Friday, March 14, 2014

Shameless

Some blurbs and an Amazon link... and a B&N link.

"A powerful and good writer...someone who's been through hell and come out, I hope, the other side." --Neil Gaiman

"Trent Zelazny's work is as powerful as a .45 slug and as memorable and pleasing as a scar obtained during feverish sexual activity. One of the best of the new breed of writers." --Joe R. Lansdale

"Trent Zelazny has already begun to carve out his own genre niche. He's got the right stuff to make fiction both engrossing and literate." --Tom Piccirilli

"The raw honesty of Fractal Despondency heralds Trent as a talent to watch, and I plan to be reading him for years to come." --Mark Ordesky, Executive Producer of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

"Trent Zelazny is the best hard-boiled noir writer of this generation!" --Sarah L. Covert, She Never Slept News and Reviews

"Some people write from the heart, but Trent Zelazny leaves his blood on the page." --Erin Underwood, Underwords 


“A gift for storytelling is in Trent Zelazny’s genes.” --Charles Ardai


“Trent Zelazny is a master of tension, frisson, madness and mayhem.  I love the way he writes and read everything I can get my hands on.  You should do the same.” --Gerald Hausman


“Trent Zelazny’s work is pure Punk Classicism, with a spirit and heart and ferocious inquiry that dance across multiple genres and forever change their landscape. When I first read The Day the Leash Gave Way, I literally couldn't speak for some time. I had to know more, read more... and merely scratch the surface of an SFnal dynasty to find this great friend and inspiration. He never disappoints.” --Edward Morris





Sunday, February 2, 2014

Online Douchebaggery vs. Online Harassment

Okay, not really.

No, it isn't a question of this or that. I just wanted to share this will all 8 or 9 of you, or whatever, see what you think. WARNING: THIS ONE IS WORDY.

So some nitwit commented on a post on my Facebook Author Page, basically calling me arrogant, and disrespectful to my father and to his fans, and saying he would never buy another book I wrote. I wrote back a reasonable reply, then a few others chimed in, and he wrote back once more, apparently not ever bothering to read my response. So I blocked him. There are enough ass-hats in the world, but coming onto my page and insulting me about how I insult my father (which, most of you know, is beyond bullshit) is not something anybody needs. Basically, this kid (I can only assume it’s a kid) was dealing with some real anger issues, saw my post, and decided to take it out on me. Never mind my constant and redundant posts asking politely for people to not try getting information from me in regards to my father’s work through that page. One of the biggest reasons for this, aside from I am an author and the page is about MY work, is that I DON’T HAVE ANY SAY AS TO WHAT GOES ON WITH MY FATHER’S WORK, NOR DO I, MY SON, MY BROTHER OR MY SISTER SEE MUCH IN THE WAY OF ANY COMPENSATION FOR HIS WORK.

If you bother to research my author page at all, you will see in the ABOUT section, which has been up for well over a year now:
IMPORTANT NOTE:
Please do not contact me regarding my father's work at this time. I have very little to no say, and neither I, nor my brother or sister, receive much in the way of financial compensation from the estate. Asking me about rights, or asking me to put you in touch with "the right people", is basically rubbing salt into painful wounds. If things change, this note will be taken down, but until then, please be courteous, and understand that asking me about such things will not only not get you anywhere, but it is also offensive and disrespectful. Thanks.

This has been up for a very long time. People claiming to research just what a douche I am clearly have very poor researching skills. It's right in the ABOUT thing, for crying out loud.

Then, when they start to build up again, filling my inbox: "I want rights for this", "I want rights for that", "No, I've never read one of your books", "No, I don't have any money but my idea is brilliant!" "Could you give me contacts of a person (or organization) that now hold the copyright?" Etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam.


That's when I make another post, always trying to remain polite, sometimes finding it very difficult.

I shall merely post the highlights from this recent one, which has now caused me to be stricter about such things.

MY ORIGINAL POST: As a general rule, I don't respond to requests regarding my father's work on this page. This page is NOT about my father's work. It is about MY work. If you've no interest in my work, find other means to obtain the information you want. Thanks.

