Friday Fiction Roundup

I don’t have any free fiction to hand out this time around, and I’m running crazy frazzled behind, but I haven’t forgotten you, ya wonderful patient reader, you! I’ve been hunting down items to talk about this week. I’ll start out with the Useful Stuff:

Zen in the Art of Short Fiction Titling by John Joseph Adams

Adams makes a very useful distinction between what’s expected of a novel title and that of a short story, and why it’s so important. Stacked full of examples to illustrate his point, and very well written.

He also references Palahniuk’s work as one of those examples, which makes me recall a point that I don’t think I’ve emphasized lately: it is entirely possible to be a very goddamn good writer and still have people dislike your work. I won’t read Palahniuk’s work ever again. He’s a brilliant writer. He’s so good, in fact, that I was physically nauseous after reading Guts. I admire the hell out of the man’s raw talent, but I absolutely refuse to read anything else he writes. I feel the same way about most of Joe Lansdale’s work. He’s a very good writer. I don’t like the bulk of his stories. He deserves any awards he wins. I’m not his target audience. 🙁

I think that point is often missed in the online review/fan wars: there’s a difference between being a bad writer and writing something well that the reviewer happens not to like, for reasons entirely unrelated to quality.

Alright. Digression over. On to the next:

Samantha Bryant came up with a great post about the angst and persistence involved in getting through a writing slump during her most recent project, the third book in her fantastic Change series. (Two word summary: menopausal superheroes. So. Fun.) Take a look at the post here, and take a look at her books here. I really like her writing, and her concept is pure gold. She’s one to keep an eye on. I see her climbing into the trad-pub big publisher arena soon, much as Tom Doyle did after Wizard of Macatawa.

Another excellent writer I may have mentioned once or twice in the past, Teresa Frohock, is about to release her Los Nefilim series as an omnibus, in print–the three individual books aren’t available in print, so this is what’s known as a BIG DEAL. Pre-order the book here; take a look at free bits of her writing here. Seriously, pre-order–don’t wait until it’s already out (in just a few days!), because pre-orders impress the hell out of publishers and make the writer more likely to nab future contracts. And I want this lady to keep writing! She’s that damn good. Bastard Books reviewed one of her earlier books, calling Miserere “beautifully written” and a “highly recommended read”. He’s not an easy guy to impress (and I’m not an easy gal to impress, for that matter!). So: PRE-ORDER PRE-ORDER PRE-ORDER! 😀

There are a handful of YA authors in my notes, whose work I haven’t read yet but who, for various reasons, caught my interest. I’m handing out the names so that you can go see what you think for yourself (and not wait on my lazy ass to get around to reading their books):

Nicola Yoon, Everything Everything

Rosalind Jana, Notes on Being Teenage (Amazon buy link)

Catherine Johnson, The Curious Tale of the Lady Cariboo

E.K. Johnston, A Thousand Nights

Louise Gornall, Under Rose Tainted Skies

If you already know those writers, drop me a line as to what you liked or disliked about their writing! If you don’t know them–go look them up and see if their writing style meshes with your reading taste.:)

OK, enough reading material. Meet a bit of pure (and dignified) whimsy: the dragon of the Tower of London. Yes, I geeked out examining that photo for some time. It’s magnificent. I really wish I could go see it in person!

And now I’m running behind on five other things and have to catch up to three people and make phone calls and–

*Leona dashes away frantically, waving at you as she goes. You hear a fading wail of “PRE-ORRRRRRDDDDDEEEERRRRRRRRRR!” as she vanishes from sight.*