Books available from Sideshow Media Group Press
The Inside Out Story by John Bucher and Jeremy Casper
The Inside Out Story is a way of identifying the bare essentials of different types of stories by turning them inside out. Every well-developed main character has two goals -- an interior goal and an exterior goal (inside-out). If you are able to clearly establish your character's goals, take them on a journey that -- despite great adversity -- ultimately leads to the accomplishment of these goals, you are already leagues ahead of most filmmakers.
$19.99 / paperback / 152 pages / 978-098893-056-8 / Screenwriting / July 2015
The High Cost of Happily Ever After by Jim Krueger, illustrated by Zach Brunner
Meet Constance. Before becoming a princess, she was merely a maid who washed dishes by day and by night slept upon a bookshelf in the village library. But now, she is heir to a throne and has her own servants. She expected neither wealth nor pomp in this life. Never hoped to find a prince who longed to find her. Never even believed a happily ever after was possible. She should have trusted her instincts. For in the days after her wedding day, when life was to be settled, complete, dark clouds of war begin to blot out the sunrises that follow. When her new husband, the Captain of the Guard, is forced to leave her and go to battle, the annals of his exploits are horrible, but even more terrifying is the day his letters stopped coming. And when the Castle Keep, which promised safety and protection, is burned to the ground, there is no one there to save Princess Constance, save Princess Constance herself. For those who have ever felt trapped, lost, belittled, abused, broken, and a prisoner of life, take heart, for it still could be worse. And for Constance, a princess who does not yet even know how to be a princess, it will be.
$19.99 / paperback / 112 pages / 978-098477-908-6 / Graphic Novel / December 2012
Elegant Complexity: A Study of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest by Greg Carlisle
Elegant Complexity is the first critical work to provide detailed and thorough commentary on each of the 192 sections of David Foster Wallace's masterful Infinite Jest. No other commentary on Infinite Jest recognizes that Wallace clearly divided the book into 28 chapters that are thematically unified. A chronology at the end of the study reorders each section of the novel into a sequential timeline that orients the reader and that could be used to support a chronological reading of the novel. Other helpful reference materials include a thematic outline, more chronologies, a map of one the novel's settings, lists of characters grouped by association, and an indexed list of references. Elegant Complexity orients the reader at the beginning of each section and keeps commentary separate for those readers who only want orientation. The researcher looking for specific characters or themes is provided a key at the beginning of each commentary. Carlisle explains the novel's complex plot threads (and discrepancies) with expert insight and clear commentary. The book is 99% spoiler-free for first-time readers of Infinite Jest.
$24.95 / paperback / 524 pages / 978-097614-653-7 / Literary Criticism / December 2007
Nature’s Nightmare: Analyzing David Foster Wallace’s Oblivion by Greg Carlisle
From the author of Elegant Complexity comes a cogent analysis of David Foster Wallace's Oblivion. Nature's Nightmare is the first book of criticism devoted to Wallace's masterful story collection. Carlisle gives an in-depth narrative analysis of each story: "Mr. Squishy," "The Soul is Not a Smithy," "Incarnations of Burned Children," "Another Pioneer," "Good Old Neon," "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature," "Oblivion," and "The Suffering Channel." Carlisle's methodical approach walks readers through Wallace's thematic interests and situates Oblivion in the broader arc of Wallace's career. Every passage of each story is analyzed in terms of 1) interrelation of narrative form and content, 2) relation of story to the theme of oblivion, 3) recurring thematic motifs in Wallace's work, and 4) assessment of content in relation to Infinite Jest and The Pale King. The book includes nine charts that illustrate narrative devices Wallace employs throughout the stories. Jason Kottke called Elegant Complexity “THE reference book for Infinite Jest” and now Nature's Nightmare is the primary reference work for Oblivion.
