Posts Tagged With: Justin Robinson

City of Devils by Justin Robinson – A Review

City-of-Devils-Large-605x907

So, it’s January and 2013 is over. (I know. You probably already figured out both of those facts.) I have one more book to review for the WOGF Challenge, but that just arrived in the mail on Tuesday and I haven’t finished it yet.

Instead, I’m going to review the first book I’ve finished for 2014. That would be Justin Robinson’s City of Devils, published last year by Candlemark & Gleam.

Continue reading

Categories: Books/Authors, Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

City of Devils Winner!

City-of-Devils-Front-thumb

A week has passed since I posted my interview with City of Devils author Justin Robinson.

That means it’s time to announce the winner of a DRM-free digital copy of City of Devils! The winner is:

emuse!

Drop me an email at mfennvt [at] yahoo [dot] com with the address you’d like me to use and your book will be on its way to you! Thanks for playing.

 

Categories: Books/Authors | Tags: , , ,

An Interview with Justin Robinson PLUS Free Books!

city of devils

Well, it is September 2013. It’s even September 24, 2013, and you know what that means? Only that Justin Robinson’s latest comic noir epic, City of Devils, is now available for you to buy and devour it. It’s already getting some amazing reviews. Justin was kind enough to settle in and answer some heavy-hitting questions I threw his way. I hope you’ll enjoy his answers. And read further to see how you can win a DRM-free digital copy of City of Devils.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi, Justin! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me about your new book, City of Devils. I hope all’s well on the Left Coast?

It’s been hovering around 100 degrees for a little over two weeks now.  I’m about a day away from sacrificing someone to Huitzilopochtli.

Yikes! I hope it cools down soon (and I’m suddenly happy I live on the opposite coast from you).

Since I haven’t read City of Devils yet (I’m waiting for the amazing paperback to arrive), I did a little research on the book and you (totally not stalking) to prepare for this interview. I was tickled to discover that besides loving old monster movies, you’re also a big Dashiell Hammett fan. So am I! What are some of your favorite stories of his? What of his writing would you say has influenced you the most?

The Thin Man is the perfect novel, full stop.  I love everything of his I’ve read, but that one stands head and shoulders above pretty much everything.  I didn’t consciously name Nick Moss, the protagonist of City of Devils, after Nick Charles, but I can’t speak for my subconscious.

Nick & Nora Charles I should have asked about the dog, too.

Oh sure. The one Hammett novel I haven’t read yet.
(Nick & Nora Charles from The Thin Man.
I should have asked about the dog, too.)

In City of Devils, will there be monsters other than those from the Universal canon? Will we get to see a giant Venusian cucumber, for example? Or Slime People? Personally, I’m hoping for the giant octopus from It Came From Beneath the Sea, but I’m guessing that would be a little destructive for your purposes, wouldn’t it?

Killer vegetables have a proud history on the silver screen, from The Thing from Another World all the way up to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.  And yeah, there are a bunch of monsters not specifically from Universal.  I started there, but quickly expanded, only chopping a couple ideas out because they were blatantly anachronistic.

It’s good that you’re looking forward to giant monsters.

I always look forward to giant monsters!

The aforementioned Venusian cucumber from It Conquered the World

The aforementioned Venusian cucumber from It Conquered the World

One of the best descriptions of City of Devils I found was a review on Goodreads suggesting that the novel was “Philip Marlowe meets HP Lovecraft channeling Abbot and Costello.” Would you agree? How would you describe your book?

That’s actually really good.  I might sub out Lovecraft for someone like Tod Browning, but Lovecraft has better name recognition.  And the gill-men have some Innsmouthian influences.

Oh, cool. Can’t wait to meet them!

In your last book, Mr Blank, you have another character who deals a lot with monsters. Is there any kind of connection? How did that book influence this book?

They’re both comic noir novels written in the first person, but that’s pretty much the only similarity.  With Blank, I had a mandate for my hero: that he would never win a fight.  With Nick, he’s a veteran of both WWII and the following Night War.  He’s also a bit of a nervous wreck, so he’s at once better able to take care of himself, but less confident in that ability.  Plus, you know, there’s like monsters everywhere.

In terms of influence, I think Blank helped give me a road map for the kind of book I wanted to write.  I could look where I went right and where I went wrong, and kind of correct for that.  I was also more confident in my worldbuilding, so I really tried to create a different version of Los Angeles, that was both internally consistent, and consistently bizarre.

Mr Blank and City of Devils are definitely the closest of my books to one another.

On another topic of mutual fandoms—at least according to the little bird I talked to—I hear you’re also a Vincent Price fan. Is there any chance that a vengeful sculptor/Shakespearean actor/concert organist might show up in City of Devils’ sequel?

Heh heh.  You’re not going to have to wait very long at all for crazy musicians…

Excellent!

Excellent!

Thanks again, Justin, for sharing your thoughts with me and my readers. Good luck with CIty of Devils!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As for that contest, if you’re interested in winning a DRM-free digital copy of City of Devils, just comment below. It’s that simple. I’ll pick a random comment by next Tuesday (Oct. 1) as the winner. Comment away! You’re not going to want to miss this.

Categories: Blog Tour, Books/Authors, Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The State of Things

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted something that doesn’t have a video or a list of links attached to it. It’s been a busy summer, like I’ve said. Care for an update?

