Monthly Archive: May 2008

From The Inner Swine…

I’m putting together the new issue of my zine, The Inner Swine, and thought I’d cross-post this essay written by me and old friend Jeof Vita (also the cover artist for TIS). It’s about the comic book we co-authored a decade ago, mentioned previously on this blog. Enjoy! Or don’t, bastards.

Jeff and Jeof Wrote a Comic, Once
The Birth, Glorious Existence, and Sudden Demise of Evil Boys, Inc.
by Jeff Somers & Jeof Vita

JEFF SOMERS: THE YEAR was 1996. I was 25 years old and had just started to realize that working a 9-5 job for a living was a liquor-greased slide into hell. Bill Clinton was President, and everyone was complaining that Alanis Morrisette’s hit single Ironic didn’t contain a single ironic statement in it. The Macarena was waiting in the wings like a bloated spider eager to feast on your bodily fluids, and The Inner Swine was not yet the international sensation it was soon to become.

This was also the year TIS cover artist Jeof Vita and I co-wrote a comic book.


io9 Is Good People

Last night The Duchess and I crashed an meetup in NYC, at The Magician on the lower east side. Got to meet editors Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders, and a couple of folks from my publisher dropped in as well, including marketing goid Alex and my fearsome editor Devi. The bar was a real find, and Annalee and Charlie were very nice to an awkward and slightly inebriated author. I learned a little bit about Women in Refrigerators, and got to hang out with some cool people. A pretty good night, I’d say.

Game On

Ah, livin’ the dream: burgers and hot dogs on our sizzling hot deck (sweet baby jebus, is the sun parked next door in someone’s backyard? It feels like it is) a few sleep-inducing beers, and our cats, spooked by visitors, hidden all over the house, inviting our friends’ 3-year-old daughter to play the age-old game of Find & Terrify Teh Kittens. And then, bleary-eyed and sleepy, revising fifty pages of The Eternal Prison, chopping out words at a murderous and righteous rate. We’re at that stage of the manuscript where chopping words is really the best thing you can do.

Some of you folks may recall that when The Electric Church came out we had a little “alternate-reality game” set up for it. Well, ARG is maybe a bit ambitious for what was really a collection of online puzzles. Anyway, did you know we’re running a new one for The Digital Plague? Ayuh. You can start it here if you’re interested.

I’m excited, because the game’s been live for a week or two and no one’s gotten very far in it, which either means no one cares (bite your tongue!) or the puzzles are harder than I realized, which gives me the warm fuzzies.

Is there a prize? I can’t say. But it’s got to end somewhere, right? Plus also too, the web page is a nice collection of supplementary background material for the book. A good time is guaranteed for all.

Now, back to chopping words. I had no idea how often I repeat myself when writing first drafts–it’s like I’m smoking Meth while writing and not remembering it. Which would explain a lot, actually.

Review Revue

Well, The Digital Plague is out there, folks, and that means reviews are comin’ in. Here are a couple of the more interesting ones to come my way recently:

– Paul Di Filippo ran his eye over it at Sci Fi Weekly: Not completely laudatory, but any review that contains the line “Still, let it never be said that Somers is not a daring writer” makes my toes curl.

Fantasy Book Critic took a swing at it as well: “I immensely enjoyed the book—even more than “The Electric Church”—and my adrenaline is already pumping for the next Avery Cates adventure” HUZZAH!

Reviews are funny things; on the one hand when I see one come across the transom I get a thrill, because someone is talking about a book I wrote. On the other hand, you hate to read them because they might say something really disheartening, and then you have to on an epic drinking binge, waking up three weeks later in Panama wearing someone else’s suit. It puts a dent in the writing time. And also too the brain cells.


Xerography Debt

I suddenly realize that I have been shockingly lame in not plumping for Xerography Debt. What is Xerogaphy Debt? Heathen. XD is a zine-review zine, which is to say it is a DIY, underground publication that reviews other DIY, underground publications. They’ve reviewed my zine, The Inner Swine, many times, and for the last few issues I’ve contributed a kick-ass column called It Means Its Wank. No, really, that’s the title.

