So late last month, my novel A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder (or, as we lazy folks refer to it, Crows) picked up a review over on Amazon.com. That makes two (count ’em!) Amazon reviews for this book since it was published in 2002. At this rate I’ll be hitting the magic number of, oh, say, 50 reviews, somewhere just shy of halfway through the millennium. Of course by then everyone will be reading their books under the sea on their waterproof devices, and Crows will be classified as science fiction because it takes place on dry land, but hey. Genres shift.
So this week I’m about halfway through Hallowed Ground, and at this point authors Steven Savile and David Niall Wilson have sufficiently muddied the waters that I’m not entirely sure who the bad guys are. Is it The Deacon and his band of revival/freak show misfits? Is it the mysterious traveling snake oil purveyor Balthazar? Is it both? Hmm, I bet it’s both. Oh, and there seem to be people around who can turn into crows.
So this week I’m reading Hallowed Ground by Steven Savile and David Niall Wilson, in which a questionable (is there any other kind?) old West preacher called the Deacon sets up a revival tent in a gulch outside the little town of Rookwood.
As I mentioned last week, I’ve been working on a new edition of A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder that, among other things, restores the infamous missing epilogue, plus fixes various issues with the layout from the most recent edition, which was a scan produced by BookSurge of the original DarkTales edition of Crows. This edition is now available at my Lulu storefront and should become available at Amazon.com and other outlets over the next few months. I also plan to do a Kindle edition once the ISBN and distribution is finalized. In the meantime, please visit my Lulu store and check it out there!
So I finally got around to watching Resident Evil: Extinction on one of the free movie channels … and wow, I’m sure glad I didn’t pay any money to see it. I thought the first Resident Evil was mediocre but watchable, and actually rather liked the second one. The third one? Not so much.
Rather than use my usual rating system of how soon it would put my wife to sleep (which would be: Immediately if not sooner), I’m going to revert to the “Things I Learned From This Movie” format that I stole from badmovies.org and that I use occasionally. Ready? Let’s begin.
The votes are in and the readers’ choice for a “scene of the month” is A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder, which squeaked in ahead of Dragon Stones by one vote. Pulling down a copy of Crows off the shelf and flipping through it to a random page, I now present not one scene, but two, back-to-back; because that’s how we roll around here.
Together, these two scenes form the pivotal section of Crows that could be described as “the part where everything starts going straight to hell”.
I’m not sure if they’re looking for royalties from A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder (hey, guys, I made hardly any money off it), or if they want to have a chat with me about how the crows were portrayed (call my agent … oh, wait, I don’t have one anymore), or if there’s just a lot of yummy garbage in the neighborhood. Let’s hope it’s that last one.
“Me and the boys would like to talk with you about that book you named after us …”
As originally written, “A Flock Of Crows” had a brief epilogue. Because of length considerations, the publisher cut a lot of material, including the epilogue. At least one reviewer then mentioned that he thought the book would have benefited from the inclusion of an epilogue (and I was like, “See, DarkTales?”) Now, through the magic of the Internet, you can read the missing epilogue and decide for yourself if it improves the ending.
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
Not merely the answer to a trivia question, this was the first novel I had published. It was actually the third horror novel that I wrote, after an unpublished (but still good!) vampire novel and the infamous (in some circles — very, very small ones) NIGHT WATCHMAN. Currently out of print, CROWS will soon be reissued by Amazon.com’s BookSurge imprint.
He plowed into her, bore her backwards onto the bed. He was trying to kiss her; his lips, dry and cold and leathery, brushed hers, then mashed against them. She squirmed beneath him, trying to break the contact, but his hands shot up and gripped her head like the edges of a vise.
His mouth opened, forcing hers to open, too. She felt the first clammy, sticky bubbles of slime coming out of his throat, dribbling into hers. Salty mucous, gunk. She couldn’t breathe; he had gummed up her nose with snot, her mouth was full of it.
He wanted her to swallow, that was it; swallow, and breathe, and be like him …