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Reading Reminder


Rocky SullivansJust a quick note to remind anyone who might be interested that I’ll be at Rocky Sullivans in Brooklyn on Monday night, stuttering, sweating, and trying to control the swearing as I read from The Electric Church.


34 Van Dyke St
718 246 8050


Come on by, purchase some drinks for me, and heckle me ruthlessly. Why not? It’s a Monday night. What else you got to do?

All this negative energy Part II

Here’s another review—at some point I’ll have to stop posting reviews simply because there will be too many of them, but for the beginning I think it’s a good thing to show everyone what’s being said.

This isn’t a bad review, but a complex review—there’s stuff he didn’t like in TEC and stuff he did like, which is, I think, a rational response:

“Despite having serious flaws, The Electric Church is far from being a bad book.  Yes it is a piece of fun and escapist reading but it also has a number of quite interesting ideas that it brings to the party and which make it difficult to tar the book with the “populist thriller” brush.  Somers also does well with what plot he has; there’s never a dull moment in The Electric Church and Somers never puts a foot wrong when it comes to pacing.  It is also genuinely difficult to not warm to the book’s gleefully cynical and vulgar tone which, combined with the well executed and paced plot, make The Electric Church a swift and surprisingly rewarding read.”

Read the whole essay here! But be careful because here there be spoilers for the book, so don’t click unless you’ve read it, have no intention of reading it, or don’t care about spoilers. Then go buy six copies of TEC so I can drink my worries away.

All this negative energy just makes me stronger

This morning I awoke to find some reviews slipped under the hotel room door. Two good, one not so good. I think my Corporate Masters are taunting me—they haven’t fed me days, and all three sheets of paper had mustard stains on them. Naturally, I ate the paper.

But not before getting the link info. First, the two good reviews:

From Bookgasm: “The book is filled with great action, even with the view of the future as bleak as it is. Best of all, it will never bog the reader down with techno-babble. Not only will you never feel lost, you’ll never be bored.”

Then, Sci Fi Chick: “This is a dark, intense and suspenseful novel that had me on the edge of my seat.”

Huzzah! I am teh shit. Ah, but then, a bad review. Some people wonder why I post bad reviews—this is something I’ve done with my zine, The Inner Swine, ever since the beginning. And I should clarify that I am NOT arguing with or ridiculing the review or the reviewer—I believe that the moment I put writing out into the public eye, I lose control over it and must accept what people say or feel about it, no matter what.

No, I print/link to bad reviews because I think it’s better than pretending they’re not there. Someone disliked my book—maybe I can learn from their review, maybe you can. Either way, it’s always good to remind yourself that not everyone thinks you’re a superstar.

So, the bad review:

From Jeff VanderMeer: “Despite plenty of energy and desire, an ultimately disappointing mixture of noir thriller and science fiction fails to rise above its influences.”

Sigh. It can’t all be gravy, right?

Interview with Lil’ Ol’ Me

Yesterday the door to my hotel room was opened and a man in a black suit entered. Without saying a word he set up a complex-looking machine while two of my Minders forced me to sit across from him and roll up one shirt sleeve. They also held the lengthy ZZ-Top style beard I’ve grown out of the way while the man in the black suit hooked me up to the machine. He inspected his work, took out a pad and pencil and clucked to himself in satisfaction.

“That all seems to be in order,” he said. “And now we can begin.” He began asking me questions, recording my answers in shorthand while the machine beeped and booped.

In other words: I’ve been interviewed by Pat over at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist. I struggled mightily to be coherent and interesting, and got closer than I usually do. Surf on over and check it out!

New Review of TEC

Wow, people seem to dig The Electric Church. It’s a little jarring to have total strangers read your book and actually like it. I mean, when I was twelve and I’d written my first ‘novel’ (ninety typed pages lacking quote marks) and released it, everyone liked it then, too–but that was my immediate family. If you’re twelve and your own mother tells you it stinks, you’ve got bigger worries than having chosen the world’s worst-earning profession.

Anyways, here’s a nice review to convince you to plunk down your allowance on my book.

You Cheap Bastards

Well, if you’ve been scheming for the past few weeks how to get your hands on a copy of The Electric Church for free, despite my pleas for booze money, you may be in luck. There are actually two give-aways going on involving my book:

First, Fantasy Book Critic is giving away a bunch of Orbit swag, and my book happens to be part of it.

Second, Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist is giving away two signed copies. Yes, I am actually sobering up long enough to scrawl something “witty” in them, and they could be yours!

