Lead Editor for Swell, by Corwin Ericson, released by Dark Coast Press on October 25, 2011
The tiny Northeast island of Bismuth keeps getting smaller for Orange Whippey.
Stranded on Wreck Rock, a bad day only gets worse when Orange is conscripted into service on board the Wendy’s Mom. After a drunken fall from the ruins of a navy ship and the ill-advised ingestion of a stimulating new drug, Orange is rescued by Angie Bombardier, a fetching and forthright fellow Islander. But with the arrival of Snorri—a Finlindian whale herder on a quest to find the fabled Hyperborea—and Waldena—a harpoon wielding Thor-cult priestess—the waters surrounding Bismuth get rough and Orange finds himself at the center of a search for a missing package. Rumors swirl and dangers escalate, turning the serene isle upside-down. For things to be set right again, the package must be found and given to its rightful recipient.
Critical praise for Swell:
“A raucous roller-coaster ride . . . the writer deconstructs all things New England to hilarious effect. Ericson’s tale reveals strong flavors of Tom Robbins, but there is also a splash of Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Just sit back and enjoy the long strange trip.”
— Shelf Awareness
“This delightfully loopy debut combines Down East deadpan with elements of Nordic mythology and Pynchonesque pyrotechnics. Ericson’s Maine coastal setting lies at the edge of the surreal.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Swell reads like an early Tom Robbins novel. It’s stuffed with fresh-feeling observations—and old observations dolled up in just the right pair of Groucho Marx glasses—giving many chapters the feel of a hilarious, discursive night at the bar with a talented bullshit artist. Even though Whippey’s the literary equivalent of an old friend who crashes on your couch for a week too long, you can’t help but fall in love with him. He’s a romantic, and his obvious adoration for coastal life in New England will leave you longing for a vacation in Melville country.”
— Paul Constant, The Stranger
“Jaunty, playful, hilarious, and imminently readable, Swell is much more than an auspicious debut, it’s that rarest of birds, a good old-fashioned reading pleasure.”
— Jonathan Evison, best-selling author of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving and West of Here
Orange himself reads like Pynchon’s Doc Sportello. Add a splash of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, too . . . A superbly crafted mixture of humor and observations of modern life, a combination of barely-noticeable detective fiction and magical realism, something uniquely its own and, in the end, a truly good read. Swell is a fantastic novel.
— Line Zero
“Gaiman meets Barth in a novel about a cellphone network made out of whales. It’s time to go away to sea. [. . .] The question is, are you ready for Whalepunk?”
“A postmodern maritime epic.”
— Necessary Fiction
“A ridiculously anarchic good read that makes Moby Dick look about as exciting as a lobster fishing manual. Swell rises and falls like the ocean, gradually working its way towards a conclusion that’s both emotionally satisfying and curiously open. If you’ve ever wondered what Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas might have been like if Hunter S. Thompson had set it at sea, then you finally have your answer.”
— Dan Coxon, Culture Mob
“Orange Whippey is a degenerate loser from the tiny North Atlantic island of Bismuth who somehow, despite his best intentions of remaining a loser, inexplicably winds up heading a plot involving whale herders, Korean drug smugglers, an aquatic cell phone network, Norse mythology, and the subtle intricacies of Jaws, the novel. Hilarious and weird, yet bizarrely heartwarming and filled with unforgettable characters. I loved every single hilarious word of it.”
— The Book Catapult
Lead Editor for League of Somebodies, by Samuel Sattin, released by Dark Coast Press on April 9, 2013
About League of Somebodies:
Lenard Sikophsky’s father has been feeding him plutonium since the age of six in the hopes of making him the world’s first bona fide superhero. First, he must pass the unusual tests of manhood locked in the centuries old tomb, The Manaton, a secret relic passed down for generations. Falling in love with the beautiful, compulsively suicidal Laura Moskowitz doesn’t make his life any easier. But with the guidance of the Sikophsky men, the antiquated rulebook, and of course a healthy amount of plutonium, Lenardaccepts his fate as an exactor of justice. . . .
Twenty years later, Lenard’s son Nemo is introduced to the same destiny as his father, only this time the violent entity called THEY are in dangerous pursuit. Lenard’s life and the legacy of his family are put to the test when he is forced to defend everything he loves.
Early Praise for League of Somebodies:
League of Somebodies is a dazzling investigation into masculinity and hero-making. It’s also a rollicking good time, and his characters—crazy, troubled, hilarious, endearing—are unforgettable. Sattin magnificently tackles many big themes of our age: inheritance, the burdens of manhood, creating our own identities, and last but not least, love. In Sattin’s fiction, there is no such thing as a marginal character, no matter the world’s attempt at marginalization.
– Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban and The Lady Matador’s Hotel
How to explain this mystic monster League of Somebodies? Part old-school epic, part coming-of-age tale, and part comedy in the spirit of Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein . . . Samuel Sattin is a mad scientist!
– Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine and The Devil in Silver
League of Somebodies is so rich with originality that it’s actually radioactive. If you captured Owen Meany in a literary time machine and fed him a strict diet of comic books and plutonium, you would come up with a main character a hell of a lot more well-adjusted than Lenard Sikophsky. Read at your own risk and beware: laughter is the first sign of infection.
– Mat Johnson, author of Pym, Incognegro, and Dark Rain
Those of you who are considering poisoning, terrorizing, and forcing their boys to read maniacal misogynistic rantings may want to read League of Somebodies as a cautionary tale. The rest of you, though, will have fun with this satiric American saga of squalid super-heroics.
– Corwin Ericson, author of SWELL
In our been-there-done-that world, Samuel Sattin has managed to create something new: a graphic novel without the graphics. A superhero story about twisted fathers and frightened sons, betrayals of the heart and home. This non-comic comic-book is a big-themed story-telling bonanza whose major elements are not only thematic, they’re chemical. If you crave a wild and original read, you’ve come to the right place.
– Amanda Stern, author of The Long Haul
Sattin’s first novel is a whirling force that blends the family saga, superhero lore, and a coming of age story to a frothy cocktail. Imagine The Godfather remixed with Chabon’s classic Kavalier and Clay.
– Joshua Mohr, author of Fight Song, Damascus, and Termite Parade