(Endorsement) Personal Effects: Dark Art

NOTE FROM STEVE: This is not this week’s Escape Pod story. This is me talking about something I like. Feel free to skip this post if it isn’t fun for you.

There are a number of good writers now breaking into the big leagues through podcasting. My friend J.C. Hutchins is one of them. I loved his 7th Son trilogy, and I jumped at the chance when he asked me to read an advance copy of his horror novel Personal Effects: Dark Art and record a reaction for him.

Here’s my initial reaction (Hutch liked it enough that he added the background music and bumper titling and such):

J.C. Hutchins’s “Personal Effects: Dark Art” – Expert Testimony from Stephen Eley on Vimeo.

And here’s the big group “vlurb” project that my piece was a part of:

J.C. Hutchins’s “Personal Effects: Dark Art” – SuperVlurb from Stephen Eley on Vimeo.

(The folks in that vlurb are all awesome and you should check out their sites: Philippa Ballantine, Scott Sigler, Seth Harwood, Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff, Christiana Ellis, Matt Wallace, James Melzer, Mark Jeffrey, Mur Lafferty, Phil Rossi and Matt Selznick.)

I read the book in PDF form. And then I pre-ordered it on Amazon, because it’s just that good. (Also because the little goodies that come with the physical copy sound like fun.) This is an unusual horror novel: it brings in a lot of conventional settings and tropes, but the characters break from formula in some surprising ways. And it’s a smart horror novel. Silliness in hats aside, I highly recommend it.