I may talk about one or more of these later on. Nopocalypse is the most likely for a first candidate. It’s a word we could use, don’t you think?
BLUE HIGHWAY is done and off to Createspace for your POD enjoyment.
Here’s the back cover copy:
After the Great Big Zero,
Jake Culver is a driver, a fixer and an enigma. Out in the no man’s land of desert California, people don’t often ask what you did before or how you got there. But now someone is, and he doesn’t have the luxury of refusing an answer.
Against his better judgement, he agrees to return to his old haunts in the manufactured para-paradise of Orange County. The Orange Trust runs it like a company town, which would be fine if Jake and the man at the top didn’t share the baddest of blood. Jake’s got a few days to find out who’s not only stealing from the hotbed of high-tech, but trying to get the biggest criminal organizations in the county to pick a very public war with one another.
From the cracked asphalt and no rules motorized combat beyond the reach of authority to the regulated cool of the icehouse and back again, Jake and his friend Tommy ‘Thin’ Manh dig through the above-ground and underground of a near-future California. The pursuit leads them both through the abandoned subway tunnels run by the electrified Mozarts and the subtle digitality of the Weave, to the neon playground of Fascination Street, finally leading Jake back to the one thing that he could never outrun.
BLUE HIGHWAY is 336 pages of nopocalypse science fiction for $15.99. I will probably have copies for sale at Convolution in Emeryville in November. But if you hit Createspace now, you’re guaranteed a copy.
There may or may not be an ebook release. My experience there has been pretty sour, to be bluntly honest. That’s shortcomings on my end, I’m sure, particularly in the self-promotion side of things. All that said, a Kindle release comes in the Createspace package, but that may wait for a little while. Or a long while.
But please, check out the book. I’ll be posting some lengthier excerpts here and I’ve been doing the same at my Tumblr blog (which is much more active than this one.)
You can read that at http://highway62.tumblr.com and I hope you check it out.
In addition to folks like Brian and Wendy Froud and Richard and Wendy Pini and Richard Kadrey, the fine folks over at Convolution SF have extended an invitation for yours truly to appear as a guest of the show and do some panels/programming.
I’ll try not to mess it up too badly, but I’m kinda weirded out by the process.
Anyways, a chance for you to stop by and say “hi” and check out the goings-on if you’re in San Francisco the first weekend of November.
More updates as they happen.
Hey folks, you might’ve seen a solicitation from Image for a book called STRANGEWAYS. That is not my book. I’ve already talked to them. I’ll let you all know when there’s official news.
Work continues on THE LAND WILL KNOW, but it’s slow, primarily because I can only pay artists like a small indie publisher which means that work that pays better and has tighter deadlines goes to the top of the pile. Still shooting for a release early next year.
For the next few days, A TASTE OF ASPHALT will cost you precisely nothing, as opposed to the .99 it usually costs. Two short stories, a preview of the dark fantasy DUSTBEARER, a handful of essays and extended previews of RAGNAROK SUMMER and the upcoming BLUE HIGHWAY. 200+ pages.
If you’re reading this now, you’re using a device that can use the Kindle client.
Taken from “Crunch Time”, which you can buy for only .99, alongside 200 more pages of reading (including an extended preview of the upcoming science fiction novel BLUE HIGHWAY). Get it right here.
“I pointed out the window, even though the parking lot was largely empty now, but for some scattered trash and newspapers. No eaters or fraternity pranksters or cops or anyone. Newspapers. Who the hell reads newspapers anymore? They looked as if they’d been put there by the set dresser for THE OMEGA MAN and it he thought it was still 1973.
At least we weren’t in Los Angeles. You couldn’t have paid me to be there today. The riots, at least they said they were riots, were going full bore.
Full bore as in boring. We’d been hearing that the world had been coming to an end for how many years now? Acid rain, peak oil, infertility crisis, overpopulation, global warming then global dimming. LA had been in slow-motion apocalypse since we decided that we all couldn’t get along. Just that now the rioters were occasionally eating some unlucky clod who couldn’t get out of the way, that reports told of them being shot point blank and getting back up and someone had used the word ‘zombie,’ proving that they could be ignored. Zombies were so last year.”
Granted, zombies were last year when I wrote this in 2011.
So .99 gets you “Crunch Time”, “Blink” (a horror story about a thing from another place that can’t decide to be when its dragged here by mistake), previews of “A Mere Death” (fantasy from the volume DUSTBEARER), six chapters of RAGNAROK SUMMER (fantasy novel which follows the Norse gods 100 years after their victory at Ragnarok), a selection of essay from my nonfiction books, and finally a long preview of BLUE HIGHWAY, featuring a United States torn apart by several wars for secession, The Great Big Zero and muscle cars running on hydrogen instead of high-octane.