Fun fact: XD used to be called Xerox Debt until they got flack from Xerox about the trademark. Seriously.

There are thousands of zines out there, folks. Like anything else numbered in the thousands, most are crap. The rest can offer perspectives and writing you just won’t see anywhere else – finding the gems among the chaff is the trick. And that’s where a zine like XD comes in – the reviews give you something to go on when sending dollar bills in the mail for ziney treats. There are other zine-review zines out there – Zine World being the  yang to XD’s ying – as well as purely zine-review web sites, like Zine Thug. But naturally, since I have a column in XD, I think it’s the best. The best! Plus also too, Davida, the main force behind XD, is super cool. Plus also also too, she just started a blog for Xerography Debt, which I occasionally post to. I don’t get invited to contribute to too many blogs, because of the cursing. And the drunkenness. And the inexcusable inability to spell. So when it happens, I get very emotional about it.

If you’re curious about zines and DIY publishing, check out XD and maybe order something that looks interesting. Why not? For two bucks and a stamp you might discover something amazing. You might also get a crudely illustrated diary from a very boring person. Not knowing is part of the adventure of zines!


On the one hand, I hate this guy because he had a better idea than I ever have about promoting my books, and he did it 500% better than I ever could have even if I’d had the idea, which I did not. On the other hand, this is hilarious. The more you know about being a non-Stephen King level writer, the funnier this gets:

This also serves to remind me of all the things I could be doing to try and force you all to pay some damn attention to me. But then I drink a beer or two and get sleepy, and poof! One more day gone.


Joey Reynolds

Well, having been promoted from 2AM show-up time to 1AM (although I don’t think I hit the air until 2:15AM, with The Duchess sleeping in the lobby on one of the couches), the Suffering Wife and I headed into Manhattan last night so I could guest on the Joey Reynolds Show, which is always a blast. It’s always a group of really bizarre, interesting people in there. I feel like I barely say three words, because everyone’s just riffing and chatting – fun, but kind of intimidating. Joey himself is a prince of a guy, especially the way he keeps repeating my name and book title. Huzzah!

Instead of general MP3s of the show, I thought I’d post the best part of the whole night, which was Joey reading my entire Long Bio. I have several bios – everyone always wants a bio when you’re out there hat in hand begging for newspaper stories or interviews or radio appearances. Sometimes they want ten words and sometimes they want five hundred, so I’ve Long Bios, Short Bios, Medium Bios, and even Bios for specific venues. Last night, just for yuks, Joey was moved to read my Long Bio on the air, meaning I now have my bio read by a professional radio voice:

Joey Reynolds Reads Jeff’s Bio

Isn’t that cool? Now, whenever I get asked to tell my story at readings and such, I’m going to have a little MP3 player with this loaded on it, and I’ll just let Joey tell the tale. THIS ROCKS.

Now: Sleep. Got home at 3:30AM. Anyone listen live? If so, let me know – personally, I think I sound like a dork on the radio. But perhaps I am wrong, and I merely sound like a Nerd.

Interviewed by Nerds

No, seriously–Rescued by Nerds has interviewed me and posted the resulting brilliance for all to see here. A sampling:

 “What happened, of course, was that after five wonderful years lazing around college as an English Major, the idea of actually working for a living horrified me, so I took the lowest-paying job that utilized and required only my word skills, which meant I could do the job half asleep.”

Huzzah! Check it out.


If you’re wondering why I wasn’t on the Joey Reynolds Show last night, well, I got bumped. This is what happens when approximately 99.99% of the population is marginally more famous than you actually are.

The good news is, I’m rebooked for tonight, at 1AM.  So the magic of Jeff on the radio is not lost to the universe.

WHERE: Joey Reynolds, 710 AM WOR
WHEN: May 13, 2008 @ 1AM (so it’s really technically morning of 5/14)


In the Wild

Well, looks like TDP is out all over the place. This just came in from Alex:

TDP on da shelf

HUZZAH! Go forth and buy them out. On a side note, I can’t believe my book is next to Tad Williams. I can remember buying Tad Williams’ books when I was a kid. Dayum.