Saturday, August 26, 2023

Weekend Signal Boost!

Back it Here!

As I said last time, I'm still in the word mines for the final Gemini Man story, so keeping up with the blog is a bit tough. That said, there are a few things to update you with, such as some recent releases from various NewPub authors!

The first one up is a brand new manga Kickstarter by Yakov Merkin called Amaranth Angels. This is a brand new series from the author who brought you the Light from Another World light novel series and the Galaxy Ascendant space opera books. This time he is trying his hand at something quite a bit different. You can even read a 31 page free chapter here ahead of time.

The description:

Amaranth Angels is an original sci-fi adventure manga, done fully in manga style, including being drawn to be read from right to left. It's a cute-girls-doing military-things story in the vein of anime like Girls Und Panzer, High School Fleet, the Magnificent Kotobuki, and Lycoris Recoil. So you can expect cute, likable characters, and fast paced, exciting starfighter action, brought to you with a gripping story and amazing art.

You can find Amaranth Angels here!

Now as for something completely different let us take a look at a more "disgusting" and less clean project. We have to keep mixing it up for you, the readers, after all. Next is the newest entry in J. Manfred Weichsel's Tales to Make You Vomit book series!

You can find it Here!

For those who remember, Mr. Weichsel is an author that uses the macabre and the degenerate to highlight the good and true of the world. As a consequence his work can be very controversial and not for everyone, which leads to his newest book extending the invitation for others to do the same under his watchful eye. You definitely won't read anything else like it.

The description:

The librarian is back with her first misanthropic anthology!

When three brave astronauts embark on a trip to the moon, little do they know that a hidden purpose awaits them—an alien signal detected from the moon, shrouded in secrecy to prevent panic on Earth. The lunar module is damaged upon landing, stranding the astronauts on the moon's surface, with no hope of returning home. Determined to fulfill their mission, they follow the mysterious signal to a crater, leading them beneath the moon's surface and into an enigmatic library.

Here they meet the Librarian, a seemingly harmless elderly woman with a nefarious agenda. The bilious bibliosoph has decided to put humanity on trial by forcing each astronaut to read a sickening science fiction book from her liverish library. If just one can read a book without throwing up, the earth will be spared. But each time one of the astronauts gets green around the gills, the librarian will launch, by catapult, a giant rock at the earth, which will, upon impact, cause massive loss of life. As the bizarre book bazaar unfolds, the astronauts face an unsettling realization—the final rock will bring about the destruction of Earth.

Along with the frame narrative by J. Manfred Weichsel, Gruesome Futures features stories by three acclaimed authors renowned for their ability to invoke revulsion, dread, and a dark fascination. They are:

Misha Burnett!

With a penchant for crafting unsettling narratives, Misha Burnett’s latest tale, It Only Hurts When I Swallow, promises to take you on an emotional journey of grotesque beauty. In this slice of new wave fiction, Burnett’s twisted imagination births scenes of judicial punishment that will be difficult to digest.

Max Gunssler!

Prepare to be ensnared by the putrid pulp of Max Gunssler, for in The R*** and Annihilation of Babe Babylonia, he weaves a story of future professional wrestling that will disturb the depths of your puny human psyche. Gunssler’s uncanny ability to write gonzo, off-the-wall action scenes will leave you breathless, and empty your stomach.

Todd Love!

In The Secret on Subfloor 82 of Serenity Station, Todd Love offers readers an unforgiving plunge into the darkest recesses of the human condition. In this piece of Grimdark MilFic action, Love’s exploration of the grotesque serves as a reflection of our own flawed existence, challenging you to unearth the true horrors that lie within… within your gut, that is.

Gruesome Futures will invade your nightmares and make you sick. Can you read this digest of disgust without throwing up? Do you take the challenge?

You can find Gruesome Futures here!

Lastly, in case you missed it, Alexander Hellene's final book in his Swordbringer trilogy has left crowdfunding and is now available on Amazon for general purchase. He has been writing this saga for a long while so it is thrilling to see him do what many in OldPub cannot: finish a series. And if you've read anything by him, you know he goes all out.

