Each author will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A with the audience, moderated by author Terry Bisson. Booksigning and schmoozing follows in the lounge, with books for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books. Podcasting courtesy of Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column.
I am the guest speaker for The San Antonio Writers Guild‘s April meeting. The topic purports to be Apes & Rayguns: A Conversation with Acclaimed Editor Richard Klaw about the 21st Century Anthology, whatever that means. Since they call me an “editor/anthologist and essayist,” I’m guessing the talk will be about why whys and wherefores of anthology construction along with liberal ape mentions. Possibly even a few references to Texas science fiction.
The Thursday, April 4 meeting is open to the public, so I look forward to seeing all you San Antonio area people there.
April 4, 2013 at 7pm Bethany Congregational Church 500 Pilgrim Dr San Antonio, TX 78213
The esteemed Library Journal reviewed The Apes of Wrath in their March 15 issue.
The Apes of Wrath. Tachyon. Mar. 2013. 384p.
ed. by Richard Klaw. ISBN 9781616960858. pap. $15.95. FANTASY
Bringing together such classic writers such as Gustav Flaubert (“Quidquid Volueris”), Edgar Allan Poe (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”), Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Tarzan’s First Love”), Franz Kafka (“A Report to an Academy”), and Robert E. Howard (“Red Shadows”) with modern fantasy and horror authors, editor Klaw, co-owner of Mojo Press, a noted publisher of graphic novels and themed anthologies, has assembled a collection of 13 stories revolving around the great apes and playing upon their similarities to and differences from humans. Including James P. Blaylock’s steampunk comedy of errors (“The Ape-Box Affair”) featuring a space-traveling ape, several bumbling Londoners, and a mysterious silver box or two, and Philip Jose Farmer’s continuation of a classic ape story (“After King Kong Fell”), this volume attests to literature and film’s fascination with our primate cousins. The foreward by Rupert Wyatt, director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and a pair of essays by Jess Nevins (“Apes in Literature”) and Rick Klaw (“Gorilla of Your Dreams: A Brief History of Simian Cinema”) make this more than just a curious short-story collection. VERDICT Aficionados of apes in literature and film should enjoy this gathering of new and old stories.
Overall a good review. But why do people have some much trouble spelling “foreword?” Continue reading →
I’ve had long relationship with the annual event of alternative comics, books, and other crafts. First as a journalist (“Staple!” and “Fresh From the Comix World“) and then a panel moderator. This year will be my first as an exhibitor. My sometimes co-writer (“Nameless Here For Evermore” for The Protectors super hero anthology), author of several magnificent books on pop culture, and writer of the Cars comic Alan J. Porter and I share a table, showcasing our wares.
Beyond getting your signed copy of The Apes of Wrath, you can hangout with with special comic (James O’Barr, Steve Niles, Berni Wrightson), indie gaming (Jason Morningstar, Jeff Dee, Marc Majcher), webTV (Danni Danger, Sara Reihani, Jessica Mills), animation (Dax Norman, Kyle Sullivan, Bill Byrne), and pop culture podcast (Geek Bombast, The League of Extremely Ordinary Gentlemen, The Random Access Web TV Podcast)guests.
Join Rick at a meet and greet for his new book The Apes of Wrath. From the jungles of Tarzan to outer space and beyond, the apes in these remarkable tales boldly go where humans dare not… intertwining beloved classics with inventive new writings.
Matt Staggs, who calls The Apes of Wrath “fantastic,” interviews me for Suvudu about the origin of the book and my longtime fascination with apes.
Okay, why apes? I know you like them, but why, and why create an anthology about them?
The interest started when I was a child with King Kong (the original not the blasphemous 1976 remake) and The Planet of the Apes.Here were humanlike creatures—far more powerful than me who appeared in control but ultimately not. In my youth I identified with that loss of control. My parents divorced when I was very young. My father for all intensive purposes abandoned me. The apes and those lessons made me realize that no matter how grownup (or to my youthful mind “powerful”) and in charge I felt, things could change in a moment’s notice. Much like Kong in chains, I often lashed out to no avail.
Did you limit yourself to a particular kind of ape? Did some monkeys sneak in? What about ape-like creatures?
My favorites are gorillas, probably coming from my initial love of King Kong. Ape-like creatures can be fun as sometimes monkeys. In this book I chose stories with apes playing a prominent or important role. Much like the presence of an airship doesn’t make it steampunk nor a computer cyberpunk, a tale needs more than just mention of an ape to be an ape story.
What are some of your favorite fictional apes from any medium?
Obviously King Kong. Others include the Flash villain Gorilla Grodd, Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls, Zira from The Planet of the Apes, Joe Young from Mighty Joe Young, Sam Simeon from Angel and the Ape, and Tarzan’s mother Kala.
Come join editor Richard Klaw and contributor Howard Waldrop at Tom’s Tabooley on February 7 in Austin, TX as they celebrate the release of The Apes of Wrath.
This unique anthology with 17 simian-laden stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Franz Kafka, Gustave Flaubert, Joe R. Lansdale, Edgar Allen Poe, Howard Waldrop, Karen Joy Fowler, and others journeys to the Rue Morgue, the jungles of Tarzan, the fables of Aesop, outer space, and beyond. More than just a literary exploration of apes, this volume also include four original essays on various aspects of apes in pop culture and a foreword by Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt.
Eat, drink, and experience the book that Publishers Weekly declared “a powerful exploration of the blurry line between animal and human.”
Molly let me know that Steve passed last night at about 10:40 pm, eastern. His family was with him.
I’ll miss him.
As will we all.
Utley announced to his friends that he had been diagnosed with Type 4 cancer in his intestines, liver, and lungs, and a lesion on his brain on December 27, 2012. On January 7, he sent out an email saying that he was losing his motor skills and designated Jessica as his literary executor (and hopefully she’ll be able to get some of his swell stories back in print). On the morning of January 12 he slipped into a coma and died that night.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know Steven Utley that well. In the 90s, we really only corresponded at the annual Armadillocon and then when he moved to Tennessee in 1997, only rarely through email. What I do know is that it was always a pleasure to chat with him, good for a laugh and a piece of obscure geek trivia.
Professionally, Steve and I crossed paths numerous times. He adapted Howard Waldrop’s “Green Brother” (with art by John Lucas) for my anthology Weird Business. Then later I included his one page strip collaboration with Kevin Hendrix “Custer’s Last Love” for Wild West Show. Beginning with “Beyond the Sea,” Utley published several stories at RevolutionSF, first with me as the editor and then with several of my successors.
In recent years, Steve has frequently been in my thoughts. When I first started putting together The Apes of Wrath, he was one of the first contributors I contacted. I wanted to include his futuristic tale of alternative education “Deviation from a Theme” for my new book. (The story also appeared in the only other ape-themed collection The Rivals of King Kong) Since Steve referred to himself as the impatient ape both in print (title of one of his short story collections) and as a part of his email address, he was not surprisingly thrilled to be part of the book. I’m just sad he didn’t see the final product (book ships in two weeks). I know he’d love the book and be proud to be a part of it.
Steve alongside Geo W. Proctor edited the first all Texas science fiction anthology Lone Star Universe. Having been immersed recently in a similar project myself, I’ve thought much about that book. I only hope Rayguns Over Texas is similarly well received and fondly remembered.
So here’s to Steven Utley, may you be happily swinging with the apes.