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Topics - iamacanadian

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Well bless my stars and garters! Atomic Fez is just the bees’ knees, it seems! According to Peter Tennant at Black Static, certainly.

Not just one, but two of the books published last year made up two entries of the 13 in Mr. Tennant’s “Best of 2010″ list over on his blog in THIS POST HERE. James Cooper’s A Beautiful Red was cited for its excellent writing, as was Andrew Hook’s Ponthe Oldenguine.

Click through and read the full text, but here’s some selected text from last week’s post, as well as a little something from Mr. Tennant’s original reviews for the two books.   

Cover art by David Gentry
(click to enlarge or close)
Quote
Cooper writes with a scalpel like economy of style, a surreal eye and a vision uniquely out of kilter with the world we know, but still connected enough to reveal to us truths we’d rather not confront.
Peter Tennant;Pete’s Picks”, January 14th 2011

Quote
“There’s Something Wrong With Pappy”… chronicles the dissolution of a family after the death of the mother, with sympathetic magic… and all sorts of micro/​​macro shifts of perspective… but also eerie and strangely compelling… Even better is “Eight Small Men”… with events past and present informing each other, and excellent characterisation throughout… a moving and powerful story, and testament to what Cooper can accomplish when he stretches himself.
 … As so often with Cooper [in “My Secret Children”] there’s the suggestion of something else going on in the background… it’s the ideal note on which to end this collection by one of the most promising writers to emerge from the small press pack in recent years.
Peter Tennant; Black Static, Issue №16 (April/​​May, 2010)

Cover art by Steve Upham
(click to enlarge or close)
Quote
…A delirious smörgåsbord… in a barbed satire that would have brought a smile to the faces of… Swift and… Pope.
Peter Tennant;Pete’s Picks”, January 14th 2011

Quote
Despite its brevity this is a book fizzing with ideas. While so much of it, at least superficially, seems preposterous, beneath the surface serious commentary is being made about the banality of modern entertainment and life itself…
[Andrew] Hook doesn’t set a foot wrong with the writing, his voice charming the reader so that we accept the audacity of his invention, the way in which it continually fools not only us but also itself. It is his best book yet, and I loved it.
Peter Tennant; Black Static, Issue №20 (Dec. 2010  –  Jan. 2011), p.52
     
Atomic Fez was the only publisher to be mentioned twice, as far as I can tell, which prompted this comment from the highly respected reviewer:

Quote
…two out of five releases [in 2010], so it appears I think [Atomic Fez] are doing something right…


The titles of the two books in the second paragraph above will lead you to their product pages, where you can purchase your very own copies of both. You’ll be glad you did, too; don’t just take Atomic Fez’s word for it!

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Atomic Fez / Win a copy of John Travis's Novel! (North America)
« on: January 10, 2011, 09:33:37 pm »
Atomic Fez is pleased to announce its latest give-away: five (5) copies of of The Terror and the Tortoiseshell for people in the North American postage delivery area (you know: Canada, plus the USA and their Armed Services locations)! Head to your Goodreads account, or register for your new one, and then enter the contest today!

Goodreads Book Giveaway



The Terror and the Tortoiseshell
by John Travis

Giveaway ends January 21, 2011.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win


John Travis's first novel, The Terror and the Tortoiseshell,  is a noir-styled murder mystery with deft comedy and Science Fiction  touches. It honours of the classic hard-​​boiled detective novels of the  1940s.

Benji Spriteman takes over the “Spriteman Detective  Agency” after the world is changed overnight by 'The Terror', resulting  in the animal kingdom moving from four legs to two and banishing the now  crazy human population from existence, and becoming the dominant  species. Oh, and Benji Spriteman is a sentient, six-​​foot tall,  suit-​​wearing, tortoiseshell cat.

In this strange environment,  which sees animals taking on some of the characteristics of the humans  they were closest to, human beings have become a bit like flying  saucers. Despite occasional sightings, there is never any definite proof  human existed. When humans start to re-appear, it’s in bizarre  situations. They're always dead and ‘displayed’ as if they were animals.  It’s just as Benji’s life is starting to become a bit more ‘normal’  that he gets drawn into the investigation into these murders, and soon  finds himself involved in ways he could never have imagined.


