Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Sirius Science Fiction

From friend Lou Antonelli....

Sirius Science Fiction

“In a time when mainstream speculative fiction has been overrun by political correctness and identity politics, we offer a venue free of pretension and ideological litmus tests. We read the story free of preconceptions, and we do not ask for a biography from an author until and unless their story is accepted."

https://siriussciencefiction.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

#BlackFriday, give the gift of books (2019)

Black Friday is this week, and as usual, I suggest giving the gift of books. 

I was going to do yet ANOTHER of my Black Friday posts, but honestly, there is so much already on previous lists that it would be insane to do it again. 

First of all, here's last year's Black Friday List.

Second, here's this year's Dragon Award nominations list.

That should be a few dozen books already for shopping this year. 

Of course, we have books I've reviewed here there and everywhere that I do heartily recommend for purchase. The below link are to the reviews


And the following books are all that I've come out with this year.


11 books.

9 releases and two anthology... Okay, if you want to be pick, they add up to six novels and two anthologies. But two of those were LOOONNNGGG flipping books, and I had to break them up to self publish them.

Damn it's been a busy year.

More is coming. I'm not sure how much more, but I'll keep providing as much as I can for as long as I can.

Be well everyone. Have a good shopping trip, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

**FYI: According to Amazon, I should tell you that every link here is part of Amazon Affiliates -- which means if you buy through one of my links, I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I don't know why this matters, as, again, it is at no additional cost to you. [Shrug] Don't ask me, I just work here.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Review: Overlook, by Jon Mollison

Part of the advantage of being part of a publisher is that I get to read books for free.

The disadvantage is that reading the e-ARC months before the book releases means I have to wait months to review it.

Anyway...

Of the Silver Empire superhero books released thus far, I believe this is my favorite to date. And this is out of an elite batch of authors, all of whom excel in their subgenres. Morgon Newquist's was more classic superhero. Kai Wai Cheah's was more police procedural or noir thriller. JD Cowan's was more Isekai.

Jon Mollison's Overlook is more spy thriller. I could almost hear Jeffery Donovan's Michael Weston narrate this one.

Nothing is more dangerous than an invisible man.

Joe’s spent his life being forgotten. Not even the IRS comes for his back taxes. He’s a ghost, a perfectly average, perfectly forgettable man. It suits his purposes, though it’s a lonely existence. He can live as he wants, plying his almost-invisibility for freelance jobs.

Then a pretty blonde finds him when no one else can, asking for his help solving a murder. He almost says no, despite his instincts to help a damsel in distress. But how did she find him? And who is she?

He takes the job to find out. But he bites off more than he can chew as he realizes a brutal secretive organization called The Phoenix Ring is behind the murder, and somehow they can predict his every move.

A new Heroes Unleashed series begins with Jon Mollison’s Overlook, a fast-paced, action-packed superhero spy novel that will keep readers guessing until the end.

Can Joe defeat the shadowy Phoenix Ring? Or will his powers fail him when he needs them the most? Read Overlook today and find out!
Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and textAs the old poem goes,  "Last night I saw upon the stair, /A little man who wasn't there,/ He wasn't there again today /Oh, how I wish he'd go away..."

Overlook begins with a low key version of a James Bond opening, but it's one of the better fight scenes I've read in a while. It's clear, well blocked out, and sets up the rest of the book as perfectly as one of those over the top Bond scenarios.

Our hero, dear reader, is an average man -- average color, hair, eyes, appearance. Before he received his super powers, he was a sniper instructor, and already a bit of a ghost (insert John Ringo joke here). One day, he just ... disappeared.

But now, he's the little man who wasn't there. He's the middle child of five sons. He is so invisible, he has to cook his own food at a diner. When he's adrift at sea, he has to save himself, because no one would see his and save him.

His name? Joe Smith. Just plain Joe.

Because of course that would be his name.

Despite avoiding trouble as best he can, it finds him anyway. Because with great powers comes great headaches. And one is about to find him. It starts with a simple murder, and evolves into a conspiracy of the Phoenix Ring -- an organization so monstrous and so complex, the leads are less dead ends "and more of a knotted ouroboros with multiple heads eating its own multiple tails."

And that's a nice little sample of what the narration's like. There's at least one car chase so awesome, it needs a Hans Zimmer soundtrack.

If one were to compare overlook to the average thriller, it would be more like Adam Hall's Quiller series -- like with Hall's work, there are moments when one reads along, there's a cliffhanger, and then the reader must keep going in order to find out what happened. 

Joe doesn't have the powers of Superman, or the tech of Batman. He gets beaten up a lot. Unlike Jim Rockford, he makes certain that other people get beaten up alongside him.

