Smith pairs a curmudgeonly saviour with a world that would turn a saint cynical to create gritty fantasy (literally: deserts are full of blasted sand) that is seasoned with darkly uplifting humour. This novella is part of Smith’s The 13th Advocate series. While each tale is designed to stand alone, it might contain mild spoilers … Continue reading A Plague of Peskies by Jefferson Smith
Combining a distinct and engaging narrative voice with an immersive fantasy world, Smith creates a prose ballad that nicely fills an evening or two. This novelette is the third in The 13th Advocate series, so if you read this review before reading the previous two, don’t start moaning about how something’s been spoiled for you. … Continue reading The Widow’s Wrinkles by Jefferson Smith
The ImmerseOrDie Anthology 2017 is now out; and I am in it. As are Simon Cantan and eleven other top indie authors. And it's free. So, if you're interested excellent speculative fiction, grab a copy today. From sci-fi to fantasy, from visceral horror to farcical scrapes, there's something for everyone. Available from the following retailers. … Continue reading These Worlds Also Are Mine
The ImmerseOrDie Anthology 2016 is now out; and I am in it. As are fourteen more top indie authors. So, if you are interested excellent speculative fiction, grab a copy. From hard sci-fi to high fantasy, from visceral horror to glimmer bunnies, there is something for everyone. Available from the following retailers. Pick up your … Continue reading There Are Many Shiny Worlds Like It, But This One Is Mine
As I’ve mentioned several times, Misha Burnett’s Catskinner’s Book is one of my favourite books. And several of the other’s in this collection are on my TBR list.
Note: While I run the short-story subdivision of the Gobi Author Torture Program, I don’t receive anything from this collection – apart from the validation of having books I like publicly displayed as of high quality.
I’ve mentioned Jefferson Smith’s Immerse Or Die Report before.
The concept is brutal in its simplicity. Every morning he takes a self-published novel or story collection and gets on his treadmill for forty minutes. When he runs across something that breaks immersion–unclear syntax, wooden dialogue, boring exposition, pretty much anything that makes him look away from the page–the work gets one strike. Three strikes, and it’s out. The ones that make it past the forty minute mark without collecting three strikes are considered survivors.
It’s a tough standard–kind of a Gobi torture test for literature.
Of the two hundred and five novels that he put through the mill in 2015,he chose nine survivors to be included in the 2015 Immerse Or Die Story Bundle.
As it happens, Catskinner’s Book is one of the nine.
Yeah, it’s there, second row, far left. He didn’t like my original cover (in his review…
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This short story skilfully balances humour and gore, to create a dark, but entertaining picture of an industry that must exist in superhero universes but is never seen. Sid is body-disposal specialist. Supervillains and their hench-persons come up with steadily more-extravagant ways to spread their opponents over a wider area, but when the bits land … Continue reading Bodies of Evidence by Jefferson Smith