Friday, October 30, 2009

Heroes Of The Fallen: New Cover + Reviews

Here it is the newly tweaked cover for Heroes of the Fallen. To be released now in early 2010.

How about a couple reviews thus far.

"Heroes of the Fallen is a Book of Mormon historical that reads like an epic fantasy. It's not often that the LDS market sees something truly new, but West's debut novel really is different. It was refreshing. A breath of fresh air--and a lot of fun."
--Rob Wells

"David West’s debut novel, Heroes of the Fallen, will transport you into an epic tale comprised of the haunting historical events that eventually lead to the downfall of an entire civilization. Written with captivating characters and vivid descriptions of a grand culture, the powerful setting and poetic language make this novel a monumental retelling of the Nephites’ final years of existence."
—H.B. Moore, author of Abinadi and Alma

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Stories Week 3. The Demon Strangler

Tired. I was as bone tired as I could ever remember. It had been a long day at work and I was glad to be home and just kick off the stinky work-boots. I was sore and took a long hot shower and crashed in bed with the paitence of a chopping block not even worrying about dinner. Though it was still light out I was soon asleep, dreaming pleasant dreams.

I awoke with a terrible crushing upon me, my breath halted involuntarily. A force was pushing me down into the bed. Opening my weary eyes I looked into the face of the most grotesque being I have ever beheld. Mottled dark green skin, warped and bent about the skull, piercing hateful eyes and twisted rotten teeth. A red cowl was about the thing as it attempted to squeeze the life from me.

Know that I was afraid but also animalistically angry. Pushing back against the fetid breath and unhallowed grin, I commanded Get Out of Here! And I was afraid no longer.

The demon sensed this as plain as anything. It could not crush me with fear and it could not kill me. It stood up, glanced again at me prone and departed out the wall and window, simultaneous as if it was a hallway to the nether.

It was then my eyes opened in the physical world and I knew that what I had thought I had seen had been with spiritual eyes. The bed still rocked and heaved at the things departing and I knew it had happened but in what physical sense I was not sure.
I do not fear demons and it has not returned.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Stories Week 2. Damn You Nigeria

I am waiting for an ARC of Burn Me Deadly from noir-fantasy writer Alex Bledsoe I want to review it to spite the FTC and I want to see what happens next with his character Eddie LaCrosse the last review was here. And since I forgot to get the mail today, I decided to take a quick break from editing a short story The Hand of Fate that I shall be submitting soon to a Heroic Fantasy anthology Through Blood and Iron.

Anyway I went to get the mail at 11'O'clock at night. The ARC isn't there but a strange letter is. It says my wife has won the United State Lottery, they have been trying to contact us and we have won 55,500 dollars.There is even an initial check for 3,755 dollars to show us how real it is.

Yeah right.

We have to MONEYGRAM them 2,700 first to pay our taxes and then we get the rest. I google them and its those Nigerians again.

Now some might say "Hey when the prince of Nigeria asks you for help you help him."

Not me, I'm a real Pharisee when it comes to Nigerian princes. I would beat em and leave lying there beside the road, bleeding in the snow, uphill both ways.

That's my fresh scary story for Halloween.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Stories Week 1. Hunting Bigfoot

Quite a few years ago I heard there was a small town in Utah with a biblical name that had a number of Bigfoot sightings. Supposedly back in the early days of Utah, gunfighter and bodyguard to Brigham Young, Lot Smith saw it and shot at it-he missed and was told that it was best to leave it alone.

I was told some first hand stories about the area and the expieriences of a couple of hunters that had run-ins with the Thing.

So why wouldn't I go and check it out? I did.

It was an out of the way town with a very small population. I didn't get there until late at night. A friend and I were the only people on the road that night and we went through town and on up a dirt road into the mountains crossing a snaking creek perhaps a half dozen times. When the road ended we camped. We sat up late staring at the fire under the wheeling stars and told ghost stories until the flames died.

When I slept I dreamt Bigfoot was there watching us. Standing just a few feet away towering over us, watching.
I awoke in the morning still feeling like I was being watched and I was.
A pair of deer stood twenty feet away staring silently.

