Some say the world will end in fire, some say it will be ice. Nobody ever mentioned squirrels.
Forgive my absence for most of this month. When not getting myself irradiated, dealing with chemo, or simply napping, I have been putting all my writing energy into my WIP. Fortunately, my publisher Hydra Publications and I set something in motion before I got sick and it comes out today!
“Squirrel Apocalypse” started out just as goofy screenplay exercise: Lost Boys/Nightwings with Squirrels. Circumstances beyond my control forced me to transition it to a novel, though it is still just as ridiculous as when I started. Here’s a little about it:
Chris Day had a perfect life… when he was twelve years old. Twenty years later, he is divorced, unemployed, and desperate to get through to his twelve year daughter, Liv. He hopes his grandmother’s dairy farm in Crickson, California will be a good place to start a new life. Chris spent his boyhood summers in mischief and squirrel-launching there with his two best friends, Olivia and Rafael.Today, the dairy farmers grow marijuana to make ends meet, and the local radio station broadcasts the movements of the DEA to help them stay one step ahead. His grandmother’s obsession with squirrels has turned to a crusade of extermination. Olivia and Rafael are still in town, but nothing like the kids he dreamed of coming back to. Liv is sneaking out of the house late at night and Grandma has a collection of squirrel torture porn and homemade explosives. Pets and livestock are disappearing at an increasing rate. You really can’t go home again, especially when it’s being eaten by GMO killer squirrels.
We won’t be able to do a release party until after my surgery, I’m sure, but everyone can chow down on fresh-baked cookies, milk, and squirrel jerky in their own homes to celebrate. If you do, I want pictures.
I know you folks have been waiting for a while, but the time is here. I have signed a contract with Hydra Publishing for my next book: Squirrel Apocalypse. It is a profound rumination on how a shattered man cannot return to his idyllic childhood retreat, and when he tries, it winds up being overrun by killer GMO squirrels.
Set in the halcyon days before marijuana went legal in Northern California, it is a maniacal romp with geriatric pot farmers, drug cartels, dairy cows, a radio voice like sex on buttered toast, and squirrels. Lots and lots of squirrels.
I have no definite publication date yet, but it should be some time this summer. Catch it upon its release and finally learn the answer to the question: “How is karma like a squirrel in a blender?”
And now for a slightly related musical interlude:
Dystopian apocalyptic fiction has been the rage for quite some time now, especially since it started playing out on CSPAN. The End of the World seems to be running in a bit of a rut, so here are a few new things I’d like to see:
In the last few moments of civilization, all the hipsters rent those little electric scooters to flee the city centers. They zip between the gridlocked vehicles and make wide arcs around the stampedes of panicked pedestrians. True to form, they maintain that complacent, perfectly erect posture all scooter riders affect. Their ennui-filled gaze is fixed straight ahead as they either escape the blast radius or are swallowed up in roiling clouds of toxic debris and fallout.
Authors have depicted the rebuilding of society by everything from rogue militias to the Society of Creative Anachronism. I’m figuring one abuela with a flip-flop could whip everyone into shape for a radius of a mile or two.
Most apocalyptic landscapes are littered with abandoned cars. Why hasn’t anyone gotten a bunch of Bubbas to push them into a ring around their sanctuary? Once they’re in place, remove tires, fill the carcasses with earth one bushel basket at a time, and build an earthworks ramp up to the next level. Repeat as necessary. Sharpened stakes and the crucified bodies of telemarketers should dissuade invaders.
I just once want to see the guys mowing the lawns after the zombie apocalypse.
You would think there would be some enterprising person who would take over a bunch of construction equipment and bury a Walmart under six to twelve feet of reinforced dirt or concrete. A Dollar Tree if time and resources are tight. Everything needed to rebuild Suburban America would be right there, safe from alien invaders and fallout.
If you are the type that likes to see a new and entertaining End Times adventure, you could pick up my latest book “The Ren Faire at the End of the World.” I set up the ultimate battle of Good and Evil, as fought by renaissance faire performers and reanimated roadkill. If you’ve seen that already, or you break out at the sound of “Huzzah”, you could keep an eye out for my latest project “Squirrel Apocalypse”. I’ll let you know who bites on that one.
This is a quick reminder, just in case you forgot, that I will be signing books at Keystone Books & Gifts this afternoon as the Circleville Pumpkin Festival happens all around us.
I will be there from 1 pm to 2 pm, signing Arcanum Faire books, especially The Ren Faire at the End of the World, and discussing my upcoming projects. Squirrel Apocalypse is already under consideration by a publisher, and the Silk Empress, a Steampunk Jonny Quest on an airship along the High Silk Road.
See you there!
In a few hours, Sheldon Gleisser, my literary wing man, and I will be driving down to Kentucky. This is the weekend of the fifth annual Imaginarium Convention.
Once there, we will rub elbows with publishers, editors, writers, and filmmakers. If you are not any of those creatures, but you love good storytelling, you can come on down and rub our elbows, too.
I will be doing panels on Fairytales & Folklore, the Occult, Steampunk, and Costume & Makeup for Filmmaking. I also hope to make contact with a publisher and get some news about the disposition of “Squirrel Apocalypse”. To top off the weekend, Sunday I will moderate the Author’s Reading panel. I will get to read my favorite sequence from the whole Arcanum Faire trilogy.
Sorry for the late notice, fans and friends, but at my age getting up and putting on pants is a noteworthy accomplishment. See you all in Lou’ville! If you make it down, I can tell you how karma is like a squirrel in a blender.