Matt Nelson's Catbeard Book V: Poopdeck & Pawprints

Catbeard Book Five is Here!

The latest in Matt Nelson’s hilarious piratey comic series has arrived with Catbeard Book Five: Poopdecks & Pawprints! Once again we can all set sail with Catbeard and the crew of the Fearsome Roar, and I couldn’t be more excited. If you haven’t read Catbeard, you should rectify that immediately. (New storyline begins November 17th.) It’s hilarious, and these days it’s a nice respite from the absurd chaos reality throws at us.

Matt Nelson's Catbeard Book V: Poopdeck & Pawprints
Matt Nelson’s Catbeard Book V: Poopdeck & Pawprints

I’m also in this book! I was honored to be asked to write the forward for this one and I jumped at the chance. Plus it meant Matt would do an illustration of me! He gave me the option to have a standard portrait, or he offered to draw me as a gibbering Lovecraftian monstrosity. Clearly, I made the correct choice.

It's me as an elder...uh, thing. Credit to Matt Nelson.
It’s me as an elder…uh, thing. Credit to Matt Nelson.

Want to know what I wrote? Well, you’re going to have to pick up the book. You can buy them directly from Matt or pick them up for your Kindle over on Amazon. Catbeard always starts life as a free webcomic, and you can follow along at If you want to support Matt’s work (and you should) you can join me in supporting him on Patreon.

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Who sent me these mysterious books as gifts?

Okay, Who Is Doing This?

Someone has been sending me mysterious gifts, and I have no idea who’s doing it.

There is a reason they’re doing this: I don’t like birthdays. I have no problem with them as a concept, and I don’t mind getting old. My argument against them is curmudgeonly, and I’m sure rooted in my disdain for Facebook (and what it’s done to birthdays.) As a result, I usually keep my birth date to myself which means most of my friends are always trying to guess when it’s my birthday. Which has now led to strange packages arriving willy-nilly.

Several months back—someone, I have no idea who—randomly sent me Judith Schalansky’s amazing Atlas of Remote Islands and with it came a note saying it was a gift for my birthday—whenever it happened to be—I posted about it on Instagram. To this day I don’t know who sent it, and Kari-Lise (who seems to know) isn’t telling.

The mystery gifts and notes
The mystery gifts and notes

Fast forward to this weekend. We returned home from the opening of Kari-Lise’s show in Portland, and a curious little box was waiting for us and addressed to me. Inside was Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, and it came with a note that read:

 It is not your birthday. There is nothing here for you.

Okaaaay… that’s a touch mysterious. To add to the puzzle, the box was empty, but it still felt heavy. It didn’t take long for me to realize the package had a false bottom, so I flipped it over and broke the seal on the bottom. There I found another compartment, and inside was another book, Charles Pierce LeWarne’s Utopias on the Puget Sound 1885-1915—an examination of five historical communitarian settlements that once existed locally. It also came with a note, and that note bore a single word:


The second mystery book in its little compartment
The second mystery book in its little compartment

The box came from the “DLB-Reinforcement Div” the return address pointed to Des Moines, Washington—a small city south of Seattle. When I searched for the address, I got nowhere. It didn’t seem to exist. This wasn’t entirely unexpected, the first box I received had a return address that pointed to a non-address as well. Strange yes, but also quite compelling.

The mysterious non-address
The mysterious non-address

So, the mystery remains! I have no idea who sent this pair of books. Both books look amazing. I can see how the Werner book will come in handy during my writing and the utopia book sounds fascinating. I knew we had a history of communes here in the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t realize how deep that history goes. I do appreciate these gifts.

Thank you, whoever you are.

books books books

Some Bookquisitions

My pile of books grows ever larger. Some of that is due to me being stuck in the mire of a particular epic fantasy that while very good it also happens to be enormous and could have been edited down a bit a lot more. That said, I see the light at the end of this tunnel which means I’ll be starting some new very soon so I figured it’d be fun to share some of my recent bookquisitions…

Three Moments of an Explosion by China Miéville Three Moments of an Explosion by China Miéville
If you have read any of my books or have been following my blog for any length of time you’ll know that China Miéville is one of my most favorite authors of all time. (The Scar is easily in my top five.) So it’s no surprise that his latest collection of unpublished short stories appeared on my Kindle on launch day. (Which was yesterday.)

