Eleanor by Jason Gurley

Philip HarrisBooks, ReviewsLeave a Comment

We arrived back from a trip to Banff late last night. It was one of those journeys where every step took a little bit longer than expected but we made it in the end. I’ve got a bunch of stuff to post, including some photos (and some metrics), but first, a few words on Jason Gurley’s Eleanor which comes out today. After reading, and loving, Jason Gurley’s short story The Dark Age and his short story collection, Deep Breath Hold Tight, I had high hopes for his science fiction/fantasy novel, Eleanor. I wasn’t disappointed. Eleanor took thirteen years to write and sticking with a story for that long, crafting and re-crafting it until everything is perfect, takes passion and dedication very few people have. The result of all that work is an inventive, vivid book with a haunting, lyrical feel and an intriguing plot that had me hooked right from the beginning. It’s not always a happy book, but it’s never a dull book and I found myself dragged from page to page as the layers of the story were peeled back, grateful that I had the time to dedicate to reading instead of less important things – like sleeping. A truly memorable read, Eleanor has cemented Jason Gurley as one of my favourite authors and I can’t … Read More

Deep Breath Hold Tight by Jason Gurley

Philip HarrisBooks, ReviewsLeave a Comment

As a thank you for being a member of his mailing list, Jason Gurley sent me a free copy of his first short story collection – Deep Breath Hold Tight : Stories About the End of the World. I bought a copy anyway – that’s how much I enjoyed it. I’ve already talked about his short story – The Dark Age – and how memorable it was. Deep Breath Hold Tight contains The Dark Age plus six other stories, all loosely connected by the end of the world theme. These stories are all previously published either as standalone ebooks, in anthologies or as part of a full length novel. Wolf Skin Wolf Skin is the story of someone who becomes a member of one of those murderous roving gangs so popular in post-apocalyptic fiction. It’s the darkest of the seven stories in the collection. The opening few pages in particular are quite graphic, more so than the rest of the stories in the book. My preferences lean towards horror anyway so I was pretty comfortable with the content but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But the story quickly moves beyond the violence into more thought provoking territory and I enjoyed it. The Caretaker One of my favourite pieces in the collection, this … Read More


Philip HarrisMovies, ReviewsLeave a Comment

It’s been a while since my wife and I have watched a movie – we haven’t been to the cinema since RoboCop and our limited TV time has been spent watching such fine shows as Hannibal, Supernatural, The Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones. Those shows are staring to wrap up though so last night we fired up the PVR and watched RED 2. We were in the mood for something light and RED 2 certainly delivered – good mindless fun. It felt a bit more light hearted and less brutal than I remember the first film being but there was plenty of action and most of the humour worked. The only thing that seemed a little off to me was the tension between Frank and Sarah. That relationship worked much better in the first film, in my opinion. Tonight, we’re heading back to the TV shows to wrap up Elementary. [RED 2 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 16th May 2014]  

The Dark Age by Jason Gurley

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I first came across Jason Gurley on the writers’ cafe forums on kboards. He’d just lost his job and was selling some very impressive premade book covers. Since then he’s become one of the top cover artists for indie authors and the go-to guy for the biggest names in indie publishing including Hugh Howey, Mathew Mather and Michael Bunker. But he’s actually an accomplished author himself. He’s probably best known for his Silo novel, Greatfall and the Movement Trilogy. He’s also published several short stories and has a collection of them, Deep Breath Hold Tight, coming out on the 13th of May. I haven’t read any of his novels (yet) but I picked up one of his short stories, The Dark Age, in February and was completely blown away. I hate spoilers with a full-on fire raining down from the heavens vengeance so I’m not going to talk about the plot here. I’ll just repeat what I put in my Goodreads and Amazon reviews. A great story stays with you long after you finish reading it and that’s exactly what The Dark Age does. A heart-wrenching slice of sci-fi goodness – read this and then go and hug your loved ones. I was going to write something more here but … Read More

Book – Attic Clowns by Jeremy C Shipp

Philip HarrisBooks, Reviews2 Comments

This weekend, I finished reading my first book of 2012 – Jeremy C Shipp‘s Attic Clowns: Horror Stories. As the name suggests, all 13 stories in this book contain clowns and attics but if you think that means you know what to expect, you’re wrong. I first encountered Jeremy as the instructor of an online writing course (which incidentally, I highly recommend). I’ve read several of his books and stories since then and quickly became a fan of his work. This collection showcases Jeremy’s warped imagination at its best. Inside these stories you’ll find a toenail clipping eating demon, men made of soap, astronauts, flying couches and a host of other, equally twisted, inventions – I particularly enjoyed Giggles, the story of a malevolent being trapped in an attic by the practical jokes of the woman who watches over him. These are stories that start with lines like: I can’t for the life of me remember why my mother didn’t attend her funeral yesterday, so I ask her. or Benny only thinks about one thing, so it’s no surprise when I find a miniature version of him curled up in my underwear drawer. or Things could get depressing in here with that dead body … Read More