Lost the Plot | Thoughts on Trees

Trees #6 (Image) – I’ve finally come to realize why I’m having so much trouble with this series. It’s perfectly plot-less – there is no obvious (or even discernable) plot that writer Warren Ellis (the comics legend) is working here. It’s not uncommon for an author to hold his cards close to his vest in a suspense story in terms of plot. However, I would say Ellis is playing Texas Hold’em with Trees. And he’s bluffing hard. The concept is cool – well, it seems like it could be really cool, there’s not really been much revealed about it when you really dwell on it. It’s coming out in dribs and drabs. It kind of has that scatter-shot mode of storytelling (that literary fiction and really arty films use) where it’s a collection of mostly disjointed scenes and events that do not necessarily intersect nor culminate into a bigger story pool. I’m also thinking this is Ellis’ most decompressed writing in a good long while (although the little bit I read of his webcomic FreakAngels from the 00’s seemed to hint at a similar approach as with Trees). Ellis has said this first story arc wraps up with issue #8 before taking a break. We can only hope the next two chapters pull back the curtain more to allow for more actionable plot to occur. It pains me to continue rating Uncle Warren this low. — Rating: 2.5



Website: Popcorn Fiction (Mulholland Books)

A few months ago while perusing the Mulholland Books website (the suspense fiction imprint of Little, Brown and Company and publisher of notable authors such as Lawrence Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Charlie Huston, Greg Rucka and soon, Warren Ellis), I stumbled across the short fiction blog that they also publish, called POPCORN FICTION, featuring cutting edge fiction that’s mostly in the crime and science fiction genres. I can never have too many crime and suspense fiction stories to read, so naturally I subscribed to be notified when a new story has been posted.

There are some good reads there. Check it out. A new story by Les Bohem just went up on the front page yesterday.

And for any of you working or just aspiring writers out there, here are the submission guidelines for Popcorn Fiction.

Popcorn Fiction

A Slight Return and, well, More Warren Ellis, of Course

I’ve been a bit busy, distracted and frustrated with any number of other things (like writing stories and other stuff, finally downloading and playing with Adobe’s CS5, a bum knee, a bum car in the shop, looking into buying a new car, several writer’s association meetings, and time with the family just goes without saying – perhaps a more detailed updated later), but I’d rather not talk about me and my troubles as I’d much rather talk about Warren Ellis (yeah, him again).

You can get all this news from his awesome internet home/blogsite, but since I’m araving fanboy of The Man/Writer/Legend/ Internet Jesus, I’m going to share some Ellis news here because that’s just what I do (for free, even!).

It was announced yesterday (April 11, 2011) that Warren Ellis has signed a two-book deal with Little, Brown and Company (via their Mulholland Books Imprint) to publish a crime (and sci-fi?) thriller called Gun Machine (due fall 2012), and another novel to be named later. Ellis wrote a nice little essay about crime and science fiction on the imprint’s website today that’s worth a read.

Quote: “I’m mostly a science fiction writer. I’m sometimes also a crime writer. These are essentially the same thing.”

The Internet Jesus of Our Blessed Times

There’s also a little Q&A session between Ellis and the Naked Nerd, Katherine Curtis.

Okay, that’s it for my slight return. I must retreat back to relative obscurity to tend to my huge list of Things To Do and Shit I Just Gotta Deal With. I imagine that includes finishing up that damned Battle of the Bands beast I created. At least it becomes a smaller beast as it progresses. But…work comes before play.

Or so I’ve been told.

GUEST BLOG: Warren Ellis “On Killing Stories”

Warrent Ellis, one of my favorite creative minds in this universe talks about the hard decision every writer has to make at some point.

“The lesson is simply this: you just have to recognise that, no matter how much weight you put behind it and how much you tart it up,sometimes a story just doesn’t bloody work, and you have to take it behind the stables and shoot it through the head. No writer is perfect. We all have dead bodies to our names.”

More: http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=11878

Shivering Sands by Warren Ellis

Mom, can I get this for Christmas? Does it have swear words from that snarky, cranky but uber-talented English writer fellow? Yes. Is it starkly irreverent to conventional thinking? Um, yeah? Does it broaden the mind with outside-the-box viewpoints and thought-provoking ideas. Well, yeah. Will it make you piss your pants while giggling like a school girl? YES!!! Why do you think I want it???

Buy it at Lulu.com