Joe Hill’s STRANGE WEATHER

In Joe Hill’s most recent newsletter (subscribe here) he shared the cover and some information about his next book, a collection of four short novels called STRANGE WEATHER. There’s even generous preview over at Entertainment Weekly’s website.

From his newsletter, Joe Hill writes:

My next book, STRANGE WEATHER, a collection of four short novels, is out this October (early November in the U.K.). It opens with “Snapshot,” the story of a man known as the Phoenician, who carries a modified Polaroid camera that can steal memories. An earlier draft of that novella appeared in Cemetery Dance 74/75, although the version in the book includes a few new chapters.

“Loaded” tells the story of a mall security guard who becomes an overnight hero to the gun rights movement after he single handedly takes on a mass shooter. But as his story of bravery begins to crack, so does his sanity, and on a breathlessly hot Florida afternoon, he reaches for the gun again, and embarks on a day of reckoning.

The third novella, “Aloft,” strands a young skydiver on an unaccountably solid cloud, leaving him a desperate castaway on an island in the sky. And in the finale, “Rain,” deadly storms of nails begin to shower down all across the United States in a glittering, lethal hail.

If you’re in the market for a signed book, Water Street Books in Exeter, New Hampshire has you covered. As they did with THE FIREMAN, they’re offering signed copies of STRANGE WEATHER to those who preorder. They ship worldwide. If you are kind enough to pre-order, you have my thanks. All the information is right here.
strange-weather4

 

Advertisements

Road Dog | A Double-Drabble — RUCKERPEDIA

{ 200 words } Various instruments crowd the back of the cargo van-turned-tour van. His legs are cramped. He’s gotta piss, but there’s no rest stop for god knows how many miles. As the miles become more miles, his hunger becomes aching, tiredness becomes weariness. He’s horny, sure. But he sincerely misses her for all […]

via Road Dog | A Double-Drabble — RUCKERPEDIA

BOOK: Nothing But Trouble – Stories by Bob Thurber

My old friend Bob Thurber, the winner of numerous literary awards, is on a roll. In 2011 he  released the stark, unforgiving and rather audacious novel Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel (Casperian Books), followed by Nickel Fictions: 50 Exceedingly Brief Stories and Cinderella She Was Not: a novelette — both self-published in 2013, and now here in 2014 he’s just released Nothing But Trouble (Shanti Arts Publishing), another collection of stories, this time accompanied by the complimentary images of photographer Vincent Louis Carrella.

From the press copy: This uncompromising collection of stories comes from the widely acclaimed and award winning master of the short story, Bob Thurber. Here he weaves his tales around such facets of the human condition as Fathers and Fools, Women and Children, Marriage and Divorce, and Art and Artifice. Typically unsettling and revelatory, Thurber knows how to cast a story that depicts the coarse reality of life, and his skills are displayed here with both passion and sentiment. Thurber gives the reader a chance, not to peek, but to plunge head first into the deep, dark mystery of simple existence. Accompanied by photographs by the equally intrepid wordsmith and image maker Vincent Louis Carrella.

I’ve been reading, associating with and drawing inspiration and influence from Bob Thurber for the better part of fifteen years now from the early days of Internet socializing we and hundreds of other writers did on the online writer’s workshop (which as it turns out was a social media forerunner. Surely you remember the Zoetrope Virtual Studio, right?). Thurber, whether by will or nomination, was a de facto mentor to a lot of us young budding writers there at the tail end of the last century and we’re all the better for it. I’ve mentioned probably ad nauseam here and elsewhere the tremendous impact Thurber’s writing has had on my own prose work. And I know that through his work and generous sharing of his time, there’s no telling how many up-and-coming writers he’s helped the past decade or more. And readers too, as much of his fiction tends to hit on such a realistic and revelatory level that it can be cathartic.

About three years back I had the distinct honor of not only interviewing — in two parts — my esteemed mentor (I won’t say peer; he’s on a whole other level), but I also had the privilege to acquire a few pieces of his works for publication in the Liquid Imagination webzine when I was an editor there. For our 8th issue of LI I even performed a nifty voice reading of his micro story “Grave Invitation” (a work of his that is also featured in the aforementioned Nickel Fictions collection).