I don’t personally find that rude. Do you? Especially after I’ve asked countless times to take your dreams of free rights somewhere else?

So the post goes along, comments, etc., and then…

SOME GUY:
I find your arrogance and disrespect to be astounding. So what if people contact you about your father. Are you so insecure about yourself as a writer, that you feel threatened by this, or reduced in some manner? How about a little pride and understanding? I've read some of your work, but I will never read another thing of yours after seeing your responses. He was a great author, and you could do a lot worse than be connected to such a man. I'm sorry if you think you came off different than I perceived, but the bottom line is it came off as VERY rude, self-absorbed, and disrespectful of both fans and of your father's memory.

So I simply reply with:

ME:
I won't bother to go into the millions of ways I go about spreading my father's name and praising him, as a writer, a father, and a human being. Nor will I go into the thousands of times I've stepped in to keep the estate from being utterly ripped off, or the essays I've written on him, or the tribute anthology I'm currently co-editing. Do I enjoy it when people write and tell me how much they love my father's work? OF COURSE! YES! ABSOLUTELY! IT FUCKING MAKES MY DAY! Do I like getting endless rude emails from strangers pushing and often demanding that I grant rights to things for free, when I've no clue who they are, and they don't even start with a friendly hello? FUCK NO, I DON'T ENJOY IT! And you wouldn't either.

A couple of people chime in. Some were less nice to the person than others, but it’s enough for him to then come back the next day with:

SAME GUY:
If you guys disagree, that's great, that's just terrific in fact. Was this single post the only thing I saw to give me the perception I had, though? Nope. And although you don't like what I said, I managed to do so with a certain amount of civility that you and your fans obviously don't possess. I would think an author would have thicker skin. Discount my opinion, that's fine, I knew I wasn't making friends here when I made that observation, and my disappointment in how you conduct yourself has not decreased. I'll not be back or will I have anything further to say, so take comfort in that. I'm not here to "troll" anyone, I'm only back here now because of the harassment by your fans, and the fact you support it.

Okay, okay, so I wrote him one last time…

ME:
I kept my response civil. Possibly moreso, as I didn't even call you any names. You commented for a reason, so I left it, rather than simply blocking you. Others chimed in, and I left those too. Typically, this is a friendly page. If you have seen other posts, some of which go more into specifics, then you would see this post as justified. Did you even bother to read my response? Not that it matters. Did you know my father? No, you didn't. I think you're very upset with something else, saw my post, and decided to take it out on me. That's fine. As I said in an earlier comment, I don't mind if you're not interested in my work.

You got my initial response, now please get off my page.

Finis

I left it up for maybe ten minutes or so, then I banned him, hopefully giving him enough time to read it.

As always, I don’t name specific people unless it is in a positive context. I just try my best to be a good human being, to help whenever I can, and I personally feel this jackass had absolutely no clue what he was talking about whatsoever--maybe his dad wouldn't let him take the car out that night, I dunno.

If you feel I’m wrong, either in how I dealt with this person, or if indeed you feel I handle the harassment I receive on a regular basis in a poor manner, please let me know. I know there is no way in the world you can please everybody, but any tips or suggestions are welcome. If you feel I was in the right, thank you. As always, of course, things could've been handled better than they were.

That is all.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Two Things

Hi, there.

Me again...

I know, I know, I don't blog very often. Maybe I should blog more, or simply quit it altogether. I often have things I want to share, but Bloggety Blog just plain doesn't cross my mind a lot of the time.  Maybe I should hire a ghost blogger, but I would only do that on the condition that the blogger be an actual ghost. I wonder what Dickens is doing these days...

...Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely.

Wow! Chuck? Really? Is that you? That's fantastic. But what about in death? I mean, you've been dead 144 years.

In great aims and in small I have always thoroughly been in earnest.

Great! Let's chat next week.

Anyway, until Chuck and I chat about ghost blogging, I guess I'll do it for now.