Praise for The Terror and the Tortoiseshell:

Quote
"Animal Farm" meets "The Big Sleep" in this quirky but compelling hard-boiled mystery, the first in a new series, from British author Travis ("Mostly Monochrome Stories").... Travis packs a lot in, including a twisty whodunit plot, humorous sequences to leaven the grimness, and a cult persuaded that Arthur Machen's 1917 novella, "The Terror", is a true account of an animal revolt in Britain. Despite superficial resemblances to Tim Davys's "Amberville" (2009), a crime novel featuring walking and talking stuffed animals, this is a far superior work with a more fully realized imaginary world. (Mar.)

--Publishers Weekly (January 11th 2010)

Quote
John Travis has penned a novel that’s sort of "Animal Farm", partly classic noir, and definitely acid trippy weird--but all in a good, fun, highly readable and entertaining way.

... The animals take on the jobs their people had so Benji becomes a private eye and begins his own journey.  Hopefully, it’s one that continues for a long time..

Very dark, but also funny in the sickest of ways. Here’s to hoping the world gets to enjoy much more of Benji--maybe if Atomic Fez offers a dimebag of catnip?

--Dave Simms; Horror World Book Reviews (June 2010)

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Atomic Fez / HOORAY! Time for Some News, Wot?
« on: December 31, 2010, 12:10:41 am »
Well, after much silence as efforts are put into Making Things Happen, it's time to raise my head and trumpet what's been done. All sorts of things were accomplished in 2010, including a Distribution Agreement, five titles were published, oodles were re-printed (several of them repeatedly), there were many many review of books, and there's lot's more to come next year. There's so much of it to relay, it comes in three parts on the site.

  • PART THE FIRST: a couple of reviews about a couple of books, both of which you shall buy and love
  • PART THE SECOND: a look at 2010's many accomplishments with books which you shall buy and love
  • PART THE THIRD: a look ahead at 2011, including books which you shall buy and love

WARNING: statistics are mixed together with jokes.

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Atomic Fez / Atomic Fez reduces eBook prices by a third
« on: October 21, 2010, 05:46:36 pm »
DRM-free multi-platform titles now priced at $4.99 to $6.99

10.21.2010 – Vancouver – Atomic Fez is dropping its eBook pricing by 33% effective immediately. This includes eBooks purchased through Amazon's Kindle Stores (www.amazon.com or www.amazon.co.uk) and www.kobobooks.com as well as the multi-file *.ZIP archives purchased directly from www.atomicfez.com.

eBooks from Atomic Fez are now just $6.99 (£4.30 GBP) with the exception of the just-released PONTHE OLDENGUINE ($4.99/ £3.07 GBP) by Andrew Hook.

'After a year in operation and with half a dozen titles published, my thinking on eBook pricing has evolved,' said Ian Alexander Martin, Publisher & Proprietor of Atomic Fez Books. 'When I realized I wouldn't pay more than 50% of the pBook cost for an eBook, I knew it was time to lower our prices. eBooks are the 21st Century's version of the mass market paperback, and they need to be priced accordingly.'

Atomic Fez remains committed to the printed book, and will be issuing two new titles early in 2011. 'Let's face it though,' said Martin, 'not all books are forever - sometimes one read is enough. eBooks offer readers increasingly cost-effective reading choices.'

The new eBook pricing structure means buyers will now save between 65% and 82.5% of the cost of Atomic Fez pBooks. All titles are DRM-free. View the complete catalog at http://www.atomicfez.com/?page_id=871

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General Discussion / Submissions: Horror Stories
« on: September 19, 2010, 04:03:28 am »
Like a first date, anything can go wrong, and usually does, when pitching a novel or collection to a publisher. What's your worst or most memorable experience on either side of this equation?

