Posted: August 20, 2012 in Random Awesomeness

I have a bone to pick with you…yes, you.  You’re wandering through life, picking your way through a dog-eared, duct-taped copy of The Stand because you think there are no new writers out there worth your time.  Well, bollocks, says I, and I’m not even British, which should be an indication of how pissed I am!  (Now see, if I were British, “pissed” would be a euphemism for “drunk,” which I am not.  I am simply good ole-fashioned, red-blooded American angry.)

Why? You may ask.  Because you have seen this name Zelazny and have turned up your nose.  Maybe someone thrust a ragged version of something moth-eaten (is there anything better than a tattered, well-worn book?  I mean seriously) at you and said “Read it!”  Said book bearing a muscled dude with a sword facing an unlikely tiger of some sort.  Well, like Mr. Lucas’s droids, that’s not the Zelazny you are looking for…although, while we’re on the subject, it would pay you to track down that bundle of water-damaged pages and read it.  And any other books bearing that author’s moniker.

Crap…where was I?  Ah yes…new writers…well, not new, but new-er.  Zelazny…Trent Zelazny.  Author of this dark smooch of lovely angst:


Go ahead, click on her, you know you wanna…see what happens, but make sure you get your ass back here, um-kay?

And this forthcoming bit of Shakespeare-tragedy-meets-Tarantino brutality:


And many more.

Why should you be readingTrent?  Because his work is original.  Okay, okay, all right already!  No, I have NOT read everything ever written, so I cannot claim, unequivocally, that someone, somewhere has not written in exactly this way.  But I can tell you that I have rarely encountered such an honest voice–a voice so thoroughly unashamed to tell you what despair feels like; what it looks, and smells and tastes like.  I won’t try to tell you that Zelazny is as polished as Straub or Simmons or Block…he may indeed be as good as they, may have eschewed the desire to write clean prose in favor of writing ugly, in-your-face grit.  I’m not even sure his prose isn’t clean…that’s the thing:  He’s so damned good (at least in my opinion) that one cannot tell writing from reality.  His voice is that convincing, that hard to deny, that impossible to turn away from.

Am I gushing?  Yeah, I suppose I am.  Why?  Because I am sick to death of reading crap.  Because I am that beleaguered soul grasping his rubber-banded copy of Zafon’s Shadow of the Wind, or Simmons’s Carrion Comfort, or Barker’s Galilee.  Because, with the glut of sub-par, “can’t-write-your-name-in-the-dirt-with-a-stick” crap showing up in cyber-print, I had half-decided I had two options:  1) Reread my favorites, ad infinitum, or 2) Write something better myself.  The first option is easy, and as enjoyable as ever.  I am striving for the second option, and you know where to find me to see if it is working.

And then option 3 showed up…unannounced…sitting itself at the head of the table and telling me to put down that copy of Gaiman-King-Koontz-Moore-Morrell and look at something so dark it is actually fresh.

Sigh…the reality?  Trent Zelazny ain’t for everyone…just people who enjoy good writing, done honestly, maybe too honestly to make one comfortable.  And shouldn’t art make us uncomfortable?  At least on some level?  Go now.  You know what to do.  Even the president reads Zelazny, and he wants you to click on his noggin as well.

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