Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Hey a quick update on the state of my novel The Vegan Revolution...with Zombies. Since day one the love and support this novel has received has been overwhelming. Thank You! News stories on websites ranging from ecorazzi, discovery channel's planet green, authors speak and NPR to name a few. It's been great. A large part of that is due to the fantastic book trailer that we made to promote the book. If you have not seen watch it again but make sure you read the rest of this message after you do...
The budget of the trailer was about $25 dollars for make-up and stuff. It was filmed by the amazing Tim Khan who have volunteered his services and equipment to film. He volunteers like this all the time has filmed the Let Live Animal rights conference, and also the Vegan Iron Chef. To get zombies I just made a facebook event and posted around the internet asking people to show up. And asked if anyone with a Prius could volunteer one for the key scene.
It was important to me to make a big splash with the trailer. The book was released in September and all author profits through the end of this year are meant to go to Try Vegan PDX. Try Vegan is a one on one vegan mentoring organization that has organized an Annual Try Vegan Week (with 30 events), Vegan prom, and Vegan Iron Chef here in Portland.
During the filming we did some cosmetic damage to the volunteered prius and it is going to cost a a few hundred dollars to fix it. I can't afford to fix it, but clearly I want to do the right thing and pay for it. Maybe you can help! I don't want to take it out of the money that would otherwise go to Try Vegan, but at home we need every dime.
I am hoping that if you enjoyed the trailer, and the novel that you will help us out by supporting this special sale.
I am selling four special edition packages with every dime going to fix the prius!
The packages include:
A Personalized Signed copy of “The Vegan Revolution...With Zombies.” signed by the author, and by Magik and Bru-Dawg – The real life inspirations of two of the major characters.
A Personalized Signed copy of the limited edition “Screams from a Dying World” Chapbook. Only 150 copies of this limited first edition zine style chapbook collection were ever printed. It has the first six stories from Afterbirth edition, and pretty full color cover. Super weird art by mister Rick Clarke. (I only have 5 of these left, so these are the last four for sale.)
An Exclusive unreleased short story. Each package will have a different original short story.
An Exclusive List of Bru-Dawg's approved zombie movies,including full reviews of Burial Ground and Nightmare City signed by Bru himself. If you have not read the novel yet, Bru-Dawg is a zombie movie expert inspired by a real life friend of mine. He also played himself in the Trailer
A signed exclusive 10 page preview of my upcoming Kungfu vampire monster mash dark fantasy novel Hunting the Moon Tribe. With full color Art work by Eisner award winning comic book Eric Shanower.
The price for this cool package is a $40 donation. Every dime goes to fixing the car and making sure I can make a complete donation to Try Vegan PDX.
I only have four of these to sell so if you want it, jump on it. Once they are gone they are gone. If you already have a copy of Vegan Rev. Donate it to the library, or pass on to a friend. If you are interested drop me an e-mail Count.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Slaughterhouse high by Robert Devereaux
For most people high school is a painful experience, I am Keenly aware of this not just because I endured it myself but my day job as a para-educator in a high school gives me a daily view. It is a hard gauntlet that seems impossible to survive. When you are facing the four years of daily education and social indoctrination getting out alive can feel like struggle to survive a slasher movie. And what about the cream of the crop? The prom queen and king have mastered the bullshit that is high school. Worse yet those assholes often take a nosedive and end up crashing into a life of mediocre tedium.
This to me is the brilliant heart of the satire that is Slaughterhouse High by Splatterpunk’s saintly uncle Robert Devereaux, the man behind a pre-bizarro but very clearly bizarro classic “Santa Steps Out.” This book is four parts bizarro and one part horror but is an all around visceral and deadly satire.
It takes place in the Demented states of America, where the greatest spectator sport is the serial killing of the prom queen and king across the country. The plot circles around the functioning of a small town and the big night at Condrum high school.
Devereaux has wicked and dangerous imagination and this novel exists in fictional universe every bit as real and fully formed as the world in science fiction novels like Dune or fantasy like Lord of the Rings. But it’s demented take on our own world similar but messed in that sense to Phillip K. Dick’s “Flow My Tears the Policeman Said.” But this not like putting goatee on Spock, this is a deeply fucked-up alternate universe. Don’t enter this world unless you are ready for blood and guts dripping down the walls.
Now I have given you lots of reasons to get this book. All valid, is there a weakness? A small problem but the only one I had with the novel was a lack of strong POV. There is no character that I felt I could relate to strongly, and there are so many characters and shifting Point of views that I think the novel suffered a bit for it. The invention of the universe it takes place in more than makes up for this minor shortcoming.
In the scope of the whole novel that is a minor complaint. Slaughterhouse High is master work socio-political bizarro satire.
John Dies at the End
I heard this was re-printed by St. Martin’s press. So this novel began as an online serial, and it shows a little bit when you’re reading it. Lets get back to that. You can discount this review if you want because I admit I could not read it word for word after 150 pages. I began to skip and skip.
This is the story of two friends who get involved in a drug known on the streets as Soy Sauce. It causes an out of body experience. They fight meat monsters and travel around in time. There are tons of interesting ideas and lots of laugh out loud funny parts. Certainly David Wong has talent but this book needed a serious and strong editor.