After breakfast we wandered through the area and found no sign of anything out of the ordinary except the feeling of being watched and the thickness of the woods denoting a place where anything could hide.

Any strange tales out there?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We are the CHAMPIONS My Friends

Thanks everybody who participated, except Peta Pete dont come back here.

I'll get ahold of The Pirate Slayers: Ghost Waves by W. Everett Prusso as soon as its off the presses, hopefully a month from now, around about the same time mine is released I believe. And I will review it soon afterwards much to the chagrin of the FTC and their non-reimbursement preference. I have nothing to declare.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Post a Comment, Save a Kitten

I will save the life of one kitten for every comment someone leaves me, otherwise its curtains for Snuggles and co.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Across the Threshold of Dream

Lest anyone be afeared of my losing that bizarre and esotericness I emblazon across my banner I have for your amusement a rather weird and strange tale, echoing of mad dreams, perhaps assisted by the Dark Muse herself.

Late last night I was working on a new title for a brand new opening I have written for Blood of Our Fathers. Originally Heroes of the Fallen and Blood were one book, but at its voluminous size I decided to submit it in half and it was thusly accepted, but that brought its own problems of making sure things were edited and for book 2 making an adjustment for the sake of continuity for the possible reader who has not read Heroes.

I have written a new opening for Blood and was thinking on what I would like to title the opening chapter. I delight in naming each chapter as if it is it's own short story, plain numbers bore me, but I was at a loss for what to title this new opening. It involves a major character from Heroes=Amaron who is sometimes known as the Lion. Then I started thinking about some of my favorite pulp fantasy writers titles and I remembered an unused title by Karl Edward Wagner. He was going to write the then as yet untold tale of how Conan became king of Aquilonia and he was going to title it Day of the Lion. But L.Sprauge DeCamp who had the rights squashed that idea because he wanted to write that story himself. So KEW wrote The Road of Kings one of the best Conan pastiches, and Day of the Lion went unused. I should mention that DOTL was a play on Robert E. Howard's only Conan novel Hour of the Dragon and was a tale set after Conan has become king of the worlds greatest nation.I have discussed Karl's work before here.

Because of the possibility of using a Lion reference and name for my chapter I thought perhaps I would use the discarded title from a great influence and so I went to sleep.

I dreamt I was in a biker bar talking with Karl and playing pool, getting along famously until I mentioned I was going to use his discarded title. He was not happy-he said we better step outside or some such. I said fine because I've been in a scrap or two, to quote Charlie Daniels, we went outside and exchanged fisticuffs. Needless to say neither one of us were definitively winning the fight and I awoke in the morning resolving that I would not use the title as it was not mine, not in the proper homage and to boot KEW did not want me to use it.

It wasn't until I was well into my day that I read online from some of the sites I frequent, that I realized today is the 15 year anniversary of Karl Edward Wagners death. I would think it an interesting coincidence but I don't believe in coincidence. So perhaps it was the Dark Muse that Wagner wrote about, playing with both alive and dead authors creating malevolent discord among those that should be friends.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Books Read These Last Two Weeks

