Lornographic Material

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Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel - Araminta Hall

I'm pretty sure I spoil this book. Thing is, I'm not 100% sure I nailed the author's intention, so I'm not hiding it behind a spoiler tag. Just read at your own risk. If you've read the book, I'd love to discuss it with you in the comments below.


I'm going to try to review this book without naming the book I was thinking about the entire time I was reading this one. Suffice it to say, OUR KIND OF CRUELTY is, without a doubt, its own book, and the antagonist is far less likeable than He Who Shall Not Be Named.


Throughout the entirety of OUR KIND OF CRUELTY I felt like an ass for questioning a certain character's motives. Araminta Hall does a fantastic job of making the reader uncertain with regards to who to trust. Given the current political climate, and this world's history of treating women like animals, I didn't hesitate in considering that Verity could be as much at fault here as our unstable narrator. Gillian Flynn has made a career of writing about vile women, and I thought that's what I was reading here. It wasn't until the final pages (and the author's note at the end of the book) that I began to hate myself for ever questioning the author's intent.


OUR KIND OF CRUELTY deals with victim-blaming in a brutally-honest, realistic way, so much so that I was considering that the victim might have actually had something to do with the crime. It is a testament to how topical this book is that it made me take a closer look at myself, someone who would never consider blaming the victim in a situation like this, considering the possibility that the victim could be to blame. In this case, anyway. I'm so used to rooting for the bad guy in books like this that I never once considered the possibility that the bad guy was an unforgivable monster. He certainly was not relatable, or even likeable, but that was the author's intention. He's supposed to be a monster, from beginning to end, and the fact that I questioned his role says so much about the state of modern psychological thrillers.


We've grown to worship shitty human beings. We've come to romanticize bad men. This book takes a hard look at the victim, and asks you to see them, to believe them. Hall trusts you to make the right decision, and I almost didn't, because this isn't YOU, by Caroline Kepnes, and this crazy motherfucker is definitely not Joe Goldberg.


Fuck. I just failed, didn't I? Gahdameet!


In summation: OUR KIND OF CRUELTY will be compared to YOU until the end of days, but it truly does stand stunningly well on its own. Hall has created a puzzle that is only a puzzle because of where we are as a society. She turns a mirror on us, those who hero-worship characters like Joe Goldberg, and asks us to take a long hard look at ourselves. I, for one, didn't like what I saw, but that doesn't make me like Joe Goldberg any less. Odd how that works.


Final Judgment: Buy it for the amazing cover, read it for the brutally-honest social commentary.

THE BEDDING OF BOYS (Chapter Excerpt)

The Bedding of Boys - Edward Lorn



If you'd like to read the first chapter of my upcoming novel, The Bedding of Boys, you can do so here: 






Source: http://edwardlorn.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/the-bedding-of-boys-chapter-excerpt

The Outsider, by Stephen King - Book Review

The Outsider - Stephen King

It's no secret that The Outsider was my most anticipated novel of 2018, right up there with Neverworld Wake, by Marisha Pessl, and Providence, by Caroline Kepnes. So did it live up to the hype and, furthermore, my expectations? You're damn skippy it did, and then some.

This is not a return to form for Stephen King. This is not "Old School" King. This is the best of new Stephen King. The Outsider stands right up there with recent favorites, like Revival. In fact, I've bumped The Waste Lands off my top five list to make room for this one. My new top five is:

5. The Outsider
4. Bag of Bones
3. Revival
2. Pet Sematary
1. It

Yes, that's how good this book is. The Outsider has everything I've come to love about King's storytelling ability while adding all new elements to my fandom. There's a story told by a character in this book that ranks up there with some of King's best short fiction, and I'm a huge sucker for stories told inside bigger stories. The lore behind the new villain (one who seems vaguely familiar in the best possible way, but we'll discuss that in the spoiler discussion) is interesting and fun. But what kept me reading more than anything else was the mystery element. 

The Outsider is a detective novel, yes, but it is also a horror novel, with some of the most effective and affecting scares King has written to date. It also has one of the most surprising character deaths in recent memory, a death that completely changes the tone of the book and catapults this into the realm of some of King's riskier outings, one that's up there with the likes of Pet Sematary. You can almost feel King's own surprise as the book takes a drastic turn into the unknown and thrusts the reader into a state of what-the-fuckery that lasts until the final denouement.

