Thursday, September 17, 2015
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Friday, July 31, 2015
Darwin and the edge of the Empire
Amateur naturalist Chad Hobbes—the atheist son of a preacher—has come to the colony of British Columbia to learn a bit about life before he settles down to a life as a lawyer. Unfortunately for Chad, he’s just missed the Gold Rush, which means that nobody in Vancouver or nearby Victoria really needs a lawyer. But what they do need is a policeman. The wilderness settlement has several police officers but none with Hobbes’ particular set of skills. The idea of being a “peeler” appeals to Hobbes and he’s soon thrust into the heart of a murder mystery that has racial and colonial implications.
Hobbes is fascinated by his duties and dutifully records everything he observes in a leather-bound journal his mother gave him before he left home. There’s plenty to observe. Elections are pending and one of the questions is whether B.C. will become part of America. Passions run high on both sides of the question but not as high as when an American “alienist” is found dead and the most likely suspect is a medicine man.
Sean Haldane’s novel transcends genre here with its literate (but never ponderously literary) style and the sharp observations on everything from class to vegetation. (Hobbes is fascinated by the quality of blue in the sky, so different from the English sky back home.)
Fans of historical mysteries are in for a treat with this book.
Friday, July 17, 2015
I used to read a LOT of horror. When I first started writing I wrote a lot of horror. I haven't gotten a lot of traction with that genre though, and I find myself wondering if it's simply not commercial any more. Most of the time I write what I want to write and devil take the consequences, but as a full-time freelancer, I don't just write to amuse myself. So I need to figure out if there's some fiction/fusion formula that will work. Horror/spuspense maybe? Haven't seen that for a while. Maybe something with voodoo? I havne't read a good voodoo story in a long time.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
One of the things I've noticed about writing horror is that I'm inspired by visuals more than anything else. And while trolling through Bigstock this month, looking for images to illustrate two proposals I was creating, I found this image.
And it spoke to me. I think it's genuinely creepy. The black stone somehow makes it even creepier than it might be in white marble. It's the texture. It almost looks volcanic to me. Expect a short story to go with this picture soon. I'm still thinking about what it might be but in the meantime...ponder the picture.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
This book caught my attention because the book blurb mentioned ROMEO & JULIET and I'm always on the lookout for things Shakespearean. It doesn't really have that much of a connection, but one of the things the reviewers really liked is that the writer got the details of the medieval world right. Since writers who fake it make me crazy, I look forward to reading this. If you're interested too, it's free today for the Kindle.