August 13, 2015

Chasing Tale [Books Received for August 13, 2015] + It's Not the Heat, It's the Hostility

Chasing Tale is a regular feature on the blog where I highlight the latest books to wind up on my to-be-read pile, followed by a rant on whatever happens to be on my mind.


The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes by Lawrence Block - A brand new Block novel coming out in September. This one deals with a retired cop getting up to his neck in trouble and women down in Florida. Florida? Why what kind of trouble could a fella get up to in that state?

The Neon Boneyard by Paul D. Brazill - This one is a new novella featuring the hard-boiled werewolf PI, Roman Dalton. If you like your urban fantasy with some grit and pulp, here it is.

Divine Scream by Benjamin Kane Ethridge - A spring release from Journalstone that looks to be a blend of fantasy and horror. Banshees are a monster I don't see much of in genre fiction, but this book's got one. I'm curious to see what Ethridge does to play with the folklore.


Cage of Bones and Other Deadly Obsessions by John Everson - This short story collection came up as a freebie on the Kindle Store at the start of the month, and considering how good Everson is with the blending of erotica and horror, I couldn't resist.

The Eternal World by Christopher Farnsworth - This is a new release through William Morrow with a bit of a historical bent to it, revolving around the fable Fountain of Youth and a centuries long struggle to control it between the lone survivor of slaughter and the soldiers who did the slaughtering.

Gator Bait by Adam Howe - Another new release here, this one a novella from Comet Press, that goes back to Prohibition Era Louisiana. It looks like a perfect storm of historical, hard-boiled noir with the added bonus of a giant gator. Nice.


Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley - This is the sequel to Hurley's The Mirror Empire, and it's scheduled for release in October. I'm just wrapping up reading The Mirror Empire, which is a pretty ambitious epic fantasy of sorts, so I'm keen to see how Hurley follows it up.

Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz - A new Janz novel slated for November from Samhain Publishing's horror line, and this time he's going with werewolves. I have a feeling this will be a balls-to-the-wall horror novel, which Janz has a bit of a knack for when he puts his mind to it.

The Dead Won't Die by Joe McKinney - I think this is a sequel to McKinney's Plague of the Undead that came out from Pinnacle, but it may well work as a stand-alone. This one sounds like it's got a Day of the Dead vibe with survivors holing up in a military facility at odds with both the zombies and the scientists experimenting on them. Neat.

... and now a rant.

***

It's Not the Heat, It's the Hostility

I thought for sure the bellyaching over the Hugo Awards had run its course. An unimpressive attempt at a boycott of Tor Books back in June kind of showed that the rage train had lost momentum. People were in their neutral corners grumbling away with the same talking points they'd been grumbling for months, all of them waiting for next weekend when the winners of the Hugo Awards are finally announced. And then it happened. One last bit of f**kery to round out the fustercluck.

It took place several weeks ago apparently but only came to light this past week. One of the announced Guests of Honor, David Gerrold, took to social media to criticize the disingenuous tactics used to manipulate the Hugo Awards ballot. One of many people in the SF/F community to do so, though Gerrold's words tended to be more even-tempered than others. It seems one of the nominated authors took the criticism from Gerrold to heart and felt it specifically was somehow so egregious he had to retaliate. So he contacted the police chief of Spokane, Washington, where the Hugo Awards are happening, and claimed Gerrold was "insane and a public danger and needs to be watched when the convention is going on," was "inciting violence," and "belongs in a secure psychiatric facility."

That is some grade-A f**kery right there.

I mean, someone voices an opinion contrary to yours and your first impulse is to fabricate a report to the police. These are not the actions of someone with a firm grasp of his mental faculties. And yet, astonishingly, he has a cheerleading section applauding his unconscionable behavior. To his credit, the guy put out a fairly contrite apology after he bragged about it on a podcast and then got called out on it, but it's also been brought to light that this isn't the first time the author has pulled a stunt like this, and even after the apology he managed to turn an editor, either intentionally or inadvertently, into a target of rape and death threats via his supporters after she rescinded a previously accepted short story he'd written.

And all this--all this!--because a bunch of scifi authors covet a rocket-shaped award that looks more like a dildo. Its appearance seems rather apt actually when you think about it.

Every genre has its own brand of jackasses these days, whether it be the romance writers or the comic book artists or the horror genre's small press. But all the petty bullshit that permeates the writing world pales when compared to the cesspool of craven, vindictive zealotry polluting the SF/F community. If these writers behave in real life the way they do online, they must be pariahs in their own neighborhoods.

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