I meant to get this out earlier, but I’ve been flat-out with deadlines. Ah, what fun! Kevin J. Anderson, bless his generous heart, will be launching The Rebel: Second Chance at Supanova next week. Details: Sydney Showground, 1:15 pm on Saturday, June 20th at the Wrestling Ring. (No, they’re probably not going to make me wrestle!) If all goes according to plan, there will be James Dean and Marilyn Monroe look-alikes … and Jack and Kevin doing shtick. Hmm …
So, Sydney pals, if you’re around, I’d love to see you. Satalyte will have copies of the limited hardcover edition (we’re talking a BIG book here) and trade and ebook versions will be available. They will also have copies of the Reading the Entrails chapbook, which contains my Lucius Shepard interview and a very personal introduction.
Ah, I miss Lucius.
I’m flying into Sydney just for the day and will be at the Satalyte table. Stop and say hello.
From the preface to The Rebel: Second Chance:
This special edition of The Rebel is published in commemoration of James Dean’s death sixty years ago. My original working title for The Rebel was Second Chance, and it was my publisher’s idea to title this edition The Rebel: Second Chance; and, indeed, it is a second chance for this novel, as it explores in greater detail he lives of James Dean, Elvis Presley, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and the Kennedys in this, my alternate history of American pop culture. This version — with its greatly expanded scope — is meant to be a deeper meditation on the construction of myth and its creators.
I appreciate this opportunity to reveal my original conception, this rather large, fully painted canvass …
From the introduction to Reading the Entrails:
When we’re submerged in what I now think of as the ‘Green Years’ — that luminous time when everything was concentrated, when we rushed headlong shouting into what absolutely had to be an even grander future … that time when we were falling in love and doing such odd things as picking up refrigerators to express the joy and wonderment of it all (well, Lucius, fortified with Tequila, wanted to pick up my refrigerator after a night of falling in love) … that time when we were drunk stoned obsessed with the idea of writing and living and writing, when learning the craft was as exciting as parachuting out of airplanes, when fast friendships were made and the mundane, quiet days were merely inconvenient ellipses between adventures — when we’re living in those dilating supercharged times, we don’t consider (nor are we concerned) that we’re living history, albeit our personal history.
We’re too busy embracing experience, rushing forward, great locomotives speeding down the tracks of experience, until suddenly, suddenly we look at the gray face in the mirror and realize that we’ve arrived. We don’t necessarily know where we’ve arrived or what we’ve arrived at, but suddenly under lidded eyes we’re looking down those tracks, staring dumbly at what was and can never be again. And we know with some bizarre combination of shock and poignancy, that those green joys are over: oh, there are still joys, great geysers of the stuff; but those geysers are now taking place in a grayer, darker, shadowed time.
I found myself looking down those tracks on March 19th, 2014 when I found out that Lucius had died. I was — and am — in Australia, some 9,000 miles away from those green times; and when I heard the sad, obliterating news, I flashed through our shared past, remembering/reliving the good times, the bad times, selfishly grieving for my own loss of a dear friend; but also realizing that the world culture had just lost a white-hot, deadly penetrating, genius talent: the phenomenon known as Lucius Taylor Shepard …