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NEW YEAR NEW THEME

So here’s how behind I am: this site has been running the WordPress Twenty Eleven theme since 2012 or so. Now that the Twenty Twenty-One theme has just shipped, I decided to upgrade to the Twenty Twenty theme.

A few features and differences:

  • A lot more space and readability, with better typography (I think)
  • Much easier to read and navigate on a mobile device.
  • The stuff that used to be in the sidebar has moved to the bottom of the page. Look below to see things like archives, links, recent posts, and all that jazz.
  • I nuked the little “share to social media” stuff because nobody ever used it.
  • There is a privacy policy. This is stupid and useless, but at some point Google will probably ding me points because I don’t have one. Bottom line, I don’t collect data, and don’t sue me.

I think that’s it. Let me know if you see anything obviously broken.

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My New Book The Failure Cascade Is Out Now

I have a new book out. Here’s the link:

https://amzn.to/3r4c2KG

This is another collection of short pieces, like Ranch: The Musical except it’s thirty-four pieces and roughly twice as long. It’s also a bit of a departure because although it contains a few super-short flash pieces, there are also four much longer stories. I felt a need to stretch out some stories a bit, and spend more time in them, so instead of a bunch of sub-thousand word things, there are some that go beyond the 3000-4000 word mark.

This isn’t like a major departure from what I’ve done in the last few books, but it is starting to move away from it. For almost ten years now, I’ve tried this absurdist/gonzo thing, and I feel like I’ve painted myself in a corner a bit. I’ve burned a lot of cycles creating a persona I now can’t stand. I’m not exactly ready to go off and write murder mysteries or tales of martians or anything, but I feel like the part of my personality I’ve mined for stories in all of my books in the 2010s has been stripped away, and I need to start doing something else. I write about this a bit in the title story of the book. I could babble more about it here, but I won’t.

This was a difficult book to pull together. I mean, the problem was this year, 2020, and everything shitty that happened to all of us. I took a little break after Ranch, and when I went off to Vegas in the first week of March, my goal was to hole up in a suite and spend seven days starting to build out this work-in-progress which was to become Atmospheres 2. And just as I got into that, the whole world ended and we got locked down and… well, you know the rest of that story, and it’s still ongoing. As the pandemic built, I worked on the book, and got it above 100,000 words. (The original was 60,000.) But the more I got into it, the more it didn’t make sense. And the idea of writing a manic book of post-apocalyptic non-linear madness wasn’t that appetizing, especially since I was spending most of my day doom-scrolling through a reality that was that but worse. So I set that book aside a couple of months ago, and started collecting together the core bits for this book.

Also: thanks to John Sheppard for sounding out all of my stupid ideas on this and the usual daily help with everything. Also Jeff O’Brien did an editing pass at the last minute, and Don Noble sold me a cover design that I ended up not using, but it was still cool as hell and now I need to write a book to match it.

The cover was shot by yours truly, on my 2017 trip to Mendocino. The whole series is on flickr. (If you ever need cover art, all of my stuff is CC, so just ask and I’ll send you full-size masters for free.)

Anyway, here it is. Let me know what you think, and thanks in advance to everyone who grabs a copy.

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My new book Ranch: The Musical is out now

I have a new book out. It is called Ranch: The Musical.

The linkage:

This is a short collection, like Help Me Find My Car Keys And We Can Drive Out! from 2017. It’s more of a long zine in paperback format than a short book. About a hundred pages, a very lo-fi cover, and made to be as cheap as possible. It’s only 99 cents on the Kindle, and the print book is six bucks.

It isn’t about ranch, and it isn’t a musical. The main difference is that the pieces here are generally longer. Help had thirty pieces at the same length, but this has twenty. Also, a lot of Help was reprinted things from other zines and the blog and whatnot, whereas Ranch is all new material.

Anyway, check it out. Shares and Amazon reviews are always appreciated.

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Price reductions on some of my classic books on Kindle

Just a heads up that I’ve reduced the price of a few of my older books on Kindle. My books are already priced cheap — probably too cheap, but it’s a race to the bottom on Kindle pricing, and that’s another discussion.

Does anyone remember when record labels used to do “The Nice Price” on CDs and tapes? Like a CD would cost $15.99, but you’d find a Molly Hatchet “Nice Price” album for like $12.99. They were all reissues, and they almost always never had a proper CD booklet, just the cover art on a single panel of paper and maybe a list of songs on the back.

Anyway, these books are the same as they were, not reissues, no changes. Just a price drop because I feel bad about charging three bucks for a ten-year-old book, and they’ve sort of run their course, but at a buck, they might be a good read for you. (I’ve always thought about re-releasing these with new introductions and bonus stories and new covers and all that jazz. Maybe in ten more years, if self-publishing is still a thing.)

