Irredeemable release event at Joseph-Beth Booksellers

It has been confirmed.

*Irredeemable by Jason Sizemore (ISBN: 978-1-937929-59-6)
Release Event

Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Lexington, KY
May 17th @ 4:00pm.

If you’ve never been to a Stephen Zimmer led Seventh Star Press event at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, then you’re in for a treat. He always manages to drum up a large crowd. He gives away a bunch of books, artwork, and T-shirts. It’s good times for all.

Of course, I will be there signing copies of Irredeemable. There may be a short reading, depending on what the store wants us to do. There will be refreshments and snacks.

I can’t wait to see all my friends and family there!

And, yes, this is still all so surreal…my book comes out in 22 days!

You can pre-order from SSP. Just go here:


*edited to add ISBN

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Irredeemable update

Last night Geoffrey Girard turned in his very special introduction for the collection. I have decided that I want this man to write my eulogy.

Here’s a taste:

And what is the point of all of this? What exactly is this modern Southern author telling us about the world beyond the scabby coon dogs, hellish spaceships and spurting blood?

Just before writing this intro, I emailed Jason and claimed/threatened: “I got you figured out, pal.”

He replied: “Oh, that the world is filled with bastards?”

But you’ve now read the stories now too, haven’t you? So you know that Jason’s response left out the biggest piece of his world-view puzzle: The world IS filled with bastards, yes, and one day soon every single one of them fuckers is gonna pay.

Yowza, I totally want to buy this book!

You can preorder for $15.95. It nets you a signed trade paperback and the eBook edition of Irredeemable. Order here!

And then this happened…Irredeemable cover reveal

Today the folks at Seventh Star Press unveiled the cover art to my upcoming collection of short fiction Irredeemable.

SSP is also running a preorder special offering a signed copy of the trade paperback along with a free edition of the eBook. Order details can be found here:

The book also contains a nice introduction from Cain’s Blood author Geoffrey Girard.

Let me know in the comments if you like the cover Tomasz Trafiał! :)

Cover artist Tomasz Trafiał

Cover artist Tomasz Trafiał


I’m pleased to announce that my collection of short fiction Irredeemable will be published by Seventh Star Press later this year!

The book will contain 20 stories. At least 5 of them will be original to the collection. Also included, an introduction by Cain’s Blood author Geoffrey Girard.

I don’t have pre-order details yet, but I’m working on it. :)

I guess that means I need to get my personal site active again…

Here’s the full press release from SSP:

Featuring twenty one tales of dark SF and horror, many of which have flavors of Appalachia, Irredeemable brings together a number of Jason’s previously published stories and features two brand new ones. The book will be released in all eBook formats and trade paperback during the second week of April. The collection will also feature a cover from Polish artist Tomasz Trafial.”The stories in the collection address remorseless evil and how we react and adapt to such entities,” Jason commented. “My Appalachia upbringing had a big impact on me, and I think that is reflected throughout the book.”

The April release will be followed by a special campaign to introduce readers to Irredeemable. “We are very excited to be entrusted with this special release,” Seventh Star Press’ Stephen Zimmer said. “Many people are well aware of Jason’s exceptional talents as an editor and in the publishing realms. It will be truly wonderful to see readers discover what a gifted writer he is, as Irredeemable solidly testifies.”

Jason is a writer and editor living in Lexington, Kentucky. He is also the owner of Apex Publications, a highly acclaimed SF, fantasy, and horror small press. He has twice been nominated for the Hugo Award for his editing work on Apex Magazine.

As to why he brought “Irredeemable” to Seventh Star Press, he remarked. “I wanted to work with Seventh Star Press because I’ve long admired Stephen Zimmer. He’s a savvy marketer, a wonderful person, and has a great enthusiasm for his authors and the small press.”

For more information on Jason, follow him on Twitter @apexjason, or on Facebook at For further updates and news about Irredeemable, visit the Seventh Star Press site at

Seminar: Navigating the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer Markets

Carnegie-sub-pages-logoI’m teaching a Saturday seminar at the Lexington Carnegie Center for Literacy coming up in February.

