Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top Five Most Anticipated Books of 2011

It's that time of year again in which I predict the books we're all going to be reading and talking about in 2011. My selection process is simple; I base my predictions on a series of questionnaires that are filled out by booksellers and librarians all over the country. The questionnaires are administered, collected, and analyzed by a team of official survey proctors from The Institute of Statistical Mathematics. Those proctors then submit the compiled data to me and I report it to you here as objectively as possible.

1.) The Great Frustration by Seth Fried

Needless to say, I was shocked and thrilled to learn that my debut short story collection is the most anticipated book of 2011. I mean, it's weird. I worked really hard on the book, and I was confident that people would like it. But to get this kind of validation before the book is even released is pretty overwhelming.

2. A back-up copy of The Great Frustration by Seth Fried

This one came as a pretty big surprise as well. Though, if you've dropped as many books in the tub as I have, it makes total sense.

3.) CliffsNotes guide to The Great Frustration by Seth Fried

While I hate to think of students taking the easy way out with respect to my book, the fact of the matter is that my stories are packed with some pretty dense imagery. Without the benefit of a little guidance, my prose could come off as downright intimidating to a young reader. It is for this reason that -- with some reservations -- I'm glad to see this guide take 2011's number three spot. Used correctly, I'm confident that it will help enhance people's reading experience.

4.) Ebook of The Great Frustration by Seth Fried

Ebooks are here to stay people. We all know that making things electronic is the same thing as making them better. Though, make sure to avoid enjoying my ebook if you have a pacemaker or are on a plane that is about to take off.

5.) Sadly, it was discovered during the course of this study that people only buy four books a year. My condolences to any forthcoming title that did not make the list.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oh, The Hilarity!

The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2010 just got a nice write up by Publishers Weekly. PW confirms that the anthology is, in fact, awesome. Also confirmed, my contribution's status as hilarious. Thanks PW!

"With this collection of 39 stories originally published in 2009, Guran (Zombies: The Recent Dead) creates an expansive definition of the genre, ranging from overtly fantastic to (mostly) realistic and from the hilarity of Seth Fried's Pushcart Prize-winning "Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre" to the tender terror of Margo Lanagan's novella "Sea-Hearts." Nods to classics abound: Suzy McKee Charnas's futuristic "Lowland Sea" retells a Poe story of plague, Michael Shea's "Copping Squid" evokes Lovecraft's Cthulhu, Sarah Monette's "White Charles" channels M.R. James, and Catherynne M. Valente's "A Delicate Architecture" revisits the Brothers Grimm. Others play on present-day pop culture, such as Peter Straub's "Variations of a Theme from Seinfeld." Many tales tackle themes of objectification, abuse, and destroyed innocence, cutting straight to the reader's heart."
--Publishers Weekly

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Blog Header by Brent Van Horne

The incomparable Brent Van Horne has created yet another killer header for this humble blog. In addition to it fulfilling my life long dream (expectation is probably a better word) of being added to the periodic table, it also hints to the fact that I will soon be a citizen of New York City.

BVH is definitely correct in assuming that my new location will significantly change the content of this blog.

Example of what my posts have looked like while living in Ohio:

"Hey everybody! I have a story forthcoming in Whatever-the-hell Magazine! Make sure to check it out!"

Example of what my posts will look like once I live in New York:

"I'm heading to The Saw Factory tonight to see The Laser Committee do an acoustic set with the trombone player from Biscuit Quake."

So yeah, get ready for that!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Nice That

All this week I'll be guest posting at It's Nice That. Couldn't be more excited; It's Nice That is one of my new favorite websites/magazines. If you're checking it out for the first time, you're in for a real treat.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre Print

Earlier this year, the brilliant Brandi Strickland created an interpretation of Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre, a short story of mine that originally appeared in One Story. Brandi generously donated her work to One Story's Literary Debutante Ball, where the original piece was auctioned off to help support One Story.

However, for all of you who were not lucky enough to attend said Debutante Ball, I'm pleased to announce that prints of the piece are now available at Brandi's site. While you're picking one up, make sure to check out all of Brandi's work, which is beyond incredible.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween: A Seth Fried Fan's Guide to a Safe and Successful All Hallows' Eve

Arguably the most costume-oriented holiday of the year is steadily approaching, and everybody here at Seth headquarters is getting into the spirit. As you can see, my book has decided to go as Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Adorable.

