Lincoln in the Bardo and the impossible audiobook

audiobook_ilOn paper, it sounds like something magnificent: master short-story writer George Saunders’s very first novel! An examination of a moment in the life of America’s greatest president!

As Penguin Random House says:

George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

And then there’s the audiobook: 166 characters! 166 voices!

“The first truly blockbuster audiobook? …  it’s going to be incredible”

Continue reading “Lincoln in the Bardo and the impossible audiobook”

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2016 Year in Review

Fifty-six blog posts published so far this year

Number one, most-read blog post: Review of Justin Cronin’s “City of Mirrors”

Number one, most-watched videos: Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s “Can’t Help Myself” from the Guggenheim Museum

Two poems published: “That Day in Assisi” and “For Your Own Safety”

One short story published: “Auntie Lovely Says Goodbye”

Two countries visited: Guatemala, South Korea

Twenty-four books read

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Twenty-one seconds: Best completion time of the NYTimes mini puzzle

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Patronus: Fox

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Participation Award: La Tortilla Cooking School, Antigua, Guatemala

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Why you should download the massive, free e-book ‘Up and Coming’

AnthoCover3_400.pngWhat is the future of science fiction?

It could be in the pages of Up and Coming: Stories by the 2016 Campbell Eligible Authors.

You can download the book here: http://www.badmenagerie.com/

Hurry up, though, the download will only be available until March 31, 2016.

What is a “Campbell Eligible Author” you may ask? These are writers who are new to the science fiction and fantasy field with their first professionally paid publications. The John W. Campbell Award is presented at the World Science Fiction Convention (this year, it will be held in Kansas City, Mo., in August). More info on the awards is available here: http://www.writertopia.com/awards/campbell

I was happy to see lots of writers that are familiar to me from my reading of shot stories and/or SFF-related blogs, including:

  • Nicolette Barischoff
  • S.B. Divya
  • David J́on Fuller
  • Jaymee Goh
  • LS Johnson
  • Alyssa Wong
  • Jeff Xilon
  • Isabel Yap

So you could consider this list of writers as a point of entry into this tome. You may find plenty of your gems in it, though.

Let me know what you find and recommend.

 

#tbt Review: Zadie Smith’s debut novel White Teeth

White Teeth White Teeth by Zadie Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Originally written and published in the Times Union in August 2001.
“Clean white teeth are not always wise,” says an elderly British veteran in Zadie Smith’s stunning debut novel, “White Teeth,” setting up one of the major ideas of her book, which has been recently released in paperback (Vintage; 464 pages; $14). “When I was in the Congo, the only way I could identify the nigger was by the whiteness of his teeth … See a flash of white and bang!”

This brief passage contains everything Smith is writing against: stereotypical depictions of people with dark skins, most often natives of lands colonized by whites who are reduced to nothing more than targets of violence.

What makes this novel great, though, is that Smith uses a sharp wit, sensitive insights, humorous and sometimes uncomfortable situations and a rich cast of quirky, believable characters who struggle with their hopes and disappointments in North London. As opposed to the plot, which turns overly melodramatic at the end, Smith’s characters are where her true talents shine. Continue reading “#tbt Review: Zadie Smith’s debut novel White Teeth”

‘The Duck’ published in Barleby Snopes 12

Bartleby Snopes 12, which includes a short story, "The Duck," by me
Bartleby Snopes 12, which includes a short story, “The Duck,” by me

Earlier this year, you may have been among the few hundred (OK, maybe thousand) people I bombarded with emails, posts and pleas to vote for my humble short story “The Duck” in Bartleby Snopes’ monthly fiction contest. The winner of each month’s contest is automatically included in Bartleby Snope’s semiannual print journal.

Alas, despite all my outreach and your kind votes, my simple story of young love (or is it lust?) was not victorious that month, coming in second place; however, many of you did send me kind words of delight and enjoyment at my story.

You, dear readers, were not alone. The good editors over at Bartleby Snopes, led by the indomitable Nathaniel Tower, have seen fit to include “The Duck” in the semiannual print journal, despite its lowly second-place finish.

You can buy the book on Lulu and get a print copy.

You can download a PDF version of it right here for the low, low cost of free.

Or you can get a Kindle copy sometime soon, just check this site to see if it is available.

So thank you Bartleby Snopes, and thank you dear readers. I hope you enjoy the fine collection of fiction in Bartleby Snopes 12, which includes work by Damon Barta, Andrew Bockhold, Jackson Burgess, Christopher Cassavella, Heather Clitheroe, Dusty Cooper, Rob Essley, Chris Fradkin, Jon Fried, Jill Gewirtz, J.D. Hager, Laurie Jacobs, Michael Janairo, Anna Lea Jancewicz, Mark Jaskowski, Danielle Kessinger, Edward Lando, Greg Letellier, Amanda Hart Miller, Michael Morshed, Justin Nguyen, Hun Ohm, Ryan J Ouimet, June Sylvester Saraceno, John Timm, Ian Woollen, and Leslee Renee Wright.