Book Review of “Hounded” by Kevin Hearne

hounded

Cover art for the mass market paperback edition of “Hounded”

I admit that I only read Kevin Hearne’s novel Hounded because my twelve-year-old grandson enjoyed it along with the rest of the Iron Druid Chronicles.

Actually, for a long time, my grandson and I have played a two-person “role playing” game of one sort or another just for the run of it. In our current game, he based his character very heavily on Hearne’s protagonist Atticus O’Sullivan, a two-thousand year old man and last of the Druids posing as a twenty-year-old bookstore owner in Tempe, Arizona.

I can’t swear to the lore in Hearne’s book, but he did add more than a little whimsy to his tale. Speaking of “tail,” Atticus also has a rather intelligent wolfhound named Oberon who likes sausages and French poodles and the two manage some interesting conversations.

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Two New Stories Now Available For You!

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As you can see my copy of Exploring Infinity, edited by Richard Paolinelli, just arrived. It contains my short story “The Last Astronaut”. Here’s a tidbit.

After PEM-1 had been struck by what he later surmised was a type of temporal energy, Booker regained consciousness in a completely ruined space pod. His right leg wasn’t broken, thanks to his EVA suit, but it hurt like the devil. Smoke swirled lazily through the interior and there were a dozen electrical fires smoldering.

The spacecraft was utterly still and leaning about ten degrees starboard. Out the port, he could see daylight and a flat desert with foothills beyond. Part of the chute fluttered into view. He’d landed. There was an atmosphere. The parachute deployed. He wasn’t splattered all over the landscape after all.

He blew the hatch and crawled out. None of the survival equipment escaped the devastation and worse, Mama’s Bible was just ashes.

He was peeling off his EVA suit when he saw some sort of structure in the distance. There wasn’t anything else. Not a road, a trail, nothing. Just a hot breeze carrying dry sand.

He limped to the Infinity Hotel, was greeted by a doorman who seemed unaffected by the heat, and welcomed inside. His leg healed rapidly, and even without a credit card, he was given a room key and told to enjoy himself. The phone system was out, but it would be repaired tomorrow if he wanted to call anyone. There would also be a shuttle to the nearby airport coming tomorrow.

Always tomorrow, except tomorrow never arrived.

To get a greater sense of what this is all about, read Richard’s novel Escaping Infinity. “Exploring is a collection of short tales that indeed “explores” what happens after the novel’s end. Here’s a few of my pages.

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Three Weeks Until “Theo Klaagorn, Private Eye”

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Three weeks until “Theo Klaagorn, Private Eye”.

I’ll post the pre-order link when available. Just three weeks until the 2021 edition of Fall Into Fantasy is available.

In 2019, my short story “The Demon in the Mask” appeared in this edition. When I went back to Amazon, I found out that one reviewer last year put my tale in the top five that she enjoyed. It was, what I consider, a traditional fantasy tale of dark demons and fallen heroes, a story of redemption in the face of unbelievable loss.

By contrast, “Theo Klaagorn, Private Eye” or “private detective,” I can’t decide which, is whimsical urban fantasy, a world where fantasy creatures escape a horrendous war in the dragon realms to certain places on Earth, like Las Vegas in 1974. Theo is a dwarf who, with his friends, a giant, a werewolf, and a fairy, try to solve the murder of an elven prince and free his half-elf wife who was framed for the crime.

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To Be Published in “Fall into Fantasy 2021”

fall

Proposed cover art for “Fall into Fantasy 2021”

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Since 2019, my short stories have appeared more or less regularly in the Cloaked Press anthologies Spring into SciFi and Fall into Fantasy.

I’m proud to announce that my urban fantasy tale “Theo Klaaggorn, Private Eye” will be appearing in the upcoming “Fall into Fantasy 2021.”

Here’s a small preview:

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Rejection and Feedback

typing

Found at typinglounge.com – No image credit given

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Random stuff.

I haven’t been writing much lately. Okay, I haven’t been writing anything new at all. I do technical writing for my day job of course, and I just finished yet another freelance job updating/refreshing test questions at the back a technology book (it’s actually more interesting than it sounds, pays pretty well, and has a quick turnaround).

What I have  been doing is submitting previously rejected short stories to different publishers, actually trying for more “mainstream” periodicals.

This is where the rejection part comes in. One story is basically urban fantasy/crime story (I’ve just submitted it yet again, so we’ll see) and the other is a sort of “pirates in space” tale, complete with oppressive colonizers, revenge, and swashbuckling. I even included a fictionalized version of a famous author.

The vast, vast majority of time when you get those rejection emails, they’re pretty standard fare and offer no feedback good, bad, or indifferent. This last one did:

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Review of “Misfits” by A.C. Haskins

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Promotional image of author A.C. Haskins

If you’ve read THIS and THIS, then you know why I’ve been reviewing a small series of short stories published by Baen Books.

Today, I review the third and last tale in the 2021 freebie I downloaded called Misfits authored by A.C. Haskins. He doesn’t seem to have a blog or website, but according to his Amazon Author’s page:

A.C. Haskins is a former Armored Cavalry Officer and combat veteran, turned economist and business strategist (and occasional firearm instructor). He has a lifelong love of speculative fiction, having written his first science fiction novel as a class project in the eleventh grade. His interests include (but are not limited to) ancient and medieval history, mythology, applied violence studies, tabletop gaming, and theoretical economics. He lives in Michigan with his wife, two cats, and a dog.

You can find what books he’s contributed to by clicking the link above.

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Review of Denton Salle’s Novel “Black Earth Rises, Hall of Heroes Book Three”

black earth

Cover art for Denton Salle’s novel “Black Earth Rises”

Black Earth Rises is the third book in a series by Denton Salle, but it stands very well on its own since I haven’t read the first two novels.

Denton asked me to review his book and was aware of recent difficulties I’ve had reviewing books by people I know. He assured me that he’d understand me being forthright and fair about my review, and I have been.

For being a supernatural urban legend thriller, the story is pretty standard, up to a point. Two college buddies from very different backgrounds, the women in their lives, coming up against frat jerks, all seems normal.

Then the frat jerks turn out to be werewolves and there is a sinister school being operated by an evil sorceress in the bowels of a Texas university near Dallas. But this school also has an old graveyard haunted with the unexpected, both evil and good.

A good Catholic boy named Jim gets pulled by his frat friend Mike into an Orthodox religious group (most of which are Mike’s family) of an ancient order sworn to protect our existence from occult dangers. They live an uneasy peace with the “Otherworld” by a compact signed untold centuries ago…but not all of the Otherworld creatures are obedient, or perhaps they just didn’t sign on the dotted line.

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