Inhuman Swill : Page 9
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Twitter Book Giveaway Day 3

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It's Day 3 of my Twitter book giveaway!

For your chance to win one of 10 advance reading copies of The Accidental Terrorist, check out the giveaway rules, then head over to @shunn on Twitter to respond to the discussion question of the day.

US residents only. Good luck, and enjoy the discussion!

Full entry

Twitter Book Giveaway Day 2

| No Comments

It's Day 2 of my Twitter book giveaway!

For your chance to win one of 10 advance reading copies of The Accidental Terrorist, check out the giveaway rules, then head over to @shunn on Twitter to respond to the discussion question of the day.

US residents only. Good luck, and enjoy the discussion!

Full entry

Elder Shunn sets Mormon history on fire
Every Monday through Friday, this week and next, I will be giving away one uncorrected advance reading copy of my new memoir, The Accidental Terrorist, to a lucky follower on Twitter. Here's how it will work:

  1. Follow @shunn on Twitter.
  2. At 9:00 am EDT each giveaway day, I will post a discussion question related to the book. Watch for it. (The question will be repeated two more times each day.)
  3. Tweet your answer to the question that day. Be sure to include the hashtag #AccidentalTerrorist. Yes, this will only leave 119 characters for your response, so be brief! (You do not need to reply directly to @shunn in your tweet.)
  4. Each day's giveaway ends that night at midnight EDT. Get your response in before then to qualify.
  5. The following morning, I will choose my favorite answer. I will DM the winner to arrange shipping the book.
  6. One book per user! If you've already won, you are not eligible to win again, though you can feel free to continue answering.
  7. Sorry, but United States residents only. Shipping books to other countries is expensive.

Have fun! And good luck!

Full entry

@NewNameNoah with The Accidental Terrorist
Greetings, Accidental Army! It's been a busy couple of weeks here at Accidental HQ. I spent a full week signing, packing, and mailing nearly 200 copies of The Accidental Terrorist to those of you who pre-ordered it, and now I'm watching the USPS tracking info like a mother duck. About three quarters of the books have reached their destinations already. I expect the rest to get there in the next day or two.

Along the way, a wonderful little meme arose spontaneously, with recipients posting pictures of themselves with the freshly arrived book to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. I love this. One of my favorites, from Twitter user @NewNameNoah, is pictured here. If you feel like joining in, please do. Use the hashtag #AccidentalTerrorist.

Now, a giveaway! Two giveaways, actually. First off, I'm giving away 10 uncorrected advance reading copies of The Accidental Terrorist on Goodreads. You must be a Goodreads member to participate, and 10 winners will be selected randomly from all those who enter.

  • Goodreads Book Giveaway for The Accidental Terrorist
  • Full entry

    Is there a religious equivalent to the term "civil disobedience"? As in, a term for defying one's church leaders when you find their edicts unjust or immoral? Something more warm-sounding than "heresy"?

    Oh, well. For lack of a better term, I'd like to challenge a Mormon bishop to commit heresy.

    Before I get to that, I'd like to talk about the Boy Scouts for a minute. I was very happy last month that the LDS Church decided not to sever its ties with the Boy Scouts of America over the issue of permitting troop sponsors to allow openly gay men to serve as Scoutmasters.

    Full entry

    Good news, Accidental Army! (That's what I've been calling you in my head for some time now. I hope you don't mind.) Last night I reviewed and approved final proofs from my printer, and I placed the first official order for The Accidental Terrorist. Printing is underway! The first copies should reach me in a week or so.

    If you pre-ordered the signed hardcover, I'll probably be spending the bulk of my remaining evenings this month stuffing books into boxes and padded envelopes and getting them back out in the mail. I'm going to start with those of you who are farthest away—yes, that means you, Rev. Ould!—working my way through the buyer list from the U.K. to Canada to the West Coast and so on, with my fellow New Yorkers saved for last. That way, hopefully everyone will get their orders at about the same time.

    God, I can't wait to get these books to you. Thanks for being so patient, friends.

    Full entry

    William Shunn, photographed by Colin Poellot at SingleCut Beersmiths, Sunday, August 16, 2015
    So I had dinner the other night with Paul Witcover, the brilliant speculative fiction writer whose books you should be reading—and who happens to be copy-editing The Accidental Terrorist for me. I'm happy to report that he reported he was well over halfway through the book.

    In fact, last night Paul emailed me what he had so far so I could get started on my corrections. It turns out he's more like 80% of the way through.

    What does that mean? It means we're very close, kids. We're very close to having an absolutely finished book. It means we're probably about a week away from when I can place my order for the first batch of hardcovers, and that means I will absolutely be getting signed books out to my gracious early supporters before the end of September. I couldn't be more delighted.

    In other book news, what you see above is my more-or-less-official author photo for the book jacket. It was taken by my friend Colin Poellot, quite an accomplished photographer. We have a couple of his prints hanging on our walls, and we thought he'd be the perfect choice for a jacket photo.

    Full entry

    The articles are beginning to pile up in my queue again, so it's time to clear them out and fill you in on some of the fascinating things happening in the world of Mormonism...

    What do Utah Mormons have in common with the Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn? According to this fascinating Time article by Jon Birger, both religious communities are in matchmaking turmoil thanks to an excess of single women.

    The wide-ranging piece is excerpted from Birger's new book Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game, and it explains how the gender imbalance has arisen in both populations, and what unexpected consequences have followed.

    Full entry

    I've been making work overtime as I mail out a ton of advance reading copies of The Accidental Terrorist, and it's beginning to pay off. My little book—okay, okay, it's not so little—is attracting some crucial early bits of critical attention.

    Most gratifying, the first actual review to be posted appears at the web site of the Association for Mormon Letters. The AML is a pretty important organization out west for promoting LDS-related titles, and with a book like mine I was rather nervous about what their reaction would be. But reviewer Richard Packham turned out to be a most sympathetic reader. You can read his review in full here.

    I have a couple of advance quotes in hand as well, so the blurbs that will appear on the cover are beginning to take shape. They will likely consist of the three quotes below, though I'll have to do more compressing so the cover isn't overwhelmed by text:

    “This just may be my favorite true-life amazing-but-true tale—never has threatening an aircraft been funnier or more thought-provoking.”
    —Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Homeland
    Full entry

    Mormon's Secret Men's Magical Mesh Top
    Not many people outside of Utah may be aware of it, but a controversy is brewing—and it has to do with Mormon underwear.

    Specifically, it has to do with the portrayal of Mormon underwear on network television. As reported by Scott D. Pierce of The Salt Lake Tribune, next month's premiere episode of the new ABC series "Quantico" will feature a scene in which a young FBI recruit appears on screen in only his "garments," the sacred underclothes that many Mormons wear next to their skin.

    Why is this controversial? It's not like garments are very racy, since they're meant to cover the body from the shoulders to the knees. (I, in fact, find them downright offputting, though I'm sure garments have their fetishists.) The problem is that most Mormons consider garments—which are stitched with arcane though unobtrusive symbols meant to remind the wearer of covenants made in the temple—to be sacred, and not intended for the prying eyes of outsiders.

    This apparent secretiveness and sensitivity about garments has made them ripe for mockery. Most people, even if they know nothing else about the church, "know" that Mormons wear "magic underwear" to protects them from physical and spiritual harm. One of the most frequent questions I get, in fact, when someone finds out I'm a former Mormon, is: "Is it true about the magic underwear?"

    Full entry
    William Shunn