Story Quote from “Four Deep”

Well, last call’s come and gone. My guys are getting impatient, especially Bert who already thinks the jobs I find for us are bunk. And then there’s Percy with his delusions of grandeur, thinking we should be going Big Time, but the reality is we’re tiny fish in a large pond. We ain’t Italian or Russian, and none of us are connected, really, not to made guys anyways, so any mob work we get is going to be for scraps. That’s just how it is on the lower level. — Zane Mitchell in “Four Deep”

Read the story here @ Dead Guns Press


The Rucker Report: Week 10, 2015 – Back from Blah

28368403-vector-silhouette-of-a-man-sitting-at-a-computer-on-a-white-backgroundAfter a month of snowpocalypse and general winter frigidity, a musical rollercoaster with band shenanigans, bouts of frustration and depression (nothing too serious), minor health concerns and a brief automobile recall scare…

Hello from the gutter!  I am returned.  

This little online journal-that-could now has garnered 284 followers since December.  For those of you new to the program, these writer updates, which tend to be biweekly, monthly or just plain sporadic, are typically to report on the writing life of yours most true (and I usually squeeze in some musical news too).  A self-summarizing glance of aft and fore.  It’s an old tradition that goes back to the golden age of my blogging that started with Brandon Rucker Writes over on Blogger some five years ago.

Not much has occurred on the writing of fiction front the past month.  As mentioned in the last update, my short story “Four Deep” will see publication at the end of the month over on Dead Guns Press.  It’s a slightly different take on the hardboiled crime story, featuring some low-rent scumbag antiheroes I’ve been carrying around with me for nearly two decades.  Look for it on the 29th.  I’ll post a link here when I have it.

Forging ahead with other unpublished stuff, I decided to commit to a Duotrope subscription because I was having such a hard time finding potential bizarro fiction venues online, let alone in print.  I’ve found two and will send the unpublished “The Other Roommate” to one, and – as part of Operation: Remember Me? – I might send the previously published “All in a Day’s Work” to the other, that is if I go away from my plan to simply put it up on Smashwords as an e-book ‘reprint’, which happens to be the plan for my other bizarro story “The Underneath”.  I doctored up a cover for it a few months back.

In other O: RM? news, Shard: A Bloody Microfiction” is now back up live on Smashwords.  It’s an expanded version of the original (which was only 200 words, the revised one is double that).  It’s got one review so far from a guy who obviously didn’t get the purpose of that kind of story nor was he privy to the purpose of the anthology in which it was originally published.  Can’t please’em all, right?

As for new fiction, there’s the story I’m code-naming Project: Eros – the collaboration between my pen name with another author’s pen name – that’s still gestating in the murky depths of my wayward mind.  I usually get new ideas for it just before sleep claims me or in the morning when I’m shaking off the ghostly residue of dreams.  I’m the lead-off writer for that, so I really need to get my ass in gear.

What else is there?  I have much revising of old stuff to do to shape them up for re-publication, or in some cases, their first light of public scrutiny.  More on that stubborn lot next time.

On the music front, the new band is experiencing growing pains, but nothing that won’t be manageable.  I am moving from bass over to guitar.  We have a nice list of potential bassists to fill that vacated spot.  However, after reluctantly parting ways with our vocalist last week, the list of potential free agents to fill that roster spot is a bit smaller.  I remain optimistic and stoked to see this new entity and musical marriage blossom and grow.  We’ve even started a short list of potential band names.

Also, this happened here.  Other than that, I think that’s all I have right now.  If this week is as productive as I anticipate, I should have more details to note.

Until then, and even after, be good to one another.



LISTENED: These Arms Are Snakes

READ: Descender #1, Rat Queens #9, Saga #26

WATCHED: The Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Gotham

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
most online booksellers and many fine bookstores

Bob Thurber’s Old Christmas Story

A good friend of mine, the award-winning short story guru and now novelist Bob Thurber, has supplied a link to an old Christmas story of his that I would like to share (follow the link after the sample).

“A Simple Decoration”
It was all Jack that Christmas.

On the drive across town I thought of nothing else. Not my ex-wife, whose car I had begged to borrow, or my daughter experiencing her first Christmas without me.

My headlights carved tunnels in the slanting snow. I found a clear spot in a tow zone and bumped up onto the curb. I left the engine running, headlights on, not caring if I ever saw that car again. (continued)

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.

New: Liquid Imagination Online #11 is Live!

The latest issue of Liquid Imagination went live this week. Here’s what we have in store for you:
Speculative Short Stories – Edited by Kevin Wallis:
All of these tales are narrated by Bob Eccles, except *
Flash Fiction/Microfiction – Edited by Brandon Rucker:
Literary Fiction edited by Sue Babcock & John “JAM” Arthur Miller:
All of these tales are narrated by Bob Eccles
Poetry edited by Chrissy Davis:
Plus articles and plenty of stunning digital artwork provided by Sue Babcock and Jack S. Rogers.