Where: Carnegie Center, 251 West Second Street, Lexington, KY 40507 (859-254-4175)
When: Saturday, February 8th
Time: Noon–2pm
Cost: $30

Registration Link: Go here to register at the Carnegie Center website

Thinking about dipping your pen into the genre writing pool? Allow Jason Sizemore, two-time Hugo Award nominee and editor-in-chief of Apex Publications, to guide you. Attendees will be given market information, guidelines, and resources that will help you find a home for your science fiction and fantasy manuscripts. This seminar will cover which publishers to target, what to avoid in cover letters, tips on surviving the slush pile, popular agents, and a handful of insider tips from an experienced editor that might help give you a slight edge over other writers. Both novel and short fiction markets will be covered. [ALL LEVELS]

10 books that have stayed with you in some way

There’s a meme going around on Facebook called “10 books that have stayed with you in some way.” Such an important topic seems too slight for a simple Facebook status update, so I thought I would bring my response to you via the blog.

This is not an all inclusive-list. An exhaustive list would include several hundred books and would bore your britches off your butt. It also isn’t in any type of ranking. The thrust of the meme is for the person to list 10 books without giving much thoughts to your answer. Spontaneity is key.

Official rules: Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard – they don’t have to be the ‘right’ or ‘great’ works, just the ones that have touched you.

So, without further ado…

1) The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
2) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
3) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
4) Animal Farm by George Orwell
5) Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
6) Sleepless by Charlie Huston
7) Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
8) Watermind by Mary M. Buckner
9) Machine by Jennifer Pelland
10) Let’s Play White by Chesya Burke

Maybe I’m cheating a little by listing two books I published (9 and 10), but those books have stayed with me and shifted the way I view the roles fiction can play for expressing important viewpoints.

Win a copy of my anthology Appalachian Undead


All you have to do is read this highly amusing interview of me at Books, Bones, and Buffy and leave a comment. A random winner will be chosen to receive Appalachian Undead!

Cover Model (with zombie arm)

I got bit by a zombie on my left arm. It festered up something awful, but it did land me on the cover of a magazine. Don’t believe me? See for yourself!

The Southsider Magazine

Photo Credit: Mick Jeffries Zombie Arm: Jennifer Banks

The Southsider Magazine is a Lexington, KY, community interest publication with a sizable circulation (yay for publicity!). Being an inhabit of the south side of Lexington, I read The Southsider Magazine every month, so making the cover is pretty damn neat.

They also did an entertaining interview/feature about me and Apex Publications that you can read here:

I do have one correction to the article. My mom never took me to the theaters. We went to the local video store and rented all the good stuff.

Saraya Brewer wrote the feature, and I commend her for doing such a great job!

And thank you to The Southsider Magazine folks for the wonderful experience and opportunity.

PS: For those who might be worried, the arm is feeling much better!

BOOK REVIEW: CAIN’S BLOOD by Geoffrey Girard

Cain's Blood by Geoffrey GirardI’m giving this one a 5/5 rating. While not a perfect book, it is one of the most engaging reads of the year and contains some nice moral ambiguities and a realistic, flawed protagonist.


Castillo is an ex-Special Ops member who spent time in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. He’s seen and done some bad shit. Even though he’s still struggling with serious PTSD, he is tasked by his ex-commander to help track down a group of vicious escaped serial killer clones and their spiritual leader, the geneticist Dr. Jacobson. Along the way, Castillo picks up a nice kid named Jeffrey Jacobson (son of the renegade geneticist). Jeff is a clone, and Castillo is torn by what Jeffrey could be and what he appears to be.

I expected the book to devolve into a preachy gore-fest, but the author balances issues of pre-destination, genetics, fatherhood, domestic abuse, clandestine government, and more with a deft hand.

If there is a weakness with Cain’s Blood, is that the scope of the book is a bit broad. All the characters that are introduce play important roles in the plot, but their stories can be a bit threadbare. Perhaps Girard was restricted to 320 pages this being his first major novel (Girard is well-known in genre small press circles), but Cain’s Blood would have benefited from being 400 pages, giving the author and the characters room to breath.

If you like your military thrillers to be intelligent and at times, touching, then Cain’s Blood will be a nice addition to your bookshelf.


Barnes & Noble:


Girard’s publisher is simultaneously releasing a YA novel titled Project Cain that relates the same story in Cain’s Blood from the perspective of Jeff. We hope to have a review of Project Cain in a few weeks.

