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  • Endless Joke
    Endless Joke
    by David Antrobus

    Here's that writers' manual you were reaching and scrambling for. You know the one: filled with juicy writing tidbits and dripping with pop cultural snark and smartassery. Ew. Not an attractive look. But effective. And by the end, you'll either want to kiss me or kill me. With extreme prejudice. Go on. You know you want to.

  • Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    by David Antrobus

    Please click on the above thumbnail to buy my short, intense nonfiction book featuring 9/11 and trauma. It's less than the price of a cup of coffee... and contains fewer calories. Although, unlike most caffeine boosts, it might make you cry.

  • Music Speaks
    Music Speaks
    by LB Clark

    My story "Solo" appears in this excellent music charity anthology, Music Speaks. It is an odd hybrid of the darkly comic and the eerily apocalyptic... with a musical theme. Aw, rather than me explain it, just read it. Okay, uh, please?

  • First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    by Sybil Wilen, P. J. Ruce, Jeffrey McDonald, John Page, Susan Burdorf, Christina Gavi, David Alexander, Joanna Parypinski, Jack Flynn, Graeme Edwardson, David Antrobus, Jason Bailey, Xavier Axelson

    My story "Unquiet Slumbers" appears in the zombie anthology First Time Dead, Volume 3. It spills blood, gore and genuine tears of sorrow. Anyway, buy this stellar anthology and judge for yourself.

  • Seasons
    Seasons
    by David Antrobus, Edward Lorn, JD Mader, Jo-Anne Teal

    Four stories, four writers, four seasons. Characters broken by life, although not necessarily beaten. Are the seasons reminders of our growth or a glimpse of our slow decay?

  • Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited

    I have two stories in this delightful compendium of every 2012 winner of their Flash Fiction Challenge—one a nasty little horror short, the other an amusing misadventure of Og the caveman, his first appearance.

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Thursday
Dec152011

Walker Is My Name And I Am The Same

There hung over the place a kynd of scortchy smel a kynd of stinging scortchy smel and the grey smoak driffing thru the blue smoak of the chard coal harts. Twean lite it wer the 1st dark coming on. Bat lite it wer and dimminy the pink and red stumps glimmering in the coppises like loppt off arms and legs and the rivver hy and hummering. The dogs wer howling nor it wernt like no other howling I ever heard it wer a kynd of wyld hoapless soun it wer a lorn and oansome yoop yaroo it soundit like they wer runnying on ther hynt legs and telling like thin black men and sad. Crying ther yoop yaroo ther sad tel what theyd all ways knowit theywd have to tel agen. [P. 189 Picador Edition, © 1980]

Not simply one of the great post-apocalyptic novels, Riddley Walker is one of the great mythic novels, period. With darkness having long descended on humankind, centuries after a nuclear catastrophe, a twelve year old boy scrabbling in the barren dirt of England's southeast corner awakens to something unexpected. Not hope, far from it. But the sense his life is not as delineated as he and his primitive kind assumed. But I want you to read it, so I won't give much more away. Other than the language itself. This is a tour de force more reminiscent of Tolkien's "sub-creation", in that an entire language has been created... in this case, a base and gutteral language that nevertheless, at its best, possesses a kind of roughshod lyrical charm. It is part fable, part dystopia, equal parts bawdily hilarious and unsettlingly haunting. Or plain haunted, even. Haunted by the dimmest recollection of a past when humans had sufficient "clevverness" to almost destroy themselves.

I have been working on and off on a kind of dark fantasy novel, and this book, this bleak visionary glimpse of one possible future, was a major influence. Why today? Why mention it now?

Because author Russell Hoban died on Tuesday (December 13) and any hope we may have harboured of anything approaching a sequel passed away with him. The only hope is that this breathtaking, near perfect work of art will now break out of its cult status and be recognised as one of the great pieces of 20th Century literature it undoubtedly is.

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.

Wednesday
Dec142011

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award. Pour moi? Well who knew? A blogging award after only five posts? Must be that new cologne (no, I don't wear cologne).

Although, now I have to pay my dues by linking back to the person who sent this my way, by outlining seven things about myself, and by rewarding five other bloggers with this same award.

So first up, a big thank you to Nicole Storey for passing this award on, it was very kind of her. Pssst, Nicole: I'll get the money and that "special object" to you as soon as it won't look at all suspicious in any way whatsoever, okay? Oh wait, inside voice!

Seven things you may or may not know about me (and which may or may not be true):

1. In the movie This Is Spinal Tap, I played a small part as a bass control button that only went to 9.

2. Koalas utterly terrify me.

3. Seeing the colour turquoise on a traffic sign makes me go temporarily deaf in one ear.

4. A distant relative once owned Stonehenge and lost it in a bet over how many toothpicks someone could hide in the Grand Duchess of Doncaster's cleavage.

5. I secretly wrote the major Shakepeare tragedy King Lear. Shhhh... I'm actually not proud of the typos in that one.

6. I once planned to gather a harem formed entirely of slightly irritable soccer moms. Sadly, at the last minute, I discovered a local bylaw prohibiting it.

7. Eerily, my fingerprints match up perfectly with those of actor Robert De Niro. As a result, I am considering framing him for a heinously spectacular crime, if only for some of his disappointing late-career roles.

Five worthy recipients:

Michael Edward ("Ed") McNally: Sable City

Yvonne Hertzberger: Yvonne Hertzberger

Patricia Carrigan: Patricia Carrigan

John Claude Smith: The Wilderness Within

Chuck Wendig: Terrible Minds

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.

