Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Birth-Month Gift

My birthday is in July. But this month, I'm giving the gifts. For one month you can download my novella "Archangel Morpheus" and my e-chapbook "Fossiloctopus" for free. Yes, zero dollars and zero cents! Use the coupon code "SSWIN" at checkout, and you get them for no cost whatsoever, though you will need to register with Smashwords (who does not spam you with silly ads, etc). If you'd really like to give me a gift, just rate the books and/or write a short review. I'd greatly appreciate it! Feel free to share the code around, but do note that the code will only work on the Smashwords site, not on any of its affiliates, and only for the month of July. Thanks and happy reading!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Taking it Down

I will be taking my novellas "Cloaks of Vermin and Fish" and "The Doppelganger's Shadow" down from my Smashwords site. Not because I have any beef with Smashwords - quite the contrary. But because of a super-secret something that may or may not come about. Time will tell, but in the meantime, I need to tuck Italo and Vincenzo away from the world so that they can emerge stronger, more resilient, and maybe even a touch smarter (not the most difficult of feats, if you've read these two novellas). Look forward to *more* Italo and Vincenzo, not less. It's just a question of how they're going to be wrapped up. I'll keep you posted.

Of course my two free stories, "The Butterfly Artist" and "An Apotheosis", e-chapbook, and novella "Archangel Morpheus" will still be available. I am hoping to get another novella up there in the near future, as well - a blast from the past to be re-revealed in electronic form.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Book of Apex 3

My story "Langknech and Tzi-Tzi in the Land of the Mad" was published a little ways back in Apex magazine, for which I am grateful and pleased. Now you can read it, along with a bevy of other great fiction from such authors as Shira Lipkin, Darin Bradley, Cat Rambo, Nick Mamatas, and Theodora Goss, among others, all edited by the indomitable Catherynne M. Valente.

Not only that, I'm giving you a discount . . .

 Go here to buy the ebook. Enter the code "eBOA3AGUIRRE" for 10% off at checkout.

Or, if photons are not enough and you need the book-artifact (I understand that need!), you can preorder a physical copy of the book right here. Enter the code "BOA3AGUIRRE" for 10% off at checkout. Use the money you saved to buy a nice bar of chocolate to enjoy with your read and . . . well, enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gargoyle 57 review

Gargoyle 57Gargoyle 57 by Richard Peabody
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second time editor Richard Peabody has published my work in the pages of Gargoyle. In fact, I've taken my first-published Gargoyle work as the title story in my e-chapbook collection Fossiloctopus. So I'd be ungrateful if I didn't acknowledge some debt there to Peabody's good taste.

Still, I felt that this issue of Gargoyle ran hot and cold. When it is hot, it's white hot. But when it's cold, the stories and poetry seemed like so much navel gazing. On balance, the mix is good. Not fantastic, but good and recommended because of the sheer breadth of work.

I recall a conversation I had with author Stepan Chapman after Jeff VanderMeer and I won the World Fantasy Award for editing Leviathan 3. Stepan remarked that the volume was so big that "there's something for everyone to hate". And this might just be my problem with this issue of Gargoyle. It's huge, 591 pages. And there is something here for everyone to hate, no doubt about it. The flip side of this, of course, is that there's something here for everyone to love, as well. Really, there are some great stories and, if poetry is your bent, great poetry, as well.

I particularly enjoyed the stories that bordered on the fantastical and surreal. Standouts for me were Joyce Mansour's "Four Poems: Paris of the Surrealists in 1977", Robert Kloss' "How the Old Man Trained his Assassins", Ben Loory's "The Swimming Pool: A Fable", and Jonathan Mack's "The Extinction of Stories". But the standout piece was Wena Poon's excerpt from "The Biophilia Omnibus". I will be seeking out the full book, for sure. Rarely does an excerpt grab me like that. It has that mix of literary aloofness and Science Fiction thriller intensity that I love. It's a beautifully dark melange, one that leaves me craving more.

I count 77 pieces of fiction alone in this issue of Gargoyle. I guarantee there is something in there to strike your fancy, maybe even punch your fancy in the mouth and break its teeth. Poon's work did that for me. Brace yourself and wear a mouthpiece while reading. You're bound to be caught by a surprise uppercut somewhere in there.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Free Idea for a Geeky Documentary

I live in the Legion of Gold Headquarters.

If you know what I'm talking about, you are a complete and utter geek.

If you don't, bear with me.

Years ago, when I was but a lad in Nebraska, my geekitude dictated that I play the original Gamma World game from TSR, those geniuses who created Dungeons & Dragons, among other cool things. The first Gamma World module, Legion of Gold GW1, takes place in a post-apocalyptic southern Wisconsin.

Now, each month, I have the pleasure of traveling through the lands that the module slates for future destruction/radiation poisoning/conquest by mutants and robots. I have to admit a perverse pleasure in driving through Jen City (Lake Geneva), The Barony of Horn (Elkhorn), Whitter (Whitewater), Fort Attson (Fort Atkinson), Deerld (Deerfield), then arriving home at the Legion of Gold HQ on the shores of Mendo Marsh (Lake Mendota).

Now, I can't fund a documentary, nor do I have the time or skill to do one. But for some enterprising neeeerd, here's the idea: Go to each encounter area and interview the locals, LARP through the countryside, and generally terrify the natives. Can you imagine someone dressed as a Yexil going about the streets of Deerfield trying to trade "two silver eggs - very nice to look at" for someone's clothes? You betcha. How about dressing up as badgers and worshiping a statue of Bucky out in a farmers field (then recording the ensuing arrest by the DNR or shotgun shooting frenzy by an angry farmer)? I can imagine this. I am a geek.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thieves of a Hidden God

The third novella in the Italo and Vincenzo series, Thieves of a Hidden God, is in need of some dusting up work, but the first draft is finished. I'll be editing and typing starting today. For those who aren't familiar with my creative process, I always hand-write my first drafts, then edit as I'm typing into the computer, then edit again and again and again, sometimes printing out the manuscript so I can attack it by hand again. I am primarily a kinesthetic learner, if you haven't figured that out yet.

If you'd like to read the first two installments of the Misadventures of Italo and Vincenzo, you can find Part I: Cloaks of Vermin and Fish and Part II: The Doppelgänger’s Shadow, at You can enjoy the first 30% of those novellas for free. It might be a little while before the Part III is published, given the business of this summer, but you can look forward to seeing it in one form or another, for sure. I can't say much more than that, but I have some irons in the fire. Just waiting to see if they heat up.