He'd shiv you on a dare

While we in the League aren't shy about shining a bit of light on ourselves, we do recognize the many outstanding writers among our peers. It's cold and callous out there in publishing land, and many wonderful books don't get their share of attention. So today, I'm turning up the pimpage gain on this here pinchi blog to maximum power--all two-and-a-half watts of it--to one of my favorite scribes, Warren Hammond.

I met Hammond (along with Kat Richardson, Cherie Priest, and Mark Henry) at NorWesCon 2008, back in the Precambrian days when the League of Reluctant Adults sperm and egg where still in the literary petri dish. Interestingly, though we were in the SeaTac area, like me, Hammond was also from Denver.

You'd never guess by looking at this unassuming face that Hammond writes some of the grittiest science fiction available, with two novels, kop and ex-kop on the market (book 3 in the series, kop-killer, is due in 2012). The man knows despair, treachery, and beat-downs. His protagonist Juno Mozambe is a bad cop in a world of bad people, bad politics, and bad luck. Hammond has drawn upon world history and his international traveler experience to create Lagarto--a colonial backwater planet plagued by neglect, corruption, and conspiracy--a world as evocative and disturbing as anything presented by Richard K. Morgan (another personal fave). It's third-world future noir at its most chilling.

Hammond was invited by Jeanne Stein and me to bring his pervy and brutal sensibilities to the Pearl Street Grill critique group (where wings and beer help ease the sting of writerly bloodletting). Hammond has the honor of introducing the concept of "robo-vagina" to our critique lexicon.

Hammond is working on a new story, Tides, of another backwater planet (literally--the Empire overlords terraformed the planet and demolished most of the land to make room for more ocean) and another flawed hero--Jakob Bryce--a government assassin whose moral compass quickly turns in circles. Send Hammond major writer mo-jo so this great manuscript finds a welcome home.

On the Mario front, I have a short story, "No Soy Loco," in the anthology, You Don't Have A Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens, from Arte Publico Press. We've been getting very good reviews. My contribution features mysterious voices, a drunken abusive dad, alien criminals, eye gouging, and a teenage boy getting his hands impaled to a Ouija board. Fun stuff!

Fellow Denver writer, the award-winning Manuel Ramos, also contributed to the anthology with his story, "The Back Up." Here's a KUHF podcast of the erudite Ramos discussing his path to literary success (via the lawyer route) and his involvement with the Chicano protests of the 70's.


lesleylsmith said…
Wow, this Hammond guy sounds great! :) I look forward to reading Kop-Killer and Tides. As for "robo-vagina" it (she?) sounds scary! I must admit, I'm a little scared of this Pearl Street Grill critique group if "robo-vaginas" commonly make an appearance. :)
But You Don't Have a Clue sounds really fun. I'll keep my eye open for it (and to watch out for those robo-Vs).
Thanks for the info!
Mario said…
Lesley: Thanks for dropping by. Definitely check out Warren's books. They are totally bad ass! It's the women in our critique group who keep bringing up robo-vaginas. Go figure!
Aaron said…
I read KOP and it is EXACTLY the kind of book that should be read by anyone who likes the clash between poverty and unimagineable futuristic wealth. It's like District 9 meets Raymond Chandler. True dat. Yeah, stay away from the Pearl Street critique group. But I did get myself a robo-vagina. Once you go robo, you'll never go back.
Manuel Ramos said…
Yeah, I'm also a fan of the Kop books. And I'm waiting for the next one from Hammond. Should be good. Thanks also for the mention about the interview - I thought I was safe because it aired down in Texas, but with this damn internet thingie, nothing stays hidden for long.

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