Every character in this novel sings. Ralph and Jeannie, Terry and Marcy, Yune, Howie, Jack, Claude, Lovie, and yes, Holly Gibney. Make damn sure you do not ignore this novel due to some preconceived notion that this is the fourth Bill Hodges book, or simply fan service for Holly Gibney fans. This book stands strong on its own, and is perhaps better than all three Hodges books put together. Holly is but a minor player in a large and diverse cast. She fits in nicely and none of her scenes feel forced. That being said, there are spoilers for the Hodges trilogy in this book, so if you have plans to read those three books, I suggest doing so before reading this one. However, if you don't want to read those books, you do not have to read them for this book to make sense, I promise.

I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this book. The pacing, the writing, the characters, the plot, the villain, the scares, all of it was flawless. And while I am a King fanboy, I have hated some of his books. Most recently I despised the bloated retelling of UNDER THE DOME, aka Sleeping Beauties, that King wrote with his youngest son Owen. But lets be honest here, there was far more Owen in that book than there was Stephen, and the book suffered considerably for it. Owen is a damn good writer, he was simply out of his element. Nothing proves that more than seeing King here, in his element, firing on all cylinders and straight up killing it.

In summation: Thank you, Stephen King, for this book. After the shit-show that was Sleeping Beauties, I was worried going into The Outsider. Luckily, my fear was misplaced. My highest possible recommendation. Buy it. Read it. Thank me later.

Final Judgment: Storytelling perfection.


I believe the outsider is kin of Pennywise, who I believe is a gray. If you follow my YouTube series, you'll understand better how I connect all of these things. If you do not, here's the link so you can catch up from the first video: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

Few things of note regarding how The Outsider ties into the Kingverse:

When the outsider dies he leaves behind worms, or perhaps baby shit weasels, like the grays in Dreamcatcher.

The outsider feeds off sorrow and pain like Pennywise fed off fear.

He takes bites out of his victims, ala Pennywise.

He prefers children.

He's a shapeshifter.

He wants to know if Ralph and Holly have ever come across others like him, as if he knows there might others out there.

The outsider mentions ka.

Did I miss anything? Lemme know in the comments below. You can expect my Thursday Theorist concerning this book in the next seven weeks. Thanks for joining me! 

(show spoiler)

UNSUB, by Meg Gardiner - Book Review

UNSUB: A Novel - Meg Gardiner

Ever since the publication of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS thriller authors have been trying to recapture the magic of Thomas Harris's masterpiece by working from the same playbook. Likewise with David Fincher's nihilistic, deadly-sins-themed film SE7EN. In UNSUB, Meg Gardiner blends the two to create a pretty basic stew that you're gonna see coming like the final minutes of a bukakke telethon.


Caitlyn Hendrix is your every-woman with daddy issues. Nothing new there. The daddy who gave her issues is a disgraced cop who came super close to catching the killer Caitlyn is now tasked with catching, and you've seen all this before. Ya got your journalist/red herring, your fuck buddy/dude-in-distress, your AP Lit-studying serial killer, and you've. read. this. book. before.


What Gardiner gets right is the blistering pace and the machine-gun prose. She doesn't waste any time with needless information, and instead face-fucks you with a continuous stream of murders, bait-and-switches, and one cool-as-polar-bear-testicles beat-the-clock scene that had me sweating profusely and panting like a dog locked in a car under the Arizona sun with all four winders up and the heater's dial crunk to Satan's Taint.


The supporting characters are serviceable, and the deaths/crimes scenes are interesting enough to warrant a read, but the main reason to give this one a try is that it's brainless summertime fun. You're not gonna have to think too hard while chillaxing and sipping daiquiris under your garishly-colored sun-brella. You're not gonna wanna throttle your kids when they interrupt your reading to tell you they dropped a Baby Ruth in the pool and now the CDC is on site. In fact, if you do find yourself thinking whatsoever, you're gonna figure out everything before Gardiner wants you to, so try and log off, ya dig? Just shutdown and go with the flow and you should have a good time.


There's a sequel called INTO THE BLACK NOWHERE and I will be reading it because I didn't hate the MC and people told me that it's much better than this one, so once it hits paperback we'll see what it do, Perdue.