If you like your prose fiction short, honest, straight-to-the-heart and steeped in the oftentimes stunning enigmas of real-life, then you should most definitely be reading the work of Bob Thurber. You’ve been informed. — B.

Nothing But Trouble
Stories by Bob Thurber
Images by Vincent Louis Carrella 
$22.95  |  ISBN: 978-0-9885897-6-6 

available at www.shantiarts.com
most online booksellers and many fine bookstores

Promo: Local Heroes anthology – Available Now

The anthology book event of the year has finally arrived:

Conceived, compiled and edited by Brandon L. Rucker, Local Heroes is a themed anthology of original short fiction published by Static Movement books, featuring stories about the kind of everyday real-life heroes who selflessly interrupt their own lives to positively affect the lives of others. Often they are unsung, and often they are reluctant to embrace the title of “hero”, but that could never diminish the impact of their heroism.
This book features the outstanding work of such authors as Robert C. Eccles, Kevin Wallis, Twana Biram, John “JAM” Arthur Miller, Michael C. Pennington, Dorthy Davies and many more.
Order it direct from the publisher and get free shipping when your order exceeds $25. Easy to do when you consider there are dozens more anthologies by Static Movement to enjoy.
Or order it from Amazon if you prefer.
Local Heroes is but only the first anthology by Brandon L. Rucker. More anthologies conceived, compiled and edited by yours truly are coming in 2012. Expect more announcements here starting in early January.

Update: A Change o’ Plans; A Regrouping of Sorts

In my last update a couple of weeks back, I revealed that I was working on a short story collection for a fall release…18 or so stories that fit a common thread or an overall thematic mood. It was more or less to put my writing past behind me as pretty much all those stories were written as far back as the late 90s which was my golden age period. I wrote fiction for years before really attempting to share it with an audience outside of writer workshops. So I have quite the vault of stories in varying lengths, genres, styles and all that.

Well, inxay the collection, at least how I originally envisioned it, and perhaps not as soon as this fall or the foreseeable future. Because of that aforementioned versatility, I’ve come to the decision to launch a handful of pen names and assign appropriate stories and future projects under them. It just makes sense, really, and it’s so liberating, say, for instance, writing and presenting a very female-centric story under a blatantly female pen name.

It’s a long road getting back to this position (a 360 really). When I first started writing prose in 1993, I had studied the career of one Dean Koontz who had used a dozen pen names because, like me right out of the gate, he also wrote in multiple different genres (often cross-genre) using multiple different styles and whatnot. Long story short, though reluctant, it was necessary for him in those times of the 1970s and 80s because publishers (and readers) not keen to pigeonhole a prolific writer, especially one who changed up styles and genres often. It was simply too hard for a prolific, versatile writer to get any traction under one name (especially when a struggling author was putting out five novels a year to put food on the table).

Well, even today, when you’re not yet a brand name, it’s hard to establish a brand with such diversity. The last several years I had been of the mind that it was “to hell with it all, accept me and my diversity as we are”, but that ego-centric approach puts the name/ the persona first instead of allowing the stories to get the fair shake they deserve. Flash-forward to today, in studying certain markets I’ve come to understand that I would face certain gender bias in certain cases. It’s a silly game to be played, but with today’s publishing options (and in some cases lack thereof), it makes more sense to approach it this way, cover all bases and attack from various angles.

Also in my research I was reminded that back in the day (18th & 19th centuries) many women writers had to adopt male pen names because of publisher and reader bias. Everyone knows that women really used to have it bad all over, and I’ve always been real sensitive to their plight in society to a balanced extent. And so the ugly truth of the business of publishing is that readers are discriminate when it comes to associating certain works with a particular genre. No sense in fighting against that with my ego saying “Well, they’re going to accept me as the writer I am regardless.” Yeah, I’m proud of my versatility and my wide-ranging interests in fiction and stoytelling. But if I want the work to get the due attention it deserves without arbitrary interference, then the pen name option will help achieve that.

So the pen names will be launched next month across the web and digitally (though perhaps not in print for a while). I will not be exposing them here or abroad; only editors and publishers will know when I sign their contracts. So there will not be any cross-association of the four (or so) pen names with my true name in any public sense. Of course, there will still be plenty under the usual Brandon L. Rucker byline. I associate with and cross-promote so many other writers across the web that it will be a seamless process to include my ‘secret aliases’ (muhahahahah!) in my promotional efforts.