Trees by Warren Ellis & Jason Howard Trees Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis & Jason Howard
I have been intrigued by Trees ever since I saw some of Jason Howard’s early art so I was excited to find out that the first trade was available. Set in a world ten years after a strange alien race (that loom large like trees) have landed. The story explores the lives of several characters scattered around the globe as they discover what these strange and silent visitors are all about. The concept sounded fresh and I’ve always been a fan of Ellis’ writing so I’m on board and excited to dive in.

The Iron Ship by K. M. McKinleyThe Iron Ship by K. M. McKinley
I’ve been seeing buzz about this for a while now and the reviews were looking pretty awesome. A new epic fantasy centered around a shop forhed of metal and magic? Adventure? Travel? Sign me up! Also, we K. M.s have to stick together. It’s contractual.

I’m always on the hunt for new books. If you have a book recommendation for me please leave a comment! Don’t want to leave a comment? Shoot me an email: and let me know what you think I should add to my stack.

More Bookquisitions!

books books books! yay!

Productive weekend is productive: I’m now over 30% complete with book three’s rough draft, I’m getting things finalized for some con appearances, and getting some financials sorted out. (Taxes reminded me that I needed to do this sooner rather than wade through trouble later.)

However, I did acquire some new books and my stack has grown (both virtually and IRL.) So as I have done before, I figured I’d fill you all in on my recent bookquisitions:

Fourth Uncle in the Mountain: A Memoir of a Barefoot Doctor in VietnamFourth Uncle in the Mountain: A Memoir of a Barefoot Doctor in Vietnam
by: Marjorie Pivar & Quang Van Nguyen
My friend Steve recommend this to me, and since he was the guy who recommended I pick up Cormac Mccarthy’s Blood Meridian last year—now my 2nd favorite book of all time—I am chomping at the bit to dive into this as well. The pitch for it sounded very fascinating, part memoir and part magical realism set in Vietnam during the French and American war. Excited to get into this one.

Flight of the SilversThe Flight of the Silvers
by Daniel Price
My friend Ben pointed this one out to me. The pitch for this sounds fascinating. It’s part science fiction, part end of the world, and part esoteric afterlife story. It’s set in what sounds like a cool and unique world and got bonus points for having such a rad cover.

The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed AmericaThe Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
This has been on my to-read list forever. I love history and try to read a lot of it. I hear nothing but good things about Larson’s treatment of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and the murders committed by Dr. Henry H. Holmes. Glad to finally have a chance to read it.

Half BadHalf Bad by Sally Green
I try to mix YA into my pile, and I have heard good reviews about Green’s urban fantasy YA Half Bad, I wasn’t sure if it’d be my cup of tea but it’s damn fine book trailer helped seal the deal.

I’m always looking for new books. Currently I am hunting for some recommendations on romance novels, and as always, I’m looking for recommended indie titles. If you have a book recommendation for me please leave a comment! Don’t want to leave a comment? Shoot me an email: and let me know what you think I should add to the stack.

Recent Bookquisitions

My book queue isn't this unorganized. Really... it isn't...
I always have a queue for the books I am reading. Anytime something strikes my fancy I buy it and add it to the stack or else I’ll forget and then miss out. Well, my pile has grown larger and I thought it be fun to share some of my recent acquisitions:

Pallitine Rising
Pallitine Rising by Roderick Davidson
I haven’t read any fantasy in a while and I’ve only heard good things about Roderick Davidson‘s first novel so I picked this up. (It’s on sale right now so nab it while you can.) Adventure, knights, dragons, and creepy cults? Sign me up.

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction
Hawkeye had always been a fringe hero and kind of worthless in my opinion. (Sorry die-hard Hawkeye fans… all six of you.) However word on the street is Matt Fraction‘s treatment is amazing, hilarious, and a must read that completely revitalizes the character. Okay. I ain’t going to lie… I read this the moment I got home. Everything I wrote was true. If you read comics pick this up.


Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck
After I posted my recommendation of Elizabeth Bear’s short story Shaggoth’s in Bloom a few weeks back fellow blogger Matt Rice over at Books, Brains and Beer recommended this collection of new weird stories. Looking forward to diving in.

So that’s the most recent editions to my queue. These three will be joining the seven other in the stack. What’s about you? Bought anything good lately? Anything you’re excited about? Leave a comment and let me know! I’m always looking for a good book.