Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Review of “The Blood Month” by Paul Finch

medievil12Medi-Evil Book 1
Paul Finch
Brentwood Press
ebook $2.99 Kindle
B&N doesn’t show a listing of the book, even though I bought my copy through them.

So yesterday Paul McNamee posted about a short story by Paul Finch, “Damned Ranker.”   I’ve got the anthology it appeared in (somewhere) but haven’t read it.  I intended to, but ended up reading something else by Finch.  In the conversation Paul and I had in his comments, he mentioned he’d like to see more historical fiction by him.

Which brought me to Darker Ages.  It’s a small hardcover collection of two historical fantasy novellas, published in 2004 by Sarob Press.  It’s long out of print.  I don’t recall where I picked my copy up, but I know it was an intentional purchase.  I’d read After Shocks, Finch’s first collection of ghost stories from Ash-Tree Press.  (I reviewed a story from his second collection.)

Darker Ages looked especially intriguing, and I’m not sure why I didn’t read it when I bought it, but for some reason I didn’t.  The book ended up on a shelf out of the way.  I decided to read the first story, “The Blood Month”, which has since been reprinted in Medi-Evil Book 1.

This is a viking story with a surprising depth to it.  It opens with King Olaf Haraldsson’s defeat at the Battle of Stiklestad.  Finch does a great job describing the battle.  His descriptions of combat reminded me a little of Robert E. Howard’s. Continue reading

Howard and Lovecraft Letters A Means to Freedom Out of Print Tomorrow

A Means to FreedomHippocampus Press sent out an email yesterday saying that the last day to purchase A Means to Freedom, the collected correspondence of H. P. Lovercraft and Robert E. Howard will be tomorrow.  After that, licensing agreements expire, and the book will be out of print and available only on the secondary market.  Where it will be much more expensive.  Here’s what they said.

Due to low stock and the end of our license term, the last day to purchase A MEANS TO FREEDOM: THE LETTERS OF H. P. LOVECRAFT AND ROBERT E. HOWARD will be Saturday, February 28th. After that date, this work will only be available on the secondary market, and not from Hippocampus Press. It’s been a good run and we have probably reached the intended audience, so a future reprint is unlikely.

So if you were planning on buying a copy, act fast.  Or be prepared to shell out the bucks later.

The “Reading Only X Writers for a Year” Challenge…

…or Just When You Thought the Stooopid Couldn’t Burn Any Worse Than it Already Does.

I wasn’t going to post anything after today’s Trigger Warning.  I’ve got three reviews to write, plus a ton of reading to get caught up on, not to mention the second set of exams that I haven’t started grading.  So what did I do tonight?

finger-shaking-scoldI got sidetracked by a number of things, with the highlight being the latest fisking (read it, it’s brilliant) by Larry Correia of K. Tempest Bradford’s challenge to only read approved writers for a year.  Approved being defined as what she thinks you should read, of course.

Or rather in this case, what she thinks you shouldn’t.  That would be books by straight, white, cisgendered males.  Finger lady there doesn’t think you should read books by authors who fall into this demographic.  Because badthink or something.  You’ll notice that the book she’s holding up is by Neil Gaiman, while the T-shirt she’s wearing is Dr. Who, some episodes of which were written by Neil Gaiman.  (What is it with these people and Gaiman lately, anyway?)

Bite my ass, lady.  Who are you to tell me what to read or not read?  I’ll read what I damn well like and make no apologies to anyone.  Certainly not to the likes of you.

Here’s my challenge.  It’s twofold.  First, I’m challenging myself to read interesting, exciting, entertaining books by writers who gender, race, religion, etc., I don’t give a rat’s red ass about.  Second, I’m going to challenge myself not to read any books by outspoken SJWs who want to indoctrinate me in goodthink more than they want to entertain me.  That would include authors like…what was her name again?…the finger lady up there.

And don’t raise your scolding finger to me, Bradford.  I might raise my middle ones in response.

Trigger Warnings

Neil GaimanI’ve been buried under exams that should have already been need to be graded, so things have been a little quiet.  I might post a report about ConDFW in the next day or so if I can clear some stuff off my desk.  But I saw something I couldn’t pass by.

Neil Gaiman has a new short story collection out entitled Trigger Warning.  Now the term comes academic feminist theory.  It basically means that what follows could trigger some post traumatic reaction.  That’s not quite the context that Gaiman is using the word, which he apparently talks about in his introduction.

This has drawn the ire of at least one of the SJW thought police.  This particular individual published a post the other day in which she took Gaiman to task for using the term in a way in which she did not approve.  You see, Gaiman is an important figure, and he has the ability to alter the conversation.  This is a bad thing because he’s altering it a way in which this self-righteous self appointed arbiter of word usage doesn’t approve. Continue reading

A Kickstarter for Courtney Schafer’s Latest Novel

30b7b2ebb3f41a8a5e73dc9fc5d502bc_originalI really liked Courtney Schafer’s first novel, The Whitefire Crossing.  I’ve not read her second, The Tainted City, yet although I have it in the TBR pile (need to do something about that).  Those first two volumes of the Shattered Sigil Trilogy were published by Night Shade.  Now Ms. Schafer is preparing to conclude the trilogy with the final volume, The Labyrinth of Flame.  To publish the book, she’s running a Kickstarter.  Courtney Schafer writes adventure fantasy that’s fun and fast-paced with characters you care about.  I’ve pledged this one.  I think it’s the kind of fantasy most of the regular readers of this blog would enjoy.

Two Posts at Black Gate That Might Interest You

I’ve had a couple of posts at Black Gate recently that might be of interest to some of you.

What Rough BeastFirst, I’ve reviewed the weird western What Rough Beast, but James A. Moore and Charles R. Rutledge.  This chapbook has both a solid story as well as some superb production values.  And some monsters with a surprisingly understandable motivation.

The other post is the latest in my series covering the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series.  The topic in this one is James Branch Cabell’s Figures of Earth.

Check them out if they’re something you might be interested in.