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A Star for BANG!


I’m thrilled to announce that School Library Journal has given Bang a starred review in its February 17 issue, saying, in part:

Lyga (I Hunt Killers) tackles a number of relevant issues in this heartbreaking novel, including gun control, suicide, and religious and racial prejudice. The pain and anguish Sebastian feels every day are raw and chafing, and the chemistry between Sebastian and Aneesa is tender and realistic. VERDICT With a number of sensitive issues addressed, along with frequent graphic language, this book may be best for a mature audience, who will fully appreciate the unwavering and stark realism.

Thanks, SLJ!

(You can read an excerpt from Bang at EW.com!)

A New Hope

So, I read this story in the Washington Post. Go read it — it won’t take long.

OK, so just in case you didn’t actually go read it, the TL;DR of it is this: A woman in a Trump town who had spent her whole life as a Republican and who had no outside influences on her just…spontaneously decided to take a closer look at things, switched to being a Democrat, and went on the Women’s March.

There’s a lot of talk about how to reach out to those Trump supporters (a majority, I hope) who were gulled into voting for him, who don’t really understand the stakes or the issues, who were seduced by easy talk and fake news. But that’s a mighty tall order. Almost by definition, “they” don’t live where “we” do. “They” don’t read, watch, or otherwise consume the same sources of information as “we” do. It’s a tough nut to crack.

But this woman… All on her own, without any sort of outreach, without a person in her life saying, “Hey, have you considered looking at things a different way?”, she just looked around and thought, Wait. This doesn’t make sense. This doesn’t seem right.

Well, damn.

Maybe there’s hope after all.

WiRL: “A Towering Figure of High Culture”

The latest episode of Writing in Real Life is up!

Episode 81: The One where Morgan’s Still Pregnant

A shout-out for Barry??? Moms being attached to newborns and the dads who have nothing to do. The meaning of #FUSS! Barry fundraises for the ACLU. Keeping a diary…or not. Does losing hurt more than winning feels good?

“Democrats…Fight”

A few days ago, I published my open letter to Nancy Pelosi, in which I said, in part:

In my decades of following the political conversation, I’ve never seen a headline that contained the phrase “Democrats fight.”

My brother recently sent me this screenshot, which contains those words, but with a niggling detail between:

Democrats wuss out

This isn’t a dilemma, Democrats. You fight all the way. Otherwise, you fall into the trap of compromising too far. If you’re at B and the Republicans are at H, it’s OK to compromise at D or so. But if you’re at B and Trump’s at Z, you’ll end up compromising somewhere around M. Not cool.

The late Ron Silver, playing Bruno Gianelli and speaking words written by the inimitable Aaron Sorkin, said it best years ago:

“No more” should be the Democratic rallying cry. Instead, it seems to be “Please don’t hurt me.”

(P.S. Please buy my short story “The Ghosts at 95” before 1/31/17 — all proceeds go to the ACLU.)

One Way I Choose to Fight

So, last year a thing happened. A thing I was — and am — not happy about. If you’re reading this, I imagine you feel the same because the people who read my books generally seem to be cool like that.

What can I do about this? has been a pretty common refrain since the election. And the good news is that there’s a lot we can do, both collectively and individually. I’ve been donating money to worthy organizations and keeping on top of my elected officials, for example.

But I’ve wanted to do more. I’m not a politician or much of an organizer, but I’m a writer. So I figured out a way to make writing be my way of “doing more.”

For every month in 2017, I will publish a different short story. Some of these stories will be short. Some will be long. Some will be old. Some will be new.

They will all cost $1.99.

And every cent I make will go to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The stories will only be available for one month each. If you miss the January story, well, it’s gone. I’m hoping this imposition of a form of scarcity will motivate people to buy.

Let me be clear about this: I’m not keeping your money. I’m not taking a single penny for myself. You’re handing money to me so that I can give it to the ACLU. (If you want to just give money straight to them or donate directly to them as well, don’t let me stop you!)

Do I expect this to make a difference? Beats the hell out of me. Look, if this crazy thing of mine spreads and gets lots of attention, it could end up being a significant chunk of change. If not, well, I guess every penny helps, right?

Please tell everyone. Please tweet it and Tumblr it and Facebook it and Snapchat it and Instagram it and do whatever else. Heck, you can even tell people about it face-to-face. (I know — crazy, right?)

The first story is already up. It is titled “The Ghosts at 95,” and you can see the cover and description below. It will come down late on January 31/early on February 1, depending on where you live. The clock’s ticking. Go buy it.

Ghosts at 95 cover

ALL PROCEEDS FROM THIS STORY BENEFIT THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION!

The year is 2006, and Jeremy Castle has it pretty good. His girlfriend has left him, true, but he has a job at a top downtown financial firm that has made him pretty rich. From his new apartment, he can see the Statue of Liberty and the construction at Ground Zero. If only he could figure out the meaning of the lights that only he can see. And those voices… Why does he keep hearing those voices…?

In “The Ghosts at 95,” Barry Lyga tackles the themes that made his reputation: Isolation, being an outcast, and the fear that your best self and your worst self may be one and the same.