The Carnival Of Pimpage Is Open

Cue The Calliope Music As noted yesterday in my missive of squawks and hoots, I think it’s important to use the Internet for good as well as evil. Here, then, is another expression of that.

Put on your pimp hat (mine is denim fringe). Whip out your pimp cane (mine is topped with a golden dodo skull). Slip on your pimp slippers (mine are made from the hide of a rare lavender ermine who, as a baby ermine, was fed a constant diet of smooth jazz). Because it’s time to do some pimping.

I want you to pimp somebody or something.

Not yourself. Not one of your own projects.

The work of another. A blog post. A book. A game. A tweet.

Or, if not their work, fuck it, just say something awesome about somebody. Regale the world with tales, tales about your pimp target’s kind ways, tremendous hands, humorous outlook, and truly magnificent genitals.

I will use my time on the pimp floor to point you once more to author Robert McCammon.

McCammon is why I write.

I won’t sit here and regale you with an obsequious soliloquy of why he will rock your eyeface because, frankly, I already did that shit (no, seriously, blog post right here).

I’ll merely note this: the man, once retired from writing because the industry tried to pigeonhole him, is back with new books that you damn well better pre-order.

First up: THE FIVE, his first true horror novel in a while, about a rock band? And an Iraq war vet? Not sure where it goes from there, but if it’s from McCammon, it’s going to get twisted. You can pre-order the book over at Subterranean Press.

Second up: THE HUNTER IN THE WOODS revisits the Nazi-killing werewolf spy, Michael Gallatin in a series of short stories and novellas. (If you haven’t read the novel featuring Gallatin, THE WOLF’S HOUR, do that immediately or be cast out of my drum circle.) Once again, you can pre-order this collection over yonder hills at Subterranean Press.

This is actually also a good time to note that Subterranean Press has an impressive list of other pre-orders, which features kick-ass writers such as Ray Bradbury, China Mieville, John Scalzi and Joe Lansdale. They are one of my favorite small publishers.

So, there you go. The pimp-doors are open.

Pimp-walk your ass inside and get to pimpin’.

43 comments

  • Books: The entire Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. As well as Simon Green’s Nightside. The first is a wonderfully cohesive urban fantasy full of delicious snark. The second is literary geek masturbation without shame. See if you can spot Doctor Who when he shows up.

    Games: BESM and Silver Age Sentinels both by now defunct Guardians of Order. Both are easy to pick up and play, only take a few dice and offer a stunning array of character creation designs. Honestly BESM may be anime inspired but I always found it the best universal RPG I could find. Also they start all of their books with a manifesto I feel every game should have about the nature of gaming itself.

    Tweets: Stan Lee. He’s mad, utterly brilliantly mad. Plus it is quite fun to read his daily dispatch to his brave army of Brigadiers (or so he refers to his followers).

    Finally a show/comic that I feel never got enough attention: The Middleman. It aired for one season on ABC family of all places but never got the ratings to continue. It deals with an insane world full of aliens and mad scientists and supernatural threats to humanity. And battling it all is the MiddleMan. He fights evil so you don’t have to. Aided at all times by the grumpy robot Ida and his sidekick/replacement Wendy.

    And for the record my cane is an oak shillelagh I stole from a leprechaun, my slippers are actually black leather Doc Martens polished to a mirror shine and the hat is a proper black fedora.

  • 1. Matthew Woodring Stover. He’s a NYT-bestselling author, his Acts of Caine book series is amazing, he’s got a Kickstarter project to turn Caine into comic books, and he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever e-met.

    2. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com. Artisans of smell. When I get stuck writing, I slather myself with veil and have prophetic dreams. Perfume oils based on Lovecraft, Alice in Wonderland, Shakespeare, and Neil Gaiman characters.

  • Game: Untold
    This is an RPG based on non collectible cards. I know one of the primaries personally and did some playtesting before release. http://www.untoldthegame.com The idea here is instead of books and books full of rules, the main mechanics of the game are free in a primer available in PDF or on their site. Everything else is handled with the cards. I’ve enjoyed playing the game, my wife who had not played any RPG’s in years picked it up pretty quickly and had a good time as well. Being rules light it is quick to learn and since all the stats are on the cards book keeping is minimal and scales nicely.

    All the fluff and background info is also available free on their site. Currently they are just making cards for the home system setting but have plans to license the game to an as yet unannounced 3rd party setting and are working on another of their own.

    They recently started offering a print your own version of the starter set and some of the add on decks over at DriveThru RPG http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=87390

  • This is a twofer:

    I posted my Shackleton’s Scotch story today at Sample Sunday, For A Few Bottles More.