Over the last few months, I wrote and submitted two new short stories to a couple of themed anthologies. Still waiting to hear. There’s also been a lot of reading. I’ll be done with the next WOGF Challenge book soon and will have a review. I went old school this time; so far, it’s another good one.

The Travelers continues to limp toward its conclusion. I’ve mainly been typing up (dictating, really–my wrists have been sore lately) pages I’d already hand-written. That’s been interesting: 1) I wrote some of these scenes months ago (maybe longer), so I’m revisiting them with various levels of “cringe” and “oh, that’s not too bad”; and 2) Windows speech recognition doesn’t always hear quite what I said–latest fave mistake: “put a sock fuzz” for “bodhisattvas.”

Alpha Reader and I had a really good brainstorming session last month figuring out where The Travelers should end up. Lots of good questions and conversation. Let’s see if that translates into a good story!

In the realm of already-published business, Winter Well received a starred review from Publishers Weekly! There were good things said about my story “To The Edges,” which made my day, and continues to, even though the review came out last week.

I also ran into the dark side of attempting to get published yesterday, when I discovered that the latest issue of a magazine I’d submitted another story to was just terrible. (TW for rape; it’s on the right) It felt like a backlash against the really cool hashtag #DiversityinSFF that was happening on Twitter last week. Obviously, this place is not the home for my badass space detective. I immediately submitted somewhere else that feels a lot more welcoming to anyone who, you know, doesn’t find assault titillating. Here’s hoping they think my story’s a good fit, too.

In the what’s-happening-next category, I’m going to be posting an interview with Justin Robinson, author of the soon-to-be-published City of Devils. That’s going to happen on the day his book’s coming out, Sept. 24. I hope you’ll tune in for that. Should be fun. There might even be a giveaway!

That’s it for now, I think. How’ve you all been?

Man sits on bench reading

I love this photo: the composition, the colors, someone reading! Man sits on bench reading (Photo credit: Ian Livesey)

Categories: Works in Progress, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Link Treats

Where have all the link treats gone? Well, they’ve been sitting in my drafts folder waiting for me to get off my ass and post them, is where. *sigh* It’s been kind of busy/nonblogmotivational around here lately. (and that is so a word) There’s been writing, just not of the blog. (New story about to be submitted if I can come up with a title! Psychic Depression-era noir-ish detective thing–any suggestions?)

Not That Girl
I’m not that girl either. Oh wait. I totally am. Some fine writing from the Belle Jar

Today’s Time Waster: Literary Figure Collective Nouns
John Scalzi with a new game. Lots of creativity in the comments.

Evolution 101
Andreas Heinakroon talks about evolution. It’s fun and smart, as his posts always are.

10 Worst Mistakes That Authors of Alternate History Make
Good stuff to take into consideration if you’re writing alternate history. I think I did all right with “So The Taino Call It.” Did you read it? What do you think?

Rules of Writing: Get to the Fucking Monkey
Some good writing advice from Justin Robinson plus a killer song.

That Girl

Okay, how could I not use this random pic?

Categories: Random Linkroll | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend Linkroll

Well, Thanksgiving weekend is coming to an end here in the U.S. I hope you’ve had a good weekend wherever you are and whatever you celebrate. Let’s see what the internet had to say for itself this week. Continue reading

Categories: Weekly Linkroll | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Goatsucker – a Guest Post by Justin Robinson plus Free Books!

As promised, today I’m bringing you a guest post. Justin Robinson, author of the new novel, Mr. Blank, has written a little something based on my personal request for something spooky. The topic is chupacabras, also known as goatsuckers. Those critters creep me out either way. Continue reading

Categories: Blog Tour, Books/Authors, Guest Post | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Items of Note

1. Substitution Cypher, the alternate history anthology I’m a part of, received a super review from Publisher’s Weekly. The book’s coming out in December 18! I’ll have more info as that date approaches. You’re going to want to read all the stories.

2. In keeping with the Hallowe’en theme this month, there’ll be a guest post this coming Friday. Justin Robinson, the author of the just-published Mr. Blank, will be telling us the truth about chupacabras.

Or will he? I hope you’ll tune in to find out. Conspiracy theories, ahoy!

3. My latest story, more alternate future than alternate history this time, is in my beta’s hands. Again! Will they find it submissible? Will I make it so in time for the deadline (which is Hallowe’en)? Now that’s scary business.

Categories: Books/Authors, Writing | Tags: , , , , ,

Monday Morning Music

Hallowe’en’s getting closer! I hope you’re getting in the mood. In addition to our Monday spooky videos, you’ll have a treat this Friday when  Justin Robinson stops by with a guest post. His book, Mr. Blank, is coming out this month and I’m taking part in the blog tour Candlemark & Gleam is organizing for him. I hope you’ll check in for his thoughts on this delightful holiday.

Now on to this week’s spooky video. Today I’m going with a song by the Mumlers from their 2009 album, Don’t Throw Me Away. It’s a fine record, with “Coffin Factory” my favorite song on it. The video’s a nice bit of Hallowe’en fun, too, manipulated to look like they filmed it in that old Super 8 style I remember from film school. (Yes, basic filmmaking class when I was in school involved Super 8 cameras; time has flown.) I also remember getting into that grey zombie makeup. Good times and a good song. I hope you like it, too.

An added bit of curiosity: when looking for Mumlers websites, I ran across the Wikipedia entry for William H. Mumler, a U.S. “spirit photographer.” I wonder if that’s where the band took its name. Anyone know?

Categories: Monday Morning Music | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: