Friday, June 18, 2021

The Case for Polylithic Evil


Most stories keep things simple. There is the side of Good, represented by the protagonist. There is the side of Evil, represented by the antagonist and his minions. Postmodern fiction tries to spice it up, with gray versus gray or gray versus black morality. Having just two sides is the norm. If there are multiple factions, expect them all to have varying shades of darkness, in the name of ‘realism’ and ‘grittiness’.

Reality paints a different picture.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Babylon Red Chapter 1 Preview

The IndieGoGo campaign for Babylon Red has reached 38% of its funding goal! To celebrate, here's chapter 1 of the exclusive novel!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Ingredients of Action Horror


Action horror. A fiction contradiction if there ever was one.

Action stories are about agency: the character’s ability to act on the environment, to overcome all odds, to destroy all foes in his path. Horror relies heavily on a lack of agency: the inability to directly confront the horror, and with it, the despair that comes from receiving the attentions of a creature far more powerful than yourself. Both genres are at odds with each other.

But only in postmodern fiction.

Robert E Howard deftly wrote stories of adventurers, monsters, and bloody battles between them. C. L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry was a warrior and a sovereign whose adventures pitted her against the supernatural. Even H. P. Lovecraft wrote tales of mere men confronting cosmic horrors—and winning.

To understand the ingredients of a successful action horror story, we must reject modernity and embrace the weird tale.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

BABYLON RED is live on IndieGoGo!

The New Gods have won.

The Special Tasks Section has been disbanded. Nothing can stop the New Gods from unleashing Hell on Earth.

Or so they think.

Fighting from the shadows, Team Black Watch wages a desperate war to keep cosmic horrors at bay.

But this time, Yuri Yamamoto is in exile.

Without a mystical crusader on their side, how can they stand against cultists, bloodthirsty monsters and false gods?

Find out in BABYLON RED!

BABYLON RED is the sequel to my cyberpunk action horror collection BABYLON BLUES. This time, we follow team sharpshooter Kayla Fox in her travels around Babylon, helping her teammates take on the New Gods.

Following the events of BABYLON BLUES, the New Gods have been weakened. The Temple Commission has purged the worst of its pawns in the government. But they are still powerful, and they are still the rulers of the world. However, in this power vacuum, minor Powers are stepping up onto the stage. We saw a hint of it in THE WHITE CROSS, the concluding chapter of BABYLON BLUES. Here in BABYLON RED, we see firsthand the rise of these lesser gods.

The STS dared to make a stand against the New Gods. For their sins, they have been placed on their hit list. Without the government to protect them, they are scattered, isolated, and vulnerable. But they are not afraid. And they will not stop fighting the gods until their dying breath.

And until Yuri Yamamoto returns, Kayla Fox will hold the line, alongside her brothers in Team Black Watch.

BABYLON RED comprises of 5 linked stories. 4 of them were previously published on Hive and on my blog. The last is exclusive to the collection.

Ready to return to Babylon? Check out the IndieGoGo campaign here!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Aether Czar's Memorial Day Sale!

(Promo picture by Hans Schantz)

Hans Schantz is running a massive Memorial Day sale from now until 2nd June, with over 80 titles priced at $0.99 or free!

The participating authors are among the top talent in the field of science fiction and fantasy, including John C Wright, Larry Correia, Tom Kratman, Jon del Arroz, David Drake, Declan Finn, Daniel Humphreys, Richard Paolinelli, John Ringo, David Weber, David J. West, and many other PulpRev authors.

This promotion ends on 2 June. To check out the rest of the titles on sale, just click on this link!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Fight Scene is the Last Scene

 Men Fighting In The Ring

Action scenes are the most memorable aspects of any fiction. Fast-paced and intense, they sear themselves into the audience's memories. Battles between the hero and the lesser mooks punctuate the plot, while the final showdown between the hero and the villain serves as the climax of the story. And that is what action in storytelling is: a climax. A climax that must be built up to.

Violence doesn't happen in a vacuum. When someone resorts to violence, it's because he wants something out of it. What he wants, and who he is, drives what he will do. What he does defines the action scene that follows.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Flipping the Script on the Subversives

The British TV series Father Brown is a mystery drama based on a character created by the novelist G.K. Chesterton. One episode caught my eye in that it delivers an especially heavy dose of subversive moral messaging. The episode in question is “The Sacrifice of Tantalus,” the sixth episode of season seven. The episode is subversive on a number of levels. It subverts, among other things, the nuclear family, the police, the judicial system, and the Catholic Church. G.K. Chesterton must be rolling in his grave.