Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Party At The World's End: Palimpsest Art

The word "palimpsest" comes through Latin palimpsēstus from Ancient Greek παλίμψηστος (palímpsestos, “scratched or scraped again”) originally compounded from πάλιν (palin, “again”) and ψάω (psao, “I scrape”) literally meaning “scraped clean and used again”. Romans wrote on wax-coated tablets that could be smoothed and reused, and a passing use of the term "palimpsest" by Cicero seems to refer to this practice.
Pulled an all-nighter last night, mostly working on the final stages of the cover for Party At The World's End, as well as a few title images based off the palimpsest notebooks that will be included in black and white in the final edition.

This cover isn't completely done, but you can see the progress. I need to even out / balance some of the levels. (Click for full-size)

Party At The World's End is available for eBook pre-order as of July 2014,
and will be released on Amazon in September
I wanted to talk a minute about the process I've been using for these pieces though, because it's probably a bit unusual though it developed pretty naturally. Essentially the initial source is either from drawing off of references I find online (old fashion and art magazines often wind up providing much of the initial inspiration), source art from when this project actually began (back in 2004-5) or photographs I or friends once took. This material was then printed out and collaged in a 11x17 art notebook, and I did considerable watercolor, acrylic, and ink work directly atop it. Some scratching with xacto blades, adding objects with textures I like, that kind of thing. Then this was all scanned back in, and now I'm working on a final layer of digital painting atop that. This isn't the only approach I take but it's actually one of my favorites. I've long had a fascination with collages, and breaking all the rules of design in the process.











Saturday, June 21, 2014

Urban Fantasy / Dystopian Reviewers?


As I continue to research promotion for an indie book, put out by a small press in the fringes of revolutionary urban fantasy, I am reminded just what a task the promotion process is. A group task, ultimately. And it is a process, an ongoing one. One you can definitely help with, if you’re motivated by the desire to get usual literature noticed (something other than werewolves and their lovers for urban fantasy! Something other than zombies or plagues for dystopian!) Something that presents various female characters from different background, and though it’s not a book about personal or identity politics, because it’s a book about how transgressive all identity is to politics, period, it’s bound to come up. As is the hate, both fictional and real.
Whatever your reason for getting involved, whatever mine have been for working on getting this thing right for a decade so I can move on to the rest of the trilogy, the time is come.

Contact me now for an Advance Reader Copy.

Release is 9-9 so you will have just over two months to read the book (it’s 300 pages), and write a quick review for Goodreads and Amazon.

I have an eARC (PDF or .mobi - the PDF has art!) Available for free. Contact me now for a copy.
There is additionally a print ARC available, at cost for most non-attached reviewers, or free for those that are able to write a full review for a web or print publication, or similar for an interview or feature. (I wish I could make print ARCs available to all but there are financial realities.)

So please check it out www.PartyAtTheWorldsEnd.com and contact me by the end of June if you’re interested. (Include email for eARC or address if print ARC.) And if you’re unsure, I’ve already made the first chapter free. You’ll see links to it on that page.
Thanks again. -JC

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Party At The World's End - Cover Reveal and Free Chapter!


They say when she fell from Heaven she wore a crown of jagged stars that slit the skies throat. They say she loved them all, in the secret corners of their shallow sleep. Strangers, at the last. They say a lot of things. They’re all lies. Everything is already written.


Like it? Pre-order the eBook now for just $4!


Paperback coming September.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Words of Traitors added to Powell's Books "Short List"



"This is a brutal, darkly funny, and, above all, honest collection of short stories crafted especially for lovers of physical books. Illustration styles and even typeface are carefully matched to enrich the unique narrative experience of each tale. Words of Traitors is a work of art unlike anything you've read before."
Recommended by Brian S., Powells.com

Check it out
Note: Words of Traitors is a limited full color short story collection which includes several stories that have been since integrated (along with 404 Documents) into a single edition of Party At The World's End to be released autumn 2014.

Announcements: Party At The World's End

Tweaking the Party At The World's End website for an autumn launch. Starting the long process of rebuilding a home studio and base of operations. Going to put together a plan for convention and festival appearances (autumn 2014 - 2015) over the summer...


Subscribe to announcements here if you want to be alerted to the release!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Books On Hold

I've removed quite a bit of the serialized books I've had on the market for a while now. I'm going to be focusing -- probably for some time -- on putting together a solid trilogy that spans the material I've been trying to work on in serialization.

If you can't find much of my fiction on Amazon until I've competed this work, well. That's why. I'll also be looking for publishing partners when I complete a solid trilogy (urban fantasy / magical realism). How any of that will go is anyone's guess, of course.

Humblebrag (Grammarly Guest Post)

You have a horn; everyone does. Horns are shiny, brassy, and full of tooting potential. Why should one not toot it? In fact, some people can barely keep their hands off it. Unfortunately, many feel that public horn tooting is socially unacceptable. What can you do when the temptation to toot your horn is strong? How can you let others know how well you write without blowing your trumpet ahead of you? Let us discuss a few unobtrusive methods to brag, no horn necessary.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Free Books!

This month only: pick one of my books from http://jamescurcio.com let me know which one and provide an email address, and you will receive a free e- copy of that book.
In exchange, you agree to write a review of any length or content on Amazon and or Goodreads by March 2014.
Good deal? Then drop me a line. jamescurcio at gmail.
Subject: I want a free book.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Appropriation, A Fragment

"... I have always taken the attitude that the transition in appropriation is part of the cultural mutation process. Like mutating genes. Over time, this produced a certain kind of evolution which operates on its own grounds, for better or worse. I recognize I'm constantly appropriating cultural ideas and forms outside the context it was initially created in. Ditto artistic ideas, styles... They're all cultural artifacts anyway. I do it brazenly, consciously. But always as a part of my own creative process."

Topic for a full Modern Mythology post... maybe. Art work is taking priority over everything else right now.

The Crisis of Relativism

Put 10 different people in front of the same movie or TV series, and in each head a very different viewing experience is occurring.

In my life, I've not seen a single piece of solid evidence--not anecdote, not pure logic--that points to any other conclusion. People seem to think that I want to come to such a relativistic, "weak" conclusion. Nor have I come to it lightly or quickly. It is the only conclusion I can draw after years of research and writing and watching people's behavior and words. It's what the data points to: the supreme power of the narrative to warp our perceptions in such a way that what is perceived becomes Foucault's pendulum. I also don't believe in God so as to grant my own existence some kind of meaning. It never overcomes the burden of proof.

And in a lesser sense, when someone sees a certain media transmission in a similar way, you feel a kinship, as if they are all part of some kind of cult with you. Thus, fandom.

I continue to only have faith in our boundless uncertainty, looking at the same time for a way out. But not at the expense of authenticity.

Which is why authenticity remains my greatest, maybe single ethical / value pole. In a world of masks, what does authenticity mean?

It's the single thing keeping us from the yawning, gibbering void, that's what.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Future of Storytelling


Are you interested in the mechanics of current fiction formats? Do you want to know how stories are told? Do you want to analyze, understand, contextualize and create stories and narratives? Then join our MOOC and share our passion for storytelling!
I'm presently taking this course -- sign up through this link if you'd like to join as well! (It's free.)