Monday, December 29, 2014

What Rough Beast

So Charles R. Rutledge and I have been busy. We usually are, mind you, but in this case we've been working on a different little ditty, piece coming out from White Noise Press.

White Noise Press does very limited edition chapbooks that are, frankly, gorgeous.

Here's the first piece of artwork that publisher Keith Minnion is sharing:




And this particular book is done in the style of a penny dreadful and is properly called WHAT ROUGH BEAST:  A Crowley and Kharrn Yarn

Crowley would be my recurring character Jonathan Crowley. Kharrn would be Charles' very long loved barbarian adventurer, who also recurs in the strangest places.

This one's gonna be a hoot!

What Rough Beast crouches our way in February.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Blackguards and Blackguards: Blacklist

The following os from the folks at Ragnarok Publications. I'm just sharing the news.

SUBMISSION RESULTS
We received 262 submissions in a very short period and my thanks goes out to each and every one of the submitters for making my decision so damn hard. We received a lot of strong stories and this was not easy by any means. In addition, I extend heartfelt thank-yous to Sarah Chorn of Bookworm Blues and Mihir Wanchoo of Fantasy Book Critic for their awesome assistance.
Okay, so without further ado, congratulations to S.R. Cambridge and Clay Sanger for making it into the pages of BLACKGUARDS: TALES OF ASSASSINS, MERCENARIES, AND ROGUES!

BLACKGUARDS TABLE OF CONTENTS
Here is the full TOC for BLACKGUARDS:
Foreword by Glen Cook
Introduction by J.M. Martin
“Mainon” by Jean Rabe
“Irindai” by Bradley P. Beaulieu
“The Subtler Art” by Cat Rambo
“Seeds” by Carol Berg
“Jancy’s Justice” by Kenny Soward
“Professional Integrity” by Michael J. Sullivan
“Troll Trouble” by Richard Lee Byers
“A Better Man” by Paul S. Kemp
“First Kill” by Django Wexler
“Manhunt” by Mark Smylie
“Better to Live than to Die” by John Gwynne
“The Secret” by Mark Lawrence
“Friendship” by Laura Resnick
“The First Kiss” by Clay Sanger
“The White Rose Thief” by Shawn Speakman
“A Length of Cherrywood” by Peter Orullian
“A Taste of Agony” by Tim Marquitz
“What Gods Demand” by James A. Moore
“Take You Home” by David Dalglish
“Seeking the Shadow” by Joseph R. Lallo
“Sun and Steel” by Jon Sprunk
“The Bety√°r and the Magus” by S.R. Cambridge
“A Kingdom and a Horse” by Snorri Kristjansson
“Thieves at the Gate” by James Enge
“His Kikuta Hands” by Lian Hearn
“The Lord Collector” by Anthony Ryan
“Scream” by Anton Strout


BLACKGUARDS BLACKLIST AUTHORS/TOC
Also, congratulations to eleven more awesome authors who have filled up the contents of the BLACKGUARDS BLACKLIST. Here is the table of contents:
“Angel of Tears” by Erik Scott de Bie
“To the End” by Rob J. Hayes
“The Assassination of Poppy Smithswife” by Sam Knight
“Comeuppance” by Linda Robertson
“The Lonesome Dark” by Anthony Lowe
“Gret” by Brenda Carre
“To Steal the Moon” by Rebecca Lovatt
“Laughing Wind” by Noah Heinrich
“The Muttwhelp” by Edward M. Erdelac
“Bloody Gratitude” by Mike Theodorsson
“Telhinsol’s Shadow” by S.M. White
If you are not among these listed here, you are now free to submit your stories elsewhere, and although I did not choose your story this time, I enjoyed reading them and this has been a great experience. Thank you all so much for thinking highly enough of our project to take the time to submit your story. I don't take a single one of you lightly for pursuing that which you love, the awesome art of fantasy writing. It's such a wonderful endeavor. Please continue writing and submitting!
And thank you, most generous and honored backers, for your long-suffering patience. Now that all the stories are assigned and edited, we have but a couple pieces of art left (for Clay's and S.R.'s stories) and then Shawn King and I will begin production in earnest. The digital rewards will follow soon thereafter, followed by the print editions (manufactured and fulfilled by the great folks at Thomson-Shore). 
Thanks again, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Let's ROK on into 2015 and make it a banner year!
Joe

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Freebies!