Also, this year I'll be staying home to hand out sugarless suckers attached to blank applications for library cards, which I'll be doing in the grim hopes of being egged to death. What can I say? Halloween just brings out my love of the macabre.

In any event, here are a few Halloween safety tips:

1.) If you find a razor blade in one of your fun-sized Snickers bars, DON'T EAT IT! But if you want to use the Snickers bar to shave, that should be fine.

2.) Remember to poke air holes in your costume, especially if you're going as dry-cleaning.

3.) Fasten reflective tape to your costume. Ideally, you should also place reflective tape on each piece of candy you receive. If you see anything on October 31st that isn't covered in reflective tape, don't trust it.

4.) Check your candy to make sure it's not poisoned. If you need help spotting poisoned candy, a good trick is to take a normal piece of candy and poison it. When testing a piece of Halloween candy for poison, keep some of this pre-poisoned candy nearby and take small bites of both to see if they taste similar. If they do, the candy in question has been poisoned. Don't eat it.

5.) Make sure to carry a flashlight, even if you are going to an office party.

6.) Remember to have fun exclamation point.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Cover!!!! Book Cover!!!! Book Cover!!!!

I am very excited to share this early book cover for my debut short story collection (coming May of 2011). There might be some slight changes in the months to come. I imagine at some point we'll be adding a hologram of me wrestling a minotaur. But as far as I'm concerned it's already pretty great.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Author Photo Assault

In this epic scroller, you must help my smoldering author photo defeat some of the country's best literary journals. You take control of my author photo as it dominates top-shelf lit mags with its Projectile Sex Appeal.  Observe:


I need to find a way to actually host this game on the internet, but for now I hope you'll enjoy this grainy gameplay footage:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shortlisted in Best American Short Stories

I'm excited to announce that one of my stories has been shortlisted in the new BASS anthology. Now if anyone purchases this anthology and ends up getting trapped in an elevator or pinned beneath a giant rock, they will most likely see my name while reading the notable stories section out of sheer boredom. As far as I'm concerned, that's what it's all about. Congrats to all the great writers on the list!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010

We've all had this happen to us: You're sitting there with your candelabrum, reading a bunch of dark fantasy and horror. You're trying to enjoy yourself, but the dark fantasy and horror you're reading just isn't the best. What's a diehard DF&H fan to do? Until recently, nothing. But fortunately the good people at Prime Books have decided to take action. This October, they will be publishing a brand new anthology, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010.

No longer will you be forced to hang around campfires and sixth grade slumber parties in search of the best DF&H stories. Instead, Prime Books will be making it available to you in a single, handsome volume. Needless to say, this anthology will include my dark fantasy smash hit, Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre. It will also include stories by Kelly Link, Peter Straub, and many others. You can check out a complete table of contents here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Okay Internet, Lock Up Your Internet Daughters

Brent Van Horne, the best short story writer/copywriter/content strategist you've ever read about in a blog post, has just launched his new site. So if you want to take a break from downloading illegal music and Super Nintendo emulators, I strongly suggest you click here. Or here. But whatever you do, don't click here.

You should also check out all the great headers that BVH has designed for this humble blog here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

(UPDATE: Due to an unfortunate incident on Farmville, in which my avatar was murdered by Confederate deserters, I briefly decided to rid myself of all social networking websites. Therefore, the twitter account referenced in this post no longer exists. But somehow Yu's novel has managed to flourish even without the 78-follower-Seth-Fried-Twitter-Bump. Check out this awesome review of HTLSIASFU in The New York Times Book Review.)

Very rarely do I use this blog to talk about anything other than my own really excellent and wonderful writing. But every once in a great while I'll get so excited about someone else's work that for one dizzying moment I manage to see past my own ego. Such is the case with Charles Yu's impending novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: A Novel.

Yu's debut short story collection, Third Class Superhero, is one of my favorite books. So this novel is highly anticipated in the Fried household. So much so that until the book is released (Sept. 7th, 2010) I will be dedicating my twitter feed to my HTLSIASFU anticipation. Once a day (for a month or so), I will use my twitter account to describe one thing I am doing in order to prepare for the release of Yu's book.

