the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘Blog Tour

Cover art by Matthew Stawicki www.mattstawicki.com

Why, hello fellow bloggers and book reviewers!   Please raise your hand if you’ve ever participated in a blog tour.  Keep your hand up if you’ve received an e-mail from me about a blog tour I’m putting together (last week, maybe?), or a scifi-month project, or some other “I came up with this great idea at 4am!” project I   have in mind that I’m asking/begging you to be a part of.  A couple of hands still in the air?  Some of you have even planned your own projects, inherited them, or played around with blogging community projects until you found the one that works best for you.

 

If you raised your hand, thought about raising your hand, or want to raise your hand sometime in the future, this amazing #allthefeels guest post from Julie Czerneda is for you.

#ImNotCryingYouAre

 

Also?  This is just the beginning!  Follow #GuardAgainstTheDark on twitter for all the blog tour goodness, while I sit back and relax. 😉

 

photo credit: Roger Czerneda www.photography.czerneda.com

Thanks For That!

This post is going up during my third official Tour d’Internet, aka that thing authors now do before a book comes out called a “Blog Tour.”

It’s work. A post, be it a short essay like this or an interview, takes time to write (and edit, and let sit for a day or more to be sure it’s good enough, and possibly be shared with a trusted few first to be SURE it’s good enough…etc.). It’s work—and time—for the blogger hosting it as well. There’s formatting, scheduling, emails to anxious authors (is it good enough?), not to mention what comes afterwards. Oh yes. It’s not just about the post. As Michelle Sagara informed me, with some urgency, shortly after my first few blog posts went up, “It’s all about the comments, you know. You need to be there and answer them.”

I did?

I did. And do. However, the presence of comments? Is because the bloggers take more of their time to invite people to come and see the post. They moderate. (I envision the horrors kept from the public commentary section.) Since this is a tour, they even share the blog posts of OTHER BLOGGERS.

Thanks for that, by the way.

It’s the part that makes me feel most at home. That sharing. That joy to be part of a wider event. It reminds me of conventions and fandom. It reminds me of the great community that exists in science fiction, fantasy, and I’m sure horror, though those people are Very Scary. (Not really, some of my dearest friends write horror and don’t at all expect me to read it. Thanks for that too.)

I hadn’t thought, during what becomes a wild and hilarious stint of odd, rarely sequential tasks to promote my new book—most often, by pure chance, at the worst time to be doing anything but writing the NEXT one, especially digressing on the internet—to find blog tours such a joy-filled, inspiring process. Yet it is, because of you. Those who read these things. Who comment. Yes, hopefully you’ll win something, but you’re reading this because you’re willing to give me some of your precious time and attention.

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I’m a terrible blog tour host. I didn’t even *read* the entire book before the tour started. But there’s a silver lining here! It means as the month goes by I’ll be posting additional reviews of different stories in the book! My terrible reading habits is a win for you! I might even be a completist about the whole thing. Yes, yes I shall. my goal for 2014 is to be a completist.

Today’s reviews include short stories by Ian Nichols, Cecil Castellucci, Sarah Dalton, A.C. Wise, Alethea Kontis, Katharine Duckett, Cat Rambo, Tim Susman, Mari Ness, Brit Mandelo, and David J. Schwartz.  Think that’s a great combination of authors? it is, but it barely covers one third of the awesomesauce that is this volume of fiction from Apex Magazine.

interested in reading these stories for yourself? of course you are! Head over to Dab of Darkness and enter to win a copy!

In the Dark, by Ian Nichols – In the mining town, the men sing on their way home from the mines. Songs about the sunlight, about beautiful women, about farming, songs about nothing at all. You don’t ever sing about the darkness of the mines, and you don’t ever sing alone. These are easy rules to live by, rules that keep everyone alive. Until the gypsy boy came. He flashed his dark eyelashes and caught the eyes of the officially unbetrothed. His nimble fingers graze the strings of his guitar and his voice is a caress on the air. But he sings alone, and he sings of the sad and the tragic and the lonesome and the dark. He hasn’t grown up around the dream-stealing darkness of mines, he has no way of knowing the danger he’s in. Morgan should really warn the boy about the dangers of singing about the dark, so near to the Dark. So he takes the gypsy boy over the mines, to show him, to warn him, to get him to shut the hell up already. This is a story that sneaks up on you, like a growing evening shadow that leaves a chill on your shoulders.

