July 17, 2015

Chasing Tale [July 17, 2015]: Literary First Round Picks

Because I blog about books, I am constantly on the receiving end of the things and don't get to dive deep into the catalogs of any one particular author. And believe me when I say there are quite a few I would happily dedicate my reading time to exclusively. Once such author died last weekend. His name: Tom Piccirilli.

I bought a used paperback in 2009 called The Night Class.  A fella named Tom Piccirilli penned it several years prior and even managed to win a Bram Stoker Award with it. It was really good, so good in fact that I started looking around for more of his stuff. Over the last six years I've read a few more of his books, immensely impressed by his deftness in capturing a character and a movement with the rawest and truest words, and I bought a whole bunch more that are calling out to be read.

I could prattle on about how good a writer Tom was, but I wouldn't do him justice. I think Nick Mamatas offers up a nice write-up on how good Tom was and what he meant to so many: https://nihilistic-kid.livejournal.com/1927635.html

I will say that Every Shallow Cut should be required reading for every author, both professional and aspirational, as it is just a whipcrack of a masterpiece. Also, if you're interested in buying one of Tom's books to give it a try, Jason Sizemore and Apex Books have a great deal for you: http://jason-sizemore.com/2015/07/16/raising-money-for-pic-and-michelle/

Whichever Piccirilli novel you buy, chances are strong that you'll be moved to buy more. Rest in peace, Tom.

Along with buying another of his books, a whole bunch more books by other authors arrived.

Selena by Greg Barth - This is a new one from All Due Respect Books. I've known them as a publisher of noir in the short form, but they're publishing novel-length stuff now, and this one sounds vicious.

New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear - This is a collection of steampunky stories featuring a female sleuth with necromancer skills and a vampire sidekick. What's not to love?

The Fury of Black Jaguar by Angel Luis Colon - Here's a new one from One Eye Press that has a ex-IRA on the hunt for his stolen Plymouth Fury. I was keen on checking this one out because Angel wrote it, but with it featuring a brand of car near and dear to my heart, I'm super-psyched to see how it is.

A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark by Harry Connolly - An odd title, but Harry Connolly is a guy whose books I've been meaning to check out, and this one was only a few bucks on Kindle. Sounds very urban fantasy-ish with vampires and other fun supernatural elements.

The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Seven edited by Ellen Datlow - If you have to pick just one anthology in the run of a year, your best bet is with one that has Ellen Datlow's name on the cover. And when she is curating the best horror of any given year, that's about as safe a bet as you can make.

The Killing Kind by Chris F. Holm - Chris wrote a fantastic trilogy of hard-boiled urban fantasy novels called The Collector series, and I've been waiting to see what he'd come up with next. Well, it looks like he's going straight with a crime thriller. Hey, maybe not paranormals stuff, but that's no bother.

The Silence by Tim Lebbon - How about a post-apocalyptic world festering with predators that hunt by sound? You better shut your mouth, even if you're talking about Shaft.

Cruelty and Fog Warning by Edward Lorn - I managed to get the Audible version of Fog Warning, which I'll have a chance to listen to this summer, and the complete version of the Cruelty serial novel. I wonder which will traumatize me more, as Ed's horror has a knack for that.

The Severest Inks Shorts edited by Khalid Patel - Every couple of months or so, the Awkward Conversations with Geeky Writers takes place on YouTube. And during their latest get-together this week, I won a copy of this little anthology. Groovy.

Futile Efforts by Tom Piccirilli - I'm not much for poetry, but if it's penned by Tom Piccirilli, I suppose I'd best make an exception. This collection includes dozens of his poems and several of his short stories, and has for years been praised by his peers and a stand-out collection of his work.

Forest of Fortune by Jim Ruland - Tyrus Books was generous enough to offer a free ebook of choice at the start of the month in celebration of their sixth anniversary. I have a few books already on my shelf from them, but this one set in a rundown Indian casino caught my eye and I thought I'd give it a go.

Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith - Brian Keene said this is the best zombie novel he has ever read, so add that with the fact Keene hasn't been shy about praising Smith's work in the past., and that Keene doesn't bullshit with his blurbs, I'm quick to take him at his word.

Wolf Hunt 2 by Jeff Strand - I haven't even gotten around to read the first Wolf Hunt novel, but why should that stop me from adding the sequel to my bookshelf?

Of Blondes and Bullets by Michael Young - A scored another freebie this month, this one from Number Thirteen Press, and given the choice of one book from their catalog last week, I opted to go for the first release they put out, about a guy whose luck from bad to worse after pulling a drowning young woman from a river.

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