I also want to say I have followed ChiZine since way back when they first started a little ezine called Chiaroscuro, which was sometime in the late 1990s. To see the sort of success they are having is very satisfying to me.
Anyway, first the guest post, and then I will link the giveaways. Remember, to sign up for the paperback you must have an address in the US or Canada, but the e-book giveaway is open internationally. I will label them so you know which you may enter.
Without further ado, here is James Marshall to tell us about his exploits in narrator reliability.
In my How To End Human Suffering series, I wanted to explore narrator reliability. In the first book, NINJA VERSUS PIRATE FEATURING ZOMBIES, the protagonist and narrator is a sixteen-year-old pirate and spiritual leader named Guy Boy Man. When we're first introduced to Guy, he claims to be wearing a shiny white high-tech ceremonial robe, the Pope's big tall golden hat, and that he has a faithful shoulder-perched raven. He says that he recently killed his parents with a hatchet, pirated trillions of dollars from the economy, and that, at the moment, he's openly drinking whiskey in the hallway of his high school wherein zombie teens with helmets and metal muzzles mingle with regular students.
Is Guy Boy Man crazy or is his world? It's explicitly stated that other characters aren't experiencing reality the same way that he is. At one point, Guy's cute pink-haired girlfriend, Baby Doll15, who has a unicorn that follows her everywhere, refers to Guy's kick-ass Gothic castle as an “abandoned factory”(66). When Guy and some of his hot young female followers pick a crop of human babies from a farmer's field and burn them, Sweetie Honey—Guy's African-American ninja friend—asks him why he's burning “a bunch of lettuce”(189).
In NINJA VERSUS PIRATE FEATURING ZOMBIES, the reader is never really certain what or how much is really happening. He or she probably suspects that all the crazy events detailed in the novel aren't meant to be “really” occurring and are, instead, housed in the narrator's deranged mind. All of that gets turned on its head in the next novel.
In ZOMBIE VERSUS FAIRY FEATURING ALBINOS, we're introduced to a new protagonist and narrator, a depressed zombie named Buck Burger who is tired of going through the motions of being undead. Hoping to feel alive again, he takes a shower, with soap. His zombie wife insists he see a doctor, who prescribes him an anti-depressant. When he goes to get his prescription filled, Buck meets a beautiful pharmacist fairy and quickly becomes a pawn in a cold war between zombies and supernatural creatures.
Making Buck Burger the narrator of the second novel allowed me to make all the events of the first novel “real” on a level that only Guy Boy Man is experiencing. There's a clue to this in the Prologue of NINJA VERSUS PIRATE FEATURING ZOMBIES, which is a modern-day retelling of Plato's Parable of the Cave: in it, Guy discovers there are different layers of reality and, in one of these, everyone in the world is bound with chains. Once Guy escapes, he resolves to return there and “free everyone, starting with the hot young girls”(10).
Exploring narrator reliability in the How To End Human Suffering series allows me to play with readers' expectations and to conflate our own world with one filled with zombies and supernatural creatures.
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And if you don't yet have Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies you can buy it by clicking the title (for the Kindle edition) or clicking here for the paperback edition. If you are in a hurry, you can buy Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos in Kindle format by clicking the title, or the paperback version by clicking here.
Okay, so here are the giveaways. First for a paperback edition of Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos, only people with a US or Canada address can sign up here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here you can sign up for one of two copies of Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos in e-book, winner's choice of format. Open internationally.
a Rafflecopter giveaway