Oscar Deadwood on ST:
These Windows to the Soul Are Now Closed [review 01]
The Island of the Ever After [review 01]
Asylum [review 01] 
And the Peddlers Never Really Change [review 01]
Affluenza [review 01]
Into the Land of Nothing [review 01]
Saint-Vith [review 01]
This Radio Knows No Shame [review 01]
A Case for Divinity [review 01]
The Omega and the Damned [review 01]
Even the Empty Prayers Are Answered [review 01]
The Son of Someone Else's Son
The Sum of Expectation
The Feast of Love and Joy [review 01]
The Boy Who Will Never and Always Shine [review 01]
The Vinyl Crusade [review 01]
Stains [review 01]
Misfortune's Parade [review 01]
It is the Destiny of a Tainted Mind
A Handful of Memories
Incantations [review 01]
The Voice of Means and Mortality [review 01]
The Rise and Fall of Electric Love
We May or May Not be Around Anymore
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"Maybe I'm not a murderer, maybe I'm just a survivor with crappy luck."
All Benjamin Benson ever wanted to be was a writer. Forced to leave college in the midst of an economic depression, Benson joins the Army and is stationed in Iraq. A mediocre soldier at best, he finds himself poised on the border between Iran and Iraq, preparing to invade Iran, when his unit--and every other unit in a thinly spread Army--receives orders to withdraw to Baghdad. Amid mass confusion and uncertainty, Benson finds himself flying back to America,reluctantly participating in a coup d'etat spearheaded by the Perfect Soldiers, seemingly invincible robot warriors commanded by General Prescott, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the architect of the coup and architect of The Perfect Revolution.
Upon returning to the States, Ben finds himself meritorously promoted at a furious pace, but his promotions come with a cost, a deep and deadly moral cost and as he patrols the streets of his devastated country, Benson is forced to confront the truth behind his meteoric rise to power and his complicity in the wholesale slaughter of innocents that is the real aim of The Perfect Revolution.
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interview with Oscar Deadwood
by Becci Noblit Goodall, Associate Editor
Becci Noblit Goodall: Im sure you know that Im a fan of your writing style because you tend to tackle societal problems with a speculative sense of ironic humor. Do you ever feel a sense of desolation towards the way things are, or do you find your writing cathartic enough to get you through the world news lately? Can you say a bit about this process?
Oscar Deadwood: I don't feel desolate and my writing really isn't catharticit's more observatory, more reactionary. I don't always mean to point out societal flaws when I write a story; sometimes they just pop up. Someone once said, and I think it was Neil Gaiman, that science fiction isn't about where we're going, it's about where we're at right now, and I think that sums it up best for me. I take a look at some of the flaws in our culture and exaggerate them.
BNG: Tell me about your favorite writing place, time, and piece.
OD: I typically write early in the morning, just as the first cup of coffee has hit my bloodstream and when the rest of the house is asleep, or at night after they've gone to bed. I would like to tell you that I'm a writer of discipline, that I write for two hours each and every day, but that is far from true. Sometimes I write for seven minutes, but the most I write typically in a day is about an hour, at the most... I write in my living room/dining room and there is artwork by my boys on the wall above the desk, which is the family desk; there is no sign of my personality on it anywhere. I have a new computer and I never write longhand or on a laptop, I hate using both.
Are there any particular conditions you need to write or can you do it anytime/anywhere?
I can't write with the television blasting in the background, and I don't
mind music. Other than that, I'm pretty easy.
BNG: I find that I sometimes get so caught up in the fantasy of my writing that its difficult to segue back to the reality of cooking dinner for the kids or getting to work. Its disorienting. Does this ever happen to you? If so, can you describe that feeling and how you get back to reality? If not, can you tell me a good non-PC joke?
I am not one for jokes, sorry. I often do get lost in a story or a scene.
When I write, and when the writing is good, I am there. I am in character,
so to speak. My wife and kids may speak to me, may walk behind me, and I won't
know they're there. It is indeed disorienting. It's almost like shifting dimensions.
BNG: I know youve written some decent poetry on the ST site. Any plans to work on developing that skill? Do you have a favorite poet?
