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The Twelve Books of Christmas: Part Six

December 18, 2018 11 comments

My sixth book of Christmas is the third title I wrote for the Dark Osprey line. Knights Templar: A Secret History was actually my first contribution to that series.

Templars cover

I first read The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail back in the 80s, and I was amused when The Da Vinci Code turned the same basic story into a blockbuster success. I had a lot of fun chasing the Templars through a maze of history, rumour, conspiracy theory, and wild speculation, and I crafted the device of Dr. Emile Fouchet as an overarching structure to hold everything together, and create a fiction within which everything – absolutely everything – was true. I have since been approached a couple of times by people wanting to get their hands on Fouchet’s research, which I take as a sign that my fiction was a successful one!

Here is what some reviewers said about the book:

“It all makes for a fascinating read, and like the best fiction, leaves that nagging thought that it just might be true.”
– RPGNow.com

“…the most interesting retelling of the Knights Templar history I’ve seen …  this is the first time that I’ve seen the dots connected so flawlessly.”
– Weirdmage’s Reviews

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

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 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 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 Five

December 17, 2018 11 comments

Continuing to showcase some books from the My Books page in the run-up to Christmas , here is an excellent but overlooked anthology to which I contributed a few years back: The New Hero, volume 1 from Stone Skin Press.

NewHeroCoverBLOGSIZE

If you haven’t heard of Stone Skin Press, allow me to recommend them. Their anthologies of fantasy, science fiction, and general adventure stories are intriguingly concepted, well-written, and lovingly curated. Creatively, they are yet another feather in the cap of gaming and fiction luminary Robin D. Laws; commercially, they deserve much, much better exposure than they have achieved so far.

In addition to the two volumes of The New Hero, Stone Skin Press has published Swords vs. Cthulhu; Shotguns vs. Cthulhu; The New Gothic; Gods, Memes, and Monsters; and most recently, #Feminism. Their web site can be found here.

The concept of The New Hero is the iconic hero, a trope that has received little love in recent years. Hollywood prefers the dramatic hero, whose journey can form the storyline of a movie – which is why so many superhero movies were origin stories, until Marvel got into the game – while the iconic hero takes the stage fully-formed, and instead of being changed by the world, remains true to him (or her) self and strives to change the world for the better. This is the hero of the pulps, of noir, and of comics: Batman rather than Luke Skywalker, and Conan rather than Frodo.

Since I am so well known for fantasy and horror, the offer of a spot in The New Hero offered me the chance to spread my wings a little – both figuratively and literarily (see what I did there?). As an airline brat and a lifelong vintage aviation geek, I have always loved the air adventures of the inter-war pulps, as well as earlier air adventures like Jules Verne’s Robur novels.

Eschewing magic and super-science – but allowing myself a dose of dieselpunk and a slightly loose hand with historical technology – I created a straight-ahead airpulp yarn called “Against the Air Pirates,” in which two-fisted aviator Mike Finnegan takes on a rogue German zeppelin in the Pacific of the mid-20s. I pitched it as “Disney’s Tale Spin written by Robert E. Howard.” It was a lot of fun channeling the spirit of old movies like Only Angels Have Wings and Flying Tigers, and I hope to write some more of Finnegan’s adventures someday.

Beside my modest contribution, the two volumes of The New Hero include the work of twenty-six other authors. Some names will be familiar to fans of modern fantasy and horror; more, like mine, will be familiar to tabletop gamers.

The covers, by Gene Ha, deserve a special mention. The cover for volume 1 is drawn in the style of Attic red-figure pottery from Classical Greece, which often included heroic scenes from mythology; the cover for volume 2 is reminiscent of a Japanese story scroll. Both feature vignettes showing the heroes from every single story in the book: if you look at the image above, you will find Mike Finnegan right above the word “Hero,” engaged in a desperate duel against the zeppelin’s captain.  Every time you read a story, you’ll find yourself searching for its hero on the cover.

Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

“This isn’t just a collection of short stories, it is a thoughtful analysis of what it means to be a hero, what a hero actually is. … Read these tales. They’ll give you more than the mere entertainment of well-crafted stories, they’ll give you something to think about.”

– RPGNow.com

…and the book’s page on the Stone Skin Press web site is here. Links to various online retailers can be found on the My Books page.

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 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 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 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.

 

 

 

Free!

June 28, 2017 1 comment

free

Everybody likes something that’s free – so here are some links to free and try-before-you-buy deals on some of my books and articles.

Freebies

My Freebies page has a lot of free downloads and links to old articles of mine that are still available on other sites. People seem especially fond of my AD&D articles from the 1980s.

Blood and Honor cover

Amazon is offering a free audiobook of my D&D novel Blood and Honor from 2006 as part of the trial offer for their Audible service. I beat out 1,000 other entrants in an open call to win the contract for this book, set in the then-new Eberron fantasy-pulp-noir setting designed by my friend Keith Baker. Keith is also the designer of the hit card game Gloom and the new RPG Phoenix: Dawn Command. I am hoping to have him as a guest on the blog some time in the next few weeks, so watch this space.

Osprey covers

Also on Amazon, the pages for my Osprey Adventures and Dark Osprey books now have “Look Inside” links and free samples for the Kindle. The “Look Inside” links are above the cover shot:

Thor: Viking God of Thunder

Theseus and the Minotaur

Knights Templar: A Secret History

Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide

Nazi Moonbase

For the Kindle samples, go to the book’s page on the Kindle store and select “Try a Sample.”

I hope you enjoy your free reading, and I hope you’re intrigued enough to buy the books! If Amazon is not your e-tailer of choice, I’ve included links to other vendors on my My Books page.

A Minor Upgrade

November 10, 2015 Leave a comment

tabs

I’ve redone the tabs at the top of the page. Almost no one was visiting the old ones, and I wanted to clean things up and showcase the books that can still earn me royalties, as well as what I’ve got on the horizon. The new tabs are:

My Books
Just what you’d expect. A list of the books I have currently in print, with cover images, brief notes, and links to various places where you can buy them. You can buy my books at these places. Did I remember to say BUY THEM?

Coming Soon
Everything that’s currently in the works. Where available, I have added links to books that are on preorder, so you can PREORDER THEM.

Friends
Links to the blogs and web sites of various people I’ve worked with down the years. Expect this to grow when I get more time.

About Graeme
A short bio, mugshot, and all the other stuff you’d expect a proper writer to have on his site, along with links to other online places where you can find me.

Freebies
Downloads and links to various roleplaying game adventures and articles. Here you’ll find some of my old work from the 80s and 90s whose rights have reverted to me, links to articles that other folks have available free online, and some articles from the blog that I have reformatted into PDFs so that people can still find them. This section will also grow whenever I find time to scan and upload more.

I’ve done a few less visible things, too: I’ve added categories for fiction, games, nonfiction, myth and folklore, and monsters, which should help you find posts on a particular topic. Each post is fairly extensively tagged, the most popular tags being Games Workshop, WFRP, and bibliography.

I’ll be continuing to work on upgrading the blog whenever time permits, but these changes covered the issues I saw as most important.

Take a look around!

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