S.G. Browne

WonderCon

I’ll be appearing at WonderCon this weekend at the Moscone Center South in San Francisco for a couple of events.

April 1 – Signing
Geekscape, Booth #617
2:00PM – 3:00PM

On Friday, April 1, I’ll be signing 11″ x 17″ posters of the covers for Breathers and Fated, including the UK versions.  Unfortunately, I won’t have any copies of my books for sale, but feel free to bring your copy to the Geekscape Booth (#617) and I’ll be happy to sign it.

April 2 – Interview w/ F. Paul Wilson
Room 220
2:00PM – 3:00PM

On Saturday, April 2, I’ll be interviewing F. Paul Wilson, bestselling author of The Keep, Black Wind, and the Repairman Jack Series, as well as numerous other novels, screenplays, and comic books.  There will be an audience Q&A afterward.

Hope to see you this weekend!

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Filed under: Breathers,Conventions,Fated — Tags: , , , — S.G. Browne @ 9:51 am

ICFA Post-Game Report

Yes, I know it’s a week past due, but better late than never. Besides, I was busy enjoying 80 degree sunny days on the Gulf of Mexico, which even in California are a rarity right now. So I couldn’t very well spend them sitting at a computer.

But here we are, a week after my first time attending the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (or ICFA, for the multi-syllabic challenged) and I’m happy to announce that I had a wonderful time.

I have to admit, I was a felt a little out of my element about attending an academic conference of literature students and scholars, since I am neither an academic nor a scholar. Especially when I needed a dictionary and an interpreter just to understand some of the titles for the papers, like:

Languages, Litanies, and the Limit: Mathematics as Discourse in Neal Stephenson’s Anathem

I still have no idea what that means.

In any case, with four days of round table panels, author readings, and academic papers, I had the opportunity to meet a bunch of great people, make a lot of new friends, share my thoughts on humor in horror on my panel, and even attend a couple of papers on zombies that referenced Breathers, including:

The Decomposition of the Contemporary Family: Zombie’s Role in the Transmogrification of the Nuclear Family (by Emily Mashak);

and The Politics of Zombie Love: Subversion, Self-Actualization, and Erotic Zombies in S.G. Browne’s Breathers (by Professor Franc Auld).

It was interesting to sit in on the papers and hear someone else’s interpretation of Breathers, which is another blog post entirely, but I very much enjoyed the conference and I’m looking forward to going back to ICFA again next year.

I’ll just make sure to bring along an interpreter.

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Filed under: Breathers,Conventions — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 6:42 am

Fiction Friday: Swallowed By The Cracks

I’m happy to announce that Dark Arts Books is going to be publishing four short stories of mine in their new collection Swallowed by the Cracks, which will officially debut at the World Horror Convention in Austin, TX, at the end of April.   The collection, which also includes stories by Lee Thomas, Gary McMahon, and Michael Marshall Smith, will be available on Amazon and at other various bookstores beginning May 1.

Three of my stories in the collection have never been published and two of them are examples of the type of fiction I predominantly wrote from 1990-2003.  Supernatural horror.  Alternate dimensions.  Unexplained phenomenon and things that go bump in the night.

My four stories include:

“Lower Slaughter” – a story about a married couple vacationing in England who discover that time has a habit of slipping away;

“The Lord of Words” – the tale of a struggling writer who believes that outside forces are attempting to prevent him from finishing his novel;

“Dream Girls” – a social satire about a new technology that involves cloning, aliens, and the assassination of JFK;

and “Dr. Lullaby” – a cautionary comic tale about the unexpected side-effects of an over-medicated society.

These last two stories are both written in the first person and similar to the style in which I wrote Breathers, Fated, and the upcoming Lucky Bastard.  So it’s a nice mix of supernatural tales and dark comedies.

