Dec 22, 2006

Cartoon Nerd Nirvana

Not just a list of the 50 greatest cartoons of all time, but links to download them! Be still my heart.

Sci Fi Weekly on Pics

F. Brett Cox reviews the collection and has this, among other things, to say:

The strongest works in this strong collection--"The Golems of Detroit," "For Now It's Eight O'Clock," "Gus Dreams of Biting the Mailman," "Volunteers" and the title story--show just how much can still be achieved by science fiction and fantasy short stories, and confirm Alexander C. Irvine as one of the form's ablest contemporary practitioners.

Read the rest here.

Dec 14, 2006

For Michael Crichton Fans

The next time you're going to plunk down your hard-earned money for his latest spasm of narrative typing, consider this.

Literary score-settling has a long and distinguished history, no doubt, but this is out of line.

Dec 8, 2006

Locus reviews Pics

It's not online, and I am loath to trample copyright by reproducing it in full, but here are some highlights of Gary K. Wolfe's review, from the December issue of Locus:
In his first three novels, Irvine staked out a territory for himself as a dark fantasist of some of the more obscure corners of American history – early 19th-century New York, the exploration of Mammoth Cave, 1950s San Francisco, early baseball, World War II era Detroit – that seemed to locate him in a mythic American literary landscape somewhere between E.L. Doctorow and Tim Powers. It was an ambitious agenda for a young novelist, and what emerged most strongly from those novels was Irvine’s capacity for genius loci, for developing a powerful sense of immanence in unexpected settings. But as is often the case with story collections, Pictures from an Expedition shows us what he’s really been up to, and he has a few surprises up his sleeve.
Wolfe highlights "The Lorelei," "Gus Dreams of Biting the Mailman," and the title story before closing with the comment that the collection demonstrates "the eclecticism and ambition of an author who has a great many more dimensions, and perhaps a broader range of skills, than even his strongest novels have so far revealed."

Dec 2, 2006

French Interview and Review at Cafard Cosmique

"Le Soleil du Nouveau Monde est un récit cruel et solaire. Si c’est un premier roman, seuls les lecteurs les plus exigeants sauront le remarquer car l’aventure est menée avec une grande énergie et une belle maîtrise. Quant à Alexander C. IRVINE, c’est un très bon auteur en puissance dont on guettera en embuscade les prochaines parutions."

Another Pics Review

From SFRevu.

Nov 29, 2006

Pictures from an Expedition Reviews; Or, De Gustibus, etc. etc.

Forthwith I refute the common accusation that writers only trumpet their good reviews. From Publishers Weekly:

  • Irvine does a good job of describing intricate, odd settings, but he's less adept at actual storytelling, as shown in the 13 tales ranging from surrealist fantasy to hard SF that constitute his first collection. One of the best, "Gus Dreams of Biting the Mailman," is a charming riff on the old idea of characters aware they're in fiction, like a Philip K. Dick story but without the tension generated by Dick's paranoia. "The Golems of Detroit" has an intriguing alternate-historical setting, a mass-production factory for rabbinically magicked clay soldiers during WWII, but there's little plot or character development. Technical descriptions of mining diamonds on Neptune delay the action in "Shepherded by Galatea." "The Lorelei," on the other hand, offers memorable characters and evokes the kind of real emotion to be found in such Irvine novels as A Scattering of Jades and The Narrows.

As a quibble, I will point out that Pictures is not in fact my first collection. Unintended Consequences was, and PW should maybe have known that because, well, they reviewed it. (And liked it.) At least they spelled my name right this time.

On to happier sentiments from Library Journal:

  • From an eerie tale of a nursery rhyme gone disastrously wrong ("For Now It's Eight O'Clock") to the subtle menace of a communal delusion among space colonists ("Volunteers"), the 13 stories collected here exemplify Irvine's astonishing storytelling ingenuity. Unexpected turns of plot and mesmerizing character studies bring these genre-crossing stories to new heights of excellence. Fine work from the author of A Scattering of Jades and The Narrows, this volume belongs in most libraries.

So there you have it. You'll never know who's right unless you read the book.

'Reader, She Bit Him'

It's one of my favorite times of year! Yes, the Literary Review Bad Sex Award will be handed out tonight in London. Guardian article here; and excerpts of the finalists here.

