What I’m digging in July 2022


The Fist by

Brandon Bitros

I first saw The Fist on Kickstarter from Blackstone comics and creator Brandon Bitros. I had to support this comic and excited to read, becasue it is set in my birth city and home for many years, Philadelphia! Also, the premise was interesting and the artwork and writing was awesome. Go check it out!

Set in 1919 Philadelphia, The Fist is the tale of Riley Reece, a working stiff with a broken marriage and an affection for drunken vigilante justice.

Back Copy excerpt:

“Riley Reece may not look like much, just another working-class boozer with a broken family from the slums of Philadelphia. But Riley Reece isn’t just a drunk — he’s a drunk with a scret. After late night benders of agonizing self-destruction, Riley’s guilty conscience prompts him to sport a black hood and become Philly’s most feared vigilante.


Everfair by
Nisi Shawl


Nisi’s debut novel Everfair, was a finalist for the 2016 Nebula Award. This book has been on my TBR list for some time and I’m finally getting to it. 

Back copy except:

“Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britain join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.”

Go check out all the rave reviews and an excerpt here then add it to your TBR-list!


Sour Roots by

Shawn Burgess


My fellow writer/friend Shawn Burgess has a new prequel novella coming out. You don’t need to have read his debut novel, “The Tear Collector”, to enjoy this story (but you’ll probably pick it up to enjoy more of his writing and the horror).

I had the pleasure of reading a beta-copy, and I think fans of Jonathan Maberry’s ‘Ghost Road Blues, will enjoy Shawn’s fast paced horror prequel to ‘The Tear Collector’.

Look for this one on Shawn’s website, or sign up for his newsletter so you don’t miss this release.

Back copy excerpt:

“Roger and Gertrude Davis enjoy an idyllic existence in the small Appalachian town of Harper Pass. With vast land holdings, a successful business, and love for the family they’ve built, they’ve avoided the suffering The Great Depression has wrought on the area until it all comes crashing down on a sweltering summer day in 1932.

With the twin daughters they dote on gone missing and ominous signs of foul play evident, a suspect quickly emerges. But not everything is always what it seems. Amidst the murder, madness, and mayhem, they soon learn there’s blood to pay when the past comes calling.”


No new Music to report, but I have been listening some new Podcasts:

Story Nerd
Melanie Hill and Valerie Francis

As my writing career progresses I have continued to study the craft of writing (the scientist in me like to break things down and figure out why they work), and in doing so hopefully write/tell better stories. Listening to the first few episodes have been enlightening.

Podcast Description:


“The Story Nerd Podcast demystifies story theory so writers spend less time studying and more time writing. Literary editors and writers, Valerie Francis and Melanie Hill, analyze a film a week as an example of a storytelling principle. The show focuses on concepts common to all stories across film, television, novels and screenplays.”

Okay, that’s where I’m at. I’ll try to update y’all every month on books, comics, and music (podcasts) that I’ve been digging! I’ll try to add some indie author reads!

Email me and let me know what you’ve been into and what I should check out! Or follow me online for more realtime updates: Jotham’s Social Links

Author: Jotham

Jotham Austin, II lives in Chicagoland with his wife and two sons. He has his PhD in Botany, and can be found taking electron micrographs of cells at The University of Chicago. His Rom-Com novella, “Tomorrow May Be Too Late” will be published as part of the romance anthology, “Askew Ever After,” January 2021. His debut novel, a sci-fi psychological thriller, ‘Will You Still Love Me, If I Become Someone Else?” will be released February 2021. Jotham recently started a newsletter that explores the science in science fiction (signup at jothamaustin.com). Preorder books and Follow Jotham on social media at https://linktr.ee/Jothamaustin

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