Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Freebie: After James by Michael Helm

Congratulations to Lisa Murray and Timmy Reed, winners of last week’s Friday Freebie giveaway: Dead Inside: Poems and Essays About Zombies, edited by Lynn Houston, Susan Allspaw Pomeroy and Jennifer Spiegel.

This week’s book contest is for After James, a new novel by Michael Helm from Tin House Books. Tristan Charles of Parnassus Books had this to say about the book: “After James reminds me of the best of Hawthorne and PoeHelm crafts a masterful novel with characters whose realities melt around them. Unreliable narrators are child’s play to him: what he creates so vividly are unreliable worlds, stitched together with the creeping assertion that the objects of our perception may be as deceptive as our minds.”

Keep reading for more information about After James...

For fans of Joshua Cohen and Ben Lerner, After James captures the dystopian strangeness of our current world. A neuroscientist walks out of her life and isolates herself in the woods, intending to blow the whistle on a pharmaceutical company and its creativity drug gone wrong. A recently orphaned graduate school dropout is hired as a “literary detective” to decode the work of a mysterious Internet poet who writes about disappearances and murders with an inexplicably precise knowledge of private details. And a virologist discovers her identity has been stolen by a conceptual artist in whose stories someone always goes missing. Ali, James, and Celia exist in worlds where implausibilities that once belonged to science fiction, ancient superstition, or dystopian visions are real or impending. Set in great cities, remote regions, and deadly borderlands, Michael Helm’s groundbreaking novel, After James, is told in three parts, each gesturing toward a type of genre fiction: the gothic horror, the detective novel, and the apocalyptic. Science and art become characters, and secrets form, hidden in the codes of genetic sequences, poems, and the patterns of political violence. Part to part, elements repeat―otherworldly weather, disturbing artwork, buried corpses―and amid these echoes, a larger mystery arises, one that joins artifice to nature, and fiction to reality, delivering us into the troubling wonder of the present world.

If you’d like a chance at winning After James, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. Please include your mailing address in the body of the e-mail. One entry per person, please. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Sept. 1, at which time I’ll draw the winning name. I’ll announce the lucky reader on Sept. 2. If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning? Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter. Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

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