Saturday, July 29, 2017

Salinger-esque

Man, it has been a busy month here at the Stronghold.
Just yesterday I finished teaching an intensive two month course on Greco-Roman mythology/Homer. That was a real treat not only because of my love of the material, but the students were absolutely fantastic. I won't lie, after a fairly disastrous Spring semester, to have students who were whip smart and engaged and curious was a balm. I feel ready to go back into the classroom in a month. If you haven't re-read Iliad and Odyssey lately, do yourself a favor--go get the Fagles translations, a few nice bottles of red, and settle back in. Some of his tongue-in-cheek translation choices had us giggling.
The postal snafu was finally resolved and I got the author's copies of Remains!





Huge shout out to Steve at Lethe Press. I can't imagine what a nightmare it is to keep a machine like that moving, and when something snags (especially when that snag isn't your fault), that must be infuriating.
Speaking of, Jayne Lockwood reviewed the book for the fellas over at WROTE podcast. "Anyone fascinated by the “small-town America seething with murky skeletons in the closet” genre, will love this. It is a Salinger-esque character study of one man, but also one place, the town, and the lengths it will go to, to remain normal on the outside." she said. You can't ask for better praise than that.
Speaking of the WROTE podcast, I was the guest for episode 121. Baz, Vance and I had a great time hanging out and talking about not only Remains, but the state of queer sci fi and other things for a while. Have a listen!



The other great news is that University of Mississippi press has bought the book that grew out of my doctoral dissertation! We're early days on that, yet, so not much to report other than that it has happened and that we're working toward maybe having it out early 2019, but it's very exciting. I spent a lot of time on that book thinking it would just sit on my shelf the rest of my life. It's exciting to think it will eventually be out in the world. There is a ton of work to do to get it into shape, though, so more on that as it develops.
After setting out on the project to re-read and get caught up on Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, I have finally gotten all the way to the current book. I just finished reading Prince Lestat

As I said in the beginning of my Goodreads review, I don't know what happened in the ten years or so since she wrote the last one (Blood Canticle), but wow. She emerges in this book with prose that is refreshed, taut, and (though I don't mean this in a mean way) finally taking on some of the implications of the early books in the series. Plus there is a scene in the last third of the book that will flat out knock your socks off. I cannot wait to see it dramatized in the upcoming TV series. If this had been the last book ever to be written about these characters, what a fantastic button it would have put on the series. With there being one more book so far, though, it obviously marks a tremendous pivot point and refreshes the series in a wonderful way. I can't recommend it enough, even if you haven't picked up one of these since Queen of the Damned (mostly because there are two EXTRAORDINARILY helpful appendices that will catch you up instantly).
Man, did I want Valerian to be better. Just wanted to throw that in there.
So, we head into August with a lot on the plate, but feeling overall optimistic.
As always, if you have read one or more of my books recently, I would love it if you'd take a minute to stop by Goodreads or Amazon (or both) and leave a review! They help people make decisions about the books they see advertised, which really helps sales so much.
See you back here in a month!

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