Sunday, January 29, 2012

the GREY man passes

I saw The GREY with a bunch of people for work yesterday and I was the only that came away from it who liked it and I'll tell you why.

Aside from a few typical movie goofs and what to me was an erroneous zoological fallacy (the relentless wolf pack) it is a brutally simple movie that hits home. It is artistic and has a soul that so many movies miss these days. The opening narration supplied by Ottway (Liam Neeson) let you know exactly what was going on without giving you too much-it was spartan, but anymore would have been reaching into overkill-the simplicity is what won me over.

That and the dark humor.

Flying back to Fairbanks Alaska from whatever northern refinery Ottway was employed (to keep men safe and kill things) he dreams of his wife-who is gone for whatever reason, later revealed.......*(I realized as I posted this Neeson is also a widower-HE IS the perfect man to play this role and I suspect it must have been very intense and emotional for him) 
The plane ices up and goes down. A handful of survivors struggle to survive the bitter cold and onslaught of a ravenous pack of wolves. Having read Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf multiple times as a child and later Of Wolves and Men by a ??? Lopez, I don't buy a pack of wolves going after a group of men-who can fight back-especially not when there is the easier pickings of the dead-so let that part run into the realm of fantasy and picture Frazetta's wolves for the sake of enjoying the movie.

There was a scene as the men were holed up beside the false safety of a fire that they could hear a challenge to the alpha male wolf-and then hear it savagely put down. In a similitude, one of the survivors challenges Ottway and is equally-though mercifully put down. Also the darkness hiding the wolves yet their breath in the frosty air being visible-wonderfully creepy.

Also as they sat beside the fire and discussed why they wanted to go on living, Ottway recites a poem his father had written. It gave a little something to the film, that soul I mentioned earlier.

Without spoiling too much-you know they are in a terrible place, you know death surrounds them at every turn and as Ottway (Neeson) cries out to God, a number of pleas' and expletives, and is met only with silence he responds with, "Fuck it , I'll do it myself."
Now the audience laughed at that, I didn't and its not because I'm a spiritual person who won't curse God but because all I could think was-You CAN still do it yourself. We know he is capable, he doesn't need a miracle-a 'God in the machine' ending or even a Man vs. Wild scenario of a cabin or well traveled road right around the corner, these would only take away from and weaken the STORY and we are here to discuss stories not happy endings.

Ultimately we do have our climax and here is where I suspect most of my fellow movie goers had a problem~I don't wish to spoil anything-it is worth seeing, but it is a "You figure it out" ending.

I loved that as he prepared for his confrontation with The GREY? alpha wolf, he recited his fathers poem yet again...

Once more into the fray.
Into the last good fight I'll ever know.
Live and die on this day.
Live and die on this day

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Glass Raised: Robert E. Howard

The Phoenix on the Sword

What do I know of cultured ways,
the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land
and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile,
they fail when the broadsword sing;
Rush in and die dogs-
I was a man before I was a king.

Robert E. Howard
January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936

Thursday, January 19, 2012


For the next 5 days Heroes of the Fallen is a free e-book.

Well, whats it about?

A great civilization teeters on the brink of devastating war. Amaron of the elite guardsmen must embark on a quest to protect the fate of two nations. Nations whose destruction is being orchestrated by the greatest evil the land has ever known. Who will rise to become the heroes of the fallen?

OK, but is it free?
Yes, it is.
And for how long?
Five days.
And it is free?
Yes, it is.
Is this one of those indie books you're just giving away because no one ever read it?
No, people have read it and here's what they had to say-ever so briefly.

"brutal, gory, and depressing---But make no mistake, West is a talented writer, and whether a reader ordinarily picks up fictionalized scripture novels or science fiction once embarked on this novel readers will find it nearly impossible to put down." Jennie Hansen reviewer for Meridian Magazine

"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, author of Variant

"it’s very nice when you find an original vision at work. I’ve found one of those in David J. West, whose Heroes of the Fallen has imagination in spades. The world created by West is fully realized and backed up by both firm historical knowledge and a good feel for mythology. If imagination is the engine for Heroic Fantasy, fine prose is the fuel. Here, too, West achieves--" Charles Gramlich, author of Bitter Steel, Cold in the Light, and the Talera Cycle trilogy

