Book Review: The Sea Was A Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

The Sea Was a Fair Master by [Demmer, Calvin]

What if the laws that governed reality on land had no effect at sea? What if reality on the waves was governed by an entirely different set of laws? What if those laws were malevolent?

In the midst of a promising voyage, a ship’s crew comes across a raft in the middle of the ocean. On the captain’s orders, they rescue its sole occupant, and that is when the skies begin to darken.

The crew quickly find themselves plagued by more than the suddenly fierce weather. Another ship—an otherworldly, shadowy ship—is spotted in the distance, pursuing them. Before any explanation can be found, something begins killing the men on board…and driving the survivors mad.

The captain and his chief officer frantically look for a way to save everyone, but do the answers lie with the delirious castaway they’ve rescued or with whatever is piloting the phantom vessel?

I bet you’re wondering what’ll happen next, but you might also be wondering something else: do you even have the time to find out? I don’t know your schedule or what all is going on in your life at the moment. For all I know, it may be too much to ask for you to commit to a novel right now…but what if I told you that the story I just described is only eight paragraphs long and could easily be read in one sitting?

You see, Calvin Demmer’s The Sea Was A Fair Master isn’t a novel. It’s a collection of flash fiction, very short stories that can each be read in roughly five minutes. This means that you don’t just get that one story I described above. You’ll also get 22 other dark treats like The One, where a dangerous madman believes he has found his soulmate and Revenge of the Myth, where a department store Santa Claus meets a bizarre, threatening child, a figure who wouldn’t be at all out of place in an Arthur Machen book.

Despite their length, all 23 tales are masterfully written and wrap up satisfyingly, often with scares, sometimes with tears and occasionally even with not entirely comfortable laughter.

So, buy this book, and anytime you need a quick escape (with emphasis on ‘quick’), it’ll be right there to provide it to you.

Here are some pages where you can buy it:

Amazon (US)

Amazon (Canada)

Amazon (UK)

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Book Review: The Sofa In The Lake by Jennifer Hilty

The Sofa In The Lake

Even the most harmless-looking things can hide the deadliest of secrets.

A few months back, I recommended a story by one of my friends, Jennifer Hilty.

Well, now Jennifer’s gone and made a great story even greater. I’ve recently had the honor to be a beta reader for an expanded version of the story, and now that she’s begun uploading it on Wattpad, I thought I’d write a review of it.

In the wake of a devastating war, our future world is now haunted by unmanned technology, its origins-benevolent or otherwise-no longer known. In one out-of-the-way town, it’s a favorite past-time to try and uncover the secrets of this technology, especially the secrets of whatever cleans and purifies a nearby lake.

When it’s reported that a huge sofa has randomly appeared in the lake, two youths-Kenny and his best friend August-decide to go see it for themselves. It’s the largest object ever found in the lake and provides the perfect excuse to make their own attempt at solving the lake’s mysteries…as well as the perfect escape from monotonous boredom and endless bullying.

After they’re in the water, however, they discover too late that someone put the sofa there deliberately, hoping to attract attention, hoping to lure in curious onlookers.

Now, they’re both pawns in a fight tied to the lost history of the lake and their world, a duel where lives hang in the balance…and they have absolutely no idea which side to trust.

How would I sum up this tale? Well, it reads like someone blended the Science-Fantasy wonders of the Star Wars Universe with the dark mysteries of the Harry Potter series. The world-building (for both the world that August and Kenny hail from and the world that they ultimately find themselves in) is incredible, and the plot keeps you guessing. If this were available on Amazon, I’d gladly fork over my money for a copy…but Jenn is making the whole thing available for absolutely FREE.

Just click on this link here and enjoy: The Sofa In The Lake

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Well, the end of the year is almost upon us, and while I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to do, I’m still happy with how things went for the first year of this site.

I’ve made some great friends, got to share some stories (both here and on Wattpad), and even got feedback on some of my work (some of it positive, some of it negative, ALL of it constructive).

I’d like to thank everyone who’s been reading my work and following this blog. I appreciate all your support and look forward to entertaining you more in 2018.

In the meantime, while I sadly don’t have the next chapter of ‘FROM THE SHADOWS’ ready yet, I thought I’d leave these three links as something of a compensation.

The Sofa in The Lake by Jennifer Hilty: This is fantasy story that starts with, of all things, a mysterious sofa found floating in a lake. From there, the tale goes in quite a few bizarre directions. It’s a quick read, and most important of all, it’s fun.