$19.99 / paperback / 168 pages / 978-098893-051-3 / Literary Criticism / October 2013
Consider David Foster Wallace: Critical Essays edited by David Hering
From Tristram Shandy to Fredric Jameson, Consider David Foster Wallace blazes a trail into the new territory of David Foster Wallace studies. Greg Carlisle, author of the landmark Wallace study Elegant Complexity, provides an introduction that sets the scene and speculates on the future of Wallace studies. Editor David Hering provides a provocative look at the triangular symbols in Infinite Jest. Adam Kelly explores the intriguing question of why Wallace is considered to be at the forefront of a new sincerity in American fiction. Thomas Tracey discusses trauma in Oblivion. Gregory Phipps examines Infinite Jest's John "No Relation" Wayne and the concept of the ideal athlete. Daniel Turnbull compares Wallace's Kenyon College commencement address to the ethics of Iris Murdoch. These 17 essays stem from the first ever academic conference devoted the work of David Foster Wallace. Held in Liverpool, England, in 2009, the conference sparked a worldwide discussion of the place of Wallace's work in academia and popular culture. Essential for all Wallace scholars, fans of Wallace's fiction and nonfiction will also find the collection full of insights that span Wallace's career. Yes, there are footnotes.
$18.99 / paperback / 244 pages / 978-097614-657-5 / Literary Criticism / August 2010
Out of Nowhere: True Stories of People Who Appeared Out of Thin Air by Joshua Bucher and John K. Bucher
Out Of Nowhere is a collection of stories of real people, who usually made a mark on history - some good, some not - and literally have no known origin. Imagine meeting someone, befriending them, getting to know them, but finding out they have no past - no city of birth, no record of parents, or any family, and no way to explain it. Sound crazy? It’s not. There have been dozens of people like this. Out Of Nowhere takes you inside the lives of these people and leaves you with no answers, but plenty of questions.
$14.99 / paperback / 78 pages / 978-098477-906-2 / Non-fiction / August 2012
Down and Out by T.K. Waits
Down and Out is a window into the life of a poet, artist, lover, and friend. The dirty streets of culture, poverty, romance, and truth are explored without a filter. In this journey through the changing consciousness of the times, Waits explores new avenues of creation and expression.
$9.99 / paperback / pages / 978-099712-970-0 / Poetry / Sideshow Small Books Series / January 2016
The Frankincense Monster and Other Haunted Christmas Stories by Jim Krueger
Jim Krueger's, The Frankincense Monster and Other Haunted Christmas Stories gives a glimpse into another side of the holiday season. These outside-the-box stories stir the celebratory sentiments in a way that expands the experience for children and adults alike. His Frankincense Monster's desperate desire to engage in the spirit of generosity has a note of noble self sacrifice. Other unlikely characters contribute to the spirit of Christmas in other-worldly ways, like Donna, the reindeer who couldn't fly or the December Man's unnerving appearance in town. These characters are sympathetic figures who encompass many of the emotions associated with joys of the season, but offer alternative realities of presenting them. Krueger explains that "Christmas, to me, is about things that don't quite add up" that "the things everyone says and knows cannot possibly be real are." His story telling interjects an unusual, yet satisfying, perspective into the most wonderful time of the year.
$14.99 / paperback / 124 pages / 978-098477-909-3 / Fiction / December 2012
Murder and Deceit: The Story of Jack Nissalke by John K. Bucher
Murder and Deceit tells the story of Jack Nissalke, a Minnesota man wrongly convicted of murder. Ada Senenfelder was found dead in her home in Winona, Minnesota, in 1985. Dozens of witnesses and potential suspects were investigated and interrogated, but no one was ever charged with the crime. Flash forward 24 years later when Winona County gets an ambitious new District Attorney. He decides to close the Senenfelder case once and for all. He offers a $50,000 reward for information about the cold case. Suddenly, stories change, new denials are made, memories are hazy, and everyone has money on their mind. The D.A. decides to charge Jack Nissalke with the long-ago crime, and wins a conviction after a bizarre trial that includes jury tampering, media tampering, and an incompetent defense. Hollywood writer John K. Bucher tells of his own personal involvement in the case and how he came to know Nissalke. Through court documents, police evidence, and first-hand interviews, Bucher shows that the police never had actionable evidence against Jack Nissalke. Bucher explains what happened the night Ada Senenfelder was killed and who might really be responsible for her death. Murder and Deceit reveals what can happen when a prosecutor disregards the facts in favor of sensationalism, and how an ordinary man can end up behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.
