Indie April #9: A multiplicity of worlds

It’s Indie April, a celebration of all things Indie, be it novels, movies, music or art. The idea being to encourage interaction between indie creatives, and that most elusive of beasties the wider audience, and it is a time to celebrate all those wonderful indie creatives and their work.  As a writer, my focus (I know, I know, this bits always the same in these posts, look just skip down a paragraph why don’t you…) is on bringing indie writers (and artists) to your attention. So for the rest of the month, I will be periodically featuring some of the best the independent scene has to offer. Some of these will be names familiar to those who read my blog, some will be new, but all of them are undoubtedly wonderful and deserving of a wider audience. So take the plunge and invest in some indie goodness, give an indie writer (and artists) a try, I guarantee you’ll not regret it.

Passing Places and Hannibal Smyth: Mark Hayes

55517402_10157155685619182_5053875243970461696_n (2)

Mark writes novels that often defy simple genre definitions, they could be described as speculative fiction, though Mark would never use the term as he prefers not to speculate. When not writing novels Mark is a persistent pernicious procrastinator, he recently petitioned parliament for the removal of the sixteenth letter from the Latin alphabet. He is also 7th Dan Blackbelt in the ancient Yorkshire marshal art of EckEThump and favours a one man one vote system but has yet to supply the name of the man in question. Mark has also been known to not take bio very serious.

Now I know what your thinking, ‘This is a tad nepotistic, isn’t it?’ well, I refute that claim on a technicality as I am not my own father, and I am not putting forward a relative’s work ahead of anyone else’s. So no this is not nepotism, just blatant self-promotion. But as I have been pushing loads of awesome books by loads of awesome indie writers all month, you’ll forgive me if I at least take a moment to push my own. I’m an Indie Author too…  anyway back to writing this in the third person, which is frankly weird…

Mark writes in an eclectic and character-driven style. His 2016 novel Passing Place is set in a fictional bar that travels the multiverse so it doors open out into different points in time and space, as well as diffrent alternative versions of reality. It follows the journey of a widowed musician who at the end of a grief-driven journey across America takes a job at the bar because of the sign in a bus station window that advertises the bars need for a piano player, one who must know ‘Forever Autumn’ which by sheer coincidence happens to be the favourite song of the musicians dead wife. Also, he takes the job because a cat tells him to do so. In Esqwiths Passing Place, as he plays piano he meets a series of unlikely characters who tell him stories, wierd wonderful strange stories and each in their own voice, each of which helps the musician in his search for the answer to that most unforgiving of questions, why?

One of the characters who wandered through an early draft of passing place was an ignominious lying braggart called Harry Smith, who served in the Royal Air Navy of a clockwork version of Queen Victoria. While Harry slipped out of the Bar door and never made the final novel, old ‘Arry went on to become Hannibal Smyth, a no less ignominious swine but a tad more lovable than his original incarnation. The Hannibal Smyth Misadventures is set in a version of the world where Good Queen Sticky Vic never died and has sat on the throne of an Empire upon which the sun never set for two hundred years. Told in Hannibal’s own idiosyncratic way by the man himself, the first of this series of novels ‘A Spider In The Eye’ was released in January this year. The next ‘From Russia With Tassel’s’ is due out sometime this summer, with two further novels planned in the series, because quartets are more interesting than trios (or so mark claims)

There is also a cross over novella set in the Passing Place, in which Hannibal drops in for a drink and tells a tale or two. (literally drops in as he has fallen off an airship somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean at the time)

This is the point when I give you a few links to other posts on marks work. But as this is my blog that would seem a bit silly… click on anything 🙂

Aside from his own novels, Mark also has a Hannibal short story in the Harvey Duckman Presents Anthologies. Which by no coincidence what so ever was released last month … Just waiting for you to read, so if you fancy a taster of both Mark’s work and 13 other Indie writers of SciFi, Fantasy, Steampunk and Horror, you could do worse than get yourself a copy, so click on the lovely picture below 🙂  There may be more indie April stuff to come if I have time, if not it will be indie May….

53563554_1263310787140207_953247616022347776_o

Posted in amreading, amwriting, books, dreamlands, dystopia, Esqwiths, goodnews, Goth, Hannibal Smyth, Harvey Duckman, horror, humour, indie, indie novels, IndieApril, indiewriter, Passing Place, pointless things of wonderfulness, sci-fi, self-publishing, steampunk, writes, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie April#8: The Isle without Hope

It’s Indie April, a celebration of all things Indie, be it novels, movies, music or art. The idea being to encourage interaction between indie creatives, and that most elusive of beasties the wider audience, and it is a time to celebrate all those wonderful indie creatives and their work.  As a writer, my focus (I know, I know, this bits always the same in these posts, look just skip down a paragraph why don’t you…) is on bringing indie writers (and artists) to your attention. So for the rest of the month, I will be periodically featuring some of the best the independent scene has to offer. Some of these will be names familiar to those who read my blog, some will be new, but all of them are undoubtedly wonderful and deserving of a wider audience. So take the plunge and invest in some indie goodness, give an indie writer (and artists) a try, I guarantee you’ll not regret it.