In addition to my stories, you’ll find some nice dark fiction and tales of horror from the three gentlemen I mentioned above (Lee, Gary, and Michael) all of whom are most excellent wordsmiths.  I’m honored to be included in the collection with them and I’m looking forward to celebrating the release of Swallowed by the Cracks next month in Austin.

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Writing Soundtracks

I’ve been asked several times over the past couple of months what kind of music I listen to when I write.

The truth is, most of the time when I’m writing, I don’t listen to anything.  It’s just me and the silence.  Which is why you’ll never find me sitting at a Starbucks or a cafe with my laptop.  I’m easily distracted, both by sights and by sounds.  Especially conversations.   However, when I’m on an airplane or when I have to deal with a jackhammer or a car alarm (hopefully not all three at the same time), I plug into my iPod and listen to my Writing Soundtrack.

Since I’m easily distracted when I’m writing, I have trouble listening to anything with lyrics. I find myself singing along.  Though I do have a writing mix that includes songs by Green Day, Morphine, Sublime, The Pixies, and The Doors.  Their songs inspire my writing without being distracting because I’ve heard the lyrics so many times the words just tend to blend in with the music.  For some reason this doesn’t hold true with The Beatles, who are my favorite band, just ahead of Green Day.

I tried listening to classical music, but it tends to put me to sleep and not provide the right kind of energy I need to write.  Same with a playlist of all jazz.  So I’ve compiled a mix of instrumental songs that includes funk, surf music, 50s tunes, classic rock, and jazz that seems to do the trick.

Included in the mix are songs like “Peter Gunn Theme” from The Blues Brothers soundtrack, “Green Onions” by Booker T. & the MG’s, “Espionage” by Green Day, “Thunder Chicken” by The Mighty Imperials, and “One of These Days” by Pink Floyd.

The mix also includes songs from The Ventures, Sugarman 3, The Greasy Beats, John Lurie, The Red Elvises, The Dust Brothers (from the Fight Club soundtrack), and Medeski, Martin & Wood, among others.  And I’d be remiss in mentioning the soundtracks for Pulp Fiction and Get Shorty, which I love.

So there you have it.  That’s the music I write to when I want a soundtrack.  And I’m always looking for more songs to add, so if you have any favorites that are sans lyrics, send along your thoughts.

And as always, thanks for listening.

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Filed under: The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 6:46 pm

Movie Review Monday: Hamlet 2

You know those inspirational teacher movies?  The ones like Stand and Deliver, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and Dead Poets Society?

“Oh Captain, my Captain.”

And who can forget Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds?

Well, Hamlet 2 is nothing like any of them because it doesn’t take itself seriously.  Instead, it makes fun of the inspirational teacher films in a fun, twisted way that combines social satire with the irreverence of South Park and includes catchy, toe-tapping musical numbers like “Rock Me Sexy Jesus.”

Hamlet 2 tells the story of Dana Marschz (played by Steve Coogan), a failed actor and recovering alcoholic who teaches high school drama in Tucson, AZ, where, according to the voice over, “dreams go to die.”

Marschz, who puts on bad plays based on award-winning films, finds his unpopular drama class suddenly attended by a collection of slackers who only took his class because all of the other cool electives got axed in budget cuts.  When his job is threatened by the same budget crisis, Marschz tries to inspire his students, save his job, and work out long-standing emotional issues about his father by writing and producing an original musical play: a sequel to Hamlet that includes time travel, controversial sexual content, and Jesus Christ.

Also starring Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler,  David Arquette,  and Elisabeth Shue as herself, Hamlet 2 makes fun of religion, gays, Latinos, Hollywood, high school, the ACLU, and Elisabeth Shue, among other things.

So if you enjoy social satires and you don’t take your beliefs too seriously, then I think you’ll have a lot of fun with this one.  But if you’re easily offended by jokes about Jesus, minorities, or by seeing Steve Coogan’s bare ass, then you might want to think about giving this one a pass.

Hey, poetry!

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Filed under: Movie Review Mondays,Movies and Books — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 7:02 am