Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It has arrived

My book is now officially on sale, and boy do I have some links for you.

Here are some of the reviews, interviews, and articles by or about myself or my wonderful little degenerate of a debut novel:

http://alexbledsoe.com/2017/04/10/guest-post-robyn-bennis-on-the-uselessness-of-writing-advice/
http://www.lawrencemschoen.com/tag/eating-authors/
http://www.torforgeblog.com/2017/05/01/the-evolution-of-technology-in-the-guns-above/
https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/1/15476168/sci-fi-fantasy-horror-books-recommendations-may-2017
http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2017/05/the-guns-above-by-robyn-bennis-review.html
https://theillustratedpage.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/review-of-the-guns-above-by-robyn-bennis/
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/best-science-fiction-fantasy-books-may-2017/
https://everydayshouldbetuesday.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/review-the-guns-above-robyn-bennis/
http://maryrobinettekowal.com/journal/favorite-bit-robyn-bennis-talks-guns/
http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/the-guns-above/
https://powderandpage.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/the-guns-above-by-robyn-bennis-review/
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/weeks-new-sci-fi-fantasy-books-divine-politics-mushroom-zombies-murderbots/
http://garrettcalcaterra.blogspot.com/2016/12/steampunk-author-interview-robyn-bennis.html
http://www.tor.com/2017/05/02/book-reviews-the-guns-above-by-robyn-bennis/

Feel free to take the day off work to read them.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Guns Above is nearly here!



It's nearly here! My debut novel, a steampunk fantasy filled with witty dialogue and ladies who shoot people, is coming out on Tuesday, May 2nd! You can find more information, links to excerpts, and ordering information on my website, here:

And if you happen to be in the San Francisco area next weekend, why not drop by one of my events? There will be readings and signings at both.

Saturday, May 6th, 3:00pm
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco CA 94110

Sunday, May 7th, 6:30pm
355 Clementina St.
San Francisco, CA

Please feel free to forward this invitation to as many people as you'd like, and bring as many as you'd like to the events, as high turnout can generate the sort of early enthusiasm that's critical for a debut author's success.

Monday, April 3, 2017

ONE DAY LEFT

 

ONE DAY LEFT to enter to win one of ten advanced copies of my steampunk adventure novel, The Guns Above!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/221244-the-guns-above

Have I not mentioned this giveaway before now, when there's one day left to enter? Yeah. I forget this blog exists sometimes.

SO ENTER NOW!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

In Denver This Week at AnomalyCon

Hey folks!

If you're in the Denver area this weekend (March 17-19,) I'll be attending all three days of AnomalyCon at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center. So drop me a line in the comments, and we'll meet up!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Guest-Post at Balloon Juice

Hey everyone!

Yesterday I did a little guest-post over at Balloon Juice, on the topic of writing spaces and staying productive in troubled times. Let me just give you a teaser:

You’d think “where I write” and “how I stay productive in Nyarlathotep’s America” would be separate topics, but they aren’t.

If you'd like to read the rest, just head on over there.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Interview at The Machine Stops

Hello one and all! Did you know I was interviewed by Garrett Calcaterra over on The Machine Stops? I could have sworn I'd already posted about this, but during my routine bimonthly review of this blog to remove incriminating material, I realized I hadn't.

The interview was a lot of fun, and I think you'll have fun reading it. You can find it right here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review: Unwrap My Heart by Alex Falcone and Ezra Fox

When I first scammed a free review copy of Unwrap My Heart, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. Sure, co-authors Alex Falcone and Ezra Fox have shown, across hundreds of episodes of the Read It and Weep podcast, that they are great at dissecting bad books. But, as I discovered about halfway through performing my own knee surgery to save money, putting things together is a lot harder than taking things apart.

Unwrap My Heart is a YA supernatural parody romance, first conceived on the Read It and Weep podcast. The book is narrated from the perspective of high schooler Sophia, who finds herself falling in love with the new guy Seth—who's pretty obviously a secret mummy. The sunken, hollow eyes and bandages are a bit of a giveaway, though most people pass it off as a hipster affectation. Sophia, for her part, is accident prone to the point of constant self-endangerment, so vacuous that you wonder what Seth could possibly see in her, and entirely unperturbed as Seth graduates from creepy stalker behavior, to infantilizing her, to outright manipulation by selective refusal to communicate.

If any of this sounds oddly familiar, it's because Unwrap My Heart rarely strays from its chief well of parody: the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Even when it does depart, it does so with a nod (or perhaps a middle finger) to the popular series about a hundred-year-old vampire dating a teenage girl. Take the moment when Seth clears up some confusion regarding his own age:

"We're basically the same age. Which is good, really. Monster or no, if I was hundreds or thousands of years older than you this would be a really troubling relationship."

But is Unwrap My Heart any good? And have I been stalling on answering that question, in the hopes of screwing with the authors' heads, playing upon their emotional and artistic investment for no better reason than my own sadistic pleasure? The answer to both questions is a resounding "yes," and if you've forgotten what the first question even was, let me reiterate: I loved every page of this wonderful little book.

The voice of Unwrap My Heart is reminiscent of the playful, sarcastic tone of a Read It and Weep episode, and I was pleased to discover that the authors' skill at podcasting is matched by a skill for novel-writing. The book has a coherent, satisfying, and well-paced plot. The prose is smooth. The jokes come frequently enough to keep you chuckling, but not so thick as to take you out of the story, or to turn it into a hollow farce. Against all odds, a couple of podcasters decided to base their first novel on an off-hand joke from the show, and somehow managed to create a real page turner.

The one area where the book falls short is in the characters. While they are undeniably interesting, for the most part they aren't terribly engaging. Considering the book's core purpose—to satirize the genre and make a mockery of fantasy writers tapping ever-more-outlandish creatures for teenage girls to have a problematic romance with—it's hard to fault the authors for this. But I will fault them, both because they chose their premise and now must live with it, and because it turns out I'm kind of a jerk.

The great shortcoming in the characters is that, for the most part, they're simply not characters. Instead, they're jokey reflections of characters from other books. Sophia's dad is warm-hearted, devoted, and rocks an amazing mustache because the dad in Twilight has these traits. Motivations and hobbies seem to exist solely to service a joke or reference. I could easily forgive this if the book was a farce through and through, but there's a welcome thread of sincerity weaved into its pages which makes you want to care about these characters, while the characters themselves give you little to care about.

But this is not a fatal flaw. Despite the weak characters, Unwrap My Heart is an absolute delight to read. It's a balm for these trying times and an antidote to the abusive romances found in so much bestselling YA fiction. I found myself staying up late, walking to the store with my nose buried in my Kindle, and reading in a parked car for so long that my neighbors worried I was having a stroke, because I just couldn't put it down.

In short, I highly recommend this book and I can't wait to see what these folks cook up next.

Unwrap My Heart will be available December 1st, 2016 on Amazon and through the book's website at http://unwrapmyheart.com/

Note also that familiarity with the Twilight series and other books in that genre is not required to enjoy Unwrap My Heart, but if you really want to brush up on it, the Read It and Weep crew have you covered with the extensive review that kicked off their podcast.