I have more news, but I gotta scoot to the day job. So, until later…

Update: My Reading and Writing Activities

It’s summer reading season in my household. Wife & kids have already begun their preemptive strike and as the proverbial slowpoke I’m playing catchup. I went to the library this past weekend to pay my dues…I told the library clerk that I was paying my annual dues. She chuckled, but I as serious. I always end up paying at least about $10 bucks a year to the local library for late fees. It’s just my way of giving back to the community. At least that’s my way of looking at it.

As for summer reading, unfortunately I am at a huge disadvantage because I have lots on my writing plate this summer, with a major editing project to wrap up in early July, and a novel to get back to. Since wrapping up the latest issue of Liquid Imagination in May, I’ve gone into selfish mode for June as I am spit-shining and polishing the dozen and a half stories selected for my forthcoming short story collection (tentatively due late September), one story at a time. Most of these stories go back some years, and today I’m a different writer in alot of ways than I was then, so it’s always interesting to revisit old works and apply the current you to blend with the old you. Since I’m my own worst critic, I’ve enlisted the help of a couple of colleagues who are just as ruthless as editors as I. I still have four stories I’m finalizing for specifically-themed anthologies as well that I’m pushing to the finish line. [More on the story collection as I get closer to release. I’ll reveal the title and the cover in due time.]

July is still bullseyed as official ‘back-to-the-novel’ month as has been the goal all year long, but prior to that I will need to close out the editing/formatting of the Local Heroes anthology I’m doing for Static Movement. The deadline is June 30th and I have a head start on the editing, but I will have to intensify efforts in the closeout to meet my goals.

Nonetheless, I squeeze in reading whenever I can. Don’t want to be lagging too far behind the family, voracious reading creatures that they are. In my backpack is a rotation of the following books currently:

 

 
Paperboy, a book I’ve tasked myself with promoting for my author buddy Bob Thurber, is a great read (I’m about a third through it so far).
Stories: All New Tales will likely only have a handful of great stories, one of which by Neil Gaiman himself.
 
I love noir and hardboiled fiction, especially when it’s just straight up crime fiction. This huge Best of American Noir book tapped me on the should at the library and gravelly said “Eh, you need to read me, bub.” A lot of my favorite crime writers are in there like Ed Gorman, Mickey Spillane, Elmore Leonard, and David Morrell.
Beneath the Surface of Things by Kevin Wallis. He’s another writer buddy I’d like to promote as well. He’s hard at work on his debut novel, but this is his short story collection form last year that is at least partially responsible for me deciding to release one as well, though mine won’t be nearly as good as his. Dude’s a heck of a horror, writer, if you dig that.
And recent additions to the stack o’ comics on my desk:
My first ever issue of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal. Not a bad read. As a set up issue it’s a bit slow, but judging by the cliffhanger ending shit’s about to get real interesting.
Rick Remender continues to write the best book in Marvel’s X-Men franchise and that is Uncanny X-Force. He’s arguably the X-Men’s best scribe since Grant Morrison in the early 2000s. Very pleased with this series, just wish they’d settle on a permanent and good artist (Jerome Opena, please!).
Two indie books from Image Comics that really got me excited about all the diverse creator-owned stuff coming from them lately (including Elephant Men which I still haven’t read yet). Undying Love (by Thom Coker and Daniel Freedman) is a cool ass action noir Japanese/American vampire movie distilled into a darkly beautiful comic. Two issues in and I’m hooked (of couse it’d be better collected into graphic novel, my preferred method of reading). But I’m along for the monthly ride…for now.
After picking up Nonplayer of the shelf and looking at its beautiful pages, there was no way I couldn’t buy it. Stunningly gorgeous art by Nate Simpson. I love the concept as well. Unfortunately he’s a one-man show on this comic, drawing it digitally on his computer, so he warns in the afterword that this series will be slow coming. But I think it will be worth the irregular wait.
What I haven’t read is a good biography in a while. I read biographical books much faster than fiction tomes for some reason. There are pleny on my to-read list too.
Sigh.