Heart-Shaped Box is Out, Plus a Pimping Thread


Congratulations to my pal Joe Hill, whose debut novel Heart-Shaped Box officially hits the stores today. HSB is coming out both to a volume and quality of reviews most novelists would give eyeteeth for; not entirely coincidentally, it’s also one of the best debut novels to come down the pike in a while. It’s creepy, it’s scary, and it’s delightfully well-written, which just makes it even creepier and scarier. Joe sent me HSB a few months ago and I’ve been sitting on all my squeeful hearty-heartness of this book since then; now I can let it out in an embarrassing gush. Seriously, folks, it’s excellent. If you like to get spooked and admire well-written prose at the same time, this is the book.

I’ll be interviewing Joe tomorrow for my Author Interview, so you can learn a little more about him then. Incidentally, other upcoming Author Interviews will include Jon Armstrong (who I am behind on in sending questions), Alma Alexander, Hal Duncan, Justine Larbalestier, and some other fun authors with jealous-making books and skills. Yes, I do these interviews so I can suck the knowledge from their skulls. How do you think I’ve made it so far?

Having gushed about Joe, I now declare this an Open Pimp Thread. Pimp your friends’ work! Pimp your own work! Pimp the work of people you don’t know but wish to curry favor with for the dread day when the revolution comes! It’s all good. And it doesn’t just have to be books: pimp any sort of creative endeavor. I like variety.

Remember comments with links may get bumped into the moderation queue. Don’t panic; I’ll release them at some point.

50 Comments on “Heart-Shaped Box is Out, Plus a Pimping Thread”

  1. Yo..
    Cheak out my beats..
    Hippy Trippy Acoustic Rock

    Mind bending Acid trance, Drums and Bass, and Techno

    Face Smashing Metal

  2. Woo-hoo, open pimping!

    I hereby pimp Joshua Palmatier’s first two books in the “Throne” series, THE SKEWED THRONE and THE CRACKED THRONE… they’re excellent fantasy novels about a piece of very unusual furniture.

    Also, Steve Berman has his first YA novel, VINTAGE, coming out in April. It’s a great story about a lonely gay teen and the ghosts that he meets.

    You can order all three books via Amazon, B&N, or your local library.

  3. I’ve been waiting for Heart Shaped Box. It sound slike a fabulous story. There’s a place waiting in my guilt stack for it already. And the buzz, why, it’s so loud I can hear it here, with all the plate setters running.

    As for pimping, I’ve got nothing, except what’s been covered here before. I guess I need to get out more.

  4. How timely! I shall take this chance to pimp an article I wrote that was published today. It’s designed to help men to prepare a valentine meal for that special someone.

    Yes, it’s cooking for geeks, complete with step-by-step instructions:


  5. I’d like to recommend Dutch writer Adriaan van Dis, who has just published a lovely novel called ‘De Wandelaar’. In Dutch, alas, probably not very useful for the Scalzi crowd, and I’m not sure if and when an English translation will appear.

    You could always start with his earlier memoir My Father’s War for a taste of Dutch families with roots in Indonesia and the Japanese camp experience.

  6. Hmmm…
    I tried to pimp my music by I got placed in a moderation queue. So I therefore would like to pimp the Vienna public transportation system.
    I can get everywhere safely and quickly.
    I would also like to pimp my wife and daughter for being so supportive and hanging in there with me so far away. :)

  7. Pimping books is fun!!

    I’d like to suggest Simon R Green, he writes fantasy, as well as urban fantasy. Good stuff, and quite funny.

    Also, I’d like to second Claire’s pimping of “Remains”. I read it a few weeks ago, and LOVED it. Fun book!

  8. Dang, forgot.

    If you haven’t read Jeff Ford’s Boatman’s Holiday, which was in the recent Year’s Best Fanatsy and Horror (Datlow, Link, Grant) go out and read it.

  9. With a name like Joe Hill, I’ll have to take a look. Solidarity Forever!

    Since you say any creative endeavor, I’ll pimp a creative endeavor of mine that’s free and open for everyone to steal. It’s not a book, but an actual new poetic form. I call it The Jenny. (Singular or plural: One Jenny, Two Jenny, Three Jenny…)

    The requirements are spelled out on the link above. Here’s the first ever published Jenny. Since it was published online, you can read it for free.

    I’d be extremely honored if the poetic form caught on. Especially in this 25th anniversary year of the inspiration for this form.

  10. I want to pimp Chaz Brenchley because he is a damn fine writer, an excellent cook and a good friend. He’s got a new book (well, an old British book coming out in the States for the first time) called Shelter coming out very soon and it’s a damn fine read! He’s also got the second volume of his fantasy series coming out in a couple of months and it’s absolutely amazing stuff. Go. Read!

