Monday, April 26, 2010

Story by story: Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson

I finished this highly accomplished collection today, and it's definitely one of the best books I've read this year.  Here's the story by story break down:

"Grand Stand In"
9/10- This story was dark in all the right ways.  Yet, like all of Wilson's stories, it had a heart beating strongly underneath.

"Blowing Up on the Spot"
8/10- What can you say about the story other than it's about spontaneous combustion and the main character works as a tile sorter in a Scrabble factory?

"The Dead Sister's Handbook: A Guide for Sensitive Boys"
8/10- Experimental story that features some of the most evocative language in the collection.

"Birds in the House"
10/10- Just a gorgeous story.  My favorite of the collection.

"Mortal Kombat"
9/10- Wilson's scenes explode with awkward intensity in this one.  Very moving.

"Tunneling to the Center of the Earth"
7/10- I loved the idea of this story before I read it, but oddly, the story itself fell a tad flat for me.  Still enjoyable and well-written, but not quite up to the excellence of the rest of the collection.

"The Shooting Man"
9/10- A brutal little horror story.

"The Choir Director Affair (The Baby's Teeth)"
8/10- Second person done right.  An emotional glimpse of how selfish people can be.

"Go, Fight, Win"
9/10- A girl trying not to fit in.  Loved the echoes of Flannery O'Connor in this one.

"The Museum of What-Not"
10/10- I want to write a story this good.  It seems like Wilson's characters are often holding themselves back, too afraid to fully participate in the world.

"Worst-Case Scenario"
8/10- This one really reminded me of George Saunders.

Overall- 9/10

I can't wait to see what Wilson does next.  He's obviously got talent to burn.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Home Again

It's nice to be back home with family after a weekend at the lake with my writing group.  We didn't do anything specific at the lake house.  Just a relaxing time to catch up, talk about things like promotion (see this shiny new blog?), and do a little writing.

Now that I'm back home, I'm ready to finish up the story I'm working on which incidentally shares the same name as this blog, and begin the next novel.  Author John Rector tells me it is important to leave the last one behind and get busy on the next one.  Makes sense to me (plus he's going to be big, you know).

I'm also excited about the books I've got lined up to read: Among the Missing by Dan Chaon, We're in Trouble by Chris Coake, and I think I'm going to give Hyperion a try by Dan Simmons.  As I read them, I'll offer my thoughts here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Over Here

I decided to switch to blogger because I wanted a change, so is now defunct (as if anyone read it to begin with). So, I've got a new blog, and a new title, and hopefully a newfound desire to blog more. We'll see.

Now that you're here, I might as well talk about my writing a little. I've got a short story coming in September in Haunted Legends (edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas). It's called "Shoebox Train Wreck," which incidentally is the name of my collection I've been flogging to publishers since Christmas. In addition, I've got a story coming out in the next edition of the Canadian journal On Spec. It's supposed to come out anytime now.

Finally, I finished my novel SLIP. It's a YA book about a kid whose mother and sister vanish in the woods near his house. I'm querying agents and thinking about the next one.

Some books I've read recently (that are worth mentioning):

No Sleep Till Wonderland- Paul Tremblay

The Signal- Ron Carlson

Tunneling to the Center of the Earth- Kevin Wilson (let me just say this guy is freaking brilliant; reading these stories makes me want to quit sometimes)

More later.