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February 13, 2007

Heart-Shaped Box is Out, Plus a Pimping Thread


Congratulations to my pal Joe Hill, whose debut novel Heart-Shaped Box officially hits the stores today. HSB is coming out both to a volume and quality of reviews most novelists would give eyeteeth for; not entirely coincidentally, it's also one of the best debut novels to come down the pike in a while. It's creepy, it's scary, and it's delightfully well-written, which just makes it even creepier and scarier. Joe sent me HSB a few months ago and I've been sitting on all my squeeful hearty-heartness of this book since then; now I can let it out in an embarrassing gush. Seriously, folks, it's excellent. If you like to get spooked and admire well-written prose at the same time, this is the book.

I'll be interviewing Joe tomorrow for my Author Interview, so you can learn a little more about him then. Incidentally, other upcoming Author Interviews will include Jon Armstrong (who I am behind on in sending questions), Alma Alexander, Hal Duncan, Justine Larbalestier, and some other fun authors with jealous-making books and skills. Yes, I do these interviews so I can suck the knowledge from their skulls. How do you think I've made it so far?

Having gushed about Joe, I now declare this an Open Pimp Thread. Pimp your friends' work! Pimp your own work! Pimp the work of people you don't know but wish to curry favor with for the dread day when the revolution comes! It's all good. And it doesn't just have to be books: pimp any sort of creative endeavor. I like variety.

Remember comments with links may get bumped into the moderation queue. Don't panic; I'll release them at some point.

Posted by john at February 13, 2007 09:23 AM

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Ray | February 13, 2007 09:48 AM

Cheak out my beats..
Hippy Trippy Acoustic Rock

Mind bending Acid trance, Drums and Bass, and Techno

Face Smashing Metal

Jenny Rae Rappaport | February 13, 2007 09:56 AM

Woo-hoo, open pimping!

I hereby pimp Joshua Palmatier's first two books in the "Throne" series, THE SKEWED THRONE and THE CRACKED THRONE... they're excellent fantasy novels about a piece of very unusual furniture.

Also, Steve Berman has his first YA novel, VINTAGE, coming out in April. It's a great story about a lonely gay teen and the ghosts that he meets.

You can order all three books via Amazon, B&N, or your local library.

Steve Buchheit | February 13, 2007 10:13 AM

I've been waiting for Heart Shaped Box. It sound slike a fabulous story. There's a place waiting in my guilt stack for it already. And the buzz, why, it's so loud I can hear it here, with all the plate setters running.

As for pimping, I've got nothing, except what's been covered here before. I guess I need to get out more.

Josh | February 13, 2007 10:15 AM

How timely! I shall take this chance to pimp an article I wrote that was published today. It's designed to help men to prepare a valentine meal for that special someone.

Yes, it's cooking for geeks, complete with step-by-step instructions:


Kit Whitfield | February 13, 2007 10:15 AM

Well, I pimp an exciting internet game that in turn pimps my book: go to http://www.myspace.com/kitwhitfield
... and drive around shooting at wolves. Maybe even buy my book, but certainly have a go at the wolves. Go on, it's exciting. A friend of mine who hates scary films said it gave her nightmares!

claire | February 13, 2007 10:19 AM

i'm pimpin' mark tiedemann's REMAINS, which is up for a nebula. but only because it's a good book. and b/c it takes place on mars.


marrije | February 13, 2007 10:25 AM

I'd like to recommend Dutch writer Adriaan van Dis, who has just published a lovely novel called 'De Wandelaar'. In Dutch, alas, probably not very useful for the Scalzi crowd, and I'm not sure if and when an English translation will appear.

You could always start with his earlier memoir My Father's War for a taste of Dutch families with roots in Indonesia and the Japanese camp experience.

Ray | February 13, 2007 10:35 AM

I tried to pimp my music by I got placed in a moderation queue. So I therefore would like to pimp the Vienna public transportation system.
I can get everywhere safely and quickly.
I would also like to pimp my wife and daughter for being so supportive and hanging in there with me so far away. :)

Sally Lou Liz | February 13, 2007 10:43 AM

Pimping books is fun!!

I'd like to suggest Simon R Green, he writes fantasy, as well as urban fantasy. Good stuff, and quite funny.

Also, I'd like to second Claire's pimping of "Remains". I read it a few weeks ago, and LOVED it. Fun book!

Steve Buchheit | February 13, 2007 10:56 AM

Dang, forgot.

If you haven't read Jeff Ford's Boatman's Holiday, which was in the recent Year's Best Fanatsy and Horror (Datlow, Link, Grant) go out and read it.

