Pointless list of wonderfulness 2

To reiterate the original of these posts:

Like most people who blog, I read a lot of blogs. I probably don’t read as many blogs as I should, as I am forever saving a link to my bookmarks and never quite getting back to them. Or, on Mondays, I get an update email from a blog I follow, and as I get a lot of these on a Monday, I don’t quite get around to reading them all, or even half of them. I get all the emails on a Monday because I set them all to weekly emails so my inbox is not swamped with update emails every day which would irritate me somewhat. Instead, it gets swamped on a Monday, and I flag the ones I find interesting to read at some point that week. Some weeks I read them all, most weeks I don’t find the time to do so.

Which is why this post is a somewhat pointless list of wonderfulness, as there are only so many hours in the day, and so, dear readers, I suspect you’ll all have less time than you have things to do with it, but if you do have the time, and want to read something interesting, inspiring , thought-provoking , or just plain amusing, here is a list of so of my favourite blogs I never quite have the time to read as much as I should, and that may well be worth following if you have the time.

All that still applies since the original post back in April, and as it is Monday, my email was full of blog updates. Also, I was reminded of the original post over the weekend.  So here is a new list of blogs I have either discovered since or that missed the original list because I originally intended to do more. As with all such intentions finding the time to do so is sometimes more difficult than you would think.

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The List of Wonderfulness

The Bipolar Writer

https://jamesedgarskye.com/

I have, as regular readers are probably aware, my own personal demons, and I sit on the bipolar spectrum. As such reading about other writers experiences with mental health issues is something that interests me greatly. But there is far more than just issues of mental health and writing here. The blog also has a long list of contributors. Form its origins as a personal blog, it has become a sounding board and shared experience blog for a whole community. All power to James Edgar for creating such a meaningful and important place within the blogosphere…

Kyt Wright

https://kytwright.wordpress.com/

The internet and the blogosphere is full of the weird and wonderful. Kyt’s blog is full of weird and wonderful little stories. Sometimes you just need a dose of weird in your life or a touch of the wonderful. Or occasionally just different.  A fine way to pass ten minutes of your lunch hour, or a dark evening on the sofa…

Phoebe Darqueling

https://phoebedarqueling.com/home/

What the world needs is more steam, more valves, more googles and Pinocchio retold as steam-driven horror… Steampunk is always weird and wonderful, it is also inevitably creative and interesting and there is always something to brighten your day about it, or darken your fog-bound streets by the glow of gaslamps and Tesla arcs…  Pheobes blog is one to delve into and swim around in. It also has a great list of steampunk fiction and authors for those looking to delve deeper into the genre.  Notably, this list doesn’t include me. But maybe it will one day. (oh what fools are made by idle dreams…)

The Cat’s Write

https://millyschmidt.com/

Milly Schmidt’s blogs tend to raise a smile and impart the occasion useful information, such as ‘How to Purr-serve your sanity while riding with cats in the car’ or ‘The nine reasons why writers have cats’. There is also occasional stuff on there that doesn’t involve cats but is considered advice or opinion on a multitude of subjects related to writing. Then there are the cats … One remains unsure, but one thinks Milly likes cats… Or just possibly the blog is written by Milly’s cat.  All hail the feline overlords…

Phyllosophical

https://phyllosophical.wordpress.com/

Sometimes I just find myself wandering through the stream of someones else’s consciousness. Such wanderings are often cathartic, sometimes nonsensical, and occasionally spur on trains of thoughts that wander off down odd alleyways. I have absolutely no idea why I find the often short, occasionally poignant, but as often slightly alien glimpses into the mind of this blogger interesting. I just do. But I suspect it is because I have little in common beyond my basic humanity with Phyllis Feng, yet sometimes she manages to open a window and let some light in…

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Anyway, as before with the previous pointless list of wonderfulness, I am sure this is enough homework to give everyone for now. However, the previous post, complete with another five interesting and delightful blogs to look at can be found here. 

 

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Kind words and thanks…

This post is by way of a follow up to ‘The Waiting Room of the Psyche‘ which I posted back at the dying embers of June. To be specific, it relates to a particular part of that post which was about how I feel after publishing a book. This specific part in fact:-

…readers will read in their own time. Readers are the thing that you have no control over and bare in mind up to this point you had absolute control of everything to do with your book. Be it a short novella like ‘A Scar of Avarice’ or a full-blown novel like Passing Place. Once you put it out there all you can do is wait.