Additional props must be given to the design of the villain of the piece. They are freaking evil. Imagine a Dean Koontz villain... then tone down the mustache twirling to a reasonable level. Perhaps using CS Lewis' NICE from That Hideous Strength. The enemy here is no less evil, with similar methods and motivations. They're anti-technology because technology makes it harder to control the masses, and their inquisitors look like a gender studies Umbrage of Rowling fame. 

The Phoenix Ring is less a reductio ad absurdum of a lot of current trends, and more like the logical outcome. They're scary because we could look around and see exactly how they would be the end result of current events.

.... As I said, they're like a Dean Koontz or CS Lewis villain.

Short version -- if you've read the other Silver Empire novels, Overlook is a great continuation of the universe. If you haven't read the previous works, this is an excellent stand alone novel.


While you're at it, you might want to check out my award winning Saint Tommy NYPD series as well.




Thursday, November 21, 2019

NEW RELEASE: PLUTO

My year of anthologies continues.

You .... okay, you actually may not know this one, but this has been an entire year of anthologies for me.

There was the announcement just this week about Beyond the Wild: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Anthology,

Storming Area 51

Lupus Dei -- a short story that comes with a subscription to Silver Empire's newsletter.

Supernatural Streets, which is coming ....sooner or later, and edited by Amie Gibbons

And now, finally, Pluto, from Tuscany Bay books.  Yes, I actually am in this one.  
Pluto, the Roman god of death and wealth, ruled the underworld far away from all of the other gods. So it was only fitting when, in 1930 and working on a theorized ninth planet proposed by Percival Lowell, Clyde Tombaugh used the telescope at Lowell Observatory to locate the ninth planet in our solar system, far, far away from its brothers and sister.

Then came that day in July of 2015. Like the Romans when they found themselves within Pluto’s realm and discovered it was nothing like the desolate fires of damnation assigned to his Greek counterpart, Hades, those of us in modern time discovered that Pluto was nothing like we had imagined since 1930.

That iconic photo of Pluto, with the heart-shaped plain later named Tombaugh Regio, told us that there was so much more to the planet. First, it was not blue and not just solid ice as so many had expected it to be. Just like Pluto’s mythological domain, the planet displayed a variety of features and composition.

In this volume, what you will find in the pages that follow are twenty-one amazing stories of death and wealth set around a wandering cousin far out in the cold edges of our solar system. You will find Vikings, knights, warriors defending home and hearth, of triumph and tragedy, and, yes, even the god himself. You will read tales of great courage and great loss. Of sacrifice for a greater good and of justice delivered to the overly greedy. You will even find the aforementioned Walt Disney himself.






You can find the book right here.






Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Jimbo Reviews Crusader

Jim McCoy has released his review of Crusader.

His complete review is here, but some highlights

Tommy is a hero and the kind of guy we all wish we could be. I mean, unless your goal is to be a bad person....

.....For those of you who may not be Christian, this is still an ass-kicking adventure novel. There are gun fights and fist fights and insanity. There is even some sexual depravity. There are chases and woundings, quite a bit of blood, some things turned to ash and a seriously creepy setting in one spot. There are surprises. There is a conspiracy. I mean, you can't go wrong with a book that has oodles and bunches of people with AK47s in it, right?

.... I guess the thing that I've always enjoyed about Finn's writing is that it has a message but it's not message fic. Finn doesn't have his protagonist constantly harping on the evils of whatever. Yes, Tommy is a Christian and he prays a lot. His enemies tend to be demons or at least influenced by them. That's fine. At no point have I read a diatribe about the evils of non-Christians or been subjected to a lecture ala David Gerrold in Jacob. Tommy is simply a man doing what he needs to do. If he has a few extra gifts to do it with, so much the better.

One of the most exciting things about Crusader is that there is a sequel coming soon. It's due out November fourth. This is good. I can't wait to read it. The thing about a guy like Tommy is that you're always wondering about what he'll be up to after the current adventure. I have it on good authority that there are a number of books coming after Deus Vult too. My top secret sources have revealed to me that they'll be out soon and that I should keep myself from losing it too much. I mean, it's good to know that there will be more soon but I'm going to have to wait no matter how excited I get and like, I'm a geek and I get excited about stuff, so... yeah. I'll hold it together. At times like this I'm reminded of the fact that for the longest time I wouldn't read a series unless it was already completely published. Thanks J.K. Rowling! You've ruined me!

It's all good. I'll make it through the waits the same way I did for Harry Potter... somehow. Thank God that Finn writes fast.

Bottom Line: 4.75 out of 5 Paintballs Filled with Holy Water
And if you don't follow me on Facebook, yes, I have finished book 7.