"its a great read..." Wayne May publisher of Ancient American magazine

"Heroes of the Fallen is well researched, with an extensive cast of characters and lots of political intrigue. This is the first in a series. The sequel, Blood of our Fathers, arrives next year. Recommended." Bruce Durham author of The Marsh God

“David J. West has created a story line filled with excitement, archaeology, treasure and real history. This is a must-read not only for entertainment but also to open new doors and vistas of possibility for the mind." Bruce H. Porter Ph.D. Brigham Young University religion professor

 "When I first learned that someone was writing a book based on the last events of the Book of Mormon. I thought, "Good. It's good to read those types of books." No, no, no! It is not simply good! And good is the wrong word! It is intrigue, fascination. Power. Obsession." - M. Gray

So check it out if you will ~ and Thank You

*semi-cross posted (possibly better) with the Man Cave Author Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Preparing to Blitz

Beginning of the year and time to map and or lament on my goals. I always end up biting off more than I can chew. Still, the blitz is coming.

There are a half dozen short story anthologies I 'd love to be included in with deadlines looming shortly. Would love to do these but I probably ought to pick my battles with the ones I want the most and forget the rest rather than having the dozen beginnings and no endings I have sitting in the files right now. I always wondered why Robert E. Howard had so many great tales that weren't finished and now I understand that a little better.

I have my sequel to Heroes of the Fallen needing to be polished up- people even call my Mom wanting to know if they can get a rough draft-(not gonna happen) Really need to do that-I never, ever, meant to take so long finishing an already finished book.

I also need to polish and decide what I want to do with my exiled Spartan novel Bless the Child, I should have sent it to a copy editor friend months ago but I wanted to clean it up even more before I passed it on-still haven't done it. Really need to do that.

Recently submitted my second chapter of Midnight Sons to UGEEK Magazine-the story went an interesting direction that I never foresaw-but I am happy with it-I think the stuff I had planned on will be coming up in the next chapter-any E-friends who are interested drop me a line I'll send the pdf for the first issue-since it was a local Utah-centric mag. I moved away from Utah right as it went to print so I don't even have any copies of my pulpness-that and I saw that I missed the local CON where the premier issue debuted-with a few interesting guests like comic veteran Wendy Pini (of Elf Quest fame) In my mind she still looks like Red Sonja from Savage Sword of Conan in '76. 

My hopes and prayers for Jason Waltz at Rogue Blades Entertainment-that things will get sorted out and the magnificent books Roar of the Crowd and Challenge: Discovery  that are waiting in the wings will be released in 2012.

More of my weird western short stories with Porter Rockwell are coming, though I'm not sure on any release dates with those anthologies. Same with the Dagan Books antho of weird sci-fi IN-SITU my tale The Dig is coming some time soon this year.

I meant to get most of my S&S gangster fantasy Gods & Robbers done last year and I didn't-we'll go for this year on that account.

And finally a bit of non-fiction (that reads like very exciting/frightening fiction) is absolutely coming but I can't say more on that just yet. But you could check out my friend Douglas Dietrich's site. Just saying.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ye Olde Ones of R'Lyeh in Crayone

My oldest son has yet to read any Lovecraft-(he has watched Lil Cthulhu) but that hasn't stopped him from dreaming up and visualizing his own brand of the Old Ones-I told him I'd post 'em so Behold!

I think my favorite of his latest Kadathian batch, is this last one-truly bizarre.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Strange Sights of the Week

 One of my wife's favorite movies, but I still prefer the David Lynch version.
I was surprised to find that my blog ranked highly in the Google search for Stormtrooper Babes, so I thought I ought to oblige. Disturbing as it is to the Force.
I guess the Batmobile lost a wheel and the Joker got know the rest.
  For my wife who always comments on his crazy hair.

The Least Interesting Man in Westeros

                                                                 Happy Little Spartans

Thursday, January 5, 2012

British Gangsters Saved My Life

Posting this because (I haven't posted anything all year) and I do like Vinnie Jones, reminds me how much I still want to finish "Gods & Robbers" this year, my British gangster inspired fantasy- think maybe a Sword & Sorcery SNATCH type thing.