Small Press Fiction Deserves a Chance!

Hey there…

If you don’t know by now, I’m a fan of science fiction and fantasy literature. Though I tend to read more from bigger publishing houses these days, I also like to support the little guy when I can.

That said, I want to bring up a couple of things.

First, I just found this today – Fantastical Visions V: Illustrated Fantasy Fiction Anthology from Fantasist Enterprises. This is a project edited by W. H. Horner in Delaware and seems genuinely devoted to helping writers and artists get their works to the people who will enjoy them.

I just donated to the project myself and would encourage you to do the same.

The other project I’ll bring up is the (mostly) quarterly magazine Black Gate from New Epoch Press in Illinois. John O’Neill has managed to put out fourteen massive volumes of fiction that have some truly amazing work within them. I’ve been a subscriber for a few years now and always enjoy diving into a new issue.

In a time when magazines like Realms of Fantasy are fighting to stay in business, it falls to us, the fans, to support fantastical literature in all its forms. So I’d ask that you buy a subscription to Black Gate (BlackGate.com) or Realms of Fantasy (ROFMag.com) if you have a few extra bucks. Times are tough all over with the economy being what it is.

So support your favorite small press science fiction or fantasy fiction efforts… I’d hate to see such projects fall by the wayside due to lack of funding!

–Fitz

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Book Review: Brocabulary Coming in October

Hey all…

When I saw the cover of Brocabulary: The New Man-i-festo of Dude Talk, I was intrigued. When I see the term “bro,” I now think of two different things. The first is fraternities, of which I was never involved with in college. The second is the character Dean from the G4 TV show Code Monkeys, who uses “Brocabulary” like a trooper. So I thought… perhaps, as a male, I should attempt to learn more of this part of manly society in which I was never asked to participate…

Boy was I mistaken. I’m evidently not cut out to be talking to the Bros.

Brocabulary Book JacketI thought it might be ok as I chuckled my way through the Brologue. (The definition of a “brologue” is: (n.) A prologue that delves into the rich history of bro-speak.) Beginning with cavemen, working through Mesobrotamia, we get to the Egyptians. The Egyptians you see were famous for “guyroglyphics,” which were roughly equivalent to scrawls on bathroom stalls. The Greeks were really the hearty partiers of their day, which made them easy for the Broman Empire to conquer them… You get the idea.

From there, the book is broken into a number of chapters…

  • Chapter 1: Brommunication — Focuses on how to communicate with your bros
  • Chapter 2: Barticulation — How to deal with your bros at a bar
  • Chapter 3: Player Palaver — How to be a player without offending your bros
  • Chapter 4: Banguage — What to do with a girl when you get her home
  • Chapter 5: Hocabulary — How to deal with the ladies
  • Chapter 6: Chilloquialisms — The art of chilling
  • Well, you get the idea. Some of the other chapter titles aren’t really meant for PG rated company (not like the titles for Chapters 4 or 5 really are either).

Danel Maurer photoFor some of us, I have to say that all this book does is solidify the already warped perception by some members of the opposite sex that all men are pigs. Some men are pigs. I can’t disagree with that. But the rest of us “nice guys” don’t really want to be lumped in with them.

I was expecting a satirical look at “bro-speak,” and instead got a lesson in why I’m glad I was never assimilated by a fraternity in college.

What is this book good for? I see this book becoming a popular gag gift for those friends who fit the mold – especially those middle aged bar hoppers needing a laugh. (Unfortunately some of the recipients of this sort of book will most likely not see the joke and enjoy the book thoroughly, going so far as to adopt the attitudes and techniques described therein. [shudder])

The author, Daniel Maurer, has written for the NY Times, NY Magazine, Nerve, Gawker, McSweeneys, Metro, Modern Drunkard, various humor sites, and a failed porn mag (according to his website, which you can visit his website here).

The book (<em>Brocabulary</em>) will be available on October 7, 2008, from Collins Living, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

As a gag gift, I give this book 4 out of 4. But as a serious work of humor fiction, I don’t think it’s for everybody. It only gets 1 out of 4 from me on that score.

–Fitz

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