Wait and hope, that somewhere someone is reading the damn thing and sort of, kind of, maybe, likes it.

Wait and hope that maybe someone will even take a moment to tell you they liked it.

Well, one waited, and one hoped, as one always does while fighting off that grim darkness at the back of one’s mind, the dark suspicion that you have successfully written just a huge pile of drivel which no one is going to like and enjoy. Though maybe that’s just me. Perhaps I am the only writer in the world who agonises over what they write, agonises again when it is published and then agonises on whether anyone is going to read it, enjoy it, get it, or just plain care enough to say so. Indeed I may just be the only one, but I somehow doubt this of all my experiences as a writer, is in anyway unique to me. I suspect it is something we all go through.

I have spoken often enough on here and elsewhere about how important (specifically on Amazon)  reviews are to a writer. I have pointed out all the reasons why and quirks of  Amazon as a marketplace that make reviews so important (here for example). I have even been known to rant about it occasionally (here more recently.)  And plenty of other places on this blog. But what I haven’t often done is talk about why they are important physiologically.

Writers write in a bubble. Which is to say unlike a stage actor, or a comedian or a musician, our audience doesn’t turn up to watch us. They don’t even start reading our works on our sofa. The sure as hell don’t come and take up a chair beside us while we work. We can’t see them, we can’t feed off the crowd. Indeed they don’t even read it as we write ( which is frankly all to the good, no one wants people reading this stuff as we write it… I don’t even want people to read the second draft, the third maybe…). Even when we have finished our work, all we do is send it out the world in hope. And sure we may see the sales, we may obsess about Amazon ranking, we may even if we are brave enough, go stand behind a table at a convention and try to appear interesting, and sell people books that way. But even if we are brave enough to do that, no one is going to stand there and read the whole novel in front of us.  So we never know, can’t know, haven’t, in fact, got a clue, if anyone enjoys what we have written.

As I am not a well-rounded individual with his feet firmly planned on the ground, or one of those mythical people who are normal, to put it another way. As I am in fact a bundle of paranoia’s, full of strange thoughts, and have a confused self-image. As I am in fact normal, for my own definition of normal. i.e., just as screwed up as everyone else. Being a writer in my writer’s bubble is all well and good, but occasionally I actually need someone to tell me that what I write has value. Even if that value is it made someone laugh, or smile, or think, or just not think about anything beyond the page for a short while if they needed an escape. Because if no one ever tells me this, I’m just staring into the void, and eventually the void stares back…

I may be a tad more self-aware about these things than most, but I am who I am. There is a favourite line of mine.

Never lie to yourself, for that way lays madness.

So, telling myself I know something is good, that’s fine and all that, but occasionally one needs others to say so, and readers, as I noted, tend to do things in their own time… But reviews have started to come in for A Scar of Avarice, and they have been on the whole good ones, so I am feeling better about myself. As such I would like to thank those who have taken the time to write a quick review in the last couple of weeks. For Scar and other books of mine. Both on Amazon and elsewhere.

So anyway praise for A Scar Of Avarice… Just to show I am not just staring off into the void…

hawley reveiw asos

asoa tweeted praise

tredwell sacr review

frank scar

jay asos

So thanks for all those who have taken the time to write a little review, they are always welcome and indeed let me know I am not just wasting my time and energy.

And no… I have no idea who ‘The Watchers’ are, or what the last of those reviews is on about either… perhaps I should be just a little more paranoid…

 

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Book lovers day

I normally hate overly twee things like this…

Image result for book lovers day

But I make an exception when it comes to books. So on the off chance, anyone doesn’t have a book to love here are a few recommendations from past pages…

Anything ( and indeed everything) by C G Hatton

The Alan Shaw novels By Craig Hallam

The Sim Cavalier Novels by K.R.Baucherel

God is a bedlamite by Katie Salvo

War of the worlds by H G Wells

The Oswald Bastable novels of Micheal Moorcock

Anything in my Sunday reviews 1 2 and 3

Quite a lot of Lovecraft 

And a lot of other stuff hidden down the recesses of my blog

Oh and there are any written by that notable self-publicist Mark Hayes but one feels reticent about self-promotion

Anyway, Happy book lovers day, go read something…

 

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NOT a cover reveal…

This is not a cover reveal (quite apart from anything else, even though it is heavily manipulated by me the artwork isn’t mine) it’s just one of several mockups I have for cover designs. It just happens to be my favourite of the ones I have unprofessional been messing about with.