Nov 28, 2006

To Batman Or Not to Batman

Well, of course you should Batman. R.J. Carter at The Trades gives you a couple of reasons why...

Comics International interview

It's not online, but if you get or have access to the UK magazine Comics International, issue 200 (Giant-Size Anniversary Issue!) contains an interview with yours truly about Son of Satan, complete with pictures of Daimon, ahem, interrogating the demon Dumah.

Nov 22, 2006

Nov 20, 2006

Forbidden Planet

If you're a fan of this movie--and who isn't?--you might want to check out the new anthology Forbidden Planets, in which about a dozen writers (including me) offer wildly varying but universally interesting takes on the central ideas raised by the film. Or something like that.

I mentioned this before; the difference is that the book is actually out now. My contribution is called "This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine," which, yeah, is a line from The Tempest. There are times, and this is one of them, when you should go ahead and wear your influences on your sleeve.

Nov 13, 2006

Books for Busia

I've mentioned this before, but now there is new bloggy goodness associated with it. Go to Books for Busia, and see what good you could do with a couple of bucks or a box full of books you don't want anymore.

My favorite post-election cartoon

Nov 9, 2006

Leetle Update

I've added links to my short fiction that's available online. Look in the sidebar, below the book covers.

Nov 3, 2006

We Have to Invite Him, He's Family

The current SF Site offers an "article" by Algis Budrys that purports to be a history of L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future contest. I put the word article in quote marks because it carries with it some connotation of truth and objectivity, or at least rational judgment, and Budrys' piece demonstrates none of those qualities.

Only the last paragraph has anything to do with the Writers of the Future contest. The rest is what can only be characterized as a posthumous blowjob for Hubbard, who is in the first sentence compared with Melville, Twain, London, and Hemingway...all of whom are presumably spinning in their graves (except maybe Twain, who would appreciate the absurdity of this rhetorical gesture and the assumptions about human gullibility that provoked it).

Budrys goes on to paint a typically Sciento-hagiographic (which is to say fragmentary and larded with omissions and statements of questionable veracity) portrait of Hubbard's life. By the end of it, the reader who has succeeded in keeping his gorge down will be wondering by what cosmic injustice Hubbard was never awarded the Nobel Prizes for literature, peace, physics, and his legacy as "explorer and prospector, master mariner and daredevil pilot, philosopher and artist."

Why, oh why, does science fiction (by which, in this case, I mean a fairly well respected fan and review site like SF Site) continue to offer Scientology proselytizers a platform? All this does is give ammunition to the legions of snobs SF fans want to see lurking around every corner. If you want people to take you seriously, don't let yourself be used as a forum for crackpots.

Contests (free ones, anyway) which encourage young writers and give them a platform are terrific. So the Writers of the Future contest should be applauded on that basis; but the contest (as its website makes clear) is also a fig leaf for more Hubbard-worship. And Budrys' "article" doesn't even name any of the now-successful writers who gained entry to the field by means of the contest--which one presumes might have been a useful selling point were the "article" really about the contest. But it isn't. It's a Scientology recruiting pamphlet--nothing more, nothing less--and it doesn't belong on a website that takes itself seriously as an outlet for discussion, critique, and devotion to the literature of SF.

Oct 31, 2006

Batman and the Russians

Batman: Inferno is out, and available at better bookstores.

In other news, A Scattering of Jades will appear in a Russian translation from AST. When? Who knows?

Oct 26, 2006

Couple more SoS interviews/reviews

An interview with Sam Moyerman at Broken Frontier; a review at the same site; and a Photon Torpedoes review. Someone mentioned somewhere that using a character called Son of Satan might get certain of our Biblical-literalist brethren riled up, and there's a slight indication in the comments to my previous post that this is beginning to happen. I should be so lucky.

Oct 18, 2006

The Son of Satan is loose... get thee to the comic shop. And here's a Wizard interview to whet your appetite, and wherein we digress to talk about the Batman book as well.

Oct 16, 2006

Le Soleil du Nouveau Monde the title of the French edition of A Scattering of Jades, out just now from Fleuve Noir. Wish I could read French, since it turns out that the most recent edition of Fiction has a translation of "The Golems of Detroit," previously seen in the May 2005 F&SF.