Always the Same. Till it is Not, by Cecil Castellucci – I am not a fan of zombie stories. This is a zombie story, and I loved the shit out of it. My enjoyment came from how the story was presented, from the style of the prose. I’m not being told “a story”, but watching a metamorphosis take place. Our nameless narrator is some type of zombie. Words are useless, vocabulary unecessary. Days consist of sleeping, night consists of feeding. The sky is yelled at, flesh is consumed, the horde moves on, often consuming its fallen members. They find themselves in a cemetery, and eat the flesh of the bodies that are presumably in shallow graves. Our narrator seems to realize this is a different place, a special place. When the horde moves on, he hides and stays. As is his lifestyle,he continues to consume the flesh found within the cemetery. And begins changing. As the protagonist’s mentality changes, the prose changes. Sentences that were fragments a few pages ago now have nuance and structure, thoughts that once consisted of “eat. sleep.” now involve complexity and forethought. He comes to understand that eating the flesh of those buried in the cemetery is what allowed him to change. If everyone in the horde ate of that flesh, perhaps this shambling shuffling disease could come to an end. When the horde returns, he knows what he has to do.

ApexMagIssue37

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00012]This post is part of the Book of Apex: Volume 4 of Apex Magazine blog tour, and it’s my pleasure to welcome Michael Pevzner, author of the short story Faithful City, to the blog.  Michael was kind enough to answer my questions about his Apex story, role playing games, and more!  so let’s get to the interview, shall we?

LRR: What inspired The Faithful City?

M.P.: It was originally written (in Hebrew, back then) for a contest whose theme was “city of the future”, and that was what I came up with. The image of the city speaking to the protagonist was vaguely inspired by the image of SHODAN from the computer game System Shock.

SHODAN from System Shock

SHODAN from System Shock

LRR: The Faithful City was your first published short story. Where else can we find your work?

M.P.: Sadly, nowhere. I manage to find very little time to write, and so Faithful City remains my only published story to date.

I did dabble in translation from Russian to English. Here you can find a few short stories by the Russian authors Dmitry Gromov and Oleg Ladyzhensky, which I translated together with my mother. Specifically, “The End Justifies the Means” and “The Eighth Circle of Subway”.

LRR: What types of fiction do you most enjoy writing?

M.P.: It’s mostly dark science fiction and fantasy, sometimes bordering on surrealism.

LRR: Who are some of your favorite authors? Do you they inspire you to write your own fiction?

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Scattered throughout the month, I’ll be posting reviews of selected stories of The Book of Apex: Volume 4 of Apex Magazine.  If something you read here or on any of the other blogs participating in the blog tour gets your attention, I encourage you seek the story out on the Apex website. And if you like what you see? Consider purchasing a subscription to the magazine, or one of their anthologies.  Consider leaving a comment on their website, or on twitter, or on the blog post. You’ve got an opinion and thoughts? I’d like to hear ‘em.

What I love about the fiction published by Apex is that it’s not straight up scifi, or straight up fantasy, or straight up anything, really. It’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It’s true fantastika. Stories that can’t possibly happen in real life, but as you are reading, you so very much *want* it to be happening.  The ultimate in suspension of disbelief. Many of your favorite authors have been published in Apex magazine, along with new authors who are soon to become favorites.  And that’s what Apex does – they take the cream of the crop of the strangest of the strange, scratching that itch you hadn’t known you had until it was relieved.

This is the stuff you can’t get anywhere else, it’s that flavor that’s part bloody sunset, part crystal constellation, part fever dream. It’s like walking into that weird little bar on the corner (you know, the one with no windows? that one.), and playing it cool. You ask the bartender what they recommend, and they bring you a pint of something dark.  You think you know what it is, but that first sip tells you this is something very different. It starts out gentle, even a little sweet, but then ends with an unexpected bite, so sharp you wonder if you’ve bit your lip because you swear you taste blood in your mouth. This is that unlabeled, brewed in the back, only available for people who ask for it by name type of drink.

The 24 Hour Brother, by Christopher Barzak – The first thing you need to know about this story is that you’re not going to get through it without crying. Lewis is excited to finally be an older brother. After the complications of Lewis’s birth, no one expected his mother to be able to carry another child to term. But a miracle happened, and little Joe was born.  but Joe didn’t stay little for long. He cut his first tooth shortly after being born. Within the hour they were chasing him around the hospital.  He’d nearly grown out of his baby clothes by the time his father caught him for the taxi ride home. Within 12 hours he was fully grown, and leaving his 15 year old older brother behind when he went out drinking.  You can see where this is going, can’t you? Joe’s mother knew, the first time she saw him, that she was going to lose him.  There’s something especially tragic about stories where you know from the opening paragraph that it’s going to end badly.  Like I said, you’re not going to get through this one without crying.

