Urban fantasist Ben Johnson signs his new novel, A Shadow Cast in Dust.
  • Urban fantasist Ben Johnson signs his new novel, A Shadow Cast in Dust.
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The local music scene abounds in literary aspirations, with new and reissued books from players such as Ben Johnson, Alfred Howard, J.D. Boucharde, Wayne Riker, Justin Pearson, and Jon Kanis.

Drummer and longtime Casbah bartender Ben Johnson’s book, A Shadow Cast in Dust, subtitled “An Urban Fantasy Epic,” mostly takes place in Golden Hill and concerns an “ancient order of web spinners,” a silver knife, a detective, and a boy “running from his captors through the canyons of San Diego with his new friends and special dog.” The first chapter can be previewed at GrandMalPress.com.

Man of a dozen bands Alfred Howard recently released The Autobiography of No One, which includes essays, scrapbook images, lyrics, and more. Justin Pearson’s How to Lose Friends and Irritate People, chronicling a miserable Australian tour with the Bloody Beetroots, is being reissued by his label Three One G.

Acoustic crooner J.D. Boucharde’s When I’m No Longer There is a children’s book “about the life of a house,” illustrated by Jody Shannon. Guitar teacher Wayne Riker’s Blues Licks Encyclopedia offers over 300 licks, intros, and turnarounds covering Delta, Chicago, Texas, rock, country, swing, minor, and slide blues styles.

Due August 1 is Jon Kanis’s Encyclopedia Walking: Pop Culture and the Alchemy of Rock ’n’ Roll. “It’s a selective anthology of my published writing, mostly feature articles spanning the time frame of 1994 to 2014,” he says of the collection, which includes work from the Reader, Schlock, Ugly Things, and San Diego Troubadour. “The general slant of the work is regarding the history and biography of music and film, but there are also examinations about pop culture. The last chapter of the book focuses on how the mass-media informs and shapes general consciousness across the globe, whilst looking back at being 12 in the summer of 1976 in D.C. during the bicentennial.”

See? Literary aspirations. “That chapter is called ‘Epiphanies to Slay the Dragon; Coming of Age in the Spirit of ’76, a Mashup Mosiac.’”

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