I write a little quickly, yes.

Monday, November 18, 2019

NEW RELEASE: Places Beyond the Wild (Z-Day, #4)

This seems to be the year for anthologies. First I was in the Area 51 anthology, then I applied for the Movies, Monsters and Mayhem anthology (with Kevin J. Anderson).

And now, I'm in Places Beyond the Wild: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Anthology, set in the world of Daniel Humphreys' Z-Day.

Places Beyond the Wild: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Anthology (Z-Day Book 4) by [Humphreys, Daniel, Corcoran, Travis J.I., Finn, Declan, Piatt, P.A., Schantz, Hans, Del Arroz, Jon, Anjewierden, J.M., Brumley, Bokerah, Paolinelli, Richard, Beckwith, J.D.]


Let's just say that Mad Dog Moon had something to do with my getting the job on this one. Heh heh heh.
Anyway, it's already a #1 bestseller on Amazon. So, time to party.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Why we can't have nice things

I had an interesting exchange a while back with a random jerk on Twitter.

The start of this exchange really begins with my posting yet another stupid thing done by Pope Francis. No, not heretical, not apostasy, just stupid.

I publicly said that I was "done defending this idiot." Because seriously, both John Paul II and Benedict managed to get a hold of their message and deliver it clearly. within short order of becoming Pope. This is ... what? 12 years later, and more often than not, reading a Pope Francis statement is like trying to interpret a drunk text? And of course, guys like me who actually understand Catholic stuff have to be the ones to interpret the Pope into English.


The Left: THE POPE IS SUPPORTING ABORTION 
Me: Um, no, he's cleared up red tape so that someone who's had an abortion can walk into a confessional and be absolved without going into a bishop for approval.
Etc. 

It's a long, arduous process that requires time and energy on my part that I just can't be bothered investing as I come out with six books this year as well as publishing several short stories as one-shots, and editing an anthology, and being accepted into three others.

So defending the idiot known as Pope Francis is a waste of my time. This was even before the Amazon Synod insanity. I said as much on Twitter as a comment with whatever latest drivel the Pope was talking about that week.

I end up with a comment by this Rando: "STOP SPREADING CALUMNY!"

Calumny, as defined by Miriam Webster,  is
  • n. A false statement maliciously made to injure another's reputation.
  • n. The utterance of maliciously false statements; slander.
  • n. False accusation of crime, misconduct, or defect, knowingly or maliciously made or reported, to the injury of another; untruth maliciously spoken, to the detraction of another; a defamatory report; slander.
I said I was done defending this idiot.

Somehow, my stating that I would no longer take action was slanderous in itself. 

Frankly, Pope Francis is either an idiot or a heretic. I figured "idiot" in reference to his message management was the more upbeat and hopeful course to take.

Anyway, I moved on. Radio silence from the rando.

Later on, I posted to Twitter John C. Wright's review of Avengers Endgame. John liked it, but, like I did, saw that this was the beginning of he end of the MCU, if not the outright end. Apparently, we differed in our estimates of how the time it would take. Later, even JCW would be shocked at how fast we would realize that this was The End, plain and simple.

This exact same Rando showed up on Twitter. What was his issue this time?
"BLASPHEMER! IDOLATER! YOU WORSHIP THE GOLDEN MOUSE. EVERYONE COME LOOK AT THE BLASPHEMER!"
Oh, and if it was a single Tweet, it would have been nothing. I wouldn't have cared. My mistake, I tried to have an honest conversation with this jerk. I asked and offered the Wright review three times in order to having him read it, and then we could discuss it.

His response was, of course, an endless string of insulting memes.

Yes, I was stupid enough to engage with some fuckwit on Twitter. 

See? We really never should engage with people on social media.

You know, I have faults. To quote one of the few good moments from that lousy Firefly universe, if I'd have to pick a sin, "I'm gonna have to go with wrath." It's my default position. I have some redhead in me, so that's a thing.

And lately, I will admit to feelings of envy as hypocritical cowardly invertebrate eunuchs enjoy fame and notoriety for virtues they preach, but promptly violate as often as possible. 

But frankly, if I have any virtue, it's that I'm honest with people. I prefer the term blunt, but some people insist on describing it as "brutal." While I may occasionally soften the blow publicly, privately, people will get the cudgel.

I also have my faith. To be perfectly honest, I don't even think it's faith as much as knowledge, due to personal experiences, but that's a different conversation.

So yes, having someone accuse me of spreading untruths and being an idolater irks me. In part because it's some rando saying "Here is the mote in your eye" when there's a nice big log I can pick out of my eye and beat you to death with.

