Thursday, March 5, 2015

Coming Attractions

Some upcoming JSH Book Club intelligence reports from Interzone, from the desk of Jeffrey Scott Holland, yours truly, our reporter in the swamp:

Transmissions from Agent J takes excerpts from my dream journals and presents them as straight cut-up fiction (?), in a manner reminiscent of what William S. Burroughs did with his dream book, My Education. However, I'm finding that explaining the context of some of these dreams to the reader in passing is necessary, to the extent that the book is also shaping up to be the closest thing to an autobiography you might ever get out of me. I put the question mark after "fiction" because it's something of a conundrum: these dreams really occurred, so does that make the book non-fiction since I'm merely reporting the facts as they happened inside my skull? But since the events in the dreams are, of course, imaginary (depending on your interpretations of quantum physics, morphic resonance, and Jungian consciousness), would fiction not to be an apt way to describe them? It depends on where you're standing, I suppose.

"The werewolf novel". It doesn't have a name yet, but I've been working on a story for a couple months now about a funeral home director in St. Petersburg, Florida who begins to find evidence that actual werewolves walk among us. No one, including the authorities, believe him so he's forced to take the matter into his own hands.

The Tract of Blood. A sequel to The Moleskin Checklist, in which Jack has become a compulsive gambler and golf club hustler in an Arizona resort town. Jack is traumatized by the theft of his precious "Tract of Blood" notebook. Sappy and his mysterious new exotic mail-order girlfriend aid Jack's quest to get it back, whether he wants their help or not.

The RV&OI novels. Well, novellas, really, and that's being kind. You may or may not be familiar with Retrovirus & Opportunistic Infection, also known as RV&OI, who are a pair of loutish manchildren who roam the streets of Kentucky street-busking their surrealist atonal made-up-on-the-spot songs for beer and cookie money. I currently am envisioning a simultaneous release of four of these short opuses, recounting their misadventures in about the same style as the comic books I drew of them for the now-defunct Moist Doorknob Comics company. In keeping with the RV&OI philosophy of trashiness over professionalism, my jokes about the books being hand-lettered on fast food napkins, with the ebook merely being crude jpgs of same, may in fact not be jokes.

Matilda Heron. An actress with a 17th century theatre company becomes entangled with a strange secret society, and increasingly finds herself having difficulty differentiating the events of her life from the events her characters experience onstage. (Though this is in no way a sequel to The Devil & Daniel Boone, the sharp observer will note that a brief reference to the character was made in that volume.)

The Invisible Ranch is a weird little western novel about a sort of industrial saboteur of the pre-industrial age, and when he's hired by a scheming dairy company to put their competition out of business, everyone involved starts to realize they're in for a wilder ride than anticipated. That competition is "Lucky Milk", a new brand of milk that claims to impart magic Native American spirit powers to those who drink it, distributed by an upstart new dairy company operating from a vast secretive ranch on the edge of the county called, yes, you guessed it, the Invisible Ranch.

Hotel Grillo. Not quite a sequel to my pirate adventure The Seventeenth Island but it does feature some of the same characters. The least developed of all my projects so far. Don't ask me what happens in it; I haven't a clue.

Solar Station A. You know the synopsis by now: As mankind just starts to get to the point where ordinary citizens can get their own personal small crafts to go zipping around in space, one of the early adopters gets out there and discovers that we have not been told the truth about what's really going on in our solar system. Originally heralded as "coming soon" in 2012, I'm actually enjoying that this book is becoming my equivalent of Guns n' Roses' "Chinese Democracy". By the time it actually comes out, the events it foretells may have come true.

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