"sandman slim"

My favorite fiction debuts of 2013

2013 was a great year for my encounters with debut novels -- first novels from new authors, and first-time excursions into young adult fiction from established adult fic authors, and even an editorial debut. Starting with Leonard Richardson's incredible Constellation Games, and moving onto books like Mur Lafferty's long-awaited major press debut The Shambling Guide to New York City, Richard Kadrey's YA debut Dead Set, and many others. Click through for the full list -- it makes great holiday reading! Read the rest

Dead Set: a supernatural punk YA novel from Richard "Sandman Slim" Kadrey

Just in time for Hallowe'en, Richard "Sandman Slim" Kadrey's publishers have released Dead Set, a young adult novel about a San Francisco teenager who ventures into the Egyptian underworld to rescue her punk father from the clutches of an evil moon-goddess. Read the rest

Gweek 105: Gareth Branwyn and Jim McCann

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This week's episode of Gweek is sponsored by Rickshaw Bagworks, manufacturers of San Francisco-made messenger bags, backpacks, and laptop sleeves. Use the discount code boingboing for 15% off an entire order through August 15th.

Joining me in this episode:

Gareth Branwyn writes on art, technology and culture. He is the former Editorial Director of MAKE and has been an editor at Mondo 2000, Wired, and bOING bOING (print). He has written seven books, including Jamming the Media, co-authoring Boing Boing's Happy Mutant Handbook, and Jargon Watch. He is currently putting together a collection of his best work, called Borg Like Me (& Other Tales of Art, Eros, and Embedded Systems).

Jim McCann is an award-winning playwright and comic book writer. He is the writer & co-creator of Return of the Dapper Men, which garnered 5 Eisner nominations and won the Eisner for Best Graphic Novel. This award-winning team has reunited to launch Lost Vegas from Image in March 2013, a universe filled with intrigue as one gambler-turned-slave has 24 hours to go all in and pull off the greatest heist the universe has seen. In 2012 McCann launched Mind the Gap, an ongoing paranormal thriller/mystery series from Image. McCann has also written the following titles: New Avengers: The Reunion; Hawkeye & Mockingbird: Ghosts; Widowmaker; Hawkeye: Blindspot; and Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol. He writes in Los Angeles and believes Mac & Cheese should be at the top of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Read the rest

Kill City Blues: Sandman Slim versus the elder gods of the dead mall

Kill City Blues is the latest in Richard Kadrey's amazing hard-boiled supernatural thriller series Sandman Slim. I've been a Kadrey fan since his landmark debut novel Metrophage, and have read and enjoyed all his work since, but Sandman Slim are the novels Kadrey was born to write.

Sandman Slim is a "Sub Rosa," part of the hidden world of magical people and beings who live beneath our noses. A precocious and gifted magician, he inspired jealousy in his coven, who conspired to send him to Hell while he was still alive. He was a novelty in the Underworld, and was sent to fight in a gladitorial pit, and eventually trained to be an assassin. After a daring escape from Hell, he returned to Los Angeles to reap a horrific revenge on the former friends who'd doomed him.

That was several books ago. Now, in book five, Sandman Slim has been around the block a few times, experienced several dramatic turns in his life, fought off zombies and vampires and creatures from beyond the universe, discovered the true identity of God and Lucifer, and stumbled upon the universe's impending unwinding.

Kill City Blues is the story of that impending universal destruction, and it revolves around the hunt for an artifact that may be our plane's only defense against the elder gods who are seeking to break in and reclaim the reality that was stolen from them. And of course, Sandman Slim isn't the only one hunting for it. His quest leads him -- and his competitors -- to Kill City, a dead Santa Monica megamall where the roof caved in and killed hundreds. Read the rest

Gift Guide 2012

Welcome to this year's Boing Boing Gift Guide, a piling-high of our most loved stuff from 2012 and beyond. There are books, comics, games, gadgets and much else besides: click the categories at the top to filter what you're most interested in—and add your suggestions and links in the comments.

Interview with and reading by Richard Kadrey for Devil Said Bang

Rick Kleffel says:

Richard Kadrey read from Devil Said Bang at SF in SF and afterwards I spoke with him about the novel. He told me that he originally wanted to write some hard-edged noir like Jim Thompson or Richard Stark with a supernatural aspect. Since he'd sold one book to the publisher, he figured he could sell more, and as the series spun out, his original close vision expanded. "I didn't start out with the intention of re-writing the history, like I said, of reality," he told me.

