Friday, March 25, 2011

A Complete List of All Books

In order to celebrate the fact that my debut short story collection, The Great Frustration, will be released in about a month, I have decided to compile a list of all the books that have ever been published. In addition to it being a fun opportunity to promote TGF, I figured it could serve as a scholarly resource (which is pretty much how I think of my blog anyway). Without further ado, here they are in no particular order:

Graham's French to English Dictionary

The Helicopter Joke Book

Jump-Around Howie's Big Book of Obvious Riddles

The Panther in the Cauldron: A Diaper Lewis Mystery

A Parent's Guide to Making Your Children Invincible to Witches

How to Tell Which Children Are Invincible to You: A Witch's Handbook

Mission to Cars: How to Attend an Auto Show

Dr. Paul d'Artagnan's Low Calorie Workout


Phone books

It's pretty humbling to see all those titles listed one after another. It's enough to make me realize that The Great Frustration will be little more than a grain of sand in an immense desert. Nevertheless, as far as grains of sand go, it's going to be awesome. Oh, also: Huckleberry Finn.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Starred Review in Publishers Weekly

I am incredibly pleased to report that Publishers Weekly has just given The Great Frustration a starred review. In fact, "pleased" might be underselling it. All day long I have been climbing skyscrapers and swatting at biplanes. PW had this to say:

The 11 stories in Fried's debut have the vigor of adventures, taking place in settings as disparate as Spain in the time of the conquistadors, a king's harem, a city under siege, various scientific setups, and--in the case of the title story--the Garden of Eden. Such an imagination is refreshing, but even more rewarding is that the stories don't rely solely on concept or conceit, and trudge forward into the lovely mess of strong characters wedged into dramatic circumstance. The scientists in "Those of Us in Plaid" have a simple, though not easy, objective involving an obstinate monkey and a space capsule. Science is clearly one of Fried's major interests: "Loeka Discovered" follows a team of researchers reconstructing ancient history from bits of bone and other artifacts. The lengthy "Animalcula: A Young Scientist's Guide to New Creatures" offers 15 scholarly descriptions of minuscule fauna, creating a fictional microcosm and illuminating it with the surprisingly poetic inner life of the scientist studying his subjects. While Fried's stories run to the historical or technical, there's a strain of absurdism in his prose that combines pathos, unease, and dark humor to add depth and give these stories a sense of modernity and relevance. (May)

This means one of two things: 1.) Publishers Weekly got the cigars I sent, or 2.) Publishers Weekly liked my book. Either way, I haven't received a star on a piece of writing since grade school and it still feels pretty great. Huge thanks to PW!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Animalcula: A Young Scientist's Guide to New Creatures

The new issue of The Kenyon Review is about to drop, as the kids say. The issue will feature a sizable excerpt from my epic, pseudoscientific work, Animalcula: A Young Scientist's Guide to New Creatures. So get ready for twelve (count 'em, twelve) short stories about some exciting microscopic organisms that I'm pretty sure I made up.

The issue will also feature a bunch of amazing work from some incredible people (including a bona fide hero of mine, Albert Goldbarth).

In the next few days The Kenyon Review will also be running a micro-interview with me on their blog. It's not an interview about microscopes, though that would have been completely awesome. It's just called micro because it's short. They've already posted two great interviews with contributors from the issue. Be sure to check them out: Ted Wheeler, Robert Yune. I'll link to my interview once it's up, as is my wont.

Also, while you're waiting to get your hands on a copy of The Kenyon Review, I encourage you to enjoy the work of some actual young scientists over at the Oklahoma Microscopy Society, from whom I borrowed the above picture of a wheel bug.