Award-winning novelist and cultural critic Strobe Witherspoon interrogates his own profession. It goes terribly.
“Wildly entertaining …Sometimes sad and sometimes hilarious, Witherspoon’s timely metafictional novel explores the ways (mis)information can shape public discourse in the digital media age.” – Booklife by Publishers Weekly
”Strikingly original …an innovative literary experiment that supplies a thoughtful commentary on the ‘discourse virus’ of our age …Witherspoon tackles a broad spectrum of media, including comically scathing excerpts from tweets, podcasts, blogs, and even academic journals and also keenly exposes the ways in which Strobe, the character, is implicated in his own online assault, due to his obsessive attachment to public life.” – Kirkus Reviews
OOF explores the role of satire in a society lurching from one ridiculous crisis to the next, where media outlets rely on clicks to stay alive and everything is filtered through a lens of anger and misinformation.
Strobe Witherspoon just sold his latest satirical novel for a lot of money. The book in question, FLOTUS: A Memoir, is a fictitious autobiography about a former first lady of the United States reflecting on years of misery at the hands of her much older POTUS husband. When a chapter is leaked in advance of the book’s publication, an Online Outrage Fiesta (OOF) ensues via news outlets, blogs, Twitter, troll farms, and everything in between. Witherspoon has his life placed under a microscope. Family secrets are exposed. Now, an anthology has been put together to document Witherspoon’s downfall—and settle the score.
”an impressive achievement of unflinching honesty from a noteworthy talent, as resonant and relevant as it is entertaining …OOF tugs at the threads that connect American cynicism with radical extremism and weaves a character-rich tapestry of insight …Each voice, whether of a New Yorker journalist or an Internet influencer, is rendered with uncanny fidelity. Perhaps most masterful is that key events are not depicted but merely alluded to, allowing the text to provide an elegant framework for a more personal story painted almost invisibly in the negative space.”– BlueInk Review
Pianist in a Bordello
What would happen if a politician decided to tell the truth—the whole truth?
Richard Youngblood, aspiring Congressman, is about to find out. He’s running on a platform of honesty and transparency—and against the advice of his friends and advisers he’s decided to start with himself. His autobiography will lay his entire life bare before voters just days before the election.
And what a life he’s had. Born in a commune and named Richard Milhous Nixon Youngblood as an angry shot at his absent father, Richard grows up in the spotlight, the son of an enigmatic fugitive and the grandson of a Republican senator. He’s kidnapped and rescued, kicked out of college for a prank involving turkeys, arrested in Hawaii while trying to deliver secrets to the CIA…Dick Nixon Youngblood’s ready to tell all.
He’ll even tell his readers about the Amandas—three women who share a name but not much else, and who each have helped shape and define the man he’s become.
Are voters really ready for the whole truth?
Pianist in a Bordello is a hilarious political romp through the last four decades of American history, from a narrator who is full of surprises.
Meet Mike C. Erickson
Mike C. Erickson grew up in the idyllic college town of Logan, Utah, but because of a twist of fate he graduated from high school in Honolulu. He left Hawaii brimming with aloha and enrolled at Utah State, where he was awarded two degrees and self-proclaimed minor intellectual status, which was of dubious value when the US Army invited him to vacation in South-East Asia. Ten days after leaving Vietnam, he began decades of dispensing pearls of wisdom as a high school history teacher, academic decathlon coach, and on occasion, as a community college instructor in the Sacramento area. Mike and his wife Trudy, have two grown sons and a grandson born soon after this novel is published. When not in Hawaii or another exotic locale, they live in Gold River, California. This is his first novel.
Three young, inexperienced magicians must defend their world against a wave of increasingly difficult opponents. That’s what Magi of Gaia is essentially about, but if you’re only looking for fierce, hard-hitting action, you’ll overlook the humor, kindness, and drama that bring this world to life. Sure, you might be happy with the amazing uses of magic and the broken noses, but you’ll miss out on seeing the quick temper of the usually-composed Jorri, the softheartedness escaping from Yuna’s severe demeanor, or Eren’s courage overcoming her self-doubt.
This trio, the Magi, are the imperfect heroes—human in spite of their incredible powers—and are tasked with keeping their world from falling into darkness. When a magician enters Gaia’s realm, it’s the Magi’s job to find them, determine whether or not they are hostile, and deal with the situation appropriately. It’s a lot to ask, and things aren’t helped by the appearance of a woman claiming to be a deity whose sole joy seems to be breaking the Magi’s spirit … and their bodies. This woman shows her powers seldomly, but when she does, she breaks the very logic of their world and makes it look effortless.
Come and read more. Find out how our heroines can laugh and joke around, even under the toughest of circumstances. See if you can figure out why Eren, a girl who should be a beloved hero, is treated as though she’s diseased. Discover why 80% of Gaia’s population is … female?!
It seems Gaia is different from Earth is more ways than you might think.
Kept hidden by the United States government for decades, the Site is a place where magic is real. But that doesn’t mean that everything happening there is sparkly. Soul-sucking policies and layers of stifling bureaucracy threaten to take all the fun out of magic.
Harris, a newbie Conjurer, starts his first day of work at the Site bursting with excitement: he’s been brought on for an extremely big project happening the very next day. In a triumph over its habitual inefficiency, the Site manages to carry out its plan and conjure an actual dragon to be used by the military.
The dragon (Zoth-Avarex, the self-proclaimed greatest dragon in the multiverse) immediately eats the person next to him, snatches a “princess” from the ranks of the Conjuring Department, and flies away to the Space Needle. There he manipulates the media, outwits the Site’s bumbling management, demands sixty-three billion dollars’ worth of treasure (because Smaug was said to have had sixty-two billion in his hoard), threatens to destroy the city–and installs a couple of food trucks.
While this book skewers the same fantasy genre it gleefully inhabits, it also pokes fun at corporate culture, today’s obsession with wealth and celebrity, and our denial that life is anything more than meets the eye. Hapless Harris, believing in magic all along, learns to apply what he’s picked up between the pages of fantasy literature.