S.G. Browne

SF LitQuake, New York, and October Signings

*UPDATE* Due to a change in the group author signing at Book Soup, I will not be appearing in West Hollywood on Tuesday, October 30.

Autumn has arrived and with it a handful of upcoming signings and readings, as well as the release of my zombie holiday novella, I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus: A Breathers Christmas Carol, which is scheduled for publication October 30.

I’ll be appearing in San Diego and Burbank for a couple of early signings on October 27 and 28, then following those up with a signing at Book Soup in West Hollywood on October 30. (Both signings in Burbank and West Hollywood are also group signings for the John Skipp edited horror anthologies Psychos, Demons, Werewolves, and Zombies—the last of which contains my short story “A Zombie’s Lament.”)

My only scheduled Bay Area appearance at the moment will take place November 10 in San Francisco.

In addition, I’ll be reading from Lucky Bastard for the San Francisco LitQuake Lit Crawl on October 13 before appearing in New York on October 17 as part of the KGB Bar Reading Series, also for Lucky Bastard. Details for all signings, readings, and events are below:

October 13 – San Francisco, CA
7:15 – 8:15PM (Group Reading)
Lit Crawl SF
Borderlands Books
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA

October 17 – New York, NY
7:00PM (Reading & Signing w/John Kessel)
Fantastic Fiction at KGB
KGB Bar
85 E. 4th Street
New York, NY

October 27 – San Diego, CA
2:00PM (Signing)
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite #302
San Diego, CA

October 28 – Burbank, CA
2:00PM (Group Signing)
Dark Delicacies
3512 W. Magnolia
Burbank, CA

October 30 – West Hollywood, CA
7:00PM (Group Signing)
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd.
W. Hollywood CA

November 10 – San Francisco, CA
3:00PM (Reading & Signing)
Borderlands Books
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA

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I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus

And without further ado, the cover and copy reveal for I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus. Drum roll, please. Oh wait, you can already see it. So much for building up the suspense. Maybe I should have told you to close your eyes first.

No matter. So here you go. That’s the cover over there on your left and the copy hanging out down below the row of asterisks. Just in case you were confused. Which you’re not. I’ll get out of the way, now.

 ********************************

How does the leader of a failed zombie civil rights movement from California rescue a group of his undead brethren and help a lonely Breather girl as he hides from a band of medical researchers while disguised as Santa Claus?

If you’ve never believed in Christmas miracles, then you probably wouldn’t understand.

Andy Warner has just escaped from a zombie research facility in Portland, Oregon, where he’s been subjected to experimental testing for the past year. With Christmas just days away, Andy figures that donning a jolly old St. Nick costume to throw off his would-be captors is just the ticket. But he never expects to encounter a sweet, lonesome nine-year-old girl who not only reminds Andy of the family he’s lost, but who thinks he’s the real Santa.

He also doesn’t count on being recognized as last year’s national quasi-celebrity by a clandestine group of decaying supporters who look to him for leadership. For the living and the undead, this unforgettable holiday tale will truly put on display just who is gnawing and who is nice….

Release date is November 13, 2012.

Available for pre-order at your local independent bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and wherever books are pre-ordered.

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Breathers Christmas Novella

For those of you who were wondering what happened to Andy after the end of Breathers, you’ll get your chance to find out in a Christmas-themed novella I’m working on that is scheduled for release this November. And while it is a sequel, my intention is to write it so that it can also stand on its own.

While I’m not going to give away any spoilers, I will say that for various reasons most of the secondary characters in the original won’t be making an appearance in the sequel. It’s possible that one or more of them could find their way into the narrative, but Andy is still the hero and this is a continuation of his story.

However, I always said that I wouldn’t write a sequel to Breathers unless I could come up with something that didn’t just regurgitate the same ideas and concepts I introduced in the original, so this one’s going to focus on some different aspects of Andy’s existence as a zombie. But I do plan to include some elements that fans of Breathers will hopefully recognize and enjoy.

The title is still being worked out, but as soon as I have a final decision, I’ll be sure to share it with you. What I can tell you is that the story takes place in Portland, OR and opens a week or so before Christmas, nearly a year after the end of Breathers, and starts out with the line:

“I wake up on the ground in darkness.”

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Filed under: Breathers,Zombies — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 6:51 am

Thanksgiving Breathers Style

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share Chapter 28 from my first novel Breathers, where Andy sits down to a nice holiday meal with his mom and dad. Andy, of course, is a zombie.

If you haven’t read Breathers yet, you can check out the synopsis, an excerpt of the first chapter, and the cast of characters on my website RIGHT HERE. Just in case it’s helpful.

Either way, I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving dinner that is anything but traditional. (Just click on the link below to read on Google Docs):

Read BREATHERS – Chapter 28

And a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

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Filed under: Breathers,Zombies — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 10:34 pm

For the Love of Zombies

People are always asking me about zombies.