In summation: If you've ever read a popular thriller, you've read this book. But that's the thriller genre in general. If you're a fan of the genre, you show up expecting interesting crime scenes, strict adherence to formulae, and white-knuckle pacing, not deep character development and originality. Books like this are the natural evolution of the dime-store pulp detective novels of yesteryear, and there's nothing wrong with that. If you dig this kinda thing, get you some.


Final Judgment: Somewhere between James Patterson and Michael Connelly.

Gun Love Review

Gun Love - Jennifer Clement

GUN LOVE is a fantastic piece of literary fiction. The story follows a young girl whose mother ran away from home after becoming pregnant with her. For the past fifteen years, they've lived in a car outside of a mobile home park. When an enigmatic stranger comes calling, the mother falls in love, and thus begins the heartbreak.

Jennifer Clement's prose is poetic and gorgeous. If you do not read this book for any other reason, please pic it up for the beauty of the language. I had heart-eyes for most of this reading experience.

I appreciate that Clement did not bash the reader over the head with her own politics, whatever they may be; I don't know what they are because she allows the story to evolve naturally instead of forcing the story to answer difficult questions. I was concerned that this book would be extreme in its anti-gun, or pro-gun, message, but that was not the case. Good people and bad people alike own and use guns in this story, so the final judgment is left for the reader to decide. I dug that.

Where this book truly shines though is with the diverse cast. I hated some and absolutely fell in love with others, but my own personal favorites were the Sergeant and Corazón, even though I'm not 100% sure I should have liked either. I loved when they were on the page and I missed them when they were gone. Whether or not I was suppose to have fallen in love with them, who knows, but they were the most interesting characters in the book for me, which is not to say that the rest of the cast was uninteresting, they were, but I preferred reading about the Sergeant and Corazón most of all.

The ending was exceptional. This is one of those books that fulfill every promise it makes early in the read, and that's all it took for me to five star this joker. 

In summation: I'm new to Jennifer Clement but this book has made me a fan. I'll be looking up her back catalog soon. Highly recommended.

Final Judgment: The only preaching in this book is done in church.

Video review: https://youtu.be/iu51wfMA_14


GUN LOVE was sent to me in exchange for my honest review, which you have just read.



Sirens: A Novel (An Aidan Waits Thriller) - Joseph Knox

This is one of those rare times I hate reviewing review copies. Crown Publishing sent me this book in exchange for an honest opinion and that's the only reason I'm bothering to review this at all. If I don't review it, they won't send me another book. Simple as that.

Life is too short to read the same shit over and over and over...SIRENS is the worst kind of thriller. You have you cliched cop, your sultry vixen, your rich asshole, your blah  blah blah...


The-Patterson-cut-to-another-chapter-in-the-middle-of-a-thought bullshit annoys me. There's no reason for it. Complete your thought and action and leave us in a compelling place before moving on. There's literally a chapter in this book where the author describes a building and that's it. New chapter. This is done to give you a false sense of making progress. "Oh, wow, I've read twenty chapters in a sitting!" We'll, that's easy when the chapters are a page long. I'd say two pages, but they start half a page down and end on the backside with half a page blank. I feel sorry for the poor trees who gave their lives to print this.


There's nothing wrong or new with the writing. It's serviceable to a fault. I hate writing like that. The exact bare minimum. No style. Just words in the proper order. You couldn't pick this author's writing out of a lineup of all the genre writers if the book had his name on it.


In summation: I'm giving it two stars because there's absolutely nothing wrong with the writing. If you're a fan of paint-by-numbers noir thrillers, give it a go. Don't expect anything new.


Final Judgment: Thank fuck this was free.


POK POK The Drinking Food of Thailand: A Cookbook - Andy Ricker, JJ Goode

This book is amazing, from beginning to end. I loved the stories and the insights to this culture I had been until now missing out on.The recipes are easy to follow even if they're not all easy to prepare, meaning, I personally do not have the skill required to complete some of these dishes, but that's not this book's fault.


Highly recommended for those who enjoy Thai food and culture.


Many thanks to the publisher for the awesome review copy!

Fliers Review

Fliers: 20 Small Posters with Big Thoughts - Nathaniel Russell

Some people can look at a piece of toast and see Jesus. Or perhaps they find a Mother Teresa-shaped potato chip. Then you have people who cannot live without memes: dank memes, shit posting, pop culture reflection, social media masturbation, and so on. 


