Sci Fi Wire covers Personal Effects: Dark Art!

Sci Fi Wire logo

I'm a heeeuge fan of Sci Fi Wire, the Sci Fi Channel-fueled online portal for stellar sci-fi/fantasy news ... so it was an honor to be recently interviewed by Mike Szymanski for the publication. The story, found here, introduces readers to Personal Effects: Dark Art, and the innovative "out of book" experience that accompanies it. A killer intro to the novel. This is a big deal, as Sci Fi Wire has a dedicated, progessive and curious readership -- the very people I hope to entertain with Personal Effects. If you're a newcomer to the site from Sci Fi Wire, welcome! You can learn more about Personal Effects by visiting these pages at my site:

  • More info on Personal Effects: Dark Art, and reviews from novelists and filmmakers such as Gore Verbinski, director of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Ring
  • Personal Effects: Sword of Blood, the free groundbreaking podcast-exclusive audionovella prequel to Dark Art
  • Commit Yourself To The Brink, a community-fueled art experiment where fans can become patients in the asylum seen in Personal Effects: Dark Art
  • The groundbreaking "vlurb" video blurb trailers, feauring video endorsements from celeb storytellers such as the creators of Friday the 13th, Final Destination and The Blair Witch Project

Even more killer content is coming as we near Personal Effects: Dark Art's June 9 release date, so please keep returning to the site, or subscribe to the blog. Thanks so much for your interest ... and if you'd like to support this trailblazing new breed of storytelling, consider pre-ordering a copy of the book.

Welcome to The Brink,

--J.C.

Library Journal digs Personal Effects: Dark Art

From the May 15 edition of Library Journal:

Hutchins, J.C. & Jordan Weisman. Personal Effects: Dark Art. Griffin: St. Martin's. Jun. 2009. c.320p. illus. ISBN 978-0-312-38382-4. $24.95. FANTASY

Art therapist Zach Taylor draws the unenviable task of investigating alleged serial killer Martin Grace, who claims to have forseen but not caused the victims' deaths. This supernatural thriller incorporates technology: googling Martin Grace, for example, brings up newspaper articles about the murders, and the cell phone numbers in the book allow the reader to "access" a character's voicemail. As Taylor struggles to find the truth not only about his subject but also his own mysterious past, the artwork provides clues. Cutting-edge experimental fiction meets dark fantasy in an interactive novel that may herald the future of modern fiction. Sure to appeal to those who like offbeat fiction or horror.


I'm honored by this review; the last two sentences are a pitch-perfect encapsulation of what the book is all about, and to whom it will appeal. Library Journal gets it. Awesome. Learn more about the novel here, and kindly consider pre-ordering a copy. Your purchase now improves my chances of hitting bestseller lists with my print debut.

--J.C.

Personal Effects: Sword of Blood cover

While there are no plans to release my debut novel Personal Effects: Dark Art in full podcast novel form (though I do hope to hook you up with a little audio taste of that bad mofo), I am thrilled by the next best thing: the upcoming release of Personal Effects: Sword of Blood, a podcast-exclusive prequel novella to Dark Art. I'll tease the plot in a sec. First thing's first. Here's the nearly-final version of the cover.

Sword of Blood "podcast cover" version

I'm about halfway through writing Sword of Blood, and plan to debut the first episode May 15th-ish. Recording is currently underway. We're looking to clock in about 40,000 words on this sucker, or around 14 chapters. The novella takes place during Halloween 2008, mere days before the events seen in Dark Art. (You can read a brief excerpt here.)

Sword of Blood "traditional cover" version

Sword of Blood is a terrific introduction to the Personal Effects universe and its characters, including art therapist Zach Taylor and his "tribe" of friends and family, including girlfriend (and video game blogger) Rachael Webster, slang-slinging kid brother Lucas, and Ida "Eye" Jean-Phillipe, an NYPD crime lab assistant. We'll also meet Zach's patient, Gertrude Spindler -- a wily quilt-making elderly woman with a deadly secret.

When Spindler -- or "Spindle," as she's nicknamed by hospital staffers -- completes her latest quilt and informs Zach that a 30-year-old "grand design of nine" has just been completed, Zach's curiosity is piqued ... and soon leads him into a dangerous subculture filled with psychics and secret societies. What is the grand design of nine ... and what is the "great blade of blood" Spindle keeps hinting at?

You'll soon find out. Personal Effects: Sword of Blood will debut here at JCHutchins.net in mid-May. Subscribe to my blog/podcast feed now to experience this groundbreaking prequel project ... and be sure to order Personal Effects: Dark Art to read the continuing story.

--J.C.