Monday, January 25, 2016

A Discourse in Steel

A Discourse in Steel, by Paul S. Kemp

 Sequel to The Hammer and the Blade, A Discourse in Steel tops it! Picking up not too long after events in THaTB, we have Egil ad Nix trying to go legit and quit their not completely legal ways. But it can go hard when you're looking out for the ladies you saved last time around and they run afoul of the Thieves Guild and become marked for death. I don't want to give away too much but its an original set up and at the same time has some that universal roguish/reluctant hero charm.

The action is top notch and I love Kemp's gift of language, his characterizations AND he has some of the best prose going. It is perfect for mood and atmosphere in the sword and sorcery genre.

ADiS also ups the world-building and we see a lot more of the expanse and historical events far beyond our protagonists. It all wraps up in a surprising but satisfying conclusion and I can't recommend it enough!

Everyone that enjoys S&S = Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Conan the Barbarian etc will go on a helluva ride with this one.

I'm looking forward to reading Kemp's Lords of the Sith and the
forthcoming Egil and Nix book, A Conversation in Blood. I'm sharing all the covers here because they are all good.

Oh yeah, I do enough driving around that I got thru about half the book thanks to the audio book narrated by Nick O'Dell who does a fantastic job of reading/performing the varied voices.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Half the World

Half the World, by Joe Abercrombie

I'm a huge Ambercrombie fan. He has a way of writing things that you think must turn out one way and then sets them on their ear and yes, it was right and plausible and not forced at all and he delivers that time and again.

This is the second installment of the Shattered Sea trilogy and we meet new characters including Thorn Bathu, Brand, Skiffer and Empress of the South, Vialine; and of course some great characters from the first book Half A King, Yarvi, now chief minister of the kingdom of Gettland and Grom Gilgorrim the Breaker of Swords.

Events set years earlier in the first book are now coming to fruition and Thorn, a warrior woman is forged and honed to the deadliest edge. She is instrumental in Abercrombies intriguing way of tying things together. As always Abercrombie has great doses of hard bitten wisdom and dark humor, these and wonderful similes make him one of my favorite writers.

Its strange to say that while this might be one of his weaker books it is still head and shoulders above so many others in the current fantasy line up. A low point for Abercrombie is still peaks above the rest. Don't let my awkward complaint dim my enthusiasm, I'm looking forward to the next book Half A War which will bring to a head all the machinations and tempers that have been brewing and I'll bet its gonna be a great one.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Gods in Darkness

I met my goal of releasing 12 projects in 12 months - one exactly every month in 2015.

The final one was my new anthology of new and previously released sci-fi horror materia titled Gods in Darkness - get it HERE

Some of these stories might be familiar - the titular novella was released just over three years ago in Space Eldritch, and several new tales follow that same strange semi-lovecraftian vein. I also wrote some dark poetry that I put in as some spacers between the short stories. Some of it is pretty weird and I sometimes wondered what was running through my head when I wrote those lines and yet, I also felt like letting the Muse take me where she would. So in some respects it makes me feel vulnerable putting that kinda weird out there - so I haven't promoted it all that much by comparison to earlier books like Whispers Out of the Dust, and LO what to my surprise do I find as I'm putting this blog post together but Gods in Darkness is already in the top 100 Anthologies on Amazon!

Makes a writer who does struggle with - nobody cares about what I write feel pretty good.

Thanks to whomever you are out there getting a copy. I do suspect its some of you guys (My handful of blog readers)

As for just a little more of my motivations for this antho: granted at least half of it is previously released and I wanted to meet my goal for the year, but also I love those old pulp collections with a variety of stuff like Wolfshead  and the Cthulhu Mythos. I have several stories kicking around but decided to keep them all on a science fiction kick and am saving my weird western and fantasy type tales for some other project - (one weird western/aliens tale did go into Gods in Darkness- but I decided I no Porter Rockwell tales would make it into this one - so it was rewritten).

So I had this one keep to a theme as it were. Thanks again and Happy New Year!