Critical Companion

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“Even as Stephen Graham Jones generates a dizzying range of brilliant fiction, his work has remained strikingly absent from scholarly conversations about Native and western American literature, owing to his unapologetic embrace of popular genres such as horror and science fiction. Steeped in dense narrative references, literary and historical allusions, and experimental postmodern stylings, his fiction informs a broad array of literary and popular conversations.

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Trucks I’ve Had

I wish I’d taken more pictures. A part of my heart is still with each of these trucks. I remember dragging a chain out of the bed and leaving a big gouge on the bed rail of one. I remember loading a piano into one of the tall ones, in the sun, when I wasn’t sure I had gas money to get home. I remember a dog I picked up one day to get it a little farther down the road, and how it kept biting me and biting me. I remember pulling over in the ditch to write. I remember working through the night, trying to get them running again. I remember watching fireworks from the bed of the blue one with my wife, then, when the radio came on with its song to match the explosions, two-stepping out through the grass with her. I remember my daughter putting a tarp in the bed of the yellow one and then filling it with water, for all the kids on the block to have a swimming pool. And I wish I had pictures of each one of these. But you never think to get a camera out, do you? At least I never did. So, some of these are my trucks, and some are kind of stock photos—stuff I searched up.

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Mongrels

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Set in the deep South, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly, and surprisingly funny novel that follows an unnamed narrator as he comes of age under the care of his aunt and uncle — who are werewolves. They are a family living on the fringe, struggling to survive in a society that shuns them: living in cars or trailers, moving every couple of months, eating from garbage cans, taking whatever work they can scrounge. Mongrels takes us on a compelling and fascinating journey into this dark and shadowy world, moving fluidly through time to create an unforgettable portrait of a yoy trying to understand his place in the world and in his close-knit family of outcasts. Never has the werewolf been so funny, so bloody, so raw and so real. Jones delivers a smart and innovative novel with heart.

— William Morrow

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reviews : LA Times  |  Tor.com  #1  |  Tor.com #2   |   SciFiNow (UK)  |  LitReactor  |  DreadCentral  |  BookRiot (@2:55)  |  Literary Disco (@23:30) B&N Science Fiction and Fantasy  |  Locus  |  Project: Black T-Shirt (video review)  |  Shelf Stalker  |  Kirkus  | Cemetery Dance  |   Publishers Weekly  |  Examiner  |  Unwinnable  |  Witchsong  |  Booksellers Wrap-up  |  This is Horror  |  Dead End Follies  |  New York Journal of Books  |  Shock Totem  |    |  Easy Vegan  |  Lorelei by Starlight  |  San Diego City Beat  |  Library Thing  |  Summer  Reading  |  CJ Chipman Writes  |  Booked (podcast)  |  ReadersUnbound  |  LoveReading (UK)  | Anthony Watson  |  Bookshop Santa Cruz  |  Horror-Web  |  Book Riot  |  Theo Van Alst  |  Leafing Through Life  |  Downpour  |  Kevin Hearne  |  Cherie Priest  |  Coffee and Books  |  Buzzfeed  |  The Last Bookstore  |  Booklover’s Boudoir  |  Amy McLean  |  The Nervous Breakdown  |  Ginger Nuts of Horror  |  Unleash the Flying Monkeys  |  Brentwood Lib  |  Bookshop Santa Cruz  |  Reading the End  |  Review Graveyard  |  Word Basket  |  Living Dangerously  |  Horror Maiden  |  PaperBlog  |  Postcards from a Dying World  |  Real Dead Review  |  Blogorama  |Starburst  |  Thrillist  |  Char’s Corner  |  The Monitor  |  Cultured Vultures  |  Average Audience Member  |  ReadListenReview  |  Rain Taxi  |  BookRiot  |  SF Book Review  |   Audiobook Reviewer  |   Tom Bont’s Silver Key  |  HorrorTalk  |  Strange Bookfellows  |  GuysLitWire  | Brazen Bull  |  SmashDragons  |  Deadsville  |  Gunnar Norskog  |  Vol 1 Brooklyn  |  Amazon UK reviews  |  The Blood-Shed  |  Unnerving Magazine  |  4th & Sycamore  |  Adapt This  |  Fantasy Book Critic  |  Snails & Wolves  |  Beavis the Bookhead  |  Reviewed by Mom  |  Paul M. Feeney  |  Will Byrnes  |  Craig DiLouie  |  Project MUSE (Billy Stratton)  |  Very Biased Reviews  |  Horror Novel Reviews  |  LARB  |  Daily Dead News | CBC Books |  Castle Walls  |  Lela E. Buis  |   See the Elephant |  Booknest  |  Winsome Gates  |

