The Abysmal Brutes take a look at how short fiction magazines cultivate readers. Is it better to offer free content? Or should readers pay for the fiction they want? How do we support all the magazines and anthologies that come out every month? Even if we bought everything we could afford, how can we read all of these great works of fiction? There are a lot of questions to mull over in building a lasting readership. We don’t have all the answers. We’re just a couple of Pop Culture loving bums doing our best to support creators in this age of non-stop story streaming venues.
Music: Matt Mitchell Project "Life in Stereo"
"Slow Bear" by Anthony Neil Smith is full of dark humor and vile characters. Some trying to do the right thing. Whatever that means to them. Take ex-rez cop Micah “Slow Bear” Cross, the one time he attempted to be a hero he got his damn arm shot off. Hell if he’ll play the hero again. The Abysmal Brutes review Anthony Neil Smith’s wonderfully noir novella from Fahrenheit 13. Rob digs all the effed up characters and cinematic action. Bill wishes he could write hard-boiled prose so smoothly. We want more tales of Slow Bear to read and so will you after reading “Slow Bear”
Music: This Town by Matt Mitchell Project
Do you like unapologetic fiction about stolen memories, cyber- augmented guns for hire, synthetic Femme Fatales, super soldier war vets, cyborg bad betties, and finders of lost souls? Switchblade Magazine launched a special TechNoir issue that pumps fresh neon blood into the dystopian cyberpunk genre. Editor Scotch Rutherford torqued his creative engine to make TechNoir a giant double magazine as well with an assist from brother publication Pulp Modern. These Blade Runner-esque magazines get the Abysmal Brutes seal of approval. Rob rallies everyone to support risk-taking independent and small press publications. Bill applauds the quality of fiction and the beauty of the magazine design. Check out this episode for a spoiler-free review of Switchblade Magazine TechNoir.
Sitting in your email inbox is the thirty-sixth rejection for “King Kang Lives!” You sent it to every short story magazine and anthology the submission database offered. Some have received the story twice after a couple of rewrites. What the Hell is wrong with them? What the Hell is wrong with your story? Is it time to put it in the Trunk with the other rejects? The Abysmal Brutes mull these questions over in their latest episode. All you need is one magazine, one editor, one reader to believe in your story.
Music: Matt Mitchell Project “Top of the World”
You’re not that funny and no one cares how many fur babies you have. In this episode, the Abysmal Brutes take on their most controversial subject yet…the author's bio. That little author bio at the end of the story that identifies you to the reader can be illuminating or render you a laughing stock. And that is something completely in your control. Slow down and treat your bio with as much respect as you do your other writing craft. Self-deprecation can be good but in small doses. Less is more in the Abysmal Brutes' humble opinion.
Special Alert: If you correctly count how many times Rob yawns in this episode and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org , we will send you a prestigious No-Prize*
Music: Matt Mitchell Project “This Town”
*the Abysmal Brutes have no authority to present the so mentioned No-Prize as Marvel Comic’s lawyers have so succinctly warned us in multiple letters.
When someone asks you what you do at a party, what do you tell them? Do you tell them you are a writer or do you tell them you sell widgets for the Acme Corporation? The Abysmal Brutes converse on establishing your self-identity as a writer. We reveal how other writers established their identities. Rob jabbers on about “Creative Quest” by Questlove and “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. Bill compares his identity to a hollow chocolate Easter bunny. But he's no nihilist dammit! How do you want to be known as a writer? Only you have the answer but the Abysmal Brutes provide some guiding questions.
Music: Matt Mitchell Project “Life in Stereo”
“I don't know why Hollywood is fascinated by my book when they never care to film it as I wrote it,” said Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend. With the giant thud that was the ending of Game of Thrones on HBO fresh in our minds, the Abysmal Brutes thought it would be interesting to explore what happened. Is the novel, novella, short story or comic book inherently incompatible with film or TV? Alan Moore, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and many others have had their work adapted to the cinematic medium. Where the creators as happy as the audience? Bill and Rob jibber jabber about all perspectives on their latest episode.
Music: Matt Mitchell Project "Top of the World"
The Abysmal Brutes are back with a vengeance! Life issues caused us to take a longer than wanted hiatus. As we always say life intrudes but you have to make the time to write. This episode we catch up on what we have been reading and writing since our break. We rap about mystery series, value of research and literate tough guys. Writers name-dropped are Ken Bruen, Robert Crais, Larry Correia, S.A. Cosby, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Gabino Iglesias, Ed Brubaker, Laird Barron, Hampton Fancher and Joe R. Lansdale. Rob and Bill share their recent writing success. Bill published “Shakedown in Deadtown” at Close 2 the Bone. Rob got his sci-fi yarn “Sundown” accepted for Switchblade Magazine’s upcoming Tech Noir issue. So go forth faithful listeners and make the time to claw, bleed and create.
Produced by Phyllis Jean Wertenberger
Music: Matt Mitchell Project “This Town”
Bang! Does your big fight scene explode off the page? Pow! Or is it boring and drawn out like a bad Saturday Night Live skit? Zing! This show’s topic comes from an article on the Do Some Damage group blog called “Your Fight Scene Sucks, Fight Me!” by David Nemeth. Rob and Bill examine the premise of this article and whether fight scenes suck or are just poorly written. We hit on Don Pendelton’s “The Executioner” novels, sword and sorcery tales, Laird Barron, Frank Bill, Joe Abercrombie, Sam Hawken, Nicola Griffith and Charlie Huston. No punches are pulled on this episode of the Abysmal Brutes!
Music: Matt Mitchell Project "Top Of The World"
Lyrical violence is the currency of the two books reviewed on this episode of The Abysmal Brutes. Frank Bill’s prose in “The Savage” is of the dirt but of the heaven too. In “Blood Standard” by Laird Barron, a new kind of private detective Isaiah Coleridge attempts labours on par with any mythological hero. Both authors stretched their muscles to write something further from their previous fiction. Bill and Rob found both efforts a success and believe you will too. So come listen to us mix metaphors as we review these gritty novels. And beware, spoilers ahead.
Music: Matt Mitchell Project "This Town"