  11. I recently picked up a novel called Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst. I’d never read Furst before but I’d begun hearing lots of good things about him so I figured I’d give him a read. A WWII spy novel with a feel reminiscent of early John Le Carre. Mmmmm…nice.

  12. i have to pimp market forces by richard morgan, it’s not the newest book on the block but i only read it a couple of weeks ago and was floored by it. read it!!!

  13. I’ll pimp the wonderful SJ Tucker. Aside from being a damned talented musician (and person), she’s of interest here because one of her 2006 albums, For the Girl in the Garden, features songs inspired by (and readings from) from Catherynne Valente’s wonderful Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden, subject of last year’s 11/1 author interview over at By the Way.

  14. Have to second that one on SJ Tucker, also known as Skinny White Chick. I try to catch as many of her shows in the St. Louis area as I can.

  15. I pimped Caitlin Kiernan’s ‘Alabaster’ and ‘Daughter of Hounds’ last time, so I won’t do that this time. Instead I’ll put out a good word for Mark Coggins. He’s written three detective novels, in the hard-boiled old-school style. All three (‘The Immortal Game’, ‘Vulture Capital’ and the recent ‘Candy From Strangers’) feature his wonderful PI August Riordan. If you like a good mystery/detective novel in the vein of Chandler and Hammett, check him out. His website is: http://www.immortalgame.com

  16. Great. Thanks to this post, I actually have competing songs stuck in my head now:

    Earl Robinson’s I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night v. Nirvana’s Heart-Shaped Box

    Very strange combination.

    In pimpage news, my artist’s group, Apollonova has scheduled our first gallery show: at the Doubting Thomas Gallery in Tremont (Cleveland, OH) starting May 11. We expect that 8 of our artists will be represented. We also have prints of our work available on our website (www.apollonova.com, or click on my name above). We’re very excited.


  17. Rather than fire off the snarky, tongue-in-cheek pimping of my unfinished novels and unsold short stories, I’m going to pimp the works of my friend, Jennifer Pelland.

    Her story, “Blood Baby” was in the most recent issue of Apex, and is pretty creepy modern fantasy. She’s had stuff in Strange Horizons, Apex, and so on, and is still working at her first big break. Definitely worth reading.

  18. The Internet Review of Science Fiction is a monthly online mag which, surprisingly, reviews SF/F/H. You may need a subscription to view all the articles, but it still seems to be free. The new February 2007 issue has a wonderful article on Dodos, Wooly Mammoths, and Other Erudite Obsessions in the Fiction of Howard Waldrop by Robert Bee, with links to some of Howard’s stories online.

    If you have never read Howard, you could be in for a real treat. I had to re-read “The Ugly Chickens” online yesterday just because. Howard was at ConFusion in Michigan the other weekend. With Scalzi, Howard, Elizabeth Moon and many other writers in attendance, it was one helluva fun con.

    Dr. Phil

  19. I can’t resist a pimping invite!

    An e-zine I coedit, Farrago’s Wainscot premiered earlier this year, featuring experimental, slipstream, and other forms of “weird.” Our contributors include Jay Lake, Hal Duncan, E. Sedia, Eugie Foster, David Lunde, Beth Bernobich, Leah Bobet, Nisi Shawl, Forrest Aguirre, Paul Jessup, Jason Erik Lundberg, and many, many others.

    As part of our 2007 exhibit, we’re serializing a hypertext novel by Mark Teppo, The Oneiromantic Mosaic of Harry Potemkin. Presented as a twelve-part dream journal, the underlying threads of the narrative consider the mythological origins of language, the personalization of universal symbols, psychopharmacology, and dream narrative—all of which is stitched together via recursive hypertext.

    Please to have a look at both.

  20. Dan — nice timing. I picked that issue of Apex up off the freebie table at Arisia, and read “Blood Baby” less than a week ago. It’s damned good, but I hadn’t thought to hunt down Jennifer’s site.

  21. KevinQ:

    My mind, which won’t go in a straight line no matter how I haul on the reins, has saddled me with the Grateful Dead’s “Box of Rain”. Go figure.

    As for pimping, I’ve got nothing recent, but I found a movie called “Code 46” on cable TV (well, actually satellite tv) a few days ago, and was very surprised by how good it was. I was expecting the usual “Tough guy takes on the evil government and wins”, which it definitely wasn’t. What it was, was an indie film with only two well-known actors. If you see it in the listings, take a look.

  22. I want to pimp one of my favorite musicians Matthew Moon. http://www.matthewmoon.com/ very good stuff. My favorite sf mag http://www.helixsf.com/. It’s quarterly, so I’m always anxious for the new edition. I want to pimp a book, but the latest author that I’m engulfing right now is scalzi, so that doesn’t work, Jim Butcher was the author I read right before. The Dresden Files were very good. The Furies series is pretty good.

