National Reading Month

As some readers may know, March is National Reading Month. We opened 3-2014 with Read an eBook Week, and this past weekend Bards and Sages Publishing kicked off their annual writing contest (it runs until October 31) to support Operation Backpack, for which I am providing a "Thank You" copy of CONVERGENCE to contestants (read more about that here). So, words aplenty for March! So far this month, I've read two books by Ania Ahlborn. First up was THE BIRD EATER, followed by THE SHUDDERING. I dug them both pretty severely, but ended up favoring THE SHUDDERING  a tad bit more. As I posted back in January, I'm a big fan of winter-set horror. There's just something about blood-tinged snow, the omnipresent threat of freezing cold, and the suffocating claustrophobia of being caught in a white-out, blinded by the extremes of weather and knowing that some...thing...is lurking out there, waiting for you. I love it. It's why John Carpenter's THE THING is one of my favorite flicks. With THE SHUDDERING, Ahlborn was able to tap into that vein of weathery fright, offering up a classic cabin-in-the-woods threat, and I just dug the hell out of it, plain and simple. As I was nearing the last hundred pages or so, my part of Michigan was treated with yet another nasty snowstorm to remind us that despite being nearly out of the woods, it was still winter, and its icy fingers were still grabbing us by the throat. While the lone survivors of Ahlborn's tale were being hounded by vicious creatures, the wind was screaming around my house and the snow was piling up. It was a terrific, authentic bit of atmosphere to experience her story in.

Next up was some lighter fare, with the recently re-issued A RIP THROUGH TIME from Beat to a Pulp publisher's. Also another terrific read, this trippy, pulpy sci-fi time travel book is a collaborative piece with different authors, including Chris F. Holm of The Collector series of books, contributing a chapter and constructing a complete story. In my opinion, this would be a great Bruce Campbell vehicle if ever adapted for film.

Yesterday, I began reading David Niose's NONBELIEVER NATION: THE RISE OF SECULAR AMERICA. At the start of the year, I made it a resolution to read more non-fiction and have been kind of slacking on this. I've read two books on publishing, and Richard Dawkin's THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH back in Jan/Feb, and have been itching to get some more non-fic into my reading circulation, especially since I have a pretty sizable backlog of non-fic reads... Here goes my effort to begin amending my lapses.

So, what have you been reading? How's National Reading Month going for you?

And, oh yeah, let me just point out that coincidentally, National Reading Month just so happens to also be about the time that my own novel, CONVERGENCE, released. It's a sci-fi thriller that I think fans of cyberpunk will enjoy, but it's also pretty accessible to open-minded readers who like mystery/thriller books with a bit of a twist and an edge. I think readers who dig neo-noir crime thrillers, or are familiar with other straight-up thriller writers, like Barry Eisler or Lee Child, should be able to find my book right up their alley. Click the link above or poke around the site to find more information, and go snag a copy of the book so you can celebrate National Reading Month with me!

Michael Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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