You know the drill, folks. Every month a new book is selected and a new moderator steps up to lead the discussion. This month, we will be reading and discussing We Are Oblivion by Michael Sonbert, yet another member of our community here who has done well for himself.
From the back cover:
Stephen Mansfield, an amnesiac former boxer, is desperately trying to put the pieces of his past back together. Along with his girlfriend, a pregnant prostitute named Fancy, he decides to leave his dilapidated New York apartment in search of anything that will help him remember who he is.
Their world is changed almost immediately, however, when robbed by a band of marauders just outside of Cleveland. Forced to do what they must to survive, they find themselves on a violent, cross-country crime spree.
While on the road and eluding a nationwide manhunt, Mansfield realizes they're not only traveling state to state but through time as well. From conversing with Timothy McVeigh the night before he blows up the Oklahoma City Federal Building, to running from Hurricane Katrina, to Mansfield actually being the second gunman on the grassy knoll, the two repeatedly find themselves in the midst of the most defining moments of the past sixty years.
We Are Oblivion is a nihilistic journey of discovery and destruction. As Mansfield and Fancy travel through space and time they struggle to find love in a world in which they've never truly fit in. But as Fancy's belly swells, Mansfield's memory begins to return. And he wonders if Fancy, the only person he's ever fully trusted, can be trusted at all.
Poland continues to shine with some of the most original and interesting covers for Chuck's books. This time, we actually had the nice people who publish these editions contact us. Apparently they saw my previous post, highlighting their designs, and wanted to inform us of this latest release for Pygmy.
Click above for a higher resolution version of the cover. If you want to see more covers by this publisher, check out their website: http://www.niebieskastudnia.pl/
Then be sure to check out out entire Gallery of book covers. And as always, if you have one that you don't see represented here, send it our way at submissions @ chuckpalahniuk. net.
Within Chuck Palahniuk's 2005 collection Haunted, many fans count The Nightmare Box as their favorite story. The story is about a box people look into, that always shows the same image, yet drives the viewers insane and to commit suicide.
This story (maybe even more so than Guts) also seems to inspire the most creativity from fans, as evidenced by the slew of YouTube shorts online. (here, here and here, to show a few) But now someone has taken this obsession up a notch with this amazing portrait.
As of May 31st, Tell-All, Chuck's thirteenth book, is now out in paperback. I think Random House did a great job with this new cover, which I prefer over the hardback cover. By now most of you have already read it, but if not, here's a quick blurb from Amazon:
Tell-All is many things: A Sunset Boulevard-inflected homage to Old Hollywood when Grand Dames like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford ruled the roost. A Douglas Sirk-inspired melodrama full of big gestures and muted psychic torment. A veritable Tourette's syndrome of rat-tat-tat name-dropping, from the A-list to the Z-list. A merciless send-up of Lillian Hellman's habit of butchering the truth that will have Mary McCarthy cheering from the beyond.
You can order the book from either Amazon, Barnes & Noble or IndieBound by going to our Tell-All book page.
If you want to order the book from either Amazon UK or Canada, check out our store page.
Wanna have some fun? After you buy the book, snap a picture of yourself holding it, while dressed in your best classic film star/starlet costume. Best one gets a prize. We prefer you tweet the pic to us at @chuckpalahniuk.
For three years, Chuck Palahniuk contributed to our ground breaking online Writers Workshop (which he also helped conceive, btw) with 36 writing essays. These are lessons from a best-selling author on how to improve your craft as a writer... the types of lessons they teach in $20,000+ MFA writing programs.
To look back and celebrate these exclusive essays, each month we are "unlocking" one and offering it for free on the site. Normally you would need a Workshop Membership to view these essays, but until you're ready to make that important commitment, we'll offer you one of these a month.
For June, we have Nuts and Bolts: "Thought" Verbs, an essay that explains the maxim, "Show, don't tell..." Discover how to strengthen your prose by unpacking abstract and static verbs into descriptive action.
