Around fifteen years ago, there was an online magazine, Flashing Swords. One story that stayed with me was William King’s “Guardian of the Dawn.” The story stood above others in delivery. It featured Kormak, a member of an order that fights servants of darkness. “Guardian of the Dawn” was dark and moody with a strong supernatural element. I loved it.
William King has since written novels featuring Kormak. Stealer of Flesh is the first novel. The novel is a series of four novellas wherein Kormak tracks a demon released from imprisonment by a foolish nobleman. Kormak fails to stop the release of the demon in “The Demon Unleashed.” The climax is very well paced. Read More
“Because I believe in calling things what they are…And you should make a habit of it too. A group of people who can’t choose an insignia when they have a whole day to decide, who can’t even toss a coin to choose, are a spineless herd…
“And a herd like that is perfect cannon fodder.”
“We have changed our minds,” the watcher spoke directly to me. He didn’t look as repulsive and alien as they usually did–he looked normal, even kind. “Yes. We have changed our minds. We like you now..”
LitRPG fantasies, as a genre, tend to be romanticize the gamer as either a normal person with a hobby or an aloof outsider waiting for the right moment to shine. But what about the obsessive gamer, the type who eats and sleeps with their headsets on, who uses gaming to detach themselves from a reality too painful to bear? In Small Unit Tactics, these lost souls are so far removed from reality that another picks them up. Now, in an alien world one realm away from Hell, these gamers must fight for the gods in a crude parody of a PvP battleground. Alexander Romanov takes an unflinching examination of the types of people who become obsessive gamers, and finds them wanting.
Except in determination.
If that?sounds nothing like the elaborate Diablo II and World of Warcraft LitRPG clones with their magic, combat skills, and stat sheets, it is but the first of many departures from the established formulas. First of all, and most important to many readers, Romanov avoids stat sheets by avoiding stats altogether. A character’s strength is determined solely by their muscles. Hope you’ve been lifting, because swords and armor are heavy. Any character growth, as a gamer would recognize it, is conveyed purely through words. Read More
This week’s new releases follow the adventures of a classic Edwardian occult detective; a different, even alien, version of the Cold War crisis; and a Marine exiled to Antarctica before retirement.
The Carnacki Casebook is a new collection of stories featuring Edwardian era occult detective Thomas Carnacki. Adventure, mystery, and terror await as Carnacki recounts some of his most challenging cases. Based upon the character and world created by English author William Hope Hodgson, the Carnacki saga continues!?
Volume 3 of The Carnacki Casebook is a collection featuring three cases: “The Witch’s Heart”, “The Secret of Thurnley Abbey”, and “The Journey of the Black Obelisk”.
Occult detective Thomas Carnacki had been in the midst of an investigation when, without a trace, he vanished. His last known location was the ruin of Dunhallow, in the Scottish Highlands just northwest of the village of Dundreggan. He’d been investigating the ancient ruin in relation to his case at Halton Grange and the finding of the black obelisk fragment: an artifact of great power and mysterious origin.
His friends—Dodgson, Jessop, and Bennett—have traced him to the ruin. In the crypt under Dunhallow they find his journal and, something else: a portal carved with indecipherable runes. But where does the portal lead? And, if they enter, can they return? They soon find themselves in a timeless world of darkness where they must find, and confront, the sinister agency behind the black obelisk.
Detron City Vice – Ian J. Malone
Do you belong to the city?
The age of human division should’ve ended five years ago when the decades-old war between the Auran Alliance and the Alystierian Empire drew to a close. Turns out, things change.
When the League of Independent Worlds, aka “the Bog,” announced its secession from the Prime Territories, debate raged across the galaxy. For some, the move was an affront to the peace for which so many had paid the price. To others, it represented a clean break from years of superpower neglect and a fresh start on a new frontier where a being’s destiny could be its own.
Fast-forward to present day and one truth remains: “Folks in the Bog make frok-tons of money.”
Nowhere is this more evident than in the bustling streets of Detron City, a place where thrills are chased by thousands, deals are made to impact millions, and where temptations lie in wait beneath the neon glow and lavish excesses of the city’s nightlife for anyone seeking an escape.
It’s also a place where people vanish.
Danny Tucker is a retired Auran staff sergeant and an ex-cop from Miami living in Detron City. He just got a call.
