Saturday, February 27, 2016

Reed Next? I thought you were dead!

I was going to come to you hat in hand, all apologies as Kurt used to sing, but I've ridden that bus already. No doubt, it's been months, MONTHS, since I've posted anything but there are no rules to this thing. Why? 'Cause I sez so.

As a small gesture in catching up, I just saw the movie version of The Martian, the last book about which I posted here. Loved the book and, happy to say, loved the movie. Matt Damon was well-cast as Mark Watney and the effects were much as I imagined. 

As is often the case with a film, there was less development and some characters were abridged, Kristin Wiig's character in particular, which is too bad because in the book, NASA PR director Annie Montrose is delightfully hell on heels. Much along these lines, the film felt a bit rushed. In the book, time is practically a character, maybe even an enemy, to Mark's potential rescue and survival. Still, well done but read the book.  

Last year, I was lucky enough to read an unsigned novel by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen which I thought was wonderful and deserved to be published. I'm so happy to report the book got signed to a great house, St. Martins Griffin, and will be published November 1. As good is the cover art. 

I'm especially pleased this is being marketed to a YA audience as it should hit home with "kids these days" but all you 80's refugees out there, read this one. You may very well find yourselves on the pages still wearing that awful beret and smoking clove cigarettes. 

You can pre-order at Shmamazon or wait and buy it at your favorite indie. And yes, I'll be glad to remind you before the book comes out. 

Finally, an upcoming title you must read is Dodgers by Bill Beverly. Due out in April from Crown, this book is part buddy picture and part road novel/coming of age tale. The road trip is a long journey from a bad LA neighborhood known as the Boxes to kill a witness in Wisconsin whose testimony has the potential to undo the drug gang to which they belong.  

The "buddies" are anything but. In fact, they are not acquainted at all until we learn that East, a devoted soldier, and Ty, already a cold-blooded killer, is his 13 year old brother. I was especially taken with the character Walter who provides a worldly counterpoint to East's narrow naivete. He brings some light and some oxygen to the tiny world East has inhabited his entire young life. 

Beverly's prose is short and sharp and he is skillful at creating and maintaining a gnawing tension that hangs over the road trip like a cement cloud. I was moved by this story and these characters, East most of all, and hope Dodgers finds the broad audience it deserves.