If you like, read this post on the Atomic Fez blog to get the discussions going: http://www.atomicfez.com/?p=2833

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Atomic Fez / Atomic Fez Starts the September Sale-A-Bration!
« on: September 01, 2010, 08:25:32 pm »
Yes, you read that correctly: it’s a September Sale-​​A-​​Bration  at Atomic Fez Publishing! In honour of the British Fantasy Society’s FantasyCon in Nottingham (September 17 – 19) and the West Coast Science Fiction Association organized VCON: Vancouver’s Convention of Science Fiction and Fantasy (October 1 – 3), the special prices for printed and electronic books are being extended to you through the modern miracle of ‘the InterNet’!

Now, thanks to the generosity of the people in the Atomic Fez Executive Suite, you’ll find that trade paperbacks are as low as $15 /​ £8 and hardbacks are up to 25% off!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Every title in the space-​​age Electronic Book format purchased directly from Atomic Fez is a full 50% off! That’s just $5 (roughly £3) for any title, and for that one price you get several formats in one handy *.ZIP file, and they’re all DRM-​​free!

REMEMBER: any order over $50 or £35 always qualifies for FREE SHIPPING! This is a perfect time to catch-​​up on those titles you keep meaning to experience, or to ensure your Christmas shopping is taken care of for those you know will cherish these well-​​written books.

All of the books’ product pages are live with their newly reduced prices clearly marked, and everyone can order books, anytime during the month of September, even if you can’t make it to the Atomic Fez table at either of those two events!

So it’s time to get crackin’ and click that “Book Catalogue” button on www.AtomicFez.com and join in on the Atomic Fez September Sale-​​A-​​Bration!

Books make part of a balanced diet!
Just ask Mother!


† PLEASE NOTE: this offer applies only to those copies of titles purchased directly from Atomic Fez, and does not apply to any external web-​​site such as KoboBooks.com, Amazon.com, or Amazon.co.uk. Please select the orange “E-​​BOOK” button on the product page. Thank you.

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Atomic Fez / Long Secret Ponthe Oldenguine History to be Published!!
« on: August 19, 2010, 12:03:31 am »
Atomic Fez Publishing is delighted to make available the never-been-revealed, true story of the legendary Ponthe Oldenguine! Kept from the knowledge of the public for decades, now you can finally know what really happened in the halls of the BBC's Broadcasting house in the late 1960s and early-1970s!

Written with loving care and attention to details by noted British author Andriew Hœk from notes left on his doorstep one day by a mysterious and smelly individual (who shouted "PORCU-PIIIIINE" through the letter-box before running away giggling), Ponthe Oldenguine is the man you've been denied any information about. So secret was Mr. Oldenguine's existence, you may not even be aware how badly you've wanted to know everything about him! But now, the story can be told and you can read it for yourself.

Here's something about the book itself:
Quote
If you want a picture of the future, Trunka,
imagine a boot stamping on a cake . . . forever.
Imagine just how glorious that would be.



Ponthe Oldenguine is one part fictional biography of a former television impresario who claims he’s been hounded out of media history, and one part biography of the journalist commissioned to write his story. Where the tales merge, there is madness.

Trade Paperback copies of Ponthe Oldenguine are just $16.99 (Canada/USA) or £9.99 (UK/Others), with pre-orders being taken now. The electronic book (just $9.99 Canadian) will made available on the title's Official Publishing Date of October 8th 2010.

To pre-order your printed copy, CLICK HERE.

EDITED TO ADD THE FOLLOWING: The Proofs Are Here! The Proofs Are Here! The Proofs Are Here!

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Atomic Fez / James Cooper Profiled
« on: July 14, 2010, 02:26:35 am »
The delightfully talented James Cooper has been profiled over at Horror Re-Animated and has provided the information about what book he's willing to have share the grave with him. Read it here.

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Atomic Fez / WICKED DELIGHTS Reviewed in Black Static #17
« on: June 08, 2010, 06:41:03 am »
Here's some of the more blatantly book-whoring bits.

Quote
It’s an immensely entertaining read…

[“Two for Dinner”] is so deliriously tongue in cheek and full of witty invention, written with such panache and obvious delight that I found it impossible to read without a smirk of satisfaction taking up residence on my chops. This is the story that best represents the promised Wicked Delights.

