The darkness at the heart of the galaxy
Following the clues given them by the Aetheral, the Radiant Dragon and Toruk, Selene and Ondo close in on the existential threat to galactic life unleashed by Vulpis.
They battle Concordance all the way, aided by unlikely allies and mysterious messages. The trail leads them to more artefacts left behind by the Tok, drawing them ever-closer to the secrets at the heart of the galaxy.
But what they find there, and the truth they uncover about galactic history, changes everything...
Yaroslav Barsukov's Tower of Mud and Straw is a serialised novella published by Metaphorosis. The e-book and paperback editions will be published in February 2021.
You can read or listen to the first part here for free:
The first part was published on September 29th. The other parts will be published on October 30th, November 27th and December 25th.
About Yaroslav Barsukov:
After leaving his ball and chain at the workplace, Yaroslav Barsukov goes on to write stories that deal with things he himself, thankfully, doesn’t have to deal with. He’s a software engineer and a connoisseur of strong alcoholic beverages - but also, surprisingly, a member of SFWA and Codex (how did that happen?). At some point in his life, he’s left one former empire only to settle in another.
Click here to visit his official website.
About Tower of Mud and Straw:
THE QUEEN RUINED HIS LIFE. HE WOULD DO ANYTHING TO RECLAIM IT... OR SO HE THOUGHT.
Minister Shea Ashcroft refuses the queen's order to gas a crowd of protesters. After riots cripple the capital, he's banished to the border to oversee the construction of the biggest anti-airship tower in history. The use of otherworldly technology makes the tower volatile and dangerous; Shea has to fight the local hierarchy to ensure the construction succeeds - and to reclaim his own life.
He must survive an assassination attempt, find love, confront the place in his memory he'd rather erase, encounter an ancient legend, travel to the origin of a species - and through it all, stay true to his own principles.
Climbing back to the top is a slippery slope, and somewhere along the way, one is bound to fall.
REVIEW: TOWER OF MUD AND STRAW BY YAROSLAV BARSUKOV
J.S. Barnes' Dracula's Child was published by Titan Books in September 2020.
About J.S. Barnes:
Jonathan is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: The Somnambulist, The Domino Men and Cannonbridge (“original and monumentally inventive” - Washington Post). He writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review and is the author of numerous adaptations of classic Victorian novels, including The Invisible Man (starring John Hurt) and Dracula (starring Mark Gatiss). He is married and lives on the fringes of London. Last year, he made a pilgrimage to Transylvania.
About Dracula's Child:
Evil never truly dies... and some legends live forever. The dark heart of Bram Stoker's classic is reborn; capturing the voice, tone, style and characters of the original yet with a modern sensibility this novel is perfect for fans of Dracula and contemporary horror.
It has been some years since Jonathan and Mina Harker survived their ordeal in Transylvania and, vanquishing Count Dracula, returned to England to try and live ordinary lives. But shadows linger long in this world of blood feud and superstition - and, the older their son Quincy gets, the deeper the shadows that lengthen at the heart of the Harkers' marriage. Jonathan has turned back to drink; Mina finds herself isolated inside the confines of her own family; Quincy himself struggles to live up to a family of such high renown. And when a gathering of old friends leads to unexpected tragedy, the very particular wounds in the heart of the Harkers' marriage are about to be exposed...
There is darkness both within the marriage and without - for, while Jonathan and Mina wrestle with the right way to raise a child while still recovering from the trauma of their past lives, new evil is arising on the Continent. A naturalist is bringing a new species of bat back to London; two English gentlemen, on their separate tours of the continent, find a strange quixotic love for each other, and stumble into a calamity far worse than either has imagined; and the vestiges of something thought long-ago forgotten is, finally, beginning to stir...
REVIEW: DRACULA'S CHILD BY J.S. BARNES
Alison Levy's Gatekeeper was published by SparkPress in October 2020.
About Alison Levy:
Alison Levy lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with her husband, son, and variety of pets. When she’s not writing or doing mom things, she crochets, gardens, walks her collies, and works on home improvement projects. She lives in Greensboro, NC.
Rachel Wilde comes from a dimension that exists adjacent to ours. The people there have structured their society around daemon collecting: they locate, catch, and repair malfunctioning daemons (creatures out of phase with our world that tempt people to do good or evil). Now Rachel has been given two unusual assignments: 1) find a person who has been trying to break down dimensional barriers, and 2) track down a missing line of gatekeepers, human placeholders for a daemon that was too badly damaged to repair. Authorities of Rachel’s world believe the missing gatekeepers are descended from a girl who went missing from West Africa hundreds of years ago, likely sold into slavery. With no leads to go on, Rachel seeks help from Bach, a raving homeless man who happens to be an oracle. Bach does put her in the path of both of her targets - but he also lands her in a life-threatening situation. Somehow, Rachel has to stop the criminal, reunite a gatekeeper with her stolen past, and, above all, survive.
REVIEW: GATEKEEPER BY ALISON LEVY
David Michael Williams' The Lost Tale of Sir Larpsalot was published in October 2020.
About David Michael Williams:
David Michael Williams has suffered from a storytelling addiction for as long as he can remember. With a background in journalism, public relations, and marketing, he also flaunts his love affair with the written word as an author of speculative fiction. His most recent books include the sword-and-sorcery trilogy The Renegade Chronicles and The Soul Sleep Cycle, a genre-bending series that explores life, death, and the dreamscape.
David lives in Wisconsin with the best wife on this or any other planet and their two amazing children. He joined the Allied Authors of Wisconsin, one of the state’s oldest writing collectives, in 2005.
Click here to visit his official website.
The Lost of Sir Larpsalot can be purchased here.
About The Lost Tale of Sir Larpsalot:
WIZARDS & WANNABES
As the first day of high school creeps closer, five friends agree to one last LARP* before splitting the party and ending their geeky game forever.
But the real adventure is just beginning...
Mistaking the teens’ costumed characters for actual warriors, a sorceress summons Sir Larpsalot, Elvish Presley, Brutus the Bullheaded, Master Prospero, and Tom Foolery to her world to complete an impossible quest. To succeed, they must become the heroes they only ever pretended to be.
And if they can’t find a way to win, it’s GAME OVER for real!
* Live action role-playing game
REVIEW: THE LOST TALE OF SIR LARPSALOT BY DAVID MICHAEL WILLIAMS
Risingshadow has an opportunity to feature an article by R. Peter Keith about creating the Wine Dark Deep series.
R. Peter Keith is a co-founder and creative director of a NASA Space Act Agreement partner company that specializes in the design, fabrication and display of museum exhibits and interactive experiences. The first three books of the Wine Dark Deep series (Wine Dark Deep, Encounter at Jupiter, and The Odyssey), will be released on October 12. Visit Uphill Downhill Press’ website, his publisher, to learn more.
Guest post: Turning My Time on a NASA Co-Designed Spaceship and Asteroid Base into a Space Opera by R. Peter Keith