Find it Here!

He's been neck deep in this series for at least four years, including getting an omnibus version out to backers of his campaign, while also editing the awesome Pulp Rock anthology in the meanwhile, showing just how much he loves storytelling. I am definitely looking forward to where he goes after this series.

The description:

The Reaper has landed! His mission: find the secret of immortality and destroy any who stand in his way.

With the Global Union closign in and Pysh in shambles, a bitter enemy may be humanity's only hope. Garrett and Ghryxa lead an envoy to Kharvalar with a proposal for the High Lord: join forces to fight the Global Union or Yxakh will be doomed. But Kharvalar, besieged by lizardmen, giant serpents, and ancient foes from beyond the western wastes, has troubles of its own.

Old enmities, prophecies fulfilled, and interstellar war collide in the explosive conclusion to The Swordbringer, with the fates of two planets hanging in the balance!

You can find The Final Home here!

In very related news, author TJ Marquis has started a YouTube show of his own in order to highlight NewPub releases that might be flying under the radar. It is called IndieScan. You can find his channel here, as well as the first episode here.

We definitely need more folks out there highlighting the avalanche of new stories we might otherwise miss, so definitely be sure to give his show a look. It is weekly and a rather short update lengthwise so you won't be too put out or exhausted by it.

Here is the most recent episode:

And that's all for this update! Thank you for reading, as always, and I hope you'll keep sticking in this space. There is so much going on at all times it is almost overwhelming. This is a full reversal of how it was back when I started writing. I never imagined a climate like this existing for stories. Here's hoping the momentum only increases.

Enjoy your weekend, and I will see you next time!

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Summertime 1996

It's been a while!

I'm sorry there hasn't had much in the way of posts, but I am still deep in the word mines with the extra Gemini Man stories for the Kickstarter rewards. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the second (and last) bonus story and it has taken most of my writing focus. On top of that, there has been a lot of real world things getting in the way. I'm sure you know what that's like. I apologize for the lack of blog activity in the meantime, but it will hopefully end once I finish up with said extra work and unrelated events finally settle down.

Today's subject is a strange one that has stuck in my brain for a good while now. In a lot of ways, it feels like a random time period no different than any other, but Generation Y kids probably remember this time most fondly since it is just around where they hit adolescence. It is not because anything remarkable happened in history that the time period is fondly remembered. No, it is a time like most any other. What they probably think of it is being a period of peace before the storm hit their lives--sort of like an eye in the cultural hurricane.

I am talking about Summer 1996.

This might seem like an odd thing to bring up, not even just mention as a subject to write about, but that is because it was kind of an odd thing to notice as I was listening to music while writing recently. There were a strange amount of songs focused on that particular period of mid-90s summer I kept finding. Why? I'm not exactly sure. They weren't even recent songs.

The above video was made around a song from a long defunct band called the Skunks (and it was from their last album recorded in this very time frame) that manages to encompass that inexplainable feeling for those who were around at the time. The album itself also sounds like 1996, feeling like the end of an era before what would come next, especially in the music industry, when such bands and musical styles fell out of favor for corporate slop and they were almost instantly thrown to obscurity. The song above is called "Summertime 1996" and perfectly encapsulates both the silliness and the general atmosphere of a time period in one 4 minute song. It is a shame that said band never got more well known, but their album No Apologies from 1996, is a hidden gem still worth hearing today. It is like being transported to a time and place very far away from here.

This lead me to thinking about different eras in my own life and how they intersected both with this and others.

I am starting to understand why summer of 1996 was such a unique time, and that is because each generation that was alive at the time was at a general period in their lives when things were looking up. From the kids to the elderly, they all hit the same period with the same general outlook (yes, even Gen X, the ones who wrote the above album) and despite the outliers, it was a small bump in positivity that would fade with the very next year. This is why 1996 feels like the end of an era in many ways, and why it is the last year that engenders any sort. I even ended up asserting as much in Y Signal, which ends in the summer of 1996, a coincidence I am just now realizing and noting. There was something strange in the air back then.

