Just Raymond Chandler Describing a Man

I'm a massive Raymond Chandler fanboy, though I only started reading him recently. And here's an example that shows exactly why I'm a massive Chandler fanboy. Half an hour and three or four cigarettes later a door opened behind Miss Fromsett's desk and two men came out backwards laughing. A third man held the door… Continue reading Just Raymond Chandler Describing a Man

These Are Your Favorite Books

I asked you about your favorite books on Twitter recently, and got more responses than I anticipated. About 955, as it turns out. https://twitter.com/johannthors/status/1161231619568676865?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Here are the books that were mentioned most often (including quite a few that surprised me.) The Phantom TollboothEast of Eden & Grapes of WrathTo Kill a MockingbirdHouse of LeavesA Tree… Continue reading These Are Your Favorite Books

5 Rather Excellent Noir Crime Books

I got to spend a week in Exeter this summer, as the International Writer-in-Residence at the Quay Words literary festival. Part of the deal was to give a talk on Icelandic crime writing and at the end of that talk (which I may post here later) I told the audience about the books that most… Continue reading 5 Rather Excellent Noir Crime Books

This is the Best Pirate-themed Horror Story You’ll Read All Year

It's Pirates of the Caribbean in Hell. It's the best horror story of the year for me so far, possibly one of my favorite horror stories ever. It has Hell-monks with iron boxes locked over their heads forever, pirate ships, cannibal cults and last and definitely not least, flying, ship-destroying angel-possessed giant squid. I am,… Continue reading This is the Best Pirate-themed Horror Story You’ll Read All Year

The Sublime Weirdness of Jeff Vandermeer’s FINCH

FINCH is one of my favorite books. I can't understand why it hasn't been made into a series, or why there aren't more people running through the streets, thrusting a copy of FINCH upon random strangers exclaiming "You need to read this!" Ok. That last one was maybe a bit much. It's about a detective,… Continue reading The Sublime Weirdness of Jeff Vandermeer’s FINCH

There’s a Werewolf in the Basement, Asking me to Kill It.

Girl with wold mask in front of pink smoke

There's this friend you had in high school who you sometimes think about calling. You had some great times but drifted apart. You know the one? Well, in Max Booth III's Carnivorous Lunar Activities, Justin calls up his friend Ted, unknowingly stopping him from killing his wife in a murder-suicide. He tells Ted that he… Continue reading There’s a Werewolf in the Basement, Asking me to Kill It.

How Douglas Adams wrote The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

I was thumbing through my copy of Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a book on Douglas Adams written by Neil Gaiman!) and came across a great passage. It certainly made me feel a little better about my glacial writing pace. This is Douglas describing how the Restaurant at the… Continue reading How Douglas Adams wrote The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Valancourt Books Give Amazon an Earful

What follow is a post, verbatim, from the Valancourt Books Blog, posted on Saturday, October 27, 2018 and reprinted here simply to help them get the word out. Between print books, Kindle e-books, and Audible audiobooks, these days Amazon accounts for at least 90% of our sales. Although our books are available on plenty of… Continue reading Valancourt Books Give Amazon an Earful

This is THE Perfect Gift for That Book-and-Booze Lover in Your Life.

There are few things finer in this life than books and booze. My personal heaven is when I get a moment to myself, make a drink (beer, more often than not) and read a good story. Enter, Molly Tanzer and Nickmamatas' Mixed Up, a collection of flash fiction and cocktail recipes. Oh, this book is… Continue reading This is THE Perfect Gift for That Book-and-Booze Lover in Your Life.

Now That’s a Simile

These days I'm re-reading Raymond Chandler's masterpiece, The Long Good-bye. I do this as I'm nearing the completion of my own book; I don't avoid fiction as some writer's do to avoid being overly influenced but knowingly read books I want to be influenced by. In this case it's mostly four books I read and… Continue reading Now That’s a Simile