Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Notable Reads of 2011

I read so many good books this year. It's nearly impossible to try and remember them all, but some definitely stand out in my mind. Please note: I make no distinction between books written for adults and those geared to the YA crowd. That being said, here is my list of notable reads in no particular order:

11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine
The Thief of Broken Toys by Tim Lebbon
Robopocalypse: A Novel by Daniel H. Wilson
Every Shallow Cut by Tom Piccirilli
Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
The German by Lee Thomas
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Legacy by Denise Tompkins
Eyes to See by Joseph Nassise
Variant by Robison Wells
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Miserere: An Autumn Tale by Teresa Frohock
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

I know that I soon as I post this, I will remember several more and in a day or two, even more, but it is what it is. And here are the books I currently have on deck to read (I've heard good things about all of them.):

Theatre of Curious Acts by Cate Gardner
Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield
Zone One by Colson Whitehead
The Becoming by Jessica Meigs
Rage Against the Night edited by Shane Jiraiya Cummings
The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz
The Lamplighters by Frazer Lee
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Arcane Anthology Now Available

The Arcane Anthology, which includes my story, The Web of Legends, is now available! You can buy it in print or in ebook format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thirty tales to send chills down your spine and make you leave the light on at night. What's not to like about that?

Here is the full Table of Contents:

We Belong to Her by Joe Mirabello
A Capella by Jonathan S. Pembroke
The Truth About Mother by Van Aaron Hughes
The Web of Legends by Damien Walters Grintalis
Reyes Rides the Deville by Dan Cavallari
The Heart of the Matter by Paul L. Bates
El Diablo de Paseo Grande by Milo James Fowler
The Delivery by A.A. Garrison
Corporautolysis by Christopher Slatsky
Mallecho by Stephen Willcott
God of the Kiln by Eric Francis
Tied by D.T. Kastn
Lady of the Crossroads by Christine Lucas
Beneath the Arch of Knives by James Lecky
All Coated in Bonemeal by Bartholomew Klick
Possessed of Talent by Ayden Parish
Sweet Heaven in My View by Frank Stascik
It’s Not the Boys in This Family That Have to Worry by Brady Golden
Kiss of Death by Jeremy Zimmerman
Legacy by SM Williams
An Unquiet Slumber by Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein
A Friend, the Spider by Caitlin Hoffman
Destination Unknown by Anthony J. Rapino
In One There is Many by Max Vile
Incident at the Geometric Church by David McGillveray
Black Bush by Gemma Files
The Best and Bitt’rest Kiss by S.K. Gilman
Visiting Hours by Josh Strnad
Sweet Dreams by Fran Walker
The Business of Herman Laczko by Mark Beech

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Weight of a Book

I got an ereader a few months ago, after several months of swinging back and forth on the issue. I love the experience of reading. I love curling up in my reading spot, holding the weight of a book in my hands, and turning the pages. I thought an ereader would somehow diminish the experience.

I will admit, reading the first ebook I purchased was an odd experience. I curled up in my reading spot and tried to get comfortable holding the Nook instead of a book. It took a bit and once I did, sliding my finger across the screen instead of turning the pages was odd. (I have a Nook Simple Touch) But by the time I started on the second ebook, I was hooked.

And now I'm going to touch upon a very contentious issue: pricing. I see people griping all the time about it and I find it puzzling. Yes, when you buy a physical book, you get the paper and the cover, but what you're really paying for is the story within, right?

Yes, the ebook lives inside the Nook and not on the shelf, but the story itself? That lives in my head. Whether I read the paper book or the ebook, I am reading the same words, the same story, created by the author. I can reread them time and again, just as I can with a paper book.

So what's more important? The paper and the cover or the story?

The story is what I'm purchasing, no matter the format. I am purchasing someone's long hours at the keyboard or the typewriter or with a pen and paper. I'm purchasing their dreams and nightmares turned into syllables and sentences. I'm purchasing concepts and ideas created from the word machine in the author's head.

That's the true weight, the true gift, of a book and, in my opinion, it's priceless.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Short Stories That Linger

It's nearly the end of the year although I'm quite certain it's a trick. It certainly flew by faster than it should have, in my opinion. But enough of that babble.

Discovering a short story that speaks to you is fabulous, realizing that a short story has remained with you long after the initial reading is even better. Here are links to some short stories that have that pervasive quality. I highly recommend giving them a read. At least once. Your mileage may vary, of course, tastes being subjective and all that. There are quite a few stories I've read in various print magazines that have that same quality as well, but these are all stories that are available online.

The Birdcage Heart by Peter M. Ball - Daily Science Fiction

The Old Equations by Jake Kerr - Lightspeed

My Father's Wounds by Ferrett Steinmetz - Beneath Ceaseless Skies

The Jenny by Cheryl Rydbom - Redstone Science Fiction

And if you haven't visited Electric Velocipede in a while, we are currently rolling out Issue 23, our first electronic issue. We have some wonderful short stories, fantastic poetry, and more. Some is already up on the site with more to come in the next few weeks.