If you're either of these types of people, you'll like this silly little book. I honestly can't believe it's a thing that exists, but hey, a fool and his dollar are easily separated. Not this fool, tho, because I was given a copy of this "book" by the publisher in return for this review.


Is a book of fliers wrapped in a dust jacket that moonlihgts as a telephone pole worth $12.99 plus tax? Who's to say? Not this guy. One man's trash is another man's treasure, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and yeah, there you go. It's whatever. 


Buy it and keep it out in the open so your friends can judge your life choices. But let's be real. If you've purchased this book you don't have a life. Nor do you have friends or make choices beyond whether or not to wear clean underwear today. So maybe use the fliers inside as Kleenex to wipe away the crushing depression and ease the pain of your anxiety-induced seclusion?


Eat mor chikin.


The Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor

It's been an age since I put a book down after reading fewer than fifty pages but holy banana socks, Fatman, this motherfucker is terrible.

In the first ten pages we have the briefest of introductions to a cast of seemingly worthless throwaway characters: the obligatory fat kid, the prerequisite douchebag, the Beverly Marsh character, and a narrator with a voice so bland plain yogurt is planning to sue for copyright infringement. The main character is so goddamn generic that I didn't even know their gender until page 23. I was sure I was reading about a woman, but no, the narrator is a dude named Eddie. My bad.

The biggest sin here is the oldest sin in the history of literature: telling over showing, where we're given character introductions on par with D&D player cards.

Here's Bob. Bob is a mage. Bob is handsome and funny. Bob cracks jokes and people laugh. Ha-hee-ha-hee! This is Mary. Mary is pretty because she's the only girl in a crew fulla dudes. She has breasts. Because she's a girl. Did I mention she's a girl with breasts.


Instead of showing us these kids interacting, we're given character sheets and laundry lists of reasons to like or dislike them. How about you just let us watch them interact and let us (the readers) decide how we feel about them? Nah, because that would be too much work and this author is lazier than a vampire working graveyard shift at a blood bank.

So, in summation, I'm done. You know a book is bad when you can't even force your way through the first thirty pages.

Many thanks to Crown Publishing for the review copy. Thank fuck I didn't pay money for this one.

The Sound of Broken Ribs


My new novel The Sound of Broken Ribs is now available for preorder. The book is $2.99 during preorder and release day only. After that, it goes up to $4.99. You can grab it in your respective area of the world by clicking any one of the links at the end of this post. The paperback should be available the same day as the ebook goes live, and the audiobook, produced by Veronica Giguere, will be out in the next few months.


Thank you for your support!


Advanced praise for The Sound of Broken Ribs:


"Lorn's latest tale is masterful, and absolutely mesmerizing." ~ Craig Saunders, author of Highwayman


"If you’re already a fan of the nightmare factory that is Edward Lorn, you’re in for a major treat with this newest addition to his lexicon. If you’ve yet to discover his work, fix that. He’s a rising star in the firmament of horror and an author you–and I–want to keep up with, someone who is the real deal, doing his own thing in his own way and doing it up right." ~ Shotgun Logic


"Visceral and harrowing, this book isn't just a punch to the gut. It caved my whole damn chest in and broke my heart in the most beautiful ways. Lorn is a wonderful torturer, and this book captivated me like few others." ~ Michael Patrick Hicks, author of Black Site and Let Go


"Breathing, flawed characters you come to sympathize with and a perfect balance of moments that make you cringe and others that will make your jaw drop, this is on my top 5 list for sure so far for the year. " ~The Behrg, author of Housebroken


"Lorn has written an incredible book on the horrors of humanity with a monster that haunted my dreams every night this week. This is by far his best book I have read." ~ Deep in the Crease.


"Lorn's writing has always reminded me of a young Stephen King's: lean, evocative, and powerful... I can't praise this book enough. If I hadn't already anointed Edward Lorn the Future of Horror, I would with this book. "Dan Schwent


US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07885XCV3


UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07885XCV3


Germany: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07885XCV3


Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07885XCV3


Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07885XCV3

Paradox Bound Review

Paradox Bound: A Novel - Peter Clines

Paradox Bound was a five-star read spoiled down to four stars by a few phoned in twists. That is not to say that the book is not full of twists that work, only that two of the biggest plot developments can be easily predicted in the. Very. First. Chapter. Oh well, it was still a super fun read and I would recommend reading it, which brings me to whether or not you should take that advice, because there are several caveats.

