Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Scythes & The City

If you've never heard of him, Scott Sigler is an American novelist who I came across a year or so ago when looking for things to listen to on my first ever MP3 player, I think it was David who first put me onto him. He's released a number of audio books for free download - I put them into two categories; one type are American sports based sci-fi which to date I've listened to and given up on in the same way you might if you were to follow a foreign language chat show in a German hotel room. The other kind are far more my thing, that is science fiction horror. Blood and violence everywhere. If you had to compare him to another author, I'd say his plotlines sound like Michael Crichton's but with more splattering heads and despair (I tend to prefer Scott's characters as well if I'm honest).

A completely different topic is Scott's innovative step of releasing novels for free as mp3s, and later releasing the same books in the more traditional paper format. A brave step which I really hope works. I have to be honest, I probably wouldn't have found or bought his books had I never been able to get the free audiobooks.

The premise of EarthCore is that a prospector finds a rich source of Platinum in the mountains of Utah. This leads to an international mining corporation investigating the site, unaware of the impending "HOLY CHRIST WHERE'S MY FUCKING ARM GONE?" that awaits.  Now where these gory novels are my thing they're certainly not my girlfriend, Fran's. There are no sparkly pink things or fluffy happy endings. No women shopping for shoes and talking about their terrible boyfriends over coffees which cost more than a meal. Fran doesn't like horrors or thrillers. That's why when I started listening to the first few chapters of Earthcore I did so on my own when driving to work rather than with her in the evenings, in the same way she'll watch Desperate Housewives when I go to watch low budget horror films with Tara.

This came out in conversation a week or two ago, and I remembered that despite this dislike of gory and scary films, Fran has seen and enjoyed (amongst other films of the same ilk) Alien, Predator and the Exorcist, so that evening she agreed to listen to Earthcore with me. She was hooked from the first chapter.

This makes me feel almost guilty. I like to think of myself as pretty open when it comes to the whole pink for a girl and blue for a boy notion. I've tried watching Sex And The City, I found it less enjoyable than clumsily picking my brain out through my ear with a crochet hook. I've never seen Desperate Housewives. I don't think I have enough knitting implements to cope.

So a win for science fiction horror. Incidentally, EarthCore was fucking great. Now I can justify getting up to date with his newest novel, Ancestor.


  1. Wow! Thanks for writing it. Who knows, maybe one day I'll understand American Football and be able to have a proper go at The Rookie.
    I'm looking forward to trying Fran with Infected, I can't wait to see her reaction to Perry's home surgery. Keep writing 'em and I'll keep reading 'em!


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