The Leavings of the Wolf, by Elizabeth Bear – Dagmar runs to get away from her divorce. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.  She runs to lose weight.  If she loses enough weight, she’ll be able to pry that wedding band off her finger, that gleaming golden reminder of everything that went horribly wrong in her life.  And interspersed with her running is a floating story line, a dialog between her and an ex. But the thing is, this extra story line? You don’t know when exactly it’s happening. Was it years ago? a few weeks ago? yesterday?   The weight of these few extra lines here and there are like the mark a wedding band leaves on your finger after years of wear: you don’t know anymore who you are without the mark.  Anyways,  on her morning run, Dagmar often sees the same murder of crows, it’s that group she’s been studying, anklebanding, and researching for the University. The crows know her, she knows the them, and she even makes the occasional Thought and Memory joke.  One day she meets someone who might be a God, it’s not a joke anymore. And he tells her why she’s still running.  We’re all running from something, and sometimes it’s only the fear of losing a mark that tells us who we thought we were supposed to be.  I’ve run hot and cold with Bear’s fiction in the past, and this one hit me hard.  In a good way.

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Hi Everyone,

Seems like January flew by in the blink of an eye, and February is upon us. That said, welcome to The Book of Apex: Volume Four of Apex Magazine Blog Tour! We’ll be journeying through The Book of Apex: Volume Four of Apex Magazine, which includes all the original fiction published in Apex Magazine during it’s fourth year.  All throughout the month of February, authors will be showcased, short stories will be reviewed, parties will be had, minds will be blown, giveaways will be won.  Maybe coldmageddon will even end and your kids will have an entire week of school without a snow day.

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Never read anything from Apex Books? The fiction they publish defies categorization and pushes the boundaries. These stories are edgy, dark, and surreal, sneaking up on you, and demanding to be chewed on for a while. If you’re looking for something a little strange, a little odd, tilted from mainstream and sure to keep you reading, you’re in the right place: you’re in the Book of Apex Blog tour.

Here’s the tentative schedule, and as you can see, there is a ton of bloggers and authors (and an artist and a publisher!!) involved:

Feb 2 Review at Little Red Reviewer, My Bookish Ways interviews Jason Sizemore

Feb 3 Little Red Reviewer interviews cover artist Julie Dillon

Feb 4 Review at Dab of Darkness, Cecil Castilucci guest posts at Just Book Reading

Feb 5 Review at Rinn Reads, Little Red Reviewer interviews Michael Pevzner, A.C. Wise guest posts over at My Bookish Ways

Feb 6 Review at Lynn’s Book Blog, Rinn Reads interviews Rahul Kanakia

Feb 7 Review at Over The Effing Rainbow

Feb 8 Review at Tethyan Books, Dab of Darkness interviews Kat Howard

Feb 9 Books Without Any Pictures interviews Thoraiya Dyer, Katharine Duckett guest posts at Two Dudes in An Attic

Feb 10 Review at Many A True Nerd, Ian Nichols guest posts at Susan Hated Literature

Feb 11 Review at Two Dudes in an Attic, Rinn Reads interviews Adam Troy-Castro

Feb 12 Review at Books Without Any Pictures, My Bookish Ways interviews A.C. Wise

Feb 13 Little Red Reviewer interviews Ian Nichols, Adam-Troy Castro guest posts at Rinn Reads

Feb 14 Review at The Bastard Title, Alex Bledsoe guest posts at Lynn’s Book Blog

Feb 15 Review at Just Book Reading, Alec Austin guest posts at Many A True Nerd

Feb 16 Books Without Any Pictures interviews Marie Brennan, David Schwartz guest posts at The Bastard Title

Feb 17 Review at This is How She Fight Start, Lettie Prell guest posts at Worlds in Ink

Feb 18 The Bastard Title interviews David Schwartz, Sarah Dalton guest posts at Dab of Darkness

Feb 19 Review at Worlds in Ink, Little Red Reviewer interviews Alethea Kontis, Rahul Kanakia guest posts at My Bookish Ways

Feb 20 Review at Nashville Bookworm, Marie Brennan guest posts at Books Without Any Pictures

Feb 21 Review at My Shelf Confessions, Little Red Reviewer interviews Cecil Castellucci

Feb 22 Many a True Nerd interviews Alec Austin, Thoraiya Dyer guest posts at Tethyan Books

Feb 23 Review at Confessions of a Bibliomaniac, Little Red Reviewer interviews Tim Susman, Alethea Kontis guest posts at Over the Effing Rainbow

Feb 24 Review at Worlds in Ink, Michael Pezvner guest posts at My Shelf Confessions

Feb 25 Review at Susan Hated Literature, Lynn’s Book Blog interviews Alex Bledsoe

Feb 26 Dab of Darkness interviews Sarah Dalton, Tim Susman guest posts at Nashville Bookworm

Feb 27 Review at Fantasy Review Barn, Two Dudes in an Attic interviews Katharine Duckett

Feb 28 Worlds in Ink interviews Lettie Prell and Jason Sizemore guest posts at Confessions of a Bibliomaniac

Wow! Makes me wish there were more days in the month!

Wow. Where did November go?  For that matter, where did summer go?  This year flew like the devil was chasing it.