At the same time, I was reminded of the album The Elements of Transition from Edna's Goldfish, released in 1999, which is a nostalgic lookback at the early 1990s as the band grew from adolescence to adulthood and talks about the things lost and gained in such a move. In the process, it highlights feelings and ideas from the timeframe that also fell out of favor with the passage of time. The first album was called Before You Knew Better, from 1997, and focused on the change from childhood to adolescence, so it is like they portrayed a full cycle of early life with both albums. It's probably providence that the band also broke up after its release. All that remains would be one discussing the transition to senior, and that isn't happening for a good while.

Regardless, the album is a bit of a trip listening to today. I can see why at the time it might have been seen as a letdown to those wanting more energetic ska from their debut, but this one offers a whole new side of the band. Even the lone popular single from the album is still seen as their most famous to this day. It encapsulates an era that doesn't exist anymore.

Sample lyrics from said album:

Everyone I Know is from Lindenhurst

Summer of 93
What did you want from me?
I'll take you out
To the show
You get to meet everyone I know

What comes next I'll keep you guessing
Come to see the life that you've been missing
Everyone I know and
Everything I see
Everywhere I've been
It means so much you meant so much to me

They've made jokes at my expense
I'm my own worst defense
Another night of being lost
I'll see you at any cost

What comes next I'll keep you guessing
Come to see the life that you've been missing
Everyone I know and
Everything I see
Everywhere I've been
It means so much you meant so much to me

Summer of 95
I still don't feel like I'm alive
Sometimes I can feel so drained
But my friends are here I can't complain
I've underestimated again
The power of the words of all my friends

Everyone I know and
Everything I see
Everywhere I've been
It means so much you meant so much to me

What comes next I'll keep you guessing
Come to see the life that you've been missing
Everyone I know and
Everything I see
Everywhere I've been
It means so much you meant so much to me

Everyone I know and
Everything I see
Everywhere I've been
It means so much you meant so much to me

As I said, the mid-90s almost comes off as a time of reflection and calm before the storm than it resembles the material high of the 1980s or the more biting cynicism and the early 90s were known for. It also doesn't help that Cultural Ground Zero started to take over here, before feeling its full flowering in the next few years. As a result, 1996 is usually the last year that garners any wide cultural nostalgia to this day. Such a thing is bizarre looking back, because the year very much feels like it is closing the book on an era and not part of the wider zeitgeist. Unfortunately, it seems the next book it opened turned out to not be what it was sold as being and was donated to Goodwill ages ago. Now all that remains are the memories.

So why bring this up now? Should we really be looking into nostalgic time period as things are crumbling around us? There are a few reasons to talk about this, the main one being a major misunderstanding about how reflection is supposed to work and how it affects those who lived at the time. We should focus on this first.

There has been a bit of a pushback online to the recent generational theory, calling it the new astrology or some such nonsense, but that kind of talk ignores the reason it exists. Deniers claim that there is nothing that holds people together on a wider level, but I would posit that such an idea is not only incorrect but missing the forest for the trees. Everything you think, believe, and do, contributes to both who you are, as well as those around you.

You are not an island. I know it has been popular to flaunt individuality and not being "sheep" like the rest, but such an attitude is one that can only exist in a society that is so safe that going anywhere you will run into someone with shared cultural values to you. Giving a "firm handshake" to get a job across the country from here is only possible because of a shared understanding you have with said employer. This is not individuality, it is only possible because they are just like you. If they don't have that shared idea--guess what? A firm handshake means nothing. In such a case your individuality is revealed as what it is: a problem.

Life isn't about being on your own or pushing ahead of the pack. You are part of a group, many of them actually, and that is an unescapable truth.

