The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart (or, The Marvelous Tale of Brother Bullington)

I just got this in the mail yesterday. You need it. Yes, you do: Jesse Bullington’s utterly outrageous, language-filthy The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart. (Some among you may remember that this blog had a small role in getting the word out about this novel pre-acceptance.)

What’s it about?

Hegel and Manfried Grossbart may not consider themselves bad men–but death still stalks them through the dark woods of medieval Europe. The year is 1364, and the brothers Grossbart have embarked on a naïve quest for fortune. Descended from a long line of graverobbers, they are determined to follow their family’s footsteps to the fabled crypts of Gyptland. To get there, they will have to brave dangerous and unknown lands and keep company with all manner of desperate travelers-merchants, priests, and scoundrels alike. For theirs is a world both familiar and distant; a world of living saints and livelier demons, of monsters and madmen. The Brothers Grossbart are about to discover that all legends have their truths, and worse fates than death await those who would take the red road of villainy.

Orbit has done a marvelous job with the book–take a look (oh my–all of those f-bombs on the first page; ahm mightily offended…)

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Micro Fiction Contest Now Open: Let Me Help Harvest Your Brain


Brain Harvest is now open to submissions for their fight-the-tropes/tropes-are-good microfiction contest, which includes a cash prize and, erm, a moustache. Yes, that’s right–a moustache. Cannae grow one yourself? Now you can have your very own anyway. There is an entry fee, but one hundred percent of it goes back into Brain Harvest being able to pay pro rates to writers.

I have, tragically for you, agreed to be the final arbiter of the quality of yer darn words as the Ultimate Brain Harvest Judge. So choose them words very, very carefully.

Further, I make my own personal pledge to Brain Harvest: if they get over 400 submissions OR the poor dumb bastards slaving away in these literary/genre salt mines get to 300 comments, I will make a donation (of monies) to Brain Harvest.

(Trust this man you should.)

Locked of Their Own Accord in a Sweaty Phone Booth: Scott Bakker, Hal Duncan, Nick Mamatas, & Co.

(Taken from here.)

Yes, folks, it’s the thread that would not die, now well downstream: War of All Against All. A few recent highlights. Go join in and show them they’re not alone, and bring some air fresheners. (It’s actually very interesting.)

Hal Duncan:
Honestly? I’m just interested in it. I mean, OK, what attracted me to sf/f initially, and then to the New Wave as I realised it was there, and into experimentalism and modernism as I expanded my horizons, and genre literature, and literature in general, was this strangeness I’m trying to articulate in that theory. From an escapist point of view at first, then from an intellectual and emotional interest. Having connected with the community via a writer’s circle of folk with highly varied tastes, with nobody trying to impose their agenda, I’ve always found the factionalism of fandom strange in its own right. My immediate response to that factionalism was pretty much to ignore it, or mock it, or occasionally — back a ways, when I realised that with Vellum and Ink I was going to be stuck in the middle of it — to let rip against it on the blog.

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Malaprop’s Bookstore Kaffeeklatsch and Signing (Asheville, NC)

I’ll be giving attendees a taste of Booklife during a kaffeeklatsch at their cafe at three followed by signings from four to six. In addition to sharing anecdotes from the road, since I’ll be nearing the end of a six-week book tour.

EXPLORING YOUR BOOKLIFE: In this new age of social media award-winning writer Jeff VanderMeer, the author of Booklife: Strategies & Survival Tips for 21st Century Writers, shows you how to achieve a sustainable career and sustainable creativity.


Locus Magazine Co-Founder Charles N. Brown: 1937-2009

Charles N. Brown has died. As the co-founder and publisher of Locus Magazine, he helped to connect the genre community, especially before the advent of the internet, and to review and record the impact of SF/fantasy through its books. He will be missed.

Environmental / Human Impact of E-Readers, Books, Browsing

(Scott Eagle; saint of connectivity, holding a booklet as offering)

Friday I posted the following question on Facebook: “Has anyone studied the environmental impact of e-readers, in the context of knowing cell phones are full of all kinds of narsty things? It’d be awful to find out physical books are actually more environmentally friendly.”

The resulting discussion is archived below. This is by no means a systematic analysis, but given that participants like Tom Winstead work in industries where he has first-hand knowledge of the resources required to make certain technologies work, it’s pretty interesting.

When I joke/not-joke about how in 70 years physical books will be back in style because the Internet and electricity will be things of the past–or used only for essentials–people often don’t get the not-joke part. And maybe it is extreme to think about the future of civilization in those terms, but as the conversation we had on Facebook shows, there are serious issues concerning sustainability…of everything.

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Top Ten Little-Known Freelance Writer Survival Tips

From talking to a lot of writers who have lived off of their fiction much longer than I have, I’ve gained some useful perspective on what they do when times get particularly tough. Here’re what seem to be the top ten tips for survival, in case it’s of use to someone. I’ve ranked them from most used at #1 to least used at #10.

#1 – Go outside at dawn to lap up dew from leaves after the water’s been turned off. (Alternatively, scour backyard for “insect protein”.)

#2 – Mug the kid of the other freelance writer on the block for the pen knife, dollar fifty, stale cig, and rusty old bike with training wheels he took off of your kid the month before.

#3 – Throw self (in several layers of clothing) in front of slow-moving cars for insurance money.

#4 – Rationalize (and try to write off) living in tent by freeway with a guy named Spazzo as “research.”

#5 – Stand on street corner (until cops come) with a guitar you can’t play and an empty hat for tips, trying to turn your far-future SF novel about intelligent whale-bears into song lyrics. (“Oh mangy whale-bear/Oh mangy whale-bear/What happened to yer hair?/What happened to yer hair?/Was it glooooooobal waaaarming?”)

#6 – Start writer gigolo/escort service called “If No One Else Is Available…” and put free advertisement in local edition of “Mug Shots” newspaper.

#7 – Find copies of latest tanking book, put three in an old B&N bag, and attempt to get refund at local store by claiming your three cousins already had The Talking Spleen of Tribeca County.

#8 – Sell sperm or eggs to SFWA-Writer’s Guild “Spawn a Writer Today” fertility bank. (“Eudora Welty and Charles Bukowski still available.”)

#9 – Extract, bottle, and sell via blog or livejournal “Eau d’ Writer” (“Inspiration in an alluring scent; not approved by FDA, may cause blindness, masturbation, bleeting stupidity, arrogance, and alcoholism.”)

#10 – Get day job.

What Am I Thinking? And Plug Yer Stuff

So…here’s the deal. I’m off the internets and on vacation until Sunday night. Between now and then, tell me what I’m thinking in the photo above. Winner will receive a cool book.

Or, if you’d rather, just plug yer latest creative project. Or, do both by plugging yer latest creative project by telling me what I’m thinking. Or…go home, have a nice rest and a bath, and drink a nice margarita and ferget the blogosphere even exists.


An Interview with Minister Faust on Amazon

(Minister Faust’s novel receiving, in his words, “The Hugo Award”.)

I’ve just posted an interview with Minister Faust on Omnivoracious, checking in with him between novels.

Here’s a bit I wasn’t able to include on Amazon.

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