Prophecies and Promises, by Bruce Porter and Rod Meldrum
This is hand's down the best non-fiction book I have read this year. The material covered is of a nature that cannot be denied by those of the LDS persuasion and it is my sincere hope that eventually it will become the accepted standard over that cripple that is Limited Geography Theory. Don't mistake any of my sarcasm or snideness for the tone of the book however, both Porter and Meldrum are far kinder in print than I.
"Porter earned his bachelor’s degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from B.Y.U. and went on to receive his master’s degree in Middle East Studies with an emphasis in Semitic languages, Hebrew Aramaic, Akkadian, Coptic, and Hieroglyphics, with a minor in ancient Near Eastern Religions. His Ph.D. was acquired in the History of Religions, with emphasis in Egyptian religion and textual studies, with a minor in Anthropology." Borrowed from his Bio.
So in essence he knows his ancient languages and uses such to show the language determinative within the Book of Mormon. What I find so fascinating about the debate with Book of Mormon geography is the pro-mesoamerican push to ignore Joseph Smith (except spurious half-baked references) and latch onto only geographical references within the Book of Mormon and thus glaze over what it really says about WHERE IT IS TALKING ABOUT-namely the Promised Land. The current accepted academia miss the boat entirely by pushing LGT, they ignore what is constantly right in front of them. Porter and Meldrum show it far more eloquently and referenced than I could - I would get too antagonostic.
Using pointed scriptural references and not limiting themselves to just geographical landmarks, Porter and Meldrum make clear as crystal WHERE scripture says the Book of Mormon and Joseph say it was-North America-specifically the USA.
Meldrum,began his study of issues surrounding the controversy over DNA and the Book of Mormon in 2003 which lead to questioning the origins of proposed geographical settings of the Book of Mormon. In addition he completed intensive study of the Book of Mormon itself and the historical background and documents associated with this subject. Borrowed from his Bio.
The next section deals with the controversial DNA issues, which coincidentally back up the USA claim. I don't believe in coincidence by the way.
In short this is the book to refute both the anti's and those who stick with a currently popular dogma that no longer works for anything but making excuses. If you subscribe to the mesoamerican theory I challenge you to read this and see if the Prophecies and Promises contained inside don't change your paradigm.

Antigone, by Sophocles
I have had a copy for awhile now and have meant to get to it and finally did this
afternoon. I have been brushing up on my Greek for the sake of edits and filling out on my Spartan/Mulekite novel Bless the Child and thought I might as well hit it. I especially liked the overall themes mentioned, the push for a moral superiority of the individual over the state, to do what is right for family, God(s) and morality over the state decreed law even unto death if necessary. Also even amidst tragedy wisdom is to be gained. Even with all he lost by the end, Kreon the king of Thebes, has learned and grown, bitter that it is.

Common Sense, by Glenn Beck
I like Glenn. I honestly don't get the bitterness against him but I suppose I must be part of that barbaric underground clinging to my guns and God. As with the above
books there is less snideness that might be expected against the opposition which surprised me. Beck can be a little more sarcastic against people on the radio than in print, I suppose because you can go back time and again writing and edit things. Overall I didn't find a single thing I disagreed with, so I suppose I have lain my political tombstone thusly. I find so many parallels within today's society as in the decline of the B of M (my writing universe) that I am always looking for more aspects that can be used later and there are plenty of things here about people both good and bad that I can use later. I am not an activist, I do not want to draw attention to myself politically but I find myself pushing for the grass-roots reformation Beck espouses.

Conan and the Treasure of Python, by John Maddox Roberts
JMR is perhaps the best of the Conan pastiche writers doing new adventures
throughout the 90's. I have enjoyed his takes on the Cimmerian and this one while not the best was not the worst either. It is essentially a fantasy take on King Solomon's Mines (which I love)which took a little getting used too. I pretty much always knew how it would end but JMR's strong points are the little details he throws in that are his own and not Robert E. Howards nor H. Rider Haggards. Tips about woodcraft and fighting aboard a sailing ship, daring routs of enemies and relentless action. All in all a good book.

Quantum of Solace, by Ian Fleming
I have been a fan of James Bond as long as I can remember. That is because of the movies, however as I started to collect the original paperbacks from the 60's almost as much for their pulp covers as the story's I noticed that only the first couple had anything to do with the movies. The Spy Who Loved Me, excellent
movie has not a thing in common with the book except James Bond, who is barely in the book at all. Dr. No the first movie is almost exactly the same as the book and after that it begins to change because these were written by a man who fought in World War 2 and was in the know during the height of the cold war, even giving advice to JFK. Quantum of Solace is no exception, nothing like the film except Bond and the title. Now I did like the movie but it was all action, not so with the story. Fleming, a master spy from WW2 knows how to watch people and analyze them, excellent traits for a writer and this is where he shines, he knows people. Quantum of Solace and the other short stories contained are just as much (if not more) an analysis of people and the human character as they are action tales and that is why I like them.