But as I am celebrating finishing writing A Spider in the Eye last night…

The Not the actual cover reveal.   (and if anyone can figure out where I ‘borrowed’ the artwork from before heavily manipulating it they get bonus points)

hannibal a spider in the eye

 

This one is not the cover either, but one of the other ideas I was messing about with…

 

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Cover story…

Whats the old adage about judging a book by its cover?

Well with that in mind I am contemplating changing the cover design for Passing Place. The original cover was designed, due to a desire on my part to have a cover that matched the one for Cider Lane… Which in turn I changed from its original cover when I released Passing Place… Yes, you can question my logic at the time by all means…

 

 

So, the original ‘Apple’ cover of Cider Lane became ‘Girl in the sunset’ and the original Passing Place cover ( which it still has now ) was ‘Piano Keyboard’ because then my first two novels had the same cover theme, and would look right on a shelf next to each other. See logic, there was one…

But therein lays a problem, Cider Lane and Passing Place are two very different novels. While a lot of my readers have read both, they aren’t aimed at the same market. One is a contemporary ‘romance’ for want of a better word about a young woman who falls off the edge of society after a tragic accident. The other is sci-fi/horror/speculative fiction, set in a bar that has customers who hail from just about anywhere, and anywhen… ‘Girl in the sunset’ says what Cider Lane is about perfectly. ‘Piano Keyboard’ doesn’t tell you a great deal Passing Place, other than there may be a piano involved, spoiler alert, there is… Richard, the main character is a piano player who gets a job in the bar in strange circumstances, but all the same, it doesn’t tell you a great deal about the novel…

As I am having a bit of a procrastination, rather than editing ‘A Spider In The Eye’ I was messing about with the idea of changing the cover and having released my Novella ‘A Scar of Avarice a couple of months ago, which is a Passing Place/ Hannibal Smyth cross over novelette. It’s cover and the art I used for it (a picture of an actual steampunk bar in Prague) would actually make a lot of sense for Passing Place itself. So I mocked one up…

 

 

Of course when I then asked people on faceache which they thought was better. they picked the original… so I faffed some more…

yet another cover

So, that solved nothing …

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Valuing your craft… reprised…

How do you value the results of your craft?
It’s one of those questions that’s always hard to answer, and harder to answer as a writer than, for example, as a carpenter. You might want to bear with me here for a moment…

A carpenter decides to make a table. He cuts the wood, joins the pieces together, sands down the rough edges, lays on a few layers of varnish, then polishes it all up. Possibly he does a bit of nice fretwork or uses a couple of different woods that compliment each other in tone and quality.  Then if he adds up the cost of the materials, ascribes some base value to an hour of his life, and figures out how long he spent making the table, before adding a reasonable percentage on top, voila he has found the value of his work. So can look to sell this finely crafted table at a price that reflects its worth. If he is a highly skilled craftsman making bespoke furniture he can charge a little more, because people will be able to see the value in his work, but ultimately whoever buys the table to is paying for a singular item with a solid as you like value. In short, it’s relatively easy for a carpenter to value his craft…

For a writer, however, the value of your craft is somewhat harder to ascribe. Ironically so as while what is written is singular and unique in nature, the way we market it is not.
If, for example, you add up all the hours I spent on thinking about, writing, editing, redrafting, proofing, final editing, typesetting, revising again, when I wrote my first novel Cider Lane it stacks up quite considerably. In the same time, I would posit, our carpenter could have made a fair few tables, or else he could have made a very beautiful and very expensive table.
The novel took me a year to write between the first word I typed on the screen and it reaching publication, and if you add up the hours spent drafting, redrafting, editing, re-editing, reading through, printing it off and editing it again, polishing every word, every syntax, and re-writing the bits I was not entirely happy with, and you get a rather large figure. One which a reader does not as a rule see, hence the iceberg below.

