Epic review of Transubstantiate at Oxyfication

Jason Kane reviews Transubstantiate at Oxyfication

Jason Kane has written a fantastic review of my novel Transubstantiate up at Oxyfication. THIS is my audience, he gets it, and he really likes it. Such an elegant, insightful review. WARNING: There are mild spoilers throughout, but nothing that will detract from the novel, but purists may want to read it after the book.


Here’s a snippet:

Casual brutality, sex, and disorder: the heroes of noir have never been terribly endearing to the heart, but the seven nihilistic souls of Richard Thomas’ Transubstantiate seem like they were born ruined, and are likely to die that way. The story draws heavily on all the beloved accouterments of the neo-noir tradition—fractured narratives; cynicism; disorientation; ruthless beatings—but the story branches out into other areas, exploring themes of mysticism and the unknowable, even broaching the peripheral terrors of Lovecraftian horror.

Richard Does Wicker Park

Wicker Park used to be the third largest artistic community in the USA

So I took the day to run down to Wicker Park, my old neighborhood in the city of Chicago. I’m about 35 miles N/NW in the suburbs, where I live now, but I try to get back to my old haunts whenever I can. Ah, it was so much fun to run around. I went back in order to distribute about 200 postcards and about 20 posters. Most of the shops were very cool about letting me post up and drop off.

My first stop was Bongo Room, to get some food. One breakfast burrito and I was set. Great potatoes too.

Bongo Room, 1470 N. Milwaukee

Next, it was off to Myopic Books, one of my favorite used bookstores in all of Chicago. Tacked up a poster and then went hunting.

Myopic Books, 1564 N. Milwaukee

What did I find? Well, I got LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, THE BIRD IS GONE (A MANIFESTO), DEMON THEORY, some William T. Vollman, 13 STORIES & 13 EPIGRAPHS, and two copies of THE PARIS REVIEW (both with stories by Ben Percy, one with Aimee Bender). No Baer or Clevenger.

Then it was Reckless Records, where I put up a poster RIGHT THERE the right of the front door in the window (both sides). They still sell vinyl there.

Reckless Records, 1532 N. Milwaukee

I hit Untitled, Urban Outfitters, dropping off cards.

The Siver Room (1442 N. Milwaukee) is always cool, they’re having a big party tomorrow.

Metamorph Tatoos (1456 N. Milwaukee) was a really cool tattoo parlor and piercing salon. Great art on the walls. I think this guy was there when I walked in. He was pretty intense.

Micah Greenlay

Una Mae’s (1528 N. Milwaukee) is another really great shop. Used to be called Una Mae’s Freak Boutique. They put up a poster for me, very generous. This is their old sign but it brings back memories, so I posted it up anyway.

Brooklyn Industries is very cool, has this awesome art on the brick wall outside of their space, I shot some dust jacket shots there, but they didn’t make the final cut for Transubstantiate.

Found this little head shop called Dude, I Forgot, some really awesome hand blown glasswork and fantastic incense.

Then I headed over to Quimby’s, my other favorite bookstore in Chicago.

Quimby's, 1854 W. North Ave.

They have a ton of edgy stuff – comics, graphic novels, art books, you name it. I’ll be reading here October 16th with some Otherworld Publications authors. Time and details TBD.

What did I get? Well, after 45 minutes, I walked out with these:

The latest issue of Juxtapoz, an edgy art+culture mag I love:

And some new comics/graphic novels that looked good Couldn’t find The Last Days of American Crime.


Unwritten (1) by Mike Carey & Peter Gross


Transmetropolitan (1) by Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson

So after that it was time to head home. Made two stops on the way back. Dropped off some cards at a really great Tattoo Parlor up in my neck of the woods, Lucky Seven Tattoo Studio (229 Peterson Road, Libertyville, IL) and my old buddies at Dreamland Comics (105 West Rockland Road, Libertyville, IL). They both helped me out by letting me take some counter space at Lucky 7 and inserting postcards into the sales at Dreamland.

