Meet me at Comic Con!

I’ll be there talking about horror, whoring books, and booking whores. Here’s the details on this and other appearances again, in case you missed them.

July 9 – San Diego Comic Con, Panel Name: Horror/Thriller, 4:00p.m. – 5:00p.m., Room: 25ABC
July 16 – Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
July 17 – University Book Store, Seattle, WA
July 18 – Copperfield’s, Petaluma, CA
July 19 – Borderlands, San Francisco, CA
July 22 – Powell’s, Portland, OR (Burnside location!)

The Brockway Gladiatorial Motocircus Thunderdome Tour and Good Time Extravaganza!

To celebrate the release of my upcoming novel, The Unnoticeables, I am touring a very small part of the planet and taking on all challengers. Things there will not be: Stuffed shirts, tea parties, boredom, MERCY. Things there will be: BLOOD.

Or like, some reading aloud and handshakes. BUT PROBABLY THE BLOOD.

If you’re brave, crazy, or stupid enough, meet me at one of the follow locations (more to come!)

    • July 16 – Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
    • July 17 – University Book Store, Seattle, WA
    • July 18 – Copperfield’s, Petaluma, CA
    • July 19 – Borderlands, San Francisco, CA
    • July 22 – Powell’s, Portland, OR (Burnside location!)

Oh god, please meet me at one of those locations. Otherwise it’s just going to be me, alone, reading to an empty room and then crying.

It is November 14th. You should be fucking listening to…

…Like Clockwork – Queens of the Stone Age

I’ve always been lukewarm on QOTSA. They had a few good songs, but seemed a bit generic. Nothing really sold me on them, but god damn, their latest album really gelled together. I haven’t specified one song because, as you can see by that awesome video, huge chunks of it work together thematically, enabling them to do this half hour long graphic novel rock opera thing.

Bukz 11/6

My reading list for the week (okay, let’s be real, probably two). Crappy vehicle Voltron for scale – Optimus is on break.

bukz11.6

Learned a harsh lesson from my optimistic list last month. I just cannot read like I used to – largely because I have jobs and write books now. When I was barely employed and broke, I’d go to the library every week and grab a dozen books. I’d be back a week or so later for a new stack. In a way, I miss it, but I guess the trade-off is that I’m not getting rickets from malnutrition brought on by a diet of half-cooked instant Ramen, Taco Bell and angst.

First review of The Unnoticeables

And it’s good!

Thank God. Being a writer means having a tenuous balance between arrogance and self hatred. You have to be cocky enough to believe, apropos of nothing, that what comes out of your brain is worth putting into the brains of others. And yet you have to despise yourself enough to be able to reject the terrible premises, spot your own flaws, and edit that crap into something worth actually putting into your reader’s brain-holes.

So finishing a book is exhilarating: “Look what I have done! I’m so brilliant. I have birthed worlds and lives out of nothing! I AM A GOD!”

But it’s also terrifying: “Look what I have done. I’m an idiot, I slapped together a bunch of assholes out of cliches and adverbs. God forgive me.”

By the time I’m finished with a book, I know that it’s the best I can possibly do at that time. If I could do better, I would — I’d simply edit it further. But I have no idea if that means the book is, objectively, any good. That all depends on reader response, and I have to wait years to get that.

The few readers who’ve seen it have liked it, obviously some editors and agents liked it, and now here’s the first review, and it is good.

So I am a god. Until I’m an asshole again. It is the God/Asshole cycle of writing, and it is eternal.

Because Reasons.

I don’t normally join in on bashing pop-jokes — those structured set-ups the internet loves so much (think Chuck Norris). They’re usually just a harmless and accessible way for normal folks to get in on making comedy.

But if you’re actually writing comedy, please don’t use “because reasons” or “because science” or “because of course they do.” It’s such a missed opportunity. “Because” should start a joke, not end it. It’s a great set-up: What is the reason they would do this? Do you not know? Fine, theorize about it. Figure out something hilarious for that reason to be. Are they doing it because they’re stupid, vindictive, evil, confused? Well, like the old joke goes, how dumb/awful/baffled are they?

That “because” is giving you permission to play with everything that comes after it, and “reasons” is you forfeiting the game. It’s lazy, and as an editor, I will always, always change it.

Read It Or Die Alone: Spaceman Blues

This is not a book review. It is certainly not a book recommendation. It’s a book command.

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Spaceman Blues is a bizarre flowing narrative dreamscape, a mash-up of every sci-fi trope available — from underground cities to murderous aliens to superheroes — that reads more like poetry than fiction. It’s wonderful. I don’t understand it. I am excited for the day I forget about it so I can read it again.