Sometimes I forget that links vanish. 
I did four different stories for THE SEVEN FORGES and THE BLASTED LANDS, that actually take place during book one or between them, and they are still readily available. 
They are as follows:
"Scars"
And as I posted on Facebook. there's a new story, "What The Gods Demand," staring Swech, coming out in the Ragnarok Publications anthology BLACKGUARDS. in January, I believe. 

So, if you were looking for a few quick reads, here they are. 
Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Michael Moorcock: Happy 75th Birthday!

True story.

When I first got into reading it was strictly comic books. I mean for a very, very long time. I don't think I actually read a novel until I was around thirteen and before that, pretty much comic books. I read a LOT of comic books.

My first few novels? Yep. They were comic book related.

My family moved a lot. I read a lot. A Lot.

One of the first books that I bought for myself that wasn't a comic book or a novel was WONDERWORKS, a collection of artwork by Michael Whelan. The book is a marvel. For the first time in my life I picked up a book of artwork and I was enthralled. It was a torrid affair, really. I went to my local bookstore several times and I would sneak furtive looks at the illustrations again and again until, finally, I broke down and coughed up the money to actually buy the thing.

And then I looked at the pictures for a long time, drawn in by the nearly photorealistic background and the sense of, well, wonder, that I found in the different illustrations.

One of the things about that book that I never forgot was that Whelan had a description of each and every piece in there. Some of them were just a few sentences, there were more detailed, but all of them involved not the pictures themselves, but the books that the paintings were designed to illustrate. I was so taken by the idea of this man's work and he was so taken by the stories he illustrated,that I systematically purchased a copy of virtually very book I could find a cover fro in that book and there were a lot of covers in there.

Among those were the incredible cover pieces he did for the H.P. Lovecraft collections. Those two illustrations were broke down into bits and pieces and used as the covers for a half dozen books that I bought and read. And loved.

I saw more covers and was introduced to Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Next up, Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern--my first venture into fantasy that was really science fiction in disguise (and, okay, a lot of romance at the same time). Fred Saberhagen's Berserker books were next and then, oh, then, I encountered the amazing works of Michael Moorcock.

Among Whelan's covers I saw the illustrations for Sailor on the Seas of Fate, the Weird of the White Wolf, and other tales of Elric of Melnibon√©. What an amazing character! Driven isn't the first word to define the albino prince, but it certainly is among the best. Prince of a decadent land, he loses all that he has to his cousin and then seeks a way to get ti back.And the method he finds? That would be a sword of unholy peer, Stormbringer. The blade feeds on souls and offers a portion of their energies to the sword-wielder. Poor, sickly Elric, always the weakling, suddenly finds himself with a way to achieve his goals. 

I fell in love with the tales. I was fascinated by his motivations, by the people he surrounded himself with and by the tragedy that followed him like a shadow. 


Michael Whelan introduced me to a lot of authors. I even had the chance not long ago to meet the artist at a convention where, hopefully, I didn't make too much of an ass of myself while gushing over the influence he had on me not only as a reader but as a writer. One of my personal goals , and one I do not believe I will ever achieve, but one can dream, would be to have Whelan illustrate one of my books. 


In any event, he led me to a lot of my favorite authors and was certainly an influence on my writing as were the authors he introduced me to. One of the big ones was Michael Moorcock. I can safely say that his dark tales of swords and sorcery had a heavy influence on me back in the day and they've likely been instrumental in my works over the years. 


So, a thanks and an appreciation of Michael Whelan for introducing me to Michael Moorcock and in turn to Elric. 


And a very sincere happy 75th birthday to Michael Moorcock! Thank you, sir, for the inspiration and the wonderful tales. 




Monday, December 15, 2014

Sales time again! Seven Forges, The Blasted Lands!

Seven Forges and The Blasted Lands are on sale for the Kindle!

SEVEN FORGES

THE BLASTED LANDS


Both at $1.99 for the Kindle. Get 'em while they're hot!





Sunday, December 7, 2014

Just gonna put this here and bask for a while.

Yep. Bragging. Doesn't happen often, don't get too used to it. But for the moment, there it is:




Saturday, December 6, 2014

Number 1! (And Number 5, too!)

SEVEN FORGES


Product Details








THE BLASTED LANDS


Product Details