The Worm Ouroborous, by E.R. Eddison
Written or at least published in 1926 (the work was a lifelong preoccupation of the author not unlike Tolkien) is grand fantasy set supposedly on Mercury and that is just a strange device used by Eddison to portray this vibrant work. Also ignore the initial writing device to establish the narration and viewing, Eddison soon does as well. Set with warring nations not unlike the Viking saga's and such it has the conflict between medieval societies who both delight in battle, contest treachery and despair at defeat. I like that any sorcery or magic involved comes at a dire cost and is not just bandied about with a muttering of nonsensical words. Part of what stops Ouroborous from being as widely accepted as Lord of the Rings is the deliberate archaic language Eddison uses. For anyone who enjoys Paradise Lost, the Iliad and gets Shakespears jokes first reading you will enjoy Ouroboros, but otherwise I can see people getting lost. It can be a little slower reading but for those who like such things as Brian Murphy states in his review at it is an acquired taste. I can't help but think it has helped in the shaping of better known works such as The Wheel of Time because of the Ouroborus imagery, that eternal round-especially the end of the book breathes life into the reincarnational ideal that is foundational in Jordan's work. For what it is worth I know that I will pick up Ouroborus again while I don't know that I will ever reread Jordan's vast opus entire (I'm sure I'll skip 6-10)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Measuring : Poetry Saturday


I Burnt down Jezebel’s disco, shook Crom’s throne
Atlantis is sunk and Troy is skin and bone
And Mordor without a keeper is all alone

At my desk in hot and loathsome despair
I wonder with succor, where to go from there
Great words to match the former and with care

Sunder those rusty chains that enrapt your mind
Break free that grimmer dungeon locked in kind
Too long thou has sat, broken, bent and unwind

Cleave the oaken door, smite the iron bars
Stamp down the jailors, Baal, Loki and Mars
Alight to the window, jump to the stars

Across and beneath me they wheel in the sky
Floating and falling, old truth defeats the new lie
And the wonder of youth doesn’t have to die

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The FTC and Anti-Moon Author L.A. DeVaul

To the FTC. IF I review a book I bought it. This is ridiculous.

And as for Anti-Moon author L.A. DeVaul-I am onto you and your sinister Anti-Moon agenda. Spies are inside your Anti-Moon Base gathering info even now and here are the pictures to prove it.

Our hero, the spy takes more pictures of the wicked minions of the diabolical Anti-Moon L.A. DeVaul. Could they be in league with the FTC? All signs point to yes.

Spy taking picture of could it be L.A. DeVaul herself? Wait . . . . he has been spotted!

DeVaul's Minions torturing our hero the spy who has risked life and limb to bring us this dire news from the Moon. Time to send in the rescue forces of the Moon Union- the Sasquatch Robots!

After much fighting the nefarious forces of L.A. DeVaul were captured, including DeVaul herself, all praise be to Moon Union Forces.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shooting the Moon

Perhaps I live in too insulated a world surrounded by ancient history and fantasy books, because I only just heard today that NASA is planning on bombing the moon on October 9th.

Now while I have yet to write anything decidedly Pro-Moon and I am assuming that some of my readers have even perhaps imagined that I am anti-moon. Let me unequivocally state here and now for the record that I am 100% absolutely positively PRO-MOON.

Now some might look up my record and say well you're a lot of talk, have you ever been to the Moon? No, I have not been to the Moon.
Do you ever plan on going to the Moon? No, I do not.
Have you ever shown your support of the Moon previously by perhaps exposing yourself to the citizenry? No, I have not. But for what it is worth I have caroused with quite a number of Moon enthusiasts as well as having been exposed to a number of Moon enthusiasts. The friendliest of which were 3 co-ed's at spring break in St.George.

