8.21.2008

Attended Jeff Somers reading at KGB Bar



Last night I attended a reading as part of the KGB Bar's Fantastic Fiction series by Orbit author Jeff Somers.

I met the author last year while attending World Fantasy Con in Saratoga last Fall. He was friendly and we chatted about Jae Lee cover art (something a comics fan like me couldn't miss). I grabbed the trade paperback copy of Electric Church and sadly threw it on my 'to be read' shelf where it sat for a while. Almost a year later, knowing this reading was coming up, I finally picked up the book and started reading it - and I'm really enjoying it. I was mad at myself for letting it sit around as this is the type of science fiction I could really get into. Here's a quick layout of the story.

In a future world where great wars, riots and a global unification has occurred leaving a huge gap between the very rich and the dirt poor, a street smart killer-for-hire survives by the seat of his pants. People's life spans don't last long in this harsh future and a powerful religious organization promises eternal existence but something doesn't sit right with Avery Cates. Chaos ensues.
[Back to the reading]
Weak cell phone camera in hand, I snagged a spot against the door in the back of the small but crowded room. My co-pilot and pal Jon was able to purchase a copy of Jeff's first book The Electric Church for himself, and a copy of Jeff's newest The Digital Plague for me before the reading began.

Jeff chose to read from a short story he had written, a hysterical and fantastical rendition of his eerie New Jersey upbringing and life of crime and adventure. He put on a good show and the crowd really seemed to enjoy it. [Apologies on poor picture quality, although it does evoke a bit of ambiance, wouldn't you say?]


After the applause and a bit of conversation with some industry friends from Orbit and Tor, we moved along to grab some sushi at one of my favorite places down on the East Side at Takahachi. It was a good night indeed.

I am not finished with The Electric Church, but now with his new book in hand, I'm psyched to get to the end so I can jump right into the next one. If you're looking for a futuristic tale of gun slinging and survival, I recommend you pick it up. I can almost see the main character Avery, in digital form, in a videogame in the near future, looking for weapons and technology to survive in the blasted landscape that is Old New York.
[update]
I've added a link to Jeff's blog on my blog role located on the right. Check out his witty banter here [for those too lazy to look right]

3 comments:

Jon said...

Good times indeed my friend. We drink vodka to celebrate good fiction. I love that bar, takes me back to the cold war days.

Janet Reid said...

That's actually one of the better pictures of Jeff!

I loved what he read too, very indicative of his sense of humor and off-plumb view of the world.

Jayf44 said...

Thanks Janet. It was a great event and we enjoyed listening to Jeff's reading.