At Noir Con a week ago amid the stacks and stacks of books for sale, I found a copy of Scott Phillips' latest novel--a free book entitled Rut. As many of you may know, this book is part of Concord Free Press' go-for-broke social/activist publishing model. Now then, a better and more educated Irish writer of the dark genre can explain the real mission of CFP far better than I can here if you're interested, but me? I'd rather blather on about why I am in awe of Scott's mastery of language and story. The neat trick about Mr. Phillips and all of his books really (I love The Walkaway btw) is that his style of story telling is so acute, so attuned to the failings of the human condition, you easily drift into dangerous stakes before you realize he's bolted the door shut and set the room aflame. Maybe I'm sticking my neck out here, but Mr. Phillips is one of those exceptional authors who struts boldly in the snug shoes passed down by yet another Irish writer who goes by the name of Swift. A stretch comparison? Maybe, but I'm sticking to my guns. Mirth and mayhem and an overcasting pall of multiple tragedies foretold...this, for my money (well, my donation) is satire. Yeah, there's plenty of meatheads fawning over dystopian/apocalyptic bummer texts by the likes of McCarthy, DeLillo and Gibson, but you know what? Those palookas don't make me wet my pants laughing as I wring my hands thinking about the future, hoping (indeed) that the winds don't shift the wrong way.
Don't want anything for Christmas? Tell everyone who's begging to know what you want to order you a copy of Rut from Concord Free Press. Then re-gift the books en masse to a whole new set of friends, area libraries, etc. How's that for the spirit of giving? Keep the donations going. Give and give again.
Again, Mr. Phillips, as a former culinary professional and unashamed Francophile...you had me at squirrel rillettes.
KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir ...as well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.