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08-21-03: David Corbett Interview Online, The Bukowski Hangover Project, Weird Web Art from the Fortean List

David Corbett Interview Online

My interview with David Corbett, author of 'The Devil's Redhead' and 'Done for Dime' is now online. Don't miss this interview -- Corbett has a million great tales to tell about his time working for a San Francisco Private Investigation firm, and how they played out into his fiction. Find out about the gentlemen marijuana smugglers of the 1980's and the drug-dealing real estate tycoons of the inner city. It's dirty California Politics at its best! The interview is available in MP3 or RealAudio format.

The Bukowski Hangover Project

This collection clearly includes the blood of the poets, short-story writers, and essayists.


Victor Thorn, editor of the online webzine Babel Magazine, is putting out an anthology of Bukowski-flavored fiction and anecdotes. I'm acquainted with at least one of the writers, Michael Meloan, who knew Buk through a mutual friend. Those who are looking for a new dose of Bukowski-lit would be well advised to sign up for this title in advance, and I'm certain you'll enjoy Mike's contribution, probably some wild-hair of a story about the things he gets up to or would like to get up to; you can find more of Mike's work at Babel, and I'm guessing that you'll find many of the writers for this anthology there as well.

Weird Web Art from the Fortean List

Not a blood relative of mine, I swear.

The Fortean list offer up daily treasures and I could not pass this by. Alas the original URL has vanished, so I had to go to the Wayback machine to get this image. However, looking at the site URL, I found several more JK Potter-style works worth viewing. Visit there if you need your mind bent. me, I enjoying this visit with one of Lovecraft's deep ones. Thanks, Rachel!

Characters from Arthur Machen's 'The White People'.

What is truly evil? Stones with eyes?

Rachel also sent through this Japanese site, which features sculptures straight out of Arthur Machen. I recently wrote about 'The White People' in a column on children and evil. Are you disturbed yet?


08-20-03: Charles de Lint finds the 'Spirits in the Wires' John Connolly Makes the Journey

Charles de Lint finds the 'Spirits in the Wires'

I've had to deal with these spirits. It's a major pain.

I'vejust started reading Charles de Lint's newest novel, 'Spirits in the Wires'. It's another Newford novel, with the characters who usually remain in the background taking center stage. According to the author, "The impetus to write this book and the title as well, was sparked by some offhand comments made by my friend Richard Kunz concerning how, with the ever-growing prevalance of technology in the world, some of the spirits of fairy tales and folklore have probably already left the woods and other pastoral settings to take up residence in the wires that seem to connect us to everything: telephone, cable, electricity. No doubt they're in the satellite feeds as well."

Now that's an intriguing statement of sentiment that has haunted cyberpunk from the get-go. From the proto-cyberpunk of Lucius Shepherd's 'Green Eyes' to Richard Morgan's quite recent 'Broken Angels', writers have sought to evoke these spirits -- usally from the SF realm. Now we have fantasy writers invading cyberspace. I'll try to whip through this one and let you know -- Charles de Lint will be touring shortly; you can find a list of his appearances here.

John Connolly Crosses the Big Pond

It's here!

...and here's another novel that Terry and I just got from Hodder & Stoughton. I think we'll have some interesting cognitive dissonance in our reviews, as I'll be approaching as a horror novel, while she'll be looking at the mystery. Oh the fun we have arguing about this stuff. To my mind, there's more than a little semblance between this novel and Chuck Palahniuk's wonderful 'Diary'. You've got your east coast island, your threatened wife and well -- bad men.


08-19-03: Audrey Niffeneggar's Unstuck Romance, Dark, Complex Wolves from McKean & Gaiman, John Burdett's Snakes on Speed, PKD Book Club Bonanza

The Time Traveler's Wife

Drop your favorite watch into a Cuisinart!

My friend at the Capitola Book Cafe told me about a book that I suspect will become a favorite of Agony Column readers, though it may not quite delight me as much as I suspect it will others. It would be Audrey Neffeneggar's 'The Time Traveler's Wife'. According to my contact, this book generated a huge buzz at BEA. It's the story of a beautiful art student and an adventuresome librarian who happens to be unstuck in time, much as was Billy Pilgrim in Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse Five'*. In Ken-Grimwood-in-a-blender fashion they experience love, out of order. The publisher, MacAdam/Cage, is a respected literary house that's giving this book a big push. It definitely sounds as if it will please a vast audience -- and we'll be looking at it soon. The author is coming to Capitola Book Cafe, Thursday September 18, at 7:30 PM. She's not the traveling type, so I'd suggest you pull yourself around for a signature that may accrue value. With signed firsts of 'Replay' going for $75-$150 (and one available from the almost mythic Don Cannon at Aladdin Books), and given that 'Replay' was published by a New York house, this seems like a wise investment, if you care to think of books that way.

* I cut my essay-writing teeth on this novel as a ninth-grader, fascinated by amazing lure of the word "existential".

Dark, Complex Wolves from McKean & Gaiman

This new book by Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman has gorgeous, deep, dark illustrations. Buy it immediately.

As much as I enjoyed the story and illustrations of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's first collaboration, 'The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish', I found that there were not as many of the dark, dense collages that of McKean's as I would have liked. This book corrects that problem with a bevy of deep, dark complex images to match Gaiman's sparse, surreal story. Plus -- it has Piggy. Now my younger son is too young to remember the days of Piggy's reign in our house, but I have him carefully stored above the books with my Totoro. Yes --I do have a Totoro and you can't have it!

John Burdett's Snakes on Speed

Chip Kidd's DJ for John Burdett's new novel.

The book cover itself; with author and titles placed so they show through the slots in the DJ.

The back cover of Burdett's novel.

I heard John Burdett interviewed recently, and I was quite impressed by his description of writing 'Bangkok 8', so much so that I immediately went out and bought it. With as Terry says, "snakes on speed and Buddhist cops, sounds wild and pretty interesting. Certainly a Rick book, and maybe even a Terry book." Turns out it gets bonus points for the Chip Kidd cover design, clever and catching as always. Now, carve me a few extra hours in the day to read it.

PKD Dick Book Club Bonanza

No, alas, not a first -- they'd know at Logos.

It's not a first edition, but it's a beautiful book club version of the first edition, perfectly preserved and located at another local independent bookstore, Logos. the clerk who sold it to me had already equipped it with a Bro-Dart jacket. it's not a first but, in true Philip K. Dick Fashion, it's a perfect facsimile of a first, manufactured at the same time as the first. What could be more appropriate?