Inhuman Swill : May 2009

What do the Spanish flu and spirit photography have in common? The answer is Luke Bryant—a teenage boy in 1921 rural Nebraska, whose life is changed by both.

Cast a Cold Eye is a novella Derryl Murphy kindly invited me to work on with him several years ago. It took us nearly four years to write, batting it back and forth between other projects, and it's now been close to two years since we sold it to PS Publishing. And while it won't be out for several more months, it's finally, finally available to be pre-ordered.

There'll be two editions of Cast a Cold Eye that I know of—a signed and jacketed hardcover and an unsigned, unjacketed hardcover.

I'll let Derryl himself (via SFScope.com) tell you a little more about the book:

Murphy says, "When we started this story a few years ago, Bill was living in New York and I was in Prince George. We're much closer together now, though, since I'm Saskatoon and he's in Chicago. Cast a Cold Eye is my second collaboration, after the Aurora-nominated short story 'Mayfly,' written with Peter Watts. Bill helped bring a terrific and unique voice to this story, and he also tempered some of my more loopy ideas. Which in this case was a very good thing.

"The story itself takes place in Nebraska just after the Spanish flu pandemic, and involves a teenage boy who lost both his parents to that illness. There's also a spirit photographer, ghosts, spooky graveyards, and a friendly, knowing dog. It didn't occur to me until after we'd finished it, but the story is YA friendly, so if you know of any teens or youngsters who might be interested in this sort of story, keep them in mind."  [full article]

The book will also feature an introduction by Mr. Charles de Lint. Order early and order often!

Does anyone write back-cover copy like this anymore?

SUSPENSE ON A RAMPAGE

      The moment the Interpol agent and his lovely assistants landed in Holland they were in Dutch.
      He was after a drug ring. Who was after him?
      First someone killed his contact.
      Then he ran up against a lethal room clerk.
      Then a bunch of cute Olde Worlde hay dancers went for him with pitchforks.
      Then he got mixed up with some macabre puppet makers.
      It was a Netherlands nightmare—and no waking up.

PUPPET ON A CHAIN

I mean, how could you not pay 95 cents for this book with a come-on like that? The Interpol agent doesn't even need a name! Uncut excitement, baby.

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William Shunn

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