The following books are now only 99 cents on Kindle:

Also, these books have always been 99 cents:

And none of my books are above three bucks on kindle. I wish I could make the paperbacks cheaper, especially since Amazon has torpedoed their algorithm and I never, ever sell paperbacks anymore. I usually set my paperback pricing to the nearest dollar above the production cost, which is ludicrous from a sales perspective, but it makes them as cheap as possible for you.

Do me a favor and repost this if you can. I wouldn’t mind a few new people finding these books, now that they won’t find them on Facebook or Amazon unless I pay a billionaire five dollars to advertise a book I make 35 cents on.

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New Book:  Help Me Find My Car Keys And We Can Drive Out!

I have a new book out. It got released in the last few hours of 2017, which I now realize is the worst possible time to launch a book.

TL;DR: out now on print or kindle.

The book is titled Help Me Find My Car Keys And We Can Drive Out! If you read my zine Mandatory Laxative, this book is similar in style and structure, only it’s five times as long (and doesn’t have any artwork inside, unfortunately.) It’s a hundred pages, thirty things that range from micro-short pieces to flash to lists to almost short story length. Same absurdism as ever, and I can’t really describe it other than to say it is Konrathian.

This book was a last-second idea, because I’ve been struggling for all of 2017 to get a much larger book done, that’s sort of a sequel to Atmospheres. I wrote something like 350,000 words last year, and could not get it to click, could not get it done by December. I was really beating myself up last month, because I’ve put out at least a book a year for the last six years, and I really wanted to get something done in 2017. On the plane ride home from Milwaukee, I got the idea that I should just do another zine, but slightly longer. I throw aside super-short bits that might work for a zine, so I dug around and put together thirty pieces, and here you go. 350,000 words edited down to something like 16,000.

The odds were really against me finishing this in time. I was editing the first draft of the completed ms, and my new computer 100% died. I luckily had a backup in Crashplan, and was able to keep working on my old machine while I got the new one running again.

The cover sucks, and is supposed to suck. The editing is rough, but you get what you pay for. I’ve made this as cheap as possible, so enjoy.

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My new book Vol. 13 is out

I have a new book out!

TL;DR: kindle and paperback.

This book is called Vol. 13 because it is my thirteenth book, and I’m obsessed with Black Sabbath. It is 20 stories, each longer than flash fiction – the whole book is just shy of 200 pages in print.

If you read my books Thunderbird or Sleep Has No Master, it’s similar in format and content. Structurally, I think the stories are more “story-like” and slightly longer – like Thunderbird was 26 stories and 186 pages, while this was 20 stories and 196 pages. Each story is titled, which a few reviews mentioned they liked my titles even more than my stories in those books, so that tradition continues. If you want to see all of the titles, go check out the book page.

The content of the book is Konrathian. I can’t describe what I write, and that’s sort of the point. If you’ve read my stuff, you know what it is. I’ve created this sandbox of near-future post-apocalyptic ruin that’s probably getting a little too close for comfort these days, and then I set my cast of characters loose in it to wander the wasteland of pop-culture and destruction. It’s fiction, but I’m guessing that within six months, a guy with a Killdozer is going to go viral and end up with a holding deal with HBO to develop a talk show with tits, and everyone will think I’m Nostradamus. It’s happened before.

Anyway, the book is out. As always, I’m looking for reviewers or places to guest-blog or interviews, or any other help I can get to get this thing out there.

Here’s the linkage again:

  • Kindle – the book is part of Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it for free.
  • Paperback – it’s in Kindle Match, so if you buy the paperback, you get the kindle version for free
  • Goodreads – go mark it as “to read” and tell all your creepy friends.

OK, that’s done. Time to start the next one.

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Soon…

The next book is coming out very soon.

Twenty stories. 200(-ish) pages. I write books you can’t really describe, so that’s your description.

More info is here, but stay tuned: http://rumored.com/vol13

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I have a new zine out

I have a new zine out.

It is called Mandatory Laxative #14. It is about lunchables and satanism.

It is 20 pages long. It is printed on an inkjet printer. It is as lo-fi as possible. I didn’t even spell-check it.

It contains the following “stories”:

  • Pain Is Only Temporary (Unless It Is Chronic)
  • A Scene Where A Guy Goes To A Colonics Clinic, Falls In Love With The Cashier, And Almost Ends Up Shooting A Fountain Of Coffee From His Ass
  • Sleep Letter Zero
  • Letter to Freddy
  • I Am A Satanist And I Like Toast Because It Is Cult And Evil
  • Someday This Could Be You
  • I Love Lunchables
  • Late At Night With Dwight Dingleson
  • Remember the Alamo, Motherfucker
  • Two Men Discuss Low Calorie Pizza Before A Ritual Satanism Killing
  • This Knife Means Fucking Business
  • Chili Sweats at Aerie #666
  • The Inevitability of an Accidental Saline Enema

It is listed on Goodreads here.