Naturally, this will result in a tremendous windfall of publicity for Yu's novel in that I CURRENTLY HAVE 78 TWITTER FOLLOWERS. This number is especially impressive if you consider the fact that statistically for every one person that follows you on twitter there are roughly ten thousand people who wish they had the courage to follow you on twitter.

You can find my twitter profile/feed (?) here:

twitter.com/sethfried

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Apexart's Summer Reading Series

I'm very excited to announce that I'll be reading in NYC on July 28th as part of Apexart's Summer Reading Series. If you live in New York, then this is the chance to see me read out loud that you've been hoping for and writing angry letters to your assemblyman about. I'll be reading alongside some pretty awesome people: Samantha Cohen, Tiphanie Yanique, and Emily St. John Mandel. I don't want to oversell my fellow readers, but their work will literally save your lives.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How To Survive The Inevitable Success Of My Book: A Seth Fried Fan's Guide To A Post Debut Short Story Collection World, Part 1 of 8,000

Now that I have a book forthcoming from Soft Skull, I'm sure many of you are nervous about what this means for the future. I wish I could say that everything is going to be fine. But the fact of the matter is that, once my collection of short stories is released, people are probably going to freak out. It will be exactly like the movie Road Warrior, but instead of gasoline everybody will be fighting over tattered copies of my ill-advised and yet brazenly erotic former author photo.

But fear not! There are plenty of measures you can take to help prepare for civilization's descent into Seth Fried Debut Short Story Collection Madness. And since I can't help but feel somewhat responsible for all this, I have taken it upon myself to both introduce you to and expound upon these measures:

#1 Build A Bomb Shelter

Make sure your bomb shelter has a roof. I can't stress this enough, as bombs are incredibly adept at coming from above.

Figure One


Bear in mind that your bomb shelter should also have four walls. Otherwise, the result could be equally disastrous.

Figure Two


#2 Blade Fighting

I don't condone violence of any sort, but, once the world falls into chaos, this blade fighting meme might very well save your life.



#3 Obsessively Check This Blog For More Survival Tips

Don't worry! I'm here to help! We've got 7,999 survival posts to go. And just because the world as you know it is about to unravel into some sort of Boschian hellscape that doesn't mean this can't be fun.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Animalucla in The Kenyon Review

I'm extremely excited to report that The Kenyon Review is going to be publishing a bunch of pieces from my series, Animalcula: A Young Scientist's Guide to New Creatures. Excerpts from this series have appeared previously in Ninth Letter and JMWW. The new pieces are tentatively scheduled to appear in The Kenyon Review's Spring 2011 issue. In the mean time, make sure to check out this unbelievably awesome (or at least charming in an at-least-he-tried sort of way) trailer I made for the pieces that ran in Ninth Letter:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre Wins Pushcart

Those of you who refuse to read the titles of blog posts before you read the actual post will be excited to learn that my story Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre has just won a Pushcart Prize. Needless to say, I have been high-fiving strangers all day. Huge thanks to Pei-Ling Lue and everybody at One Story.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Literary Magazine Rankings II: Rank Harder

A lot of people on the Information Superhighway are talking about this list of lit mag rankings put together by Lincoln Michel at The Faster Times. Naturally, I've decided to put together my own list. Enjoy!

First Tier

Magazines put out by people who are passionate, hardworking, and who believe in what they're doing.

Second Tier

Magazines put out by people who are jerks with terrible taste, but who are physically good-looking.

Third Tier

Magazines that have ceased publication.

Fourth Tier

Magazines put out by white supremacists.

Fifth Tier

Things that aren't magazines (hats, drawbridges, etc.).

Sixth Tier

Writing your story on the face of a sleeping stranger.

Seventh Tier

Showing your work to a loved one.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Guest Post On Paper Whistle

I have a post up on Brandi Strickland's blog. Make sure to check it out! That is all.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cheston Knapp in One Story

Reasons to be excited about Cheston Knapp's upcoming issue of One Story:

1.) This awesome short story trailer(!) that he made:



2.) He worked with me as my editor for Life in the Harem at Tin House, and so I can tell you from personal experience that he is blisteringly cool.