Your generation doesn't define who you are: you define your generation. There are shared cultural ideas and social climates that influence people depending on both their geographical location and their exposure to both the education system and popular consensus and entertainment consumed. This is unavoidable--you are either slathered in or reacting against the same thing as your peers. You simply have more in common with those you grew up with than you do your grandparents or grandkids, who are several generations apart. It is unavoidable.

Yes, it has always existed, but not to this level, and there is a reason for that.

How it is different for the 20th century is that the West became a globalist world "family" in the worst sense of that word. Almost all in the West (yes, everywhere) experienced a large amount of the same things through the way focus moved from individual nations to the world itself (think "We Are the World" and you begin to understand the sort of philosophy every western country foisted on its populace) meaning that for the first time in history your youth and formation has more in common with someone your age across the sea than your parents who grew up in the same country as you. This has never been the case before the 20th century.

This exacerbated with the internet and online "communities" that function as replacements for local interaction. You are easily able to do this because you have more in common with random people you meet online in or neighboring your generational cohort than you do with the people who actually live in your neighborhood. Because you both focus on the same smaller aspect of your shared cultural identity at the expense of a wider one. Ask for the ages of the people you spend the most time online with, and you won't be surprised to see they are very near your own or in the neighboring generation to your own. At least, for normal people. That is just simply the way humanity works, but twisted to operate on a wider global scale to become more common.

The reason generational theory starts with the Lost Generation at the end of the 19th century and ends with what I called the Last Generation near the start of the 21st is because this era is over, mostly due to the obvious realization that it's not sustainable. Loneliness and atomization, rising suicide rates, and depression, the biggest issues of our time, exist because there is no more local community anymore to satiate that part of our souls, and it is only getting worse with age.

The online world will never replace human interaction, even though it tried very hard to do so. I predict a hard and forceful return to local communities in the years to come, especially as the internet continues to die. When such a thing happens, it will spell the end of the modern generational theory and the Global Village idea that is currently falling down around our ears. Essentially, we are living at the end of that time right now, with the current generation of young ones being the last to experience this world before it, too, fades away just like that world of the mid-90s did long ago.

Will this era engender as much nostalgia as that time period does now? The only comparable example we have is that of the 2000s, a decade 20 years old now, which has nothing in the way of a nostalgia movement to this day. the 90s had a movement literally right as it ended, one that continues to this day. But the 2000s remains ignored. That is because it was the first that completely championed isolation and vice as the key virtue to living a happy life. What does anyone remember besides bad music no one plays, lame movies no one talks about, or terrible TV that aged even worse. No to mention all the trends it slathered itself in never went away. The 2000s can't have a nostalgic movement because it never actually went away.

The only thing that garners any sort of wistful memories from the 2000s or appreciation of the time is the old internet, where most everyone spent their time as the real world and shared culture crumbled around us. If you take the internet out of the equation, which is easy enough to do due to it fading away as we speak, what are you left with? A long period of bland nothing.

Lockdown world was the end of a lot of things, but life online did not improve or save anyone from the inevitable realization that life as we knew it is over and changing. But what will it change into? the 20th century is done and we've been clinging to it way past its expiry date. Like we did in summertime 1996, we'll just have to wait and see what comes next, I suppose.

I'll leave you with one last video, a medley I made from the Skunks excellent 1996 album No Apologies, summing up both the sound of the band and the time period it was both recorded in and highlighting. Give it a listen as you relax your way into the weekend and gather hope for the good times coming ahead of us. There might be some rough patches, but they will pass into something better. They good times will come eventually, we just have to keep working for them.

Sooner or later, times will change. Then we will have out own Summertime 1996 to wistfully look back on and cherish, as everyone should.

Have a good weekend.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Weekend Lounge ~ Of Dinosaurs and Pulp!

The above is the new trailer for the second issue of Anvil magazine! In case you haven't see yet, I will be in this one among many talented writers and comic artists. 

This one will feature a new Ronan Renfield story, Ghost of a Distant Star, and will feature some illustrations. Our Galactic Enforcer rides a train into the night of some far off world. What will he meet in the dark?