 

Despite this, the craft of writing is for me a labour of love. I don’t write to make a living, I have a full-time job and writing is a hobby, though if I could make a living as a writer I would. I am not alone in this, truly professional indie authors are few and far between. While I get my fair share of readers, I would need to sell a lot of books for writing to replace my day job, and that’s not going to happen any day soon. Cider lane took a year to write, Passing Place was written over a period of five years, the forthcoming Hannibal Smyth Novels have been in the works since 2015, even ‘A scar of Avarice’ a short novella I released this year which took about three months to get from concept to printed page was only happens so quickly because over half of it was already written in other forms over the last couple of years. In all this far from huge body of work has been ongoing since 2010 (I have been writing a lot longer than that, but my published works were started back then) The amount of time I have spent, the long evenings, early mornings, stolen lunch hours etc. add up. That iceberg is far bigger than you possibly imagine. Oh to be a carpenter making tables…

As I say, I write for the love of it, it is a calling perhaps, a hobby certainly, an obsession much of the time, and I don’t do it for the money. This does not mean, however, I don’t want to be paid fairly for my work. It may not be how I pay the mortgage, but reasonable recompense for the work I put into it all would be nice. It is however very hard to ascribe a value to such work. A balance between trying to find new readers and getting fair recompense has to be struck, and unlike our friendly carpenter’s table placing that value on that work remains a difficult proposition.

There is compensation, however, as when we sell a book we can sell it to more than one person. The words we craft aren’t carved into a stone tablet by hand after all. We can figure out the cost of paper and ink easily enough, print on demand sites will tell you exactly what the minimum is and you can just add a value to that in order to figure out the price you should charge for a book. I used Createspace originally for my own novels, before moving them to KDP (so it’s in the same place as the ebook variants) though they are plenty of other POD services. Some possible better, a few worse. You don’t even have to do that in this day of electronic publishing. But I’m a heart a Bibliophile, I like seeing paper copies of my novels, and like selling them direct when I get a chance, though the paperback market, I am sure you will be unsurprised to learn, is not where I sell most of my books, it is still somewhere I like to be.

E-books are however the main marketplace for new and aspirating authors who decide to go down the self-publishing route. E-books which bring their own questions of value to the table. With the E-book you’re not even a physical thing. All your selling are binary strings of code that together to form a readable text. We can sell them, then we sell them again, it is effectively a never-ending supply of binary code. Which, if you think about that for a moment, make it harder to ascribe a value to, because ultimately you’re selling nothing but a copy of that code. You’re not, however, not really…

What your selling, what I am selling with every copy of one of my novels sold on Kindle is a little piece of my writer’s soul laid bare. A little slither of my thoughts and dreams and on occasion nightmares. Of the ide of my inner being. And yes… I say this fully aware of how pretentious it sounds, gleefully aware in fact.

Market economists (a grey inhuman bunch, who are as lacking in souls as it is possible for a human to be) would tell you that the market finds its own values, through supply and demand. (see the note at the end). They would, I suspect, advise a new writer that wishes to find readers that they should give their work away. Make it free, and they will come… Create a free supply, and you will undoubtedly be at the peak of the demand curve… There is even some degree of sense to that, certainly, if you have a series of novels in the marketplace. Make the first one free, and you may well create your own market… Which is true enough. But what rubs against this idea for me is a simple thought.  ‘Do people value anything they get for free?’

I know that I myself have seen free e-books advertised all over the place. I also know I have ignored them on the whole simply because ‘If it’s been given away its probably not worth anything’?  I am, at heart, a child of consumerism after all. Yet even if a book is set at a price that is the bare minimum you’re allowed to set them at (on Amazon that’s £0.99) it still it suffers from the ‘if it’s that cheap it must be worthless’ factor. This is despite the fact a lot of books are set at such low prices, exceedingly good books in many cases, utterly wonderful novels on occasion are set this low or given away free.

How then do we value the writer’s craft, if writers themselves give their creations away so often, so freely? Some readers I have come across have got so used to free books on the internet they just don’t understand why they would ever have to pay for something. I’ve genuinely had people cursing at me on facebook for saying ‘no’ when they ask for a free copy of one of my novels. Not as a reviewer, not as a website writer or a blogger, not as anything other than a reader who might, possibly, consider writing a  review on Amazon, if they can be arsed. I have had people swearing at me, or even threaten to write a negative review if I don’t send them a free copy of a novel. It has somehow become something they feel entitled to, not just expect but demand at times… The below is a genuine quote from one facebook message I received…

“I get Neil Gaiman books for nothing why should I pay for yours?”

The world is ever a strange place, but it is all the stranger when people expect something for nothing while valuing it all the less for being free. Not to mention I strongly suspect the only reason they got a Gaiman book for free is because they downloaded a pirate copy. Which makes that statement all the stranger…

“I impinged a famous writers copyright, so why should I not impinge yours?”

