Saturday, November 05, 2005


I knew I had to get this book and read it at soon as I saw Sarah Weinman's description: "What can I say? I really dug this book, which is touted as 'Bram Stoker meets Raymond Chandler' but calling it Vamp Noir works just fine. Joe Pitt's an undead PI working in and around the East Village, which is a really nice touch. There's clan fights, unrequited love, horrible family secrets and lots of blood, and Huston makes it all work because his voice comes through clear as day in every line of dialogue and description. Look for it in -- wait for it -- early January." The book is Almost Dead by Charlie Huston. And it's excellent: violent, gruesome and extremely well-written. I like this very dark supernatural urban fiction. It may sound like I'm pitifully jumping on the bandwagon--taken together with the excellent Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, this book has to represent something like a big trend for scientifically plausible-sounding Manhattan vampire stuff--but I am now itching to write my own. I am going to do it as soon as I find a window of time not already committed to finishing the big two existing book projects. It's going to be set in upper Manhattan, it will be violent and dark but also slightly tongue-in-cheek (and the narrator/main character won't be a vampire, she will have a more animal-shape-shifter-y type problem having to do with sex--don't ask, I'm still working out the details but it's going to be pretty funny), like a kind of cross between Laurell K. Hamilton and the absolutely superb Carlucci books by Richard Paul Russo.


  1. Fuck it, I'd say write the first three chapters, come up with something resembling a synopsis, and see what your agent can do. Why wait?

  2. You know, I can see that's such good advice, but at the very least it will have to wait a few months, and really probably longer, unless I can squeeze the writing in during evenings (and past experience suggests that it's not sensible to be working on two books at once when "at once" means during a given day or week rather than the more general sense). I must, must, must do this rewrite on Dynamite No. 1, and then also my academic career is my real job, and I've got a contract for a book (due in September) and very generous grant funding for this year to write it, and I simply must get a big chunk more of that done first! I will keep you posted, in any case. I think I might just need to take one day and write some pages in order to feel good; or perhaps while I'm revising Dynamite I could get some new work done on this, I don't know... All right, enough public agonizing!

  3. It's OK. I've been saying I'm going to write the first three chapters and synopsis of a particular idea I've had for years that I have a fair idea will sell and that I'd enjoy doing and that hasn't been done, but am lazy and haven't yet.

    Or mostly b/c I haven't come up with a good plot yet.