Books


Hey, just a thanks to anyone who has read the blog and gone and picked up a copy of Perseus or Cawnpore. Sales of the latter are flat but steady, but Perseus has been taking off over the last few months. I truly appreciate it!

My novel Perseus is now live over on iBooks, Nook, and Kindle, and is headed to Kobo and Sony readers in a few days. Only $1.99!

Here’s a preview.

I’d appreciate if you left a review or rated it the book, should you buy it; thanks!

My novel Perseus is now available on Smashwords, as well as Amazon and Nook, and should be going hot on iBooks, Kobo, and other readers in the next fortnight or so. Click on the pic to get to the Smashwords site, which has all the formats your wee heart could desire! Only $1.99!

Thanks in advance!

Perseus is now live on Amazon’s Kindle Store and soon to B&N’s Nook Store, priced for $1.99.

Destined to murder his grandfather and take his kingdom, Perseus — the son of the god, Zeus — is cast away to die as an infant. The gods, however, have other plans. Rescued by a fisherman and raised to be a good and strong young man, he is tasked by Athena with destroying the monster Medusa. But that is only the beginning of his journey from simple boy into a hero.

This new retelling of the Perseus myth returns to the original stories of the young hero and adds an important element often missing: the politics and machinations of the Olympians who use Perseus to settle family squabbles and punish those who have offended the gods.

Here’s a sample of the first two chapters to whet your appetite.

My novel Cawnpore is now live on Amazon’s Kindle Store and B&N’s Nook store. Set in 1857 during the India Mutiny, it follows the exploits of a political officer trying to uncover and stop sedition in the court of the local potentate, Nana Sahib.

Head on over and buy a copy for the exorbitant price of $1.99!

Here’s the first three chapters as a preview.

The Reluctant Imperialist: Italian Colonization in Somalia just went live at Kindle store at Amazon.com. This is a history of the early corporate-run attempts to colonize the region at the turn of the 19/20th Century.

Clickety-click to buy

Kindle reader is available for iPad, Blackberry, Android, Kindle, Mac, and PC.

My book The Reluctant Imperialist: Italian Colonization in Somalia (and not to be confused with TIm Hardy’s book…which is also worth a shufty), will be posting to Amazon’s Kindle Store — barring any issues — in 2-3 business days. It’s priced at $2.99 — a small price to pay for such vast amounts of information! (Okay…I’m maybe overstating that last bit.)

I will post when it’s available. Plans are to have a print-on-demand version out soonish.

 

I just finished reading William Gibson’s Zero History. It’s the third in his latest series.  Like the last two — Pattern Recognition and Spook Country — it’s modern day in setting, but with a sci-fi style and sensibility…Elmore Leonard with a tech fetish.

This novel revolves around Hollis Henry, heroine from Spook Country, who is once again hired by marketing mogul Hubertus Bigend to ferret out a designer of a non-brand of stealth marketed clothing so he can use their branding techniques.  Along the way, she is paired up by Bigend with Milgrim, a recovering drug addict also from Spook Country, who has been doing corporate espionage for Bigend.  Bigend’s Blue Ant company is looking to get into military clothing contracts and are studying their competition.

The military clothing competitors take this amiss and start messing with Milgrim and Henry, assuming that they are trying to cut into their business and through a series of mistaken intentions, the two sides wind up involved in kidnapping and half-assed prisoner exchange operations.  It’s farcical and entirely believable.  Like the first two books, the action revolves around something, that on the face of it, is ludicrously lacking in value (but think it through on the military clothing contracts worldwide… that’s potentially billions of dollars!)

It’s a well-constructed novel that, when you think back on it, has very little happen.  The interest in the book is generated by the way Gibson looks at culture, branding and merchandising, and pop trends with the same eye he brought to giving us believable cyberpunk worlds.

Of the three, Spook Country is probably the best of the bunch, but all three are worth a read.

A friend of mine did a post today on his current reading that led me to write a wee missive on what I’ve been reading of late:

Right now, I’m making my way through Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House , a novel set in a near-future Istanbul. the book revolves around a few themes: nanotechnology start-ups, terrorism, and the search for a Mellified Man. It combines the beautiful prose and ability to bring to life some of the world’s different cultures, while combining science-fiction sensibilities. I can also recommend his River of Gods and Cyberabad Days , set in a 2048 India. His Brasyl is decent, but suffers from being disjointed and ultimately unfulfilling. His Mars-based Desolation Road and Ares Express have a strange, mythic quality to them that reminded me heavily of Faulkner or Steinbeck in their quality. One thing about McDonald, however, all of his books feel about 50-60 pages too long.

A few other authors I can heartily recommend are Jonathan Letham and Arturo Perez-Reverte. Letham has a wide variety of genres he works in, but always with a strange twist to them. His Gun, With Occasional Music is a science-fiction detective novel, a Raymond Chandler hardboiled detective meets anthropomorphic animals mash-up that evokes Who Killed Roger Rabbit? or Cool World, without the cartoons. His two best, however, are Fortress of Solitude, a coming-of-age story set in Brooklyn of the 1970s/1908s, wrapping comic books, the music scene, and childhood angst together; and the other is Motherless Brooklyn, a detective novel where the protagonist has Tourettes Syndrome. It’s a fascinating look at the disease, and it’s probably his best novel.

Arturo Perez-Reverte’s catalogue is so good it’s hard to go wrong. I would suggest Queen of the South , a novel about a Mexican drug moll that becomes a successful smuggler in Spain, as a good starting point. Also his exceptional The Club Dumas, about a book hunter that searches for rare volumes for his customers. He is hired to find a sorcerous tome, and the danger begins. It was made into a movie that was nowhere as good. I’d steer clear of his “I want to be the next Alexandre Dumas” series (Captain Alastride), but that’s just me.

I’ve been cracking the books quite a bit these days for the dissertation, but managed to squeeze in a bit of pleasure reading this week. Specifically, Desolation Road, a science fiction novel by Ian McDonald (his “Indian” sci-fi, River of Gods and Cyberabad Days are excellent!) set in an undisclosed time on a terraformed Mars.

Told in a series of vignettes or episodes, the novel follows the founding by a desert wanderer at an oasis in the middle of nowhere, along the railroad tracks, and the subsequent development of the town by vagabonds and on-the-run criminals, downed pilots, and homesteaders. The novel has a peculiar voice and a mystic quality to it that reminds me of William Faulkner or John Steinbeck in how the events of one story impact the others, but are still separate from them.

The language is beautiful, one of McDonald’s strongest qualities in his novels, and has a mythic, timeless feel to the prose. The episodic nature makes it an easy read in short doses, at the beach or on the kludge. I highly recommend it.

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