  23. Some friends and I run a group tumblelog where we post whatever catches our interest. It’s fairly low-volume (generally a half-dozen posts per day or so) and has a very high signal-to-noise ratio. Lots of interesting, useful, and funny stuff.


  24. Like Jay-Z, big pimpin’. All books by friends of mine:

    Alternadad, a fresh and funny parenting memoir by Neal Pollack.

    The Big Payoff, a smart and accessible personal-finance guide for couples, by Sharon Epperson. (Coming May 1; get your preorders in!)

    Before the Legend, a fascinating and news-breaking biography of Bob Marley, by Christopher John Farley (Sharon’s husband–talented family, that).

    The Faithful Spy, an absorbing post-9/11 espionage thriller by Alex Berenson.

    The Clumsiest People in Europe, a worldwide travel guide as seen through the cockeyed lens of the blinkered 19th-century Englishwoman Favell Lee Mortimer, edited and introduced by Todd Pruzan.


  25. Since Scalzi has let slip the dogs of pimpage, I’ll mention that I have a science fiction novel which can be read for free on the web. Just click my name and read away!

  26. Okay, I’ll pimp my art and designy stuff.

    If anybody is looking for some wallpapers for their computer desktop, I have a few available for download:

    Anax Junius – Dragonflies. Comes in two versions: dark teal and black/white

    Inspiration – It takes six quarts of generic muse to equal the inspiration found in our carton.

    See No Evil

    And just in time for Valentine’s Day: Eye Heart Yew

    Eye Heart Yew

    If’n you liked those, there are more to be found at my DeviantArt gallery.

  27. I’d like to pimp the new sf/fantasy/horror zine I’m working on, called Yog’s Notebook. Not just an e-zine–there will also be a print version.

    Also, I just returned from Powell’s, and in addition to picking up TGB (4th printing! good job!), I got Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson. It’s in paperback now (easier on the budget of people who buy books by the armful), and I really liked Forty Signs of Rain, so I’m looking forward to reading this.

  28. Hey and wow, someone actually came to my site from here, read the story I was pimpin’, and left me a favorable comment.

    Scalzi Pimp Threads: They get results!

  29. I’d like to pimp Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, who now offer a PDF subscription alongside the regular print issue.

    I’d also like to pimp Jim C. Hines novel ‘Goblin Quest’ – funny stuff, and he still needs people to save Jig from the strippers.

  30. I’ll put on my pimp hat for Simon Haynes, who is too frickin’ modest to pimp his Hal Spacejock novels. No. 3, Just Desserts, is out now, and already a bestseller in at least one SF bookstore.

    They’re hard to get in America, which is as good a reason as any for not living there.

    Also pimpage-worthy is Lee Battersby, a man with no shortage of imagination, but is a few diskettes short of a full backup, if you know what I mean.

    Oh, and if you know anyone who should stop writing, forward this link and tell them it’s reverse psychology.

  31. [Adjusts fur-covered pimp hat]

    You should go watch my friend and co-group-blogger Deron Bauman’s documentary, now streaming from http://deronbauman.com/twca/:

    The World Come of Age is the story of a gay man living in a rural north Texas county coming to terms with his mother’s legacy — the life of a woman who struggled with questions of her own sexual identity in a time and place those questions could not be asked.”

  32. I’d like to pimp a new book by Allyson Beatrice, called Would the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby? It’s an essay collection about the wonderful ways the internet can shape communities and friendships and change lives. I’ve read some of these essays, and they’re hellaciously funny, moving, and true. If you ever needed to explain to your friends or family why you spend so much time talking to the invisible people inside your computer, this book is for you.

  33. I started reading Heart-Shaped Box yesterday and I’m nearly halfway through already. It’s a freakin’ fabulous read. Dark. Creepy. Lightning paced. The toughest part is putting it down to get some actual work done.

    As for the requested pimping, check out Bev Walton-Porter’s new book, “Sun Signs for Writers.” It blends “the subjects of writing and astrology in an unusual way that intrigues, motivates, and inspires readers not only to know themselves better in an astrological way, but as creative persons as well.”


  34. 1. Pimp this: Heavy – The Story of Metal from VH-1 – whether or not you love the \,m/ Metal \m,/ – it’s a well done documentary worth watching. Personally it was like a time machine that took me back to my early years. I ended up at the music store shortly thereafter picking up first albums from Sabbath, Maiden, Metallica, etc. and remembering how intense that music was (and is).

    2. Pimp me: I’m a photographer, and have a website I hope you might visit. http://www.andybatt.com – I post new images frequently, and welcome feedback.



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