Are you a Whovian? Not Dan, but you, the person reading this review. Unless you're Dan then... where was I? Anyway, if you know what that term Whovian means and identify as such, then you should know that Cline borrows heavily, and I mean FUCKING HEAVILY, from the man in the blue phone box. There's so many Doctor Who references in this novel that I had to look up if it was canon to the British TV series. Spoiler alert: it's not. And while our "time" traveller Harry is nothing like any of the doctors thus far (Harry might have more in common with the forthcoming Dr. Who, but like my gal River says, "Spoilers"), some of this book feels awfully familiar. Some of it, mind you. Not all of it. Just some of it.

That is not to say that this is a case of a different Cline. Specifically one named Ernest. If you recall my review of Armada, you'll know that I do not suffer pop culture references for the sake of nostalgia anymore, nor do I like it when authors repurpose fandoms for their own gain. If you're going to allude to connected universes between your work and someone else's intellectual property, you better bring something new to the fucking table. And Peter Clines does so in spades.

There's a load of new stuff in here, from the explanation and rules behind the "time" travel (there's a good reason for the quotation marks, but again, "Spoilers"), to the villains (even if they do have psychic papers), to the idea behind what Harry and so many others are searching for. The fictional locations come alive, as do the people populating them. The historical accuracy was spot on, too. But I think the most important part of this book is that it is simply a whole lot of fun. 

I loved every character on the page and wanted to see them succeed. And I want to say more, but everything I can think of right now is a motherfucking spoiler, so we'll just close it down for now.

In summation: Peter Cline does a fantastic job creating something new while paying tribute to those that came before him. You can expect loads of references to time-travel stories, new and old, but the book never feels like a carbon copy of any one of them. More like a love story to the genre. And that final chapter...Some motherfucker's cuttin onions and I don't appreciate it. Definitely recommended.

Final Judgment: SPOILERS!


This book was supplied by Crown Publishing in exchange for this review.

How does it feel to be a gender and not a person? SLEEPING BEAUTIES Review

Sleeping Beauties: A Novel - Stephen King, Owen King

How does it feel to be a gender and not a person?

Buckle in, ladies and gentleman, we're gonna be here for a while. I have a lot of coming-to-grips to do with this book and you're about to watch me decide whether or not I like it, almost in real-time. Let's do this.

This is a smart book. It's not a good read, but it is smart. Let's face it, if smart books made for good reading, David Foster Wallace would outsell James Patterson... (does that mean Patterson writes good reads? Fuck, stop. Let's reword that...). How about: if smart books were good reads, Don DeLillo would outsell Stephen King. Better. Whew. That was almost a disaster.

The brains of this book come from Owen King. Stephen King (for all my hero worship) does not write smart books. He writes entertaining books. Books you don't have to think too hard about. A lot of people are going to hate this book simply because it's smart. It's gonna go right over their empty heads and they're gonna take a break from fingerbanging their cousins to come on here to rage about how the book is sexist against men and nothing but feminist propaganda and yadda yadda Caveman make poopy in diapey. This book is anything but all of that, but we'll get to that later.

Right out the gate, this book feels like someone doing a middle-tier impersonation of Stephen King. Imagine a Stephen King book written by, say, Joe Hill after Hill's been hit in the head a few dozen times. In other words, it reads like The Fireman. That's the first problem. It's a big story told in a super small way that feels much less epic in scope due to the way it's told. Then again, The Fireman has its fans (who knows why that is), so if you liked that trainwreck, you'll likely enjoying watching this one occur.

Seriously, side by side The Fireman and Sleeping Beautiesare almost the same book. Damn near note for note, which is odd. I've been comparing Hill to King for a while now, so to compare King to Hill feels, I don't know, fucking backwards. Anyway, both books use the same generic flow, which is easy to read but devoid of that special something King fans have come to expect. For that reason, you're going to have lifelong King fans who're super pissed at this book, too. Shit, man, the Mercedes trilogy felt more like King than this did.

The next thing that comes to mind is how King-ish this book is without being anything like a Stephen King book. It has the cast from Under the Dome, a gender-swapped Andre Linoge (for you non-King nuts out there, he's the bad guy from Storm of the Century: An Original Screenplay) named Evie Black, and the most Condensed-Books version of The Stand you will likely ever read. But the writing sounds nothing like Stephen King, and I would hazard a guess that it's because he didn't write a healthy portion of this kitten-squisher. Owen did. You feel King in some sentences, but mostly it's Owen. Why is that? Lemme explain.

