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The Twelve Books of Christmas: Part Two

December 14, 2018 11 comments

In the run-up to Christmas, I will be talking about twelve of my books that might make good last-minute gifts for gamer and geek friends – or for yourself, if you are expecting some gift tokens. Details of all these books, including links to various online retailers, can be found on the My Books page.

I wrote Nazi Moonbase for Osprey’s excellent Dark Osprey line, which also includes Ken Hite’s The Nazi Occult and a couple of other titles of mine that touch upon Weird War II. The main Dark Osprey page can be found here.

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To write the book, I collected every Nazi superscience conspiracy theory I could find online, added a few details from movies like Iron Sky and games like Castle Wolfenstein, and created an overarching narrative that links everything together. My intention was to create an entertaining read for history and conspiracy buffs, and a coherent setting that could be used for strategy and roleplaying games set anywhere from 1945 to the near future. As well as Nazi UFOs, foo fighters, and zero-point power sources, you will find orbital mirror weapons, lunar drone strikes, and an explanation for mysterious light sources observed on the moon since the 1960s.

As one would expect from an Osprey publication, the book is packed full of historical (and not-so-historical) illustrations, including some gorgeous paintings by Singapore-based artist Darren Tan, who also illustrated The Nazi Occult. Here is what some critics have to say:

“I have to say that the author has done a superb job of melding events of the time with some rather fanciful, but fascinating fiction. It is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and give it my highest recommendation.” – Modeling Madness

“I highly recommend this book as it gives some great ideas for what if models and with the detailed illustrations give you great information for potential dioramas.” – IPMS

…and here is a link to the book’s page on Osprey’s web site. It is available in paperback, ePub, and PDF formats.

I would never downplay the evil of Nazism or the horrors perpetrated by the Third Reich, but one has to admit, they do make the perfect bad guys for a story or game. Mel Brooks once said that his mission was to ensure that no one took Nazis seriously ever again, and I see their reduction to a pop-culture trope, fueled by over-the-top conspiracy theories, as part of the same process. Your mileage may vary.

Tomorrow, and every day until Christmas, I will be covering another title. If you’re not done with your Christmas shopping, or if you are expecting to receive some gift tokens, take a look: you might find something you like.

Click here for Part One: Colonial Horrors.

Click here for Part Three: Werewolves – A Hunter’s Guide.

Click here for Part Four: Theseus and the Minotaur.

Click here for Part Five: The New Hero, vol. 1.

Click here for Part Six: Knights Templar – A Secret History.

Click here for Part Seven: The Lion and the Aardvark.

Click here for Part Eight: Thor – Viking God of Thunder.

Click here for Part Nine: Tales of the Frozen City.

Click here for Part Ten: Blood and Honor.

Click here for Part Eleven: The Dirge of Reason.

Click here for Part Twelve: More Deadly than the Male.

 

 

 

The Twelve Books of Christmas: Part One

December 13, 2018 11 comments

You can find links to buy a lot of my work on the My Books page, but in the run-up to Christmas I will be showcasing a dozen of them that make ideal gifts for the geek in your life. The first is Colonial Horrors, a curated anthology of tales from the earliest years of American horror.


The book was first published last October in hardback, and a paperback edition was released a few weeks ago: Amazon also offers a Kindle version. It is a curated anthology, with an introduction discussing the origins of horror fiction in America, and individual notes on each story.

There are seventeen tales in all, published from 1684 to 1927, all of them chosen for the light they shed on the Colonial era and its role in American horror. Just as the European Gothic features the wild mountains, crumbling castles, and ruined monasteries of that continent, so the American Gothic looks to the dark forests, inward-looking towns, and stifling religion of the colonies. From the accounts of the Salem witch trials in 1692 to the 2015 movie The VVitch with its old-fashioned typography, from the earliest tales of the Jersey Devil to the beloved and oft-adapted tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the collection covers both the familiar and the unexpected.

Unexpected, you say? How about this:

  • The legend of the Jersey Devil began in a religious dispute between two publishers at the start of the 18th century;
  • The contributions from Cotton and Increase Mather, well known for their involvement in the Salem hysteria, were believed by their authors to be nonfiction;
  • America’s first Gothic novelist, Charles Brockden Brown, is remembered today only by a handful of academics;
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, a descendent of a Salem judge, wrote horror tales as well as moral commentary;
  • The cult movie The Blair Witch Project was based (very loosely, as it turns out) on a reported haunting.

But don’t take my word for it. Here are extracts from some reviews:

“For lovers of American literature and horror fiction fans, this important anthology reveals how the religious beliefs, historical events, and folktales of the colonial period influenced the writerly imaginations that led to the evolution of the modern horror genre.”
Library Journal (starred)

“A well-curated collection of creepy, spooky, and downright weird pieces by a core group of American authors. As the nights grow cooler and the shadows longer, stoke the fire and curl up with this excellent example of true American horror.”
Booklist

“Rather than the gothic castles of Europe, these feature witch trials and dark and foreboding forests. The colonial period was truly the birthplace of American horror, as these stories point out.”
The News-Gazette (Champaign, IL)

Colonial Horrors can be found at any online retailer and at many good bookstores. The publisher, Pegasus Books, has this to say about it.

Tomorrow, and every day until Christmas, I will be covering another title. If you’re not done with your Christmas shopping, or if you are expecting to receive some gift tokens, take a look: you might find something you like.

Click here for Part Two: Nazi Moonbase.

Click here for Part Three: Werewolves – A Hunter’s Guide.

Click here for Part Four: Theseus and the Minotaur.

Click here for Part Five: The New Hero, vol. 1.

Click here for Part Six: Knights Templar – A Secret History.

Click here for Part Seven: The Lion and the Aardvark.

Click here for Part Eight: Thor – Viking God of Thunder.

Click here for Part Nine: Tales of the Frozen City.

Click here for Part Ten: Blood and Honor.

Click here for Part Eleven: The Dirge of Reason.

Click here for Part Twelve: More Deadly than the Male.