September 10, 2013

Chasing Tale (9/10/13): Putting a Stop to Gay Penguins and Other Stupid Crusades

Chasing Tale is a regular look at the books that I recently added to my to-be-read pile. Some are advance review copies, some I bought from one store or another, and others are freebies from promotional offers that caught my eye.

Banned Books Week is quickly approaching and that means we get to read about all of the addle-brained dipsticks out there trying to ban books from libraries, because gawd forbid their little one reads a book with a gay character, or includes a four-letter word, or features teenagers acting like--gasp!--teenagers.

Every year this thing comes around and every year I am astounded by the willful ignorance of anal-retentive snivelers. What's more, it would not surprise me in the least to find out the people raising a stink over a book in the school library are the same people raising a stink over the healthy food being put into the school cafeteria. Gub'ment got no bid'ness banning french fries! What they oughta do is get rid of them gay agenda books they keeping sneaking onto the shelves--I KNOW WHAT THEM PENGUINS IS UP TO!

Look, if you want to deprive your children of literature as misguidedly as you deprive them of nutrients, that's your business. Be an asshole, but do it in the comfort of your own home and keep that nonsense away from the schools, because the only thing threatening the well-being of our kids is you.

Now, as for my own bookshelves, which are thankfully safe from the assholes of the world, I added some more books to them. Take a look and let me know what you added recently to your own shelves.

Exquisite Death by various authors - I don't think I've ever reviewed an audiobook on the blog before. So this new anthology just might be the first in that department. It features a fair number of authors whose work I'm already familiar with, like Anthony J. Rapino, Cate Gardner, and Benjamin K. Ethridge, and after listening to the first couple of stories I am already digging it.

The Stories: Five Years of Original Fiction on by various authors - This e-book came free via and, boy, is it huge. I thought it might be a selection of the best from the five years they've been posting short stories on their website. Nope, this thing might be all the stories. Aye chihuahua.

Engraved on the Eye by Saladin Ahmed - Ahmed's novel, Throne of the Crescent Moon, has garnered a lot of praise over the last year or so. Turns out he has quite a few short stories to his credit as well, and wouldn't you know he offered this collection as a freebie. Sweet.

The Point by Gerard Brennan - This is a new novella published by the lads at Blasted Heath. I can't recall reading any Irish noir yet, so maybe this'll be a good place to start. There's already a sequel called Breaking Point that's set to release in the near future, too.

Tell My Stories to the Stones by Christopher Golden - I've seen Christopher's name on a lot of tie-in novels, but he's an accomplished short story writer, too. Chizine Publications has this new collection of his stories out now and ought to be a really fun read.

Baby, You're As Sweet As 3.14159265 by Hog Wild - Aside from research, the only other time I pick up a nonfiction title is if there's a chance it'll make me laugh. HogWild, a stand-up comic out of New York, and after checking out a couple pages of this book, this book looks more promising than its title.
Life After Dane by EdwardLorn - Ed stopped by the blog a little while ago for an interview, promoting his latest book here. A serial killer's mom has to contend with more than guilt and grief when her son won't stay dead. Creepy.

Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn - Imagine a world where everyone can read each other's minds, and those who can't--and in turn can't be read themselves--are treated as pariahs. Now imagine a girl in this world who can't read minds, but can control them. Pretty nifty hook, huh?

Celestial Inventories by Steve Rasnic Tem - Here's another short story collection published by Chizine, featuring more than twenty stories from an author who has dipped his toes into just about every genre you can think of. While some of the stories are apparently from "Best of" anthologies, others come from rare releases and hard-to-find magazines.

Celebromancy by Michael R.Underwood - This is the sequel to Underwood's Geekomancy, I saw this one on sale this summer for a few bucks, so I scooped it up. I haven't bought the first book yet, but I've heard great things and a nice sale price on this one was a good enticement.

The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake - I've been meaning to check out Westlake's Dortmunder series, and I managed to track down a cheap paperback copy of the first book, here. Heist novels aren't something I've read a lot of, but I love a good caper movie, so I figure I should be reading more novels in the genre. Makes sense, right?


  1. Gef, I so agree with you about the perils of library/reading censorship. Back in the '70s, I was fortunate enough to have a forward looking English teacher who believed that you should read everything ou could lay your hands on - from Agatha Christie to Dostoevsky. Reading was key to knowledge, enlightenment and education, ahe said. She shocked other (frequently younger) members of the school staff with her liberal attitudes towards non-classical literature, introduced us to the the saucier side of Shakespeare,revelled in the baudier tales of Chaucer and told us to ignore anyone who tried to censor our reading material (we were 16-18 years old at the time and she was teaching us A Level English in a UK school). I have endorsed her attitude ever since and am a multi-published author, with a wide taste in literature. Reading widely clearly didn't do me much harm!

  2. I love Christopher Golden. If you enjoy that collection and want to read more by him, I highly recommend Strangewood. It's one of my favorites.

  3. Thanks for the note about my new collection. The title is actually Celestial Inventories, but I like "Celestial Properties" so much I'm going to need to use that as the title of a future short story.
    - Steve Rasnic Tem

  4. Catherine - Glad to hear the likes of Shakespeare didn't warp your mind--at least any more than originally intended. :)

    Jennifer - Well, I've read a couple Buffy tie-in novels that he wrote that I liked, so fingers crossed on the collection. :)

    Steve - Sorry about the mix-up, kind sir. At least my absentmindedness afforded you a writing prompt.

  5. Thank you for the kind words about Exquisite Death. Hope you enjoy the whole collection.