Saturday, November 22, 2008

Announcement: Authorial Intrusion

I'm thrilled to say that we just recorded our very first author interview with local area novelist, Nate Green. The episode will number among our More Stories segments. I refer to it as our Authorial Intrusion episode, well, because I like really bad jokes.

In this upcoming podcast, we talk to Nate about his short story, "Prison Darkness," which you can purchase in electronic or print format here. Nate's story is part of an anthology published by Niteblade. In fact, we recommend you buy it because a) it's an awesome story and b) we speak about "Prison Darkness" fairly in-depth, so there will be spoilers abounding. It'd be better to read Nate's short story before you listen to the podcast.

We also talk to Nate about the literary concept of tragedy, the writing process in general, and his works-in-progress. It's a short, but thoughtful, discussion of writing, and Nick gets some great one-liners in during the interview.

This episode will be released shortly. Keep an eye out for it! In the meantime, go read Nate's story.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

JJ Abrams and Co. Boldly Went...

...for it and succeeded with the new Star Trek trailer. Check it out here. The film looks great. I was fortunate enough to see it in the theater so I also had the surprise factor working in my favor.

I've been worried about this movie since day one. Not because I doubted Abrams or his cadre of writers working on the picture, but because it has so many reasons to fail. Fans of the original series versus fans of the movies versus fans of Star Trek as a whole versus the general movie-going public. Everyone has an opinion on what Star Trek should be, so I was worried that it was doomed from the start because there'd be no way to reconcile the various concepts of Star Trek.

But the trailer's quieted some of those concerns for me. Could this film be what Star Wars in '77 was?

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Stories - Episode 1

In our hiatus from regular podcasts, we decided to bring you this supplemental version of Four Stories. This episode has been exclusively on iTunes for a few weeks, but we thought we'd finally put it up for our loyal blog followers. We discuss Burn After Reading, Fringe, Prison Break, The Sobriquets, Nate Green, and The Unearthed. It's a free-for-all! Enjoy!

A few links we talked about in the episode:

The Sobriquets
The Sobriquets Myspace page
Prison Darkness by Nate Green
Nate Green's Myspace page
The Unearthed at Lyrical Press

Don't forget to leave us a comment below or send us an email at to let us know what you think of
this episode!

Download MP3 File

Monday, November 10, 2008

A (Short Review) of The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst

Hey everyone,

This is Brian. I'm going to be a little lazy and cut and paste a short review of The Dogs of Babel, which I wrote initially for my own Blog: I figured it was pertinent to Four Stories. In fact, I should have written it for THIS Blog, then cut and paste it onto my Blog. Don't worry, this review is spoiler free!


Carolyn Parkhurst, author of The Dogs of Babel, knows her way with words and knows her way with emotions. But even more importantly, she's able to use her words to explore emotions in all their ugliness, beauty, and ultimately, their humanity.

The Dogs of Babel is a fascinatingly strange book. The hook of the story can be a bit misleading: a recently widowed man sets out to teach his dog to speak, so she can explain to him how his wife died. Picking it up, I thought I'd be reading more about a man's scientific adventure and an exploration into the nature of language and communication.

While The Dogs of Babel is about that, it's really about something more: how each one of us grieves in our own stupid, humorous, and touching ways when dealing with something terrible.

Parkhurst does a great job at balancing the seemingly disparate elements of her story. It is part mystery, part memoir/love story, part dog tale, and even part suspense thriller. Sounds like a strange brew, and I'll admit it is, but the narrative works, and the oddity of the mixture makes the story all the more unique.

The Dogs of Babel is an easy read because of Parkhurst's command of language; but it is also a very difficult read, because Parkhurst's prose takes us to dark and sad places. And though it would have been easy, not once does her story become a sentimental journey. It's an unflincing portrait of a grieving man, deceptively simple in its execution, profound in its message.

If you're tired of reading the same old thing, I'd highly recommend picking up this book.