I’m thrilled to announce the release of my latest novel, The Desolate. Here’s the blurb:
In an attempt to rebuild his life from the wreckage of a failed marriage, Scott Stevenson moves to a small town miles away from the problems of his former life. There he buys a new home, makes a friend, and even catches the eye of a local girl.
But something is very wrong in this idyllic, Midwestern town.
Mutilated bodies of young women are turning up, chilling displays of savage brutality the town has never before seen. The victims all bear a striking resemblance to the new lady in Scott’s life and, worse still, the law is more than suspicious of the “new guy in town”.
Scott soon finds himself in the way of a killer. Fearful for the safety of his girlfriend and himself, Scott must tap into his darker side, his evil side, in order to survive.
There he’ll discover a path to a place more desolate than he could ever imagine.
The Desolate is a fast-paced horror thriller filled with murder, suspense, mystery, and deception. This book contains strong language and graphic scenes of violence. It is recommended only for mature audiences.
The book is available now for the Kindle and in paperback. Check it out if you get the chance!
I finally got around to buying a Kindle.
I’ve been reading on PDAs and the iPhone for years now; I haven’t picked up a paper book since 2006. I liked that I could carry multiple books on a single device and that I could read anywhere with it.
But once I got the Kindle I realized it’s an even better experience.
It’s everything that’s good about a paper book, without the bad. I ponied up for the 3G model so I could connect anywhere. No monthly fee. Stores 3000 books, 1-2 months battery life (with wifi off). The touch screen is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. The display is great; it reads like paper.
I’ve bought quite a few new books after I bought this and I’ve finished reading several more over the past two weeks. I’m reading like I used to fifteen years ago: voraciously.
And I’m also excited to be publishing on it as well.
I couldn’t be happier with this reader.
I’m happy to announce that I recently published a collection of short horror stories. It weighs in around 56,000 words (approximately the length of a short novel). This is particularly rewarding since some of these stories and ideas are ten or fifteen years old and are finally now seeing the light of day. I had a lot of fun writing and publishing this. So if horror is your thing, you might want to check it out. It’s available for the Kindle and the Nook eReaders.
I finally finished my novel Into the Badlands. Here’s the blurb:
It’s been three years since a devastating pandemic transformed most of the world’s human population into vicious, wild animals. Ed Brady and his two sons rely solely on each other in order to survive in a world completely devoid of stability and structure. Their goal: reach the city by the river, where they may have some chance of finding salvation.
As they travel across the wasteland that was once the Midwestern United States, they encounter other survivors along the way. As their paths inevitably intertwine, Ed must remain steadfast that his sworn mission to see that his boys know safety and happiness is not compromised. Surrounded by the constant threat of attack by infected humans, can Ed and his sons make it to the city before their luck runs out? And, if they can, what will be waiting for them there when they arrive?
Into The Badlands is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic thriller that will take readers on a desperate journey for salvation through the wasted remains of a land overrun with the stuff of nightmares.
Into the badlands is 83,000 words/239 pages and is available on the Kindle, the Nook, the Sony eReader, Smashwords, Kobo, and Apple iBooks. Check it out here.
One of my absolute favorite science fiction short stories is Bordered in Black by Larry Niven. For some foreboding reason that story really resonated with me. Here’s what Niven had to say about it in a little forward to the story:
“Bordered in Black” is a nightmare vision.
If a vision were enough, it would have been sold at once. I wrote it as a vignette. Ed Ferman’s comment (months before my first story sale) was that it looked like an outline for a story. So I set it aside, and tackled it again a few years later. The version that appeared in F&SF was much changed.
If I wrote it today it would be changed again. A story needs more than the original idea…but the nightmare still shows through.
You can read the entire short story here.
Back in 1992 I found a book in the trash called Inherit the Stars, written by James P. Hogan. I read it, loved it, the bought the three sequels that followed. Apparently Hogan wrote a fifth book in the series in 2005 called Mission to Minerva. It’s been so long since I read the first one I’m going to just reread the whole series before buying the latest book.
I guess one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Inherit the Stars is brilliant, definitely worth checking out. What’s also very cool is that you can pick this book up for free from Baen Books here.
Synopsis from the back cover (the last line is what hooked me):
THE MAN ON THE MOON WAS DEAD
They called him Charlie. He had big eyes, abundant body hair and fairly long nostrils. His skeletal body was found clad in a bright red spacesuit, hidden in a rocky grave. They didn’t know who he was, how he got there…or what had killed him.
All they did know was that his corpse was 50,000 years old…and that meant that this man had somehow lived long before he could have existed.
I just finished Cormac McCarthy‘s The Road.
I’ve never been this moved by a written work. It’s brilliant.
This isn’t a review. This isn’t a critique. I’m not a critic; I’m just compelled to write about how it made me feel.
I just finished it last night. I started it two days ago. It’s a quick read but it’s a tough read as well. While not reading it I found myself at work thinking about it; wondering what will happen to these two nameless people, genuinely concerned for their welfare.
takes place on Earth in some not so distant future. A cataclysmic event has occurred that has left presumably the entire United States-most likely the entire planet-burned and destroyed. It’s bitterly cold; no sunlight penetrates the thick, black cloud cover. There are almost no people left alive. Virtually everything has been plundered. There is almost no food, there are no living plants, and there are virtually no animals left alive. The people who are left are living on borrowed time. They’re the walking dead. They’re freezing and they’re starving. Some have banded together in gangs and have resorted to slavery and cannibalism.
There is a man in this story; a father. He has a son. They have no names. The boy was born just after disaster struck. We don’t know what that disaster actually was; we just see the aftermath. The man had a wife but after a number of years surviving the hellish conditions and the gangs of raping cannibals she gives up. Nothing the mans says can change her mind. She believes the right thing for them all to do is to end their own lives. She convincingly argues the case. She says she’d take the boy’s life as well if it wasn’t for the father. She walks out one night and kills herself; leaving the boy and the man behind. The father can’t give up; he’ll find a way…somehow.
They head south for the coast. It might be warmer there. Probably not, but it’s something to hope for. As they walk along the road we see the destruction, the desolation, the hellish world in which they live. They struggle to stay warm and to find food. They live in constant fear of what the father calls “the bad guys”. These are the cannibals who would “eat your child in front of you”. They talk very little; there’s just so much effort placed in simply surviving. They don’t need to talk; they’re bound by a love that transcends words.
The father is sick. He knows he’s dying. He has to hang on, to give his son hope. To protect him. And possibly to put him out of his misery if there truly is no hope. It’s his duty.
They continue walking, beating a path to the coast. Along the way they run into some danger as well as some good fortune. They finally reach the coast but it’s not any better there. The journey ends for the father but there is a slight hint of hope for the son, and that’s what kept them going all along.
I was both incredibly inspired by this story and yet emotionally destroyed by it. I’ve never read anything like it. McCarthy is able to paint the most vivid landscape I’ve ever not seen with only a few, well-crafted sentences. The desolation of the world, the direness of their situation, I was there. I swear I was right there with them. I’ve never read a book that created mood like this. I worried the whole time for their safety and these aren’t even real people. Continue reading “The Road”