One last stop. Goodwill. They have BOOKS! And for $13 I got some good stuff:

Tim O’Brien THE THINGS THEY CARRIED (love the short, now I have the collection)
Ayn Rand, THE FOUNTAINHEAD (never read it!)
Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451 (don’t own a copy!)
George Orwell, 1984 (also don’t own a copy)
Robert Heinlein, THE PUPPET MASTERS (classic SF)
Kurt Vonnegut, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE (another I don’t own)
Thomas Harris, RED DRAGON (great book, didn’t own it)
Augusten Burrough, DRY (HC 1st)
Clive Barker, THE DAMNATION GAME (HC 1st)

Quite a haul.

Had a great time, thanks everyone for your help and support.

Review of Transubstantiate at Rotten Leaves

Rotten Leaves Review

Fantastic three-headed review of Transubstantiate at Rotten Leaves, by Axel Taiari, Christopher Dwyer and Nik Korpon (Otherworld Publications label mate).


Axel: “…while other authors could easily struggle with unleashing multiple points of view at such pace, Richard manages to make it all fit together, make sense, build characters, craft a vivid world, each new chapter giving you an additional piece of the puzzle, changing the whole picture, again and again, until the epilogue where everything falls into place and the reader is allowed to breathe once more.”

Christopher: “It’s not just well-written and beautiful. It’s the ambition behind the style, the scope; it’s the way Richard blends sci-fi with noir with thrills with horror with a cherry-tip drop of literary goodness…”

Nik: “One of the things that really struck me…was this seamless melding of multiple genres while still retaining what sycophants would say is a literary voice, meaning it’s a very well-written novel while still having the constant clicking of impending doom in the background.”

For the full reviews go to the link above or click on the picture.

Five star review for Transubstantiate is up now at Bitten By Books

5/5 for Transubstantiate at BBB

BITTENBYBOOKS.COM – 5/5 tombstones

I’m very excited that I just got my first post-release review at BittenByBooks.com and she really loved it. She actually went out and bought a copy too.

“The calculated gestures, gasps and sighs, or the cold blooded neck snaps and shanking – all were beautifully written and crafted with clever lunacy…This is Richard Thomas’s debut novel, and if this is the norm for him, I will be eagerly awaiting his next novel with dark fascination.”

Early praise for my debut novel, Transubstantiate

Transubstantiate - 7.1.10

We have several blurbs in for Transubstantiate. Thank you to all of the authors that took the time to respond.

Transubstantiate is, is — it’s a visual: that 2001 baby opening its eyes in the monolith, but the monolith is shrouded in this story of loss and hope and identity, and encoded in the cadence of that story, if you listen close, is the genetic map with which to draw this impossible celestial infant, opening its eyes on the page, looking right into you.”

—Stephen Graham Jones
All The Beautiful Sinners, Bleed Into Me: A Book of Stories, Ledfeather, The Ones That Got Away

Transubstantiate is an intricately-woven dystopian thriller, with every thread pulled tight. This is a solid debut from Richard Thomas.”
—Craig Clevenger
The Contortionist’s Handbook, Dermaphoria

“Richard Thomas’s Transubstantiate constructs a collection of voices that reveals a disturbing futuristic vision of terror and beauty. The novel’s island paradise, its imprisoned inhabitants, and the digital presence that works to control them, merge with ancient forces of rite and belief to create a surreal and devastating collage. This is a work that captures a world we almost know, its realities enough to raise an uneasy sense of potentiality.”

—Karen Brown
Pins and Needles, The Best American Short Stories 2008 (contributor)

“Told through various shadowy narrators, Transubstantiate is a trippy, intriguing novel that forecasts dystopia for our near-future. Thomas successfully blends several genres here—noir, literary fiction, sci-fi—all with abrasive, haunting language.”
—Joey Goebel
Torture the Artist, The Anomalies, Commonwealth