Hopeless Maine: Tom and Nimue Brown

hopeless 4

Tom Brown and Nimue Brown, collectively responsible for art, stories and tentacles in the series of graphic novels set on the island of Hopeless, somewhere of the coast of Maine. Tom leads on the art and Nimue on the stories but they both do both, which just speaks as to how utterly talented they both are. Hopeless started out as a webcomic, before coming to print. The Island setting is now it’s in the process of becoming a roleplaying game, tarot deck, a cuddly spoonwalker and all manner of other things. I don’t know exactly what a cuddly spoonwalker is, but I know I want one…

These novels had been on my to buy list ever since I first saw Tom Brown’s gorgeous Burtonesque artwork, but it is Nimue Brown’s writing that sets this truly apart because no matter how beautifully atmospheric the artwork (and it is beautiful, grim, dark and utterly gorgeous) a graphic novel lives and breaths through the writing. So while the art is a feast for the eyes, the words need to be a feast for the soul, which they are. Just the chapter titles alone give you a taste of how beautifully written this is, ‘My mother wants to drink me’ and ‘I don’t think I will ever get used to being dead’.
You can not help but be drawn into the strange, dark, tragic lives of the character, and the grim foreboding haunted island of Hopeless, somewhere of the coast of Maine, or somewhere else perhaps.
As I said this was on my to buy list a while before I bought it, but I am so glad I did, and if it needs any more compliments from me, let me just say this, the moment I finished reading it, I ordered the next book… and now I am damned to wait for it to arrive…

You can find out more about the island of Hopeless, Maine and its many strange, occasionally grotesque, endlessly weird and grimly fascinating inhabitance at https://hopelessvendetta.wordpress.com/  and the books are available on Amazon, in many a local comic shop, and if your lucky enough to get to one when they are there and not busy fending off tentacles steampunk festivals and other such gatherings.

This is normally where I do the earlier posts bit, but there ain’t any because I have only just read the first book and the review I wrote for Amazon is what you have just read… However, those who follow my Lovecraftian reviews which I have been doing for so damn long I may never finish them all will know I normally rate Lovecraft’s stories with tentacles. So given this is Hopeless, Maine, in a slight divergence from the norm for these posts I’ll give it a tentacle score as well…

allout 6

PS: I have also now don’t an interview with Nimue and Tom and you can find it by clicking on the bit that says Interview Click here, which is this bit, so click on it…

Also, as your doubtless aware by now, this is the part of these posts where I come up with a reason why I have a Harvey Duckman link at the bottom of this post. The excuses for doing so when the writers (and artists) I am talking about have nothing to do with the anthology have become ever more tenuous. Someone is bound to point this out at some point. But as I am one of 14 other Indie writers of SciFi, Fantasy, Steampunk and Horror within its folds, one of which is Craig Hallam who I know really likes Tom and Nimue’s work, I’m going to do it anyway. So you could do worse than get yourself a copy by clicking on the lovely picture below 🙂 More indie April shorts coming as soon as (I figure out who to do next, probably Katie Salvo, writer of life stories of German philosophers sisters and their incestuous relationships shes not in Harvey either and I’ll probably need an even more tenuous link in her case…

53563554_1263310787140207_953247616022347776_o

 

Posted in amreading, books, cthulhu, dreamlands, dystopia, goodreads, Goth, grathic novels, Harvey Duckman, horror, indie, indie novels, IndieApril, indiewriter, mythos, novels, reads, sci-fi, steampunk, supernatural | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie April#7: Magpies of Misanthropy

It’s Indie April, a celebration of all things Indie, be it novels, movies, music or art. The idea being to encourage interaction between indie creatives, and that most elusive of beasties the wider audience, and it is a time to celebrate all those wonderful indie creatives and their work.  As a writer, my focus (I know, I know, this bits always the same in these posts, look just skip down a paragraph why don’t you…) is on bringing indie writers to your attention. So for the rest of the month, I will be periodically featuring some of the best the independent scene has to offer. Some of these will be names familiar to those who read my blog, some will be new, but all of them are undoubtedly wonderful and deserving of a wider audience. So take the plunge and invest in some indie goodness, give an indie writer a try, I guarantee you’ll not regret it.