MP3 for reading | MP3 for interview

Previously: Devil Said Bang - Sandman Slim finds it's lonely at the top Read the rest

Devil Said Bang: Sandman Slim finds it's lonely at the top

Devil Said Bang is the latest Sandman Slim novel, and Richard Kadrey continues to knock them way the hell out of the park. As with previous volume (the first three were Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, and Aloha From Hell), Devil is the harder-than-hard-boiled story of James Stark, a distant descendant of Wild Bill Hickok and a wild magic talent whose LA coven conspired against him, sending him to Hell. There he was turned into a gladiator and assassin, killing hellions in the pit and murdering Lucifer's generals in their beds until he escaped to earth, bent on revenge.

Devil is the latest installment in what is, at core, a superhero story (albeit one with a lot of gore and Satanism) and after three books, Kadrey has arrived at that point where the superhero's successful adventures have left him with so many powerful artefacts and so much authority and so many dead enemies that he's essentially become a God. Devil is a story about the ways in which it can be pretty terrible at the top, as Stark tries to come to grips with his own power -- power he's always reviled in others -- while continuing to slaughter, bad-mouth, and humiliate his enemies, be they demons, angels, monsters, ghosts or humans.

Filled with perverted sex, awesome one-liners, gore, murder, and a necronomiconical sense of the daemonic, Devil shows that these are the books that Kadrey was born to write. One of the original cyberpunks, Kadrey has always been the grittiest of the gritty lot, the chipped switchblade in a box full of fractal-edged nanofabricated scalpels. Read the rest

Excerpt from Devil Said Bang, the forthcoming Sandman Slim novel

IO9 has published the first 40 pages of Devil Said Bang, the fourth of Richard Kadrey's kick-ass, super-gritty demonic supernatural horror Sandman Slim novels (the first three were Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, and Aloha From Hell). I loved Devil. Even by the high standards set by the whole series, it shines. It's out on Aug 28th, and I have a review cued up for then. Here's a snippet: "Filled with perverted sex, awesome one-liners, gore, murder, and a necronomiconical sense of the daemonic, Devil shows that these are the books that Kadrey was born to write. One of the original cyberpunks, Kadrey has always been the grittiest of the gritty lot, the chipped switchblade in a box full of fractal-edged nanofabricated scalpels. Compared to Kadrey, other supernatural horror writers feel like they've been drinking the thrice-brewed tea of HP Lovecraft, while Kadrey has been performing blood sacrifices in abandoned LA parking garages. Read these books, and be delighted."

I punch the tunes into the jukebox and make sure it's turned up loud. I've loaded up the juke with a hundred or so devil tunes. The Hellion Council can't stand it when I come to a meeting with a pocketful of change. Wild Bill, the bartender, hates it too, but he's a damned soul I recruited for the job, so he gets why I do it. I head back to the table and nod to him. He shakes his head and goes back to cleaning glasses.

Read the rest

Richard Kadrey and John Shirley at SF in SF this Saturday

The next SF in SF reading series on July 7 is a punk-rock extravaganza: John Shirley and Richard Kadrey, the guys who put the "punk" in cyberpunk, reading together. Kadrey, of course, has reinvented himself as a totally hard-boiled, awesome horror writer with his triumphant Sandman Slim series (I've just read a proof of the next one, and it's killer). Shirley's short story collection was one of the most excitingly mutated books of 2011.

Doors and cash bar open at 6:00PM Event begins at 7:00PM Suggested $5 - $10 donation at the door helps support Variety Childrens' Charity of Northern California Seating is first come, first seated

The Variety Preview Room Theatre The Hobart Bldg., 1st Floor -- entrance between Quiznos and Citibank 582 Market Street @ 2nd and Montgomery

July Reading – John Shirley & Richard Kadrey

(Thanks, Rina!) Read the rest

Boing Boing Gift Guide 2011

Though we're delighted to have our own online toystore up this holiday season, there are a thousand things we could recommend from elsewhere. Cutting it down to a couple of hundred, for our fourth annual gift guide, wasn't easy; this year was a fantastic one for books, games, gadgets and much else besides. From stocking stuffers to silly cars, take yer pick.

