Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ron Currie, Jr. Wins Young Lions Award!!

Ron Currie Jr. won the 2008 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award for his debut novel God Is Dead last night! Hosted by Young Lions co-founder Ethan Hawke, the ceremony included readings of the nominated work by actors Amanda Peet, Brian O'Byrne, and Michael Shannon, as well as Hawke.

Big congratulations, Ron!

The other nominees were Ellen Litman (The Last Chicken in America); Peter Nathaniel Malae (Teach the Free Man); Dinaw Mengestu (The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears); and Emily Mitchell (The Last Summer of the World).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

American Idol is now officially just a popularity contest

American Idol is dead to me now. I seriously don't think I'll watch the remaining weeks. What a joke. Jason Castro and Brooke White are still there? Jason is horrible, and he doesn't even give a shit anymore. Brooke was cute and sincere and vulnerable in the beginning; now she is just annoying and frankly not improving week-to-week as champions usually do. Yet Carly Smithson—who I think should have won this competition—gets eliminated, and on her best week to boot. Disgraceful.

AI has always been somewhat of a popularity contest, but that is all it is now. Basically what happened last night was David Archuleta won the competition. There is no more suspense. It's over. No need to watch from here on out. All the dedicated AI fans (like me) are now denied the final Top Two face-off that should have been: Carly vs. David A.

What a joke.

Here is Carly's exit interview

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ron Currie, Jr. Nominated For Young Lions Award

My friend Ron Currie, Jr. is a finalist for the 2008 The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. His fantastic debut novel God Is Dead, soon to be released in paperback by Penguin, has been nominated. This is an award to honor the work of American writers under the age of 35. The award (which includes a $10,000 prize) will be presented by Young Lions co-founder Ethan Hawke on April 28th.

Past winners include Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated; and Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves. This year's nominees are: Ron Currie, Jr. (God Is Dead); Ellen Litman (The Last Chicken in America); Peter Nathaniel Malae (Teach the Free Man); Dinaw Mengestu (The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears); and Emily Mitchell (The Last Summer of the World).

Good luck, Ron! I'll be at the ceremony, and I'll post pictures and the results the next day.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pete Best finally gets his revenge?

Some hoodlum, some terrorist, some down-right evil-doer has beheaded Ringo Starr! Not the real Ringo, but his topiary counterpart. Italian artist, Franco Covill created the life-size Beatles topiary to honor Liverpool's favorite sons, and to celebrate Liverpool's European Capital of Culture status.

But after Ringo made a comment on a BBC interview that he missed "nothing" about the city, he became a target of these evil-doers. Last time someone just squashed his poor little Ringo head; this time the vandals cut it off completely, and absconded with the leafy noggin.

The head is still missing.

Monday, April 07, 2008

"Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!"

One of the classic film lines of all time, from one of my favorite movies, uttered with total disdain by Charlton Heston. (There are many other great quotes here from 1968's "Planet of the Apes.") Heston died Saturday night at the age of 84.

I loved "Apes" as a kid. It was just so cool, so scary, so shocking at the end, when astronaut George Taylor (Heston) finds out he is still on Earth. Everything about "Apes" is great, including the eerie music throughout. I can just hear it now, as Heston's horse approaches the remains of the Statue of Liberty on the beach, and the viewer finds out at the same time the character does that this is Earth, and humans blew their chance at ruling it.

Heston starred in many other classics, including "The 10 Commandments" and "Ben-Hur" (for which he won a Best Actor Oscar®). Then he became the spokesman for gun rights as the president of the NRA. Another famous quote of his was that they'd have to pry the gun "from my cold, dead hands." (I wonder if this came to pass.) But for me, he'll always be George Taylor, the rebellious human fighting the man (er, ape) in "Planet of the Apes." So long, Charlton.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Plastic Soul

If you're a John Lennon fan, you might want to check out this collectible item. An 18" John Lennon action figure—with sound! He actually speaks two phrases: "Power to the people" and "All we are saying is give peace a chance." For ten bucks more you can add on an attachable Yoko Ono figure, also with (screeching) sound. (Just kidding.)
John Lennon 18" Action Figure with Sound

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Into the Sunset reviewed

Mary Akers, co-author of Radical Gratitude, has reviewed my novel, Into the Sunset.

"Into the Sunset is a lively, engaging, romp-of-a-read."

Read the full review here:
Mary Akers

Into the Sunset can be purchased at:

American Cool reviewed

Susan DiPlacido's great collection of stories, American Cool, is reviewed in the April edition of The Short Review. And don't miss the lively interview they did with Susan.

Buy American Cool