The original plan for my AlphaShock series was to do 6-10 short serialized episodes. Maybe I haven’t released them fast enough or I needed to release more or master the art of the cliffhanger, but the first three didn’t really catch fire. In preparation for future releases, I have combined the first three episodes and re-released them as a full-length novel which is available on Amazon (other outlets soon to follow). Unfortunately, there is nothing new here for readers of the first three episodes, just a new dress on an old maid. If you’re getting antsy, I recently rediscovered the ETF Mainframe, which houses a lot of fun info on the people and gadgets in the AlphaShock universe. It’s good for killing a few minutes and I recommend checking it out. Also, I pulled Episode One from circulation but left Two and Three just in case people downloaded the first and wanted to pick those up instead of buying all three of them together. They’ll probably remain available for another month or so. Continue reading
Yesterday I finished reading my first story by Robert E. Howard. He’s the guy who created Conan the Barbarian and Solomon Kane, among many other memorable characters. The story I read was called People of the Black Circle, a pulpy action yarn wherein much blood is spilled.
I was surprised by the (unfortunately) era-appropriate sexism on rampant display, the descriptions of bloodshed toward the end (the book was written in the early 1930s), and by the author’s vivid imagery. As to the imagery, it turns out Howard spent a good deal of time yearning to be a poet, but gave it up when he realized the slim odds of turning a profit. So he went off and invented the genre known today as Sword and Sorcery. He was a huge devotee of H.P. Lovecraft and I’m sure after I have exhausted my repertoire of Conan stories, I’ll move right along to the father of Cthulhu. There’s something weird in their books that I’ve been unconsciously toying with in mine and I’m digging the similarities. Continue reading