So there was this time that DC Comics put out a wondrous single issue of THE DOOM PATROL, which was written by Grant Morrison at the time. And it featured art by Richard Case (the usual artist on the book for the bulk of Morrison’s run), Jamie Hewlett (who went on to design The Gorillaz among other things), Brendan McCarthy (the maddest of the mad), Rian Hughes (designer extraordinaire whose draughtsmanship we don’t see often enough these days), Brian Bolland (who qualifies as THE Brian Bolland), Duncan Fregredo (best known for HELLBOY now, but famed well bef0re that), Steve Yeowell (now best known for ZENITH) and Shaky Kane (illustrator of BULLETPROOF COFFIN, one of the greatest comics of the last couple years.)
Looking at it now, it’s unbelievable. And it’s a wonderfully strange comic, of the kind that there simply aren’t enough of these days. It’s like it fell from a parallel universe just to show us how things are on the other side.
A TASTE OF ASPHALT hits today.
Okay, you want to know what my writing’s about. But you don’t want to spend a lot because everyone’s got projects to support and Kickstarters to back. So I’m going to make it easy. Here’s what ninety-nine cents gets you.
Two short stories: “Crunch Time”, featuring zombies, a slow-motion-apocalypse and office supplies, and “Blink”, featuring a horror that can’t decide what it is. And there’s a bonus excerpt from the recent “A Mere Death” as seen in DUSTBEARER.
Multi-chapter excerpt from RAGNAROK SUMMER, namely the first six.
Essays from THE COLLECTED FULL BLEED and HIGHWAY 62 REVISITED, covering comics, music, film and horror.
Finally, a multi-chapter preview of the upcoming science fiction novel BLUE HIGHWAY.
So yeah, rifle through the couch or shake some coin loose from the swear jar. Ninety-nine cents gets you more than two hundred pages of fantasy, science fiction, horror and popcult.
You know what to do.
Okay, here’s the ground rules.
1) Spoilers for STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS. Stop reading if this is an issue.
2) I didn’t like it and am not likely to change my mind if you get in my face about it.
Right. Either you’re still reading or you’re not.
So, INTO DARKNESS. Not a very good movie. Not even a very entertaining one. Plenty of spectacle to look at, though. But you know, that’s not always enough.
I guess that I’m never going to like any of the rebooted TREK movies. I’ll live and so will you.
My biggest problem with them (aside from the producers deciding that Kirk really needed to be an ass not not just bold) was the reliance on the whole “Well, this TREK universe is really connected to the original TREK universe because it’s a pocket dimension and see here’s ‘real’ Spock telling you so. That’s cowardly writing right there. I suppose they might have felt obligated to do so, but then it’s all about a character acting as the puppet-string-pulling deus ex machina telling Spock that he has to get with Kirk no matter how much of an asshole he is because that’s how it’s supposed to be.
I could have overlooked it if they’d just let it rest in the first movie and never brought it back again. I could have been persuaded, maybe, that this was a spin-off that was ready to stand on its own two legs. They were a little nervous in the first movie and had to bring the hardcore into the fold. I get that.
But then they doubled-down on it in the second movie. After everyone’s gotten their asses kicked, what does Spock mk 2 do? He calls up Spock mk 1 (the real Nimoy, not McCoy) and uses his lifeline call to see if he’s making the right decision. What the actual fuck? Yep, they did it. They had to remind us that, hey, see, this is the real TREK universe still.
Ugh. If it was a book, I’d have thrown it, but as it was, I was still in the movie theatre having paid for my ticket (and that of the rest of the family).
Then the movie continues and like the remake of WRATH OF KHAN that it really was, the reactor core needed to be rebooted but was leaking radiation and the twist! Kirk, not Spock was going to fix things. Besides, Spock had nearly hung everyone out to dry at the beginning of the movie when he was stuck in the volcano, so having him be the Dude In Peril a second time would just be funny, right?
And Kirk dies.
And miraculously, because he’s made a habit of injecting dead tribbles with the blood stolen from space terrorists, Doctor McCoy figures out that, hey, I’ll just put Cumberkhan’s blood into Kirk and he’ll perk up from his state of “just mostly dead.” Because there was a good reason for him to do that. Just stick some blood in a tribble. It just happened. Miracle blood resurrection.
Then the movie continues, right? Spock chases Khan down through the streets of San Francisco and catches him so the miracle blood can be extracted and Kirk can be saved. Because we need a Kirk in TREK3.
Well, I figured out something that might have actually made the story work.
What if, McCoy doesn’t know about the blood? What if Khan, finally cornered by Spock, realizes that his Miracle Blood is the bargaining chip that gets him out of jail? “Hey, pity about Kirk, but I’ve got the sauce that can get him up and chasing co-eds again. All you have to do is let me go once the deed is done.”
Now it becomes a dilemma. A choice. Spock actually has to do something rational instead of the rrrrargh KHAN KILL KIRK MUST KILL KHAN thing.
But no. Not gonna happen.
I won’t even get into the myriad of other ways that the movie could have been improved. If you liked it, great, you liked it. There was plenty of stuff to look at, but when the story that’s being serviced is hollow, it’s a little harder for me to get into it.