First, while I missed the opportunity to do this in January, I've decided that every month, through the rest of the year, I am going to buy and read a book by an independent author whom I've never read. After I have read each book, I shall write a review (most likely on Amazon, though I may post them here, too, as well as on Goodreads, possibly B&N). My reasoning for this is simple. There are a lot of authors out there not getting read. I could actually include myself in that group, but I've been luckier than many. We all keep saying support independent authors, musicians, bookstores (businesses in general, really), magicians, acrobats, and so on. So, while I know a lot of people already do this, I'm going to make it a point every month to find an independent author whose work I've never read, do my best to move around through genres, and read something by them. This is a win-win situation because a) the author will get a book sale and a review and hopefully I can try to then give the author a push; and b) I will likely find some new fantastic authors. Basically, it comes down to a support thing. So all three or however many of you actually read my sporadic blog, feel free to offer suggestions. I'll never get to them all, but suggestions are helpful, obviously, since I'm looking for indie writers I've never heard of.

And speaking of support, this brings me to the next thing I want to mention. Feedback and suggestions are very welcome on this one as well.

Not too long ago, Mark C. Scioneaux, Robert Shane Wilson, and R.J. Cavender put together an amazing anthology called Horror For Good - A Charitable Anthology, with proceeds going to to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. How cool is that? I mean, really? I know all three of those editors to one degree or other, and they're all fantastic guys with hearts of gold. Click the link a buy a copy, especially if you like horror fiction, or know somebody who does, because the collection is amazing.

 And now currently, Richard Salter and Jordan Ellinger are putting together Fantasy For Good, which I wrote an introduction for, to help raise funds for the Colon Cancer Alliance. Again, two awesome guys doing a collection for a good cause. Colon cancer is essentially what killed my father, so I have a slightly more personal interest in this one. Check out the pages and see what it's all about.

This brings me to something I have been wanting to do for a while now, but haven't had the time. I am already up to my neck in writing and editing work, including co-editing an anthology with my good friend Warren Lapine called Shadows and Reflections: A Roger Zelazny Tribute Anthology. But I've been wanting to do something along the lines of what the editors of Horror For Good and Fantasy For Good are doing. But I'm not sure I can do it alone. When I thought about it, I asked myself what genre would A) I most like to edit, and B) would I likely be good at.

Simple. Crime.

So that's is what I would like to start tackling this year. I went back and forth on what charity I wanted the money to go to, and decided on the Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, Inc. Why? That's easy. Because domestic violence, in my opinion, is one of the worst, most heinous crimes in the world, and people, regardless of age or gender or anything else, need to feel safe. I loathe domestic violence, and so that is where I want the money to go.

Even moreso than with the independent writers, suggestions and help with this would be beyond appreciated. I spoke with Jessica, one of the directors the other day, and she is all for it. What I need help with (other than the obvious, which is finding great crime stories by both big and small names alike) is a publisher that can manage to work out a system specifically with the shelter, and anything else anyone knows about such things. Bob Wilson and Richard Salter are good friends of mine, and I've pestered them a bit, but any and all help is more than welcome and beyond appreciated.

I guess that's it for now. I'm gonna go try and channel Chucky Dickens, see if we can chat a bit more.

Oh, and you are also always welcome to BUY MY BOOKS.

(smiley face)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Woopty freaking doo

I write this out of part anger, but moreso out of being proud of myself:

About 99% of what I've accomplished, I've done going against odds. Being related and having my last name has been a road block for me, not an open road. I don't (or very rarely) write science fiction/fantasy. I think only once have I used a connection that remained from my father's day; but I knew almost nobody in the business, and those few I did know, I never asked favors of, I never kissed anyone's ass.

I just write what I wanna write. I've gotten offers (bigger offers) to write SF&F, or to do spin-offs of my father's work, but always said no with two exceptions, and the only two times I said yes, I got fucked out of thousands of dollars.

I've written under other names, but a part of me thought, Why the hell should I bother doing this? I mean, I'm me, and I'm my own self; I write the stuff I wanna write, and I want credit for the stuff I write, good or bad. I have very little connection to my father's estate, and only have a fraction of a percent of the connections my father had, and even those connections are, for the most part, useless.