A friend’s son has gone missing.
Dragon Bourne (The Guild Core #1) – T. J. Reynolds
The hero dreamed of ascending. The monk craved redemption.
The dungeon only wished to keep things tidy.
Kai was the least likely young man to ascend. Raised on his uncle’s potato farm, he began his career as an adventurer with empty pockets and little skill. But a foolish attempt to prove his bravery leads Kai to unlock hidden power within himself and acquire a most unlikely ally.
Rhona is a battle-scarred soldier who’s as likely to toss a quip as she is to throw a punch. After setting aside a promising career in the army to pursue the Path of the Bleeding Tiger, she sets out to stop a war and seek atonement for a bloody past.
When Bancroft the Earth Core awakens, he can’t wait to clean up his dungeon and begin building things anew. A recovered item from his past reminds him that more is at stake, however, putting an end to such pleasantries.
Join The Guild Core, a small band of friends determined to restore the world to an age of dragons, heroes, and honor.
The Luna Missile Crisis (Contact Day #1) – Rhett C. Bruno and Jaime Castle
The year is 1961. The Cold War is in full swing and the space race is on. Russia aims to send humanity to space… but what if space comes to humanity instead?
Soviet Yuri Gagarin’s historic first manned-spaceflight is disrupted when an alien Mothership jumps into orbit, causing a cosmic car crash that defies all odds.
Everything changes. The US and USSR must quickly put aside their differences. In exchange for the Earth’s help in the rebuilding of their Mothership, the mysterious aliens know as Vulbathi offer promises of technology beyond humanity’s wildest dreams. All the while, the world asks whether the Vulbathi are saviors or conquerors.
When an alien tech counterfeiter’s mistake sets off a chain reaction, the fragile peace is threatened. Connor McCoy didn’t mean to upset Earth’s new intergalactic neighbors. He only wanted to make some cash.
Now, Connor is the only person who can stop the doomsday clock from striking midnight. That is if his estranged brother, an agent in the new Department of Alien Relations, doesn’t get to him first. Read More
|The first book in the Nightvale series: THE LONG MOONLIGHT|
|A sparkling gem made rough stone, the seat of political power in the Kingdom of Vale. Revolt foments among the patrician class and open gang war looms on the horizon. As the Argentine Tower plots revolution, a lone thief with a past as dark as Menuvia itself picks the wrong lock and opens the wrong door. Shadows still cast in the dark of night, underneath THE LONG MOONLIGHT. This 126-page illustrated fantasy noire is Raz?rfist’s first novel. Ebook included. Paperback edition also available separately.|
This was a project in the works for awhile.
And now, thanks to Ben Wheeler, it’s finally here!
Pinkerton’s Ghosts is a horror podcast about the adventures of the last Paranormal Detectives, Jack Morrow, Jim Donovan and Sean Russo as they uncover supernatural events and the mystery of their missing companions.
Ben is the Captain of this ship, but the team is made up of him, Ken Dickason, and myself. I am the writer of Sean Russo’s stories. Sean hails from NJ, and his stories range from the inner city to the mysterious Pine Barrens and everywhere in-between.
All three of us worked hard to put out a good product for you guys; the voice-acting is our own. I have been excited about this project for awhile and if you give it a shot I think you’ll enjoy it.
And yes, it is of course superversive. The best horror is.
Authors (Paul Semel): It’s either a really good time to be a fan of writer Larry Correia…or a really bad one. Not only has he just released Destroyer Of Worlds (hardcover, Kindle), the latest book in his Saga Of The Forgotten Warrior series, but the paperback version of his short story collection Target Rich Environment Volume 2 is coming out at the end of the month, the paperback of Monster Hunter Guardian, the latest in his Monster Hunter series, will be released November 24th, and a new novel, Gun Runner, is scheduled to come out in February of next year.
Authors (CBChttps://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/charles-r-saunders-obituary-black-journalist-sword-and-sorcery-1.5723704): Those who knew Charles R. Saunders from the outside never would have guessed at the vast universes contained within him.
A big, solid man with a lion’s mane of beard and hair, he moved about his Dartmouth, N.S., neighbourhood like a cat, seemingly able to make his earthly frame disappear. One former colleague described Saunders as “the second-quietest journalist I’ve ever known.” Another thought he was dealing with a wizard.
