Stephen is a very nice person. Thank you, Stephen. Apparently my phone needs charging too.
Free? Yes, free, as long as you are willing to make a donation to a charity/cause of your choice. You can email Concord Free Press to request a copy (shipping is free too) here.
Book description from the publisher:
Drop into the fascinating, hallucinatory world of Another Way to Fall, the dark brainchild of Brian Evenson and Paul Tremblay. Evenson’s Baby Leg and Tremblay’s The Harlequin and the Train appeared in limited editions that are largely unavailable. Now Another Way to Fall brings these fantastic, award-winning writers together—and puts these haunting novels in the eager hands of new (and generous) readers.
In Baby Leg, a mysterious man awakes one morning in an isolated cabin with no memory of how he’s gotten there—or why he’s missing a hand. The book has been described as “the kind of thing that might have happened if David Goodis and Jim Thompson tried to write a mad scientist story in the middle of a bender.”
Powerful and profoundly eerie, Tremblay’s The Harlequin and the Train spins the surreal tale of a young train engineer, a commuter train accident, and its disturbing aftermath. As novelist Laird Barron put it, Tremblay “pierces the veil of prosaic suburban life to reveal its dark heart.”
Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses and the novella The Warren.
Paul Tremblay is the author of seven novels including Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, The Little Sleep, and the forthcoming The Cabin at the End of the World.
Q: Wait, is the book really free? Is this legit? Will I be spammed by CEOs and royalty from a variety of countries looking for money if I email CFP asking for a copy?
A: Yes. Yes. No.
Q: What is THE HARLEQUIN AND THE TRAIN?
A: It’s a novella (or short novel depending upon your definition) that was initially published in 2009 by Jeffrey Thomas’s Necropolitan Press. It’s dark and strange and will make you feel icky, but hopefully in the good way. “The Harlequin and the Train” was originally a short story (4600 words, give or take) that appeared in my first fiction collection (Compositions for the Young and Old). I wrote an on spec screenplay for the story, which didn’t really work. But I liked what I added to it, so I took the screenplay and re-wrote it as a novella.
Q: Are there clowns?
A: Kind of. But they are motionless and don’t wear any red, or big noses, or big shoes. Really it’s the shoes you are afraid of.
Q: Is this version of the novella different than the Necropolitan Press version?
A: Only cosmetically (some typos and snytax cleaned up). The original novella asked that readers highlight certain grey-ed out words yellow (the pretentious-me thinking it was an even better way to implicate the reader in the awfulness going on in the story and going on around them) and the few people (hi, Mom!) who read it were confused and looked for secret meanings in combining the highlighted words, which was kind of cool for me but more likely annoying for readers, so no grey-ed out words and no highlighting required this time around.
Q: What’s in it for you, Tremblay? You must be getting something out of this. Nothing is free. NOTHING!
I get to share a book with a friend and amazing writer in Brian Evenson. His novella “Baby Leg” is weird and brilliant, like all of Brian’s work. (See a review I wrote for his novel Immobility here.)
I get to work with friend and amazing writer Stona Finch and the fine folk at Concord Free Press.
While I’ll be the first to admit that The Harlequin and the Train might read like an early work at times, I still dig it, and I still dig its energy, and now the story is back in print (in a beautiful form) and ready to be sucked up by many more eyeballs. (Ew!).
The idea of a somewhat heavy-handed (which is okay sometimes, I think) anti-consumerism story being published for free and inspiring donations to charities and causes feels like I’m putting my money where my mouth is (no pun intended; a pun you’ll only get after you read the book).
Go order a copy for free. Now don’t say I’ve never given you anything.
Books continued to be neat in 2017. (I squeezed in some extra reads this year by listening to audio books while walking the dog. It’s all about time-management, people!) Let’s not waste time and get right to the categories.
TOP 5 FAVORITES PUBLISHED (in English) IN 2017
Thing We Lost in the Fire, Marina Enriquez. This collection was a revelation. Dark, smart, sociopolitical, enthralling, Shirley Jackson-esque in feel.
The Changeling, Victor LaValle. A brilliant mash up of parental anxieties (there’s a scene toward the beginning of the novel that is as intense and uncomfortable yet recognizable as any scene I’ve read), life in Trumplandia, and dark fairy tales.
