Miller is the son of a local butcher. The bio on his website begins:
I live in New York City now, but I grew up in a middle-of-nowhere town in upstate New York. My father was a butcher, and his father was a butcher, and I was trained as a butcher, but our butcher shop went down the toilet when I was 17 and our town was eaten alive by Wal-Mart. Since then I've been a vegetarian. . . .
Miller includes this picture of his grandfather standing in the doorway to his shop on Warren Street.
Miller's father's market, Sam's Supermarket, was located at 310 Warren Street, where the gym for The Maker now is.
In The Blade Between, Miller's most recent book, the protagonist, Ronan Szepessy, a famous photographer and influencer, returns to his hometown, Hudson, New York. The book was reviewed by Gabino Iglesias on NPR this past Sunday: "'The Blade Between' Walks the Boundary of Horror and Noir." Here's how the review starts out:
There are violent ghosts, flying whales, and dead people with mouthfuls of saltwater hundreds of miles from the ocean in Sam J. Miller's The Blade Between, but it all makes sense. It all makes sense because the story takes place in Hudson, New York, a place built on the remains of slaughtered whales, where their unused parts were buried underground and the scraps were fed to animals later used to feed people. Hudson is full of angry spirits, but now a different monster is destroying it: gentrification.
Iglesias goes on to describe the novel in this way:
The Blade Between is more than a dystopian sci-fi thriller with a dash of poetry; it's an explosive narrative about a small town caught between the decaying ghosts of the past, the shattered dreams and mediocre lives of its residents, and the monster of gentrification that threatens to erase it all under shiny new buildings and fancy coffee shops.
Although the Hudson that emerges from this review doesn't sound much like the city where I have lived for close to thirty years now, I am eager to get my hands on a copy of this book.
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