Next week

Fri 17 Jul 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

we’re going to add three books to this here site. One for November, one for January, one for March. I’d like to take this chance to jump up on the table (and fall off) to say how excited we are about these books. They represent a lot of things we love to do. There are two short story collections and a novel. Two of the writers we’ve published before and one is new to us. I think you’re going to enjoy them. But that’s next Tuesday. And then next Wednesday to Friday — because the universe is funny that way — I will be mostly offline. While I’m away feel free to hit the preorder button so hard it breaks over and over again. What we want is to bring good books to as many readers as possible in as many ways as we can: print, ebook, and audio. We want you to find them in your local indie, online at ebookstores, in the library, in the to-be-read stack at your friend’s house, in that huge megamarket sitting next to the sunscreen so that you can read the best in weird fiction where ever you go.

But that’s next week. And, whisper it, there’s a possibility we have more books coming sooner than expected.

Have you seen LCRW? Lois Tilton has.

But let’s put that all aside for now. In the meantime, here’s Chapter One from a pageturner that is at the printer right now: The Entropy of Bones by Ayize Jama-Everett. Chabi is a character who will stay with you, promise.

Chapter One
The Time I Choked Out a Hillbilly

Last time I’d been this deep in the Northern California hills I was on a blood and bar tour in a monkey-shit brown Cutlass Royale with Raj. Now I was distance running from the Mansai, his boat, to wherever I would finally get tired. From Sausalito to Napa was only sixty or so miles if I hugged the San Pablo Bay, cut through the National Park, and ran parallel to the 121, straight north. About a half a day’s run. Cut through the mountains and pick up the pace and I could make it to Calistoga in another three hours. From downtown wine country I’d find the nicest restaurant that would serve my sweaty Gore-Texed ass and gorge myself on meals so large cooks would weep. The runs up were like moving landscape paintings done by masters, deep with nimbus clouds hiding in craggy sky-high mountains. Creeks hidden in deep green fern and ivies that spoke more than they ran.

Narayana Raj had taught me in the samurai style. You don’t focus on your enemy’s weakness; instead, you make yourself invulnerable. My focus was to be internal. In combat, discipline was all. But in the running of tens of miles, that discipline was frivolous. My only enemy was boredom and memory. Surrounded by such beauty, how could I not split my attention? Nestled in the California valleys, I found quiet, if not peace.

I also found guns. Halfway between Napa and Calistoga, the chambering of a shotgun pulled my attention from the drum and bass dirge pulsing in my earbuds. The woods had just gone dark, but my vision was clear enough to notice the discarded cigarette butts that formed a semicircle behind one knotted redwood. Rather than slowing down, I sped up and choke-held the red-headed shotgun boy hiding behind the tree before he had time to situate himself, my ulna against his larynx, my palm against his carotid. He was muscular but untrained. Directly across from him was an older man, late thirties, dressed for warmth with one of those down jackets that barely made a sound when he moved. His almost Fu Manchu mustache didn’t twitch when he pulled two Berettas on me. I faced my captive toward his partner.

“Wait… ,” Berettas said, more scared than he meant to sound.

Read on

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