Tuesday, April 24, 2007

COMING SOON: The Very Bloody Marys (reviewers wanted)

He’s the only vampire cop around—and a gang of Vespa-riding vampires threaten to drain San Francisco dry!

Big trouble at night in the city. A gang of Vespa-riding vampires are killing San Franciscans so indiscriminately they threaten to not only drain the city dry—but risk the discovery of vampires everywhere. Gay vampire cop Valentino is called upon to stop the group calling themselves The Very Bloody Marys before the situation gets worse. Unfortunately, it already has. You see, Valentino is still only a trainee who is in way over his head now that Pogue, his mentor, is missing. And this brutal gang is tough, smart, and very, very bloodthirsty. To do his job, Valentino must move quickly—and carefully—otherwise he may just get himself killed. What can a creature of the night do? The only thing he can, track the gang through the haunts of some very odd characters, unravel the mystery, and try to stay out of the sun. The Very Bloody Marys is a comic horror novel about vampires, ghouls, faeries, and the undead that move around after dark. Part chase, part gallows humor, part shivery excitement, this new story from the wildly imaginative M. Christian is funny, frightening, and very entertaining.

“M. Christian is a hybrid artist and knockout stylist on the order of Jonathan Lethem. HARD-BOILED, SHARP-EDGED, FUNNY AND FIERCE.”
—Jim Gladstone, author, The Big Book of Misunderstanding

“Combines several of M. Christian’s strengths, writing queer and supernatural/horror fiction, with only occasional touches of his other strength, erotica. Vampire protagonist Valentino is a reluctant trainee in the supernatural international law enforcement organization, Le Counseil Carmin. He half-heartedly assists his mentor, Pogue, in enforcing the rules in San Francisco that is, until Pogue goes missing and Valentino must strive to rise to the occasion to rid the City by the Bay of trouble in the form of The Very Bloody Marys and a deadly faery or two, using what he recalls of his training and the limited resources at his disposal. Readers will never view night life in San Francisco quite the same way. A WELCOME ADDITION TO THE VAMPIRE NOIR GENRE.”
—Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego

Publication Date: July 1, 2007.
Available: Available Spring 2007.
$12.95 soft. ISBN-13: 978-1-56023-535-4/ISBN-10: 1-56023-535-7
Pages: Approx. 192 pp.
LC#: 2006035688
Categories: Gay Male, Fiction and Literature; Horror
Web: http://www.HaworthPress.com/store/product.asp?sku=5329

For a pre-publication review copy contact M.Christian:


Monday, April 02, 2007

Reflection's Edge Likes Filthy

Mathilde Madden over at Reflection's Edge has a very nice review of Filthy:
What makes a good short story? Felice Picano, in his forward to Filthy offers some of the more traditional takes: a deft handling of voice, of place, of character. But really, what makes a good short story - what makes a great short story - is a truly good idea.

Luckily for Christian – and luckily for us – truly good ideas are not in short supply in this collection.

A perfect example comes in "Sunset Boulevard," one of many tales that puts a queer twist on an old story. Christian, riffing brilliantly on the campness of the original movie, recasts the central fading screen siren as an aging gay porn star. And it might seem risible to allow the gloriously queeny Norman Desmond to intone, "I am big. It's porno that got small," but Christian pulls it off.

Christian isn't shy of a little shameless genre straddling with his startlingly imaginative ideas either. In "The Hope of Cinnamon" we enter a future world in which gay men have mastered the art of time travel in order to save their queer brothers from oppressive regimens of the past. But this tale is also a good example of how the short story format can be frustrating for the reader when presented with such a dazzling concept as this one. The idea is simply too big for the form. The problem presented – that the rescued men cannot cope with a life in nirvana – isn’t so much explored as thrown at us before we are hustled away for the next story.

This is where the book wears thin. The stories in this book are short, averaging ten pages of in-out wham-bam. After a while it starts to feel like Christian is torturing his readers, deserting his unsatisfied readers for fresh thrills before they have quite achieved emotional climax. Too much is left undone and unsaid. This collection could have featured just the five best ideas – including the wonderfully disturbing quasi-religious "Friday Night at The Calvary Hotel" – and served up five wonderful novellas.

In the final story – the most enjoyable of the whole collection – Christian once again attempts a daring feat and pulls it off neatly as he spins us a tale of a young gay reader so besotted with an author of outrageous gay erotica he takes a pilgrimage to his grave. Angered by his discovery en route that his hero was in fact in a relationship with a woman, he means to urinate over the author's last resting place, but ends up recalling too many of the author's purplest passages and doing something entirely different. It is no surprise when Christian reveals the name on the headstone of this soiled grave.

While Filthy is a wonderful book, and just the thing if you are in the mood for an enjoyable quickie (or twenty), it's not the place to turn if you are more in the mood for a story that can go all night.