Review: With a Title Like _Monsters & Mormons_, How Could You Not Have Fun?, Part One

It’s taking me a while to get through  Monsters & Mormons, not because it’s not super enjoyable (because it is!), but because it’s a pretty long book (which, to me, is no flaw. The upcoming Saints on Stage: An Anthology For Mormon Drama which I edited for Zarahemla Books is a behemoth as well). Also when I finish a short story, I feel a temporary sense of completeness, so the book doesn’t always draw me back like a novel does because I’m not left “hanging” so to speak. So I’ve decided to break up my review of Monsters and Mormons over a few different reviews so I can write while the stories are still somewhat fresh in my mind. It will also allow me to address the short stories more individually instead of as a blurred whole.

First, my overall impression of Monsters & Mormons: it’s a winner. A big winner. As some one who has lived in imaginative waters since he was a child and hasn’t been afraid to invite his religion to play in those waters with him, I totally dig projects like this. Now, I’ve never been much of a horror fan, especially when it leads to copious amounts of blood and gore. I mean, like, yuck. Not my thing. However, I do love ghost stories and supernatural monsters (I keep wanting to read some H.P. Lovecraft), and, if it doesn’t lead to too much gruesomeness, I can definitely enjoy stories like this. This is definitely not something I would suggest to some of my less adventurous or conservative thinking family and friends, but it’s something I would suggest to the imaginative Mormon who doesn’t mind mixing fantasy and religion (and I know a number of non-Mormons who would get a kick out of it!) . So let’s get to the individual stories in the first part of the collection:

Continue reading “Review: With a Title Like _Monsters & Mormons_, How Could You Not Have Fun?, Part One”

An open letter to the Whitney Awards Committee


I’m a big fan of the Whitney Awards. I think they’ve filled a need with great success and have been managed professionally and sensibly. I’m always certain to nominate books I read that qualify and are deserving, and every year intend to actually act on my Academy membership and vote a category, but never quite succeed.

I do have two suggestions that I believe would further improve the Whitneys which I would like to humbly present publicly, in order to invite an open discussion of my suggestions’ merits.


Suggestion the first: Expand the borders of date eligibility Continue reading “An open letter to the Whitney Awards Committee”

Review: “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” in _Monsters and Mormons_

I was excited to get Monsters and Mormons in my mailbox. Not only because it was put together by two of our peeps over here at A Motley Vision, but because the concept was just fun and quirky enough to get my attention, without going overboard. I first read some of the introductory material, and then read the graphic novel/comic book sections, because comic books are a part of pop culture I’ve been a sometimes reluctant, but more often avid fan of since I was in grade school. But somewhere in the front matter, I read that Eric James Stone’s “The Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” was included in the volume. After reading “Leviathan” and some other meaty entries, I’ve realized this was more than just fun pulp fiction and mad Mormon mash ups… this thing had a backbone.

I knew “The Leviathan Whom Thou Has Made” only by reputation. Eric Stone is a Mormon science fiction writer whose “Leviathan” won the prestigious Nebula Award and was a runner-up for the Hugo Award. Even though I’m only an infrequent taster of science fiction and fantasy literature, yet even I knew this was no mean feat for any writer, Mormon or not. So I immediately perked. I had originally intended to read the stories basically from cover to cover, but this particular story’s reputation drew me to it. I jumped straight ahead to “The Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made.”

Now I’m probably going to review the rest of the stories at a later time all together, once I’ve finished the anthology (it’s a pretty thick book, so I guess it may take me a while). But this one story left such a strong impression on me that I felt compelled to give it its own review while its still burning in my mind, heart and belly. Continue reading “Review: “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” in _Monsters and Mormons_”

Monsters & Mormons at LTUE this Friday (Feb. 10)

A panel of Monsters & Mormons contributors will be discussing the anthology at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 11, 2012, at the Life, the Universe, and Everything conference held this year at Utah Valley University in Orem, UT.

The panel will be moderated by Dan Wells and feature Nathan Shumate, Eric James Stone, Jaleta Clegg, EC Buck and Steven Peck. They’ll talk about how their stories came about, the delights and dangers of mixing Mormonism with genre fiction, and more. It’s gonna be great.

Click here for conference registration details. Note that it uses UVU’s enrollment process so you will need to register for an account.

Peculiar Pages at Sunstone West


This Saturday at Claremont Graduate University, Sunstone West, a small tidier Sunstone Symposium, will feature panels about two Peculiar Pages book. (Note that times and participants are subject to clarification.)


The first, Monsters & Mormons, accomplished with the help of A Motley Vision and the most fun currently available in print. Participating authors Erik Peterson (“Bichos”) and Brian Gibson (“The Eye Opener”) will be talking about their works as well as reading their own and others’ stories. Responding to their presentation will be Patrick Q. Mason, the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies and Associate Professor of North American Religion at Claremont, and the author of The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Also featured are several poets from Fire in the Pasture. Featuring editor, poet, and AMV-contributor Tyler Chadwick discussing a Javen Tanner poem, and, in a separate session, readings from Tyler, Neil Aitkin, Karen Kelsay, Elisa Pulido, Laura Stott, Holly Welker, and, we hope, more.

Sunstone West is always great fun and you’ll want to catch other panels and presentations while you’re there.

Come to L.A.!

Register today!


Get Monsters & Mormons on your new ereader, tablet or smartphone

How to buy Monsters & Mormons and load it on to almost any ereading device: ereader, smartphone, tablet, latptop, netbook or desktop.

