good to hear, sarah. chime in whenver you want, if you have questions or thoughts! glad you're digging it.
I meant to add above that I like that you included a good many women writers..
thanks, JW. i did my best. i also had just gotten done putting together the 100% female anthology, THE LINEUP, and didn't want to poach TOO many from that, or there might have been more. plus, i just need to read more. there were also a few women like sara gran that don't write stories (as far as i know).
So far I've only read up to the end of 'Father, son, Holy Rabbit', but the collection has grabbed me.
Dark tale (with no spoilers, I'll only speak of the feel of the pieces), but with sharp rays of light shining throughout the whole story. I really enjoyed it, it made me sad too, I'll admit that. It's the darkness & shadows of the lack of hope, followed by that bittersweet hope in the form of a 'rabbit' that got to me. Not many stories get that far under my skin, but that one certainly did! Stephen did an excelent job.
Oh, I'd like a copy of the book too...maybe a reading relief aid package can be dropped in the UK? Distribute it from here? I'll happily store them for you!
hey, emma, thanks for chiming in! yeah, those first three stories, was hoping to knock you down with them. love SGJs story.
if you mean a copy of SGJs collection, yes, i'll allow overseas on this whoever wins it. :-)
so did anybody find a new voice that they plan on seeking out for more writing? anybody reconnect with an old voice they forgot they loved?
as for the stories, were you suprised to see a wide range of dark fiction, did you expect more noir, or crime, in this anthology? and do you have a better understand of neo-noir now, or at least how Laird and I define it?
any particular story you want to talk about, one that blew you away? anybody cry? get scared?
some of these stories i read YEARS ago, originally. some i just read last year.
Nik Korpon is definitely one I want to seek out. I've seen his name here and there around Litreactor and have been meaning to pick something up by him. After TNB, I see even more now that I need to do that.
As I've already said, I was def surprised at the range of stories. I'm not quite sure I have a 100% grasp of what neo-noir is. If someone were to ask me, I'd probably stumble a little. It's one of those things that's hard to define but you know it when you see it. But with this book I'm def better off than before.
"Dredge" pops in my mind my whenever the subject of Neo-noir comes up. The unique viewpoint and dark narrative sum it up for me.
Doug ~ I highly recommend any and all of Nik's books, although my personal favorite is Stay God, Sweet Angel :)
@Richard, you don't have to include me in the prize draw for the SGJ ARC anymore, Doug was awesome enough to send me his ARC in exchange for a workshop critique :)
nik is great. he and i as well as caleb ross and axel taiari wrote a shared world novel-in-novellas called FOUR CORNERS out with Dzanc Books next year. i think it's some of his best work. big fan of his writing.
as for NN i have a pretty broad definition, maybe more than most, but it's essentially that dark, moody, tragic story told in a new, fresh way, avoiding the classic formuals and tropes.
oh, cool, Em! thanks, Doug for sharing. that's a great collection, too.
so...what was your favorite story?
I'm only four in, but I'm enjoying the antho a lot so far. That SGJ one killed me when I first read it in ONES THE ALMOST GOT AWAY. And yeah, got me again here. Great way to start it off.
I'm probably most excited for Meno. HAIRSTYLES was my favorite book growing up, next to the Poe series. I haven't enjoyed much of meno's writing since. But like I read earlier in this thread, that level of depression in the prose seems like a neat idea that he'd do well with.
Also, that Paul Tremblay story was so damn good. I wanted to know what was going on, but that's also the beauty of the story, i think. Never knowing, not needing to know. Because it's not a story about the outside world, obviously, and it was better off for it. I'm half way into FLOATING BOY right now, and I'm glad to have read something by Tremblay so I can look at the prose now and try to spot PT, try and spot Jones. If that's even how they wrote this. I don't know.
I'm off to read some more. Clevenger's next, and I haven't read this one yet. Skipped over it in Warmed and Bound for whatever reason. Dude's a syntax and story god though, so I know it'll be good.
thanks, crumb. yeah, the SGJ is one of my favorites, loving it since back in THE ONES as well. gotten to know Meno a bit, saw him read a few times, talked to him and got him into this book, had published him a million years ago in a little rag called COLORED CHALK. reading with him the 27th for an Akashic thing here in Chicago, good buy, love his voice. You nailed the Tremblay, it's not really about why it's all ending, it's about the family and how now it doesn't matter, feed the ducks already. if those first three stories don't get a tear in your eye, you may not be human. long time fan of Clevenger, for sure.
Man, that's awesome that you'll be reading with him. Wish I was closer to Chicago so I could check it out.
also crumb = devin strauch. didn't wanna bring huggybaer over here, as I thought that monkier should go down with the ship over at the velvet. did manage to still sneak a name in from Baer though, of course, with Crumb.
nice, devin. good to see you over here. RIP VELVET.
as this month starts to get close to the end, please do comment and ask questions if you want to be in the drawing for the SGJ collection.
also, if you have time, please do post up some kind words and stars at Goodreads and Amazon for The New Black when you have time. thanks so much.
Hey Richard, I'm still not done. Life's just been a bit hectic. But good news is: so far every story I've read has been great. Sorry I haven't been able to comment more. Maybe I'll throw some thoughts on here after the months over and I finally finish :)
jump on any time. any of you guys. june is just the official month. i'm still around for other stuff, and will be teaching another class, too. lots happening here still at LR.
Yeah, for sure comment even if the month is over. I never close these threads.
Meant to get in here earlier but it's been a weird month.
Richard, how did you pick the images for the illustrations? Did the artist read everything and draw what stuck out to them or did you suggest things and give context?
Finished this earlier in the week after powering through it in about 4 days, The New Black is a really great anthology and debut for DHP.
