S.G. Browne

San Diego Comic-Con 2016

comic-con_logoIt’s that time of year again when tens of thousands of worshipers converge upon the mecca of downtown San Diego for the annual pilgrimage to Comic-Con.

I’ll be joining my brethren in the Cathedral of Pop Culture, but my attendance will be limited and I will have only a single appearance where I’ll be signing books. That will take place as follows:

Thursday, July 21
Geekscape booth (#3919)
2:00pm – 3:00pm

I’ll also have a limited number of copies of Big Egos, Less Than Hero, and Lucky Bastard for sale, along with I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus. But whether you’re looking to score a copy, an autograph, or just say “hey,” stop on by if you’re on the convention floor this Thursday.

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I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus Holiday Giveaway

*UPDATE*
And the winners of the I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus giveaway are…drum roll please… Maria Garcia, John Hornor Jacobs, and Kelly Garbato. Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who left a comment and retweeted on Twitter. May you all have a zombie little Christmas!

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And zombies dressed up like Santa Claus

With Halloween safely in the rear view mirror, we can now, freely and without fear of reprisal, plunge headlong into the holiday season. Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of year and living in San Francisco makes it that much more festive, as the town is all decked out with lights and garland and ornaments and homeless people in Santa hats.

But for me, the holidays bring back fond memories: The smell of freshly baked snickerdoodles; Heat Miser and Cold Miser doing their song and dance; the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack; Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” And when it comes to holiday movies, I’m a sucker for It’s A Wonderful Life.

Cover newSo to celebrate the dawning of the holiday season, I’m holding a giveaway for three (3) copies of my 2012 novella I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus: A Breathers Christmas Carol.

Entering to win is as easy as hanging your stocking: Just respond to this blog post and share what gets you in the holiday spirit, be it a favorite holiday film, TV special, Christmas carol, or the smell of pumpkin pie. Whatever floats your holiday boat. I’ll do a random drawing of all entrants to determine the winners.

TWITTER BONUS: If you’re on Twitter and you re-tweet my post about the contest, that will get you an additional entry into the contest. If you don’t follow me on Twitter, my handle is @s_g_browne.

Contest runs until Friday, November 8 at 11:59pm PST and is open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!

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Andy’s Favorite Things: An Ode to Breathers

In honor of the upcoming holidays, and the recent publication of my heartwarming Christmas zombie story I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus, I thought I’d resurrect Andy’s holiday wish list from Breathers.

But rather than simply providing a list, I wanted to share Andy’s desires in song to the Rodgers and Hammerstein tune, “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.

And a one and a two…

Blood drops on noses and flesh that’s been bitten,
Pale female corpses who with me are smitten,
Fraternity pledges all tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cream colored femurs and crisp Breather strudels,
Eyeballs and earlobes and tonsils with noodles,
Undead Anonymous pot luck meetings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Dead guys in coffins with red gaping gashes,
Corpses that wake up from fatal car crashes,
Embalming treatments and Pine-Sol soakings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the flesh rots,
When the skin slips,
When I lose a limb,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so grim.

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I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus Haiku Giveaway

I know, I know. Halloween is barely a husk of a corpse yet and here we are, talking about Santa Claus and Christmas already. But at least we’ve got a zombie crossover theme to keep us honest. And what better way to celebrate the blending of Halloween and Christmas than with some free signed copies of I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus?

That’s right. I’ve got two copies of my new Christmas zombie novella and sequel to Breathers to give away—signed, sealed, delivered, and they’re yours. So what do you have to do to enter for your chance to win a copy? I’m glad you asked.

For those who are familiar with Andy Warner, the hero of Breathers, you’re aware that he was fond of penning an occasional haiku to deal with his less than glamorous existence. Well, in I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus, he’s at it again.

So following the 5-7-5 syllable format (I know, I know…in traditional Japanese haiku it’s not really syllables, but we’re not in Japan), write a haiku about zombies. Or about Santa Claus. Or about zombies and Santa Claus. Whatever strikes your fancy. Here’s an example of what Andy came up with:

pine-sol bubble baths
mask the stench of rotting flesh
i smell like christmas

But don’t feel a need to emulate Andy. It’s a broad canvas, so grab your palette of words and have at it. Once you’ve created your masterpiece, share your haiku in the comments below and voila! You’re entered. See, wasn’t that easy?

I’ll pick two winners from the entries. If you choose to include more than one haiku, that still counts as a single entry. Sorry, no stuffing the ballot box.

Contest is open wherever Santa visits good little boys and girls. In other words, everywhere. But the contest ends Thursday, November 15, at 11:59pm PST. So no dawdling.

Ready? Set? Haiku!

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Of Novels and Novellas

As I prepare for the upcoming release of my novella, I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus: A Breathers Christmas Carol (coming to a commercialized religious holiday near you October 30), I’ve had a number of people contact me who are confused about the difference between novelettes, novellas, and novels. Well, I’m here to help. Or possibly confuse. I haven’t decided.

According to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula awards rules, the novelette has a word count between 7,500 and 17,500, while a novella runs from 17,500 to 40,000 words. Based on this, the novel, whose length has often been debated, begins at 40,000 words and runs from there up to infinity. Or at least up to Infinite Jest, which comes in at just under 500,000 words.

(Fun fact: According to Listverse, the longest novel ever written was Mission Earth by L. Ron Hubbard at 1.2 million words. Take that, Tolkien.)

For the benefit of providing some reference, below are half a dozen of the more notable novellas written in the English language that fit the SFWA’s definition:

The Call of the Wild
Of Mice and Men
Animal Farm
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The Old Man and the Sea
A Clockwork Orange

Stephen King has published a number of shorter novellas that run in the 25,000-30,000 word range, grouping eight of them into the collections Four Past Midnight and Different Seasons—the latter of which contains “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” and “The Body,” my two favorite King novellas.

In the afterword of Different Seasons, King calls the novella “an anarchy-ridden literary banana republic” and contends that there shouldn’t be a hard and fast definition of what either a novel or short story should be in terms of word count. He goes on to say: “But when a writer approaches the 20,000-word mark, he knows he’s edging out of the country of the short story; likewise, when he passes the 40,000-word mark, he’s edging into the country of the novel.”

Although King doesn’t endorse the SFWA’s delineation of the novella, the 40,000-word mark seems to be where the boundaries are drawn. So while officially categorized as a novella, I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus comes in at just over 44,000 words (and just under 200 pages), which means that according to both the SFWA and Stephen King, I’ve edged over into the country of the novel.

I hope that helps to clear things up. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some cross-country exploring to do.

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