Tag Archive for the blonde

Bending Genre to Your Will

The best part of ignoring genre is the freedom to bend, fold, mutilate, and spindle it to one’s will.

Consider, for example, Duane Swierczynski’s The Blonde:

The Blonde

What a killer cover.

It’s a taut thriller which happens to include nanobots. Is it still crime, or is it now science fiction? I’m sure some crime and noir purists rolled their eyes at the high concept while science fiction enthusiasts wondered why they couldn’t find it on their racks at the bookstore.

Does it really matter? Read it, dig it, buy his other work.

Then there are your genre mash-ups, like Cullen Bunn’s The Sixth Gun:

Yeah, I linked to Volume 1. Deal.

Bask in the glory. Bask in it!

A classic Western tale that happens to include horror and the supernatural, and at the same time kick all form of ass. It’s not the first time it’s been done (see Jeff Mariotte’s Desperadoes), but I would argue The Sixth Gun has gained a lot more momentum in a shorter time and it is already spawning imitators. Western fans may turn their noses up at the ghouls and golems, and some comics fans will wonder why they should bother reading about something as stale as cowboys.

Both groups would be missing out, because here’s the trick to both:

It’s not the gimmick that makes the book.

These are both great, well-written (and, in The Sixth Gun‘s case, wonderfully illustrated) stories featuring interesting characters and engaging plots. If these books were only about the gimmick—the high concept hook—nobody would give a shit.

I’m always excited to see more of it. While Sandman Slim got a little lost in the fantasy side of its fantasy-noir mash-up, I do want to check out the sequel, Kill the Dead. And I’m really looking forward to the noir-superhero blend Paranormal*:

Paranormal

Coming at you this summer

Once again, tell the tale you want to tell. Make it good. Don’t set out to write a horror novel, a science fiction novel, or a steampunk novel, set out to write a good frickin’ story in the setting you think best accommodates it.

Let the marketing department figure out how to sell it.

*Full disclosure: Paranormal will be published by Evileye Books, the guys who brought you my own The Pack: Winter Kill.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Snow Day!

I guess sometimes the universe really does balance itself: I missed the black belt ceremony last night, but got the snow day in return. I wish I could then say I was productive today, but no such luck. I’ve been running on tilt for a while and instead had a Didn’t Do Shit Day.

It felt goooooood.

First off, I burned through the rest of The Wheelman. Talk about a page-turner! It’s been a long time since I finished a book this fast. I think I’ll move straight on to Swierczynski’s The Blonde and forego Dance of Death for now. This is a perfect example of what I’m looking for when I said I wanted to shake up my reading.

Then I remembered I had yet to watch the Sons of Anarchy season finale. I rectified that over lunch, and while it wasn’t as eventful as I had hoped, it was a good cap to this season and set the tone for next season. It’s been one of the better new shows, in my opinion, and I’ll keep on watching.

I browsed everything else the DVR has been holding for me and remembered I still had to watch this season of The Closer. I had myself a marathon, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Now I have to wait until the end of January to find out what’s going to happen to Detective Sanchez. Curse you TNT!

And I didn’t feel one bit of guilt about not writing.

Why not, you ask? Because yet another project has gone up in smoke. I had a deadline for a short story this month, but today I found out it may not happen after all. Story of my frickin’ career.

I’m sure I’ll get over it. I’ve got VisionCon coming up next month, and there’s still this comics project, but today I just don’t give a fuck.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.