Tuesday
Dec132011

Dreamscape (Transatlantic Version)

So, I was in London somewhere on the Thames Embankment and we were looking for a decent place to get coffee. It was a bright, sunny afternoon. A passerby pointed around a corner, by a bridge abutment and below a patch of grass, and we saw a tall, wooden ladder leading up into what looked like a child's tree fort. We proceeded to climb it, and just as I was able to see inside the building through the hatch, my companion started to slip and I grabbed her under her thin arms before she fell the entire way. She was panicked and I tried to soothe her. She was not exactly human, I noticed now; her head more canine, from which hung spindly arms and a body shaped like a cylinder. She had no lower limbs. Once she had calmed down and I'd pulled her through the hatch, she said, both apologetically and matter-of-factly, "there is not much to me, I'm just a head and one vital organ, probably a kidney," as we joined the cafeteria/canteen-style lineup/queue. I felt puzzled and mildly irritated.

© Art Nahpro, 2011It seemed to take forever; the proprietor—an unkempt and unattractive man—kept leaving his post at the cash register/till to attend to something fussy and seemingly unnecessary across the café and I could feel my patience stretch taut like a garotte. When it was our turn to pay, I attempted to hand him a ten pound note/twenty dollar bill, and once again he left to attend to whatever it was that was bothering him on the other side of the room, and although I planned to say something along the lines of "this is too long to wait to buy just coffee", once we were finally served I lost my resolve, paid up in silence, and walked over to the crude wooden picnic-style tables, nursing two steaming drinks. The coffee was not even particularly good, but as soon as I'd downed it, I realised I had somehow managed to eat the entire face of my companion as well, whose exposed foxlike skull was still smeared in globules of yellow fat atop her hollow tubelike body, all of her still twitching gently. My wet lips tasted of salt. Ashamed and quietly horrified, I left quickly, throwing her remains down the ladder into what was now a foggy London evening, scurrying after them like death's ugliest sibling.

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.

Tuesday
Dec132011

Lifting All Boats 2

Next up is a book I already reviewed over at Amazon, so I don't want to repeat myself too much, but it's an impressive debut by another independent author. In fact, no, forget that, I think I will repeat myself and paste the review here, as I still stand by it:

"With Joe Café, author JD Mader unleashes a noir thriller heavy with character but light on the nihilism. Despite a harrowing and brutal opener reminiscent of A History Of Violence, this is a surprisingly thoughtful and even likeable book, as if the spinner of the tale were a fishing buddy releasing each choice detail over the course of a slow summer afternoon. Not that there's anything slow about the pace of this excellent novel; it is almost perfectly weighted, and for a novel in this genre, is not only emotionally satisfying but genuinely affecting. So what is it about? Well, the compellingly told story follows a resentful killer and his captive, a stripper, through a pursuit involving both colourful mobsters and one very morose law enforcement officer... which all sounds very stock-in-trade on the surface, and yet Mader breathes new life into these tired tropes, leaving the reader with some unexpectedly conflicting emotions. How do I say this more clearly? Okay. Personally, I don't remember the last time a crime/noir thriller left me with tears running down my cheeks. Therefore, I very much recommend this novel."

Here are a few details about JD Mader, whose future output I will be following keenly: Dan Mader is a writer and musician, but mostly a writer. He is 6'2" and 220 lbs. He wears a size 11.5 shoe. You can find more of his work at Unemployed Imagination.

He also leaves two spaces between his sentences thus forcing me to edit his bio. His blog is well worth following and, if you insist, this is what the dude looks like:

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.

Tuesday
Dec132011

Lifting All Boats

So, true to my word, time to talk about someone else... more specifically, fellow writers who deserve exposure.

What have I been reading lately?

Well, in between all the work that accompanies the promotion of my own tiny piece of this much larger puzzle, not to mention the writing itself, I do try to read stuff written by others.

First up, I just finished a very strange collection written by the prolific and multi-talented K. S. Brooks and a dude with the pleasing name of Newton Love. I use the word "strange" here in an approving sense, since the book is titled Odd & Odder: A Collection of Sensuality, Satire and Suspense, so it would have been, um, odd if it weren't strange, if you get my drift. And besides, strange is my own stock in trade, really.

Anyway, it's a collection of short stories, poems and vignettes that draw from crime, noir, police procedural and spy fiction and something less definable yet mystifyingly intimate. The stories in particular are impressive, moving with a kind of relentless energy and fun and skirting genre pastiche without becoming cartoonish. The vignettes and poems allow for changes of pace between the intensity of the Fleminglike/Chandleresque stories. The strangeness, I suppose, is in the juxtaposition of styles, and however perplexing these choices are, the whole works better as a sum than the parts would alone. There's a kind of bipolar spirit running like electricity beneath the rollercoaster ups and downs of this distinctive and original carnival ride.

Here's some biographical stuff:

K. S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer and poet.

Ms. Brooks’ first novel, Lust for Danger, won her Honorable Mention in the Jada Press Book of the Year Awards as well as a spot in the “Next Big Thing” tent at the Baltimore Book Festival in Baltimore, Maryland. Since then, The Kiss of Night (2010) and Night Undone (2011) have been published by Cambridge Books. Ms. Brooks has also written 3 children's books, also published by Cambridge Books: The Mighty Oak and Me (2009), Postcards from Mr. Pish (2010) and Mr. Pish's Woodland Adventure (2011).

Her feature articles, poetry, and photography have appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and other publications both in the U.S. and abroad.

In the serenity of her new surroundings in Washington State, Ms. Brooks now devotes her time to writing action-adventure thrillers, romantic suspense novels, and children’s books which promote outdoor learning and literacy.

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.