So you could go ahead and now that it is available. But chances are a few of you received a new device this Christmas that will work as an ereader. Here’s how you get Monsters & Mormons on to your device (please note that all links will open up in a new window so that you can continue to reference this post). Note that laptops, netbooks and desktops can also serve as ereaders so there is a section for that below titled “Mac, PC or Linux laptop/netbook/desktop”. In that section, I also point you to Calibre, which can help you load ebooks on all of the devices listed below so if you are serious about getting into ebooks or have a range of different devices in the family, check that out.

iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch (iOS devices)

Edit to add: the Dropbox + Bluefire method in the comments below also works quite well. I’ve used it myself.

iBookstore is difficult to work with for small publishers, so you won’t find it there and Apple doesn’t let other apps buy directly in-app so you’ll need both your computer and your iOS device. So fire up your laptop or desktop and directly from B10 Mediaworx and download it to someplace where you easily find it (desktop, your documents folder, an ebooks folder). Your best bet is to buy the epub version (click on the “epub” button). The only exception is if you are already using the Kindle app on your iOS device, in which case, click on the “kindle” button.

Next, you need to install an ereader app on your device.

1. If you went the Kindle route, use the Amazon Kindle App.

2. If you went the epub route, use Bluefire Reader.

Open up iTunes on your computer and connect your iOS device to your computer. When your device shows up on the left nav in iTunes, click on it. You should see a new navigation show up in the main section of iTunes. Find the “Apps” button and click on it. Scroll down to the bottom to the section that says “File Sharing”. Click on the Kindle or Bluefire icon. You should now see the list of files in that app (or none if there aren’t files in it yet). At the bottom of that section (which will either say “Kindle Documents” or “Bluefire Documents”, you’ll see a button that says “Add”. Click on that button, navigate to where you downloaded your .epub or .prc (Kindle) file, select the file and click “open”. The file should now show up in the Documents list on iTunes. Sync your device, eject it and it should show up on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch your Kindle or Bluefire app.

Kindle/Kindle Fire

There are two ways to go here:

1. and have it automatically sent to your device via Whispernet. This is easier, but we (the publisher, editors and contributors) get less money. But hey, it’s easier so we don’t mind if that’s way you gotta go.

2. Buy directly from us and sideload the Kindle file onto your Kindle device. Here’s how you do that: from your laptop or desktop, click here. Click on the “kindle” button and go through the check out process. When you get to the point where you can download the file, save it somewhere where you will be able to easily find it.

Next, click here for information from Amazon on how to transfer content via usb. Because you’ve already downloaded the content to your computer, you can skip the first section in the guide and following directions for “Connecting your Kindle device to your computer” and “Transferring Kindle content”.

Nook (or Kobo or Sony Reader)

For non-Kindle ereaders, you should directly from B10 Mediaworx and download it someplace where you can find it.

To load the file onto your Nook, click here and follow the instructions. Note that you can also manage this via Adobe Editions if you already use it to load books on to your Nook that you don’t purchase directly form B&N.

To load the file onto your Kobo, connect it to your computer using the USB cable that came with it. Tap “Connect” on your Kobo eReader’s screen. Your Kobo should now show up as a connected device on your computer. Open it up and you should see the contents of the eReader. Open up another explore window (PC) or finder window (Mac) on your computer and navigate to where your Monsters & Mormons epub file is. Drag it to the eReader window and drop it in. Eject your Kobo and you should be good to go.

For the Sony Reader, connect it to your computer using the USB cable. If you have a Sony Reader, chances are you already have Sony’s eBook Library installed on your computer and know how to use it. Do that. There are other ways to go but they aren’t as easy to explain.

Mac, PC or Linux laptop/netbook/desktop

There are quite a few ereader software options. The best, imo, is Calibre. Download Calibre here. Install it. and download it someplace where you can find it. Open up Calibre, click on “Add Books”, navigate to where you downloaded the file and select it. Calibre can also help you load books to almost other devices you might have, including Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony Reader, Android smartphone/tablet and Kobo.

Android Smartphone or Tablet

Edit to add: the Dropbox + Bluefire method in the comments below also works quite well for those who are (or are willing to be) Dropbox users.

I don’t know the Android world very well. If you already use the Kindle app on Android, it’s probably easiest to . But if you really want to have the epub version and not be tied into Kindle (a sentiment I fully understand and support), then it looks to me like your best bets are either the Kobo app or the Aldiko app. Click here for details on how to load books using the Aldiko app. For the Kobo app on an Android table the best bet is to load the epub file onto the SD card for your tablet and then follow these linked instructions.


If none of the above work for you, you can always and use your favorite PDF reader or browser/html renderer.

I hope this helps. If you have questions, leave a comment below or email monsters AT motleyvision DAWT org, and we’ll do our best to help you out.

Monsters & Mormons: the print run has shipped!

Edit to add (11:55 am): Good news! Less than an hour after this post went live, Elizabeth got word that the print run of Monsters & Mormons has shipped. As soon as it arrives, she will start fulfilling orders. Thanks for patience!

I know that many of you are anxiously awaiting the print version of Monsters & Mormons. We are too. Unfortunately, the vendor that Peculiar Pages/B10 Mediaworx is getting the trade pub editions from isn’t moving as quickly as they have in the past. See, we knew the schedule would be tight. But the order went in 10 days ago and Lightning Source, a print on demand company that works with small publishers,  hasn’t printed and shipped the print run yet to Elizabeth so that she can fulfill your orders. This delay is unusual. We don’t know yet when it might arrive. We very much hope that it can happen in advance of Christmas.

B10 does have your orders on file if you’ve already ordered the print version. And, of course, the ebook version is available to download now. Or you can get it directly for the Kindle here. As soon as the shipment comes in, we will let you know.