Thursday, January 17, 2019

recent read; the DARK GATE novels by John Jakes

DMR Books are launching 2019 by having guest bloggers all month. I was invited to participate. (thanks Deuce & Dave!)

I'd been meaning to read two planetary adventure novels by John Jakes: MASTER OF THE BLACK GATE and WITCH OF THE BLACK GATE. I thought a post about them would be a nice change from examining Jakes' sword-&-sorcery tales of Brak the Barbarian.

You can read the blog post here.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 reading round up

I'm falling short of my Goodreads 2018 challenge. As of tonight, I've read 59 of the 70 books goal. I set that number (70) with graphic novels in mind, as last year they inflated my total. I read a lot of enjoyable stuff this year, and fewer graphic novels than I expected.

There are some stragglers - books not listed on Goodreads, like HIGH ADVENTURE 'zine (long enough to consider a book) and individual comics or comic 'zines (CREEPY.)  Plus read-throughs on two of my own novels. (Hey, it takes time.)

Highlights from the list;

THE LAST SACRIFICE by James A. Moore
EMPEROR MOLLUSK VERSUS THE SINISTER BRAIN by A. Lee Martinez
MARROW DUST by Steve Van Samson
GIL'S ALL FRIGHT DINER by A. Lee Martinez
TARZAN AND THE JEWELS OF OPAR by Edgar Rice Burroughs
RETURN TO THE LOST LEVEL by Brian Keene
ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE by Ian Fleming
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES by Arthur Conan Doyle
DARKER THAN YOU THINK by Jack Williamson
A HELL WITHIN by James A. Moore & Charles R. Rutledge
TARZAN AND THE VALLEY OF GOLD by Fritz Leiber
CEMETERY WORLD by Clifford D. Simak
AT THE MERCY OF BEASTS by Ed Kurtz
MEMO FROM TURNER by Tim Willocks
PULP ERA WRITING TIPS (edited by Bryce Beattie)
THE BEASTS OF VALHALLA by George C. Chesbro
BLACK PULP (edited by Tommy Hancock)

THE GREAT DISASTER (DC Comics SHOWCASE)
DOC SAVAGE: THE SPIDER'S WEB (Dynamite Entertainment comic)

Best wishes for 2019!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

2018 writing round up

The blog has been quiet, so I thought I'd throw out a writing post wrap-up. Yes, I know it is still November but I have nothing else coming out this year.

In retrospect, it felt like a quiet year. But that was because I focused on novel writing for most of it. And, everything that came out this year had been in the pipeline since last year.


Four appearances. Turns out that is the most I've had in a single year. I'll take it.

The pulp serial, HOUR OF THE ROBOT, was delayed. Pro Se Press are hoping to get back on track. With luck, the serial will start coming out in January with the others that were announced.

It was a good--if not great--writing year. (yes, I know we still have December.) I finished two novels that had been languishing. I wrote and submitted a few short stories. I didn't get any bites but some of the stories were sent off to other slush piles that are still open.

I'm working through a short story now that will be completed and submitted by year's end. Then it's back to more chapters of the serial.

So, that's what's up with me on the writing front. I hope all you other authors are having success at either writing and/or publishing.

I hope 2019 is fruitful for us all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

This year's October flashed me by awfully quick. Despite a welcome and fun visit from Charles Rutledge, and the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival, I had personal distractions keeping me from the Halloween spirit most of the month.

I did manage a viewing of SON OF DRACULA, recorded a few movies off TCM (which I won't get to until November, if that,) and read a few spooky comics and stories.

Here are some quick scary tales from my neck of the woods for you.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

STORYHACK Issue Three, now available!


STORYHACK, Issue Three, is available now!

I've posted about this earlier. I am honored and excited to have the featured story with cover art!

I'd read an article on rubber tree poaching and those who stand against it. I noted it at the time because I thought it would be a great setting for a modern western. Later, when I wanted to try my hand at a jungle hero story, I decided to use it.

So, a touch of "torn from today's headlines!", a dash of a western, and a helping of jungle lore, plus me equals - "Claws of the Puma."

The interior illustration by Gian Luca is stunning, too.


Thanks for reading, and buying, and supporting 'zines and small press!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Weirdbook 40 now available (print edition)

After some delay, issue 40 of Weirdbook is listed on Amazon now. (print edition)

Includes my story, "Pouring Whiskey In My Soul," featuring my occult adventuring American Revolutionary War veteran, Doran Coyle.

I hadn't written Doran Coyle in many years. It felt good to bring him back and felt even better when the tale was accepted.

Weirdbook 40

 

Friday, September 7, 2018

recent read; GODS OF FIRE AND THUNDER


With GODS OF FIRE AND THUNDER, Saberhagen delved into Norse myth and legend to weave a novel.
Haraldur the Northman once joined Jason on his fabled quest for the Golden Fleece, but now he wants nothing more to do with gods and adventure. Returning to his homeland for the first time in many years, he hopes only to settle down on a farm of his own—until he comes across an impenetrable wall of Eldritch fire and a lovesick youth determined to breach the wall at any cost.
Behind the towering flames, he is told, lies a beautiful Valkyrie trapped in an enchanted sleep, as well as, perhaps, a golden treasure beyond mortal reckoning. It is the gold that tempts Hal to agree, against his better judgment, to assist the youth in his quest.
Declared as 'Book One of the Norse Gods,' the novel is also the fifth book in Saberhagen's 'Gods(Masks)' series. The first four novels deal with Greek myth and legend.

If you've come for a hard-hitting Viking tale, this isn't it. Saberhagen's story concerns the gods, ghosts, gnomes, and other trappings of the Norse myths. The gods aren't truly gods--they are people who have acquired magical masks which transform them into gods. The Masks are a good hook and the characters and their interactions are enjoyable. (I still wonder if the series is in any way connected to Saberhagen's SWORDS world. It has a similar setup.)

It's a solid time-passer as a fantasy story. If you seek blood & thunder and clashing Viking hordes, you need to look elsewhere.

The Masks concept is interesting. Not enough for me to rush out and immediately find the other books in the series. But enough that I might return to the series sometime in future.

If I spot them cheap enough during my bookstore travels I would probably grab them.

3 out of 5 stars.