New From Indie Press Sunnyoutside: Reckoning and Pilot Season (Books Acquired, 12.11.2013)

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Two new handsome fellas from indie press Sunnyoutside:

James Brubaker’s Pilot Season, which I read over the past few days, is a fun little volume that is better than its thin premise suggests (blurb from the back):

Pilot Season opens with a television executive attempting to save his floundering network’s fall roster. As his own anxieties, disappointments, and alienation from his own family play out through a steady stream of absurd television pilots, we are treated to sardonic parodies of the contemporary reality show-obsessed media culture. While critiquing the cruelty and exploration of the medium, Pilot Season also manages to laud the human spirit’s ability to trump our flaws.

Pilot Season shares a strong overlap with Matthew Winston’s This Coming Fall; the central conceit of that story is a voice that blithely announces a schedule of dystopian TV shows. (I read the books more or less at the same time—both are slim enough to fit in a pocket and can be discreetly absorbed during meetings, for example).

Rusty Barnes’s Reckoning is Appalachian noir propelled by dialogue, sex, and violence. Blurb from the back:

Richard Logan begins his summer day as any fourteen-year-old might: working at a farm job bringing in hay, avoiding his hard-headed father, and hanging out with his friends. When he stumbles onto an unconscious woman in the woods, he has no idea that the process of helping her will lead him into the darkness o fa the deeply held deceits of his rural Appalachian town. Both brutal and beautiful, Reckoning shows the seams and limits of family love and community tolerance while Richard discovers where manhood truly lies.

Reckoning and Pilot Season will be released in Spring of 2014.

 

Mostly Redneck (Book Acquired, 2.25.2012)

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Mostly Redneck is a collection of stories by Rusty Barnes. It’s newish from indie press Sunnyoutside. Back of book:

In Mostly Redneck, Rusty Barnes expounds on his upbringing in disadvantaged rural northern Appalachia to deliver a mastery of country idiom and setting. In one minimalist story after another, he gives perspective and breadth to the widely misunderstood world of a people who still hunt for food, occasionally join their neighbors for church, and sometimes enjoy it when their city kin step in cow shit.

There’s a story about Saddam Hussein! It’s kind of surreal.

I’m pretty sure Sunnyoutside actually printed this book in-house; I know they own a printing press (two, if the website ain’t lying). Did they make this coaster?—

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I tested the coaster, in any case. It works. Here it is, protecting my midcentury coffee table from condensation that might seep from the interaction between a homebrewed black ale and yon glass:

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