Boing Boing Gift Guide 2011

Aloha From Hell: Sandman Slim goes back to Hell and kicks more ass

Aloha From Hell is the long-awaited third volume in Richard Kadrey's hard-boiled, kick-ass supernatural horror series Sandman Slim (the other two being the Satanic revenge novel Sandman Slim and the hard-boiled zombie thriller Kill the Dead). The series' hero, Stark (AKA "Sandman Slim"), was a wild-talent magician whose jealous coven sent him from LA to Hell, where he spent 20 years fighting hellions in a gladiator pit by day and assassinating the princes of Hell by night. When he escaped to Earth and discovered that his nemesis Mason had killed his beloved Alice, he exacted slow and brutal revenge on the whole magic circle -- except Mason, whose power had grown and who had seemingly disappeared from the universe and zipped it up behind him.

In Aloha, Stark has finally started to recover from his time in Hell, to become something better than "the monster who kills monsters" -- in other words, he's losing his edge. He's falling in love (with another monster, of course), and has taken up hobbies (like cat burglaring with the immortal alchemist Vidocq, who invented forensic science 150 years ago, just before he figured out how to infinitely extend his life and switched to thieving).

But Stark isn't compatible with peace (even relative peace), and it's not long before Stark finds himself embroiled in a new adventure: an exorcism of a rich kid in Studio City, assisted by a defrocked priest who dabbles in Cthulhuism. And as has been the pattern in the other two books, every complication reveals itself to be the work of Mason, Stark's old archnemesis, who has been bottled up in Hell, but hasn't let that get him down -- he's made lemonade out of his lemons and is organizing the legions of Hell under his banner in a plot to storm Heaven and destroy the universe. Read the rest

2010 Gift Guide: BOOKS!

Welcome to the second half of the 2010 Boing Boing Gift Guide, where we pick out some of our favorite books from the last year (and beyond) to help you find inexpensive holiday gifts for friends and family. Can you guess who chose a Sarah Palin book?

Tom Waits and Preservation Hall Jazz Band release limited-edition 78RPM record and matching limited edition record-player

Tom Waits and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band recorded a pair of songs to benefit the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program and they're releasing them as a limited-edition 78RPM album. Donate $200 and you can get a gorgeous, custom 78RPM record player to go with it (alas, the first-day sales are limited to in-person customers at Preservation Hall in NOLA, and I'm guessing everything will be snapped up for eBay resale by the time the official online sales open up the next day).

I'm really interested in the creative use of premium physical objects that trade on the value of digital art. It seems to me that the more widely copied and well-loved a digital piece is, the more the limited physical premium will be. Alas, many of the physical premiums offered by bands and authors and so on look like they came out of a Skymall catalog. But stuff like this, well, it's so far in my sweet spot that I'm wondering if I can get back to NOLA for the sale.

Mr. Waits traveled to New Orleans in 2009 to record two songs with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the critically acclaimed project Preservation: An album to benefit Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, "Tootie Ma Was A Big Fine Thing" , and "Corrine Died On The Battlefield". Originally recorded by Danny Barker in 1947, these two selections are the earliest known recorded examples of Mardi Gras Indian chants.

The two tracks will now be packaged in a special limited edition 78 rpm format record, each signed and numbered by Preservation Hall Creative Director Ben Jaffe.

Read the rest

KILL THE DEAD: Kadrey's grisly, hard-boiled sequel to SANDMAN SLIM

Richard Kadrey's Kill the Dead is the sequel to his 2009 hard-boiled supernatural thriller Sandman Slim, and it's everything a sequel should be; that is, more.

Sandman Slim was one of the most hardboiled, hard-assed novels I'd ever read. James "Sandman Slim" Stark was banished to Hell by the betrayers in his magic circle. In Hell, Stark fought in the gladiator pits and was hired out as a contract killer by demons. Once he escapes hell and returns to LA, he wreaks absolutely terrible revenge on the members of the circle who betrayed him, beats the shit out of skinheads and minor demons, and generally is as badass as any three antiheroes combined.

Kill the Dead is more: more hardboiled, more badass. More bodies. More monsters. More drama. More sex. More porn stars. More universe at risk. In this book, Sandman Slim has settled into a post-universe-saving rut, living in a second-rate video-store on the Sunset Strip with a decapitated head (it rides around on an eight-legged steampunk skateboard and drinks beer and pisses it out its neck). But then Lucifer shows up and demands that Stark work for him as personal bodyguard while some studio exec who sold his soul to the Dark Prince produces a biopic of his life. Stark's not just working for Lucifer; he's also a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security's angelic justice squad, and they bring him in to work a gruesome killing (or possibly a suicide: the victim was an autophage pervert and it's possible he died by feeding his member too enthusiastically to a demon called an "eater"). Read the rest

Boing Boing Gift Guide 2009: fiction! (part 5/6)

Mark and I have rounded up some of our favorite items from our 2009 Boing Boing reviews for the second-annual Boing Boing gift guide. We'll do one a day for the next six days, covering media (music/games/DVDs), gadgets and stuff, kids' books, novels, nonfiction, and comics/graphic novels/art books. Today, it's novels!

