Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fiction sale: 'The Prospect" to M-Brane

M-Brane SF -- a cool, young science-fiction publication -- just accepted a story of mine titled "The Prospect" for its April issue. It's got a broken-down spaceship, a JFK video, hot shower sex, and a cadaver or two, plus nods to John Carpenter's Dark Star and Ray Bradbury's classic story, "Kaleidoscope." It also might provide a sick laugh or two to anyone who's seen a certain cheesy blockbuster starring Ben Affleck as an ersatz astronaut...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Batman Lambert 2: Mimetic Boogaloo

After milking the juices from a slice of body-warmed ham and dripping them with delicate care between the upturned lips of the skeletal urchin, Batman Lambert feels the pulse of history erupt beneath his feet. It is time, he sighs, to start a new colony here. With a glittery fingernail he traces the corrugation of the suckling child's ribcage, wondering how many of his brothers and sisters might one day live there.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Pulsating Exploits of Batman Lambert

So I just started working on a short story that involves Adam Lambert parachuting into Haiti while dressed in a Batman costume made of cold cuts...

Sauntering like some Venusian insect in stack heels carved from whole skulls, Batman Lambert approaches a starving Haitian boy amid the rubble of an abattoir. He peels a piece of lunch meat from his wrist, plucks an arm hair from its sticky surface. He wrings grease from the meat as if it were a damp washcloth and asks the hollow-eyed child in a voice both dulcet and deadened, "DO YOU THIRST?"

Look for the conclusion next week -- same Bat-Lambert-time, same Bat-Lambert-channel.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Ballard

My mini-primer on J.G. Ballard for The A.V. Club's Gateways To Geekery series just went up. I'm pretty happy with how it came out, and I'm looking forward to debating the merits of my favorite writer with a few readers on the comments thread throughout the day. I also think this officially puts an end to my run of Ballard features -- four? five? -- since he died last summer. Of course, I'll never stop reading the man. Dude more or less changed my life. Or at least mutated my brain.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ballard feature in Weird Tales

This news is way late, but I thought it was worth revisiting (especially since it makes me happy as hell). I recently wrote a long and very personal tribute to the late J.G. Ballard for Weird Tales #353. An article about my favorite writer for my favorite magazine? Word. (The piece isn't available online, but copies can be bought here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Assorted A.V. stuff

So I've been mega busy lately writing for The A.V. Club. CD reviews, random ramblings about movies and books and music, etc. The list is too long to bore you with in its entirety, but here are a few highlights (says me):

A guide to Northern soul.

An interview with Finch's Jeff VanderMeer.

An interview with The Magicians' Lev Grossman.

A review of the recent Jawbox reissue.

Ska ska ska.

Why I like the Eagles. (Yes, for real.)

And coming soon: Look for a hefty primer on the dazzlingly deranged works of the late, great, J.G. Ballard; reviews of new discs by Lightspeed Champion, Xiu Xiu, Alkaline Trio, etc.; and probably some piece where I rag on indie-rock some more.

Descended from Darkness

So the very first piece of science fiction I ever sold, a short story called "Behold: Skowt!" (reviewed here), was to a great publication called Apex Magazine. Not only did I make a pro-level sale my first time, I was able to spin the story off into a sequel, which was published in the prestigious (as far as I'm concerned) Sybil's Garage. Now, the folks at Apex have reprinted "Skowt" in an anthology called Descended from Darkness. Yes, it's a BOOK. A real one, with pages and papercuts and air displacement and everything. Looks damn fantastic, too -- and I share the table of contents with some of my favorite current writers of speculative fiction, including Theodora Goss and Ekaterina Sedia. DfD is available at Amazon, but if you're gracious enough to want to pick one up, you might do Apex a favor and buy one directly from their online store. They've got lots of other great books for sale, too. (If you're into the whole eBook thing, you can get it here.)

Of Onions and Inventories

After three years as the editor of the Denver edition of The Onion's A.V. Club, I stepped down in June of '09 to pursue, you know, stuff. Like having a life, a negative balance in my bank account, and more time to write fiction. My old bosses, however, have graciously allowed me to continue writing for The A.V. Club on a freelance basis, for which I am perpetually grateful. And I'm even more ecstatically, convulsively grateful about being included in The A.V. Club's new Scribner book, Inventory. In it, all of us A.V. Clubbers got together and made up some pop-culture lists, kind of like how we do on each week. But the book has lots of extra-special surprises -- including an introduction by Chuck Klosterman and special celebrity lists from the likes of Patton Oswalt, P.T. Anderson, Zach Galifianakis, and Weird Al Yankovic.

Yes, I have a co-author credit with Weird Al. If I could go back in time and tell my 10-year-old self about this, he'd shit bricks. As for the modern-day me, I couldn't be more stoked.