$14.99 / paperback / 172 pages / 978-097614-658-2 / True Crime / August 2011
FICTION & POETRY by John K. Bucher
Cowboys + Witches by John K. Bucher
In this latest exploration, John K. Bucher re-examines subjects from his early work while mapping uncharted territory. Harkening back to tales of the Old West, he peppers beat poetry throughout the literary mix. Bars, women, religion and the constructs of classic Americana find their way again into Bucher s tales. Painting the past and present state of the American West, Bucher finds heroes, villains, magicians, detectives and of course cowboys and witches. Locales take on their own life throughout the stories, as sometimes the place a man chooses to hang his hat is just as significant as the hat or even the man. Continuing the journey of familiar characters while introducing many new ones, John K. Bucher helps define a new literary world where Jesse James, Bob Dylan and Jack Kerouac could share a beer and tales of a life lived. And if we are lucky, through these tales, we catch a glimpse of our selves.
$14.99 / paperback / 148 pages / 978-097614-656-8 / Fiction / August 2010
Corvello’s Clown by John K. Bucher
In his second novel, John K. Bucher gives us the fascinating story of Frank Corvello. From the docks of Brooklyn to the hobo railyards of Missouri to the dusty bookshops of London, Corvello's story is one of adventure and escape. But late in life Corvello runs into a roadblock--and a court-jester--in Fort Collins, Colorado. When his life of wandering finally catches up with him, his fate appears to be in the hands of a medieval clown. In the course of this rollicking novel, we travel back to the time of Christ and see what really happened to the cross of the crucifixion. We meet the pope and treasure seekers from France, pirates and magicians, thieves, witches, carnies, jazz musicians, Bob Dylan on tour, Christopher Columbus, and an eccentric bounty-hunter named Cleo Cairo. This impressive cast of characters carries us through Corvello's journey across America and serves to paint a unique portrait of mystical secret society--the Order of Negron.
$14.95 / paperback / 180 pages / 978-097614-652-0 / Fiction / August 2007
The Suicide Cowboys by John K. Bucher
Legends are born in the confluence of truth and lies, the marriage of good and bad. The legend of the Suicide Cowboys begins and ends with one man's idea of the truth. Five cowboys, partners in a ranch, are found hanging from the rafters of a Denver tavern. Their bodies are covered in a mysterious green powder, baffling the police. The only potential witnesses are the bartender and a vagrant living in the alley behind the bar. As the story unravels, we encounter mysterious forces at work in the mountains, in the city, in the everyday. This wickedly unorthodox account of life in Colorado in the 1940s reveals a world where hard work is its own reward, the truth is usually clear, and most folks keep quiet about it.
$14.99 / paperback / 224 pages / 978-097614-651-3 / Fiction / May 2006
California Beat Poetry, Book 1
A work of poetry that examines life on the iconic street, Hollywood Boulevard. As we walk through the museum of relics found on the Walk of Fame and meet the characters who made it famous, we also see life, love, and the occasional ghost on our journey.
$9.99 / paperback / 152 pages / 978-098893-054-4 / Poetry / Sideshow Small Books Series / September 2014
California Beat Poetry, Book 2 – On the Beach
California Beat Poetry: On The Beach examines life on by the water. As we walk through sand and salt air, we meet the characters who make it the refuge of artists, poets, dreamers, and the common man.
$9.99 / paperback / 156 pages / 978-098893-058-2 / Poetry / Sideshow Small Books Series / August 2015
GRAY MATTER BOOKS
The Legend of Zelda and Theology edited by Jonathan L. Walls
The level of interactive adventure, exploration, immersion and storytelling The Legend of Zelda brought to television screens across the world was unheard of and it planted an integral seed in the garden that one day would grow into the diverse gaming landscape we know today. Far from stopping there, The Legend of Zelda series has continued to release top-shelf games adored by critics and fans alike. Zelda, like all of our greatest fairy tales, legends and myths, presents that elusive and exclusive kind of enlightenment that only the fantastic can provide. In this collection, various contributors explore the connections between this cultural zeitgeist and theology.
$18.99 / paperback / 176 pages / 978-098477-900-0 / Theology / Video Game Studies / December 2011
Past The Sky’s Rim: The Elder Scrolls and Theology edited by Joshua Wise
The Elder Scrolls series has entranced gamers for two decades with its deep mythology, complex history, and intriguing locations. Players have explored a world in The Elder Scrolls rich with kings, demons, heroes, magic, and gods. Past the Sky's Rim: The Elder Scrolls and Theology engages with the world from the perspective of academic theology and religious studies. Within these pages, scholars ask what it means to become a god, to die alone in the solitude of Vvardenfell, and to live in a world with different afterlives for different people. Attempting to move beyond a shallow engagement, Past the Sky's Rim considers Video Games as serious media capable of transmitting important ideas to those who engage with them and invites readers to think more deeply about what games can say about ultimate realities.