Makers (Cory Doctorow): Technology lets low-cost providers take market share away from established companies, as Detroit auto makers and Paris fashion house designers have seen. Even high-tech companies have a hard time building sustainable businesses now that good ideas are copied so quickly that they become commodities.

In a time of great change, fiction can sometimes provide better understanding than facts alone. "As the pace of technological change accelerates, the job of the science fiction writer becomes not harder, but easier--and more necessary," he writes. "After all, the more confused we are by our contemporary technology, the more opportunities there are to tell stories that lessen that confusion." L. Gordon Crovitz, Wall Street Journal Full review | Purchase

The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy Someone said The Strain is a combination of The Stand, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and I am Legend, which I'd say is a pretty fair way of describing it. The first chapter is about an airplane that lands at JFK from Germany and goes completely dark on the runway. It's so creepy that when I told my wife and daughter about it *they* got creeped out just from my description. Read the rest

Sandman Slim audiobook: magical hardboiled revenge story

Last month I blogged about Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim, a glorious, gritty revenge novel from hell, tinged with Aleister Crowley, Tom Waits and Raymond Chandler. Sandman Slim, AKA Stark, is one of Los Angeles's magicians, and 11 years ago, his fellow magicians sent him to hell because they were jealous of his power. He's spent the past 11 years fighting in Hell's gladiator pits and working as an assassin for one of Hell's Dukes, but now he has escaped to Earth and is on a quest to hunt down and execute his betrayers.

I've just finished listening to the unabridged, 10-hour audiobook of Sandman Slim, which is available on a single MP3 CD without DRM from Brilliance Audio. The reading is performed by Macleod Andrews, who does the narration in a perfect whiskey voice that's 80 percent Tom Waits, 20 percent Clint Eastwood. The performance and production are marvellous, a great interpretive reading that really brought the novel to life for me. I also love that I could get it without having to suffer through either DRM through one of the audiobook download stores or through ripping ten CDs' worth of material, which is how I normally get my audiobooks onto my computer.

Sandman Slim Audiobook MP3 CD

Previously: Kadrey's SANDMAN SLIM: a hard-boiled revenge novel from Hell Kadrey and Shaw Live - Boing Boing Kadrey and Shaw Live - Boing Boing Kadrey's Butcher Bird -- free download - Boing Boing Kadrey online - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Kadrey's Butcher Bird: Dante meets RE/Search Boing Boing: Kadrey's cyberpunk video podcast Pithy thoughts from Richard Kadrey, - Boing Boing Kadrey's latest novel as free PDF - Boing Boing Read the rest

Kadrey's SANDMAN SLIM: a hard-boiled revenge novel from Hell

Richard Kadrey's new novel Sandman Slim is the most hard-boiled piece of supernatural fiction I've ever had the pleasure of reading. William Gibson says it's a "deeply amusing, dirty-ass masterpiece" and that's just right.

Eleven years ago, James Stark was banished to hell by his circle of magic buddies, betrayed by his supposed friends for the crime of being a better magician than them. For eleven years, he's suffered hell's torments as Azazel's mortal slave, first made to fight in the pits and then turned into an assassin. And now he's escaped hell by stabbing himself in the heart with a key that opens every lock, and he's returned to Los Angeles to seek his vengeance on the magicians who betrayed him. He hunts them across a demon-infested Los Angeles, dishing out and receiving relentless, graphic violence, determined to take his revenge and then die and leave the Earth behind forever.

In another writer's hands, this might be just another of those gonzo-funny books about demons and magic and so forth, an over-the-top, ironic novel that eschews horror for yuks.

But Kadrey's Stark is hard-boiled -- not just self-conscious and wise-cracking, but bereft of hope, burning with anger, without any of that self-reflexive, cutesy stuff that writers put in when they're worried about sounding like a poseur. Kadrey's not worried. In the way that Lovecraft's best work is totally unapologetic about the horrors of hell, in the way that Chandler is totally unapologetic about his antiheroes who inhabit a world without redemption or light, Kadrey's Stark is in a living hell, and he hurts, and he will make other people hurt, and he will not stop. Read the rest

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