Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lonely Souls

I bumped this up from the comments. DeVito has a novella in an ebook.

Lonely Souls

Buy it now!!

'In a strange, violent, debauched future, an assassin confronts a new technology that enables immortality, destroying the value of death, and he begins a quest for oblivion, so goes "Final Kill" by Chris DeVito.

I haven't read it yet, but I know DeVito and if anyone can do strangness, violence and debauchery, it's him!


  1. For the record, I did NOT write that blurb (for one thing, I despise comma splices). And considering that we live in a strange, violent, debauched *present*, why shouldn't the future be that way too?

  2. Thanks for the bump-up, by the way!


    1. No problem. I just wish I had known about it earlier. We went away for Memorial Day to the beach, and it was cold, rainy and miserable the entire time. I brought some books with me to read, but they wound up being pretty disappointing. I could have been reading this instead!

    2. I highly recommend the first story in the book, "Goliath of Gath," by Jan Lars Jensen. Very powerful story. Kind of biblical science-fiction.

  3. I have some news for you too!

    I have a new essay in the May 2013 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction. It's titled "The reality and mythology enveloping Zelazny’s Lord of Light, the FBI, the CIA, and Ben Affleck’s Argo." In that essay I discuss and debunk a number of myths about Zelazny, the novel, the movie, the theme park, the FBI raid, the CIA's use of the script, and the recent movie Argo which altered facts and ignored others.

    The pdf of the issue can be purchased for $2.99 at this link:

    I wouldn't be surprised if the website releases it as a free, featured article. But in the meantime the pdf is the only way to get it.


  4. I have an odd bit of news to share, and lacking a better place for it, I thought I'd post it here, where I last posted some news. This one's about me and isn't about Zelazny, but I thought you'd be interested.

    I'm (sort of) a character in a novel which has just this week debuted at #1 on The New York Times Bestseller List for hardcover fiction. It's THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by multiple award-winning novelist Neil Gaiman. He's one of my top ten favorite writers, and was himself influenced by Zelazny in many ways.

    My wife, children, and I had dinner with him a year ago, and it was during that evening that Neil decided to name one of the characters in this novel after me. He'd owed me the favor of a Tuckerization for several years, and when I reminded him about it, he promptly took out his notebook and wrote my name in it to remind himself. And so I am in the book, sort of. More correctly, a character in the book is named after me, but it really isn't me. Christopher Kovacs is a little boy, a childhood friend of the protagonist. He's mentioned in passing several times and doesn't have a speaking role, but he's there. Originally Neil was going to name a more scurrilous character after me, an opal miner who through his suicide precipitates the entry of evil forces into the world. I'm thankful that he didn't do that. I like being the childhood friend instead.

    Anyway, as I said, it's kind of an odd bit of news, but fun for me at least. It will be a memorable book for me to put alongside the things that I've written and published, most of which are in pubmed or google scholar and not related to science fiction or fantasy.

  5. I think I recall that you mentioned this a while back, in the post about American Gods? That's really neat. I'm glad it came to pass. I have a backlog of Gaiman to read (still haven't read the Graveyard Book, to my ongoing shame), but I'm looking forward to this one.

  6. I actually just came here to make a "random news" comment myself, and--oddly enough--it also involves Neil Gaiman. So apparently I'm at the right post!

    I just met Neil last night (though I certainly didn't "meet" him in the way Chris did--it was just a standard book-signing encounter for me), where I got a copy of THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE. I look forward to reading it, and doubly so now that I know Chris's name is going to be in the book!

    Neil Gaiman is not only in my top ten authors, he's actually number 2 (second to you-know-whom). I'd heard before heading to the event that Neil would sign OCEAN plus one other thing for everyone in line, and I had a hard time deciding what to bring for my secondary signing piece.

    Then one day it hit me, and I realized the *perfect* book:


    That's the one where Neil writes one of the introductions. It's where he talks about meeting Roger for the first time. I love that introduction, because it's my second-favorite author writing about my most-favorite, and it just makes me wish I knew both men personally.

    So I put the book in front of Neil to sign (already opened to the correct page), and he gave it a good long look, trying to figure out what it was. The exchange went something like this:

    Z (while Neil's staring at the page, wondering what the heck he's about to sign): "Signed that one yet today?"

    N: (Reading silently to himself)

    Z: ". . . or *ever*?"

    N: "No . . ."

    This made me happy, because I like the idea of having a signed book that no one else does. I mean, everyone in that building got a signed copy of OCEAN that night, but who has a copy of Roger's Collected Stories #3, signed by Neil Gaiman?

    Me, that's who!

    I then pointed out that he'd said in his introduction he'd given Roger a copy of THE DOLL'S HOUSE upon first meeting him, and proceeded to give him a copy of UNIDENTIFIED FUNNY OBJECTS, which is the only thing I've had published in physical format. Whether his response was genuine or manufactured (I like to think the former, just because Neil is an awesome, classy individual), he gave me a *very* enthusiastic thank-you and made sure I'd marked which story in the anthology was mine.

    All in all, it was a good day.

    (And, in closing, Josh: you need to read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. It's awesome!)

  7. I'm delighted to hear you got Volume 3 of the Collected Stories signed by Neil! He has signed other copies -- in fact at WorldCon in Montreal he made a point of randomly wandering through the dealer's room to sign all of the copies at the NESFA Press table -- but it's certainly not a common item for anyone to ask him to sign.

    I did make a point over the last several years of getting every living contributor to sign my copies of those six books. This includes the editors, all of the 13 introductory essay writers, Harlan Ellison, Ed Greenwood, Trent Zelazny, and the artist Michael Whelan. I think that's everyone. I have tipped-in signed sheets from Zelazny too. Dannie Plachta, co-author on two stories with Zelazny, is someone we could not locate and, as far as we could determine, is long deceased.

    I try not to specify the exact order of my top 10 authors but Zelazny is my #1 and Neil is right up there, along with people like George R. R. Martin, Robert Silverberg, Gene Wolfe, Dan Simmons, China Mieville, Michael Swanwick, Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, Dick Francis, and a bunch of others. In fact if I think about it too closely, my top 10 probably has 15 authors in it, but that fuzzy math is okay by me.

    1. Well, okay--so maybe my book isn't *quite* as unique as I thought. But I'm still very pleased with it! And I should have known if anyone had Neil's signature in that book, it'd be you, Chris--your collection is (and always has been) quite impressive to me!

      Anyway, thanks again for all your hard work putting the Collected Stories together. I don't know what I'd do without it on my shelf! (I mean, aside from the obvious weeping.)