08-19-12 UPDATE:Podcast Update: Time to Read Episode 59: Brian Castner, 'The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows'
Click image for audio link.
Here's the fifty-ninth episode of my new series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read. Hitting the one-year mark, I'm going to make an effort to get ahead, so that podcast listeners can get the same sort of "sneak preview" effect that radio listeners get each Friday morning. And yes, I know this means I have one more to go this week — and here it is!
08-14-12:Richard Kadrey Reads from 'Devil Said Bang' at SF in SF on July 7, 2012
Click image for audio link.
"...it's the sort of restless, screwed-up dead..."
If the Devil says, "Bang," he's going to have some competition from Richard Kadrey, who is busily re-writing the history of heaven, hell and earth with his Sandman Slim series. At the last meeting of SF in SF, he read from his forthcoming novel, 'Devil Said Bang' and even his introduction was a study in wild imagination. He's so matter of fact as he introduces horrific critters like jabbers and The Imp that is rather boggles the mind. And most importantly, it is a whole lot of fun.
Kadrey is a great reader of his own work; he reads with the requisite relish needed to make this over the top material as much fun as it can be. He's well into his series by now and he understands much more of the mythology behind what he is writing, an d it shows in the material itself and in the reading.
"...I decided I wanted to write pieces that I might have written if I was thirty years old in 1875."
—James P. Blaylock
Few writers can roll back the clock like James P. Blaylock, whether he's pursuing the steampunk adventures of Langdon St. Ives or recreating the pleasures Victorian fiction in the modern world with novels like 'Zeuglodon.' But no matter what he's writing about, it is his understanding of the human heart that brings his work to life.
I spoke to Blaylock in his house in Santa Ana, which, not surprisingly, looks like something out of 'All The Bells On Earth.' For all the he is known as the father of Steampunk, Blaylock has a much wider palette than that. When we sat down to talk in his study, I spoke to him not just about his work in the now-popular steampunk genre, but also about his low-key novels of the supernatural set in Orange County. I always found these books truly atmospheric and beautiful. Of course, Blaylock was just writing about what he knew – including the ghosts.
A lot of Blaylock' work is sort of hard to find. As readers know, some of the joy of reading comes from remembering reading specific books in specific places. I was living in Anaheim, just up the street from Disneyland, when I bought the Morrigan boxed set of 'Homunculus,' 'The Magic Spectacles' and 'The Digging Leviathan.' 'The Magic Spectacles' takes place in a very specific part of the city of Orange, with which I was very familiar. Blaylock and I haunted some of the same bookstores in Orange County – knowing ghosts, indeed.
These books are in the process of being brought back, along with a new Langdon St. Ives adventure, 'The Aylesford Skull,' due late this year, from Titan Books. The cover art looks fantastic, and Blaylock is pleased with his latest Langdon St. Ives novel, his longest yet.
You can hear out conversation about the genesis of Steampunk, the Orange County ghost stories, and just how easy it was for Philip K. Dick to freak out Blaylock and Tim Powers when they used to hang out back in Santa Ana in the late 1970's by following this link to the MP3 audio file.
05-04-13: Commentary : Reasons Not to Leave the House, Reality Check : The Truth Hurts Edition: 'Down the Up Escalator' by Barbara Garson, 'The Wolf and the Watchman' by Scott C. Johnson,'The Book of Woe' by Gary Greenberg, 'Confessions of a Sociopath' by M. E. Thomas