I regret to say that I cannot endorse Personal Effects: Dark Art by self-made fantasy sensation J.C Hutchins. This is not because anything is wrong with the book, but rather for this simple reason: I haven't read it and I'm not likely to for a while.
We all saw what happened last time I made the mistake of talking about a book I hadn't read yet, and that's not an experience I'd like to repeat.
Don't you hate it when this happens? You get an Amazon gift card as a gift from your Hebrew school job and you stretch it admirably so that it covers World of Darkness: Inferno, Seers of the Throne, Summoners, Compass of Terrestrial Directions IV: The South, and Compass of Celestial Directions V: Malfeas. Then, the day after you spend the last imaginary cent of your gift card you discover thanks to I Should Be Writing Vidcast Episode 8 that this book that was hovering on the edge of your consciousness - Personal Effects: Dark Art - is actually something you want right now. And today is the official launch date. And you can't have it because you're out of gift card money and you're still really, really unemployed, so you're out of real money, too.
Yeah. It's a pain.
So, unless someone reading this has a spare copy of Personal Effects: Dark Art (or an extra $16.47 plus shipping and handling, or, you know, a spare job) lying around and would like to send it my way out of the goodness of your heart, it looks like I'm going to be behind the curve on this one.
What is it about Personal Effects: Dark Art that - belatedly, alas - attracted my attention? It began with the fact that J.C. Hutchins is a frighteningly effective self-promoter. He has been producing video and audio blurbs by famous writers and directors of horror and distributing them to his allies in the podcast community, running competitions on his website, and generally selling this project hard and fast.
Best of all, the book itself is a metatextual experience. It turns out that the book comes with a packet of documents - fake credit cards and driver's licenses, birth and death certificates, creepy looking artwork that J.C. refuses to comment upon - several of which lead to an ARG that lets the reader in on the action. There's the book you read, but if you're interested, there's also the book that happens to you.
I've got to wait until I've read it to comment decisively, but man, do I want this book. I don't know how good it really is, but it sounds great.