I’ve known Richard Kadrey for a number of years. We generally mouth off at each other about technology, injuries we acquired while we were young/dumb, barbecue, tiki drinks and movies. There’s not much jibba-jabba, however, about what either of us does for a living. He writes constantly. So do I. It’s nice to talk about anything but your gig, from time to time.
That said, the rent must be paid, so here we go.
On August 28th, the tenth book in Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series, Hollywood Dead, will be available in the United States. Last last week, after reading an advanced copy that was sent out to me, I got on the horn for a chat with him about the new book, his plans for Sandman Slim and what he’s got cooking beyond the massively popular urban fantasy series.
SB: I read Hollywood Dead over the weekend. I think one of the things I enjoyed the most about the new book is how the tension ramps up as Stark came to understand how screwed he really was.
RK: I really wanted him off-balance. He felt off-balanced in The Kill Society—Stark was basically hiding who he was. But I wanted him to be genuinely fucked up in this book. He thinks everything’s going to be fine now and nothing is fine. Everything is fucked up. There’s no problem he can solve by punching it. Yeah, there’s bad guys, but his overall situation can’t be solved with violence. In the book, a lot of the truth of what[Stark]is comes out of Kasabian’s mouth, the way it always has. Read the rest
Every time I imagine that Richard Kadrey has run out of ends-of-all-creation to torture his long-running, hard-boiled supernatural antihero Sandman Slim with, he surprises me with a bigger, badder, meaner, scarier end-of-days than the last, and with the eighth volume in the series, The Kill Society, Kadrey pulls out all the stops. Read the rest
Jamie McFarlane's Wizard in a Witchy World tells the tale of lost in love, current-era wizard Felix Slade.
Slade has a tough name, but thats about it. Generally having spent his life not in love, suddenly Felix is. Naturally, he falls in love with a witch, and they are hard to love. It doesn't help simplify matters that Slade has had a vision of the object of his desire dying, and must save her.
This cute, fast paced adventure includes a lot of strong world building. The lead character is not a big action seeking hero, and the story reflects that. It will be interesting to see where McFarlane takes this next.
Tor.com has reprinted China Mieville's inspired introduction to The Borribles, the classic, 1980s urban fantasy young adult trilogy by Michael de Larrabeiti, recently relaunched in the UK. As Mieville points out, The Borribles are fundamentally a fractured love-poem to London, and its love-hate relationship to children: Read the rest
The editors of Welcome to Bordertown have just published a study guide for teachers and librarians. WtB is the latest installment in the Bordertown series, one of the oldest (and finest) examples of urban fantasy, a shared world in which the realms of Faerie and the mundane world clash in a border region where magic and technology both work intermittently and swirl together in a hybrid that is as exciting as it is erratic. This latest installment is a young adult book, and it includes my story Shannon's Law.
Set in a gritty, diverse city that straddles the divide between the human world and the magical realm, Welcome to Bordertown provides an ideal backdrop for exploring the issues and ideas most vital to young adults in a classroom or extracurricular setting. Through more than twenty interconnected songs, poems, and stories, educators can use Welcome to Bordertown to generate discussions and activities around a number of topics, including race, disability, technology, immigration, sexuality, and gender.
This guide provides a range of discussion questions that can be modified for use with a wide variety of groups, including reading clubs, middle and high school classes, Gay-Straight Alliances, and other diversity and discussion-focused groups. Divided into General Discussion Questions, Story-Specific Discussion Questions, and Post-Reading Activities, this guide works best when paired with the Bordertown series website, which provides supplementary material for many of the discussion questions and activities.
The paperback for Welcome to Bordertown is out, this being the most excellent, long-awaited volume of short stories set in the Bordertown shared world, where Faerie has returned to Earth, and the Bordertown is the place where magic and technology meet and mix. To celebrate, the editors are holding a contest:
So you've already found your way to Bordertown. It wasn't easy, but you did it. You've found a place to live, and maybe a friend or two. Maybe you're in a band, or selling your sketches on the street, or just looking for work.... And now you'd like your friend (from the World or from the Realm, depending on your own origins) to come and join you.
Write them a letter, or send them a postcard (a photo or a drawing + a short note) telling them why they should come.
Then post it on your blog, Tumblr, Facebook notes, DeviantArt account... anywhere your friends* can read it. And then, to enter it in the contest (and make sure we know it's there!), put the URL for your post in the Comments on this page. The contest runs from now through Tuesday, April 17th at 11:59 p.m. EST (U.S.A. Eastern Time).
My story Shannon's Law appears in the collection.