The Tales of Tantamount: Meredith Debonnaire

tantamount

Meredith Debonnaire is a young unrepentant bibliobibuli who claims to be in training to be a hermit, and sometimes vanish for a long long time into the depths of her brain and only emerge months later, possibly wiser and in need of hot chocolate. With a degree of self-knowledge, few ever attain, she has been known to claim ‘There is an 80% chance that I am talking total bollocks, but I’m afraid I can’t say for certain.’  But if this is the case it is bizarre bouncy fizzy frivolously fascinating bollocks (this sentence may have gotten away from me, but let’s not dwell on it). If she is sane, only the magpies know, and they are intransigent in the telling of their secrets…

Tales from Tantamount is, well, somewhat eclectic. It is many things and can be read as many things. It is easier to say what it is not, what it is not is the corpse of an idiosyncratic French poet reanimated by Salvador Dali then forced to recite the history of a town in verse while constructing a 1/1 scale model of Stonehenge on the southern coast of Playa Traviata on a wet weekend in July… Tales from Tantamount is definitely not that, for a start, the poet isn’t French… What it actually is is a bunch of fictional snippets from a year in the life of an odd little town somewhere never the river Seven, where Historian is a somewhat more exciting if generally short-lived profession, on account of history in the town been a tad fluid, particularly on Wednesdays. As it should be added is some of the architecture. You can, so Meredith informs us, find out more at the Tantamount public Library, which is probably at the bottom of the high street today, but we can not say for certain, it is the year of the sad plastic bag after all… Just don’t head down there between 2:15 and 2:35 as that’s when the Carrion is due, and it’s best not to be on the streets at that point…

You can find out more about the history of a small town near the river Seven that never was, and the dark secrets that lay in wait in its carrion haunted streets at https://meredithdebonnaire.wordpress.com/ and soon, or so the magpies tell me, in a rare moment of forthcoming, be a collected and expanded Tales of Tantamount in paperback, with lost of extra stuff even some art by Tom Brown of Hopeless Maine fame, because strange towns on the edge of reality tend to cling together, or possibly fight wars of poetic fury, its hard to be sure. But I for one and looking forward to it. (I’m a fan in case this post was not a clue)

Meredith also has a novella out there in the world called The Life and Times of Angel Evens’  I have not read this due to the problem with the earth’s rotational speed influencing the day-night cycle in limitation of the number of hours in the day. Because it sounds interesting and I want to, so at some point, I will.

This is normally where I do the earlier posts bit, but there ain’t any, so instead here is a public warning notice form Tantamount Town council, there may be a link to further things connected to it, I dare you to click on it… Go on just click on it, you know you want to…

mantalids

Aside from her own novels, and weirdness, Meredith’s blog is also followed by at least two of the writers in the  Harvey Duckman Presents Anthologies. Which is the most tenuous link yet but it remains just waiting for you to read, though the first print run has sold out rather quickly, so it’s now paperbacks are only available on POD … There may not be the secrets of magpies within its pages but there are 14 other Indie writers of SciFi, Fantasy, Steampunk and Horror within its folds, so you could do worse than get yourself a copy, so click on the lovely picture below 🙂  More indie April shots coming soon with Tom & Nimue Brown the creators of another odd place on the edge of imagination, Hopeless Maine…

53563554_1263310787140207_953247616022347776_o

Disclaimer: normal service will resume shortly when I stop trying to channel Meridieth Debonnaire’s own brand of sanity and return to writing these from my own. Besides, frankly, she is better at writing like herself than I am, odd that.

Posted in amreading, blogging, books, cthulhu, dreamlands, dystopia, goodreads, Harvey Duckman, horror, humour, indie, indie novels, IndieApril, indiewriter, mythos, Nyarlathotep, opinion, pointless things of wonderfulness, reads, rites, sci-fi, steampunk, supernatural, writes, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie April#6: Boston Metaphysics

It’s Indie April, a celebration of all things Indie, be it novels, movies, music or art. The idea being to encourage interaction between indie creatives, and that most elusive of beasties the wider audience, and it is a time to celebrate all those wonderful indie creatives and their work.  As a writer, my focus (yes, okay, I know, but I have to write this bit…) is on bringing indie writers to your attention. So for the rest of the month, I will be periodically featuring some of the best the independent scene has to offer. Some of these will be names familiar to those who read my blog, some will be new, but all of them are undoubtedly wonderful and deserving of a wider audience. So take the plunge and invest in some indie goodness, give an indie writer a try, I guarantee you’ll not regret it.