Despite my heated protests that I should get every single red cent out of every single book, I have been informed that it is perfectly legal for my Corporate Masters to do this, so I have decided to grin and bear it. But if I ever get out of this room, I will track down all the winners and extract my royalty. Don’t you worry.

UK Review of TEC

Just a pointer to a nifty little review on the Guardian Unlimited site:

“Somers’ relentlessly hard-nosed future, a world where “you had to hit people first, never let them think you were soft”, is an exhilarating example of powerful and entertaining storytelling.”


I’m Damned Interesting

Every morning for the past few days I’ve been awakened via low-voltage cattle prod wielded by a masked man in a three-piece suit.

He’s huge, busting out of his ill-fitting suit, and he wears one of those Mexican Wrestling masks. Why? I don’t know. You might as well ask why the cattle prod, instead of, say, a sharp stick, or a rabid monkey shoved enthusiastically under the sheets.

The reason behind this new indignity, of course, is my lack of blog production. There are good reasons for this. Number 1, I’m in the last stages of revising the sequel to The Electric Church. The contract was signed and now I’m legally obligated to either deliver an acceptable manuscript or repay my advance monies and be beaten with table legs until I expire. Or something. I am admittedly a little vague on the actual contract language. When I signed, I was immobilized after drinking some seriously suspect liquor, and my wife had to guide my hand to form my ‘mark’. But I was assured it was legally binding.

The sequel is pretty much done; it’s just the finishing touches I’m doing now. The exhausting thing is, the finishing touches can go on for a very long time, and sometimes the finishing touches involve deleting three chapters and writing new ones. Simple stuff like that.

The second reason I’ve been lame about posting to this blog is I started reading The Mirror Crack’d by Agatha Christie. I am a sucker for mysteries, and usually have an expression of immense stupidity on my face when it’s all said and done. I got kind of wrapped up in this one.

I love these old mysteries—Christie, Sayers, those sorts. There’s something magical about the time period (early 20th century). I always find myself surprised how like the modern day a lot of it is—and yet there’ll be a moment here and there that reminds you the story was written almost 80—100 years ago.

One thing that always strikes me about these stories is how everyone who had any money at all had servants. Cheerful, industrious servants who know their place and don’t seem to mind it, who accept the fact that their employers are higher up on the food chain than them and are okay with that. I know people today still employ servants, but I’ve never known anyone who does. I suppose someone I know out there employs a cleaning person or a nanny or something and I’m just not aware of it, but that’s not quite the same as a world where it is assumed that everyone who is anyone employs, for example, a parlormaid.

When I have ruthlessly sold out to Hollywood—spending idyllic days in a drunken haze while my secretaries write my scripts for me, like Faulkner—and am rich, I will, of course, have a whole household of servants to attend to me. Mainly to my grooming, which has declined shockingly in recent years and probably requires a team of experts by now anyway.

So, there you have it: Watch the skies for the TEC sequel, and I am stinky. But devastatingly handsome. Once you get through the grime, of course.

We Hates Wikipedia

Friends, I used to have a Wikipedia page. It was a thing of beauty.

Okay, I created it myself. I certainly can’t be the first self-centered author to go ahead and create his own Wikipedia entry. I mean, why shouldn’t the world be blessed with knowledge of: Me? That’s right: no reason. So I created my own page. It was restrained, bare-boned, and merely provided information about me to those who had a bizarre desire for same.

And then, one day not too long ago, someone tagged it as unnecessary on the grounds that I was not a “prominent” writer, and after a few weeks it was culled.

I didn’t get involved with the debate over whether to keep it or not. While I had no qualms about creating my own page, I didn’t think it seemly to go in there and actually campaign to keep it–let the Cosmos decide, I figured. And then the Cosmos did, indeed, decide–and my WP page was no more. Damn you all.

I mention this for no reason, of course. I have a blog to fill if I want my corporate masters to feed me, after all–in a few weeks this will be filled with laundry lists, diary entries in which I do nothing but write diary entries into this blog, and, finally, random poundings of the keyboard which I will refer to as ‘poetry’. I would never try to incite the three or four people who actually read this blog into creating a new WP for me. That would be pathetic. And one thing I struggle day-in and day-out to not be, is pathetic.

I sometimes fail, of course, in that struggle. Especially after some liquor.

Meanwhile, Internet miscreants around the world have discovered the official site for The Electric Church and are emailing me for clues to the puzzles therein. This is fun. I know all the answers, of course, but unless someone is willing to fly here and buy me some drinks, I ain’t talkin’.