Apr 29, 2009

Places I Think I Will Be Over the Next Few Months

5/15: Smartish Pace/Barrelhouse Launch Party, Baltimore MD
5/17: Maine Comics Arts Festival, Portland ME
7/11: Books & Blooms, Boothbay ME
7/23-26: San Diego Comic-Con
9/19-20: BangPop!, Bangor ME
10/3: Bangor Book Festival, Bangor ME

I'm going to be in New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan at various times over the summer, so there might be more to come. And if you're a bookseller or convention organizer interested in a reading/signing, drop a line...

Apr 27, 2009

A History of Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan

Over at FearZone, Gemma Files has posted an interesting history of Daimon Hellstrom--better known as the Son of Satan.
"But it wasn't until horror author Alexander Irvine (whose brilliant first novel, A SCATTERING OF JADES, crossbreeds GANGS OF NEW YORK with the Aztec patheon to truly Apocalyptic effect) undertook a HELLSTORM: SON OF SATAN miniseries for Max Comics that, in my opinion, Daimon finally hit his stride--and that was in 2007."

She goes on in some depth about my story, but even if she hadn't, this is a witty and smart look at a character who has had quite a strange and varied history.

Onion AV Club on Daredevil Noir

"The Marvel Noir line has proven an unexpected hit for the company. Sticking classic superheroes in out-of-continuity miniseries saturated with the lowlife atmosphere and doomstruck moral shadings of 1940s noir novels and films was a bizarre idea, but somehow it struck just the right chord with fans, who ate up Spider-Man Noir and X-Men Noir. Now comes Daredevil Noir (Marvel), and whether or not it proves as popular as its predecessors, it’s definitely the best-executed so far..."

Read the rest, in which I am described as a "science-fiction novelist and occasional comics dabbler," here.

Apr 23, 2009

Baltimore Reading at Metro Gallery May 15th

Smartish Pace/Barrelhouse Release Party
May 15th, 2009 8:00pm-1:00am
LOCATION: Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21201 (1 block north of Penn Station)
COST: $10 (includes magazine)

From the Smartish Pace web site:

Readings by Matt Anserello, Lucy Biederman, Maggie Glover, Reginald Harris, Alex Irvine, Aaron Poochigian and Mark Wisniewski. Readings from 8:15 PM to 9:15 PM and for 20 min. between sets of the three bands (TBA soon). This is a joint bash with our friends from Barrelhouse, the first-rate kick-ass DC literary magazine. Cost includes a copy of the new Smartish Pace or Barrelhouse & all the merriment you can stomach. Metro Gallery is one block north of Penn Station providing easy transportation for DC folks. We look forward to seeing you Friday, May 15th! 21+ event.

The Next Thing You Bookmark

Should be the World Digital Library. Just sayin'. L worked on some of the translations of the French-language items, and this is going to be a great resource. Also a time-sink without peer. Pictured: a German woodcut of Aesop's Fables.

Apr 22, 2009

Daredevil Noir #3 Solicit and #4 Cover

“LIAR’S POKER,” PART 3 The Bull's-Eye Killer is on the loose in Hell's Kitchen, and every corpse draws Daredevil deeper into the brewing war between Wilson Fisk and Orville Halloran, the Man Who Would Be Kingpin. Guided by the unerring accuracy of his senses, Daredevil plunges toward a confrontation with Halloran -- and a devastating revelation. Sometimes the truth does not set you free.

Also, here's a thoughtful review of #1 from Earth-2.

Apr 20, 2009

Whole Lotta Madame Bovary

Wow. 4500 pages? Transcribed by a team including teenagers and an oil prospector? And no smut?

Anyone searching the new site for "naughty bits" scissored by the publishers will probably be disappointed. Although Flaubert was furious that his text was altered to try to avoid a trial, the censored passages are hardly more explicit than many of those that remained. For instance, the celebrated sequence in which Emma Bovary and one of her lovers make love in a carriage with the blinds drawn as they trot through the streets of Rouen is barely changed in the various manuscript versions.

Seriously, 4500 pages? I can't decide whether this makes me despondent or grateful for my lack of French.