Full Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of Cain’s Blood. Apex also has a bit of history with the novel. We published the novella CAIN XP11 in (now defunct) Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest upon which a part of Cain’s Blood is based.

[REC] 3 Génesis — An Argument for Viewing

Because I watch way too many ‘Found Footage” films, every time I’ve logged into Netflix for the past few months, it has suggested that I watch the film [REC]3 Génesis. Being a horror fan, I am familiar with the franchise. I’ve seen the original (and awesome) Spanish [REC] and both the remake (Quarantine “ Another great film) and its sequel Quarantine 2: The Terminal “ Eh, fun enough). So, while looking for something quick and easy to watch Saturday night I decided to give [REC}3 a go.

SPOILERS ABOUND. But don’t let that stop you… you’re not going to watch this movie for the plot.

In an otherwise standard opening 15 minutes, we meet the characters holding the shaky cams. There’s the beautiful bride Clara (Leticia Delora) and her family. There’s the handsome groom Koldo (Diego Martin) and his crew of drinking buddies. The guests arrive. We have some sweet, but corny wedding stuff.

But the drunk uncle changes everything. The DJ is blasting the music. The guests are dancing, bumping, and grinding, because that’s what you do at weddings. Drunk uncle decides to take a header off the second floor railing and crashes through a table. But he’s not dead. He’s undead! He takes a nasty (and I mean nasty, I even winced) bite out of ol’ auntie, and we’re off to the races!

Anybody who has seen a zombie flick knows how the next few minutes play out. People panic. They’re bitten. The undead plague spreads. And a small group of people hole up in a flimsy shelter (in this case, the kitchen).

The survivors scream at each other. Koldo is among the survivors, and when he sees his cousin still filming, he decides that’s nonsense. He grabs the camera, smashes it to the floor, and gives it a couple of kicks for good measure.

A good 20 minutes into the film, the screen turns black and we get the opening credits. Director Paco Plaza has been toying with the viewer. Instead of a standard found footage zombie flick, Plaza has decided to go full auteur on us… and it works quite well. The switch from Night of the Living Dead serious to Shaun of the Dead splatter-comedy will upset fans of the [REC] mythology, but sometimes you just have to roll with it. We’re treated to a mix of comedy and heartbreak…an odd combination I’m still working out in my head.

When the credits finish, we’re back with our crowd of survivors and the movie is being presented in standard film widescreen format. This is because Paco Plaza has a visual treat planned for us. For the veteran horror film fan, the next 60 minutes are loaded with callbacks and homages. That, in itself, isn’t impressive, but the artistic flair and staging Plaza uses to pull this off is impressive.

First and foremost, it all starts with Leticia Dolera. She might be the most bad ass and beautiful vengeful bride I’ve seen in a film. At one point, she finds a chainsaw, and decides to take back her wedding day from the zombies. Here we have a touch of Quentin Tarantino and Kill Bill.

Paco Plaza shows an eye for vivid set pieces that reminded me of the better parts of Argento’s Suspiria. Two scenes in particular standout. The ballroom scene post-massacre as Koldo and Clara are making their escape (unfortunately, I can’t find any shots of it). The other is the face off Clara has with her undead mother. There’s a downpour. The scene is lit by a fallen blue and red neon sign. It’s a powerful moment and beautifully filmed. (Click for animated gif)

Here the lovely Clara goes full chainsaw in a scene reminiscent of early Peter Jackson and extreme zombie gore. Complete with Spanish pop music! (Extremely gory!)

Along the way, Clara gets bitten, setting up a hell of an ending. In this scene, the bride and groom realizes the end is near. Lots of symbolism, of course. The bars separating the couple. The brightly lit tunnel echoing her impending death (to Clara’s right). It’s all a bit Return of the Living Dead 3. But way sadder. (Click for animated gif)

Forgotten plot threads and characters abound. The dialog, even for a silly film, is a bit hard to swallow. Most characters suffer from Stupid Movie Character syndrome. And the movie is all over the place, making it unfocused and a bit of a mess. But the film is only 75 minutes, and it contains some memorable movie magic. If you can stomach style over substance, give [REC]3 a try.


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