John Newmark | February 13, 2007 11:06 AM

With a name like Joe Hill, I'll have to take a look. Solidarity Forever!

Since you say any creative endeavor, I'll pimp a creative endeavor of mine that's free and open for everyone to steal. It's not a book, but an actual new poetic form. I call it The Jenny. (Singular or plural: One Jenny, Two Jenny, Three Jenny...)

The requirements are spelled out on the link above. Here's the first ever published Jenny. Since it was published online, you can read it for free.

I'd be extremely honored if the poetic form caught on. Especially in this 25th anniversary year of the inspiration for this form.

Stephen Mellor | February 13, 2007 11:15 AM

I want to pimp Chaz Brenchley because he is a damn fine writer, an excellent cook and a good friend. He's got a new book (well, an old British book coming out in the States for the first time) called Shelter coming out very soon and it's a damn fine read! He's also got the second volume of his fantasy series coming out in a couple of months and it's absolutely amazing stuff. Go. Read!

Miscellaneous Steve | February 13, 2007 11:22 AM

I recently picked up a novel called Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst. I'd never read Furst before but I'd begun hearing lots of good things about him so I figured I'd give him a read. A WWII spy novel with a feel reminiscent of early John Le Carre. Mmmmm...nice.

Rich G. | February 13, 2007 11:43 AM

Seriously, Chasing Windmills is some of the best video on the Web. Funny, surreal, and impressively acted, despite the fact that none of these people are actually actors.

And that's MY big pimpin' for the day.

ship | February 13, 2007 11:49 AM

i have to pimp market forces by richard morgan, it's not the newest book on the block but i only read it a couple of weeks ago and was floored by it. read it!!!

Adam Lipkin | February 13, 2007 11:52 AM

I'll pimp the wonderful SJ Tucker. Aside from being a damned talented musician (and person), she's of interest here because one of her 2006 albums, For the Girl in the Garden, features songs inspired by (and readings from) from Catherynne Valente's wonderful Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden, subject of last year's 11/1 author interview over at By the Way.

John | February 13, 2007 11:58 AM

Have to second that one on SJ Tucker, also known as Skinny White Chick. I try to catch as many of her shows in the St. Louis area as I can.

David Kirkpatrick | February 13, 2007 12:00 PM

I pimped Caitlin Kiernan's 'Alabaster' and 'Daughter of Hounds' last time, so I won't do that this time. Instead I'll put out a good word for Mark Coggins. He's written three detective novels, in the hard-boiled old-school style. All three ('The Immortal Game', 'Vulture Capital' and the recent 'Candy From Strangers') feature his wonderful PI August Riordan. If you like a good mystery/detective novel in the vein of Chandler and Hammett, check him out. His website is: www.immortalgame.com

KevinQ | February 13, 2007 12:05 PM

Great. Thanks to this post, I actually have competing songs stuck in my head now:

Earl Robinson's I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night v. Nirvana's Heart-Shaped Box

Very strange combination.

In pimpage news, my artist's group, Apollonova has scheduled our first gallery show: at the Doubting Thomas Gallery in Tremont (Cleveland, OH) starting May 11. We expect that 8 of our artists will be represented. We also have prints of our work available on our website (www.apollonova.com, or click on my name above). We're very excited.


Martin Wagner | February 13, 2007 12:13 PM

I'm happy to pimp Edward Humes' Monkey Girl, which is the definitive account of the Dover Intelligent Design trial in late 2005. Reads like a bloody legal thriller, it does.

Ray | February 13, 2007 12:22 PM

One more pimp comment and I am off to read TGB..
My Austrian friend is one of the best artists I have met. Anyone who can earn a living at art HAS to be good.

Eric Berlin | February 13, 2007 12:31 PM

I'm always up for some self-pimping, at least when I have something to pimp. As it happens, I recently posted a new short story. Come and see: http://ericberlin.com/?p=1499

Dan Bailey | February 13, 2007 12:38 PM

Rather than fire off the snarky, tongue-in-cheek pimping of my unfinished novels and unsold short stories, I'm going to pimp the works of my friend, Jennifer Pelland.

Her story, "Blood Baby" was in the most recent issue of Apex, and is pretty creepy modern fantasy. She's had stuff in Strange Horizons, Apex, and so on, and is still working at her first big break. Definitely worth reading.

Dr. Phil | February 13, 2007 12:46 PM

The Internet Review of Science Fiction is a monthly online mag which, surprisingly, reviews SF/F/H. You may need a subscription to view all the articles, but it still seems to be free. The new February 2007 issue has a wonderful article on Dodos, Wooly Mammoths, and Other Erudite Obsessions in the Fiction of Howard Waldrop by Robert Bee, with links to some of Howard's stories online.