Such experiences harden my opinion of humanity somewhat. But it is the market writers live in, and no one ever said all readers are nice people…

Its also, as an aside which irritates me somewhat unreasonably perhaps, a market where Mr Gaimen’s (and most well established big name authors) publishing companies routinely drop the cost of his novels on Kindle and the like to £0.99 for a week or so. Which make me mildly apoplectic, because it is hard enough to compete for readers with other indie writers and those still trying to ‘breakthrough’ without competing with the big names coming down to our level… I love Neil Gaiman, hell I’ve even bought a couple of his novels in the past when they were at £0.99, because while as a concept it might annoy the hell out to me, I’m not stupid. But I would have bought them at a higher price at some point, and I am fairly sure the same is true of most people who take advantage of his publishing companies largess. But that is somewhat off topic…

What inspired this topic, and the original version of this post a couple of years ago, was back when Cider lane was my only published novel I dropped the price down from  £1.99 to £0.99  for several months in the hope of selling a few more books (which btw it didn’t, because the difference between the £1.99 market and the £0.99 market is negligible). Which inspired this ramble or, to be more exact, the mixed feeling I had about the experience.

While I honestly care nothing about the money I make from book sales. See the whole, it’s not my job, it doesn’t pay the mortgage or put food on the table thing above.  I do care about people valuing my work and the feeling of value I ascribe to it myself. Readers are important to me. I want my work to be read, far more than I want fiscal returns for my work. I wouldn’t want one reader paying me the true value of my work  (I did the maths on Cider Lane once and just in hours spent on that one novel it’s at least £20,000 worth of my time if I use the hourly rate I get paid in my day job. No one reader is ever going to pay me the value of my work… ) I would, it has to be said, vastly prefer 20,000 readers, who, even if I made a quid a book on sales (which I don’t) would barely cover the time invested in a novel. But I would have 20,000 readers. I put Cider Lane back up to £1.99 a while ago, and it still feels like giving it away. As does the option to do just that and make a novel free on Amazon for a week, which I did once and shifted a lot of copies. Hopefully, a lot of those who took advantage of that and got a free copy, enjoyed the book. I really hope that is the case. But, in the end, it did me little long-term good as Cider Lane is a stand-alone and not part of any logical series of even loosely connected novels. But as long as those who got it for nothing enjoyed it, I am happy, though you would have thought that would net me at least a few Amazon reviews… As far as I can tell it didn’t.

Ultimately, artists (any form of artist) seldom get the true value in return for the work they produce. Some lucky souls perhaps do. Big name authors make thousands, tens of thousands, millions even, but they are the few and far between. The vast majority of us still toil away more in hope than expectation of our work being valued to what we might consider its true worth. We live in a culture that sometimes seems to glorify the average, thinks nothing of paying footballers millions to kick a ball around a field, yet wants its movies/ books/art for free. It is hard to see how anyone could ascribe true value to work that someone puts there all into. After all…

 “I get Neil Gaiman books for nothing why should I pay for yours?”

But if we, the artists of all kinds, do not value our own work, who will… If not in monetary terms, then in terms of art at the very least. Pretentious as that may be…

Cider lane, Passing Place, and A Scar of Avarice remain available on Kindle and in paperback for a fraction of the value of my soul, of which they are, I venture, a slither… and a fraction of the value I would wish ascribed to them and the work I put into bringing them into the world.

To follow me on Amazon, click on my face below, or just imagine your punching me, whatever works best for you…

headshot

 

Note on Economists as promised above…

I did a degree in politic’s philosophy and economics. What I learned is this.  Economics is politics with the humanity removed, people are figures on a spreadsheet, their hopes and dreams an irrelevant factor. They never consider if they should be doing something because it will be good for people, they only the effect it will have on the little green bits of paper they obsess about. This is why few socialists are economists.

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Reading Habits and Old Haunts…

I read a lot, (yes I know this doesn’t come as a shock to anyone). I also tend to have more than one book on the go at any given time. There is a system, there has to be a system because if there weren’t, I would probably lose track of what I am reading at any given point very quickly. But also it is a system that is enforced by technology, to an extent. That and my desire as an insomniac not to make matters worse with late night blue light pollution…

The system is this, there is always a book being read on my old kindle that sits in my drawer at work. For those times I have to do jobs that involve a lot of waiting around with nothing productive I could be doing. This is the Kindle book.