Fan Film (Walker’s Retreat): Today I’m revisiting Axanar the pro-quality Star Trek fan film that Paramount stupidly decided to screw over years ago. Hollywood veteran Robert Burnett was involved, and he put out a series of videos talking about the very thing that got Paramount’s attention: the SFX shots. He put them into a short playlist and I want you folks to see it and listen to his commentary. Read More
Grosset & Dunlap had released five Conan the Barbarian paperbacks in 1978. There was a gap of more than half a year before Volume 6 was released in early 1979.
Roy Thomas was back with an energetic three-page introduction:
??????????? “Conan is the most popular sword-and-sorcery hero in the world today. Period. . . Conan stands alone at the pinnacle – which somehow right and proper since it was Conan (along with Robert E. Howard’s earlier s&s creations Solomon Kane, King Kull, and Bran Mak Morn) who cast the genre in the precise mode it’s known for half a century now.”
Roy Thomas gives some space to Talbot Mundy and Fritz Leiber. He mentions Jane Gaskell’s “Atlan” books perceptively describing them as “a gothic-romance version of sword-and-sorcery, no less.”
The time for the extermination of the casteless untouchables has come. Only Ashok Vadal and his battle-tested Sons of the Black Sword fight for the fleeing nameless, in the name of an unknown god that Ashok cannot bring himself to believe in. But Ashok knows his duty, even if that forces him to cross blades with his sword brother, the Lord Protector Devedas. And their duel will shake the foundations of the Empire to its core.
Larry Correia’s trilogies tend to follow the same course. So far, his pattern of explosive first book, tedious but necessary second, and a nuclear-hot finale is holding, even though Destroyer of Worlds is just a conclusion to Act One, not the completion of the series.
Ashok even gets character development between brutal battles, as he shifts his single-minded purpose from the Law to something more personal. The romance that results is awkward, but it fits Ashok’s near robotic personality and obsessive purpose. The forces that forged Ashok’s zealotry left little else to his personality, after all, so it a relief that Correia did not travel down the well-trod road where a sudden girlfriend changes a stoic into an openly expressive and emotional man. Ashok is still a zealot driven by duty, but his understanding of duty has widened slightly. And this new understanding will shatter the South Asian-skinned version of a Legend of the Five Rings RPG?world.
But no one reads Correia for romance, especially when the clash of steel is in the air. And the action does not disappoint. Some science fiction authors pride themselves on being bards of the soldiers. Correia understands men of violence. And he pairs that understanding of motive, emotion, and will to the marriage of audacity and plausibility that sets his fight sequences apart. Better still, the action scenes drive the plot forward to the inevitable clash of brothers.?And it wouldn’t be a Larry Correia novel without someone, somewhere firing a gun. Even in an South Asian-themed fantasy.
At this point, if Sons of the Black Sword becomes Correia’s main series, I wouldn’t be disappointed. Read More
Death’s apprentice on an alien world, interstellar Ghurkas, and the robot apocalypse fill this week’s new releases.
Acheron Inheritance (Federation Chronicles #1) – Ken Lozito
On a dying world along the galactic fringe, Quinton Aldren awakens in the body of an archaic android that’s barely operational. He has only vague memories of who he was and no idea what has happened. Everyone is gone and autonomous mechs are hunting for him.
As remnants of the old federations struggle to survive after a devastating war, old alliances are eradicated, leaving warlords and mercenaries to fill the void. When a powerful mercenary discovers Quinton’s origin, he’ll stop at nothing to capture and enslave him.
The galaxy has changed, forcing people to adapt, while the dangerous machines of the Federation Wars hunt for people like Quinton, and they don’t care who gets in the way. Quinton might have missed the war, but his link to the past could be the key to save humanity’s future. Will he survive long enough to discover it in time?
Death Cultivator – eden Hudson
Fight for your Death.
When regular high schooler Grady Hake is mistakenly taken by the Angel of Death, he thinks his life is over. Then he wakes up on a prison shuttle bound for Van Diemann’s Planet, a penal colony run by brutal gangs of criminal cultivators. This is his life now, and if he wants to survive it, he’ll have to learn to harness his unique Death Spirit, make friends with alien outcasts, appease a band of hungry ghosts, and fight his way into one of the strongest gangs on the planet.