It is not available on Amazon. It is not available as an ebook or a PDF. It’s barely available at all. It is a limited edition of about 30 copies. If you really want a copy, and you are in the US, paypal me $4 and your postal address. jkonrath at rumored.com.

 

 

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Yes, I have a new book out now

Yes, I have a new book out!

No, it’s not like the last one!

No, I don’t have a snazzy elevator pitch to describe it in a sentence by saying it’s like this movie meets that movie! I don’t write those kind of books. Actually, I did write one of those books, my last one, and it was sort of silly. So let me assure you that this book isn’t like that.

This book is titled He. It consists of a hundred short microfiction pieces. Each piece begins with the word “He.” Like my book Atmospheres, the pieces are related, but if you flipped the book open to any random piece, you could read just that and read it and then LOL and put the book back next to the toilet and finish your business.

(For some reason, a lot of people read my book on the toilet. Maybe the toilet is sort of like my Hot Pockets or Pringles can/tennis ball factory. I don’t know. I’m just glad you read the books.)

The book is funny and dark and offensive to everyone, including you. I’d say sorry, but I’m not.

I realize this is a bad description, and I should have thought of a better title instead of He, and books with more color on the cover sell more, blah blah blah.  I don’t give a shit.  I write what I write.

I took the cover photo on the way to Area 51 this year at KonCon 2015. Just think, if you would have went, you could have your picture on a book. Also, I hope you like my new author photo. I’ll leave it as a surprise.

The links:

The book is on Kindle Unlimited, so if you have that, you can read it for free. It is also on Kindle Match, so if you buy the paperback from Amazon, you can download the book on Kindle for free.

No plans for an audio book. (You probably should check out the Atmospheres audio book, though. It’s pretty awesome.) No plans for a not-Kindle ebook.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to for the last year. Please, please, please, share the shit out of this on your face places or whatever. If you review books, get in touch. If you know anybody at Kraft Foods who works on Lunchables who can get me an endorsement deal, get in touch. Thank you.

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The Atmospheres audio book is now available

I’m proud to announce the audio book for Atmospheres is now available!

This is huge. You really need to go listen to a sample of the book.  It was narrated by Rob Shamblin at Bay Drive Sound Studios, and they did a totally pro job – it sounds incredible, and the acting and pace of Rob’s reading is incredible.

The book itself is a total gonzo drive into the absurd. I’m very proud of the print book, but the audio version takes on a completely new dimension. It’s really something to listen to it, and the nonlinear structure of the book lends itself well to audio. And it’s unabridged, so it’s just shy of six hours long, which is a great value.

So here’s the deal: you can get it in one of three ways: Amazon, Audible, or iTunes.  Here’s some explanation of all three:

  • Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Atmospheres-Audiobook/B00OD60TPS – You can buy a copy of the book outright from Audible for the list price of $19.95. Or, you can sign up for an Audible account and get the book for free.  Audible gives you a 30-day free trial, and then it’s $14.95 a month. Members get two free audio books a month, plus 30% off additional purchases.  This is a hell of a deal, and I’d recommend it if you regularly listen to audio books.  Just make sure the first book you download is mine!
  • Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Atmospheres/dp/B00OI2HAJU Audible is owned by Amazon now, so tomato tomatoh.  The key difference is that it’s currently $17.46. And when you leave a review (you are going to do that, right?) it shows up along with all of your other Amazon reviews.  I think you need to download some kind of Audible app to get the audio from Amazon – I don’t know what their procedure is this week for audio purchases.
  • iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/atmospheres-unabridged/id929829736 If you are locked into Apple’s ecosystem, this is the way to go. It’s currently priced at $17.95 too, so you save two bucks there. And if you like having all of your stuff in iTunes and don’t want to download another program and want it all from Apple’s cloud, this is the way to go.  I just bought a copy from here to see how it went, and it’s just as seamless as buying anything else.

You can listen to a short preview on any of the above sites.  Apple’s preview is shorter, but a different part of the book.

Here is the big favor part: I do not have any free download codes or other way to easily schlep copies of this book to potential reviewers.  So I really, really need help getting reviews of the book, and getting the word out to people. Please forward this on, repost it, tell others, and review the book if you can. It would be greatly appreciated!

Also, if you’re still interested in reviewing the paper book (or ebook) drop me a line at jkonrath at rumored dot com and I’ll hook you up.  I really, really need some honest Amazon reviews, so get in touch if you can help.

I am really glad this project turned out as good as it did.  I hope you get a chance to check it out!