King and Owen did an interview wherein King says the idea for the book was Owen's. Owen told Stephen he should write it. Stephen said, nah, you do it. Then they settled on doing it together. It was going to be a television series (which I would've liked much more, I think) but somehow it became, well... it became this thing. And the book reads like a detailed script. For fuck's sake, the novel starts with a cast list. And if you're a King fan you know that none of his books that start with a cast list are any good. That cast list is there because not even the publisher has any faith in you remembering who the fuck is who and why the fuck you should care.

The thing is, like I said above, I've read about these people before. I didn't like them the first time I read about them in Under the Dome and I don't like them now. There's not a likeable person in the whole bunch. Why the fuck should that be?

Oh. I'm not supposed to like anybody because the book is packed full of villains, you say? Wait... what? 

What about Frank?

Villain. Duh.

What about Evie?

Villain. Super duh.

What about Clint? 

Villain. Less of a duh.

What about Lila?

Villain. She's not obvious at all, is she?

Goddamn it, where's the heroes? A 702-page goddamn book and there's not a single hero? How come, E.!? HOW COME??????!!!?!

Because this book has a message. And fuck me, it's a good one.

Ladies, dig it. How does it feel to not have a choice? How does it feel to have your reproductive organs, your own personal vaginas and uteri and ovaries and wombs and in-utero babies, controlled by men in government? How does it feel to be told what to wear so you don't get raped? Where to go so you don't get raped? Who to talk to so you don't get raped? How does it feel to be treated as if you are constantly in need of protection? How does it feel to be a gender and not a person?

Focus on that last sentence. 

How does it feel to be a gender and not a person?

Of course I'm man-splaining here, but fuck it, I'm going all in. This is what this book is about:

Women stripped of choice finally given a choice. Do they deal with the swinging-dick version of this world, or start over? Evie Black plans to give them that choice. But, in the end, even she tries to decide for them. Elaine tries to decide for them. Frank does... Clint does... Yes, even Lila does. Everyone thinks they know what's best for the female gender, but not one of them stops to think about what each individual personneeds. 

And THAT is what makes this book smart. Doesn't make this novel a good read, but it's smart as fuck. And that's all I have to say about that.

In summation: A gargantuan story told in a bubble. Not a fan of the delivery or the writing or the characters, but I loved the message. Awesome themes aside, I'd wait to find a thrift-store paperback version. Simply "okay".

Final Judgment: The brains get in the way of the story.

The Massacre of Mankind Review

The Massacre of Mankind: Sequel to The War of the Worlds - Stephen Baxter

I'm a big fan of HG Wells's WAR OF THE WORLDS. The Orsen Wells reading/hoax is one of my favorite pieces of history. I can't imagine what it would have been like to hear that come over the radio... Anyway, I digress. We're not talking about THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, we're talking about its sequel. And, well, it's not very good. In fact it's so bad I've decided not to finish it. Not sure what drove Baxter to continue this storyline with such verbosity, but it doesn't fit. Wells told the first story in half as many pages and here it shows. 


Long-winded and insufferably lackluster. Don't spoil you memories of the first book/experience by wading into this one. 


Book provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which you have just read.

Manga Art Review

My daughter's been studying manga for some time now. She's why I requested the book. So I'll let her tell you what she thought.

With a shrug of the shoulders, she said, "It was good. Nothing I didn't already know, though. That kinda sucked. I'd likely recommend it for newbies only."

So there you have it. Newbies only. 

I will say, in a see of manga art books, nothing about this one stands out. Because she gave such a short review and I have no knowledge of the artform, I flipped through some of her other manga art books. They're mostly all the same, with slight variations here and there, but it seems they all hold roughly the same information. Then again, I'm no expert on the subject. 

Dear Shane Staley of Darkfuse, Go Fuck Yourself

Hello peeps. I want to start this blog post by extending heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the douchebaggery of Shane Staley. I only had one book with him. To those of you who had loads of books with him, I cannot imagine how much time and money you’re losing with the bankruptcy of Darkfuse. I can imagine, however, that you are far more upset than I am. I also know that there are still people out there defending him. That’s on you, buttercup. There is way too much evidence to backup everything I say in this post. If I didn’t have proof, I wouldn’t put it out there. He’s screwed a lot of people, both this time, and the last time he pulled this shit.


