So the Infinity writing team of myself and Ellen Curtis was at our first-ever open-source book launch on October 6, which celebrated the release of Scott Bartlett’s new science-fiction opus, Finished with Life: But Unable to Die. It was held at The Ship Pub, which is this amazingly homey bar nestled between two streets in Downtown St. Johns that has become a staple of the arts community over the last decade or so.
The concept behind an open-source book launch is that anyone can come and participate: it’s not some dry excersize in promoting one author’s work, which even at the best of times can become tedious. it becomes a celebration of art in general, and there were several forms of art involved: fiction, music, comedy, and physical artistry.
There were some amazing readers at the event, as you can see from the photo above. Now, hold on to your socks, because Ellen Curtis and Scott Bartlett were never actually on stage together. Photoshop is an amazing thing, no?
There were ten performers in total, including the man-of-the-hour himself, Scott Bartlett, who read from selected portions of his new novel. For my feelings of excitement regarding an author with the literary chops of Scott taking on science-fiction, you can go here to read me ranting about it like it’s the second coming. The sections he read were interesting and insightful with pieces of drama and comedy that point to a larger landscape and an expansive timeline, a hallmark of great science-fiction such as Speaker for the Dead and The Forever War. Here’s hoping I get a chance to sit down and really read it soon.
I myself read my short stories from both my contributing volumes of Sci-Fi from the Rock, both of which will be reprinted this April in the Sci-Fi from the Rock 10th Anniversary Edition. Despite a little stuttering on my part, the tales went over well, as they always do. I find it difficult to write truly short prose, and am intensely proud of those two short stories for coming out so well.
Not to play favorites, but I think the star of the evening was Matthew Daniels, a young fiction writer from St. Johns who told a gripping, anxiety-inducing story about a young girl being buried alive: a tried and true tale on suspense and claustrophobia, with a fresh twist I’d never thought of before. Here’s hoping we see tons from Daniels in the future, his fiction was spot-on.
Also reading were Professor Dave Reynolds from Problematic Press, comedian Stephen Power, writer Paul Hussey, artist Joey Neary (who actually spoke about his “Buy My Art” foundation, which supports local artists and should be checked out by all).
Infinity fans in attendance were in for the biggest treat though, as Ellen Curtis took to the stage and read the first chapter of the still in-progress Exodus of Angels, the third-book in the highly anticipated Infinity series, and introduced a new character sure to raise the attention of any fan who has been paying attention to the series closely to date: a young girl escaping from a mental health facility called Black Springs.
All in all, it was an amazing way to shout-out that Finished with Life was borne into the world (see what I did there?), and the open-source format is one I will likely gleefully nab from Bartlett in the near future: a huge success in any sense of the word!