People have attempted to use me over and over again, with promises about doing this or that with my own work, solely in hopes of obtaining property of my father's ("Listen, do you want to be president of Texaco oil?" "Sure!" "Then clean up the sink in there." "And then I'll be president of Texaco oil?"). Not every time, but almost every time, it comes up. But while on one hand I'm tired and fed up with being tied to the Zelazny name in my professional life, I also don't wanna go out and pretend to be somebody I'm not. People pay me to lie, but I want to lie with honesty.

How many authors have the last name King? Right, so there just happens to be more than one author with the last name Zelazny. Woopty freaking doo.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wow! Too damn long...!

It's been a long time since I wrote anything here. So much to share, and yet I'm so tired right now. Maybe I should wait another few months...

Eh, I'll give it a shot. Why not? But I'm not promising anything, like coherence. I'm gonna go with what is simplest at the moment--a kind of list. Okay.

Let's see... Since we last spoke (no, technically we did not speak, but whatever) I signed a contract with Evil Jester Press for my novel Voiceless, which is tentatively scheduled for a May 2014 release. I love the folks at Evil Jester, and am so thrilled to get the chance to work with them. Check out their books. Do it! DO IT NOW!!!




On September 20 my novelette People Person came out from Black Curtain Press as an ebook single, basically. I wrote it in one sitting, but am quite proud of it, to tell you the truth. Had no idea I could write that much, that well (reasonably) in such a short amount of time. It's available now. I'd love it if you picked up (or downloaded) a copy, and reviews are always good. So, thanking you in advance.


Next, hmm... let's see here... Oh, yeah. Too Late to Call Texas has been reissued in paperback and electronic format. The typos have been cleaned up (mostly, anyway), and there is a great introduction by suspense master Billie Sue Mosiman, as well as mind-boggling new cover art by the super talented Gary McCluskey. Like People Person, thanking you in advance :)




Also, my short story "The Rag-End of Dreams" is now out in the collection Nightscapes: Vol 1, edited by two other folks I love, Robert S. Wilson and Jennifer Wilson. Like the other books mentioned before this one, thank you in advance, only this time 23 other authors thank you as well. I don't have my copy yet, but really can't wait to read it. A lot of people I respect and admire in this baby, and I'm thrilled and honored to be in their company.



On a non-writing, personal note, I now have a girlfriend.
Really?
Yes, and she's real, not inflatable like the last few. Her name is Laurel and she is amazing, and actually seems to get and understand the insanity that comes with dating writers, for she herself is a writer. I'll keep it simple but since I met her, life has been great in ways I never knew, or haven't known in a long time, and I feel lucky as hell that she agreed to join forces with me. I wasn't 100% sure I even understood what happiness was anymore, but with Laurel, I know it, I remember, and I feel it. I'm one damn lucky son of a bitch.
I would post a picture of her but... wait, I just received permission it's okay to do so. So here is the woman I'm so blessed to be in cahoots with. Laurel, and her adorable little Banjo :)
 

I don't believe in posting pictures of people without their permission.
That is, if I actually know them.


Lastly, Neil Gaiman and his lovely wife Amanda Palmer came to town to do a charity event. I'm sure neither of them reads my blog (I barely look at it), but thank you guys for coming out and doing what you did, and doing it for two very good causes here in Santa Fe.

After the event, Amanda went home, feeling a bit under the weather, as Neil still had gazillions of books to sign. I agreed to give him a lift after he had sufficiently cramped his hand, which was great,as we hadn't seen each other in a couple years, and while tired, we got to catch up at least a little bit. Laurel joined us on the ride and I promptly missed our exit, then drove us I don't fucking know where. So, the three of us got semi lost in the New Mexico desert for a little while, but it was a great time (as well as being around midnight). In this time, however, being a fan and friend, as well as a fan of the TV show The Big Bang Theory, I did my best to convince him he should make an appearance. Did I convince him enough? Guess we'll see. I then considered writing the episode, but again, we'll see. I've too many other things going on at the moment, and Neil always has too many things going on at the moment.

