Cronin’s “The Passage” must read vampire epic

Been too long, true believers. Been a writing fool. I also recently had a great time at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference. If you’re looking for an agent or an editor, it’s worth attending. Usually crops up somewhere near Seattle in late summer.

Anyway, I wanted to post a quick blurb about the novel The Passage. From Iowa Writers’ Workshop, author Justin Cronin has crafted a vampiric masterpiece worth reading. A truly wonderful narrative thread. Superb characterization. Unique, while staying true to vampire lore. From Ron Charles at the Washington Post:

In the same way that “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” gave us a mature alternative to “Harry Potter,” “The Passage” is for adults who’ve been bitten but can’t swallow the teenybopper misogyny of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series.

And Mike Peed at the NY Times:

“The Passage,” is a 766-page doorstop, a dystopian epic that’s the first installment in a projected vampire trilogy. Ballantine Books bought the lot for over $3 million, and the film rights to the novel sold before the book was completed.

More interesting notes: the vampire epic sold before the manuscript was completed. Ridley Scott gobbled those up in 2007.

Penguin’s vision for books on the iPad

Has Penguin launched the first salvo for an iBook? Someone will come up with a name for publishing house Penguin’s version of books for the new iPad. Certainly a step forward from an e-Book.

I have to admit, it’s pretty intriguing.

Good luck doing that with your Kindle. Can’t wait to see the first porn app. Eew.

You can read more at Gizmodo.

Random post of the day: Name the horror writer

Okay, been like 4ever since I posted. Been too busy writing manuscript numero tres. Coming along, coming along…

Anywho, thought I’d jump back in and toss out a random quote out there from a writer. It’s from a horror novel, published in 1885. French.

What do the sentient beings in those distant universes know, more than we do? What more are they capable of doing than we? What do they see that we have not the least knowledge of? Some day or other, won’t one of them, crossing space, appear on our earth to conquer it, just as long ago the Normans crossed the seas to subjugate people who were weaker?

We are so infirm, so helpless, so ignorant, so small, we others, on this spinning grain of mud mixed with a drop of water.

Winner gets a copy of the book. Not signed. Writer is dead, dead, dead.

WIRED: Stephen King’s gore guru

Ever wonder who to call when you need to fact check the validity of that doomsday virus? Or if cauterizing that severed leg is factual enough to extend suspension of disbelief? This month WIRED magazine spoke to the doctor who Stephen King gives a ring, when the Master of Horror needs to fact-check his latest dismemberment.

According to WIRED, Russ Dorr has been assisting King on such fact-checking since 1974. Dorr, a physician’s assistant in Hampshire, has reportedly helped on The Stand, The Shining, Pet Sematary, Misery, Cell, and King’s latest novel, Dome. Here’s a tidbit on the working relationship from the article:

On Dome, the two worked together more closely than ever. Each week, King would email the latest 50-page segment to Dorr. “Stephen’s doing the heavy lifting, getting the stuff down on paper,” Dorr says. “But then he’ll email or call with questions.” How does a guided missile work? What does a 20-year-old Geiger counter look like? Where would you go to find a B-52 bomber? “Methamphetamine. Jesus! I had to find out how to cook crystal meth, all the ingredients,” Dorr says. “It’s amazing the stuff you can find on Google.”

You can read more on Dorr and his work with King, including a recent homage by the author, online at