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Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife
This post brought to you by Roxane Gay®
Posted 2 November 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / General News

Roxane Gay comes clean about her approval of dirty money over at HTML Giant. She forces me to ask similar questions of my own moral aversion to sponsorship dollars. Historically, when presented with the opportunity to accept money by way of advertising, sponsorship, etc. I’ve justified the decision by passing the dollars along to those who I feel it rightfully belongs to (authors, editors, etc.). I’ve never kept any for myself. But Gay makes me ask: why not?

For me, the decision comes down to a basic function of economics. Authors need time to write. Money buys time. The moral ambiguity part comes into play when an author is offered money before the author has something worth writing about. Then it becomes an issue of monetary motivation, which I think, kills the idea of art. <meta>Unless the intention of the art is to comment on the monetization of art. </meta>

Of course, this one-sided conversation of mine hinges on the highly unlikely problem of being offered sponsorship dollars enough to feel morally conflicted.

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Twitter Review: In the Mean Time by Paul Tremblay
Posted 31 October 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / General News

Jason Behrends over at Orange Alert once frequently posted what he called Tweet Reviews, which are basically collections of <=140 character reviews of each track on a single album. Really cool idea. I don’t think he ever actually tweeting the reviews though. So, I am going to steal/borrow…sterrow…his idea, and take it to the logical next level.

I’ll be focusing on books, specifically books which are organized in a way conducive to individual tweets. This would be short story collections, literary journals, online zines, anything comprised of individual works.

Perhaps the best way to explain this would be by way of example.

Twitter Review: #ITMT In The Mean Time by Paul Tremblay @paulGtremblay

#ITMT story1: The ticking clock is a child’s impending pain. Incredible suspense. I suffered an entire life during this story.

#ITMT story2: Does simple psychosis explain the girl’s 2nd head? Her mother’s unhealthy support of the condition tears me apart.

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Oprah Read This to be taken down on November 27th! Hurry Oprah; read this!
Posted 29 October 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / General News

Hard to believe that the Oprah Read This site has been live for almost a full year. Harder to believe that in just 29 days it will be gone forever. Check out the site now, or you’ll forever be denied such wonder stories as…

Bleaching Bills with Henry Miller, Jockey Extraordinaire by Mel Bosworth
Chinaski’s Nirvana by Chris Deal
I Fucked Jane Austen by Christopher Dwyer
Is That You, Kurt Vonnegut? by Paul Eckert
Untitled Stephenie Meyer Novel by Gordon Highland
Dexter Morgan, Marriage Counselor by Nik Korpon
Sarah Palin, 12, strikes for workers by Caleb J Ross
Mary Gaitskill Makes Shitty Cupcakes by Kevin Sampsell
Stephen King Ate My Brain by Richard Thomas
I Dreamed I Fucked Stephen King While We Were Both on Vacation in the Cayman Islands With Our Spouses by xTx

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My night with Edgar Allan Poe and screaming teenagers
Posted 24 October 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / General News/ Unexpected Literary References

(part of my ongoing Unexpected Literary References series)

Last night I went with a few friends to the Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe Haunted House in the 12th street West Bottoms area of Kansas City. This has become a bit of a tradition for us, going to the haunted houses, which many people consider to be the best in the nation.

Being the literary nerd that I am, the Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe house was especially intriguing to me. This is not to discredit the others (The Beast, The Edge of Hell, and Macabre Cinema – this last one is designed to replicate famous horror movie scenes; I’m looking at you Stephen Graham Jones). They are all great, but being able to experience Poe’s stories in full round simply meant more to me.

This was the first year for the Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe house, and in being so, lacked some of the pizazz I was hoping for.

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Stranger Will popping up in strange places
Posted 17 October 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / Book News/ General News/ Publication Announcements/ Stranger Will

News aggregator sites collect information in strange ways. Ever since Otherworld Publications went public with their 2011 book lineup, many unrelated aggregator sites have picked up the story. Usually, even with the seemingly unrelated, there is something within the text of a press release that would cause aggregators to jump on board. Let’s see if we can find those reasons.

First, here’s the release in full:

Otherworld Publications is Excited To Announce the 2011 Publication Line-up

Otherworld Publications

Louisville, KY (PRWEB) October 4, 2010

Otherworld Publications is tickled to denote the 2011 publication line-up. We have another breathless year ahead of us

About the Authors:

Michael Wallace

Michael Wallace grew up reading all the history texts and novels he could find. His library shelves are filled up with a range of genres from H.G Wells and Jules Verne to Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy. It is only biological he writes thriller adventures with a science fiction twist and some history shed in for fun.

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Read Mel Bosworth’s Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom
Posted 16 October 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / General News

Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal WisdomGrease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom by Mel Bosworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mel Bosworth’s second bound book, Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom, reads like a sequel to the recently released i am here And You Are Gone by Shome Dasgupta. The two books share simplistic linguistic style and an explored relationship that is both as awkward and beautiful as the characters themselves. The hook with this novella, if the somewhat commercial term like “hook” can be used, is the strangely absent origin story of the two characters, David and Samantha. How these characters met remains unsaid, which allows a unique tension in this fairly traditional story. Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom is a great example of how a single detail is all a true writer needs to turn a story into his story.

View all my reviews

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You decide what I wear; voting for the STRANGER WILL cover
Posted 13 October 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / Book News/ Marketing/ Stranger Will


You get to choose the cover of my forthcoming novel! Go to the Otherworld Publications voting page and vote for your favorite Stranger Will cover. Seriously, the winner is the winner. No Florida re-counts here (dated reference, I know).

I do like one more than the others. But which one, I won’t say. The novel is set to be released on March 18th, 2010. Voting ends on November 30th. That means if I don’t get the cover I want, I have 3 1/2 months to cry about it.

Click here to vote.

Click on cover images below to see full size image.

1-Vertical Bench, white2 – Birds on Wires, red
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3 – Snowy Bench, shadow title4 – Snowy Bench, floating title
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5 – Mirror Trees, sideways title6 – Mirror Trees, wraparound title
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Books I’ve Written
The Soul Standard book coverAsAMachineAndParts-Re-issue-medium-175 Version 3 front cover-175 StrangerWill-reissue-175 CharacteredPieces_1stEdition-175 Version 2 front cover-175
Essays I’ve Written
In Lieu of Emo I Listened to the Metroid Theme
It Takes a Man to Get a Vasectomy: The History of the Vasectomy and 5 Things You Probably Didn't Consider Before Getting One
Tiny People in Your Semen: The Discovery of Sperm