So, yeah, I have the sniffles, and I'm up later than I should be. I'm gonna turn in, but consider some of the things above. Have a great night or day or whenever it is after you read this. I'll try to do a better job of doing this whole crazy blogging thing.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Too Late to Call Texas Reviewed by Anthony Servante

Too Late to Call Texas by Trent Zelazny
Reviewed by Anthony Servante

Book summary
If only he hadn't found the hat. Or the dead guy. Or the steamer trunk. Or the rag doll. If only he hadn't found any of these things, everything might have been okay. But he had found them. All of them.

Now Carson Halliday is on the run, trying his damnedest to keep one step ahead of a dangerous gang of outlaws and mad men. A run leading him from town to town in the dry wasteland of the southern New Mexico desert, over dark hills and dangerous plains, through shantytowns and city streets, and, most frightening of all, into the mysterious depths of the human heart.

Trent Zelazny

Author Biography
Trent Zelazny is the Nightmare Award-winning author of To Sleep Gently, Destination Unknown, Fractal Despondency, Shadowboxer, The Day the Leash Gave Way and Other Stories, A Crack in Melancholy Time, Butterfly Potion, and his latest, Too Late to Call Texas. He is also an international playwright, as well as the editor of the anthologies Mirages: Tales From Authors of the Macabre, and Dames, Booze, Guns & Gumshoes.

He was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has lived in California, Oregon, Arizona, and Florida. He currently resides back in Santa Fe.

Review:
Existentialism. How’s that for a big word?! Wiki defines it as “a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.” Crime Noir, in the hands of Trent Zelazny, is purely existential. Big questions are asked and, sadly, answered, even if the answer is no answer at all. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
It all begins with a hat by the road with indications that its wearer was shot in the head. For no particular reason, our hero Carson Halliday follows the trail of the hat to dangerous encounters and strange locations. Let's take a look at his name. Halliday implies "Holiday" or holy day, but this is a misperception, as the name means "[that he can] feel and sense much that one does not fully understand, and can be deeply influenced through the thoughts of others without realizing just how he is being affected." Also, the name implies that "You attract success and money, but will either be very wealthy or very poor because your good judgment fails at times." Thus, Carson can be construed as a malleable man with poor judgment. True so far. 
With this tragic flaw, Carson undertakes a journey based on poor decisions and though he may not be aware of it (as the reader often suspects) his decisions are tainted by others whom he encounters along the way. The only meaning for him at this point of his journey is to reach an old friend in Texas where he might unload the drugs he found with the money at the end of the trail of the hat. What little there was of his world begins to unravel. Everyone he meets on this journey adds a piece to the puzzle of his existential path, ultimately leading to the answer to life itself.
Carson encounters Dana, our requisite femme fetale, when he has barely survived an attack by unknown assailants. She summarizes this journey he is on with a line of questioning that Carson is pulled into more by curiosity than philosophy. She asks him if he believes in God and Fate. Just as his curiosity about the hat put him on his journey, Dana questions whether or not she is on a similar journey, which is a “fated” life leading to a pre-determined death. Carson answers her that whether or not there is a God, our journey is inevitable, and that Fate is greater than God. Little does he realize that he has just sealed his own fate with these words.
Which brings us to Albert Camus. Death by suicide is an existential belief expounded by Camus; that is, if life is meaningless, death too is meaningless. Zelazny has fated Carson with a journey that is drenched in meaninglessness but which seems to have a point (thus the ironic title of the book). As readers we, too, are drenched in death as we follow Carson’s exploits (and those of his wife Brittany). This is a spider-web of predetermined demises and gunplay. The journey leads to a meeting with the spider, even as Carson helps the spider build the web: Suicide by life, per se.

This is cold-hearted Crime Noir. The words on the book’s cover “Not everything happens for a reason” are not to be ignored. This is existential territory in the hands of a master web-builder, Trent Zelazny. For those of you expecting a traditional tale of Noir, prepare to be bitch-slapped by the ending. There’s no avoiding it. We are all doomed to the Fate awaiting both character and reader. Carson picked up the hat; we picked up the novel. At his best, Trent Zelazny is Albert Camus meets Raymond Chandler. And Too Late to Call Texas is Trent at his finest.



Be sure to check out Anthony Servante's blog at http://servanteofdarkness.blogspot.com/