Lucky for us, December and her wintery sister months offer some excellent blogosphere and realsphere events.  Such as:

On the heels of Rinn’s Science Fiction Month is Carl’s SciFi Experience, at Stainless Steel Droppings which runs during December and January. Over 25 bloggers are already signed up, go check it out!

This week starts The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin read along, hosted by Dab of Darkness, Violin in a Void, On Starships and Dragonwings and yours truly. It’s not too late to sign up if you’d like to get the discussion questions early.

On Starships and Dragonwings has also started a most excellent friday feature, it’s called Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fridays, where bloggers are invited to post links to recently posted reviews of speculative fiction books and give aways.

I’ll be posting my top books of the year later this month. The top three or four are easy. After that, it gets a little dicey.

January brings Vintage Science Fiction Month. 1979 is the magic year, Project Gutenberg is your friend, and I’m on the lookout for Science fiction from 1938.  I have some guest posters signed up, but I’m still looking for more.  Topics are pretty open, can be books, authors, tv shows, the Moon landing, cover art  . . .  if it’s science fiction, fantasy, or real science related, and it’s from before 1979, I want you to talk about it here.

January also brings ConFusion, my favorite local Science Fiction convention. Guests at the con include Ian Tregillis, Jacqueline Carey, Cherie Priest, Mike Carey, and many, many more.  There’s not much on their website yet, but I’m hoping they’ll post some preliminary programming soon. I’ll  be cosplaying as . . .  well,  if you’re the rightest sort of Right People, you’ll recognize me.

February brings another fun bloggy project, I’m organizing the Book of Apex Volume 4 blog tour.  This anthology offers 33 original pieces that were published as part of Apex Magazine (if it counts for anything, my favorite recent story over there was a dark Sesame Street parody by Jim Hines).  Let me tell you, this is a great opportunity to read award winning authors such as Catherynne Valente, A.C. Wise, Ken Liu, Elizabeth Bear, Alethea Kontis, Alex Bledsoe, Rachel Swirsky, and more.    I’ve gotten positive feedback about this from nearly everyone I’ve e-mailed about this.  And I’m kinda curious about how many more bloggers I can get on board. Sooper Speshul stuff awaits the participants! if you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, let me know.

and after all that, maybe I’ll take a vacation.  #yeahright

emoticon BLOG TOURWelcome to the Guy Hasson THE EMOTICON GENERATION blog tour!  Today we kick the tour off, and be sure to check here for the schedule and links to the other blogs.

Guy Hasson writes near-future science fiction, intimate stories suggesting technologies that fifty years away, or twenty years away, or maybe twenty minutes away.  His stories are all  different, but what they share in common is characters the reader instantly cares about, and a story that pulls you right in.  THE EMOTICON GENERATION  deals with a wide range of technological questions, but most importantly (at least for me), the idea that just because we can create a technology that does something, that doesn’t mean we should use it, that we should play God with it.  Guy Hasson is also serializing his new mythology/fairy tale story TICKLING BUTTERFLIES on his blog. After a handful of e-mails back and forth with Guy I finally formalized a few questions for him.

guy hasson pictureYou can find Guy Hasson at his blog, Guy Hasson’s Imagination and on twitter at @VisionEtc. Short stories, comics, movies, screenplays, serialization, talk about a Renaissance man!

Guy took time out of his busy day to answer a few questions for me, what a great way to kick off the blog tour!

You publish in both Hebrew and English. Do you find certain words, phrases, or even types of scenes work better in one language or another?

Oh, there are many, many differences, even between two Western societies that are basically similar. I’ll give you an example from The Simpsons. In season one’s first episode, five hundred years ago, what did Bart call a mailman that’s actually a woman? He called her a ‘fe-mailman’ (or a ‘femaleman’, depending on how you want to spell it). Try translating that into another language you know. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

I’ve lived in two different countries, in two different societies, speaking two different languages, and I write my science fiction to fit both of them equally. To do that, I use a few tricks. Here’s one of them: Americans find it very hard to have the ‘hero’ of a science fiction story or novel be anyone but an American. Now you’d think that for other countries, they would need the hero to be from their country. But that’s not the ‘foreign’ mentality. The US has dominated world SF for practically a hundred years now in stories, books, and film. So readers and movie-goers in foreign countries expect to see American heroes star in their SF. So Americans and ‘foreigners’ expect to see the same thing, for completely different reasons.

Have any funny stories about translations gone wrong?

None that have to do with my stories come to mind. But here’s one that didn’t happen to me. Once, a translator had to translate the sentence “I saw Christian Slater.” You’d think that’d be a simple enough sentence to translate.

But this translator never heard of the Christian Slater the actor. So the translation read, “I saw a Christian roofer.”

That really happened.

You work in films and the written word. When an idea forms in your mind, how do you decide if it would work better as a written story, or as visual media?

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.