Shane Staley, former owner/operator of Darkfuse and Darkfuse Magazine sent out an email this morning. You can read that pile of shit HERE. Many people took offense at this letter, and I’ll go over why. But first, I’d like to share my story of dealing with this fucking liar.


My first interaction with Darkfuse was with their Twitter games. I forget what they’re called now, but Shane requested people write the most disgusting thing they could think of in a tweet and submit it to him. I played along. That won me a subscription to the magazine. I then submitted a story, and it was accepted, I was paid within hours of acceptance, and then given a link to submit longer works. I had a novella sitting around, so I threw it at the wall to see if it would stick. Shane accepted it, gave me a detailed payment/publishing schedule, which I agreed to, then I signed the contract.


In that initial email, I was told the book would be released as a serial on the website in November, with a hardcover release in December, and then an ebook release in March. I was suppose to receive my advance before the publication of the hardcover, so in my mind, that was to be before the end of December. When I didn’t receive payment by the first week of December (I was hoping for extra Christmas money), I emailed Shane and he said that he “might be able to pay early.” I didn’t question the “early” part. Maybe the book wasn’t going to be published until after Christmas. Fair deal.


Then January came and still no word of my advance. I will make this long story short by saying Shane Staley did not respond well, nor professionally, to my inquiries of payment. He said, “Since this is such a problem for you, I will go ahead and pay you.” A month late, mind you, and only because I was seemingly bothering him. The novella didn’t even come out until March, and from what I hear, I’m glad I fought to be paid my advance, or else I might never have seen a penny for my book. Remember, it was up on the website since November. Had I not argued Shane down in January, I’d likely have a theft of services on my hands.


So, if you’ve read the letter he sent out, you will see that the money issues began before January reporting. That’s the first lie. I can only assume he paid me my advance out of his own pocket. Which goes against everything he’s been saying for the past few years about how profitable his company was. That’s the second lie. I’m not sure if the posts are still up, but Shane published several articles called “Son of a Niche” which promoted a false narrative. In these blog posts, he bragged about how respected in the community he was, and how he was a businessman to be revered, and that the publishing world should bow down before him. I like people who talk like that. Confidence is an attractive quality, and I wanted to be a part of this “movement” he was talking about. But let me be clear. I like braggarts as long as they can back it up. Shane Staley is a bloviating liar.


“But E.! But E.! He only recently started having problems!”


Ahem. No. No he didn’t only recently start having problems. Anyone remember Delirium Books? I didn’t even know about this myself until after I signed my contract with Darkfuse. I still don’t know all the details, but I’ve since spoken with numerous authors and readers who were royally fucked by Shane Staley and his first foray into the publishing business. I also received some hate mail after signing with Darkfuse because I’d signed with them, one person even going as far as saying, “I thought you were better than this.”


Even in his farewell letter, Shane brags and lies and screws people over. Notice that authors who hung around will be paid by November, but those of us who asked for a reversion of rights, because the ship was most-obviously sinking, have to deal with the courts. Having a positive history of paying authors only when times are good does not make you a good businessman. Especially not when you’ve been coming out of pocket to keep things running. That’s the exact opposite of a good businessman. It means you profited at one point but couldn’t manage the company when sales were down. You even admit to this in the goddamn letter. You blame authors for your own failures and inadequacies. You blame consumers for liking cheap products. You blame everyone but yourself. You fucked up. You. No one else. This was your ship, and just like the first boat you captained, you sank the motherfucker.


I love that little part about how all companies fail. What a load of horseshit. There are companies around today that began in the 1800s. Those companies were run by great businessmen. Men and women who were the exact opposite of Shane Staley.


To Shane Staley, personally, should he ever read this, I will do everything in my power to warn people about you, should you resurface like you did after Delirium Books. You may now return to your tennis lessons, asshole.


Oh, and go fuck yourself. smooches



Currently reading

It: A Novel by Stephen King
Howard the Duck Omnibus by Steve Gerber, Val Mayerik, John Buscema, Carmine Infantino, Frank Brunner, Gene Colan
Progress: 82/800pages