Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Reading from Seven Days at Milton Pirate Fest 2015

Hi all. I just wanted to let you know that I have a new reading up from the Milton Pirate Festival. This is a reading from my story Seven Days in the Love, Time, Space, Magic anthology from Pop Seagull publishing and features Elizabeth Hirst and Stephen B. Pearl.

Stephen B. Pearl:
Milton Pirate Festival:

Monday, 14 September 2015

The Dead Haunt the Northlands

This is a link to a reading I recorded at the Milton Pirate Fest it is from Distant Early Warning by Elizabeth Hirst.

About Distant Early Warning:

Because redemption is a place... All they need to do is find the right co-ordinates. Canada is in crisis. Global warming has taken hold, and amid the flooding and the super storms, another horror has risen, more devastating than the rest. The dead begin rising from the ground at night, screaming out strange gibberish songs that terrify and entrance anyone who hears them. With people dying and fleeing all around, the north quickly becomes a wild west, without the west. Felicia "Denny" Dennigan lives far from the crisis, with a good job at the university and a roof over her head, but her life is far from perfect. A perpetual loner, she relies on sporadic visits from her Dad as her only lifeline to friends or family. So, when Dad doesn't return one fall day, and his dog, Geoff, shows up without him, Denny is concerned for his safety. The last postcard he sent her was from Sudbury, on the edge of the chaos up North... Denny's worst fears are confirmed when she sees Dad on TV, dead, and screaming. Desperate to end his suffering, Denny gives up her job, buys supplies, and heads out with Geoff to discover the truth behind her father's death, but truth always comes with a cost. What Denny discovers in the wilds of Northern Ontario will shatter all of her assumptions about her life, and what lies beyond

Milton Pirate Festival:

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


. Often in fantasy the non-human or non-demy-human creatures are little more than something for the heroes to kill. In Horn of the Kraken I wanted to steer away from that. Intelligent creatures will presumably operate from a position of self interest. Hopefully, enlightened self interest where they recognised that a favour earns a favour and that cooperative action can accomplish their goals. This shaped much of how I wrote my Norse, fantasy adventure. I wanted to give the ‘monsters’ something extra to steer away from the whole Viking kill theme.
Thus, late on in the book I have Vidurr form an alliance with several creatures. Working in tandem they each achieve their desired goal. To call them friends would be a misnomer, but allies fit.
Often language forms a barrier to this form of cooperation in fantasy, but with the Snow Serpent the Fate of the Norns Ragnarok system offers up a solution to that issue.
One caution about communication, I think people should pay heed to the dentition of the speaker. It is likely that cats and dogs could speak human language mastering one to two hundred words except they lack the vocal structures to do so. When looking at a “monster” one needs to give some thoughts of what its vocal range would be. An intelligent spider may have a complex language, but it would likely be made up of clicks and clacks because of the structure of the spider’s mouth.

Amazon buy link for Horn of the Kraken:

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

History Could Be lieing To You.

The winners write the history. Much is made by how bloody handed Erik Bloodaxe supposedly was. Maybe he was, but given that Christian monks wrote the histories I’m going to take it with a large salt mine. The mystery of the fire that killed many of Erik’s half brothers offers up several suspects Erik, Hakon and Gunnhild being the most likely as I see it.
            Looking through the haze of propaganda that is recorded history I don’t think we can be sure of much. What I can be sure of from my fifty three years incarnate in this life is no one gets through life without regrets. As I saw Erik he was a fighting man who had seen too many friends die in battle. Erik strove for greatness comparing himself to the impressive yardstick of his father and falling short. Not seeing his own virtue in this equation while condemning his father for lacking those traits Erik dismissed as unworthy of counting in his assessment of himself. Eric, again as I see him, was a man of action and a broad strokes thinker. He was annoyed by miner trifling details and would rush in decisively while others wasted time doting every I and crossing every T. As such, I set up a natural animosity between him and Hakon who was a bureaucrat and tax collector.
As I see Hakon, and again through the haze of history and propaganda I could be wrong, he was an every hair in place berate the underling because he brought him a milk and sugar coffee instead of a double double, kind of guy. Officious and self important. If you get the impression I don’t like the man; you’re right. I’m not found of the type. Again, this is my interpretation and others may see these historic figures in completely different lights.
Dramatically setting up this dichotomy adds to the conflict by making it a clash of personalities and leadership styles. Casting doubt on the Christian monks’ claims of who murdered many of their half brothers opens more conflict and dramatic potentials. Fate of the Norns doesn’t do pure villains or heroes, part of why it is such a great game, people are shades of grey. I encourage anyone to look at history with a view to who wrote it and decide for themselves.

Horn of the Kraken:  Amazon buy link