Tag Archives: reviews

My 2013 is Going Out With a Bang!

awesome

Well, this has certainly been a pretty kickass year overall for Cat13, despite not writing too many new things — especially when factoring in the second half of the year! Is it a coincidence w/r/t the number 13 and its sheer awesomeness? The moon’s gravitational pull on the tides? Swamp gas? You’ll have to decide. . . .

I found out around June that my “collectio[novel]la” Shenanigans! was a Finalist for a Next Generation Indie Book Award.

My newest short story, “Now You See Me” was published over at Bartleby Snopes, which then managed to snag “Story of the Month” honors for October!

InDigest Magazine had a killer relaunch recently and “Mr. Twitchy,” a chapter excerpt from my forthcoming novel Human Services is featured in the latest issue (and live online).

There rumblings on the music front too. Without too much build up, here we go guys/gals: some remixes I did a long time ago (1999*) before it was easy to do using Traktor or Serato [yes, I know I’m old]: A Gravitaas Playlist: “SDK Sampler Ninety-Nine,” in all its (pseudo-)glory!

More news on the music front, the extraordinarily- and multi-talented Peter Tieryas Liu used a few of my tracks in some new video reviews, which is both awesome and humbling! I’ve listed two below:

HTML Giant featured Peter’s review of The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting Improvised Men by Gabriel Blackwell.

— And inspired by his review for The Lit Pub, Peter created a video for Janice Lee’s Damnation.

I’m working on a collaboration essay for The Good Men Project. More details to follow!

There is also some big news/a possible killer opportunity brewing for something on the horizon — but even I have to wait ’til Monday for more news.

Stay tuned (and bring on 2014!)!!

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Happy New Book Day!

Books March-27-2013

Today’s been a really kickass book day!

First, a surprise arrived from my good friend David S. Atkinson (who’s easily the coolest guy I know) in the form of the rare(ish) white version of Adam Levin‘s THE INSTRUCTIONS (one of my two favorite books of all time)!!

Also, my ARC of Benjamin Percy‘s RED MOON showed up, ready for a through reading, skinning, analysis, drying/tanning, mounting and, ultimately, reviewing!!

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Read This: xTx’s ‘Billie the Bull’

billie-the-bullLooking for something killer to read? Do you like your books short and punchy? Do you have a pulse? If you answered yes to any of these, odds are you will like Billie the Bull by xTx, now available from MudLuscious Press imprint, Nephew.

I reviewed the book over at Sundog Lit:

Rarely does a book capture what it means to be perfect—or as close to perfect as possible—simply because there are so many variables at play. It doesn’t necessarily matter whether or not the book is long or short, whether it is an epic or a chapbook. Length is all but arbitrary in this context because it takes an incredible amount of skill to hold it all together, to give the reader the impression the book might actually burst at the spine, or that the words might careen off the pages like a train derailed. It’s this sense of imminent catastrophe that ignites a glowing ember to raging inferno, which then stokes the fires in the boiler that propels the work forward…

Hit the jump above to read more. Needless to say, I loved it!

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On China Miéville and Pushing Boundaries

“It’s a risky novel and it is not always successful. But those risks are important and should be encouraged, because even when failing, they lead to future promises of success.”
~ Eddy Rathke in his Goodreads review of China Miéville’s 2012 novel, Embassytown.

I like what Eddy wrote here and I think this is true in/of a lot of China Miéville‘s work. Miéville is really interested in pushing the boundaries of what’s been historically accepted as possible. It definitely takes a sense of fearlessness to say: “Fuck it, I’m trying this regardless of what anyone else thinks!”

. . . and it really seems to work for Miéville, more often than not.

As an aside (though more or less tangentially-related) remark: Miéville’s vocabulary almost never ceases to amaze me. Not only that, the way he incorporates the vocabulary — stylistically — never pulls the reader out of the narrative (N.B. this is at least true for me), but rather it has a way of working with the story, rhythmically. It’s ostensibly an evolution of Twain’s “lighting/ lightning bug” analogy — the words Miéville chooses are not just impressive, they’re absolutely the right choice for the given sentence. (I think a good example of another SF/F series I’ve enjoyed, but the words often miss their mark is David Anthony Durham’s Acacia trilogy.)

Worth a mention: Perdido Street Station is just impressing the hell out of me right now! I can’t wait to see what the whole “New Crobuzon” series has in store!!

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I reviewed Viriconium on Goodreads

I felt compelled to write a review of the 3 novellas that make up most of the Viriconium omnibus (the last quarter of the book is comprised of collected short stories centered on the city of Viriconium). I posted it over on Goodreads!!

(The cover to the right is the one I wish Bantam used for the American release.)

In these stories–like the ailing artist, Audsley King, in Viriconium‘s third novella–Harrison is painting with words, beautiful water colors and rich oils. For a world as bleak and unforgiving as the one that converges upon Viriconium (a city like no other. a story without end…), the lyrical descriptions are truly beautiful and masterfully crafted. I’m beyond question at a loss for how impressed I am with this book so far!. . .

His words are so many things simultaneously: sad, hypnotic, haunting, hilarious, sage, prescient. He’s clearly a master of his craft and he keeps his blade (his pen), honed and sharp. Viriconium has been labeled science-fiction, fantasy, even steampunk; but I’d argue at best it’s all of them, but more accurately, it’s its own, singular work. It demands and dares readers to pick it up, challenges them to find the nuances woven within its tapestry. . . .

Needless to say, I really liked this book!

Click here to read the rest!

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There Be Dragons! | 03.14.12

I’ve been busy!

Although AWP ’12 is now done and over with, I have more to do than ever, which is a good thing. “It’s better to be busy than bored,” etc. etc.

Work on my novel has picked back up. I’d taken a small hiatus away from it while prepping materials for AWP and finishing a couple freelance editing gigs. The ultimate success of the latter two items was really hit or miss. It might be March, but a resolution I’m setting for myself is to be more clear with my communications with others. In trying to please everyone with too much flexibility, something invariably gets lost in translation. I wrote that down so I’d remember it.

I’ve been reading some great books lately. Two of the best have been Adam Levin’s Hot Pink (my review of Levin’s book goes live on [PANK] March 20th) and Leigh Stein’s The Fallback Plan. It would certainly behoove you to read these two books at your nearest convenience. Or cancel other plans to read them. You’ll thank me later.

Tumblr is fun!

If you haven’t checked out Mike Meginnis’s simulated text adventure series EXITS ARE over at Artifice Books, you should do so ASAP! And don’t forget to congratulate Mike for having a story accepted for next year’s Best American Short Stories (BASS) anthology while your at it!!

Speaking of next year’s BASS anthology, I’d also like to congratulate Roxane Gay (who I’ve — not even secretly — got a huge literary crush on) for having a story accepted as well — this is truly BIG news for the small indie presses!!

And speaking of Roxane, it’s no secret she’s really into The Hunger Games (scroll down). “Really into” is perhaps a complete understatement. Because of Roxane’s wholly infectious enthusiasm, I was this < > close to starting the postapocalyptic trilogy myself. I’d even bought all three books and everything. That’s something i do with books, by the way — if it’s a series, I’ll buy all of them at once to A) have them all because I might possibly be a hoarder-in-the-making, and because B) I like to be prepared for the off-chance a stranger approaches me on the street and gives me a drug that turn me into a super-genius (like what happened to Bradley Cooper in Limitless), in which case I could read all of them back-to-back in a sitting or two.

But something happened…

Continue reading

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David Atkinson Reviews Shenanigans!

David S. Atkinson posted a truly wonderful review of Shenanigans! on Goodreads.com. I am humbled by his kind words!

I’ve heard that by the time Bukowski was really into the swing of things as a writer he had stopped reading much of anything because he did not feel that most of what he came across had life. It felt dead and, as such, was worthless. I can’t really say for sure because I didn’t know old Buk’, but I believe he would have felt very differently about the writing in Shenanigans! If there was ever writing with life, Shenanigans! is it.

In some cases, I mean this quite literally. The writing in “Contemptibly, A Hair” blasts out of the page with more energy than a hyperactive toddler on meth, though with much more pleasurable results. It dances, it spins, it screams. In short, it is the language equivalent of class ten rapids.

Read more HERE:

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