Friday Roundup: Lonely Satellite, Duran Duran, Dope, and more Glitter Princes

First up: Free stuff! My book Lonely Satellite is free today (and for the next few days) at Amazon. I like this one a lot. It takes place in an alternate timeline in which the world was nearly destroyed in a nuclear war in 1984; thirty years later, American society is in the process of rebuilding, but everything’s still plenty crappy and dangerous. One of last year’s ABNA quarter-finalists (review from an ABNA judge: “Great voice for Laurie, very likeable and believable. Terrific language usage, word choice and sentence structure variety. Great dialogue. Really, this is fantastic”), Lonely Satellite is essentially a Bizarro-world retelling of my book Bias Cut, which was an ABNA semi-finalist and winner of an IPPY silver medal in the Mystery category. Lonely Satellite is chock full of all of my favorite things in life: champagne, unconventional gender roles, post-apocalyptic mayhem, hot gay boys zipping around on motorcycles, and gratuitous eighties references.

I’ve got a few spare copies of the paperback edition on hand. Want one? For, like, free? Leave me a comment here, or hit me up on Twitter, and we’ll work something out.

So now that I’ve outed myself as Evan Allen, the author of the supernatural gay romance Four Emperorshere’s some cute Four Emperors love from a discerning Tumblr user. The sequel, Three Warlords, will be released by Luft Books by the end of the summer.

My sister and I were planning to see Jurassic World last week, because dinosaurs are awesome, but the trailer left us feeling a little meh about the whole endeavor. Instead, we went to see Rick Famuyiwa’s Sundance-lauded charmer Dope, which turned out to be exactly the right move. A teen romp with a dark edge, Dope centers around a brainy teen in Inglewood who, while preparing for his Harvard interview, gets unwittingly ensnared in a drug deal that goes horribly wrong. When we saw it opening weekend, there was only one other person apart from us at our screening, so I don’t imagine it’ll stick in theaters long. It’s worth catching while you can.

Duran Duran just released their first single, “Pressure Off”, off of their upcoming Paper Gods album. The single, which was produced by Nile Rodgers and features vocals from special guest Janelle MonĂ¡e, is catchy as all hell, though it doesn’t resonate with me in the way that, say, "Wild Boys" does. It looks like Paper Gods is intended as something of an updated counterpart to the Notorious album, in the way that All You Need Is Now was an updated counterpart to Rio. I’ve always been far more of a Rio girl than a Notorious girl, so my expectations for the album are somewhat muted. Plus, I keep hearing things like “in collaboration with Lindsay Lohan,” and I start to get very, very concerned. 

Anyway, the album art is the work of artist Alex Israel, as curated by actress/model China Chow (former host of Bravo’s flawed but fascinating art-world-reality-competition Work of Art). I’m a huge fan of eighties-inspired pop art, obviously, and I dig the Nagel-esque color palette. I also like the idea of the stickers representing early-Duran iconic touchstones—the “Rio” phone and champagne glass, the “Chauffeur” cap, the “Girls on Film” sumo wrestler, the cherry ice cream smile, the tiger, all of it. Overall, though… well, you can see Nick Rhodes’s sticky-yet-elegant fingers all over this one. Nick’s pop-art tastes are vastly more sophisticated and informed than mine, and thus I often find his aesthetic sense hard to comprehend. I kind of hate the album art, I guess that’s what I’m saying here.

While we're on the subject of eighties-inspired Nagel-esque pop art: I’m going great blazes on laying the groundwork for my graphic novel, Glitter Princes, about a quintet of glamorous and vaguely Duranish spies running amuck and getting into surreal mischief in the 1980s.

The focus right now is still on getting my artwork up to speed, which means the living room table is covered with old teen magazines and sketchbooks filled with loving drawings of Duran Duran, like I’m a nine-year-old girl, and it’s 1983. Which I was at one time, and I seem to be regressing these days (I’ve been feeling more of a deep spiritual kinship with Sailor Moon than any fortysomething probably should), so that only makes sense.

I’m going to wrap this up with a video from FFS, the new supergroup formed by Franz Ferdinand and Sparks. I’ve arrived at the Sparks party very, very late; these guys have over forty years worth of damn good music to their name. Not surprisingly, I’m especially fond of their eighties New Wave stuff (a sterling example: “All You Ever Think About Is Sex”). Here’s FFS with “Johnny Delusional”.

Until next week.


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