Sunday, July 31, 2016

Coming Soon: Porter's Weird West Collection

Things always take longer than you'd like.

I sincerely wish and strive and hope to get things to a point wherein I can accomplish all I'd like to in a day but that is still a ways out.
In the mean time I'm still plugging away and trying to keep up the good fight and get my creative demands met.

Cold Slither which I had hoped to release late last month couldn't make it for July either - but I'm in the home stretch and it will be out sooner than later in a couple weeks - I think I will experiment and have it available for pre-order too and see how that fares.

Part of what happened was the collection of Porter Rockwell tales were mostly already written - I was only going to do one new novella Cold Slither itself - but then a few more inspiration points took hold and I came up with one more new piece - so the book closes with a new ghostly, vampiric, M.R. James inspired tale - Striding Thru Darkness. The cover much more resembles that story than Cold Slither too.

I'm doing edits now and have already formatted what I think will be a very handsome stylish book. With great native monsters like the one beside us here: I always think the print copies trump the ebooks even if that is what people usually buy - I hope I can keep some of those formatting treasures intact for the ebook but am not sure just yet.

In any case here is the cover and backside - much thanks to Nathan Shumate for his support and help in the endeavour. And to Jason King among others for some editing and suggestions. And of course to anyone else who looked the previously published tales over too - Theric Jepson, William Morris, Jaleta Clegg, John Palisano, etc.

Here is the TOC:


Oh and Keith - I hope you know your Amazing Stories quote means the world to me - hence it being on the actual back cover - I purposefully left your name off though just because of the Amazon thinking we're related nonsense - I sincerely hope there is no offense at that. Let me know.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Some Reads of Late

I'm awful behind in posting reviews (so I'll limit this to 5 or so) and such, but I have been reading quite a lot this summer - mostly on my kindle and at the day job. . . shhhhhh

Ego is the Enemy and The Obstacle is the Way, by Ryan Holiday

I was bookshopping for my birthday at B&N and saw Ego is the Enemy and glancing it over, noticed the Steven Pressfield blurb and then once inside - the author (Holiday) is namedropping Marcus Arelius left and right - always a good sign so I was intrigued enough to read further on and see just what he was trying to say.

I ended up with the audible version and then noticed that my wife, Melissa already had Holiday's previous book The Obstacle is the Way. Each represents positive attitudes in overcoming our daily problems with self mastery and humble yet determined drive.

I don't normally go in for books like these but have to say I really enjoyed them because of how much Holiday uses historical examples as the benchmark of being an outstanding person - so while Holiday is an impressive person in his own right, these really aren't about him so much as other great examples we could all strive to be similar to. And I love reading a mix of historical examples that I know and don't know further reaching into the noble of human character. We need more that this wretched political season.

That Way Lies Madness, by James R. Tuck

I really enjoyed the title story of this two tale collection. The mixture of space and Lovecraft is one I am especially fond of. While it started just a little slow for me, I was soon captured, racing through the pages to see what happened next. That Way Lies Madness is an edge of your seat, nail biting thrill ride for anyone who loves Alien, Outland, The Thing, Space Eldritch or other Lovecraftian type monstrosities in the isolation of space. Bravo Mr. Tuck!

The Life Eaters, by David Brin and Scott Hampton

I've got mixed feelings about this one. It is the first Brin I have ever read and I have heard great things from a few of my online friends. I LOVE the concept of alternate history with Norse Gods being involved with the Nazi's and finding out the real reasoning behind the mass genocide to satiate the gods need for blood and sacrifice and with Loki in the mix thwarting plans of course. All of that is genius and it is a concept that I have thought about many times myself- so I am absolutely on board, being a number one target audience member. But as the story wound on, I found myself disinterested in its execution.  The framing device protagonist didn't grab my interest and a nuke as an answer for dealing with bad guys is kinda blase. Most of the side characters and gods didn't really have any punch to me either.  I found myself very underwhelmed overall. Hampton's art however is great and atmospheric. I think the most damning thing is now that its been a little while since I read it, I'm having a hard time remembering it.

The Curse of Lono, by Hunter S. Thomson

I'm a big fan of Thompson, having read his Hells Angel's before I had any idea he was cult favorite. That reading predated the Depp/Gilliam film too! I've since enjoyed quite a lot of his work and this was the latest I have indulged in.
I imagine that like so much of his other work this is a slightly fictionalized memoir of himself and it bounces all over the place dealing with his trip to Hawaii, fishing and making an ass of himself.
But IF you enjoy Thompson you'll enjoy the dark absurd humor herein - if you don't like Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) I don't imagine you'll like this one either. It is rather open ended as life goes on etc, but still it a fun trip.

The Wendigo, by Algernon Blackwood

I've been meaning to get to this one for some time and while it is slow and brooding, it is enjoyable in that old school atmospheric (there I 'm using that word again) mood. In a lot of ways it seemed to me this could have been shorter - even though its really not that long - maybe its our modern day attention span - but even with setting the mood etc it seemed rather drawn out - but when it gets downn to it - the mystery, the horror, the terror was wnderful. As someone who has camped far out n the wilderness many times, it was easy to feel myself lost n that situation, to feel the claustrobic lonliness and confusion of someone going missing and the lack of answers. Recomended.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Six Gun Serenade in Hangmen & Bullets

I wrote Six-Gun Serenade in a white heat this last February for the Hangmen & Bullets antho I heard about (it was a last minute thing).

Seems they wanted western noir no weird so I wrote my first complete Porter Rockwell short story without any supernatural happenings.
It was a little different as I usually employ something strange and this time around I kinda skirted that issue by having characters involved that believed weird things - namely the antagonist is a mesemerist and has "visions" by which he lords over his men.

I did base it loosley on real events that happened in Utah a very long time ago so it was fun to play with that aspect of it too.

I only heard about the release last week and neglected to update the blog here - apologies.

From the Amazon description:

We a warning you all right now. These ain't your grandpappy's western stories told in gentler terms. No sirree. We here at Dead Guns Press don't believe in no such thing.

Kick back with a bottle of rotgut, cut off a chunk of chaw and enjoy these dark western tales. We guarantee that these stories kick harder than an old gunslinger’s Colt .45 in a July 4th shootout in a whorehouse!

Contributors include:

Teel James Glenn
Ross Baxter
Ben Fine
Christopher Davis
David J. West
Bill Baber
Calvin Demmer
Dusty Wallace
Bruce Harris

So check out the collection here!