From eden Hudson, bestselling author of?Rogue Dungeon?and?Path of the Thunderbird?comes a brand new series you won’t want to put down.?Death Cultivator?is a sci-fi wuxia for fans of shonen manga and anime such as?Hunter x Hunter,?One Piece,?and?Deadman Wonderland.
Falling Earth (The Circuit Saga #3) – Rhett Bruno
The time to return to Earth has come…
Cassius builds an android army under the control of ADIM in order to attack Tribune Benjar Vakari. While ADIM loves his creator unconditionally, he grows more independent by the day in his methods. Soon, he may be too powerful for anyone to stop.
Talon Rayne teams up with Sage Volus once more when Talon discovers that his daughter has been captured by the very Tribune Cassius Vale is after. Together, they have no choice but to ask for his help in saving her.
Are they just another cog in his scheme for bringing down the Tribune, or is there a part of him left that cares about anything other than vengeance??
A Heart of Ice (The Great War #4) – Ralph Kern
The largest invasion in the history of the galaxy begins.
The People’s territory is a prize ripe for the Hegemony’s taking. Their worlds myriad. Their resources immense. From the highest echelons of government to the citizen toiling, it is a beacon of equality and a worker’s paradise.
Except some are more equal than others. To disobey, even to question, means death. Or worse.
Private Iriana Sharov is just one soldier in the People’s army of millions. When Hegemony assault ships darken the skies and disgorge legions of merciless troopers and mechs, she learns they are all merely pawns for their masters to sacrifice on an uncaring whim.
The two brutal empires collide. For Sharov and her comrades, hope is measured in surviving each day, even each hour, as it comes. But when she discovers her skill with a sniper rifle, Sharov soon finds herself a hero of the People.
Her odyssey will take her from the battlefields of an agricultural world, through the vicious street fighting of a labyrinthian factory moon, and into the very corridors of power in the People’s capital city.
But the greatest danger isn’t the Hegemony and its vast armies of ever-advancing troops and war machines. It is telling the truth to those who don’t want to hear it. Read More
When a black op goes awry, the Nemesis Project pulls deniable operator Luke Landon off the line. But while mortal authorities want him to stand down, the gods aren’t done with him yet.
Pressed into a secret war between infernal and divine powers, Landon is thrust into a new campaign. The elder gods are returning to do battle with the Unmaker—and they are choosing agents to carry out their will.
In Japan, a goddess has chosen a shrine maiden as her soldier. The shadowy Organization, the secret rulers of the world, have her in their sights. Without official sanction or backup, Landon and his allies must go rogue to save her.
Landon has always been prepared to lay down his life. But this time, he may just have to give up his immortal soul.
PRINCE OF SHADOWS is the third volume of The Covenant Chronicles, the supernatural Mil-SF series by Kai Wai Cheah, Hugo-nominated author of Flashpoint: Titan.
A sparkling gem made rough stone, the seat of political power in the Kingdom of Vale. Revolt foments among the patrician class and open gang war looms on the horizon. As the Argentine Tower plots revolution, a lone thief with a past as dark as Menuvia itself picks the wrong lock and opens the wrong door. Shadows still cast in the dark of night, underneath THE LONG MOONLIGHT.
Featuring a series of original illustrations.
RAZ?RFIST was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He produces several web series, including ‘Film Noirchives’, ‘Metal Mythos’, and the popular ‘Rageaholic’ review and commentary series. Prior to that, he studied Journalism and Political Science at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The Long Moonlight is his ?rst published novel.
For further updates, check out: https://www.nightvalenovels.com
Forthcoming (Cirsova): We’ve just received Schuyler Hernstrom’s foreword for Endless Summer, and we thought it was too good not to share:?? Discussing stories is a complicated business.? Buried somewhere underneath layers of criticism, commerce, and identity you might find some deep understanding of Misha’s work. But I worry that careless digging will disturb the landscape. I challenge myself to think about his work with the care and sensitivity that he puts into it.
Memorial (The Silver Key): Word spread on Facebook last night that Charles Saunders, author of Imaro, has passed away. It is being reported he died in May. Odd that an obituary search turns up empty. ?Let’s hope it may be a rumor, but it does not appear that way. Author Milton Davis, who continued in Saunders’ “Sword-and-Soul” tradition, broke the news, and many authors, friends, and peers have chimed in since. Read More