The Boston Metaphysical Society: Madeleine Holly-Rosing

boston meta

A TV, feature film and comic book writer, Madeleine is the winner of the Sloan Fellowship for screenwriting, and the Gold Aurora and Bronze Telly for a PSA produced by Women In Film. She also won numerous awards while completing the UCLA MFA Program in Screenwriting. Having run a number of successful crowdfunding campaigns for her comic, Boston Metaphysical Society, Madeleine now teaches a crowdfunding class for independent creators at Pulp Fiction Books in Culver City as well as guest lecturing at Scriptwriters Network and Dreamworks. She also finds time to actually write books…

Great Houses jockey for power, treachery, subterfuge, and demonic threats.  In an alternate-history Boston of 1890. Madeleine’s is a world of steam power, airships, mixed with ghostly goings-on, preta-natural powers and class struggles. Boston is a city divided by wealth and privilege. Great houses rule like feudal lords of old while their vassal’s shelter beneath their banners, while on the south side of the city those without the protection of house live lives of coal soot squaller. (confession time, I am only about a third of the way through A Storm of Secrets as I write this, and need to get this blog out because I have a list of others I need to do before the end of the month… It is, however, a wonderfully engrossing read.) Madeleines world is vivid, and fully realised, the way any tale set in an alternative history should be, merging real history with the possibilities of another path which could have been taken. Drawing on the comic’s, this first novel has a depth to it that, along with the superb writing, makes it easy to slide between the pages, and wonder at a Boston that never was…

You can find out more about the history of a Boston that never was, and the dark secrets that lay in wait in its fog-bound streets at http://bostonmetaphysicalsociety.com/  and you can, of course, find Madeleine’s books and graphic novels on Amazon and elsewhere, including her guide to creators using Kickstarter, on which she is something of an expert, if not indeed the queen.

Earlier posts…

Aside from her own novels, Madeleine also has liked at least half a dozen of my posts about the Harvey Duckman Presents Anthologies. on facebook and twitter. Which is a tenuous link even by my standards but it remains just waiting for you to read, though the first print run has sold out rather quickly, so it’s now paperbacks are only available on POD … Madeleine may not have a story in there but a couple of writers of Steampunkery and 12 other Indie writers of SciFi, Fantasy, and Horror do, so you could do worse than get yourself a copy, so click on the lovely picture below 🙂  More indie April shots coming soon with Meridieth Debonnaire the creator of the utterly awesome Tales from Tandamount, who is also not in Harvey Duckman, but only because the Magpies stopped her I suspect…

53563554_1263310787140207_953247616022347776_o

Posted in amreading, books, grathic novels, Harvey Duckman, humour, indie, indie novels, IndieApril, indiewriter, novels, sci-fi, steampunk, supernatural | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FREE novella

I’m giving away my novella/mini-anthology A Scar of Avarice this week on kindle
So if you like satirical steampunk, alternative histories, sci-fi, horror or just a damn fine read, grab a FREE copy while you can before it goes back to full price
#steampunk #sciencefiction

or for those beyond the bounds of Her Glorious majesties realm…

Posted in amreading, books, Canadian steampunk, fiction, Hannibal Smyth, indie, indie novels, IndieApril, indiewriter, novels, Passing Place, pointless things of wonderfulness, reads, sci-fi, steampunk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie April#5: Of a man and his rat

It’s Indie April, a celebration of all things Indie, be it novels, movies, music or art. The idea being to encourage interaction between indie creatives, and that most elusive of beasties the wider audience, and it is a time to celebrate all those wonderful indie creatives and their work.  As a writer, my focus (yes I know you have read this bit before…) is on bringing indie writers to your attention. So for the rest of the month, I will be periodically featuring some of the best the independent scene has to offer. Some of these will be names familiar to those who read my blog, some will be new, but all of them are undoubtedly wonderful and deserving of a wider audience. So take the plunge and invest in some indie goodness, give an indie writer a try, I guarantee you’ll not regret it.

The Brennan and Rix Stories by Peter James Martin

brenan and rix

Peter James Martin is Teesside born and bred. An aficionado of the weird and wonderful folklore and tales of the northeast and he weaves this into his tales of a supernatural detective and his partner, who happens to be a rat. When not writing, he is busy trying to survive the rigours of raising two boys and a new baby girl and two Shih Tzu dogs and a cat.