When, oh when, am I going to get a translation I can read? (Which would be German. Sort of. Or Spanish, if the book was rewritten at a Dick-and-Jane level.)

Sep 17, 2006

A Few Tidbits...

At left, a thumbnail of Mark Texeira's cool variant cover for Son of Satan #1. See the full-sized version on Marvel's news page.

The Bangor Daily News recently interviewed and profiled me, and somehow convinced Gordon Van Gelder to say all kinds of nice things.

Also, Pictures from an Expedition is out! Get 'em while they're hot!

(Link is to order directly from Night Shade, but you can get the book at Amazon etc. too...and by the way, Cinescape's Weekly Book Buzz says you should read it. Isn't that good enough?)

Jul 17, 2006

SoS #1 Cover

From Arthur Suydam. Also the catalog copy:

When the Son of Satan is your best option, God help you.
New Orleans. The Big Easy. The membrane between our world and the underworld has always been a little thinner here. Now, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the outpouring of human misery has drawn demons like sharks to a bloodbath. What better time for Damian Hellstorm --- a.k.a. The Son of Satan -- to pay a visit?
It starts with the doctor who delivers a baby that vanishes into the night. A doctor who is devoured by demons wearing New Orleans PD badges. Demons who work for someone--or something--that’s descended on the Big Easy and doesn’t’ give a damn who Hellstorm or his father is. Something that’s harvesting body parts in a furious race toward unspeakable purposes. This is The Son of Satan as you’ve never seen him before, brought to you by acclaimed novelist Alexander Irvine (The Narrows), with searing art by Russell Braun (Animal Man) and Klaus Janson.

Jul 5, 2006

Picture of Pictures

Here's the cover of my upcoming story collection Pictures from an Expedition, coming later this summer from Night Shade Books. Thanks to Patrick Arrasmith for a lovely image and to Claudia Noble for an equally wonderful design. I love it and you should, too.

(This is a small version because [apart from bandwidth considerations] the cover hasn't gone to the proofreader yet. But it looks even better full-size...)

Jun 30, 2006

Forbidden Planets

Here's the cover of the anthology Forbidden Planets, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the film that we all remember for Robby the Robot (and, let's not kid ourselves, the swimsuit). My contribution is called "This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine," and if I had a list of all the other stories I'd post it. Fans of the movie (and who among us doesn't love this movie?) will find an introduction by Ray Bradbury and about a dozen swell stories...don't miss it.

Jun 15, 2006

More Pulp

Got my contributor copies of Retro Pulp Tales in the mail yesterday. Publishers Weekly says, "With six-guns blazing and tentacles flailing, this nifty all-original anthology delivers impressively on the "pure storytelling" promise Lansdale (Flaming London) makes in his intro. The dozen authors manage to address serious issues while remaining true to their roots and the book's theme."

And Booklist: "The movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was contemporary pulp fiction that felt as though it was made decades ago. So, too, are the stories in this exciting new collection of "retro pulp." The contributors, including F. Paul Wilson and Bill Crider, were asked to write a story that could have appeared in the pulps, and they have succeeded spectacularly."

Jun 5, 2006

Son of Satan

Just in time to coincide with the release of The Omen, Marvel Comics announced at WizardWorld in Philly that Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, will be coming back in a five-issue limited series that will land in stores this fall. I'm writing it, and Russ Braun is the artist, and there is an outstanding inker to be named later. Here's me talking with Comic Book Resources about the project, and here's my editor Axel Alonso discussing it with Newsarama. My first foray into comics has been a great experience so far.

48 hours

The 48 Hour Film Project came to Portland, Maine, this year, and I had the good fortune to write the screenplay for one of the 14 teams that competed. The film, called Music Box, is linked here. University of Maine new-media professor Raphael DiLuzio put our team together under his 3leggeddog umbrella, and we were lucky enough to get cinematographer Rob Draper (Spitfire Grill, Tales from the Crypt) involved. If you're in the Portland area, there's a screening in Windham Tuesday night...and if the film takes some kind of honors for Portland, it's off to national judging of one kind or another. More as I know it.

Update: Here's a photo from a short Portland Forecaster article about the shoot.

