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Author Wed Aug 21 2013

Mason Johnson Celebrates his Debut Sad Robot Stories, and You're Invited

In the lit scene, Mason Johnson's is one of those faces that seem to be everywhere. The next place you might run into him is at Cole's, 2338 N Milwaukee Ave., on Saturday, August 24 for the release of his new book, Sad Robot Stories. Read a review of the novel on Gapers Block by Book Club's own Alba Machado.

Sad Robot flyer.jpg

Johnson started his journey at Columbia College studying fiction writing. As a student he hosted Columbia's Silver Tongue student reading series. This was the start of his love of being on stage and commanding an audience. After graduation, he started P. Fanatics, the now-defunct monthly reading series held at Cole's. His day job is writing content for CBS Chicago online, but he still finds ways to get on stage, most recently to address audiences as a co-host and judge of the Curbside Splendor sponsored Karaoke Idol.

Through it all, Johnson has been working on his writing. He's read at many Chicago reading series, like the infamous Ray's Tap series and Chicago's celebrated Quickies. He's had work published online in magazines like Untoward, This Zine Will Change Your Life, and Dogzplot. Yet through all his efforts, he had yet to publish a novel. Until now.

Published by Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (CCLaP), Sad Robot Stories is a testament to his hard work and dedication to supporting the lit community. The release party is packed with a line-up of friends, teachers, and fellow authors, including Daniel Shapiro (his co-host during P. Fanatics), Lindsay Hunter, Shanny Jean Maney (co-founder of the Encyclopedia Show), Chris Terry, and Don De Grazia (American Skin). Two of his close friends, Hillary Stone and Thomas Simmons will perform an original song that is sure to make even robots sad. And of course, Johnson will be reading, too.

Paying his dues has left Johnson with an abundance of literary comrades. Upon hearing of his book release, many wanted to share some kind words, advice, accolades, and thoughts on the upcoming event...

"You deserve this, Mason. Let yourself enjoy it!" --Lindsay Hunter, author, Don't Kiss Me.

"First me, now him? Books are in the shitter." --Chris Terry, author, Zero Fade.

"Couldn't have happened to a more ferret-like person." --Jacob Knabb, editor, Curbside Splendor.

"He does a hell of a lot for everyone around here and he has a demanding job that he is good at, and somehow the jerk also found time to finish a whole entire book." --Mairead Case, Chicago writer and editor.

"Sad Robot Stories is an enjoyable jaunt through a dark future." -- Matt Rowan, editor of Untoward and author of Why God Why.

"I haven't actually read it yet. I suspect it involves robots, and they're sad? Or else it's about cats. Mason really likes cats." --James Tadd Adcox, editor, Artifice Books.

"Stay grounded no matter what happens. Keep going to lunch with me every week even if you become the next big thing." --Dan Shapiro, host, Dan Shapiro's Rigged Open Mic.

"I'll be there because he's making me, but I hope there's cake." --Hillary Stone, writer and performer.

Mason has more upcoming readings to promote his new book: Two Cookie Minimum on Tuesday, September 3 at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, and the CCLaP showcase on Thursday, September 5 at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North.

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