As far as the questions you mention:
1. Had you read any of these stories before?
I had not read any of the stories prior to the anthology.
2. How many authors did you know, or recognize?
SGJ, Clevenger and Davidson were the only authors I recognised, I was blown away by each of their stories in particular.
3. How many authors were totally new to you?
The majority, I will definitely be looking further into most back catalogues on the basis of the anthology, Brian Evenson's 'Windeye', Kyle Minor's, 'The Truth and All Its Ugly' and Paul Tremblay's, 'It's Against the Law to Feed the Ducks' were some of the other stories that I really loved.
It was great to read an anthology that doesn't (at least for me) have a weak story.
Was there any particular method behind the sequencing of the stories, Richard? I found the order flowed well.
PS I'll happily pay packaging on 'After the people lights have gone off' if you want to give me a copy :)
As far as sequence, I could totally see the deliberate placement of FSHR (like a lead off hitter in baseball).
hey nick, thanks for stopping by. as for the art, i gave Luke my suggestions. i obviously know the stories pretty well, having read each of them many times over the years. i just made a list and gave it to Luke Spooner. he ran with it. it was our first time working together, and he nailed them. the splatter was extra put on there by our layout and design master Alban Fischer. they all seem like common objects, but are important to the story, the rabbit in Stephen's for instance. but by themselves the don't give away anything until AFTER it's over. rabbit, ducks, bed, window, etc. i knew i wanted a knife for yours, but the one he drew was just WICKED. :-)
dave - cool that you hadn't read ANY of them. glad that you came in knowing those three, though. and yeah, Evenson, Minor and Tremblay, all excellent authors. thanks for saying no weak stories, i really appreciate that. as for order, yeah, i tried a few things. i like to start and end with the best, so yes, Doug, FSHR was a story i knew i wanted in here, one of my favorites in here, of SGJ, and in genral, making my top ten list here at LR months ago. i also liked the way SGJ flowed into Tremblay's post-apocalyptic into Lindsay's baby. they were all family and really sad, so i felt like if i could hook the reader, emotionally, early on, then i might keep them. i do like to "frontload" so starting with SGJ, then those two, ending with Evenson, i thought that was a good start. after that, i tried to mix up women and men, long and short, and different styles, so there was a mix of the ones that leaned horror vs crime vs urban vs rural. i tried to look at mood, and story and all of that. it's not an exact science.
i just got done ordering EXIGENCIES and that was tough, too.
thanks for contributing everyone.
i did a random number generator, assigning a number to everyone and the winner is #5 Voodoo Em. please PM me your address and i'll send it out. if you get it to me today or tomorrow, i'll mail it before i go on vacaction.
hope you all enjoyed the book. echo lake by letitia trent it out july 22nd and stephen's collection after the people lights have gone off is in september.
Can we still drop comments here after we read the book even if it's later July? Or would that interfere with next month's club?
Comment on any Book Club thread at any time. I've followed up on several once I got around to reading them later. Didn't get many follow-up replies, but cleared my conscience somewhat. haha
yeah, comment any time you want, JR.
also, had to redraw for the SGJ book, as Voodoo has a copy. the new winner is DOUG BLACK. shoot me your address ASAP Doug.
okay crap, forgot doug black already has an ARC. let me figure something out. but it may not be until i get back from my travels in a few weeks. sorry.
Ha ha, weird, what were the chances :)
Have a good holiday, Richard.
I bought it when it first came out. I haven't gotten to it yet but it's next on my list once I'm done with Gone Girl. Looking forward to it, especially after taking a short story class (I was a horrible student). Trying to get some reading done before I go back to some of the narrative hooks I started in class.
thanks, hope you dig it.
Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) for The New Black: A Neo-Noir Anthology link is up. Authors start showing up tonight at 7 PM EST. Stop by any time today to ask your questions. I'll be there, as well as Stephen Graham Jones, Laird Barron, Kyle Minor, Lindsay Hunter, Craig Davidson and Paul Tremblay. See you there!
Finally had a chance to get my hands on the book. I've been shaken from the experience for a while after it, so I thought I'd write it down before it wears off.
To answer Richard's questions:
1. Had you read any of these stories before? Nope.
2. How many authors did you know, or recognize? I recognized Stephen Graham Jones, Craig Clevenger, Benjamin Percy from the classes they taught/ books discussed here at LitReactor. Also Richard Thomas, whose Short Story Mechanics class I took in January. Which was awesome. :)
3. How many authors were totally new to you? Everyone else. And I'm so glad that I read this, and I'm looking forward to read other works of these authors.
If I go even further and do...
Best picks out of the book: SGJ's "Father, Son and Holy Rabbit," Lindsay Hunter's "That Baby," Craig Davidson's "Rust and Bone" and Craig Wallwork's "Dollhouse"
Stories I’m afraid will twist my mind: "Act of Contrition," "Dial Tone" and "Dredge". Man, I couldn't even finish Dredge--I skimmed the last paragraph.
Stories that actually delighted me: "How," "Instituto" and "Children Are the Only Ones Who Blush"
Stories that I liked, but left me wanting more: all the rest.
Final note: I couldn't help but wonder how much of these stories have real-life inspirations from the author's own life. The narrative is so personal that I didn't have to suspend my disbelief or anything. But the downside is I guess, some stories will twist your mind.
If someone asks me to describe neo-noir, I'd tell them you'll leave feeling dreadful, mostly not because the story has superficial, explicit horror like ghosts and zombies, but because of the dark side of humanity that are deeper and more implicit. What do you guys think about my observation? Am I even close? :)
good observation, you're close for sure. thanks for chiming in, natso!