Life for Life by L.A. Smith: This is another fantasy story, much darker (and shorter) than the one above but no-less-enjoyable. In it, a widow and an ogre join forces to find a missing child, each for very, VERY different reasons.

How To Write A Book in Three Days: Here’s a non-fiction piece I found just this afternoon. I always enjoy reading tips from published authors, whether I’ve read their works or not, and in this page, Mr. Tim Dedopulos shares writing advice from not one but TWO incredibly prolific writers, Michael Moorcock (‘Elric’) and the late Lester Dent (‘Doc Savage’). For anybody out there who, like me, wants to become a novelist, I heartily recommend checking it out.

I hope you all enjoy these as much as I did, and, even more importantly, I hope you all have a great New Year’s.

Free Ebook Link: Arthur Machen’s HIEROGLYHPICS

Image result for arthur machen

Well, I guess I owe anyone still following my blog an explanation.

Needless to say, I missed my ‘late September’ deadline. It turns out that these next few chapters of FROM THE SHADOWS have required more research than I originally anticipated. That said, I’m still working on it and plan to have chapter 4 out soon. I hope the wait will have been worth it, but I guess that’s ultimately up to each of you.

In the meantime, I know that at least some of my followers are aspiring authors like me, so I thought I’d share something I found on Amazon. After all, I owe you all something for how patient you’ve been with me. This is really more of a broad-strokes review as opposed to an in-depth review, but I hope you get something out of it. Continue reading

Book Review: The Compleat Traveller in Black by John Brunner

The Compleat Traveller in Black by [Brunner, John]

Hi everyone,

Eric here, and before I get into my review, I need to share a little update.

When I first started this website earlier in the year, I’d stated that my goal was to upload a new story (or chapter) every three weeks, and I’ve been mostly able to keep up with that schedule…but now things are different.

It’s been two weeks since I uploaded Chapter Three of ‘FROM THE SHADOWS,’ and to be honest, I’m going to need more time to finish Chapter Four. The only way I could get it up by next week would be to rush it and upload something far below my standards (and something you, the reader, probably wouldn’t even enjoy).

So how much more time do I need? Right now, I’m thinking it’ll be sometime in late September. Ideally, I’ll be back to the new-installment-every-three-weeks routine after that. We’ll see.

Anyway, I hope I haven’t let any of you down. I really appreciate you all taking the time to check out my work, and I look forward to being able to share more stories with you later on.

BUT…enough about me. Let’s talk about The Compleat Traveller in Black. Continue reading

Book Review: Deadman’s Tome – Monsters Exist

Hi there everyone.

Due to some technical difficulties, the upload schedule for chapter three of From The Shadows has been set back by a week, meaning that instead of being finished and uploaded on the 17th, it’ll be uploaded on the 24th instead (God willing).

While I won’t be able to access my computer for long periods of time this week, I thankfully found enough time to do this little review. I hope you all enjoy it, and I hope you consider giving this ‘tome’ a look.

What would make a serial killer stop dead in his tracks, terrified? What could drive a man to serve the entities that slaughtered his mother when he was a child? What kind of story could you possibly expect to get from the synopsis, “Willy Wonka meets Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son“?

The answers to these and other questions await you in the horror anthology, Deadman’s Tome: Monsters Exist. Continue reading

Book Review: The Wobbit by Paul A. Erickson

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Most of the stuff I’ve uploaded here has been either horror or talking about horror, so I thought I’d change things up a bit with this next post.

The following review was originally posted on Goodreads about two years ago. While a lot can change in just two years, my high opinion of this book has stayed the same.

Keep in mind that this is not a review of Harvard Lampoon’s Hobbit spoof of the same name. To date, I haven’t read that one. It might be just as excellent, but if you want the book I’m about to talk about, make sure you get the Paul Erickson book instead.

Tolkien was no Stephen King; the novels published in his lifetime never exceeded single digits. Sooner or later, most Tolkien fans find themselves in the midst of this particular crisis: what do you do once you’ve finished reading his books but are still craving more? How do you revisit his magnificent worlds while keeping things fresh and interesting?

You might try reading one of the derivative knock-offs that came out in the ’70s or ’80s, or you might dig into The History of Middle Earth and read the early (and sometimes vastly different) drafts of Tolkien’s stories…or you might opt to revisit Tolkien’s work in the form of parody.

That brings me to The Wobbit by Mr. Paul A. Erickson. This book not only let me revisit one of the crowning achievements of fantasy literature but had me laughing out loud all the way through. Continue reading