best-of (etc) lists : Tor’s 16 Best Books of 2016 (so far)  |  BookRiot’s 100 Monster Books  |  25 Summer Books  |  Bustle’s 12 Summer Reads  |   Shotgun Logic Top 5 (so far)  |  Best Books of 2016  |   Another Best of 2016  |  BookRiot’s Modern Monsters  |  Jason Sanford  |  Aqueduct (Jeffrey Ford)  |  Tim Meyer  |  David Agranoff  |  Frank Michael Serrington  |  John Boden  |  Glenn Rolfe  |  Paul Tremblay  |  HorrorMaiden  |  Mike Bracken/HorrorGeek  |  Bloodshot Books  |  Dumbbells & Dragons’ Best of 2016  |  Tor.com’s Reviewers’ Choices 2016  |  LitReactor Staff Picks 2016 (part 1)  |  LitReactor Staff Picks (part 2)  |  Emerging Writers Network  |  The Worthy Awards  |   Real Dead Review  |  Medium  |  Michael Matheson  |  KnowFearCast  |  HorrorTalk’s 10 from 2016  |  Read Diverse Books  |  Pank Magazine  |  X-Files Books @ BookRiot  |  B&N Best Horror of 2016  |  SciFiNow  |  POC to-reads  |  Locus  |  This is Horror  |  Head Full of Tropes  |  B&N “Not Stephen King” |  6 YA Books a Bookriot  |   HorrorTalk

links : sample of what would become Mongrels  |  ch.1 OF Mongrels  |  the story of  Mongrels  | early covers  |  galleys  |  Audio  |  Goodreads  |  events / calendar  | signed copies (@Cocteau)  |  Library Lovefest  | What a Werewolf Drives  |  Playlists  |  Werewolves & Me  |  Mongrels Q&A  |  10 Werewolf Novels You Should Read  |  Yellow Books (WSJ)   |  Mongrels MicroBio  |  Disambiguation  |  Indians and Wolves  |  Wolf Man Turns 75 | “…Alchemy of the New” (Tor.com)  |  “Werewolves are Real

interviews : Dallas Morning News  |  Muzzleland Press  |  Slug Magazine  |  ABQ Free Press  |  Denver’s Westword  |  This is Horror podcast pt.1  |  This is Horror podcast pt.2  |  Youtube  |  Cemetery Dance  |  Harper Voyager UK (guest post)  |  LitHub  |  Report from Santa Fe (TV)  |  Chewing the Scenery (podcast)  |  University of Colorado at Boulder  |  The Last Bookstore  |  CU A&S  |  Starburst  |  SciFiNow  |  Unreliable Narrators  |  Cultured Vultures  |  Miskatonic Musings (podcast)  |  Colorado Public Radio  |  Litsy  |  Boulder’s KGNU  |  High Country News  |  University of Colorado at Boulder  |  Waxwing  |  Lovecraft eZine

Werewolves Out in the World, part: 123456789101112131415, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

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With hints of True Blood and Winter’s Bone, and with lupine tongue tucked well into cheek, Mongrels is at once an adolescent romp through the tangled woods of family history and a rich compendium of werewolf lore old and new. Stephen Graham Jones gifts us with fun characters, imaginative set pieces and an immersive tour of the flat-broke American South that spares no plastic orchid or cable spool coffee table.
Christopher Buehlman, author of Those Across the River and The Lesser Dead

You know how you once wished you were a werewolf? How you stood in front of the mirror and wanted to see a . . . transformation? Mongrels takes you by the hand, guides you down that road, finally, to that change.
Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box

Stephen Graham Jones has written a wondrous shapeshifter of a novel. Mongrels exists somewhere in the borderlands of literary and genre fiction, full of horror and humor and heart, at once a nightmarish road trip and a moving story about a broken family leashed together by their fierce love and loyalty. A bloody great read.
Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding

Mongrels left me speechless. Or breathless. Certainly without my dew claw. I mean, this book, it’s so smart, original, thrilling, horrifying, and human. A story about a broken family of werewolves on the run, never fitting in anywhere, trekking into the poorest parts of the southern US. And there’s that final, painful transformation, when they become your messed up werewolf family too, and you don’t ever feel poor or like a misfit. Not once.
Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock

Mongrels isn’t just a coming-of-age story or a horror story. It looks at the world through a disturbing, uncomfortable lens, and offers up a brutal mythology of werewolves. I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I won’t forget it anytime soon.
Carrie Vaughn, New York Times bestselling author of the Kitty Norville series

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general (SGJ) werewolfery:

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werewolf happiness:


[ go here for the YouTube playlist ]

A Mongrels playlist:

[ not the one I wrote the novel to. more like the songs that kind of go with the novel. annotated version here ]

And, an excellent, dreamy mongrel, via Jordan Dyke:

[ go here for more like this ]

Amazing-cool art by Evan Cagle:

Ink portrait of Stephen Graham Jones, after reading the brilliant “Mongrels”. I know, I know, full moons are rubbish. Sorry, @SGJ72 pic.twitter.com/1BUkF0cg67

— Evan Cagle (@cagle_evan) February 8, 2018

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The Faster, Redder Road

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From UNM:

“This collection showcases the best writings of Stephen Graham Jones, whose career is developing rapidly from the noir underground to the mainstream. The Faster Redder Road features excerpts from Jones’s novels—including The Last Final GirlThe Fast Red Road: A PlainsongNot for Nothing, and The Gospel of Z—and short stories, some never before published in book form. Examining Jones’s contributions to American literature as well as noir, Theodore C. Van Alst Jr.’s introduction puts Jones on the literary map.”

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Society Isn’t Doomed

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mix Buzzfeed‘s “23 Things that Prove Society is Doomed” with Salon‘s “War & Peace on the Subway: How Your iPhone is Saving Literature,” then angle it through my publicists’ rose-colored glasses, and you end up with something a lot  like:

1. Sitting together and reading still counts as socializing:

↳ Via quoteinvestigator.com, once upon a time.

2. It’s considered polite not to read over your date’s shoulder:

↳ Used to be via empoweredteensandparents.com.

3. Fill the steps between class and the bus stop with a book:

↳ I wonder if these kids know they’re in the original of this image from betabeat.com?

4. Books, for all the many time-outs and half-times of the sporting events you attend:

↳ Somebody here forgot their book . . . (Originally via umhoops.com).

 5. “There’s such a glare in here, we’re all having to hold our phones at odd angles to see the pages of these books”:

↳ Used to be from 

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After the People Lights Have Gone Off

ATPLHGO
  • Introduction: Joe R. Lansdale
  • Thirteen (out loud)
  • Brush dogs (out loud)
  • Welcome to the Reptile House
  • This is Love
  • The Spindly Man
  • The Black Sleeve of Destiny
  • The Spider Box
  • Snow Monsters
  • Doc’s Story
  • The Dead Are Not
  • Xebico
  • Second Chances
  • After the People Lights Have Gone Off
  • Uncle
  • Solve for X

links: Revolt Daily  |  Pantheon  |  HorrorNews  |  MonkeyBicycle  |  HellNotes  |  HorrorTalk  |  The Monitor  |  Reddit AMA  |  LitReactor Book Club Selection  |  Monologging  |  MoarPowah  |  Tattered Cover  |  Denver WestWord  |  TNBBC  |  BuzzyMag  |  Rising Shadow  |  MBR  |  Online Sundries  |  Teleread  |  Fictionbound  |  The Happiness Record  |  John Walters  |  Tony McMillen  |  Muzzleland  |  Daily Dead  |  LitHub |  the line-up

This is Horror Award  |  

Bram Stoker Award Finalist

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Reeling in the Years

Back in the late nineties, I’d see Stephen Dixon stories all over and flip back to his author bio at the end of the journal or whatever not because I didn’t already know it, but for the rush: it always said he had some three hundred stories published. I had maybe six at the time? Three hundred was an amazing, impossible, never-get-there kind of number. And I’m not there yet. This isn’t that post. Though I did just total up my stories from print- and e-mags and anthologies and best-of-the-years and textbooks, meaning there’s some doubling, even some tripling, and maybe a ‘forthcoming’ or three sneaked in (I did manage not to count novel chapters that ran in different places, anyway), but still, sitting at 201, looks like. Since my first publication in Black Warrior Review back in 1996 (well, ‘first’ would be this little mag MindPurge, then there was North Texas Review. But BWR was the first I got a check for. And checks matter). Still chasing Dixon, though.

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States of Grace

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Exactly fifty stories, none longer than a thousand words, a couple just a sentence or two.

Here‘s where I was getting them all in order.

Here’s some few links:

SpringGun  |  SPD  |  LitReactor  |  Do Some Damage

If we had to choose one writer to rebuild American literature after the apocalypse, the smart money would be on Stephen Graham Jones, who is in the process of reinventing literally every genre from the ground up. In States of Grace he offers up lean, deftly composed short-shorts that seem effortless but inflict a surprising amount of mayhem considering their size—like a deadly gang of smurfs.  – Brian Evenson

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