$18.99 / paperback / 208 pages / 978-098893-052-0 / Theology / Video Game Studies / April 2014
Tarantino and Theology edited by Jonathan L. Walls and Jerry Walls
The celluloid tapestry that Quentin Tarantino has woven for over two decades has gradually morphed into a working universe with its own distinct style, characters, and rules. Amid the outrageous violence and extravagant visual flair, there are numerous allusions, references, nods, and winks to the Almighty—making it abundantly clear that some version of God is at the center of the Tarantino-verse.
How does Christian theology come into focus when examined through Tarantino's lens? What could Pulp Fiction suggest about divine intervention and free will? What, if any, ethical issues are involved in taking delight in super-violent exploitation movies? What do Kill Bill's Beatrix and the Old Testament's Jael have in common? Do Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds hint at a longing for a savior?
In this powerful collection, thirteen thinkers from a variety of backgrounds and professional fields examine how Tarantino's ever-evolving conversation on God goes far beyond Ezekiel 25:17. In true Tarantino style, definitive conclusions are scarce but the dialogue sparkles.
"This collection pops with the panache that QT deserves. Tarantino and Theology pours the firebrand filmmaker's blood, music, and humor into a tasty philosophical stew seasoned with timeless truths. It is a great merger of style and substance, provocation and profundity."—Craig Detweiler, Director of the Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture, Pepperdine University
"Few books engage film and and the Christian faith in ways that enhance our understanding of both disciplines. Tarantino and Theology is one. Highly recommended not only for Tarantino fans (and detractors), but for all interested in religion and popular culture."—Robert K. Johnston, Fuller Theological Seminary, author of Reel Spirituality
$19.99 / paperback / 264 pages / 978-098893-057-5 / Theology / Film Studies / June 2015
Nothing But the Blood: The Gospel According to Dexter by Zach Hoag, Foreword by Chris Seay
Dexter is fantastic entertainment. Moreover, it’s simply great art. All the key elements are in place: a riveting serial plot line, fast-paced storytelling, engaging and humorous dialogue, and dynamic character development. There is actually something deeper going on in this show that keeps people coming back episode after episode, season after season. There is an element in the story of Dexter himself that resonates profoundly with all of our stories. We find a central theme in his fictional life present in the nonfiction of our everyday longings, failures, dreams, and disasters. Dexter Morgan is a broken man. Hollow and deeply stained. Yet, this book aims to explore a possibility beyond this fact: that in the midst of Dexter s brokenness, something is being redeemed. Even though he can’t help it, perhaps there is actually a choice that Dexter is making in the midst of his inability and despite his damaged state - a choice that is taking him from where he is toward something better, perhaps even beginning to restore the very thing that makes him truly human.
$14.99 / paperback / 218 pages / 978-098477-902-4 / Theology / Television Studies / August 2012
Unbelievable: Faith, Fakes, and the Art of Fabrication by John Michael Hinton
What do you believe? Have you ever seen something with your eyes that your mind just couldn't reconcile? Mentalist, John Michael Hinton has made a career providing people with experiences that do exactly that. In his first book, John explores faith, fakes and the art of fabrication. He provides us with a view of the supernatural from someone who approaches such matters with a great deal of skepticism, yet still has firmly landed in the realm of faith and belief.
$14.99 / paperback / 132 pages / 978-098893-050-6 / Theology / Magic / March 2013
There is Power in the Blood by John Bucher
One does not have to look very far to find the vampire lurking in popular culture. But why now? What lies at the core of our cultural facination with vampires? What is it that draws us to this tormented creature? What metaphors do we find in these beings that tell us about ourselves? Is there a connection between faith, spirituality and our deepest desires relating to vamps? Journey to the vampire's lair and find what secrets he holds for us, and more importantly, what we hold within ourselves about him.
$14.99 / paperback / 149 pages / 978-097614-659-9 / Theology / Popular Culture / May 2011