Thursday, March 16, 2017

FanX 2017!!!

I'm a guest at my pseudo-hometown Comic con = Salt Lake's Comic Con .2 Fan X.

It's always a little smaller, a little more intimate - and thats only in comparison to the September comic con which is huge. FanX is still bigger than most I'd imagine at 50K+ attendee's.

I'll be signing books with some of my writer friends at table Gold 2 -its pretty close to the entrance - which can be both a blessing and a curse. You're the first and last person they see.

I'm going to be doing another improv audience participation game/panel with the other Space Balrog's. I get to be The Undead vs Dragons vs Elementals. I think I'm going to do a suave vampire thing or I might go for broke with an evil Ash persona. Its always a lot of fun.

I watched What We Do in the Shadows again to think about character but now maybe I'll rewatch Army of Darkness again too.

On the home/writing front. I have not quite been able to keep up the pulp speed I would have hoped for, but progress is being made nonetheless. I can talk about these plans within plans more sooner than later. I'm excited for the possibilities.

Oh, I'm stoked! I'm going to see Flash Gordon in theaters tonight with Sam Jones - who is a guest of FanX. It's been one of my favorite pulpy sci-fi movies since I was in the second grade.

I wanted to be Flash when I was a kid, but genetics deemed me Ming.

I'll have more to report soon!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

LTUE Late Night Follow Up

I was so busy chatting with friends - new and old, that I didn't take very many pics, nor record too much of what went on for those three days last month.

It was a blast, I love talking and hanging with other writers.

I was on a bunch of panels on Thursday and on some I felt a little out of my element. Like the one about the Hottest Women Writers of Sci-Fi. Luckily Jana Brown more than made up for my ineptitude. I had tried to catch up on more women writers before hand - I did a lot of cramming thanks to Audible, but still felt I was the weak link on that panel.

I'm kinda irritated I didn't get to be on the Pulp panel, and I didn't see it - just heard about it afterward, sounds like I should have been there to tell some people that they don't know what they're talking about but cest la vie.

The Art of the Hook with Larry Correia and Andrea Pearson was great - always got to love Larry dropping his wisdom. In a nutshell - Larry says who cares about defining genre or anything so cerebral = write what people want! Make them come back for more and you'll get paid.

I'm working on that.

In the meantime I have been very pleased at Scavengers and Six-Gun Serenades sales numbers on Amazon. I'm not breaking the bank but it is nice to actually be making hundreds of dollars a month. I need to do better but its a hell of a good start.


My friends the Space Balrogs had a great Choose Your Own Apocalypse panel, and the mass book signing was very cool too.

Oh and it was a great feeling to be recognized by other literati - for the sake of an anthology that isn't even out yet - made me feel good just to know there are at least a few people paying attention to that kind of thing.

I did get a load of new books abut I still love grabbing old favorites from an ancient dealer that shows up to this every year.

All in all it was great seeing everybody, and now I gotta wait til FanX to do it all over again. - Granted That will be a little more hectic and won't deliver as much quality time - but then that's what makes LTUE so great.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Get Hexed with Witchy Eye

My good friend Dave Butler's big epic flintlock fantasy Witchy Eye is out today!

Here is the description:
Sarah Calhoun is the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Elector Andrew Calhoun, one of Appalachee’s military heroes and one of the electors who gets to decide who will next ascend as the Emperor of the New World. None of that matters to Sarah. She has a natural talent for hexing and one bad eye, and all she wants is to be left alone—especially by outsiders.

But Sarah’s world gets turned on its head at the Nashville Tobacco Fair when a Yankee wizard-priest tries to kidnap her. Sarah fights back with the aid of a mysterious monk named Thalanes, who is one of the not-quite-human Firstborn, the Moundbuilders of the Ohio. It is Thalanes who reveals to Sarah a secret heritage she never dreamed could be hers.

Now on a desperate quest with Thalanes to claim this heritage, she is hunted by the Emperor’s bodyguard of elite dragoons, as well as by darker things—shapeshifting Mockers and undead Lazars, and behind them a power more sinister still. If Sarah cannot claim her heritage, it may mean the end to her, her family—and to the world where she is just beginning to find her place.

***
Her Mother was a Queen
Her Father was a Hero
Her Uncle wants her Dead

I got to read an early version of Witchy Eye and as always whatever Butler touches turns to gold. He is a writing Midas with an imagination, wry sense of humor and depth to rival anyone.

Witchy Eye is a bold re-imagined American crossroads of empire with various magical characters all in a place that might have been. Maybe should have been.

Something I think is great is that we get to go somewhere outside of the usual psuedo-European fantasy and encounter a mythos that is decidedly American, including the fae, mound-builders and beast-men while also acknowledging the magic and legends of the newcomers from the old world - which are a major source of conflict. I had to chuckle to myself over Oliver Cromwell, (who gets a bad rap about everywhere) because once he becomes a necromancer it gets serious. Full of action and surprises this is not to be missed.

This is also one of those books where I know I'll want to read it again because there are dozens of references and in jokes, that I may have missed. Butler just has so much knowledge and wit to share that it's impossible to get it all in one go round. Its the book that keeps on giving. Good thing my hard copy is coming today.

He also has a prologue of sorts available at the Baen website that tells a key moment in the Witchy Eye backstory, in which John Churchill takes England pagan, for arcane defensive reasons. So check out,
DEI BRITANNICI
A Prologue to Witchy Eye

Friday, March 3, 2017

Three for Three: Pulp-Ridden Reviews

A new twitter acquaintance Jesse Abraham Lucas posted about doing a three for three indie review challenge here. He even posted a great review of Fangs of the Dragon here

So I'm joining in and posting a few quick reviews of some shorts. Novels are coming soon, because I'm long overdue.

Here we go:

Horishi Tom: Tales from the Storm  by C. R. Langille

from the description:
Utah Territories, 1867

Jeremiah Redford lost everything when his family was brutally taken from him. His quest to bring them back from the dead lands him in the abandoned mining town of Angus, Utah. What he finds in the town tests his sanity and his very soul. 

Be careful what you wish for because you might just find it.

This is a quick dark western-horror read. I found out about it at LTUE from Cody himself, He stopped by and grabbed copies of Scavengers and Cold Slither, so I'm grateful. We started talking western horror and that's when he told he me this was out. So I grabbed it. It is short, but Langille has a gift for spine chilling language and atmosphere. I'd love to see something longer from him. 4 stars

Moonlight in the Valley, by Wilson Harp

I'd been meaning to check this one out for awhile too. This had a different take than the usual tale, letting us in on the monsters (werewolves) point of view I liked the pack dynamic, in fighting and such. Plus it had a nice twist on their antagonists - the good guys. A certain LONE masked man and his Indian sidekick who both go unnamed but you can figure it out. It's not without its faults, though, the language didn't grab me and I didn't care for the lead werewolf. 3 stars

Weird Menace Volume 1, by James Reasoner, Bill Crider, John C. Hocking, Robert E. Vardeman, Scott Dennis Parker, and Keith West

This collection of new tales headed up by James Reasoner is an awesome new collection done in the spirit of the weird menace tales of the thirties and forties, all the action adventure, mad scientists and spicy danger with a damsel in distress you can shake a stick at. I bought it awhile back to support my friend Keith West (no relation) and finally got around to reading - sorry I took so long.

These stories grab you by the throat (with zombified hands) and you gotta fight to let go and move on to the next one. A lot of fun for anyone who enjoys the old school pulps. I need to grab the next one.