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Previous SFF Author: James P. Blaylock

SFF Author: Alex Bledsoe

Alex Bledsoe grew up in west Tennessee an hour north of Graceland (home of Elvis) and twenty minutes from Nutbush (birthplace of Tina Turner). He’s been a reporter, editor, photographer and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. Now he lives in a Wisconsin town famous for trolls, writes before six in the morning and tries to teach his kids to act like they’ve been to town before.

Here’s Rob’s interview with Alex Bledsoe.



Rob Chats with Alex Bledsoe

Retired reviewer Robert Rhodes recently had a chat with Alex Bledsoe, author of the EDDIE LACROSSE MYSTERIES and the MEMPHIS VAMPIRES novels. His third EDDIE LACROSSE novel, Dark Jenny, will be available in print (Tor) and audio (Blackstone Audio) next week. Tor has generously offered a couple of copies of Dark Jenny for FanLit readers who live in the United States. If you’d like one, just leave a comment below and we’ll randomly choose two winners.

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The Sword-Edged Blonde: Bledsoe is a natural storyteller

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe

A foaming tankard for public libraries. If mine hadn’t featured Alex Bledsoe‘s engrossing debut novel, The Sword-Edged Blonde, I doubt I’d have ever discovered it.

Granted, I only discovered it because of the quasi-garish cover and title (neither of which has much to do with the actual story), picking it up just to shake my head at one more piece of fantasy trash. But then I read the cover blurbs from Charles de Lint and Orson Scott Card,

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Burn Me Deadly: If you don’t listen to audiobooks, it’s time to start

Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe

Note: This rating reflects my happiness with the audio version of Burn Me Deadly. Four stars for the print version. Listen to a sample of this audiobook here.

Ah, the combination of Alex Bledsoe (the author), Eddie LaCrosse (the hero) and Stefan Rudnicki (the reader) — it doesn’t get much better than that!

Burn Me Deadly is the sequel to The Sword-Edged Blonde,

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Dark Jenny: Eddie is an awesome hero

Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe

“I remembered the way her hair smelled as she wrenched my fingers back into place.”

While drinking a beer with his girlfriend on a snowy day in Angelina’s Tavern, middle-aged sword-jockey Eddie LaCrosse gets a strange delivery: a coffin. This unusual event sparks some interest in Angelina’s lethargic patrons, and soon they’re all gathered around while Eddie regales them with the story of how he came to be the recipient of such an odd gift and, more importantly, who’s in it.

If you haven’t read one of Alex Bledsoe’s Eddie LaCrosse Mysteries yet,

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Wake of the Bloody Angel: I adore Eddie LaCrosse

Wake of the Bloody Angel by Alex Bledsoe

Wake of the Bloody Angel is the fourth novel in Alex Bledsoe’s EDDIE LACROSSE MYSTERIES series. Like its predecessors, it crosses traditional noir crime fiction with well-known tropes from fantasy literature. Not an easy thing to do well, I’d think, but Alex Bledsoe makes it work. In the previous novels, we’ve met some manifestation of Epona the horse goddess, Rhiannon from the Mabinogi, dragons, and the Arthurian Legends. I’m not going to tell you who/what we meet in Wake of the Bloody Angel because that would spoil the big mystery — I’ll just say I didn’t see it coming.

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He Drank, and Saw the Spider: Eddie’s back

He Drank, and Saw the Spider by Alex Bledsoe

Eddie LaCrosse and his tough girlfriend, Liz, are back in Eddie’s fifth adventure by Alex Bledsoe. I’ve enjoyed each one of these stories, especially the audiobook versions produced by Blackstone Audio. The narrator, Stefan Rudnicki, has become the voice of Eddie LaCrosse for me — strong and gruff, but also sweet and sensitive.

The EDDIE LACROSSE books don’t have to be read in order — you could even start with this one — but each book fills in a little more of Eddie’s background and there is an overall story arc,

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The Hum and the Shiver: Demonstrates Bledsoe’s versatility

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

The Tufa are a clan of black-haired natives who live in the Smoky Mountains. They keep to themselves, stay close to home, and have some strange beliefs and mysterious habits. Much to the disappointment of Craig Chess, the enthusiastic young Methodist preacher, every single one of them refuses to come to church.