Probert gives the readers [in “Mirror of Tears”] some genuinely unsettling moments on the way to a surprise ending…

Probert’s twisted logic [in “Your Help Needed Urgently!”] turns things on their head and provides a gonzo explanation for why this is taking place. Did I like this story? Agree strongly.

His comments [in the “Afterword”] and the insights they provide into his creative process are almost as engaging as the fiction.

A fine collection from a writer who… is a skilled storyteller, one who works at his craft, and is always going to provide fair measure of thrills and chills in a horror mode for the discerning reader.

Peter Tennant; Black Static, Issue #17 (June/July 2010)


...and don't forget that UK orders are mailed inside Great Britain, so shipping is inexpensive.

...and North American orders are mailed inside North America, so shipping is inexpensive.

[choose one of the above reminders depending on your current location]
EDITED TO CORRECT ISSUE NUMBER

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Atomic Fez / Two New Reviews: James Cooper and John Travis!
« on: June 01, 2010, 06:22:36 am »
Well, their books get reviewed, they get reviewed via their work, shall we say?

Here's one about John Travis's novel, The Terror and the Tortoiseshell. It's on the Horror World site and written by Dave Simms. Scroll about half-way down after clicking here: Horror World Book Reviews; June, 2010

Once you've read the review, click the picture to go to the page on the Atomic Fez web-site and order a copy. Remember that they're mailed domestically from both within North America AND within the UK!


And now... Here's one about James Cooper's collection The Beautiful Red. It's on the Suite 101 site, and is written by Colin Harvey: quite a long link, actually.

Once you've read that review, click the picture to go to the page on the Atomic Fez web-site and order a copy. Again, remember that all Atomic Fez titles are mailed domestically from both within North America AND within the UK!

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Due to the incredible popularity of the fifth collection of John Llewellyn Probert's short fiction, Wicked Delights has already been re-printed in the United Kingdom, and in North America the title is now being printed for its third time. Atomic Fez is over-joyed that the world thinks as highly of Mr. Probert's writing as does the hard-working team of fiction scientists in the Atomic Fez laboratories.

Quote
Prolific horror writer Probert (The Faculty of Terror) offers up 18 gruesome, unsettling, and often unnervingly funny tales in his wide-ranging fifth short story collection… Vividly creepy images… are all the more compelling when rendered in Probert’s breezy style. An illuminating and frequently hilarious afterword ends the collection on a gentle note.
Publishers Weekly; February 8TH 2010, “Fiction Reviews (SF/Fantasy/Horror)”


Quote
The delightfully wicked Mr Probert wields his prose like a scalpel. His imagination is impressively warped and gruesome, and yet his tales have an unrepentantly English reticence. There’s dark humour here, and unexpected poignancy — indeed, the book is as full of surprises as the man himself. Horror is lucky to have him.
Ramsey Campbell (author of Just Behind You and Creatures of the Pool)

PLEASE NOTE: United Kingdom, European, and other Foreign Regions have freshly-reprinted copies available now. Customers in these areas will have orders shipped immediately from Atomic Fez's UK Centre of Operations using direct domestic mail.

North American supplies of this title are temporarily unavailable. More copies will arrive at the Atomic Fez shipping complex in the Dominion of Canada at the beginning of July, for which orders are being taken now.

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Atomic Fez / New Review of James Cooper's THE BEAUTIFUL RED
« on: May 04, 2010, 04:05:01 am »
It turns out that at the start of last month, there was a review in the American Library Association's publication Booklist about James Cooper's book The Beautiful Red. Until James told me about it today, I'd not heard that it had appeared!

Here's the review:

Quote
At the heart of every tale in Cooper’s latest collection of meticulously crafted horror is a disquieting, iconic figure or image. More often than not, the image serves as a metaphor for people as vulnerable objects, as manipulated things. In “There’s Something Wrong with Pappy,” it’s a papier-mâché model home built by a little girl whose father has been imprisoned by a malevolent force in the toy’s real counterpart on a nearby hill. For “Eight Small Men,” the figure is an actual woman, albeit caricatured as the Matron, who exemplifies the worst in bad parenting skills while acting as stepmother for two tormented brothers. In “The Family Face,” a writer moving to the country for creative inspiration regrettably crosses paths with a rural doll maker whose lifelike creations depend on harvesting real eyeballs, animal and human. While independent publisher Atomic Fez may not yet be positioned to introduce Cooper to a wider audience, the quality of his output so far easily matches that of the best-known talents in contemporary horror.

