Bad Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Case Files of Erik Rugar by Misha Burnett

Burnett fuses the possibility of weird fiction with the solidity of crime noir to create a collection that is both a gritty detective story and a baroque urban fantasy. Dracoheim is a human city, but abuts the Realms of Nightmare. Ancient treaties and modern laws define the appropriate uses of magic, mysticism, and migration. Mostly … Continue reading Bad Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Case Files of Erik Rugar by Misha Burnett

Cirsova: Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 5, ed. P. Alexander

Alexander gathers a series of tales that suggest what might happen if people of violence and cunning rather than book-learning faced Lovecraftian threats. This edition contains eight short stories, one novelette, and one poem, The majority of the prose works are set in the Eldritch Earth, an alternate prehistoric era that blends classic swords-and-sorcery with … Continue reading Cirsova: Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 5, ed. P. Alexander

Wild Frontiers: Mystery Train

We continue our ride through Wild Frontiers with an extract from Misha Burnett's ‘Mystery Train’, the tale of a man who discovers sometimes you don't have to be good, you just have to be good enough. “Did you see much action during the war, Mr. Moriarty?” Isaiah Cotton, the Salt Lake City stationmaster asked. Sean … Continue reading Wild Frontiers: Mystery Train

Red Shirts & Reviews | mishaburnett

"Haven’t you always wanted to be part of the shadowy underworld of outlaw spellcasters? To live the life of a magical gangster, full of danger, intrigue, unlawful conjurations, and bucketfuls of cold hard cash?" — Red Shirts & Reviews | mishaburnett Misha Burnett, one of my favourite authors, is offering a chance for your name … Continue reading Red Shirts & Reviews | mishaburnett

Duel Visions by Misha Burnett & Louise Sorensen

This anthology gathers a mix of published and unpublished stories by Burnett and Sorensen, spanning the genres from overt horror to the almost meditative. ‘Black Dog’, Misha Burnett: The new custodian of a cemetery notices several different people taking the same dog for a walk: does the owner merely have lots of friends or is … Continue reading Duel Visions by Misha Burnett & Louise Sorensen

These Worlds Also Are Mine

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

Some Notes Towards A Meta-epistemological Manifesto

Genre collapses if viewed too closely: urban fantasy has computers, smart-phones, and such, so contains both the science-fiction of a past generation and the seeds of the hard science-fiction of the present; action films have a handsome hero overcoming obstacles before getting the girl at the end, so are romance. Genre boundaries don’t exist.

And this article from Misha Burnett shows we should perhaps be grateful they don’t.

mishaburnett

I had an epiphany today.

I have always mistrusted the concept of genre.  It has seemed to me to be both a hobble and a crutch.  By which I mean that by accepting a specific genre designation an author restricted her or his writing to an abbreviated range, while at the same time adjuring readers to carry the story past certain difficulties by imposing on an unearned suspension of disbelief.

This did not seem to be a good bargain to me–from either side.

Today it occurred to me that this unnatural division of stories into either this thing or that thing but never both at once mirrors the description that G K Chesterton gives of post-Christian philosophies in his book Orthodoxy.

Chesterton says it much more eloquently that I am about to (which is why I supplied you with the link) but in essence his thesis is that Christianity…

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There Are Many Shiny Worlds Like It, But This One Is 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

Immerse or Die Story Bundle 2015

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.

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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.

All Covers Large

Yeah, it’s there, second row, far left.  He didn’t like my original cover (in his review…

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Gingerbread Wolves by Misha Burnett

Drawing the reader deeper into his universe of gnostic metamathmatical outsider gods and human insignificance - but rejecting Lovecraft’s obsession with depressed moaning about degeneracy - Burnett delivers a fast-paced thriller that doesn’t skimp on consequences. The rest of this review might contain spoilers for the previous volumes: Catskinner’s Book, Cannibal Hearts, and The Worms … Continue reading Gingerbread Wolves by Misha Burnett