On top of that -- by slandering me with the blasphemy bullshit, he also slandered John C Wright as well. You know, John C Wright, who is only slightly less Catholic than God himself.  Suggesting that Wright worships anything less than the Lord High God of All Existence requires negative IQ points.

Of course, just to make everything perfect -- and I mean PERFECT -- is this guy's Twitter feed. It is filled SOLID with an endless stream of "WWWAAAAHHHH, The Right should support each other! We should stop punching right! The Establishment Right should fight the Culture War! They should especially support my books of ideas I cribbed from 20 year old anime. But my books! No, I'm not going to review anyone else's. Why should I?"

Of course, this is while this rando jerk is ... punching right. Into my face.

Fucking Twitter. 

I called him on it. He was treating me like an enemy. We were both right wing. We were both Catholic, supposedly.

Know what he said? 

He said he didn't treat his enemies like this. He prefers to talk to them... 

Ain't that special? Shit like this is why we can't have nice things.

Of course, this jerk would later apologize. 

What for? 

"Playing rough." 

Not calumny. Not slander. Not punching right. "Playing rough."

Oh, and it had to be "pointed out to him" by someone else. Because of course rando jerk who whines about people who punch right ... while he punches right ... would have to have his basic hypocrisy pointed out to him by someone else.

This is why I'm not in favor of weaponized autism, since they have no idea what direction "This side towards enemy" is.

And I must admit, this level of cowardice pisses me off. This is the sort of fool who nails himself to the cross and claims that he is being oppressed. He whines and cries about punching right ... while punching right. Bitching at me for one tweet about how the Pope was an idiot, then, within the month, publicly accusing me in a string of nearly a dozen Tweets about violating the first commandment. Yeah. Sure.

Better still is recently, this jerk joined a coalition of people online boasting about how they "created" of epic Christian fiction and fantasy... 

Fascinating. Tell me more about where you were when I self-published A Pius Man back in 2013. Or Honor at Stake in 2015. Or Saint Tommy, NYPD for the past year. Or when Russell Newquist published War Demons in 2017.

As I said, it's funny how "support conservative artists" quickly turned into "support me."

There's a reason why I review other books. Because they're good and they need the PR.

Social media has lowered conversation online to the comments section. The comments section used to be the sewer level of the internet. And now, social media has turned every interaction into bull shit virtue signaling. Whether it be how intersectional you are, or how much more churchy you are. This rando wants to boast about everything "the right should be doing," but lucky for him, he can sit on the sidelines and Monday morning quarterback, throw beer cans at passerbys, then tell you to buy his book because of "the culture."

Funny thing is that I actually believe in the culture wars, and that yes, every indie author who's to the right of Mitt Romney (yes, that's deliberate) should stick together and spread the word around our social media circles about each other.

Until there's some jackass like this who will screw it up for everyone. 

And that's why we can't have nice things.

... I usually feel obliged to pimp a book, but not today. Click on anything in the right hand column, or check out my book reviews on this blog. Or there's my kickstarter. You can find something for everyone.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Music to write to: Powerwolf, Incense & Iron

As I've been writing Saint Tommy, NYPD (kickstarter link here, and series link here**) I've tripped over a few bands.

One of them I tripped over a cover version of Army of the Night. It was covered by Amaranthe, who I had been following for a while now.

So I looked up the rest of Powerwolf.

They're my kind of smartass.

Please remember to contribute to the St Tommy NYPD Kickstarter. It has some good prices on the books. And Christmas is coming up. 








**Amazon CYA: I cut a very small cut from all Amazon links on this blog. Please feel free to click on one of them before buying bulk items for Christmas. :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

I am now an Amazon bestseller

So this has been an interesting few days.

First, my latest release, Deus Vult, became an Amazon bestseller. Practically overnight, from what I can tell. 


It's the little orange tag

Who knew?

(Everyone. Apparently, everyone knew.)

That isn't even the impressive part.

Tuesday, things became a little more interesting.



It seems that Deus Vult made such a good impression, it brought Hell Spawn to #1 as well.

But wait, there's more.

We didn't just make bestseller in Christian Fantasy, but one or two more categories.



So ... these are apparently doing fairly well.

A joke I like to tell my family is that of course I'm doing well -- my major competition in Christian fantasy is dead. CS Lewis hasn't come out with a Narnia novel in decades. :)

But in all seriousness, it's going well. Deus Vult is coming along, so is Hell Spawn.

And then there are reviews by the great author Adam Lane Smith, author of Making Peace.


So... yeah... there's that.

If you haven't read them yet, you can get the entire series via the kickstarter page, or just grab them from Amazon.



Be well all.