Someone ask me why I keep posting these? I guess with this latest, I just respect the fact that these guys went out and did something. Plus, they look like they had fun making this. And hell, the one dude even shaved his head.
Check out 'Cuddle Club,' a shot for shot remake (albeit, with some actual stolen shots) of the Fight Club trailer.
Credit for this find goes to SlashFilm.
In the past two days our Twitter feed (@chuckpalahniuk) has exploded with a breaking story coming out of Turkey. It seems The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into the book Snuff and is calling for all copies to be confiscated. Here's more:
The Istanbul Press Prosecution sent a notice which includes a report from the Council for Protecting Minors from Explicit Publications to Ayrıntı Publishing. In the notice, the novel is accused of “abusing sexual instincts” and “incompliance with moral norms.”
Ayrıntı Publishing, the publishers behind the Turkish translation of Snuff, are defending the book in their testimony. Editor Abdullah Yılmaz though, thinks there is a bigger issue at the heart of this matter:
“Sexuality is a matter that is related to any kind of social structures, including culture and religion,” said Yılmaz, adding that even violence against women occurred because of sexual problems.
As most of you diehards out there should know by now, Chuck is a big fan of Ira Levin. Haven't heard of him? Well shame on you. The man wrote some of the classic horror novels of the 1970's. Rosemary's Baby, The Boys From Brazil and The Stepford Wives, to name a few. And don't forget that Diary was directly influenced by Levin, to the point that he even provided a blurb for the book.
"Just for the record, Diary is as hypnotic as a poised cobra. Chuck Palahniuk demonstrates that the most chilling special effects come not from Industrial Light and Magic but from the words of a gifted writer." - Ira Levin
And in Stranger Than Fiction, Chuck called Levin's writing "a smart, updated version of the kind of folksy legends that cultures have always used." So yeah, the two men seem to have admired each other. In the above video, both Chuck and fellow Portland writer Chelsea Cain (Heartsick) wax nostalgia and influence from Levin's legacy.
Check out this cool book cover design for Survivor, one of Chuck's most beloved earlier titles. It was designed by Ryan Harris.
Click for larger version
You can see more of Ryan' work at his portfolio site: http://ryanharris.posterous.com/
And as always, if you have your own fan covers to contribute, please contact us at submissions @ chuckpalahniuk. net.
Last Chance for Art of the Short Story Intensive Class at ChuckPalahniuk.net
Update: This class is full. Congratulations to everyone who acted early to secure a spot. Prepare to grab your gear and strap in.
Art of the Short Story - beginning April 18th - is a highly specialized intensive six-week class with six mind-blasting units designed to impart vital craft knowledge in record time. These units work together synergistically to take any serious writer to a new level of story crafting proficiency. The teaching material has been synthesized through years of study and through the accumulated wisdom of several amazing mentors. But I've boiled down all of my best lessons into the core competency areas for compelling short ficiton. Each piece is essential and interconnects. You get all of the high protein fuel and none of the filler.
The magic doesn't happen automatically, of course. You shouldn't jump in if you're not good about finishing things or you've got almost 9,000 responsibilities this spring and your regard for this opportunity will place class participation at 8,999 on your priority list, right after "catch up on favorite TV shows." But if you understand that nothing good will come your way without hard work, then I invite you to join the remaining few who will get this chance. Your dedication means more to your success than your track record or where you currently rank yourself as a writer.
I won't be teaching Art of the Short Story again in the summer. I won't be teaching it in the fall. And there's a very good chance it won't be offerred here again. That's largely because of a new professional role that will be full-time for me starting mid-summer, a role that probably won't allow the dedicated time necessary. So, if you want to get the best of what I've learned through twenty years as an adult student of story craft, the latest seven burning it up right here as Workshop Administrator and Master Class Facilitator for ChuckPalahniuk.net, then please keep reading and click that registration link today. Also, pass this along to a friend.
-Mark Vanderpool read more »