It’s been a long time since I’ve done any music reviews, and it’s been an even longer time since I’ve written anything for Ray Miller’s Metal Curse. But Ray sent me the new album from Boris, the Japanese experimental/metal band, so I’ve got a review of it up. Check it out here: http://metalcurse.com/index.php/reviews/boris_-_new_album/.
Summer Rain re-release
I am happy to announce that I have re-released my first book Summer Rain with a new printer, lulu.com.
Summer Rain is a book about a summer in a big college town in 1992. Here’s what the back cover says:
John Conner has lost his girlfriend, his job, a scholarship, and has been kicked out of college. Instead of retreating back to his parents’ basement and a life of mediocrity and factory labor, he decides to stay the summer in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana.On the lazy Indiana University campus, Conner explores the worlds of death metal, zines, no-budget radio, and slackerdom while trying to learn about women, deal with depression, and get his life back on course. While he works telemarketing jobs and hawks glowsticks as a street vendor in order to survive, he learns who his friends are in the strange mix of people left at the college for the summer. The atmospheric and descriptive narration weaves the hidden beauty of the Midwest and the crossroads of the early Nineties into a timeless story of the follies of youth.
Conner’s ramblings through the desolation of an empty campus parallel the meaningless jobs he must take to scrape by while he decides whether to remain sequestered in the relative comfort of college living or leap into an unstable world fueled only by his own creativity.
As for the new edition, it is the same text, but this time, I was able to do the layout myself, and I managed to shrink it from about 660 pages to about 480 pages without affecting readability. It gave me a chance to go through and fix some typos, and I got to redesign the cover so it didn’t look like a damn modern art masterpiece.
The big difference is that this version, aside from being lighter on your hands when you’re reading it, is also MUCH lighter on your pocketbook. The iUniverse edition was $29.95; now it is only $16.95. In order to get the price this low, I had to forego distribution through Ingram and an ISBN/UPC/EIN, so you can’t get it from Amazon or your local bookstore, but only online from lulu.com. (If you’re in town or you ask real nice, I can sell you one in person with real cash or paypal or whatever. And I trade, if you have a book out, too.)
Anyway, the lulu page is at www.lulu.com/jkonrath. They ain’t amazon and their prices on shipping aren’t the lowest, but they’ve improved them since last time, and they’re getting better. The quality of the book is the same, and the big thing is the lower price and the fact they didn’t have a trained sloth design the cover for me. While you’re at lulu, you might want to check out John Sheppard’s books at this page, as he is also rereleasing all of his books in the lower-cost format, and Small Town Punk makes a nice companion to Summer Rain, if you’re into that whole youthful angst thing.
Enough of the plugging, I am going to go do something I haven’t done in a long time and read someone else’s book, instead of mine.