So while I may not have an exemplary Pro-Moon record I want it known that I do support the Moon and don't want it bombed to look for water. Should we bomb the Sahara desert to look for water? Of course not. What I want to know is the real
story on why we are bombing the Moon. Some might suggest such outlandish stories, like looking for water or fighting extra-terrestials but I am sure there is a much more reasonable answer. Nazi Moon Bases, yeah that's the ticket, Nazi Moon Bases with goose-stepping purple-haired Heidi Klum clones. I'm buying my war bonds NOW!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Author Pimp Thyself

I spoke at the Book of Mormon conference today about Heroes of the Fallen and it went better than I expected. The book won't even be released for almost another 2 months and already people were asking for my autograph, that's a little surreal. I signed my postcards with my book cover on the front and an excerpt on the back.

I even found a moment to hawk fellow WiDo authors books, when some people wanted to know what else was coming out. Some were especially interested in Marilyn Brown's Fires of Jerusalem. I even had one lady ask to get her picture taken with me (2 pictures) like I said I wasn't expecting that much of a reception, but at the least I know I have spread the word about Heroes of the Fallen a bit more. I even bumped into some old friends I hadn't seen in years so that was cool. Did have a few Mom's that wanted to know what I meant by a grittier story though, they wanted to know if their kids could read it. I read an excerpt and let a few more peruse some other chapter tidbits and everyone seemed to
come away feeling that it wasn't too extreme. Have I failed?

I turned over some ARC's for review to a few of the bigger named presenters Bruce Porter, Rod Meldrum and Wayne May and hope to hear some good things back soon and I also had a great time just hanging out with some of the other artists there, namely the painter David Lindsley and the sculptor Jason Millward (its their works that are shown). We discussed inspiration and all other manner of nonsense for a good long while. Moments like these make me feel like Hemingway in Paris with other artistic expatriates.

Followers of this blog know how I feel about swords, so it was really cool to see on public display for the first time since the days of Nauvoo, Joseph Smith's lieutenant generals sword. A book about it has just been released by LDS Archive Publishers. I made it a point to tell them what a service I think they provide in reprinting old out of print books.

All in all it was a good time and I expect next years (april 1st and 2nd) to be even better, it will apparently still be held at the Zermatt resort but with more organization so that at least a 1,000 people can attend instead of just this years 400. That and I will need a good sized box of books to be autographing instead of postcards.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thus Spake Zelph

I am doing my first promotional speaking engagement on behalf of my novel Heroes of the Fallen at the National Book of Mormon Prophecies Conference in Midway, Utah on Friday at 4:00 at the luxurious Zermatt Resort and for once I am not joking.

Besides a number of B of M researchers (the bulk of the conference) there will be quite a number of artists among them some sculptors- Jason Millward and Dee Jay Bowden and some painters such as David Linsdley and Jon McNaughton. I actually have a Jon McNaughton painting "Awaiting the Command" hanging in my living room so I will be interested in talking to him. He is displaying for the first time publicly his "One Nation Under God" I saw it about halfway done earlier this year when I bought "AtC". Filmmaker Kieth Merrill, director of Legacy and The Testaments will also be speaking, and a host of others that I am not yet familiar with will also be presenting. I feel blessed to be able to talk about my work among them.

I got on the ticket by pushing my case of appealing to a wider audience through my fiction-of which considering the many artists, they had no fiction novelists on the program, so it was a go. Now I just need to present myself suitably and get people there interested in my book and ideas. Chief of which is, that so far as I know-no one has ever utilized Zelph (or Onandagus) for fiction. If someone had done it already and it was good-real good I may never have written this novel (series). So I have some historical precedents for my historical fiction, that and I have written a rip-roaring good novel that will fire the imagination and bring a tear to your eye, so that I can stand back and go, "Ha Ha, I touched your Heart".

And after telling you all of that and wishing someone could come and wish me well or heckle good naturedly . . . you can't come. The place is full up and no more people can get in-which is a bummer. Sounds like around 400 and that's all the Zermatt's ball room can handle. I asked and yes next year the venue will be much larger. I will have a handful of ARC's to distribute for back cover quotes and some cool postcards of the book cover and an excerpt on the back to pass out at the conference to let everyone know that the book is being released in November.