Potholes & Robots

150417-N-VJ282-063I’ve been off the map lately but busy as usual. This last weekend I performed at Rota’s Got Talent–a local talent show they have on base. I was a little nervous beforehand, sweaty hands and all, but the other contestants were just as nervous. It’s been over a year since I last performed anything. I thought about rapping. However, I wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone so I memorized a poem I wrote called “Pothole Mansions.”

A Flying Lotus instrumental “Lately” played in the background giving it a spacey vibe. I slipped up on a line, but I pulled a Beyonce and got back up on my verbal feet. I received a lot of love from my people and my friend’s daughter gave me a gold medal. It was mad cute. I didn’t win, but I got some good feedback and I was happy to perform. Sidenote: I wore the medal out to the club.

The weekend before the last I went to watch the Running of the Bulls in Arcos de la Frontera. It was intense. Expect a non-fiction piece to hit the web in the future.

destroy all robotsIn writing news, my short story “Night of the Ratchets” was recently published in the anti-robot anthology Destroy All Robots. You can buy that here.

I’m still trying to figure out how to expand my hardcore novelette God’s Leftovers into a novella. The crime fiction book Black Gypsies is still coming slowing and I’m working on something experimental and fresh called Young World.

Plus, there’s another poetry collection I’m working on called Pothole Mansions. Expect some music somewhere in the mix too.

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The Nights Neon Fangs (Book Review)

nnfSometimes it’s a gift and a curse being a book reviewer. On one hand you get a shitload of free books, but then you realize this tower of gold actually has to be read and it becomes a burden of sorts. However, The Night’s Neon Fangs is a gift that’s meant to be cherished.

The Night’s Neon Fangs by David W. Barbee is a collection of four novellas: Night’s Neon Fangs, Noah’s Arkopolis, That Ultimo Sumbitch, and Batcop Outta Hell.

The title piece “Night’s Neon Fangs” is about an electrifying werewolf named Buster Wade who’s forced to wear a rubber suit to keep the monster inside him restrained. Barbee paints a bizarre world where deities run governments and thanks to a slick joker, the US is forever cursed with a mummy cloud—a cloud that literally rains down mummies. It’s funny and absurd, but a number of corporations have learned how to make a pretty penny off the natural disaster. Buster works for one of these companies as security and dreams of the day his contract ends.

This novella is weird and funny and a nice appetizer for the next three pieces in the book.

“Noah Arkopolis” takes the story of Noah’s Ark and extends it way out into the future. The ark has become an entire city in the middle of oceanic Earth and Noah has disappeared, but he comes back in the form of a ghost to guide the protagonist. There’s highly advanced dolphins, humans with animals parts thanks to breeding between humans and animals over the years,

It’s endlessly funny, inventive, and has a nice sense of pacing. It pokes fun at the absurdness of religion, God, and the Bible. Also, makes you think about greed and the perils of abusing our natural resources such as oil.

“Ultimo Sumbitch” is a steampunkesque spaghetti western novella and my favorite out of the four in the book. Savage hippies, cyborgs, mutant goons rogue gunmen, etc.

My dad used to make me watch western movies when I was little and they bored me to death. If I saw something like this growing up, I would have completely different thoughts about the genre. Seriously, if Barbee made ten more books set in this universe, I’d buy every single one.

Imagine Batman meets Spawn and you might have an idea of “Batcop Outta Hell.” Thanks to fuckup in paperwork, officer McNulty wakes up in hell while his wife and daughter are stuck in limbo. He makes a deal with the devil to get revenge and to make sure his wife and daughter makes it to heaven.

He goes back to work in world full of people who are literally bats. Barbee riffs on all of the police tropes and cliches and makes them hilarious.

It’s a shame it took me this long to finally read Barbee’s work. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for some quality bizarro, great world-building, and sharp humor.

Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Nights-Neon-Fangs-David-Barbee/dp/1621051757/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428527403&sr=8-1&keywords=the+night%27s+neon+fangs

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Tarot Card Reading Special (Limited Time Deal)

tarot ishAs some of you know, I’m into some mystical stuff including tarot cards. For the next 12 days I’m offering a free tarot card reading for anyone who buys one of my books within this time period. For those of you who already own my books, you can still get a reading done if you write a honest book review on Amazon or a blog. Contact me at grantwamack@Gmail.com with proof of your purchase or a link to your book review.