If you have never read Howard, you could be in for a real treat. I had to re-read "The Ugly Chickens" online yesterday just because. Howard was at ConFusion in Michigan the other weekend. With Scalzi, Howard, Elizabeth Moon and many other writers in attendance, it was one helluva fun con.

Dr. Phil

Darin C. Bradley | February 13, 2007 12:56 PM

I can't resist a pimping invite!

An e-zine I coedit, Farrago's Wainscot premiered earlier this year, featuring experimental, slipstream, and other forms of "weird." Our contributors include Jay Lake, Hal Duncan, E. Sedia, Eugie Foster, David Lunde, Beth Bernobich, Leah Bobet, Nisi Shawl, Forrest Aguirre, Paul Jessup, Jason Erik Lundberg, and many, many others.

As part of our 2007 exhibit, we're serializing a hypertext novel by Mark Teppo, The Oneiromantic Mosaic of Harry Potemkin. Presented as a twelve-part dream journal, the underlying threads of the narrative consider the mythological origins of language, the personalization of universal symbols, psychopharmacology, and dream narrative—all of which is stitched together via recursive hypertext.

Please to have a look at both.

Adam Lipkin | February 13, 2007 01:05 PM

Dan -- nice timing. I picked that issue of Apex up off the freebie table at Arisia, and read "Blood Baby" less than a week ago. It's damned good, but I hadn't thought to hunt down Jennifer's site.

Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers | February 13, 2007 01:14 PM


My mind, which won't go in a straight line no matter how I haul on the reins, has saddled me with the Grateful Dead's "Box of Rain". Go figure.

As for pimping, I've got nothing recent, but I found a movie called "Code 46" on cable TV (well, actually satellite tv) a few days ago, and was very surprised by how good it was. I was expecting the usual "Tough guy takes on the evil government and wins", which it definitely wasn't. What it was, was an indie film with only two well-known actors. If you see it in the listings, take a look.

jimmiebobobbrain | February 13, 2007 01:21 PM

I want to pimp one of my favorite musicians Matthew Moon. http://www.matthewmoon.com/ very good stuff. My favorite sf mag http://www.helixsf.com/. It's quarterly, so I'm always anxious for the new edition. I want to pimp a book, but the latest author that I'm engulfing right now is scalzi, so that doesn't work, Jim Butcher was the author I read right before. The Dresden Files were very good. The Furies series is pretty good.

Ryan | February 13, 2007 01:31 PM

Some friends and I run a group tumblelog where we post whatever catches our interest. It's fairly low-volume (generally a half-dozen posts per day or so) and has a very high signal-to-noise ratio. Lots of interesting, useful, and funny stuff.


Scott Elyard | February 13, 2007 01:33 PM

I hereby pimp:


Mark DF | February 13, 2007 02:13 PM


My debut novel UNSHAPELY THINGS by Mark Del Franco is now out from Ace. It's an urban fantasy mystery and so far has been well received.

Here's my website: www.markdelfranco.com

Feedback welcome!

John E. | February 13, 2007 02:22 PM

Like Jay-Z, big pimpin'. All books by friends of mine:

- Alternadad, a fresh and funny parenting memoir by Neal Pollack.

- The Big Payoff, a smart and accessible personal-finance guide for couples, by Sharon Epperson. (Coming May 1; get your preorders in!)

- Before the Legend, a fascinating and news-breaking biography of Bob Marley, by Christopher John Farley (Sharon's husband--talented family, that).

- The Faithful Spy, an absorbing post-9/11 espionage thriller by Alex Berenson.

- The Clumsiest People in Europe, a worldwide travel guide as seen through the cockeyed lens of the blinkered 19th-century Englishwoman Favell Lee Mortimer, edited and introduced by Todd Pruzan.


Chad Wright | February 13, 2007 02:32 PM

Well, I'm certainly not above pimping myself.

Hao | February 13, 2007 03:05 PM

I would like to pimp Origami Design Secrets by Robert Lang, fellow Caltech alum.

But if you're only interested in folding complex origami, as opposed to designing your own, I've heard good things about Works of Satoshi Kamiya

Chris Gerrib | February 13, 2007 03:21 PM

Since Scalzi has let slip the dogs of pimpage, I'll mention that I have a science fiction novel which can be read for free on the web. Just click my name and read away!

PixelFish | February 13, 2007 03:51 PM

Okay, I'll pimp my art and designy stuff.

If anybody is looking for some wallpapers for their computer desktop, I have a few available for download:

Anax Junius - Dragonflies. Comes in two versions: dark teal and black/white

Inspiration - It takes six quarts of generic muse to equal the inspiration found in our carton.

