The Season: Local literature

By PHILIP EIL  |  December 11, 2013

Old Salty Dog: A Rhode Island Folk Tale by Seth McCombs | artofsethmccombs.com/store

We’re admittedly biased toward writers who take their author photo while wearing scuba gear. We’re also biased toward authors who sketch and identify various plants and creatures found beneath the surface of Narragansett Bay — sea stars, quahogs, hermit crabs, spider crabs, blue mussels, irish moss — on the page opposite from that author photo. And, while we’re at it, we might as well admit our bias toward authors who use Kickstarter to raise funds to print a self-illustrated folk tale about a quahogger who fights off mythical creatures while out at sea — a story with equal hints of H.P. Lovecraft, The Odyssey, Jaws, and Chris Van Allsburg’s (another local literary hero) Jumanji.

So, does this mean we’re biased toward Seth McCombs’s Old Salty Dog? Well, we’re OK with that.

 

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Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists, and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet | Edited by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini, and David Segal | Amazon Kindle Edition | $9.99

If you already know what the acronyms SOPA and PIPA stand for, then you’ll want to read this book — co-edited and co-written by former RI state rep and current Demand Progress executive director David Segal — to revel in the particulars of the successful fight to keep those dual assaults on Internet freedom at bay.

On the other hand, if you don’t know what SOPA and PIPA stand for (the Stop Online Privacy Act and Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act), well, this book is a pretty damn good place to start.

 

The Lords of Salem by Rob Zombie and B.K. Evenson | Grand Central Publishing | $27

What happens when a Brown University literary arts professor teams up with Rob Zombie to write a novelization of Zombie’s 2012 witches/blood/heroin/rock ’n’ roll horror flick by the same name? You get one of the most stomach-churningly captivating opening chapters we’ve read in a while.

Here’s a taste:

“She struggled again to free her head and managed to lift it just long enough to see her own torso cut open and spread out, hands gripping the edges of the wound and holding them open as the leader of the women, her hands up to the elbows in blood and gore, felt around inside her. A loop of intestine jiggled its way out, smeared with blood flux, then something smaller, a veined and ridged tube, and then, among it all, a tiny and flexing hand.”

You do no want to read this one at lunch in the corporate cafeteria. For a lot of reasons.

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