Carl Hays Booklist, April 1st 2010

To order a copy for posting, head to the book's page on the Atomic Fez site here.

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Atomic Fez / Win a Wickedly Delightful Champagne Breakfast!
« on: March 08, 2010, 06:45:02 pm »
METRO VANCOUVER, BC: Atomic Fez Publishing today announced their scheme to ‘bring a little joy to the morning’ of their loyal customers at the upcoming World Horror Convention 2010 by way of a Champagne Breakfast with the author of Wicked Delights: John Llewellyn Probert.

Attending any World Horror Convention is something special, but this year is the first time that the event will have been held off the North American continent. Additionally, World HorrorCon – held March 25th–28th in Brighton, England – is the event at which Atomic Fez will be making their maiden publications available to the buying public for the first time.

Wicked Delights is Mr. Probert’s fifth collection of short stories, and during WHC will be specially priced to make the volume of 18 delectable tales particularly desirable to the horror connoisseur.

One lucky purchaser of the collection will discover something extra amongst the book’s 352 pages of highly-talented writing: a “Golden Ticket” that will enable them to have the experience of a lifetime and something to make their trip to WHC fit for the history books: a Champagne Breakfast with the author!

This “Golden Ticket” will allow the bearer to enjoy the delights of a thoroughly wicked Champagne Breakfast in the company of both Mr. Probert, his publisher (Ian Alexander Martin), along with their retinue on the Sunday morning of WHC. All the bearer need bring with them is the ticket, a sense of humour, and a healthy appetite… and probably some clothes.

While only copies of Wicked Delights purchased at WHC are valid for this contest, the hardback collection may be obtained from either AtomicFez.com or better book dealers.

Advance Praise for Wicked Delights:
Quote
[STARRED REVIEW] 18 gruesome, unsettling, and often unnervingly funny tales in his wide-ranging fifth short story collection. … Vividly creepy images… are all the more compelling when rendered in Probert’s breezy style. An illuminating and frequently hilarious afterword ends the collection on a gentle note.
Publishers Weekly, February 8th, 2010, ‘Fiction Book Reviews (SF/Fantasy/Horror)’
Quote
The delightfully wicked Mr. Probert wields his prose like a scalpel. His imagination is impressively warped and gruesome, and yet his tales have an unrepentantly English reticence. There’s dark humour here, and unexpected poignancy — indeed, the book is as full of surprises as the man himself. Horror is lucky to have him.
Ramsey Campbell (author of Just Behind You and Creatures of the Pool)

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Gracious! Will this praise for authors never cease? One would actually have to admit that the writers are as good in others’ eyes as they are in our own! Behold, another review from the pages of Publishers Weekly of a book being published by Atomic Fez, this one being Wicked Delights by John Llewellyn Probert!

Quote
* Wicked Delights John Llewellyn Probert. Atomic Fez (www.atomicfez.com), $39.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-9811597-2-0
      Prolific horror writer Probert (The Faculty of Terror) offers up 18 gruesome, unsettling, and often unnervingly funny tales in his wide-ranging fifth short story collection. In “At Midnight, I Will Steal Your Soul,” a terrifying choir rehearsal in a haunted asylum leads an anxiety-plagued woman to a profound realization. “Two for Dinner” is a heart-pounding tribute to revenge horror films with a gleefully disturbing punch line. “The Mirror of Tears” is a haunting family drama about childhood terror and the sometimes damaging power of love. Vividly creepy images—the pages of a cookbook sucking on a child like leeches, an entire company being reduced to a sculpture of body parts as part of a corporate takeover—are all the more compelling when rendered in Probert’s breezy style. An illuminating and frequently hilarious afterword ends the collection on a gentle note. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly, February 8th, 2010, Fiction Book Reviews, SF/Fantasy/Horror

To read the original, head to this spot in those intar-webs: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6717768.html?industryid=47159#SF/Fantasy/Horror. A bit of a long one, granted, but that's why it's a live link.