I can probably grunt out a short story if I have to, but for me, poetry is
organic. Poems are born in my head without any prompting and I have to write
them down quick or I will forget them. I haven't read or studied enough poetry
to speak about it critically. Raymond Carver is by far my favorite, and my
writing is influenced by him in a lot of ways. I first started writing straight
fiction in the early nineties, and I vainly assumed after selling one short
story to a long defunct and tiny, tiny press that I would be the next Raymond
Carver and/or Ernest Hemingway. It was twelve years before I was published
BNG: Oscar, despite that fact that you are one of the best writers in the ST stable, you are arguably the most humble. I gotta say its an incredibly refreshing break from the noxious braggadocio we sometimes encounter on the ST board. Any tips for the rest of us on how to keep our egos in check?
No. I will just say that I consider myself an infant in the writing world.
I haven't done enough to brag about anything, that and I think when one becomes
old enough a lightbulb goes on (or off) in one's head where accomplishments
and titles and possessions really aren't that impressive.
BNG: With that in mind, Im wondering how difficult it was to sell yourself during the marketing phase of The Perfect Revolution. Did you find yourself having to come out of your quiet writer shell?
OD: I'm really not that quiet, and I deal with people all of the time. The worst anyone has told me in regards to sellling The Perfect Revolution or reviewing it is "no". I get told no all the time by different magazines and the like, it comes with the territory. No one else is going to advocate for you, unless you're lucky. I was fortunate to have the support of friends and family to help get the word out about TPR, and I have no shame in marketing the book or myself. Why bother going through the whole process (writing a book, etc.) if you're not willing to make the most of it?
BNG: Was there anything you would have done differently? Can you give some good advice for the marketing phases of future ST works?
I wish I was more aggressive, and I'm still not satisfied with the results,
I wish I had more time to knock on doors. The only advice I can give as far
as personal marketing goes is don't be shy, ask friends and family to buy,
BNG: ST staff feels that you are the epitome of what a ST author should be. Having said that, I know you read many of the submissions on ST. Can you point out a few examples of writing youd like to see more of on ST? One or two overall general things (no need to name authors) that youd like to see less of?
A lot of the stories are too long, I think, with too much expository writing.
I don't finish every story as I find I get bogged down in too much detail.
Hemingway said prose is architecture; let the reader fill in the rest (and
I am paraphrasing). It is hard to read something long on a computer screen.
I would like more SF too, I will cite Russell Lutz's work, generally, as a
BNG: Sometimes on the ST board, I get the feeling that some writers may think that were using ST because we cant make it in the so-called "real" publishing world. I think its safe to say thats damn far from the truth. Personally, I chose ST because it has that cool underground anarchistic vibe. Can you say something about why you stick with Silverthought Press?
I do try to submit my work elsewhere, and again, I am often told "no
thank you". Do I want more exposure? Do I want to make money writing?
Of course I do, but that doesn't mean I can't be a part of ST too. I also
know my stories will be read at ST and they are often well received, and that's
the most important thing, I think, for a writer: to be read. Writing is the
vainest form of artistic expression; one has to think their writing is pretty
damn good for someone to take a moment or a few hours out of their life to
read their words, and I think the frustrated writer is the one who doesn't
have readers... Does that make sense? If it wasn't for ST, I wouldn't have
written The Perfect Revolution and have had a published novel. That's
a dream that many have dreamed and few have realized. It's something not to
be ungrateful for.
BNG: Oscar, thanks for talking to me and congratulations on your most recent success with The Perfect Revolution. I cant wait to see what youve got going on in your head for future works! Any final words or previews for your fellow SF writers?
OD: I am working (slowly) on a novel called In the Shadow of the Broken Pyramid, and look for The Trinity this fall, but I have to warn you, it is very different than TPR and not science fiction at all. it kind of defies classification. I think I will leave it at that.
Since then, he has had many short works appear on Silverthought, Wanderings, and Darkervision, among others. His style of gritty realism and intimate characterization, often set in his native Royal Oak, Michigan, makes his work distinctive and compelling.
Two of Deadwood's short storiesThese Windows to the Soul are Now Closed and The Island of the Ever Afterappeared in the IPPY semi-finalist anthology Silverthought: Ignition.
In May of 2006, Silverthought Press published Deadwoods first novel, The Perfect Revolution, a tale of horror and war in a dark, futuristic United States. In Revolution, Deadwood tells another personal story, this time set against an epic backdrop of a nation in turmoil, and told through the personal journals of a soldier with a curious role to play in the military overthrow of the U.S. government.
Deadwoods second novel, The Trinity, a story about white supremacists on a military base in Scotland, is scheduled for release by Silverthought Press in the fall of 2006.