Tuesday, May 29, 2007

2 New Books from Rebel Press

Rebel Press is pleased to introduce the latest in its publishing rebellion, two new titles by rebel writers Susan DiPlacido and Donald Capone.
Available soon at Barnes & ( • •

ENTER the world of AMERICAN COOL, where risk, rejection, and romance are played to win. When characters meet every roll of the dice with grit, humor and determination, is it enough to change the stakes? AMERICAN COOL is Susan DiPlacido's first collection of short stories.

DiPlacido is the author of three novels: 24/7, Trattoria, and Mutual Holdings. Her short story, “I, Candy” won the Spirit Award at the 2005 Moondance International Film Festival ("I, Candy" is included in American Cool). Her novel Trattoria was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Small Press Romance. Her short fiction has appeared in Best American Erotica 2007, Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica vol. 6, Caramel Flava, and Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction. Visit her online at and

WHEN a thirty year-old bachelor disguises himself as an old man to live in The Sunset, a retirement community, will everything go as smoothly as planned? Of course not! His elderly love interest becomes suspicious of his under-cover-of-darkness-only lovemaking, his neighbor wants to experiment with Viagra®, the head of security is more interested in extortion than security, and the woman who runs the community may be on to his scheme. Can Wayne survive old age?
INTO THE SUNSET is Donald Capone's first novel.

Capone's stories have appeared in Edgar Literary Magazine, Word Riot, and Thieves Jargon, as well as the anthologies See You Next Tuesday and Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction. Visit him online at

Read the prologue to INTO THE SUNSET

I'll post again when the books are on sale!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bjork Volta

After the experimental departures of Vespertine and Medulla, Bjork is back to her classic sound with VOLTA, her fantastic new CD. Volta features a 10-piece horn section that is used to great effect throughout, especially at the end of instant-favorite lead-off track "Earth Intruders," where the horns emulate ship fog horns of an Icelandic harbor. This leads into the beautiful "Wanderlust," which starts with the lyric I am leaving this harbour, Giving urban a farewell. At this point in the CD, I'm ready to take the journey with her.

"The Dull Flame of Desire" is next. Here Bjork duets with New York singer Antony. The song is a bit too long, and it has taken me a while to get used to Antony's strange voice, but overall it is a good, slow love song with smooth horns and wistful lyrics. Definitely a song that grows on you. "Innocence" picks up the pace with its catchy techno beat. Rarely of late has a CD--by anyone--started out with such an amazing quartet of songs. The sound is fresh, modern, and shows a re-invigorated Bjork.

After catching your breath from these four tracks, "I See Who You Are" will have you marvel at Bjork's downright ability to compose a song. It features Min Xiao-Fen on pipa, a traditional Chinese string instrument (like a sitar) that has to be heard to be appreciated. It's almost enough to inspire some air-pipa playing!

"Vertebrae By Vertebrae" and "Pneumonia" are next; they are good, solid filler tracks. "Hope" is next, and is one of my favorite songs on the CD. What's the lesser of two evils? Bjork ponders, as she muses on the state of the world, and what would drive a pregnant suicide bomber to commit an act of terror. She concludes with the thought Well I don't care, Love is all, I dare to drown To be proven wrong. The song ends with more harbor horns, before kicking into the foot-stomping "Declare Independence," a crunchy, techno song--the exact kind that I love from Bjork. This song, along with "Earth Intruders" and Post's "Army of Me" will easily keep my speedometer at 80 if I happen to have them on in my car while driving.

"My Juvenile" closes out the CD. Antony is featured again, though more subtlely. Bjork sings this song to her first child, whom she feels she may have let go too soon: Perhaps I set you too free, Too fast, Too young. Antony, singing in response as Bjork's son: But the intentions were pure. But the intentions were pure.

Bjork is probably the only recording artist left who is doing her own thing, not a slave to the whims and wants of a record company. She is a true artist who is only concerned with her art, and making the music that she wants, with whom she wants. There is not much of that left in the medium of rock music. Volta is a classic CD by a phenomenal artist.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Roger Morris' "Taking Comfort"

Rob Saunders just wants to feel safe, but the world is a dangerous place.

Rob Saunders is the lead character in this stylish novel by Roger Morris. After witnessing a suicide one morning, Saunders impulsively picks up the notebook the girl dropped, and is strangely comforted by the presence of this souvenir in his briefcase. But as we read further into the book, we learn that Saunders is not the only character who finds comfort in routine, in physical objects, in hopes and dreams that may never be realized (yet are always on the horizon).

Every character in this book is affected by--and witness to--Saunders' movements in his daily life, and in fact, through use of different POVs, we know what they are thinking and feeling, know how they react to Saunders' increasingly obsessive actions as he seeks out more and more tragedies (and souvenirs), and know what their own quirks and "comforts" are. People crave their routines, while also yearning to break out of their ruts and do something exciting or spontaneous. Conversely, if their routine is upset, they feel lost. But how can one feel safe and comforted in this increasingly unsafe new world of terrorism, climate change, and suicide bombers anyway? That's the question Morris poses.

As the story progresses, Saunders' desire for more and more comfort drives him (ironically) into more and more dangerous situations. In the end, something has to give. Morris' use of short chapters and different character POVs really keep the pace of this novel fast, as each chapter flows perfectly into the next. If you are looking for a quick, engrossing, different book to read, I highly recommend Roger Morris' Taking Comfort.