Pleistocene Park

Man, would I love to see this:

But in recent years conservationists have set their sights on the more distant past, when Europe's forests and meadows were replete with elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses and big cats. Some ambitious conservationists are now advocating a return to norms of wilderness that date back to the Pleistocene era, more than 11,000 years ago.

The megafauna from that period, which had a dramatic impact on the environment around them, are a vital, missing part of Europe's ecosystem, argue proponents of Pleistocene rewilding, as the movement is known. Elephants, for example, keep forests from growing too dense. Large predators increase the survival odds of their prey by thinning the weak from the ranks. Importing Asian and African beasts similar to the ones that roamed prehistoric Europe would increase biodiversity and restore a natural equilibrium, with the biggest mammals once again at the top of the food chain.

Pics from Buyout Launch

Courtesy of Sam Cousins. Are there others out there?

Apr 18, 2009

Hot-Dog Innovation at Buyout Launch

Buyout launch party rocked. I raise a(nother) glass to Longfellow Books and everyone associated with it. Thanks for coming out, everyone!

Apart from all of the booky stuff, CC Robinson introduced me to the brave new culinary world of the hot dog with crushed potato chips on it. After much experimentation, I have concluded that if you're eating a red hot dog, the BBQ chips are best. Correct pairings with the beef frank are still being investigated.

Apr 17, 2009

Tessa Dick Is At It Again

Suing his estate for money related to Ubik and A Scanner Darkly, according to Daily Variety.

Next she'll probably "write" the rest of the sequel to The Man in the High Castle, one chapter of which is lying around in PKD's papers at Fullerton.

Apr 15, 2009

Maine Comics Arts Festival Poster

By Matt Talbot. Click for a link to the full-size image at the MECAF blog...

Readings Tomorrow and Friday

Tomorrow the University of Maine's New Writing Series wraps up with yours truly at 4:30 in the Soderbergh Auditorium in Jenness Hall. If you're in or around the Bangor/Orono area (and before you head down to Poets Speak! at the BPL, which doesn't start until 5:30), stop by.

Friday comes a launch party for Buyout, at Longfellow Books in Portland. Head for Monument Square around 7 and follow the smell of hot dogs and beer. See you there!

Apr 14, 2009

So Long, Bird

Technology the Enemy of Narrative Tension?

That's the question raised in this NYT piece by Matt Richtel. I've thought about it some on my own, and I wonder if the narrative problems posed by info-saturation (problems which are only going to get worse) is going to make more people go for historical settings. I know for sure that I've wrestled with this problem in fiction set in the here-and-now. Maybe we're headed for a renaissance in the historical novel...oh. Wait. Aren't we there already?

My next two book ideas are both set in the past. Well, one of them starts in the future but then flees to the past so I can take the characters' cell phones away.

Apr 13, 2009

NYT on Book Advances: A Mildly Bilious Response

Dear New York Times,

I was interested to note that Michael Meyer's essay "About That Book Advance..." managed to talk about the problems associated with publishers giving large advances, and quote a couple of authors whose large advances didn't turn out to be as large as one would expect after taxes fees etc.--but somehow didn't manage to find any of those thousands of writers (myself included) who have been working from advances much closer to (usually less than) the "average" of $30,000 mentioned. As the article notes, one can only pity Walter Kirn so much. What about all of the writers who don't get to take two or three years to write a book? Would it have been too much trouble to find one of them and get a perspective that has never included a six-figure check? Or maybe it's assumed that any such writer is one of the "no-talents" so cavalierly dismissed by Henry Bech.


Alex Irvine

If You Order Books Online...

...and #amazonfail has got you bummed, don't forget about IndieBound, whose store finder will get you where you need to go. (This blog post will appear on Amazon. I speculate about consequences.)

And if you're a soccer fan, don't forget about these two fine goals Clint Dempsey scored this weekend for Fulham against Manchester City:

Apr 12, 2009

G4 on DD Noir

In G4TV's Fresh Ink podcast for this week, Blair Butler has good things to say about DD Noir #1. It's toward the end, but along the way she checks out a bunch of other cool books too:

Apr 10, 2009

The Home Opener

The last time I went to a home opener, I was driving an '85 Pontiac Sunbird called the Swamp Thing, with my friends Wes and Donna, creeping down Michigan Avenue with Blood Sugar Sex Magik on the tape player. We sat in the upper-deck bleachers, right next to the cage where the centerfield camera was housed. Cecil Fielder hit a home run off Jack Morris (why did you ever leave, Jack?) to lead off the 9th, and that camera swung around and caught the three of us jumping up and down. The Tigers lost 4-2 as Morris pitched a complete game (remember those?), but we were on Tigers commercials for a couple of weeks.