Then there is the book on my new Kindle, that sits next to the sofa at home for those chill on the sofa and read hours. This is the Other Kindle book…

Then there is the book on my phone kindle app that is for reading, well where ever and whenever I have a bit of time to kill, it tends to be lighter reading as I dip in and out of it a lot. This is the Other Other Kindle book…

And yes, before you ask I know my three Kindle devices ( not including the pc, the big tablet and oh whatever other devices I can find, all will sync and find my page for anything I was reading on the others but it sort of makes sense at times to keep them separate. I read each in different ways…)

Then there are books, lovely old fashioned, never go out of date because they are sharks, books. (and don’t blame me for the shark’s thing, that’s what Douglas Adams calls them, and you don’t argue with a Douglas Adams analogy…) I tend to pile them high on the nightstand, and I could be reading one, or several at once, they end up all over the house as well, but when they are being read actively, they tend to live mostly on the bedside table. I read in bed a lot, it’s my way to chill down, but blue light is bad for people with normal sleep patterns, and all devices kick out lots of blue light. I don’t have a normal sleep pattern, the very last thing I should ever do is read a device in bed and flood myself with blue light. That’s a night without sleep right there…

So, lots of devices, lots of paper, and lost of different books on the go at any given time. And its good, its great in fact, juggling all these books, these different idea’s, different worlds, different concepts, fiction, none fiction, weird stuff, smart stuff,  you name it I am probably reading it at some point in some way, some time.

It is rare that any book crosses these frontiers, very rare for them to cross several frontiers and with a few exceptions almost unheard of for them to cross into the night time reading. As I am perfectly serious about blue light pollution and the effect, late night blue light has on my already torrid ability to sleep. In fact, aside from the habits of a lifetime, one of the reasons I also have an hour or so to read when I hit the sack is the effect of all the blue light I routinely dose myself with the rest of the time. I can’t sleep after a night on the PC writing, or gaming or whatever, and the tv is no better for blue light. Pick up a shark and read for a while and let it all ease away, the best solution I know of… So the kindles never get in the bedroom…

But there are exceptions to every rule and last week after I finished ‘The Adventures of Alan Shaw’ by Craig Hallam and posted a review, I bought the sequel. ‘Old Haunt’s’. Originally I planned it to be the ‘Other Other Kindle book’ and to read it on the sofa with a pot of tea and some nice biscuits… But as with the first in the series ‘Old haunts’ swiftly crossed between devices. It got read on all of them, at work, at home, on the park bench, on other sofa’s, in the queue at the post office… because it was just too damn good to put down, and I wanted to know what happened next… then it did the unthinkable and crossed the threshold of the bedroom door and damn the blue light to hell… Which is, as I said, a rare thing indeed. As reviews go, ‘it was so good I read it in bed’  may seem a little light. Indeed it may appear scant recommendation. But it was, it is, and even if you have not read the first novel, you should read the second ( but seriously read the first one first.)

I don’t normally review two books by the same author so close together. Hell, I am supposed to try and sell my own books, not other peoples… But having finished Old Haunts so quickly after the first book I don’t see much point in not reviewing it right now… So here goes…

Old Haunts, It’s just as pulpy in all the best ways as the first Alan Shaw novel. It is also just as much unpretentious rollicking good fun. Everything I said about the first book is just as valid about the second. It doesn’t up the high bar the first novel set, but it doesn’t have to, when you are on a plateau you just need to keep on running, which is what it does. It remains an echo of those bygone Strand magazine, weird tales of yesteryear, Pulp period sci-fi with everything you can imagine thrown in the pot and brought to the boil. Egyptian tombs, American gangsters, A great train robbery, old gods, dark forces, steam-powered contraptions of death and destruction, brave heroines, slimy tentacles, monsters, mayhem,  lady ninja’s, love, hate, jealousy, madness, dark villains, foul murders on the streets of old London town and a lead character at war with his own history. Its pulp, but glorious unrepentant beautifully written pulp that drags you on with its willful abandon. Bravo Mr Hallam Bravo…

Now, will someone chain Craig to a keyboard, supply him with intravenous tea on a drip and give him six of the best if he stops typing… I want to read the next instalment…  And so will you…

To use my old Lovecraft rating system. As Amazon stars are so last week…

6out 6

You might also want to read the steampunk offerings of another writer. Who gets a mention right at the end of this post because it’s my damn blog. So sue me, and use the money to buy a copy of A Scar of Avarice…

ASOA flyier 3

 

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