Apocalypse Weird Q&A: Nick Cole

Philip HarrisAuthors, Books, InterviewsLeave a Comment

I remember very clearly when and where I first discovered Nick Cole’s writing. It was a Summer’s day a couple of years ago, and I was sitting in a park in Vancouver, looking for a book to read on my Kindle. I spotted Nick Cole’s The Old Man and the Wasteland and it sounded like a good way spend the afternoon. I was hooked right from the start, read it in one sitting and loved it. More recently, I read Soda Pop Soldier and just couldn’t put it down. Now, I’m reading his second Apocalypse Weird title – The Dark Knight, the sequel to The Red King, and it’s another great book. So, I was very pleased when Nick graciously agreed to answer a few questions about The Dark Knight and the Apocalypse Weird project   Hi Nick, welcome to the site. Tell us a little bit about your latest Apocalypse Weird book, The Dark Knight. Basically it picks up where the Apocalypse Weird: The Red King left off. We find the survivors building a castle, and by that we mean fortifying their townhome condominium complex into a modern medieval structure!  Holiday and Frank are struggling for control of the group and Ash rescues a special needs adults whose … Read More

Apocalypse Weird Q&A: Michael Bunker

Philip HarrisAuthors, Books, InterviewsLeave a Comment

Today is the big day for Apocalypse Weird with five new books hitting the shelves: Texocalypse Now by Michael Bunker and Nick Cole The Dark Knight by Nick Cole (the sequel to The Red King) Reversal by Jennifer Ellis The Serenity Strain by Chris Pourteau Immunity by E.E. Giorgi I posted my thoughts on the project on Saturday, but I thought I’d also try something new to commemorate the event. So, I’ve lined up a series of Q&As with the authors of the five launch titles, and I’ll be posting one each day this week. First up is Michael Bunker, co-author of Texocalypse Now. Hi Michael, welcome to the blog. What can you tell us about the premise of Texocalypse Now and the Digger series? The overall premise is that in a Central and West Texas gone Mad Max, the apocalypse has left a vast, mostly deserted swath of Texas a dangerous place to be. Some small towns survive… for awhile… boarded up and on the defense. Precious Metal Pirates, biker gangs, and hordes of feral humans made crazy for protein by a diet pill they relied on prior to the collapse, criss-cross the basin looking to murder, salvage, or just consume anything that is left. In … Read More

Happy Birthday, Clive Barker

Philip HarrisAuthors, BooksLeave a Comment

I first encountered Clive Barker’s writing when I read Cabal. It was the second horror novel I’d read, the first being Barbara Hambly’s Immortal Blood (known as Those Who Hunt the Night outside of the UK). I was blown away – it was just such a cool story. I still have my original copy of that book (along with three other versions). I followed up Cabal with The Damnation Game and Weaveworld and I’ve been reading and rereading his books ever since. Imajica is still one of my favourite novels and I reread Cabal this year and really enjoyed it – it’s aged surprisingly well. His films have also been a big part of my life. My wife introduced me to Hellraiser (a fact I still find extremely amusing and which went a long way towards convincing me she was someone I could spend the rest of my life with) and it immediately became one of my favourite films. I have multiple copies on DVD and VHS (yes, VHS), including a copy signed by Pinhead himself, Doug Bradley. I have all the Hellraiser sequels on DVD, even the terrible ones and the Hellraiser/Prophecy crossover fan film – Hellraiser: Prophecy. I love Lord of Illusions and although the movie adaptation of Cabal, Nightbreed, isn’t as good as the source material, I still have … Read More

Graham Joyce

Philip HarrisAuthorsLeave a Comment

I was saddened to hear today that British author, Graham Joyce, has died of cancer. I’ve been reading a few of his blog posts this evening and the last one is even more poignant under the circumstances. I was fortunate enough to meet him at a British Fantasy Convention many years ago. The exact details of that day are long and involved and probably don’t work as a story unless you were there but he struck me as a very nice guy. He was also an excellent writer and if you’ve not read any of his books, I definitely suggest you check them out and see if one takes your fancy. He will be missed. [Graham Joyce by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 9th September 2014]

Pennsylvania Book Bomb

Philip HarrisAuthors, BooksLeave a Comment

Today is Pennsylvania book bomb day. That’s nice. What’s a book bomb? Well, it’s a concerted effort to sell as many copies of a book as possible in a single day – usually launch day. The goal, apart from selling those copies, is to get as much visibility for the book as possible. The more sales a book gets the higher it climbs in the rankings on Amazon and other places and the more people will see it. That kind of visibility is the lifeblood of indie authors that don’t have the marketing muscle of the big publishers behind them. Okay, so what’s Pennsylvania? I’m glad you asked. Pennsylvania is Michael Bunker’s Amish science fiction novel and the book that taught me how to spell Pennsylvania. Originally published as a series of five individual books, he’s now put together an omnibus edition and today is launch day. Which is where the book bomb comes in – Michael is looking to sell 500 copies across both paperback and ebook in one day. I read the individual volumes earlier this year and really enjoyed them so I’ll be doing my part by picking up the print copy of the book. I’m looking forward to seeing it. As I mentioned in a previous … Read More

Lost Souls

Philip HarrisAuthors, BooksLeave a Comment

Every reader a book that really speaks to them, mine is Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite. I read Lost Souls right in the middle of my goth/horror phase – it was the book for horror fans at the time. I’d read and enjoyed a couple of Ann Rice’s Vampire Chronicles but the darker, grittier feel of Lost Souls really resonated with me. I immediately moved on to Poppy’s other books and I loved them all but Lost Souls has always been “the one”. It’s one of the few books I reread and  I still enjoy it now,  probably because I’m still a sad old goth at heart (I used to have a t-shirt to prove it) and I’m secretly waiting for my real vampire parents to come and get me and whisk me off to New Orleans for a life of absinthe fueled debauchery. Poppy Z Brite and Caitlin R Kiernan are the only two authors that I really “collect”. I have all their mainstream books (sometimes multiple copies) plus limited editions, signed editions, chapbooks, CDs, monster doodles – pretty much anything I can find. In the case of Lost Souls, I have my paperback reading copy, a mint condition first edition, the 10th anniversary limited edition … Read More

Dust

Philip HarrisAuthors, BooksLeave a Comment

Dust by Hugh Howey

The third book in Hugh Howey’s Silo Series, Dust, was released today. The first book in the series, Wool, began life as a fantastic short story that Hugh self-published at the end of July 2011. Encouraged by the fan reaction and sales the book was getting, Hugh published four more parts to the story and an omnibus edition all of which dominated the Amazon bestseller charts until Hugh was making enough money to quit his day job. Wool started getting mainstream publicity and rose up the overall Amazon charts. That attracted the attention of the big publishers who backed up the money truck and offered Hugh a publishing deal. And this is where it starts to get interesting, particularly if you’re thinking of self-publishing your work. Rather than signing a book deal, jumping in a limo and riding off into the sunset waving his bottle of champagne at the poor slobs toiling away on their little ebooks, Hugh invited the publishers in, had a cup of tea with them, then thanked them nicely and sent them back to New York with a slice of cake [1. Okay, it may not have happened exactly like that but he seems like a nice guy … Read More

Following Neil

Philip HarrisAuthors, Events4 Comments

When I posted on Facebook that I had tickets to see Neil Gaiman, one of my friends commented “Isn’t Neil Gaiman an author?” to which I replied “Yes, but he’s a rock star author.” I was wrong, he’s bigger than a rock star. When we reached the Vogue theatre, about 45 minutes before the doors opened, the queue was already at the block and a half stage, far longer than any band we’ve seen since moving to Vancouver. Twenty minutes later it had stretched another block and was in danger of reaching Ouroboros status before the doors were opened. The Vogue is a good venue for this type of event. Large enough to accommodate a reasonable number of people but small enough that everyone gets a decent view and there’s plenty of atmosphere. An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer was held in the Vogue and it’s where we first saw Evil Dead: The Musical so it’s given us some good memories. Steadfastly refusing to look at the table selling copies of Neil’s books, we got into the theatre just before six. The room was filled with hundreds of politely excited people talking about Neil or books or how they can’t grow a … Read More

Sword of the Ronin

Philip HarrisAuthors, BooksLeave a Comment

Travis Heermann’s new book Sword of the Ronin launched last weekend. I backed Travis’ Kickstarter for this and ended up proofreading the book as well. This is what I posted about the book after I’d read it. Sword of the Ronin mixes historical elements with fantasy into a fast paced adventure and I really enjoyed reading it. There’s plenty of action and some really effective writing – particularly the part where our hero, Ken’ishi, ends up in…okay, no I won’t spoil it. Things get quite graphic in places so bear that in mind, but those scenes worked well for me; particularly that bit where Ken’ishi ends up in…okay, okay, no spoilers. As Travis himself said recently this book is ideal for people “who also love historical fantasy, non-Western settings, and a great ronin hero who hacks lots of bad people into tiny bits.” To celebrate the book’s release, Travis is offering it for free on Kindle until August 3rd. Bear in mind, it is a sequel to Heart of the Ronin but I haven’t read the first book yet and didn’t find that a problem at all. [Sword of the Ronin by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 30 July 2013]