Saturday, September 22, 2018

{New Release} "Urbantasm: The Dying City" by Connor Coyne

Today I have really awesome treat for you guys. It is the release date for Connor Coyne's first book in a four book series, Urbantasm: The Dying City. It is a magical teen noir serial novel inspired by the author’s experiences growing up in and around Flint, Michigan. As a Michigan girl I knew I had to help support this author by at least getting the word out about its release.
Luckily, his publicist has also agreed to do a special giveaway of a signed finished copy of the book to one of my lucky readers. Find out more about this book below and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end!

Urbantasm: The Dying City
Book One of Four
By: Connor Coyne
Publisher: Gothic Funk Press
Release Date: September 22, 2018

Thirteen-year-old John Bridge’s plans include hooking up with an eighth-grade girl and becoming one of the most popular kids at Radcliffe Junior High, but when he steals a pair of strange blue sunglasses from a homeless person, it drops him into the middle of a gang war overwhelming the once-great Rust Belt town of Akawe. John doesn’t understand why the sunglasses are such a big deal, but everything, it seems, is on the table. Perhaps he accidentally offended the Chalks, a white supremacist gang trying to expand across the city. Maybe the feud involves his friend Selby, whose father died under mysterious circumstances. It could even have something to do with O-Sugar, a homegrown drug with the seeming ability to distort space. On the night before school began, a group of teenagers took O-Sugar and leapt to their deaths from an abandoned hospital. John struggles to untangle these mysteries while adjusting to his new school, even as his parents confront looming unemployment and as his city fractures and burns.


     My eyes slowly adjusted, and I was able to make out all of the expected things you see under the expressway: empty plastic bags pinned against a column, ground out gravel, a few uncapped plastic bottles half-filled with mystery liquids. One dark corner was filled with a heap of ratted blankets, but as I stared at them I realized that they weren’t discarded. There was a person over there, sleeping in the shadows, surrounded by a sprawl of trash. I’d never seen a squat quite like this before. Rays of dirty clothes, ragged sheets, glass bottles, cups, forks, knives, torn bags of bread, empty bags of chips, shoes, socks, and plastic beaded jewelry spiraled out from the figure. The cleaner, more valuable things seemed to be at the periphery, while I only saw some soiled scraps and rotting food heaped up around the sleeping figure. Flies buzzed. I now caught a stench worse than the rancid meat I’d passed before. It was the stench of shit, of rot, and of something worse that I didn’t have a name for.
     I stood, quickly, then knelt and slipped my backpack on again. I started walking as quietly and quickly as I could, veering into the road to keep myself out of the circle of debris. In the dark, it was hard to do this, and I heard something crunch beneath my feet. I stopped and looked down. It was a pair of sunglasses. I hadn’t broken them when I’d stepped on them, and that alone was amazing. These weren’t ordinary sunglasses, either. The lenses were blue and they seemed to radiate a deep glow. An ultra-blue. There was so little light to reflect in there, it seemed almost supernatural to me, that glowing. They seemed holy to me. Like they belonged in a reliquary. I picked them up.
     I walked out of the shadow on the far side of the underpass and held the sunglasses up to the light. They looked less magical now, but still special and antique. Anomalous, and not only because of where I had found them. I was quite sure that these were the only sunglasses like this that had ever existed. They were teashades, like a number of pairs I had owned through the years, and I had owned a lot of sunglasses. But the wire was thin and gold, while the lenses were large and thick. As I studied them, I realized that they had been cut, very carefully, from the bottoms of glass bottles. The bottoms of the lenses were shaded green, the tops purple, while the larger centers were blue. Who would’ve spent so much time – gone to so much trouble – to make a pair of sunglasses like these? I held them up by the handle so that they swung sideways and made an eight. They were beautiful.


About Connor Coyne:
Connor Coyne is a novelist living and working in Flint, Michigan. His first novel, Hungry Rats has been hailed by Heartland prize-winner Jeffery Renard Allen as "an emotional and aesthetic tour de force." His second novel, Shattering Glass, has been praised by Gordon Young, author of Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City as "a hypnotic tale that is at once universal and otherworldly." Connor represented Flint's 7th Ward as its artist-in-residence for the National Endowment for the Arts' Our Town grant, through which artists engaged ward residents to produce creative work in service of the 2013 City of Flint Master Plan. Connor's work has been published in, Belt Magazine, Santa Clara Review, Moria Poetry Zine, East Village Magazine, Flint Broadside, Moomers Journal of Moomers Studies, The Saturnine Detractor, and Qua. Connor lives in Flint's College Cultural Neighborhood (aka the East Village), less than a mile from the house where he grew up.


One U.S. Reader will win a signed finished copy of Urbantasm: The Dying City
  • Must be at least 13 years old
  • Open to the U.S. only
  • If you win only the publicist and myself will have access to your mailing address and contact info, and will only use it to contact the winner and mail your prize
  • If you win you have 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen
  • Ends on September 27th at 12:01am
  • One Rafflecopter account per person

a Rafflecopter giveaway