Author As Observer

10:04January 2, 2015. 1:10 PM — approximately a week after finishing Ben Lerner’s inside-out, upside-down novel, 10:04, and my mind is still reeling as if from a drug-induced experience (or, at least, my perception of what a drug-induced experience could be like). That’s the simultaneous joy and pain of stepping inside Lerner’s mind for a few post-Christmas days: Lerner’s particular intensity of observation produces a similar intensity in his readers. One begins to notice everything as the author shows you what he notices. I haven’t slept as well since simply because I can’t turn my mind down enough for good sleep.   Continue reading


The Scar: New Weird

ScarThe literature of China Mieville has become recognizable to many fantasy fans as the icon of the strange, often dark, wave of avant-garde fiction popularly branded “New Weird” or “Slipstream.” Historically, the broad term (weird fiction) is most often associated with H. P. Lovecraft, and if you’re familiar with his work, you might get an idea of how this category of fiction deserved these names. If you’re not, well, you’re probably a much saner person for it.

Seeing as how sanity doesn’t alway describe me, I was enthralled by the last Mieville book I read: The Scar. It’s a curious blend of Slipstream fiction (Slipstream usually combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, and horror) and Steampunk era speculative fiction that, like its companion novel, Perdido Street Station, refuses to be pigeon-holed into a specific category. With Perdido, I felt like the novel got under my skin with a greater use of horror than anything else, but The Scar is a more balanced piece. Continue reading

Immigrant Reader

Posting only when I’m inspired obviously hasn’t been working for me all that much these past weeks. Being disciplined too. I’ve had the time, but I guess my mind has been other places. Since my new job, my brain has been tossed spinning into the land of SEO and inbound marketing. But growing up with Facebook and a general social media-plus-internet-language proficiency has cut my learning curve blessedly short. And so the roller coaster ride down into marketing has been cushioned by familiarity. I can actually say truthfully that I write blog posts for a living…although that’s not all there is too it.

Despite being distracted temporarily from my published author of novels dream, I’m still throwing myself equally as head-long into the worlds of other’s imagination. Post school, I’ve found a place in which I don’t always have time to read, but I can always read whatever I want when I do. It’s spoiling me. Instead of reading less, I’m almost reading more (just look at my Goodreads account for the last three months. Don’t actually. You’re not that interested, and if you are, I worry). Continue reading

Abercrombie’s Heroes

Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they’ve brought a lot of sharpened metal with them.

To say that fantasy author, Joe Abercrombie, has attracted a lot of attention for writing the bloodiest, most visceral of stories would be an embarrassing understatement. They don’t call him the god of grit for nothing, and after reading some of his earlier work, I was both excited and a little guarded to return. It’s similar to how I feel about watching a Terantino film. I have to armor myself up to be horrified by the display of violence. Continue reading