    Now I’m putting on my Colts ball cap made of peacock feathers, stepping into my slippers made of spider silk and spun steel and twirling my cane made from the femur of a dinosaur carved with runes of great might and pimping Hyperbole And A Half. It’s an illustrated blog that is so funny it will make you snort coffee out your nose, even if you aren’t drinking coffee.

    I’m looking forward to looking into the recommendations here!

  • I just finished Allison Pang’s Brush of Darkness, and thought it was a great debut. I also just finished Nalini Sing’s Archangel’s Consort, third in that series. It was fabulous, as all of Nalini’s books are. Finally, I am 2/3rds done with Jesse Petersen’s Married With Zombies, which is hilarious. I actually full-on snorted with laughter on the elliptical at the gym yesterday. And the best part is, it’s Orbit’s Orbital Drop choice this month, which means you can download it for $2.99 until March! Here’s the link: http://www.orbitebooks.com/offers/married-with-zombies-for-2-99/

  • I was impressed with Louis Bayard’s The Pale Blue Eye. I’m usually leery of stories that are based on actual historical figures or famous literary characters because…well…that feels like cheating. Make up your own characters, dammit. Besides, pushing real people who happen to be dead around, putting words in their mouths and making them behave like your puppets, feels really, really disrespectful. Nevertheless, I make an exception for the The Pale Blue, which purports to occur during Edgar Allan Poe’s brief stint at West Point.

    Poe is portrayed as a brilliant, eccentric drunk. Perhaps the real Poe was utterly different, but this one is true to our image of him. References to his works, including imagined events that could be the origins of famous stories, abound. Bayard’s writing style is polished and elegant in a way that fits the period. And I didn’t see the ending coming. All in all, it’s quite well-done.

  • Color me stupid, but I can’t figure out how to get rid of that goofy-looking standard avatar. I see a place to log in, but no place to register and create a profile. I went to WordPress, thinking that would be the place to do it, but it seems that I need to create a blog with them to register. Am I missing something obvious?

  • If you’re not following R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine) on the Twitters, you’re missing out. It’s constant strange, disgusting, entertaining and weird news stories and everything you’d expect from the man that penned a million (ok, maybe not, but close) Goosebumps and Fear Street novels.

    I don’t think Scott Westerfeld needs much pimpage. But if you haven’t read him, or are on the fence about YA at all, you need to jump on one of his books. Peeps for the mystery and supernatural folk, Uglies for those on a dystopian kick, and Leviathan for everyone.

  • Right now, I’m grooving on Matt Forbeck. He’s always been a great drinking friend, but I’ve read Amortals as well as the first two books of his Blood Bowl trilogy, and each book has been a fast, fun read.

  • I’m currently reading a book for review that’s keeping me up late at night, turning the pages. It’s a historical suspense called The Midwife Of Venice by Roberta Rich; her debut novel. And it’s awesome :)

  • I’d like to pimp my friend Steven Torres’ new ebook, KILLING WAYS. It’s a collection of ten short stories. Two are brand new stories about Ray Cruz, a mob enforcer in 1970s New York. Five more are about Russian mercenary Viktor Petrenko, and the last three are some combination of horror, fantasy, and SF.

    I’m a particular fan of Steven’s Cruz and Petrenko stories. He’s really good a creating characters that are bad, killers for hire in fact, and then making them sympathetic.

    (Full disclosure: I urged him to create the book, formatted it for him, and did the cover.)

    If you haven’t read any of Steven’s stuff before, here’s a link to the Ray Cruz story “Padrino”, from last summer’s Plots With Guns: http://www.plotswithguns.com/10torres.htm

    And here’s a link to Killing Ways: http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Ways-Stories-ebook/dp/B004MPRMEG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1298224088&sr=1-1

    Other pimpage:

    Anthony Neil Smith’s CHOKE ON YOUR LIES is great.

    Ditto Dave White’s MORE SINNED AGAINST.

    One you may have missed is Robert Tinsley’s THE BRADY FILES, a collection of private eye stories featuring Jack Brady. Very traditional, but very good.

  • If you haven’t yet encountered Aliette de Bodard’s Obsidian & Blood series (Servant of the Underworld, Harbinger of the Storm), I’d can’t recommend them highly enough. Aztec fantasy murder mysteries, beautifully written.

    Also, must mention N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Best book I read in 2010.

    (Above authors can be found at @aliettedb and @nkjemisin on Twitter.)

