Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shannon Hamann's 'Deathdoubledactyl' is available from Pavement Saw Press

Shannon Hamann's "Deathdoubledactyl" -- that's the cover above -- is now available from Pavement Saw Press. It's the press' eighth and final title for 2011, according to an email I received from them today.

The book has been printed in a limited edition of 1,031 copies. It's 88 pages long and costs $14. Click through the above link for more information and some sample poems, which include lines like the following:
Aground, a skeleton hand clutches a former cocktail.
A complimentary peppermint melts in a burning mouth.
I haven't read the book, so this post is neither a review nor an endorsement. I just like the cover. That said, I've read a handful of Pavement Saw books in the past and haven't been disappointed yet.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My short story "The Northwest Corner" is now available

My short story "The Northwest Corner" is now available for Amazon's Kindle as an ebook download for 99 cents. It's short and sweet, about 20 pages in the Kindle Previewer. Click here to check it out.

Here's the blurb describing the plot:
Ryan desperately needs a book about gargoyles for his history project, and the only thing standing in his way is Ms. Maple, the cranky old librarian. As Ryan finds out, help can come from the most unlikely, and terrifying, of places.
Like my book "The Barrens House," the story is targeted to the young-adult market but would be good scary fun for just about anyone. Also like my book, it includes a gargoyle and a library. I wrote them both around the same time a few years ago, so I must have been on a gargoyle/library kick at the time.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think. Send me an email at simon.a.thalmann [at] with your thoughts.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My book "The Barrens House" is now available

My young-adult horror novella "The Barrens House" -- which first appeared free, chapter by chapter, in an early version on this blog -- is available for purchase as an ebook and in good old print format as well. I don't know about you, but personally I still prefer the latter for anything longer than an average news story.

Here's the back-cover blurb describing the plot:
Danny has reservations about moving the minute he finds out his dad took a job as caretaker of an old estate hours away, in the middle of nowhere. Yet his fears about starting out at a new school and having to make all new friends fade into the background as strange things begin happening in the guest room of his new home. Who is the mysterious young girl appearing in his dreams? And why does he get such frightening chills from the lifelike stone gargoyle that sits on the arch above the gates to the graveyard behind the house? As his family settles in at the ominously named Barrens House, Danny begins to realize not all is as it seems.
Ooo, spooky! It's a short -- something like 88 pages -- but fun read, equally inspired by R.L. Stine's beloved "Goosebumps" series and "Mr. Boogedy," the scariest horror movie for kids of all time. I saw it when I was so young I can't remember my first viewing, and I've never gotten over it.

I've gotten a lot of positive comments relating to the cover of the book, which I crafted from a photo available under a free-to-use license on Click here to see the original, uploaded by morgueFile user driscoll.

Click here to purchase "The Barrens House" in print from for $7 or as an ebook for $1.50.

Click here to purchase the Kindle Edition of "The Barrens House" from for $2.99.

If you do check it out I'd love to hear what you think. Send me an email at simon.a.thalmann [at] with your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Newsweek's mediocre Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe article

God forbid an article about Michelle Williams taking on the role of Marilyn Monroe -- one of the greatest actresses of her time, who died of a drug overdose -- should mention the fact that Williams' former husband -- Heath Ledger, one of the greatest actors of his time -- also died of a drug overdose.

I'd blame the journalist who wrote the article, but as a journalist myself who knows the piece you submit to your editors isn't always the piece that sees print, I'll reserve my judgement.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Williams' people set Ledger's death as a no-no to cover as a condition to allowing Newsweek access to the actress for the piece, but as it seems to me the most interesting bit about the topic it's strange that a publication would agree to ignore it.

It is what it is, which is to say not much.

(The article, that is, not the movie. If anyone sees it and cares to chime in, let me know how it is in a comment.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Conor Oberst and Occupy Wall Street: Where is the next Bob Dylan when his generation needs him most?

Where is the "next Bob Dylan" when his generation needs him most? Well, if you subscribe to the theory that Conor Oberst is the next Bob Dylan, the answer is he's in Australia.

Oberst is no stranger to taking on politics -- his anti George W. Bush ballad "When the President Talks to God," released in 2005, is still available free to download on iTunes -- and the Occupy Wall Street movement seems like it'd be right in line with his Peoples' Champion aesthetic -- in the past he's been an outspoken critic of media conglomerate Clear Channel, for instance, and a voice of support for independent artists.

Yet while the 99 percent are busy scuffling with police in Zuccotti Park -- where a judge ruled today that the city can keep them from bringing back their tents -- Oberst is currently out for the count.

Not that it's Oberst's job, necessarily, to give the movement a voice. But for a generation that could be defined by a movement currently on the brink of a long winter and possible collapse, right now Conor Oberst may be the best hope for a voice -- and after today, some much needed motivation -- that Occupy Wall Street has.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Police attack peaceful U.C. Berkeley protesters

A video uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday showing U.C. Berkeley police and Alameda County sheriff's deputies apparently attacking peaceful protesters on the college's campus Wednesday has gone viral on the Internet and has created questions over whether or not the police used excessive force in attempting to disperse the protesters.

In the video (see above), students are shown attempting to keep the police from disbanding a campus "Occupy" encampment when the police, in riot gear and carrying batons, begin beating the protesters with their batons.

The San Francisco Chronicle quotes U.C. police as saying the human fence the protesters tried to build around the encampment amounted to a violent stance against police, and quotes Capt. Margo Bennett as saying "The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence. I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest."

Other authorities — including the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild — are raising questions over the officers' conduct.

The Chronicle reports that 39 people were arrested at the protests Wednesday, including 22 students and a professor.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ruth Ishbel Munro's "Jacuzzi"

Few things are more thrilling than having a piece of your writing illustrated by a capable artist, and while the story I had published a few years back by Suspense Magazine -- "The Problem with Men" -- never got that treatment, I can think of few more appropriate images than the one above by UK illustrator Ruth Ishbel Munro.

Titled "Jacuzzi," I found the illustration while browsing at Laconic Oration, which never seems to disappoint.

Check out all three -- my story, Munro's art and Laconic Orations vast library of images -- through their respective links. It's certainly my hope that my story will entertain you, but I know for sure that the latter will.