S.G. Browne

ZomBcon

This Halloween weekend, the zombie apocalypse will be in Seattle as the inaugural ZomBcon comes to the Pacific Northwest October 29-31.

With a guest list that includes George Romero, Max Brooks, Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Chuck Palahniuk, Malcolm McDowell, and a number of authors of zombie novels (including yours truly), it should be quite a weekend.

The event takes place throughout downtown Seattle, including the Seattle Center, Barnes & Noble, and the AMC Pacific Place and will include author coffee chats, signings, panels, film festivals, and much more.

Check out the full schedule of events.

As for my scheduled appearances, they’re all on Saturday, October 30:

9:00AM Coffee Chat
Barnes & Noble

2:00PM Book Signing
Barnes & Noble Pavilion
Seattle Exhibition Center

4:00PM Panel
Zombies Are People Too
(w/Stacey Graham, Scott Kenemore, and Jesse Petersen)
Seattle Center NW Conference Room

I’m also planning to be at the Opening Ceremonies Friday morning at 10AM and at the VIP Meet and Greet Sunday at 4:30PM.

If you’re already attending, I’ll look forward to seeing you there. If you’re not attending, then you’ll be missing out on a lot of zombie fun.

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Filed under: Breathers,Conventions,Zombies — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 4:50 pm

X is for e(X)cellent

Or, as Charles Montgomery Burns says: Exxxcellent!

Since there aren’t any titles that make the list for my favorite novels beginning with the letter X (and since I’ve never read any books that start with an X), I thought I’d use this entry to list my most excellent reads, or my Top 10 Favorite Reads from all of my previous entries.

In no particular order…

The Best of the Best

Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Favorite novel, hands down. The death of Simon still haunts me. Who’s got the conch?

Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk
My gold standard for dark comedy and social satire. One of the most influential novels I’ve ever read.

The Stand, Stephen King
First time I ever mourned the death of a fictional character. King is the greatest storyteller of our time.

Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
A calypso based religion, a midget, and the end of the world. All blackly hilarious. Only in a world imagined by Vonnegut.

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Nearly 60 years later, it’s still one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Elegantly crafted sentences that just hum with the beauty of the written word. An inspirational read.

Wicked, Gregory Maguire
Before there were mash-ups, Maguire showed how to take a classic story and breathe new life into it. Exceptionally smart and entertaining.

Lamb, Christopher Moore
Nobody does humorous irreverence like Moore and this one stands alone on a podium built for one.

American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
One of the most disturbing, compelling, and entertaining novels I’ve ever read. A brilliant piece of writing.

The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
A voice like no other. Chandler set the bar for detective noir and it’s never been challenged.

Close But No Cigar
High Fidelity (Hornby), Wonder Boys (Chabon), Geek Love (Dunn), A Dirty Job (Moore), Invisible Monsters (Palahniuk), The Shining (King), Catcher in the Rye (Salinger), 1984 (Orwell), Lolita (Nabakov), and In Cold Blood (Capote).

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Filed under: Movies and Books — S.G. Browne @ 6:33 am

W is for Wicked, Water, and Wizard

The W’s presented a bit more of a challenge than the prior two entries, as I’ve read more than fifteen novels that begin with this letter of the alphabet. While the top two were never in any serious danger of being left off the final ballot, the last one was a tough call and could have gone four different ways. In the end, and admittedly after some serious flip-flopping, I had to leave Watership Down (Adams), Wonder Boys (Chabon), and A Wrinkle in Time (L’Engle) on the outside looking in.

Other notable and memorable titles I’ve read that begin with W include The Witching Hour (Rice), War of the Worlds (Wells), Wolf’s Hour (McCammon), Watchers (Koontz), The Waste Lands and Wolves of the Calla (King), World War Z (Brooks), Where the Red Fern Grows (Rawls), Wuthering Heights (Bronte), and Walden (Thoreau).

The three that made it? A famous witch, a circus fable, and an epic search for a dark tower.

