Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Books Read Lately

Conan: Road of Kings, by Roy Thomas, Mike Hawthorne and others

Spliced between Iron Shadows and Queen of the Black Coast we are given one of Dark Horse's non-Howardian tales and I was pleasantly surprised. Typically these spots have been the holes in the Dark Horse Conan line = Free Companions for example-but I enjoyed Road of Kings. Likely because of Roy Thomas who if anything only writes a more engaging Conan yarn now than he did back in the day, I cringed with a few of his original story arcs back in the Marvel day-but everything in RoK's feels close enough to the Hyboria of REH.
I know if you're interested, you're interested so I don't need to give away too much. The other thing with graphics-the art. Hawthorne is pretty good, perhaps I don't enjoy him as much as Giorello but he is an absolute master compared to the coming of Becky Cloonan stuff that I shudder to look at in QotBC. I loved the Doug Wheatley covers-awesome visceral action.

Three Uses of the Knife, by David Mamet

A very brief book on drama, I found this absolutely fascinating. Mamet's insights into how people work and why we tell stories were revelatory, I've already reread it. Granted I might not agree with everything he says but it no way halted my enjoyment. For example I do lean (but not 100% Anti-Stratfordian) but it doesn't make me bitter at enjoying Shakespeare, I love Shakespeare, I can read him without shouting the world is flat-so that was a strange tangent for me, I'm just not totally convinced that it really was a playwright and not one of the nobility, in any case.
Mamet talks about what we need drama for, how to make the second act stronger and the third fulfilling and as the title suggests what needs to be cut overall.

The Book of the Damned, by Charles Fort

I'm not actually done with this one just a very good portion in to the first of four-I own the collected works as pictured. But for a fantasist it is wonderfully inspiring truly weird food for the soul. So many bizarre ideas, the inspiration is reeling at what to do with this tale and that-so many possible creatures that are atypically missed even by weird fiction standards. This is truly a book to behold if you are jonesing for some ideas. And like John Keel, Fort is a truly entertaining investigator.

Tiger Scroll of the Koga Ninja, by Jay Sensei

This is one I have owned for ages, I read it years ago. But I reread quite often on any given topic if the mood takes me and for whatever reason I thought on ninja's. I'm inclined to think Jay Sensei is an utterly fake name, who knows how much of anything he has to say is true from a firsthand account, but regardless the book is interesting on a semi-historical level as well as technique level. Full of tales on how this ninja accomplished this or that, I looked at it as a good primer for the sake of fiction utilizing the ninja.

Jeet Kune Do, by Bruce Lee

I've always enjoyed Bruce Lee movies and I have a couple of his books, recently watching a bio, I picked this up again and as always find his outlook and philosophy at once entertaining and bold. Like a modern day Musashi (Book of Five Rings) Lee spells out fighting techniques while also going over consequence on a spiritual level.
"There will never be a means to ends, only means. And I am means. I am what I started with, and when it is all over I will be all that is left of me."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day

I think at most I'm maybe 10%  Irish but I like me some Lucky Charms and The Pogues so enjoy St. Patrick's Day and have a good one all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

News of My Stuff in Print

I received word that the delayed Sci-Fi/Archeology antho from Dagan Books IN-SITU featuring my tale "The Dig" is about to be released (email said March). I'm glad, I've been anxious to get feedback on that tale for awhile now.

"The Dig" is placed in the early days of World War II and features a (at that time rare) female archaeologist, and a run-in with Axis Italian forces at a dig, wherein they find something that should not be there. I borrowed the place name of Keshan from Robert E. Howard's "Jewels of Gwahlur".


I have the final galley for the Wandering Weed's antho featuring my tale "Garden of Legion" another weird western with Porter Rockwell. This was again a lot of fun to write, Porter being whom my wife thinks I can put my writer shoes into the best.

And lastly, my publisher WiDo and Amazon are doing another free promotion of my novel Heroes of the Fallen so you can grab it again here

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Hel Awaits" in Sword & Sorcery Magazine

My short yarn "Hel Awaits" is posted now at the Sword & Sorcery Magazine a rather new little Ezine I recently found.

My tale involves revenge and a chase with Tyr, a Swedish mercenary. It takes place in or about 1215 Moorish Spain. I take some liberties of course and perhaps even a homage or two.

So I'd appreciate your checking it and the other featured tales out. Thanks

I am a traveler of both time and space,

It always amazes me how as-if performing self-hypnotism, a favorite song can reprogram you out of any number of doldrums. Good music inspires you to get to work, it is a catalyst and a magnifier that fires the brain to create and explore the hidden worlds lurking deep in the recess's of the brain-to bring them out and tell the tale.

It doesn't hurt either that an anticipated film is using one of my all time favorite songs as a theme for the trailer.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Books and another E-Sale

I finally own all the books in print that have my stories (should be several more this year that were accepted last year) I still need to finish reading the tales contained in Monk Punk and Monsters and Mormons-but I will get there and give my own review eventually.

In other news it finally paid off. I got my first acceptance of the year on Leap Day. "Hel Awaits" an adventure with my Swedish Viking character Tyr Thorgrimson (Sailing to Valhalla and Whispers of the Goddess) will appear in the Swords & Sorcery Ezine for March. I'll post the link just as soon as its available-should be this week.

This time around Tyr is in a slightly fantastical Moorish Spain, sometime later than the events of Whispers of the Goddess. I've been fascinated with Moorish Spain especially since I read Louis L'Amour The Walking Drum. My humble tale doesn't even begin to assert that kind of magnificence but still I hope you'll check it out.