May 16, 2006

Burn, Baby, Burn

The Batman: Inferno cover, at last.

The book itself is due out on Halloween, which seems timely given the various costumes. If anyone out there is a fan of both Batman and Blaise Cendrars, this book will be particularly chock-full of goodies; also featured are the Joker, Arkham Asylum, and a new villain whose name I am loath to disclose.

Apr 17, 2006


As you might have seen by now over at John Klima's EV Zine Blog, I'm going to have a story in the Klima-edited anthology Logorrhea, coming from Bantam in May or June of 2007. The list of contributors is pretty good company:

Daniel Abraham
Paolo Bacigalupi
Jay Caselberg
Clare Dudman
Hal Duncan
Theodora Goss
Liz Hand
Alex Irvine
Jay Lake
Kelly Link
Michael Moorcock
Tim Pratt
David Prill
Michelle Richmond
Lucius Shepard
Anna Tambour
Jeff VanderMeer
Leslie What
Liz Williams
Neil Williamson
Marly Youmans

Look for it next year in time for the Bee itself...

Apr 11, 2006

More on Riley

Over at the Green Man Review, The Life of Riley is characterized as " elliptical, graphic, edgy but not at all flashy, topical, sharp and very, very sophisticated." Read the rest...

Mar 27, 2006

Three Weeks Later...

I stumble back to this blog with not much to report but a disturbing desire to, well, blog. Went to Europe for the first time over spring break, which is vaguely writing-related because while there I met Luc Carissimo, who has just finished translating A Scattering of Jades into French. The translation is due out in the fall. There are already Spanish and Czech editions, and there's supposed to be a Polish one soon.

Mar 6, 2006

Bats and Fish

I just finished a new story, "Clownfish," that will be the original in my upcoming Night Shade collection, Pictures from an Expedition.

Also, I've seen the cover art for BATMAN: INFERNO, and it looks great. I'll post it here as soon as I can.

Coming soon: news from the comics front...oh, and there's a well-thought-out and incisive review of The Narrows in the current Realms of Fantasy, by Paul Witcover (who has written some interesting stuff himself). Check it out.

Feb 18, 2006

Giant Land of Pulp

Now that Jeff Ford's "Giant Land" is getting the recognition it so richly deserves, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the second issue of Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives contains--in addition to "Giant Land"--fine fiction from Scott Edelman, Lori Selke, Gavin J. Grant, James L. Cambias, Peter Hagelslag, Davin Ireland, Jetse de Vries, Jay Lake, Paul Finch, and Tim Pratt.

There aren't a million left, so get 'em while you can.

A Couple More Upcoming Stories

"This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine," in Pete Crowther's anthology Forbidden Planets, due out from DAW this summer.

"Wizard's Six," forthcoming in F&SF.

Feb 10, 2006

A Gaggle of Reviews

Some of the more recent reviews of The Narrows, all in one place for your delectation:

Emerald City
Relocated Fictions
Bookgasm's 8 Great Sci-Fi Books of 2005
Amazon's Top 10 SF/Fantasy Books of 2005
Green Man Review
The Capital Times
Bangor Daily News
Cleveland Plain Dealer

2006 So Far, and Looking Ahead

Two stories already out in the world: "Shambhala," in the March F&SF and "Homosexuals Damned, Film at Eleven" in the Lou Anders-edited anthology FutureShocks.

This summer, Night Shade Books will publish a collection of my short stories, called Pictures from an Expedition. There will be a new story in the book, as well as a dozen reprints from the past two years or so. Also I'll have a story, "New Game in Town," in the Joe Lansdale-edited anthology Retro Pulp Stories, from Subterranean.

Looking a little farther ahead, I just finished revisions on Batman: Inferno, a novel about Batman's early career. Look for it in December from Del Rey.

And before that, the Francophones among you can check out the French edition of A Scattering of Jades, currently scheduled for October from Fleuve Noir.

Feb 7, 2006

Reading in Milford NH

Along with my estimable colleagues Jim Kelly and Judith Berman, I'll be reading at the Toadstool Bookshop on Thursday the 16th of this month, at 7pm. Hope to see you all there.

Feb 3, 2006

I Give Up

So I fought with this other blogging software for a while, and then it was just too easy to come over here. What's not to love?