The novel lacks serious structure, I know it started as a blog serial but the author noted that he did a pass before it got printed. Really? My biggest problem with the book was it seemed like Wong would take a page and half to describe what should have taken a single paragraph. It drove me nuts. (for the record this is problem I am trying to clean up and out of my early work)
I read it for the same reason several other people decided to do it in the last month. Don Coscereli director of Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep is currently filming an adaptation of the novel I was interested so I picked it up. I posted about it on Facebook and I had two other readers say they were having the same experience with the book.
Did I finish it? Sorta I started skipping huge chucks, a reading tactic that as an author I find disgusting but it was that was the only way to make it through. This book lacks rhythm so for all the funny and interesting moments it comes like a really awesome band with an awful drummer.
Cemetery Dance #64
One of my two favorite magazines in the world I was excited to see a new issue of CD on the shelf at the book corner in my hometown of Bloomington Indiana. I did chuckle at the stupid looking cover. I understand it was inspired by a Bentley Little novel but you know what it didn’t grow on me. Thankfully you can’t judge a book or a magazine by it’s cover.
This is the Bentley Little special issue, and I admit I don’t know his work as well as I should. I have read several short stories and only one novel. So I enjoyed the feature interview by author David Silva, and piece breaking down Little’s novels by Mark Sieber. There were a few other articles about Little and two excellent short stories written by the man himself. The first story was a strange story called “the wheel” that I enjoyed quite a bit.
CD has several regular features including mediadrome, news from the dead zone and so on. Those are all strong entries and something I look forward to as a horror reader. It’s hard to have relavent commentary when your magazine comes out a few times a year. Battling the internet would be impossible but CD manages to provide the deep commentary that justifies the wait.
I enjoyed the interview with Brian James Freeman (co-editor of CD) and he sold me on his novella The painted Darkness which is now on my mental “to read” list. I enjoyed the fiction in this issue with stand-out stories for me were “Long Black Coat” by Benjamin Percy and “Out of Touch” by Simon Strantzas
Thomas Monteleone gives us another hilarious piece about absurd Hollywood plot twists and probably the only let down comes from Stephen King. As you can see on the cover there is a sneak peek of King’s new limited edition novella Blockade Billy. It’s a baseball story and did nothing for me. That’s ok, I still love the man and hear that his new novella collection is quite good.
Bottom line…If you like Horror Cemetery Dance is a safe bet.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Art: by Eisner award winning artist Eric Shanower.
This is a bad news / good news post. I have decided to pull my novel Hunting the Moon Tribe from Afterbirth books. I had agreed to do my short story collection and my first novel with Afterbirth. I was super excited as I have alot of respect for Afterbirth and their catalog.
After the release of my wonderland award nominated short story collection Screams From a Dying World I expected Hunting the Moon Tribe to be released pretty soon after. Not long after Screams was released Karen let her author's know that she had decided to close afterbirth. I respect Karen's reasons and was thrilled that she had agreed to finish the books she had on her plate. After a long wait, Karen and I agreed to end the contract.
So here we are two years later, and the book is back at ground zero. That is the bad news. The good news I have a renewed commitment to see this book in print and soon. I have worked on this novel off and on since 1994, if it means I put it out myself I am going to make sure this book is available in the next couple months. Consider that a promise.
I say that is good news because three days ago I had no idea when or if the book would happen. So I am looking for a publisher for Hunting The Moon Tribe, but if it doesn't happen soon I am going to do it myself in the mean time. Keep your eyes peeled for that. Here are some blurbs so you know why you should be excited...
"David Agranoff's HUNTING THE MOON TRIBE mashes up Chinese mythology, some seriously unnerving horror, Maoist politics, a sweet coming-of-age story, dark magic, and high-kicking martial arts into a compelling and unusual page-turner. I've never read (or seen) anything like it, and HUNTING THE MOON TRIBE should mark Mr. Agranoff as one of the most original and exciting new voices to emerge in genre fiction in a dragon's age." - Lisa Morton Three time Bram Stoker award winning author of The Castle of Los Angeles and The Cinema of Tsui Hark.
“Remember that old Shaw Brothers / Hammer Studios flick The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires? HUNTING THE MOON TRIBE is what that movie should have been. It is an extremely entertaining epic of kick-ass martial arts and bloody horror. Agranoff not only dazzles us with breathtaking action scenes and vampire violence but also tugs at our heartstrings with realistic family drama and romance. It’s a scary martial arts fantasy that will please just about everyone. David Agranoff is a gifted storyteller.” - Jordan Krall Author of Fistful of Feet and Squid pulp Blues
“As terrifying as Richard Laymon, and just as good, David Agranoff reshapes the vampire mythos in ways never experienced. The horror is visceral, the action brutal, and at its core, there’s a poignancy typically left out of today’s horror. A circus between worlds, vampires, and martial arts aplenty – “Hunting the Moon Tribe” reads like “Brotherhood of the Wolf” encompassed in Chinese folklore and culture. One of the strongest new voices in horror fiction that I’ve read.” - Eric Mays author of Naked Metamorphosis and host of the Authors Speak Podcast