I’ve been getting a lot of mail about the new version of The Stupidest Angel which is coming out in November. Most of it asking, “What’s the Difference?”
It’s the same book, but I’ve written a 32 page bonus chapter and the cover is red. That’s about it. It’s also going to be the same low price of $14.95 in hardcover. This because my publisher does not intend to release it in paperback. Ever.
Here’s the first page or so of the Bonus Chapter:
And Before We Knew It, Christmas Had Rolled Around Again
A year later — a year after the best Lonesome Christmas ever — a stranger drove into town. His name was William Johnson, and he worked in a cubicle inside a great glass cube in Silicon Valley where he moved thingies around on a screen all day. He lived by himself in a condo off the interstate and every Christmas he took two weeks off and traveled to a small town where no one knew him to practiced his own special holiday tradition. This year he had chosen Pine Cove for his little party, and he was especially excited because it was the closest to home he’d ever done the deed. He allowed himself to be reckless because this was his twelfth consecutive Christmas trip — an even dozen –and he felt he deserved the treat. Also, his vacation had been held up for a week by a late push on a project, so he didn’t have time to do the research he normally did – he just couldn’t afford more travel time.
William had never looked deeply into why he’d chosen Christmas to practice his hobby. It just happened that it had been Christmastime when he’d had his first celebration — a trip to Elko Nevada to meet a woman he’d met on a Usenet, and when it turned out that she not only did not live in Elko, but in fact, was not a she at all, he took his frustrations out on a local truck-stop prostitute and found that he quite liked it. Then again, it could be because his mother (the whore!) had never given him a middle name. You were supposed to have a middle name, dammit. Especially if you were going to be a collector like William.
As he drove the rented cargo van up Cypress street, he began humming the Twelve Days of Christmas to himself, and smiled. Twelve. In a cooler in the back of the van, vacuum- packed between sheets of clear plastic in a single row, lined up across the dry ice like little pink pillows, he kept his eleven human tongues.
He pulled into a space in front of the Head of the Slug Saloon, adjusted his fake mustache, fluffed up the fat suit he wore under his clothes that made him look twenty-years older than he was, and stepped out of the van. The rustic, out of time, generally run-down look of the Head of the Slug made it seem like the perfect place to find his twelfth.
“And a partridge in a pear tree,” he sang softly to himself.