  • I’m in love with an artist named Natalie Cutrufello. Her website is here: http://www.enceles.com

    I wouldn’t pimp her if I didn’t think she was good, of course. She’s an incredible comic/graphic novel-style artist who also does awesome tattoo work (she’ll be inking me soon.) Hint hint, she will design tattoos for people, so if you’re in the market for one check out her site!

  • My friend recently introduced me to Homestuck over at http://www.mspaintadventures.com/ and I’ve been addicted ever since. Not only is it a creative storytelling method, using a lot of little flash videos and mini-games, but the music is also fantastic. The archive is intimidatingly large, but over time the pages fly by and catching up isn’t hard at all. Worth the read!

  • Schlock Mercenary is a comedic space-opera webcomic that follows the adventures and misadventures of a space mercenary company in the 31st century. Great writing, fun science, and the friendliest sociopath you’re likely to meet as the main character – what’s not to like? http://www.schlockmercenary.com

  • As a follow-on to Schlock Mercenary — the webcomic’s creator, Howard Tayler, did an absolutely brilliant keynote address to the Utah Open Source conference on how to make a living online as a creative. Watching the video of this keynote was what put me on the road that I’m currently on, and is well worth your time:

  • http://imeanttoreadthat.blogspot.com/

    Have a look around! You’ll find some amazing writers, Anthony Neil Smith, Benjamin Whitmer, Allan Guthrie, Russel D. McLean, Stuart MacBride, Joelle Charbonneau, Hilary Davidson, Chris F. Holm and others. If there’s anybody on the list that you haven’t yet read..then you are missing out big time.

  • So many shout outs and general pimping comes to mind, but here’s where my mood took me today:

    Books:

    Black Swan Green, by David Mitchell. It was written well, had a demanding, but great plot and hit close to the bone.

    Eisenhorn trilogy/omnibus, by Dan Abnett. Just top-class SF that delved into the 40k universe with great characters to shout for (or wish dead).

    TV Series/film:

    Firefly and Serenity, from Joss Wedon. Watch ‘em or else.

  • Further pimpage, beyond that nifty keynote I linked to earlier:

    TV: The Sandbaggers: Perhaps the best spy series ever made — UK show from the late 70s/turn of the 80s. Opposite end of the spectrum from Bond, focusing on the drama and desperation in the halls and offices of the Intelligence service. Lots of office politics mixing with Cold War realpolitik, and (in the finest tradition of better-writing-than-budgets British TV), absolutely scathing dialog. Can’t recommend this highly enough.

    Publishing: Pulp 2.0 Press — Bill Cunningham’s line, designed to bring the disposable-entertainment of unashamed pulp into the 21st century. The first release, Brother Blood, is a blaxploitation vampire novel, written by Empire Strikes Back novelist Donald F. Glut in the early 70s and only previously available serialized in some period German horror magazines. Pulp 2.0 releases via Amazon — both in print and Kindle formats, and is available in PDF from the website as well. Bill has some interesting plans ahead. He’s on Twitter too, as @madpulpbastard.

  • I would like to pimp my cat. Pretty sure the kids named her 18 years ago, but we all just call her Kitty. She’s still very soft in her old age and almost never bites me anymore. Not hard anyway. She likes to sleep in the patches of sun on the carpet and has decided that my right hip is an acceptable heat source to snuggle up against on the couch at night when I’m writing. I’m more of a dog person and luckily she doesn’t hate The Wonder Dog as much these days, if her lessening tendency to randomly smack him in the face with her paw is anything to go by. For a cat, she’s pretty awesome.

    I guess I should pimp something you all could share, since my cat hates strangers. Hmmm.

    I think the best book I read in the past year has got to be THE BREACH by Patrick Lee. Terrific writing and a story that completely blew me away. It sounds like many of you enjoy SF and there are strong elements of that. I’m not a huge fan of SF (I know, what am I even doing over here) but I loved this book. He has a new one out, GHOST COUNTRY, and as soon as the publisher drops the price– oh wait, I just checked and it’s down in the somewhat reasonable range. HA! I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon.

  • [Bookmarks page.]

    Cooking: Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking. My husband recently said that my cooking leveled after I read this book a few years ago.

    Reading: Barry Hughart’s Number 10 Ox books (previously reprinted on Subterranean, by the way). Prepare to be charmed in a drunken, mythical, detectivish kind of way.

  • A.M Hart’s Hungry for you- the most unexpected tales of love and zombies. One friend called it tender, yet macabre. I called it quirky and fun. And it’s only a dollar. $1!

    And Joseph Robert Lewis Heirs of Mars and his just released The Burning Sky. Really well written and good stories. He’s a guy who knows what he’s talking about on the technical side, but also very strong with the characters and the human side of science fiction.