Chess gets to know the Tufa a little better when Private Bronwyn Hyatt returns to Cloud County as a war hero. She was captured and tortured in Iraq and has come home to recover.

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Wisp of a Thing: A lovely haunting fairy tale

Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe

Wisp of a Thing (2013) is Alex Bledsoe’s second stand-alone novel about the Tufa, an ancient race of magically gifted swarthy rural folk who live in the Smoky Mountains of Cloud County, Tennessee and may have descended from the Tuatha Dé Danann. You don’t need to read the first book, The Hum and the Shiver, though it’s worth your while and you’ll get a little more out of Wisp of a Thing if you recognize a couple of characters who make cameo appearances in this second book.

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Long Black Curl: Music is magic

Long Black Curl by Alex Bledsoe

Long Black Curl is the third novel in Alex Bledsoe’s TUFA series. You don’t need to read the previous books, The Hum and the Shiver and Wisp of a Thing; Long Black Curl can stand alone because its three main characters are new to the series. However, most of the other characters are from the previous books, so you’ll be missing some background on them if you haven’t read them.

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Chapel of Ease: A romantic ghost story

Chapel of Ease by Alex Bledsoe

I love that each of the novels in Alex Bledsoe’s TUFA series can stand alone. They are all set (at least partly) in the same area of Appalachia and have overlapping characters, but they each tell a self-contained story. They can be read in any order, though it would probably be ideal to read them in publication order: The Hum and the Shiver, Wisp of a Thing,

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Gather Her Round: A TUFA horror story

Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe

Gather Her Round (2017) is Alex Bledsoe’s fifth stand-alone TUFA novel. Though each of these stories has mostly the same setting and some of the same characters, and though they tend to have some of the same major plot elements (e.g., the appearance of ghosts, a musical performance, a murder mystery, an outsider who stumbles upon their tiny strange community), they are surprisingly different in tone. They can be read in any order and you don’t need any previous TUFA knowledge to enjoy Gather Her Round though it may help to know that the Tufa are a race of close-knit secretive folk who descended from the Tuatha Dé Danann and,

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The Faeries of Sadieville: A lovely ending to the TUFA series

The Faeries of Sadieville by Alex Bledsoe

The Faeries of Sadieville (2018) is the final novel in Alex Bledsoe’s TUFA series. You’ll get more out of it if you’re read the previous TUFA novels, but it’s not strictly necessary to do so since each novel features a stand-alone story with overlapping characters.

In The Faeries of Sadieville we meet two graduate students who are dating each other; Justin, from the English department, is studying how folk music came to Appalachia,

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Magazine Monday: Apex Magazine, Issues 31 through 33

Apex Magazine is a monthly e-magazine that publishes two short stories, one reprint story, a nonfiction piece and an interview in each issue, together with the occasional poem. In the three issues I read, the reprint fiction tended to outshine the original fiction — which doesn’t mean the original fiction was bad, just that it couldn’t quite live up to the standard set by the well-chosen older stories. The interviews are thoughtful and generally go well beyond the usual topics, either to discuss the author’s work in considerable detail or to go into areas not normally explored in most interviews.

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SHORTS: Christopher, Bledsoe, McIntosh, Wallace, Brooke and Brown

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about.

“Brisk Money” by Adam Christopher (2014, $0.99 for Kindle, free at

Ray is an electromatic man — a full-metal private investigator in 1960s Los Angeles — with a functional memory which must be reset every twenty-four hours. He relies on his assistant, Ada, an artificial intelligence who lives in a bank of computers,

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SHORTS: Yu, Rosenblum, Bledsoe, Jemisin

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about.

“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu (2011, free at Clarkesworld, $2.99 Kindle magazine issue). 2012 Hugo award nominee and 2011 Nebula award nominee (short story)

The village of Yiwei has an uneasy truce with the many paper wasps that live in and around the village, until one day,

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Next SFF Author: James Blish
Previous SFF Author: James P. Blaylock

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