Category Archives: News

Double Podcast Duty; or: That Time I Was Let Down by the New “Star Wars” Novel















This month I did a couple podcasts. First, the boys from Booked Podcast allowed me to guest review Star Wars: Aftermath with them. Then, my debut episode on the LitReactor Podcast with the talented and lovely Cath Murphy and Renee Pickup dropped. For the sake of being chronological, listen to the LitReactor Podcast first and Booked second. Oh, and you should subscribe to both while you’re at it.

LitReactor: Unprintable: Episode 22

Booked Podcast: Episode 277: Aftermath

Regarding Wendig’s Star Wars, I had a lot of problems with that book. A lot. If you want the long version of that, listen to the Booked Episode. If you want it short and sweet, click THIS to read my review on Goodreads. The thing I want to make clear is that I’m still into Wendig’s fiction. I raved about Blackbirds over a year ago. I’m also convinced that the stuff I had problem’s with in Wendig’s Star Wars might have been beyond his control. Hopefully, there will come a time in which more light is shed on the issue.

Top Reads of 2014

2014 was the first year in a long time I wasn’t constantly strapped behind a computer trying to hammer out a book. If you’ve ever tried to write a 450-page beast in under a year, it doesn’t allow for a lot of free time. I read a lot of books this year: some good ones, some that left me underwhelmed, some nice surprises, and my personal worst book of all time. Let’s begin: 

Top comic book: The Superior Spider-Man (ended run in Aug. 2014):

Holy shit, what a concept. The consciousness of Dr. Octopus winds up in the body of Peter Parker. He then proceeds to prove to himself and the world at large how he is the superior Spider-Man, donning a new costume and new tactics. Doc Ock don’t give a fuck about Parker’s rules. This is one of those runs where you know they’ll eventually hand the mantle back over to Peter, but watching Otto wear the webs is so damn fun. Both the story and art are brilliant.

Top celebrity book: Yes Please by Amy Poehler: 

I love Amy Poehler. I love the shit out of her. And I loved her way before Parks & Rec so my love probably matters more than yours does. You may have watched her older stuff like Upright Citizens Brigade on YouTube; I watched that shit when it was airing on Comedy Central. Because I love Amy, I went into Yes Please wanting/expecting/hoping to love it. I went into it horribly biased, but that’s okay. Poehler deserves it. She’s one of the good ones. Fuck you, Lena Dunham.

Top dark horse novel: Nefarious Twit by Tony McMillan: 

Nefarious Twit was a novel that I expected very little from, and then when I read it, the thing ended up being one of the best debuts I’ve read in a long time. It’s a hyper-imaginative, twisted, drug-addled road trip with just a touch of Shel Silverstein. Not only did Tony write the book, he did the cover art and all the illustrations. I expect great things from this guy in the future.

Top major release: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer: 

A team of four people explore a fucked up piece of land called Area X. Man, was I ever sucked in. This book was equal parts Lost and House of Leaves. The entire thing carried a sense of dread and horror that makes you not want to put the thing down. Great story, and VanderMeer’s writing style only amps it up. Dude is a fucking surgeon. Annihilation landed on a lot of “best of” lists and rightfully so.

Top of the shit heap: Rich Kids of Instagram by Maya Sloan: 

Rich Kids of Instagram has the distinction of being the worst book I’ve ever read. Not just of 2014, mind you. Ever. It’s the worst book I’ve ever read. Let me put it to you this way: I never believed in burning books until I read this one. It’s that fucking bad. A literary abortion. A poor man’s Gossip Girl rip-off. The result of what happens when you adapt ostentatious photos into a book. There’s only a thin vapor of a plot. The characters are a polio-grade of weak. Maya Sloan’s writing style is dog shit. If you’re truly curious to see how low literature has sunk, then this is the book for you.

Finalist for The Pitch Kansas City’s Best of 2013!!

The Pitch Best of finals

The votes are in for round one for The Pitch Kansas City’s Best of 2013. I’m in the running in two categories this year: “best local writer” and “best author/writing event.” Voting is easy. Simply go HERE and start clicking away on bubbles. Keep in mind, you have to vote on at least twenty different things in order for your votes to count.

You can find me on page four in the Arts & Entertainment section. Voting ends Sept. 24th.

“Ultimate Grand Supreme Super Sexy Baby” is now available for pre-order in Spark: A Creative Anthology (vol. II)

Spark cover“Ultimate Grand Supreme Super Sexy Baby” is now available for pre-order in Spark: A Creative Anthology (vol. II). You can pick up the entire anthology for as little as $2 (suggested donation is $5) by going HERE. Print copies are also available.

Here is the first paragraph of my story:

Mothers start grinding their teeth when Alaska Scott enters the room—technically, a convention hall inside the Radisson Hotel, furnished with a modest stage and about a hundred wounded chairs from basement storage.  These women rubberneck to the main entryway, suspending any last minute preening of their own darling daughters: the slouched hairdos or mascara clumps.  An apple juice stain soon to be remedied with Kleenex and spit.  That paradigm of glamour and grace, Alaska Scott—she stands poised while the rest of the mini princesses wrinkle their gowns and eat boogers off French manicures.  Not one of them will incur the standard smack on the hand because, as any of these mothers would admit, “Better she eat a little snot than cry all that makeup off.”

The anthology features work from authors:  Robert J. Sawyer, George Wells, Alexis A. Hunter, and many more. Cover art by Charles King. When a full TOC comes out I’ll make sure to update.

UPDATE: the anthology’s official release date is July 1st, 2013

The Chuck Palahniuk anthology, Burnt Tongues, will be published August 2014 through Medallion Press

BT TOCWell, it’s finally happening. After many delays and roadblocks, the Chuck Palahniuk anthology has been sold to Medallion Press with the publication date set for August of 2014. Check out the full TOC on the left here. You may recognize some of the names.

This is a major breakthrough in a very long and arduous process. “How long?” you may ask. Well, my first story submission was all the way back in June of 2009. However, this idea was originally conceived years earlier by The Cult’s webmaster Dennis Widmyer, so a big thanks to him for not losing faith or his drive to see this thing become a reality. Another big shout-out goes out to Richard Thomas who sold this thing like a champ and got us this fantastic deal with Medallion.

As for the stories themselves, I’ve read most of them back when I was hitting the workshop hard. They’re good. They’re really fucking good. And they’ll be even better once Medallion’s editors have sharpened them up, so get excited. This is going to be a highlight reel of transgressive fiction from some of the best up-and-coming talent in the industry.