You can purchase both of my books on Amazon at this link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=grant+wamack

Or you can get signed copies at this link: http://spontaneouscombustibles.bigcartel.com/

*The countdown clock starts now*

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Fresh Interview

electrifying hippoLast week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Adam Millard on his podcast Bizarro UK. We talked hippos, spirit animals, diversity in fiction, online outrage, my writing process and books.

Click the link below and get hip.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bizarrouk/2015/03/08/bizarro-uk-episode-9-grant-wamack

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The Mind is a Razor Blade (Book Review)

the mind is a razor bladeOver the last couple years, I’ve seen Max Booth III’s name floating around the writing community and I’ve been meaning to check out one of his novels especially after reading his excellent short story Fish.

I chose his second novel The Mind is a Razor Blade simply cause the cover was badass (covers are mad important) and the book was praised by the likes of Adam Cesare and Jonathan Mayberry so it had to be worth a read.

A man wakes up in the pouring rain with a couple dead corpses and a helluva memory loss. He struggles to recollect his identity and find some solid footing in a world that has gone to shit. He discovers a cult that harvests organs for a demon known as Conundrae who has the entire city shaking in fear.

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The protagonist finds out he has done some terrible things in his past and attempts to piece together his fragile memory without killing too many people.

This first novel could’ve easily become a hot mess in a lesser writer’s hands and I give Booth kudos for attempting this and coming out successful. The first person point of view allows the reader to crawl deeper into the protagonist’s frazzled psyche and try to put it all together.

There are portions of the book where certain people or events trigger pivotal flashbacks. These sections are written in a disjointed sort of prose that works pretty well and gives the reader a break from the main narrative.

It’s hard to go too deep into the book’s plot, but rest assured this is well worth your time. There’s plenty of weird elements such as the spiders, but I won’t go into that. Another point that should be touched on is the humor. Even thought there are some heavy moments in this novel, Booth knows how to lighten the mood. For example, the protagonist is forced to run around in bunny slippers.

Sidenote: good characterization. I didn’t realize how much I cared about the main characters until the last couple chapters. They had me super stressed out.

The Mind is a Razor Blade is a tense, hella dark noir that will keep you on your toes and looking out for spiders well after the last page.

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Tarot Spreads & Ish

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Since the new year, I’ve been getting accustomed to my Wild Unknown tarot deck. The art is art is loose, dark, and beautiful. It’s kind of overwhelming trying to get a handle on the cards meanings and using my intuition to get clear readings, but it’s been worth it so far.

I did a few simple readings for friends over the weekend and they seemed to enjoy it. I tested out a new spread focusing on asking for guidance on getting closer to certain people. I practiced on myself and the results were scary accurate for a few situations. It’s a good sign because that means my intuition is getting stronger and I’m becoming more confident with the deck.

The other crazy moment happened when I drew cards. I’ve shuffled the deck multiple times but I went out of my way to make sure the cards faced the same way. Still, some cards came out reversed (they’re supposed to) and this made me pause.

Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know I’m making progress with my deck. Don’t worry, I’m still working on some fiction projects and slinging books.

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Empire Episode One Review

timbaland-empire-foxI’ve been hearing a lot of good stuff surrounding Fox’s new television series Empire and after I watched an interview with Timbaland who scores the show, I decided to check it out. It stars Terrance Howard who plays a hiphop mogul known as a Lucious Lyon whose rise from the bottom resembles that of Master P and Diddy. He finds out that is diagnosed with ALS and his ass is going to die pretty soon. So he needs to figure out which son is good enough to be the new face of his record label and most importantly his growing empire. However, his ex-wifey Cookie played by Taraji Henson gets out of jail and plans to get her cut by any means and shit begins to hit the fan.

The first episode was entertaining but at times certain plot elements seemed a little forced. For example, we have a gay son, and an interracial relationship. I’m all for diversity, but I feel like the writers came together and tried to check a whole bunch of boxes.

The acting was okay all the way around and this episode did a nice job of setting the tone and introducing characters all within the space of 45 minutes. The funny thing is I could see Terrance Howard’s character from Hustle and Flow getting out jail and building an empire in a parallel universe.

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So far Empire comes across as a hood version of King Lear meets Game of Thrones which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I’m interested to see what kind of drama pops off in this week’s episode and if the show will be able to keep my attention.

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