Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Coyote Cal Weird Western - Milo James Fowler

El Diablo de Paseo Grande

Sometimes, you don't want to know. . .

El Diablo, cover prop. of Milo James Fowler

At the beginning of the story, Coyote Cal is on the road with his sidekick Yap, a psychic, Donna, and a guide, Manuel.  Coyote has been hired to track down something that's killing the livestock.  It's killing them for a purpose.  A trap is set.

What would you do if you heard strange noises just over the hill, late at night in the middle of an unfamiliar rural place?  Walk towards the noise, or run the other way?


To celebrate Milo's two hundredth blog post AND a month chock-full of Creepy Freebies, Milo is offering "El Diablo" for free on Amazon from Sunday the 21st of October through the 25th.  Don't miss it!  Be sure to check out Milo's Blog for other special treats this Halloween.  There's still time before the 31st.


Do you know Milo J. Fowler and his blog, In Media Res?  If not, you need to visit his blog and see some of his work.  It's a showcase of the weird stories that seem perfectly appropriate this time of year. 

Please share in the comments if you know Milo or if you've read this weird tale.  Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Orleans Dark Fantasy - Roland Yoemans

Lurking shadows hide in the old markets, undead spirits roam in a New Orleans from another time.  Samhain is coming.

GHOST of a Chance

Ghost of a Chance by R. Yoemans

Roland, author turned character, has been dragged into a story he created.  He wakes from a disturbed sleep.  What woke him?  A soft voice with a melodious accent.  Hemingway is lying dead on the floor beside him, and Marlene Deitrich is warning him to escape.  Roland has no choice but to dive into the swirling mist of the mirror, and into another plane of existence.

Trekking through France during the time of Richelieu, then through the seedier alleys of London during the Jack-the-Ripper murders, he must continue through the testing to find his friend, Sam McCord and recover his own time.  Roland, as the Lakota, travels with his characters in a quest through his own fantasy universe. 

A few distinguished guest bloggers appear at Roland's apartment to keep up with his blog while the action is playing out in the ghost world of Meilori's.  Raymond Chandler has my vote for several reasons. Gypsy impressed me too.  I've always been fond of felines.

A Halloween story like this one can skew our perception of reality.  It's a sobering thought to think of alternate universes that overlap.  Our day world or our night dreams?  I'll have to think about that, or sleep on it.  Keep a light on, so you can find your way back.


BURNT Offerings

If you breathe deeply, you might smell the cinders in these stories. . .

Burnt Offerings by R. Yoemans

The first story is presented in a manner that reminds me of a tragedy, mainly because of the storyline.  A daughter's promise of inheritance is not kept, but used as a lure to draw the victim into the spider's web.  A dream for affection or at least acknowledgement dies at the palace of The Face, her mother.  Loy, a young child always suppressed by others, must decide their fate.


An ominous darkness threads its way through the second tale of Samuel McCord in the dark New Orleans of the past. Sam doesn't know how to quit. Protecting others against evil is his duty, and always will be.  Duty distracts him from his losses, and provides a cover for him to replenish his food supplies. 

Even the spirits are wary of the legend, Samuel McCord.  There's talk in the streets.  When cornered on a beach by Bond type scuba divers and a swaggering tough, he manages to be the one to walk away with a plane ticket to Amsterdam.  There, Sam runs into Eve, a girl from his past.  A Texas Ranger just does what needs doing.  He verified a hunch about energy. The Internet will never be the same.


During Samhain, at summer's end, McCord once again sees his love and his estranged wife, Meilori.  He also meets the padre or Rabbi, whom Sam escorts to the Shrine of Death.  A few questionable characters and a few friends make cameo appearances in what serves as a nexus point, where many evil spirits are gathering.  This story reveals more of the history of Samuel McCord and his relationship with the beautiful Meilori.  A bittersweet tale.


Roland recently sold two stories which will appear in two separate anthologies. Details are available on his site via a Mark Twain post.  Roland's books include the art work of Leonora Roy.  These books are suitable for Halloween readers above MG level.


After midnight on Halloween, would you walk alone, or with a friend through the dark streets of a haunted New Orleans?  OR Have you read any books by Roland? Please share in the comments.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a fun Halloween!



http://rolandyeomans.blogspot.ca/  Roland's Blog, Writing in the Crosshairs

http://rolandyeomans.blogspot.ca/2012/10/double-trouble.html  Sale of two short stories by Roland


Monday, October 1, 2012

Rendezvous with RAMA by Arthur C. Clarke

A starship the size of a large asteroid arrives in Earth's solar system, they call it RAMA . . .

Sir Arthur C. Clarke, a British author and one of the grand masters of science fiction, first published Rendezvous with Rama in 1972.  It won both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

Rendezvous with Rama

The first in the RAMA universe, Rendezvous is set in 22nd century.  An alien ship, with a thirty-one mile long cylindrical shape, enters Earth’s solar system.  A group of human explorers intercept and board the ship, a scientific creation that dwarfs anything humans have created, then relate the story to those on Earth.  A genre classic, written in the hard science fiction style.  

Fantastic visions of a superior intelligence lure the humans into the mystery of the starship that seems to be waiting for something.  Perhaps a sampling of the human race?  I preferred this book authored by Clarke alone, to the three follow-up novels authored by Gentry.  I recommend reading Rendezvous with Rama, but be aware that the three subsequent novels do not have the same appeal or science edge as the original novel by Clarke.  The co-authored books did not receive the same awards or recognition as the original book. 


The following youtube, Rendezvous with RAMA, shows a quick interior of the starship.



Clarke joined with Gentry Lee to write the remainder of the series.  Lee did the actual writing, while Clarke read and made editing suggestions. 

Rama II - 1989
Garden of Rama - 1991
Rama Revealed - 1993


Interesting Notes:

Clarke invented the space study program "Project Spaceguard", to identify NEOs - near Earth objects - on Earth impact paths.  This is the program that detects Rama in the story, Rendezvous with Rama.

In 1992, a real project Spaceguard was initiated and named after Clarke's fictional device.  After a series of asteroid strike films generated interest, NASA was given authorization and funding to support this program.

In July 1994, the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 to Jupiter increased the perception of importance of tracking NEOs.  Maybe those people who worried about Earth being impacted weren't paranoid alarmists after all.

Other well-known titles by Clarke:  2001-A Space Odyssey, 2010-Odyssey II, The Hammer of God.  The bibliography link below lists novellas and short stories.


Did you know A. C. Clarke worked closely with NASA? Have you read any of Arthur C. Clarke’s books? Childhood's End was the first I read.  Would you like to explore an empty alien ship?  Please share in the comments.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaceguard - Spaceguard

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke - Arthur, the Author

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke_bibliography - Bibliography, A. C. Clarke

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendezvous_with_Rama Rendezvous with Rama; photo of cover with artists' representation of the starship.