The three or four types of indie fantasy covers

Looking at the Amazon best sellers is always a good way to waste spend the time, and it proves that thing about everything having to change for everything to stay the same. If you blink even for a moment, books, authors, or even entire new genres that once seemed ready to become the new hot thing are suddenly gone, yet, at the same time, the new thing looks surprisingly similar to what they replaced.

You would be hard-pressed to find a more strightforward example of creative unoriginality and lack of imagination than today’s book covers, although the same could be said concerning their titles and perhaps even their themes and style of writing. But covers are easier to analyze—and funnier.

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November 11 post: the writing of old bestsellers vs. contemporary writers, a comparison.

If you have read some of my posts, it’s no secret that I can’t stand most contemporary fiction. The last few posts have been an attempt to explain, mostly to myself, why I rarely can’t get past the first paragraphs of most books I open. Some of those posts have been quite successful and a few people have told me they have had similar experiences, so I guess I’m not the only one.

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Indie self-publishing experiments, or “I’d rather eat my own gallbladder.”

I ran a little experiment a few days ago, although you can consider other of my publishing attempts in the previous years a long experiment, and I’m a strong believer in the principle of publishing negative results, not just your successes.

I knew the results wouldn’t be great, and as I began reading up on the subject my gnawing feeling got worse, but really, never for I moment I thought it would be that bad.

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Free stuff and a new short story!

I have uploaded a new short story adventure novelette,Life of the Party [I took it down as explained in a future post], and to celebrate that Cirsova #9 is out, where you can read my short story The Orb of Xarkax, both The Butcher of Greystone, a gothic dark fantasy short story, and my non-fiction book Dangerous Gamers will be free from September 3 to September 7, Pacific Time, (well, the second book from 4 to 8, so you’ll have to wait at least another day.) As far as I know, this doesn’t work for those outside the USA, but for those living there, it should already be working, at least The Butcher.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

The Butcher of Greystone – A Short Story now available.

My short story is live on Amazon for the awesome price of $1 (or something quite close to that,) a price so low you’d think I’ve suffered brain damage!

It’s a horror story, but following the epistolary genre of Gothic novels, mixing a bit of dark fantasy and weirdness in there. Most of the text is a single “letter” (a confession actually) written by Martin Goddard, a man dubbed by the populace as The Butcher of Greystone for his mass-killing of everybody in said castle. He’s on death row, in the final hours before his execution, and he writes this confession/short autobiography to set the record straight and explain his side of the story. However, there’s maybe more at play than even he knows. Click on the link and read the sample available to see if you like it.

My goal is to see if it’s viable to self-publish short stories. It may not be very profitable, and the royalties for that price range are awful, but let’s see where the whole thing leads. I have more short stories ready, so I’ll probably upload more in the coming weeks.

If you are curious about the awesome cover art, it’s from an old XIX century Spanish book, and the picture was uploaded under a Creative Commons license. I simply turned up the contrast and made a few changes to make it darker and more brooding.

As always, comments, reviews, and the like are appreciated. And if someone wants a copy review, ask away.

 

 

 

Bad Writing: Amazon bestsellers edition

The original goal of this post was to write a mini-essay on something that annoys me about contemporary writing. As far as I know, it has no name, and I struggled to find one, so I had to settle for something as cumbersome as “mid-action or mid-description beginnings.” Essentially, the story starts in media res, but not in the middle of the plot, but in the middle of a scene, with people (sometimes a lot of people) doing, sometimes exciting or action-related, stuff… for no reason we can discern. No goals, context, purpose, or meaning are given. It’s just a picture, like a movie scene (and in many cases, it shows the writer imagined it as such.)

The protagonist can be fighting another person (and we know nothing about them so we have no reason to care,) sweating profusely from some equally strenuous activity, engaging in a heavy dialogue with a character we know nothing about, or sometimes it’s a cliché-ridden description as the character prepares to do one of those things (the standard in fantasy until a few years ago was to describe, for some unfathomable reason, the sky – usually a sunset or dawn- and how that light reflected on the local vegetation.)

The opposite, of course, is to start like all stories have always been written, with a small, perhaps only a single sentence, explanation about the why, where, and when so we can contextualize what is happening and will happen.

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‘Dangerous Gamers’ paperback version available.

After a long struggle, the paperback version of my book, “Dangerous Gamers,” is available. Now you can read my ramblings critique of the new over-bloated class of cultural commentators and their latest controversies concerning allegedly violent, sexist, and racist media, including entertainment and (video) games.

Continue reading “‘Dangerous Gamers’ paperback version available.”