About Me

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I write and live with my beautiful wife, Sandra, and sons (Solstice, Finnegan and Brahms) in a little-big house on a dirt road in a valley in the hills. My secret identity struggles through the grind of teaching high school English to the denizens of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review of Legend by David Gemmell

All right, I confess, I have an addiction to David Gemmell's fantasies. I also don't understand how more people in the U.S. don't know about him. In some ways he should be the standard of how fantasy is written. He never dissapoints, he includes action, characterization, drama, and romance in lovely doses. (yes, I just said lovely doses). I wish he had lived longer and written more. Still, thirty books are a lot, and I've only read 6, but Legend, his first work (and perhaps most adored) is a gem.

Legend details the defense of Dros Delnoch a walled keep and city on the edge of Drenai lands. The barbarian forces of the Nadir have been marshaled together by the genius of Warlord Ulric and the entire Drenai civilization is threatened. To this defense comes Druss the Deathwalker, a grizzled, axe-wielding veteran who has never been defeated. Is his legend and the help of a new Earl and his love, along with thirty mystic priest-knights be enough to inspire the people of Dros Delnoch to hold back the invasion? I guess you will have to read it to find out.

Druss is a marvel, as well as all the other secondary characters that are tested in this vicious crucible of death and slaughter. The work is the battle of Helm's Deep on steroids and it is insane that a movie has not been done of this story. If you read this and love it, be at peace knowing the author was kind enough to tell many more stories about the Drenai and of Druss himself.

May the Source be with you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Review of Ghoul by Brian Keene

In Ghoul by Brian Keene three 12 year-olds struggle to enjoy another endless summer despite their abusive and misunderstanding parents and the incursion of a newly awakened Ghoul in their summer haunt, the local cemetery. The year is 1984 and Timmy Graco and his two best friends contend with sexual abuse, physical abuse, death, oncoming puberty, mean local dogs, and one very creepy supernatural menace. This tightly wound thriller is the perfect summer read, especially for those who remember what it was like to be young in the 1980's.

In Ghoul, the real monsters are the parents, at their worst they are domineering, alcoholic and insensibly vicious. At their best, their ineptly destructive and deaf to the warnings of the desperate children that have begun to unravel the horrific mystery of why the graveyard has so many sink holes and why people keep disappearing.

More than anything, this is an ode to youth, innocence, friendship, and the 1980's. I loved Ghoul, from its understandably wretched antagonist to its brave and wonderful protagonist. Timmy's love of comic collecting/reading mirrored my own at that age, and his turning to these and his monster manual for help was faithful to the imaginative boys of my generation. If you like horror mixed with the sweetly sad nostalgia for things unrecoverable, like innocence and child hood friendship, then you will love it, too.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The writing binge is about to commence...

Hey, true believers,

I am about done my official week of "vacation". I did manage to sneak in a bit of writing and began my novel Wardmaster. It is the first book in a series of two trilogies in which each should be able to be read alone and enjoyed that way. I'll write more later...

Also, here is the link to the official shout out about Hairy Bromance in the Library of Horror Forums:


Now, to the writing!