book, just posted one of the panels, which spans two pages. She then got everyone in the BOOM! office to try to count how many apes, humans, and horses Carlos had fit into that one panel — but only Carlos knows the truth.
Click on the pic to see their analysis:
And for the record? The description for panel 3 is TWO SENTENCES.
I love being a writer. And thank God for Carlos.
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Hey folks, just a quick note to say happy holidays, and to tell you that thanks to the work of Patrick Swenson, publisher of Fairwood Press, Unpossible and Other Stories is now on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/unpossible-amazon It will be out on Nook soon as well.
UPDATE 12/30: The Nook version is now available on Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/unpossible-bn.
And did I mention that they’re both only $5.99?
Now I’m going to go back to eating, drinking, and playing World of Tanks.
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So Deb Coates (a pal and fantastic writer who has her first novel coming out next year), was browsing Huffington Post, and came across this article, reposted from Flavorwire: “The Most Criminally Overlooked Books of 2011.” And hey, Unpossible and Other Stories is on the list! I’m flattered, but now I feel weird, because I think this makes Raising Stony Mayhall twice as overlooked. Maybe there’s another list out there. Books So Overlooked It’s Not Even Criminal, It’s Just Sad.
On the other hand, the books in that list sound very cool. More reading to do this winter break…
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Audible.com released their Best of 2011 List, and Raising Stony Mayhall is their Best Zombie Book of the year. (Audible didn’t make a category for horror, but they did for zombies — which just goes to show you, those living dead guys will take over everything.) My thanks to everyone who downloaded and rated the book!
If you’re the type to read books through your ears, you can buy the book here. The narrator, a voice actor named David Marantz, does a fantastic job.
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The Library Journal just released their Top 10 Science Fiction and Fantasy books for 2011, and Raising Stony Mayhall made the list, along with books by some other guys. (This kid George RR Martin is supposed to be pretty good, I hear.)
Back in July, LJ gave Stony a starred review — but my Google alerts failed me, and this was the first I heard about it. Their review, in its entirety, was this: “Part superhero fiction, part zombie horror story, and part supernatural thriller, this luminous and compelling tale deserves a wide readership beyond genre fans.”
In other review news, Paul Witcover just reviewed the book in Realms of Fantasy Magazine. The magazine is going out of business again (it’s happened a couple times before), but perhaps it will rise again, just like… but you know where I’m going with this. Here’s part of what Mr. Witcover had to say:
Richly imaginative, surprisingly funny, both grippingly and sensitively told, the novel is by turns nostalgic, grim, and redemptive. It’s also got real crossover potential, yet it will also satisfy the most demanding zombiephiles. This is a book that has brains… and eats them too.
Farewell, RoF — we hardly knew ye.
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But if it is a stricture to suggest that apophasis-ridden SF texts are time-wasters (I do mean to suggest that), then Wilson and Gregory are exempt…
That’s the logline, more or less, of John Clute’s review of Robert Charles Wilson’s Vortex and my book Raising Stony Mayhall. I love reading Clute’s reviews and essays, even when they’re not about me (and they’re never about me — this is the first), if only because I have to work so hard to figure out if I’m getting scammed. Is he serious? Is this a con job? Can a guy really create, unilaterally, new critical terms, define them as he sees fit, then club you over the head with them? And get away with it?
As it turns out, yes, yes he can. Because Clute thinks hard about SF, fantasy, and horror, and he’s wicked smart. I’ve learned a lot from his essays and interviews, not the least of which is at least one new vocabulary term per outing. (“Apophasis”, as it turns out, is a real word. I looked it up. Later in the review he uses the phrase “apophatic-lock-in.” Bonus!) And as you can see from this blog post, if you’ve read some Clute recently, it’s inevitable that soon you’ll be writing long sentences with an inordinate number of commas and coining terms like Cluted and Clutastic-Lock-In.
Clute’s review (and isn’t it fun to say Clute? Clute Clute Clute) isn’t going to sell more copies of RSM. In fact, it may scare off a few people, by making the novel seem like a brainy deconstructionist exercise in genre-bending wankery. Which it is, in part. I only have three themes in my fiction — messiahs, the mind-body problem, and mash-ups (of genres, that is) — and RSM hits all three of those, but especially doth whale upon the genre-warping whammy bar. But as a writer, it pleases me to have a critic like Mr. C take the book seriously for what I was trying to say about SF, fantasy, and horror –or as he calls it, the metatext. When he says, “The first hundred pages of the book, which are sustainedly engrossing, contains some of the most quietly virtuoso negotiations of the SF megatext I’ve run across for a long time,” I get all glow-y inside. (Or perhaps that’s the Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA I just drank. Regardless…) The glow fades a bit when he says the rest of the book isn’t as good as that first hundred, I have to remind myself that he called RSM and Vortex two of the best SF books of the year.
So he liked it, right?
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I’m sorry, I can’t come up with a clever headline. But I’m pleased as all get out that Unpossible and Other Stories, the collection we just launched, made Publishers Weekly Top 5 science fiction and fantasy books of the year.
I had a great time at World Fantasy. The Unlaunch Party went well, with a lot of people hanging out on the patio in the bright San Diego sunshine. Patrick Swenson, my publisher, sold books in the kitchen, Tim Akers played bartender, and pals like Mark Teppo and Sean E. Williams helped me set up and tear down. My thanks to everyone who stopped by.
I was especially glad that my great friend of 20-something years, Andrew Tisbert, was there (and working hard, hauling ice). The book is dedicated to him and Gary Delafield, because Andy and Gary have read and critiqued just about every story in the book. I owe them a ton.
On Saturday of the con I held a reading and read “Persistence”, one of the new stories in the book, and finished with a story that will never see print, “The Aristocrats by Isaac Asimov.” Maybe some day I’ll read it aloud again. It’s dirty.
But mostly World Fantasy was about having a good time with friends. Mission frickin’ accomplished.
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