Monday, June 13, 2011

Blatant self-promotion ahead!

As I am sure you know, we creative types get by these days by doing three things: promotion, promotion, and promotion.  If you will indulge me for this, my 400th post, I would like to tell you about Monsters!

Monsters! is a collaboration between author Bernard Sell and myself.  We’ve known each other for 23(!) years now and have just gotten ‘round to working with one another on a book.  Despite this friendship, I assure you that Bernard did not cosher upon my stories and that only the best made it through.  The book is an anthology collection of short stories built around the theme of “monsters.”  Or as Bernard describes in the teaser text:

“Who's that scratching at your bedroom door? Or the inside of your brain?  Monsters! Jon Nichols and Bernard Sell team up to bring you a sometimes haunting, sometimes hilarious, always thought-provoking collection of shorts that will keep you looking over your shoulder and looking into your very soul. But might not like what you find!”

Monster” is an almost deliberately innocuous term considering the stories in the collection.  Bernard’s contributions are so wide and varied as to creatively stretch the definition of the theme to its utmost.  He has written about werewolves who have a penchant for motel art, corn cults, siblings seeking solace on a cross-country road trip who only come to find that one of them has a hideous disease, and a story called “Dr. Ramses Ozymandias and the Frankenstein Complex.”  The title alone makes it worth it.

And my stories?  I have two short stories and two novellas in the collection.  Surprisingly enough, I would only call one out of the three a science fiction piece (my interests are rather varied, after all.)  That one is called “Nothing Left But the Cockroaches,” a satirical, globetrotting mash-up of Kafka and Voltaire that posits the notion: “If the world is deteriorated beyond management, turn yourself nto the ultimate survival machine…a cockroach!”  You can read a sample of it here on Strange Horizons from almost exactly one year ago.  Aside from that novella, the other pieces are reflections of the “monsters” of the human mind and the hope that there is a redeemable soul in all of us.  “Buck” looks at a nefarious and deranged ex-baseball player.  The novella “The Requiem” deals with an assassin trapped in Catholicism, existentialism, and Nova Scotia.  As a writer, I’ve tried to have a little sympathy for the devil in these works, hoping that sinners might make the best saints.  Then there might be hope for me after all.

Monsters! is available for download here on Smashwords in Kindle, Epub, PDF, RTF, and many other formats.

Thanks for permitting my little bit of marketing.  Pimpin' ain't easy.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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