Have you always loved zombies?
Do you think you’ll survive the zombie apocalypse?

Is it necrophilia if you’re both dead?

In case you’re curious, the answers are:
Yes, no, and I don’t think so.

Truth is, I’m not an authority on zombie sex. However, I do know a lot about sloughage, frothy purge, and cadaver impact testing.

For some reason, this troubles my parents.

I’ve been a zombie fan ever since I saw Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead on Creature Features back when I was in sixth grade and they instantly became my favorite monster. I even used to dream about them chasing me through the streets. Or surrounding my house. Or doing my taxes. And I’ll admit that I enjoy the fast moving zombies as well as the shuffling ones. They’re both terrifying in their own way.

I do realize, however, that there are zombie purists out there who only want their zombies to be of the post-apocalyptic variety. Slow and mindless and horrifying. They don’t like it when you do anything new or different when it comes to the living dead. They get very Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham about their zombies.

They do not like them when they run
They do not like them if they’re fun
They do not like them when they’re smart
They do not like them with a heart

While I respect this point of view, I have a large umbrella when it comes to zombies and I welcome all types to stand under it. Fast and slow. Sentient and mindless. Comical and terrifying. After all, can’t we all just get along?

Which relates to another question that often comes up:

Why do you think zombies are so popular right now?

You could make the argument that zombies are an allegory for the end of the world as we know it. That the current popularity of zombies is a direct reflection of global fears regarding the economy and terrorism. Horror as catharsis for the fears and anxiety of a society making commentary on itself. You could even argue that zombies are the proletarians of the monster hierarchy and in troubled economic times, they become the poster child for the financial ills of a nation.

A lot of other zombie authors and film makers who are asked about the popularity of zombies agree with this hypothesis. Me? Not so much.

While it makes sense that zombie films can flourish in an economic downturn due to their typical lower financial risk at the box office, I don’t know if I believe that the current surge in zombie popularity is a direct reflection of global fears.

Truth is, I think people have a tendency to apply social context where it doesn’t exist.

After all, where was the zombie mania during the Vietnam War? Watergate? The Iranian Hostage Crisis? The Stock Market crash of 1987? The first Persian Gulf War?

Where was it? It didn’t exist. Not on this scale.

I believe the recent surge in zombie popularity can instead be attributed to the fact that zombies have been taken out of their proverbial archetypal box. No longer are they just the shambling, mindless, flesh-eating ghouls we’ve known and loved for most of the past four decades.

They’re faster. Funnier. Sentient.

In addition to running like Olympic sprinters, making us laugh, and thinking for themselves, today’s zombies write poetry (Zombie Haiku), perform household chores (Fido), and fight for their civil rights (Breathers).  They can also be found on YouTube going to marriage counseling and on iTunes singing to their former co-workers (Jonathan Coulton’s “Re: Your Brains”).

They’ve expanded their range. Become more versatile. More well-rounded. And who doesn’t enjoy a well-rounded zombie? Plus they’re tragically comical, shuffling along, losing their hair and teeth and the occasional appendage. Add the fact that they used to be us, that we could all become them one day, and you can’t help but relate. Which is, ultimately, why I think we find them so compelling.

As for the other classic monsters, they don’t hold quite the same appeal for me as do zombies.

Werewolves?  They’re like the jocks of the monster world. Full of testosterone, pumped up on steroids, sprouting hair all over the place, and always trying to be the center of attention. I just can’t take them seriously. Plus no one ever worries about a werewolf apocalypse. That would be ridiculous.

Vampires? They’re the frat boys of monsters. All pretty and full of themselves and constantly trying to get you into bed. Every move they make, all the posturing they do, is just a smoke screen to lure you in so they can feed on you. Drink your blood.

They’re insincere. Hiding their true motives. Scam artists.

Zombies, on the other hand, don’t try to impress you with their good looks or their charms or their ability to burst out of their Lacoste polo shirt every four weeks. They don’t pretend to be something they’re not. They wear their decomposing hearts on their sleeves and aren’t ashamed to say, “I’m a zombie and I want to eat your brains.”

They have an unpretentious veracity. You have to admire that in a monster.

The other question I’ve been asked is:

Do you think zombies are here to stay?

Truth is, zombies never went anywhere. They’ve been starring in low-budget films and mass market paperbacks for most of the past forty years. They’re just finally being appreciated for their diverse talents and given the opportunity to show that they’re more than one-dimensional monsters. Instead of being cast in supporting roles, they’ve become the leads, the stars, the marquee attraction. And as long as writers and film makers continue to push the boundaries of the mythology, I think zombies will remains as popular tomorrow as they are today.

(*Author’s Note: Portions of the content of this post have appeared before on this blog as well as on other guest blog posts, so please forgive the redundancy. However, this is the first time they’ve all appeared together in one place.)

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Filed under: Breathers,Zombies — Tags: , , , — S.G. Browne @ 5:55 am