Who does not love a sarcastic rodent? Well okay, maybe I am on my own there but I grew up with Roland Rat on the TV so its part of my DNA… Add to that list poor long-suffering Brennan who has to put up with Rix baiting him at every opportunity. These stories (collected into one volume) are an insight into the strange and the wonderful, drawing heavily on local folklore, a sense of place, and a feel for melding the real and the surreal this is a delightful read. Think Harry Dresden, Jim Butchers much put upon Chicago Magician, transplanted to the side of the river Tees, struggling to scratch a living while others seem to do well off his back, not least Rix, who has the personality, manners and on occasion eating habits of a…. well a rat, clearly. It’s fun, it’s not as silly as you might imagine, it’s haunting and on occasion a lot deeper than you may expect. It’s a dark world out there, particularly when there is a goblin problem in the sewers below Stockton High Street…

You can find out more about the folklore which lies behind the stories of Brennan and his rat at https://tstpjm.blogspot.com/ and other news as well, also you can, of course, find Peters books on Amazon and elsewhere, now, care how you go, there be beasties about, and I ain’t talking about Rix…

Earlier posts on Peters novels …

Aside from his own novels, Peter also has a short Brennan and Rix story in the Harvey Duckman Presents Anthologies. Which by no coincidence what so ever was released last weekend… Just waiting for you to read, so if you fancy a taster of both Kate’s work and 13 other Indie writers of SciFi, Fantasy, Steampunk and Horror, you could do worse than get yourself a copy, so click on the lovely picture below 🙂  More indie later in the week next up Madeleine Holly-Rosing the kickstart queen of American Steampunk wonders (who also is not in Harvey Duckman, so I may not mention it at all, I said may…)

53563554_1263310787140207_953247616022347776_o

 

Posted in amreading, books, goodreads, Harvey Duckman, horror, humour, indie, indie novels, IndieApril, indiewriter, Lovecraft, mythos, novels, rites, sci-fi, supernatural, writes, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie April#4: Riftmaker

It’s Indie April, a celebration of all things Indie, be it novels, movies, music or art. The idea being to encourage interaction between indie creatives, and that most elusive of beasties the wider audience, and it is a time to celebrate all those wonderful indie creatives and their work.  As a writer, my focus (this will come as little surprise) is on bringing indie writers to your attention. So for the rest of the month, I will be periodically featuring some of the best the independent scene has to offer. Some of these will be names familiar to those who have read my blog before, some will be new, but all of them are undoubtedly wonderful and deserving of a wider audience. So take the plunge and invest in some indie goodness, give an indie writer a try, I guarantee you’ll not regret it.

Riftmaker and other novels by Pheobe Darqueling

pheobe

Pheobe Darqueling became interested in Steampunk back in 2009, which rekindled her long-dormant love of writing fiction. She started her first blog on Steampunk in 2012, but in 2017, she left it to become the second editor for SteampunkJournal.org, the world’s most popular Steampunk news site. Aside from writing novels, and editing anthologies, she is busy becoming the Queen of all things Steampunkery across the internet.

When I read her first Novel, Riftmaker, I was both surprised and delighted by the width and scale of her ambition. A strange world linked somehow to ours by rifts, yet when humans pass through they take on the forms of animals. While animals take on the forms of humans. In the hands of a less talented writer, this could have been a recipe for confusion, but Pheobe has the craft and style to match such ambition. A plethora of characters and complexity of sub-plots interweave like many strands of a web to create a novel rich in depth and broad in scope. A novel full of wild idea’s, strange sights and odd characters all with their own hope and dreams. Yet Pheobe never gets you lost, even at the heart of her miraculous clockwork city… Her next novel, No Rest for the Wicked is out now too.

You can find out more about the what lies at the court of the Queen of all things Steampunkery at her blog https://phoebedarqueling.com/home/ and you can, of course, find her books on Amazon and elsewhere, and at steampunk gatherings from the USA to Germany…

Earlier posts on Pheobe’s novels …

Aside from her own novels, Pheobe also…  Actually, I jest… Unlike the first three Indie Authors I have featured this week she doesn’t have a short story in the Harvey Duckman Presents Anthologies. Which by no coincidence what so ever was released last weekend…  Just waiting for you to read… Pheobe may not have a story in there but a couple of writers of Steampunkery and 12 other Indie writers of SciFi, Fantasy, and Horror do, so you could do worse than get yourself a copy, so click on the lovely picture below 🙂  More indie later in the week Peter James Martin the creator of the Brennan and Rix tales, of a man and his talking rat (who may be in Harvey D, but that would be telling …)

53563554_1263310787140207_953247616022347776_o

Posted in amreading, books, fiction, goodreads, Hannibal Smyth, Harvey Duckman, indie, indie novels, IndieApril, indiewriter, novels, reads, sci-fi, self-publishing, steampunk, writes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment