NPL Author Ian Lahey Featured in ‘Short and Happy (or not)’

by Lloyd Poast

Short stories are becoming increasingly popular in today’s fast paced lifestyles. Between careers, family, social life, and the latest episode of The Walking Dead, not everyone has the time they’d like to devote to a full length novel. In an attempt to help those looking for a quick literary fix, S&H Publishing, Inc. has released a new anthology entitled Short and Happy (or not), featuring 36 stories by such authors as Rob Johnson, John Byk, Ellen Barnes, and New Pop Lit contributor, Ian Lahey.

Ian has two entries in the anthology, both exploring the relationship between a subdued assistant and an authoritative professor, which showcase his penchant for humour, adventure, and killer endings.

The first, Coprolith, is a light-hearted romp into the Chilean rain forest where Hikari Sukei, a paleontologist from Osaka, and Dillings, his displaced and mildly annoyed assistant from Leeds, go chasing after a dream. This tale of dreams and dinosaurs has a surprise ending that’ll leave you smirking well into the next story.

Doesn’t Matter explores the lighter side of advanced physics when a scientist attempts to change the world, but his assistant fears he will not only change it, but effectively delete it.

Ian initially thought that he would only have one story in the anthology, but fate had other plans. “I had originally sent just one story, Doesn’t Matter, and then I got into an email exchange with the editor, Dixiane, so I sent in a second story, Coprolith as well, more to justify the fact I was using her “submissions” mail address than anything else. When I found out both had been accepted it was a double surprise. I hope readers will enjoy reading the stories as much as I did, writing them.”

Able to be equally enjoyed lying on the beach or curled up in front of a fireplace, Short and Happy (or not) is a fun read flowing with the energy of writers truly in love with their craft. Featuring both new and established authors, as well as a variety of genres including science fiction and fantasy, this internationally flavored anthology is a recommended addition to anyone’s reading list. Short and Happy (or not) can be purchased from Amazon or directly from the publisher’s website.

Catch Ian Lahey’s interview with NPL here, as well as his stories Matt Murphy: Private Eye and The Janitor.

Sabrina

By Lloyd Poast

Archie comics have always been a symbol of the simpler pleasures in life. Nearly every household in the seventies and eighties had a dog-eared Archie digest laying around where the adventures of Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and the rest of the gang could be picked up and read for a quick smile.

Last year, Archie Comics surprised readers by placing those same loveable teenagers from Riverdale into the pages of a zombie apocalypse called Afterlife with Archie. The very mature and dark series was both a critical and commercial success which proved that Archie could pull off horror as well as comedy.

This October, the company continued to capitalize on their newfound notoriety and reinvented everyone’s favorite teenage witch, Sabrina, releasing their newest entry in the horror field entitled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. If the rest of the series is anything like the debut issue, Archie Comic Publications has monster on their hands. Sabrina is amazing.

Born of a mortal woman and a warlock father, Sabrina is raised by her two aunts and the first issue follows her from birth until her early teens. Along the way, we also meet her familiar, a talking cat named Salem, and her warlock cousin, Ambrose. With superb writing by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and art by Robert Hack, the creative team have developed an atmospheric supernatural thriller that blends the classic chills of Rosemary’s Baby with the youthful cool of The Lost Boys. While there may not be long haired teenage vampires cavorting about a large Jim Morrison poster, Robert Hack’s artwork is appropriately creepy with a slight retro feel that is a perfect complement to Aguirre-Sacasa’s story. His images seem to creep out of the panels and stick in your subconscious, preying on many of the universal fears everyone has. The introduction of Madame Satan is especially well done.

In addition to the new monthly story, each issue of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will also reprint a classic Sabrina tale, adding even more value to an already impressive package.

The series is a must have for horror fans and now is the perfect time to jump on board with Issue #2 about to be released. After the startling conclusion of the first issue, Sabrina’s teenage crush, Harvey Kinkle, doesn’t seem to be himself. In fact, he doesn’t seem human. When the Witches’ Council refuses to help her, Sabrina turns to Madame Satan for comfort. Will Sabrina save Harvey or succumb to Madame Satan’s ol’ black magic? Find out when Sabrina #2 is released on November 5th.

New Jonathan Carroll Novel

by Lloyd Poast

Jonathan Carroll is about to release his newest book, Bathing the Lion (St. Martin’s Press), in North America on October 21st. The novel, about five people who live in the same New England town that have the same dream one night and discover they are “mechanics” whose job it is to keep order in the universe, is more of the surreal pop candy the author has become known for.

Carroll began taking readers on his flights of fantasy in 1980 with arguably his strongest work, The Land of Laughs, and continued with a string of highly imaginative, but not always commercially successful novels, such as The Wooden Sea, White Apples, and Sleeping in Flame. His books are truly unique and can best be described as Salvador Dali paintings melted onto the pages of seemingly normal stories where everything is not quite as it appears. He is a master at slowly building everyday situations into something utterly bizarre. The contemporary fantasy author’s works are also extremely addictive and those discovering his writing for the first time will want to scour eBay and local bookstores for everything he’s done.

Bathing the Lion is already garnering praise in the advance reviews and is sure to please any reader brave enough to believe in magic and follow Alice down into the rabbit hole. Just be prepared to make a stop in the Twilight Zone along the way.

 

Chuck Palahniuk Book Tour Imminent

chuck-palahniuk-sarah-lee-1
Lloyd Poast
Staff Writer

Novelist Chuck Palahniuk is about to embark on a book tour for his upcoming release, Beautiful You. The novel has a release date of October 21st and an evening with Chuck Palahniuk should not be missed for those lucky enough to live near one of his many stops. His tours are electric and amongst the most entertaining in literature.

The old cliché about never forgetting your first time is pretty much true. I know I’ll never forget mine. It was on May 25th, 2007 at 7:00 PM at The Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, Canada. That was when I attended my first book reading and I can’t imagine it getting much better.

My wife and I were in the city for the weekend, and thanks to a quick flip through the local newspaper just prior to leaving for home, I noticed that Chuck Palahniuk was also in Winnipeg for his Rant tour. I excitedly told my wife about Invisible Monsters and about Lullaby, and of course that he wrote Fight Club, and asked if we could hang out in the city for a few more hours. She agreed and it was anything but the slow and quiet book reading she’d imagined. Author readings in Winnipeg are usually held in a book store, but the organizers were expecting much larger crowds than usual for Palahniuk and they were right. The theatre was rocking and fans were lined up to purchase autographed copies of Rant and put on a bridal headpiece to get photos with the author. Afterwards, he read two short stories, answered questions, asked trivia about his books and threw a few giant stuffed moose into the crowd to those that answered correctly, and even had a small tantrum or two when people interrupted him. Pure entertainment. Even my wife was impressed.

Since 2007 and Rant, Palahniuk has written several more novels such as Haunted, Pygmy, and his latest, Beautiful You. Beautiful You is a disturbing, satirical look at world domination through the art of female pleasure and is sure to be another controversial release that will both entertain and disgust.

Chuck Palahniuk is to literature what the Sex Pistols were to rock n’ roll-brash, controversial, and depending on your viewpoint, both repulsive and brilliant. The author may never incite a crowd into a frenzy and dive in front of bottles being thrown onstage the way Sid Vicious did in 1978, but unless he’s mellowed now that he’s surpassed fifty, I wouldn’t put it past him either.

BEAUTIFUL YOU TOUR DATES:

Seattle –Monday October 20 7:00 PM Third Place Books

San Francisco-Tuesday October 21 7:30 PM DNA Lounge

San Diego- Wednesday October 22 7:00 PM Mandeville auditorium at UCSD

Phoenix- Thursday October 23 7:00 PM Dobson High School Auditorium

Albuquerque-Monday October 27 7:00 PM University of New Mexico Student Ballroom

Boulder-Tuesday October 28 7:00 PM First Congregational Church

Salt Lake City- Wednesday October 29 8:00 PM University of Utah

Brooklyn-Friday October 31 7:00PM Powerhouse Arena

Saratoga Springs-Saturday November 1 7:00 PM Gannett Auditorium Skidmore College

Montreal Monday November 3 7:30 PM Indigo

Portland Saturday November 15 2:00 PM Powell’s *Book signing only*

Thank you, chuckpalahniuk.net for image.

New York Comic Con 2014

New York Comic Con '13, thank you, New York Daily News!

New York Comic Con ’13, thank you, New York Daily News!

Lloyd Post
Staff Writer

Gotham City is preparing to embrace the pop culture explosion known as the New York Comic Con from October 9th – 12th at the Javits Center in Manhattan. The convention has been a hit for fans since the inaugural event was held in 2006 and this year will be no exception.

Several of the biggest names in the comic/graphic novel industry will be in attendance such as Brian K. Vaughn, Brian Michael Bendis, Adam Hughes, and Chris Claremont. The convention isn’t only a great opportunity for fans to interact with their favorite creators, but also the best chance to get convention only exclusives – at least at cover price. Speculators always flock to the tables and search for low print exclusives, purchasing several copies to resell on sites such as Ebay for an insane profit. Marvel and DC will, of course, be major draws at NYCC, but Image comics has been stealing much of the spotlight recently with a strong stable of creator-owned titles. The company has several NYCC exclusives planned including #1 issues of Roche Limit, Birthright, and the highly anticipated Wytches, written by Scott Snyder of American Vampire fame.

The convention is a multimedia event, however, and the rock stars of graphic storytelling will be sharing the spotlight with many other celebrities such as Kevin Smith, Keri Russell(The Americans), Andrew Lincoln(Walking Dead), Christian Slater(remember when he was so good in Heathers once upon a time), and convention icon, Adam West. Marvel will also debut the cast of their new Netflix television series, Daredevil.

The New York City Comic Con is four days of pop culture candy that should not be missed. Everyone has a little inner geek, and hey, where else can you put on a Master Chief costume and still leave with a date.