There is also a second crowdfund currently running on IndieGoGo for those who prefer that site. You can find that one here. Of course the original campaign can be found on Fund My Comic here, where it has already hit its goal. Back physical, digital, or whatever you prefer.

In case you forgot, it's also summer. In addition to my own Gemini Man series being up on amazon for those who missed the Kickstarter, there are other writers putting material up for people to dive into and have a ball with.

Another such writer putting out something new is NR LaPoint, author of such exciting books as Gun Magus (which is currently sitting right next to me) as well as a new series starting soon that I wanted to talk about today.

Up for preorder on Amazon is the brand new Dinosaur Warfare series, launching with book one next week! The entire series is up for preorder right now, starting with book one, the excellently named Death Planet.

Book One is out next week!

Here is the description:

The Vidarian scourge has swept through many star systems,
killing and enslaving in an endless invasion.

When his home world is targeted, Ambrose Weaver flees with a crew of exiles.
Hunted down and forced to crash land on the mysterious planet Typhon,
they soon find their escape from sure death
has only led them to new troubles and prehistoric dangers.

The dinosaurs are only the beginning.
Can Ambrose and his crew brave primeval jungles
and survive a planet filled with horror?

But if you think that's it, you are incorrect. Book Two will be out next month, as well as Book Three the month after. Much like Gemini Man, you will be able to buy every book monthly until the last one releases. That's one packed summer of reading!

Book Two, Metalsaurus, is already up for preorder here, as is Book Three, Deus Volt, available here, for your enjoyment. With titles like that, how can you resist?

Summer blockbusters might be dead with the rest of Hollywood, but NewPub is still working for you. It's a golden age of new material right now. Don't miss out on it!

Have a good weekend and I will see you next time!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

New Release ~ Gemini Drifter is Out!

Find it Here!

It's finally here! After years of back and forth issues and problems getting it out to readers, the second book in the Gemini Man series is finally available for readers! That's right, if you missed the Kickstarter and have been waiting years for the sequel, it is finally here! On top of that, if you missed the official re-release of the first book, it can be found here. The third book can even be preordered here!

Though backers of the Kickstarter have had it for awhile (you have also received book 3 in your inboxes, it you missed it), this is the first time Gemini Drifter has ever been properly made available to the public. It is good to finally have it out there for you to read after years of issues outside of the production of the books.

Here is the description:


Matthew and Jason are on the run. With bounty hunters, magical monsters, and an entire alien world after them, the pair have their work cut out for them. At the same time, a mysterious cult has infiltrated the town of Albion and the only one that can stop them is the Gemini Man.

Can the two fugitives work together to stop the invasion of another world? Or are they doomed to wander the back roads forever? Check out the second book of the Gemini Man trilogy, Gemini Drifter, and find out for yourself!

You can find Gemini Drifter here.

This one is about a cross-country trip that ends in quite an explosive fashion where everything you thought you knew from the first book changes. If you read said first book, you'll definitely want to dive into this one. All three entries are rather unique, but this was the one where I think I really began hitting my stride with it. Gemini Drifter is quite the step up from the first one and unlike the other books I've written so far.

And in case you missed the above, the third book is also already up for preorder. That's right, it will be out next month! I can hardly believe it. We're almost there!

The entire series will be out for backers and those on Amazon by the end of the year. It's been quite a wait to get this whole shebang out, but it's nearly over! Just a bit longer to go.

Also, just like I said during the first book's re-launch, there won't be a physical edition for a long time unless you backed the campaign. The reasons for this are numerous but it is mainly the amount of time formatting for such a project takes and the recent raise in prices for physical editions on Amazon made it take a backseat. I will get around to that when I finally finish releasing the books and send out the physical edition omnibus to the backers of the campaign. For now I have to edit the first bonus story I got back from my editor and then finally start the outline for the second and last.

Anyway, that's all I have for you this time. I've got more stories to get to. Enjoy Gemini Drifter and I will see you next time.