You’re the Top
Wicked, Gregory Maguire
I know the musical adaptation made a lot of noise, but give me the book every time. The story of the Wicked Witch of the West prior to Dorothy’s arrival in Oz paints a very different picture of the events that eventually unfolded after Dorothy’s arrival. Filled with heartache, humor, romance, political intrigue, and social commentary, Wicked does a great job of making you see the alleged villain’s side of the story. If you’ve seen The Wizard of Oz, then you really need to give this a read.

Two Mints in One
Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
My favorite book I read in 2009, I got completely swept up in the story of a ninety-three-year-old nursing home resident who reminisces about his time spent working in the circus to the point that he almost begins to lose track of what’s real and what’s not. The characters are delightful, the story intoxicating, and the prose inspired. A wonderful ride back in history to the circus heyday of the early twentieth century.

Three on a Match
Wizard and Glass, Stephen King
The fourth installment in King’s The Dark Tower series, Wizard is, in my opinion, the best of the seven. I also believe it’s just flat out one of King’s best novels. If the purpose of storytelling is to get the reader emotionally swept up in the lives of its characters, than this does the job. I remember getting chills reading certain passages and chapters as the book neared its end. Read the first three installments of the series just to get to this one.

*Bonus Titles: The Play’s the Thing
Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee
Although completely different on every level, these are two of my favorite plays to read. Both Beckett and Albee are masterful.

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V is for Vamped

Apparently, the tail end of the alphabet is a bit on the lean side when it comes to book titles. At least for book titles I’ve read. If the last half dozen letters of the alphabet are super models, then we’re talking Kate Moss lean. Except for the letter W. That one’s more full-figured like Tyra Banks.

While the letter U coughed up just two titles, only one of which was worth recommending, the letter V pushes the anorexic envelope even further, with just one title to be had. And even though it’s a book a lot of you might not have read, it definitely deserves it’s place on the list.

The One and Only:
Vamped, David Sosnowski
“Here’s a tip: When you give the world one last chance to save your life, be specific about the how.”
And so begins this playful and funny 2004 novel about a one-hundred-year-old vampire bachelor bored with his existence – which includes synthetic blood, Mr. Plasma machines, and hunting preserves. The thrill and excitement of chasing humans has vanished because, well, most of the humans have vanished, too. Vampires outnumber humans in the middle of the twenty-first century and Marty, our protagonist, is considering suicide when he ends up adopting a six-year-old orphan girl and trying to raise a human daughter on his own.

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Filed under: Movies and Books — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 3:32 pm

Fated – 2010 West Coast Book Tour

We’re at the one month mark before the official release of my second novel, Fated, though I did receive my first copy of the book in the mail the other day, which you can tell I’m just a little happy about. The picture doesn’t do the cover justice, which is a matte coating with an overlay that gives it a great texture. And the colors, especially the spine, really pop.

Once I receive my author copies I’ll be having some contests for giveaways, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you live in Oregon, Washington, or California, below are the dates and general info for my 2010 West Coast Tour.

Things kick off on November 2nd with the official release at Powell’s Books in Beaverton, OR. I’ll be reading, talking, signing, and hopefully doing some audience participation giveaways. So if you’re in the neighborhood, come on out and play!

While up in the Pacific Northwest, I’ll also be doing signings in Seattle (11/3) and Lake Forest Park (11/4) before returning to California for the San Francisco Book Launch Party at Borderlands Books (11/6), followed by signings in Capitola (11/8), Fremont (11/10), San Francisco again (11/12), Pleasanton (11/13), Roseville (11/16), Campbell (11/20), Santa Barbara (12/3), Burbank (12/4), San Diego (12/11), and Pleasanton again (12/18). A full list of details can be found by checking out my Events Calendar.

I’m also planning trips in 2011 to states east of California, including Florida, Texas, and New York, among others, and will post updates on my web site and via this e-mail newsletter once I have more information.

As always, thanks for the support. I hope I get a chance to see and meet all of you at one of my upcoming signings.

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Filed under: Fated,The Writing Life — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 11:04 am