This follows some charmingly selected words about Mr. Probert's book from Britain's long-respected Master of Horror Ramsey Campbell:

Quote
The delightfully wicked Mr Probert wields his prose like a scalpel. His imagination is impressively warped and gruesome, and yet his tales have an unrepentantly English reticence. There’s dark humour here, and unexpected poignancy — indeed, the book is as full of surprises as the man himself. Horror is lucky to have him.
Ramsey Campbell (author of Just Behind You and Creatures of the Pool)

Goodness me. So much love for just one book. It makes you want to buy one for yourself, doesn't it? Here's a good link for you, then.

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Atomic Fez / John Travis's Début Novel!
« on: February 06, 2010, 07:31:44 am »
John Travis’s first novel, The Terror and the Tortoiseshell, is a noir–styled murder mystery with deft touches of both the Comedy and Science Fiction genres, but primary in it is the honouring of the classic hard-boiled detective novels of the 1940s, right down to the gloriously evocative cover by Steve Upham!


Benji Spriteman takes over the “Spriteman Detective Agency” after the world is changed overnight by ‘The Terror’, resulting in the animal kingdom moving from four legs to two and banishing the now crazy human population from existence to become the dominant species. Oh, and Benji Spriteman is a sentient, six-foot tall, suit-wearing, Tortoiseshell cat. Yeah, that’s a bit of a jolt, especially to Benji.

Quote
    All I know is that I fell asleep in the old man’s lap just after midnight on midsummer’s eve and awoke when I heard screaming.
    Instead of being in Jimmy’s lap I was sprawled across the dusty floor, and everything had changed; my sight, hearing and smell were all completely different. I also noticed that I seemed to be taking up a lot more floor space than I was used to.
    Initially it was the screaming that bothered me most. Apart from the noise in the office, it was going on outside too and not all of it was human; the air was filled with roars, grunts, howls; sniggers even. But the most disturbing noise was about eight feet away, coming from a bundle in the corner trying desperately trying to sink into the wall. It seemed to take twice as long as usual for my eyes to adjust to the darkness so I could make out what the bundle was.
    Jimmy.

In this strange environment, which sees animals taking on some of the characteristics of the humans they were closest to, human beings have become a bit like flying saucers – despite occasional sightings, there is never any definite proof that they still exist. But when humans do start to appear it’s always in the most bizarre situations – always dead, and ‘displayed’ as if they were animals. And it’s just as Benji’s life is starting to become a bit more ‘normal’ that he gets drawn into the investigation into these murders, and soon finds himself involved in ways he could never have imagined…

These are at the printers now, and will be on-sale at World HorrorCon in Brighton. Or, head to the “STORE” on the site and pre-purchase using VISA, MC or PAYPAL, and you can ensure a copy is sent to you in Britain as soon as I have a moment during the week after WHC, or if you're in North America: mid-April once I'm home again in Vancouver.

It comes in one ‘Trade’ edition as follows:
  • bound in a jacket-less hardback biding
  • $34.99 (CAN/USA) – £19.99 (UK)
  • 978−0−9811597−3−7

Advance Praise for The Terror and the Tortoiseshell:
Quote
Animal Farm meets The Big Sleep in this quirky but compelling hard-boiled mystery, the first in a new series, from British author Travis (Mostly Monochrome Stories). A mysterious event has reversed the roles of animals and humans in England. In an instant, pets have grown in height, gained the ability to speak, and started assuming the jobs of their former masters. People have become the animals’ pets or playthings in a savage outburst of revenge. Some animals oppose the violence, in particular, a cat who adopts the name and profession of his owner, becoming “Benji Spriteman, Detective”. Travis packs a lot in, including a twisty whodunit plot, humorous sequences to leaven the grimness, and a cult persuaded that Arthur Machen’s 1917 novella, The Terror, is a true account of an animal revolt in Britain. Despite superficial resemblances to Tim Davys’s Amberville (2009), a crime novel featuring walking and talking stuffed animals, this is a far superior work with a more fully realized imaginary world. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly (January 11th, 2010)

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