Ah, 1992. Ah, Tiger Stadium.

(And then we got home and found out that Isaac Asimov had died.)

What the Smart Girls Are Reading

Notes on DD Noir from Various Quarters

CBR's Buy Pile:

Jump from the Read Pile. Overheard: "Has there ever been a character better suited for a noir treatment than Daredevil?" True indeed -- given his existing trappings with a murdered father and a walk-up office, this character was ripe for noir-i-zation. Using a chat with the equally noir-ready Wilson Fisk as a framing device, this one issue tells you everything about how this character came to be (which, in some ways, makes more sense than the real version) and what's going on in this seedy, criminal-caked world. The delightful and stylized artwork from Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman casts everything in the perfect grimy light and this issue hits every note just about perfectly. Then there's the narration and dialogue -- "Home. The place where you're supposed to be able to leave the outside world behind. Not me ... home is a prison I carry in my head" -- making this a great re-read already.

Comics Bulletin:

Irvine's confident, assured storytelling makes this a compelling read, and his framing device gives us a welcome glimpse into the story's future, allowing him to tease us with developments yet to come and also allowing him to end on a neat cliffhanger that encourages readers to have faith in him to deliver an equally compelling continuation of the series next issue. I'll certainly be interested enough to check it out.
I came into this review a bit biased; as a fan of noir, I've made it a point to read both X-Men: Noir and Spider-Man: Noir (my current favorite release of the year, but nonetheless…), so I wasn't too sure what to expect from a franchise that's never really been able to keep my attention. But I must say, I was pleasantly surprised -- Daredevil: Noir is a great read.


Irvine’s storytelling makes this a compelling read. The dialogue has the noiristic pulp feel that makes it feel like something straight out of the 1930’s. He gives us glimpses to future events without spoiling a thing, allowing for a cliff hanger ending that forces you to pick up the second issue. Complimenting his story is Coker’s artwork, which is perfect for the pulp style Irvine presents. [...] This is one miniseries everyone should be reading.

Independent Comics Site:

This is back to the Hell’s Kitchen that the rest of the world remembers, during the golden age of gangsters, when the warehouse district was a key source of bootlegging for New York City. It is, in a sense, the way Daredevil was always meant to be. But the comic doesn’t rest on having a new setting. [...] Best Daredevil I've seen in a long time.

Apr 8, 2009

Junot Diaz Talks Comics and Oscar Wao

I just got through teaching The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which my students loved (and so did I, again). Here are parts one and two of an interview with Newsarama in which he talks about the reception of Oscar Wao and his impressions of what's going on in the world of comics.

Apr 3, 2009

CBR Interview on Daredevil Noir

Comic Book Resources' Dave Richards and I talk about Matt Murdock, Hell's Kitchen history, and noir. DD Noir #1 is out next Wednesday, April 8!

In other DD-related news, I'll be signing the first two issues (and whatever else you want to bring) at the Maine Festival of Comics Arts, May 17th in Portland. Come on by...

Buyout...in 60 Seconds

At Tor.com, John Joseph Adams and I talk about the book.

Apr 2, 2009

Nifty Barrelhouse 7 Preview, Plus Other Stuff

The brain trust behind Barrelhouse (typed Barfelhouse the first time by accident and will be snickering to self all day) has put together a preview of #7 that includes, among other things, "The Truth About Ninjas" in its entirety.

This review at Neth Space does a writer good:

People endlessly debate and lament the death of science fiction while Alexander C. Irvine’s newest book, Buyout, quietly proves that science fiction is indeed alive and kicking.

Also today, the Maine Campus (from which the photo at left was taken) assesses the relationship of my ass to the driver's seat of my car. They also talk about my teaching etc., but that opener jumps out.

And here's an interview at SFSite about John Winchester's Journal.