Ill Will, Dan Chaon. A maddening and magnificent puzzle-box of a novel.
She Said Destroy, Nadia Bulkin. The second collection to crack the top 5. More sociopolitical horror that challenges (and disturbs) without ever being didactic.
Mapping the Interior, Stephen Graham Jones. When I first heard that Tor.com would be publishing novellas, I was skeptical. (Why? Why answer in a parenthetical? I’m afraid of new things?) But their books are unflaggingly daring and compelling. Jones’s has been my favorite of the stellar bunch. A very personal story that manages to crawl inside the reader and take root.
MORE 2017 BOOKS YOU SHOULD BUY OR LOAN FROM YOUR LIBRARY BUT RETURN THEM IN A REASONABLE TIME SO OTHERS MAY ENJOY THESE EXCELLENT BOOKS AS WELL DON’T BE SELFISH
Mandelbrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska, Running by Cara Hoffman, The World to Come by Jim Shepard, The Night Ocean by Paul LaFarge, Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson, Devil’s Day by Andrew Michael Hurley, Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix.
FAVORITE BOOK FEATURING A TALKING CRAB
The Hike, Drew Magary
FAVORITE GRAPHIC NOVEL
Roughneck by Jeff Lemire
FAVORITE BOOKS READ FOR THE FIRST TIME NOT FROM 2017
2666 by Roberto Bolano, Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King, Dead Mountain: The Untold Story of the Diatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar, The North Water by Ian McGuire, The Handmaiden’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
There ya go. There were many more very good books read and you can check out my Goodreads page for the full accounting.
Follow the link, kind blog readers.
I’ll be at the Haverhill Public Library participating in the Book Festival organized by Christopher Golden and featuring a whole slew of amazing writers.
The MERRIMACK VALLEY HALLOWEEN BOOK FESTIVAL 2017 will be held on Saturday, October 21st, 2017, from 10am till 4:30pm. Once again, the event will be held at the Haverhill Public Library (Haverhill, MA) and is FREE and open to the public.
MERRIMACK VALLEY HALLOWEEN BOOK FESTIVAL 2017
Stephen R. Bissette
Joseph A. Citro
Rachel Autumn Deering
Craig Shaw Gardner
Toni L.P. Kelner
Fred Van Lente
James A. Moore
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Laurie Faria Stolarz
Paul Tremblay (hi, there!)
Here’s the deal (no exchange of currency–not a deal in that sense–, this is free!): The lyrics, the tone of the song, or the video (or all three) will be horror-ish. Also, to take pressure off myself, this isn’t an all-time list (like then I’d have to include Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me”), but a list what’s pinging in my ears and eyeballs right now. No order in particular:
–Neighborhood Brats, “We Own the Night” (Sometimes I play this song five to ten times in a row. Hack guitar player that I am, I learned how to play this too. No werewolves were harmed in the making of his list).
–Protomarytr, “Come and See” (This band sounds like the coming apocalypses)
–The Drones, “Shark Fin Blues” (I can’t have a horror list without a shark song, or two)
–Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Heads Will Roll” (I once used this video in a how-to-write-horror-that-doesn’t-suck lecture, or screed)
–Pissed Jeans, “Bathroom Laughter” (A quiet little ditty about dread and despair and consumer TV and a little dog)
–I Speak Machine, “Zombies 1985” (Soundtrack to an 80’s film that never existed…yes, please)
–Nina Nastasia & Jim White, “Late Night” (“there’s blood on the road and blood on your face”)
–Salem, “Sick” (a recent discovery as a friend posted this song, and it haunts me)
–Shellac, “The End of Radio” (paired with “Sick,” another end-of-the-world take)
–The Tragically Hip, “Nautical Disaster” (brilliant narrative lyrically…and water, big water scares me, so much so I haven’t really been able to write about it)
I’m so proud and honored that DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL’S ROCK won the British Fantasy Award for best horror novel. Congrats to all the talented winners and nominees. I wish I could’ve been in England to celebrate with you all. Thank you British Fantasy Society and thanks to my wonderful editors at Titan Books and William Morrow.