Among the Shadows now on Kindle!
Ray Bardbury’s classic dystopian tale, Fahrenheit 451, is well known as a cautionary tale on censorship and the suppressing of knowledge. It is not his only warning on this danger. In The Martian Chronicles, in the chapter “April 2005 – Usher II,” this scene unfolds:
How could I expect you to know blessed Mr. Poe? …All of his books were burned in the Great Fire…He and Lovecraft and Hawthorne and Ambrose Bierce and all the tales of terror and fantasy and horror and, for that matter, tales of the future were burned. They passed a law. Oh, it started very small…[like] a grain of sand. They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another…there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.
These warnings, I think, must be taken seriously. Even now, I read of censorship on certain websites, politicians who openly call for suppression of certain views and venues, repeated attempts to control the internet. People who don’t think the suppression of their rights can occur in our age, need to wake up and listen to what Bradbury wrote decades ago.
It all can begin small. Like a grain of sand.
I have occasionally examined the appeal of speculative fiction such as sci-fi and fantasy. Here is what astronomer Fred Hoyle, in the Introduction to the 1963 edition of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, wrote on the subject:
…the potentiality for the highest form of writing lies also in science fiction…When most men had little chance to travel, distant lands on Earth still gave a setting for stories that could be exotic, mysterious and exciting. Nowadays our lives resemble one another perhaps too much…Man as a person has never materially had it so good. Yet the technical world that makes us affluent also holds us captive. Our existence is ruled by the clocks, whose ticks subdivide the days into dull monotony. We revolt against this pattern of existence. The storyteller is here, and those who listen escape to new horizons.
So now, 53 years later, has our captivity decreased, or exponentially multiplied?
Fiction reminds us to wake up before it’s too late.
The Look Inside feature has been activated on the Amazon listing of Among the Shadows. Take a peak at part of the Prologue (it be nice if they cut the excerpts off where the chapter ends…maybe the rest will appear here) and see how it all begins…
The world forgets evil exists even as it creeps over the land. You must stand firm. You do not have to wait for the day evil is to come. That day has already passed.
The war has begun! Among the Shadows: Watchers of the Light Book 1 is now available. Book trailer here:
Paperback at Amazon.com:
E-book for Kindles will be out in about a week (last minute technical difficulties), so bookmark the Amazon page and I’ll be announcing the e-book release very soon.
What was locked in shadow now stirs, and where darkness has laid dormant, evil awakes.
Where I was born, only dust remains. My home was put to the fire, thousands of years ago. Mound of the Dead, that is what they call it now.
Since the age of the Scourges, I have served the Darkness and my master, Ahriman. A shadowmancer of the Dark One, his servant on this broken world.
In the shadows we have seethed; crafted malice that people believe to be only myth. It is to our advantage that they don’t see the rot and decay around them. Once they realize, it will be too late for all of them. What lays dormant, now awakes.
I am Rajnai. I am darkness and all in the Light will fall before me. This is their end.
Among the Shadows: Watchers of the Light Book 1 now available!
[Photo used under license from Shutterstock.com.]
Anyone can write. At least I suspect that is what some people probably think. It’s true as far as it goes, and anyone can get published in today’s electronic age. Yet not everyone does write, and most of those who do, realize it can be time-consuming and difficult. Difficult doesn’t mean unenjoyable. Difficult means the authors who take it seriously — and most do — treat it like the craft it is. They are always learning, improving and not in a rush to get words out there. The toughest part of this process is the editing phase (at least I think so). Continue reading
James Bond. Doc Savage. Indiana Jones. MacGyver. All guys who seemed to have unlimited resources and unlimited adventures. All owe something to the pulp action stories of yesteryear — with Doc Savage being one of the icons of that era.
Now we have Gabriel Hunt.
The Gabriel Hunt series is an attempt to bring back the pulp action hero by the folks at Hard Case Crime who have almost single-handedly brought back this genre (now published by Titan Books). With a premise of Hunt being “backed by the resources of the $100 million Hunt Foundation and armed with his trusty Colt revolver,” how can you go wrong?
The series is fast-paced escapism as Hunt travels the world in search of lost places, deadly ancient mysterious and Bond-esque villains at every turn. And, of course, Hunt is quite the lady’s man.
Unfortunately, the series only went six volumes. Recently re-released (although not with the original pulp-art covers), maybe the Hunt Foundation will return? Perhaps Hunt can save us from too much “heavy handed message fic” — not that we want to check out from the issues of society, but sometimes escapist fiction can teach us a thing or two.
Like that we need a few more Hunts, Savages and MacGyvers in the world.
So I ran across The 5000 Year Leap, subtitled A Miracle That Changed the World: Principles of Freedom 101, at a book sale. Here, in one volume, is an accessible volume on the principles that went into writing the U.S. Constitution. The chapter I opened today reads:
3rd Principle: The Most Promising Method of Securing a Virtuous and Morally Stable People is to Elect Virtuous Leaders
Isn’t that a novel idea?
Author Ren Garcia tries to answer the allusive question of where authors get their creativity:
Creativity is a very personal thing. Where a person draws inspiration from will differ. I suppose, for me, creativity is a result of everything I’ve ever seen, read, watched, smelt, tasted and felt. For those with a creative persuasion these things stay in your head; you dream and ponder about them. It’s also based in all the things you love, you’ve hated, been confused by, been afraid of … everything sort of stirred together over time like a vat of hot butter in the basin of your brain continuously churned, and then recycled into something sort of like what you’ve experienced, but different. Sometimes these images linger in my head for years, slowly evolving over time before I insert them into my books. Lt. Kilos was one such character. I saw her in my thoughts for a long time, initially a banana blonde, in a colonial uniform holding a gun. Eventually the rough-and-tumble lady from Tusck spilled out onto the page, though quite a bit different than what I’d dreamed of. Things always turn out different once you get to writing.