3.) He's a fantastic writer. Perhaps it says something about my priorities that Cheston being a great writer was the third thing I mentioned behind making short story trailers and being cool. But I refuse to retype this list, so maybe you should just read it backwards.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dark Sky Magazine

The great folks at Dark Sky Magazine just recommended that you read my story Life in the Harem (Tin House 43). After giving it some serious thought, I have decided that this is sage, sage advice. I recommend following this recommendation to the very letter.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Animalcula Excerpt in JMWW

I'm excited to announce that the current issue of JMWW features a quick excerpt from my series, Animalcula: A Young Scientist's Guide to New Creatures.

The issue, put together by the brilliant/incomparable/many-other-positive-adjectives David Erlewine, is a special all flash-fiction issue featuring stories by many cool writers.

Also, you can find more Animalcula in Ninth Letter 6:1.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Harems Are For Closers

Tin House #43 is on its way! The issue will feature work by Steve Almond, Ron Carlson, Martha McPhee, David "Always be closing/Put that coffee down" Mamet, and many other awesome people.

Click here to check out an excerpt from my contribution, Life in the Harem.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"One of us turns over a card, picks it up, looks at it as if he were looking at himself in the mirror."

I used to think that tarot cards were just for people who didn't know any better. That was before I started reading Italo Calvino's The Castle of Crossed Destinies, his book of tarot-inspired fiction, which is pretty great. [Note: tarot cards are still mostly just for people who don't know any better.]

From The Waverer's Tale:

A naked goddess takes two jugs containing who knows what juices kept cool for the thirsty (all around there are the yellow dunes of a sun-baked desert), and empties them to water the pebbled shore: and at that instant a growth of saxifrage springs up in the midst of the desert, and among the succulent leaves a blackbird sings; life is the waste of materials thrown away, the sea's cauldron merely repeats what happens within constellations that for billions of years go on pounding atoms in their explosions, obvious even here in the milk-colored sky.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"[...] everything good, no matter how often and how unintentionally such a deed is repeated, is new and spontaneous each time."

Today, I spent a decent amount of time reading Letters on Life (a book of writings collected from Rainer Maria Rilke's personal letters). The whole thing is basically just a self-help book written by the twentieth century's greatest German-language poet. And really, I don't know what else you could want from a book.

Try this on for size:

There is only a single, urgent task: to attach oneself someplace to nature -- to that which is strong, striving and bright -- with unreserved readiness, and then to move forward in one's efforts without any calculation or guile, even when engaged in the most trivial and mundane activities. Each time we thus reach out with joy, each time we cast our view toward distances that have not yet been touched, we transform not only the present moment, and the one following, but also alter the past within us, weave it into the pattern of our existence, and dissolve the foreign body of pain whose exact composition ultimately we do not know.

Bam! You've just been Rilked.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Know Spiderman, Basically


Two Degrees of Separation:


1.)A short story of mine appeared in McSweeney's #33 alongside a story written by James Franco:
2.)James Franco knows Spiderman:


Four Degrees of Separation:

1.) I appeared in McSweeney's #15 alongside Steven Millhauser:

2.) Millhauser's brilliant short story Eisenheim the Illusionist was ground into a fine powder by filmmakers in The Illusionist, starring Ed Norton:

3.) Ed Norton recently played The Hulk:

4.) The Hulk knows Spiderman:


Seven Degrees of Separation:

1.) In 2007, I won the William Peden Prize, an award which was previously won by Robert Olen Butler:

2.) According to Wikipedia, Robert Olen Butler was once caught in a love triangle with Ted Turner:

3.) Ted Turner knows Captain Planet:

4.) Captain Planet knows Atlanta Thrashers forward Jim Slater:

5.) Jim Slater's father played for the New England Patriots:


6.) New England borders on New York:

7.) Spiderman lives in New York:

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Year We Make Contact

First post of 2010! I've got some pretty heavy-duty shenanigans planned for this decade, so you're going to want to pay attention.

For the time being, a couple of quick reminders:

1.) Life in the Harem is on its way from Tin House

2.) I'm only marginally sane.

3.) The San Francisco Panorama is still available. Also, McSweeneys.net will be running excerpts from the Panorama all this week.

4.) "Be excellent to each other." -Abraham Lincoln