See No Evil

And just in time for Valentine's Day: Eye Heart Yew

Eye Heart Yew

If'n you liked those, there are more to be found at my DeviantArt gallery.

Audrey | February 13, 2007 04:30 PM

I'd like to pimp the new sf/fantasy/horror zine I'm working on, called Yog's Notebook. Not just an e-zine--there will also be a print version.

Also, I just returned from Powell's, and in addition to picking up TGB (4th printing! good job!), I got Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's in paperback now (easier on the budget of people who buy books by the armful), and I really liked Forty Signs of Rain, so I'm looking forward to reading this.

Eric Berlin | February 13, 2007 05:02 PM

Hey and wow, someone actually came to my site from here, read the story I was pimpin', and left me a favorable comment.

Scalzi Pimp Threads: They get results!

Bookninja | February 13, 2007 06:24 PM

I want to pimp my good friend Jemiah Jefferson and her vampire novels. Her stated hope is to "take Anne Rice down". Gotta love her. Personally, I like her movie blog the best:
but her official site is fine also:

Simon Haynes | February 13, 2007 08:15 PM

I'd like to pimp Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, who now offer a PDF subscription alongside the regular print issue.

I'd also like to pimp Jim C. Hines novel 'Goblin Quest' - funny stuff, and he still needs people to save Jig from the strippers.

Elyse Grasso | February 13, 2007 09:32 PM

I've got a sort of web-serial started... near-future SF, http://www.data-raptors.com/techlands.
(I am a writer with web-comic envy.) Comments would be very welcome: I've found that the stories get stuck in my head if I don't have a prospective audience.

Dean | February 13, 2007 11:21 PM

Well, guess it could be a creative endeavour: I'm trying to . I suppose that makes it international, too.

Bryan | February 14, 2007 12:03 AM

Ah, what the hell, I might as well.

Click my name, or go here.

Chris Pasley | February 14, 2007 12:33 AM

One new story a month about Internet concepts as applied to social situations, all available for free download under a Creative Commons license.

It's good to be a Pimp.

Sean Lindsay | February 14, 2007 07:16 AM

I'll put on my pimp hat for Simon Haynes, who is too frickin' modest to pimp his Hal Spacejock novels. No. 3, Just Desserts, is out now, and already a bestseller in at least one SF bookstore.

They're hard to get in America, which is as good a reason as any for not living there.

Also pimpage-worthy is Lee Battersby, a man with no shortage of imagination, but is a few diskettes short of a full backup, if you know what I mean.

Oh, and if you know anyone who should stop writing, forward this link and tell them it's reverse psychology.

India | February 14, 2007 09:45 AM

[Adjusts fur-covered pimp hat]

You should go watch my friend and co-group-blogger Deron Bauman's documentary, now streaming from http://deronbauman.com/twca/:

"The World Come of Age is the story of a gay man living in a rural north Texas county coming to terms with his mother's legacy -- the life of a woman who struggled with questions of her own sexual identity in a time and place those questions could not be asked."

cofax | February 14, 2007 08:31 PM

I'd like to pimp a new book by Allyson Beatrice, called Would the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby? It's an essay collection about the wonderful ways the internet can shape communities and friendships and change lives. I've read some of these essays, and they're hellaciously funny, moving, and true. If you ever needed to explain to your friends or family why you spend so much time talking to the invisible people inside your computer, this book is for you.

J.D. Finch | February 14, 2007 10:02 PM

Your basic "coming soon" info page, with some not-so-basic writers:


Thanks John!

Jade Walker | February 15, 2007 08:23 AM

I started reading Heart-Shaped Box yesterday and I'm nearly halfway through already. It's a freakin' fabulous read. Dark. Creepy. Lightning paced. The toughest part is putting it down to get some actual work done.

As for the requested pimping, check out Bev Walton-Porter's new book, "Sun Signs for Writers." It blends "the subjects of writing and astrology in an unusual way that intrigues, motivates, and inspires readers not only to know themselves better in an astrological way, but as creative persons as well."


Andy | February 15, 2007 06:24 PM

1. Pimp this: Heavy - The Story of Metal from VH-1 - whether or not you love the
\,m/ Metal \m,/
- it's a well done documentary worth watching. Personally it was like a time machine that took me back to my early years. I ended up at the music store shortly thereafter picking up first albums from Sabbath, Maiden, Metallica, etc. and remembering how intense that music was (and is).

2. Pimp me: I'm a photographer, and have a website I hope you might visit. http://www.andybatt.com - I post new images frequently, and welcome feedback.



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