  • Always happy to point folks toward the work of others, and love that you’ve opened the floor to it, Chuck.

    Book
    Lauren Beukes’ MOXYLAND is a you-should-have-already-read-this pick for me. Fantastic neo-cyberpunk built on the now not the back when. And it’s published by one of my favorite new publishers, Angry Robot Books. In finer book stores everywhere and in e-Book format.

    http://www.moxyland.com/

    Roleplaying Game
    Vincent Baker’s work is always worth checking out (Dogs in the Vineyard remains a top game for me) and the game he released last summer APOCALYPSE WORLD is a mindblower. Out now.

    http://apocalypse-world.com/

    PC Game
    I’ll talk more about this tomorrow but Wadjet Eye Games’ upcoming (as in coming out Thursday) GEMINI RUE is a throwback to old-school point-and-click adventure games and will leave your monitor slick with neo-noir cyberpunk atmosphere. I was floored by the beta demo and can’t wait for more. Currently available for pre-order.

    http://www.wadjeteyegames.com/geminirue.htm

    Console Game
    Double Fine’s latest game STACKING is about a tiny Matryoshka doll trying to free his chimney-sweeping family from the vile captain of industry that has enslaved them. Great mechanic, beautiful art direction, and a fun sense of humor. Downloadable through XBLA and PSN.

    http://www.doublefine.com/

  • Damn but Wizards of the Coast put out a lot of Dungeons & Dragons novels in their Forgotten Realms setting. And I’ll be the first to admit, I love the game, but don’t generally get excited by their fiction. It’s easy to think that all of these books are the same: burly men in armor fighting monsters in true epic fantasy style. Excuse me while I stifle a yawn.

    The Forgotten Realms tales by Rosemary Jones are the OTHER novels. You know, the ones that don’t fit. The ones that I’m always excited to read. There’s a humanity and blue-collar ethic to her working class heroines. And there are things like fluffy dogs and topiary dragons. And strong and resourceful heroines that are no one’s wilting damsel and no one’s might-as-well-be-male female warrior. Take for example my personal favorite, City of the Dead (2009) http://www.amazon.com/City-Dead-Greenwood-Presents-Waterdeep/dp/078695129X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1298241647&sr=1-1

    Follow Sophraea, daughter of the Carver clan which maintains the massive graveyard at the heart of Waterdeep. Rather than accept a life tending the stone monuments, she seeks another life; that of a seamstress. But when the dead become restless, she becomes the kind of hero I love through natural evolution of her character. She is a rarity in this world of RPG fiction; a character defined by her character, not her character class.

    I posted a review when I first read this two years ago, and I stand by it. I recommend it highly for readers of fantasy who are, have been, or have ever known a teenage girl. City of the Dead remains a magical read full of adventure, heart, and Rosemary’s signature humor.

  • Adrian McKinty (http://adrianmckinty.blogspot.com/), who writes delicious poetic Celtic noir has a new book coming out. Falling Glass will be available March 1st.

    Thanks to the film version of his novel Winter’s Bone, three of Daniel Woodrell’s novels will be re-released in April. You can check out Esquire’s profile of him here: http://www.esquire.com/features/brightest-2010/daniel-woodrell-books-1210 .

    Two other great books I read in 2010: Peter Murphy’s John the Revelator and Trevor Byrne’s Ghosts and Lightning.

    And though it needs no help from me, if you haven’t been following Warren Ellis and Paul Dufffield’s Freak Angels, you’re missing out.

  • Excited to see Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, Joseph Robert Lewis’ Heirs of Mars and Barry Hughart’s Number 10 Ox books pimped here! I love them all. <3 Also cats.

  • I would like to pimp — ok, bad choice of words, considering — I would like to compliment my husband and the way he reads the Diary of a Wimpy Kid to my daughters every night at bedtime so I can come in here and type comments on blogs. Actually it’s hard when he’s reading because I’m sitting in here listening and snickering. They’re working their way through the series. Me, too, only in secret.

    Also, I recently read Wen Spencer’s A Brother’s Price (to myself) and really enjoyed it.

  • One of my favouritest (yeah, it’s a word…) authors is Alain de Botton. Dude is a freaking genius! He writes non-fiction books where he explores modern problems and connects these with ancient philosphy as well as drawing his own conclusions. He is smart, passionate and has a wonderfully drole sense of humour. Love him to bits.

    On another note, I would like to offer a virtual high five to Chuck (don’t leave me hanging, buddy!) and the readers of his blog. I enjoy reading the comments left by other writers if for no other reason than that they use full sentences and actually spell out words. Crazy!

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