Salterin is a town full of fear. Fear and sheep. But mostly fear.
It lies in the north of a principality recently shattered by the Hanese war, cut off from its neighbours and warily watching the advance of winter. Bandits and wolves haunt the woods, but something worse lies within. A monster named Therian has installed himself as lord of the manor and no one is foolish enough to oppose him.
In their hour of need comes a man with one name. A man who will not suffer monsters. Or mutton. But mostly monsters.
Richard Gessner's The Conduit and Other Visionary Tales of Morphing Whimsy was published by Rain Mountain Press in September 2017.
Information about Richard Gessner:
Richard Gessner's fiction has been published in Air Fish: an anthology of speculative work, Rampike, Ice River, Coe Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Happy, The Act, Sein und Werden, Skidrow Penthouse, The Pannus Index, Fiction International and many other magazines. A collection, Excerpts from the Diary of a Neanderthal Dilettante & The Man in the Couch was published by Bomb Shelter Props. Gessner's drawings and paintings have appeared in Raw Vision, Courier News, Asbury Park Press, Rampike, Skidrow Penthouse, and exhibited at Pleiades Gallery, Hamilton Street Gallery, Cry Baby Gallery, The Court Gallery and the Donald B. Palmer Museum. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.
Information about The Conduit and Other Visionary Tales of Morphing Whimsy:
"What Gessner does best, perhaps, is create microcosms - self-contained worlds in which he has made up the rules and established the action. I'm reminded of a drop of water, which, under van Leeuwenhoek's microscope, turned out to be teeming with alien creatures possessed of varied modes of swimming. I am reminded of Blake: Gessner dramatizes the Romantic poet's belief that there is a world in a grain of sand. The Conduit, one of the more visionary pieces, demonstrates Gessner's ability to expand space and uncover its inhabitants in a seemingly infinite regression. It begins as the tale of a man who has been stabbed in the heart crawls into a sewer pipe to die, but the pipe is an existential anomaly - 'Huge, wide, longer than all-seeing memory' - and harbors not only the wounded man, but also a good chunk of the universe.
"The surreal aspects of Gessner's stories recall the work of French author Raymond Roussel (1877-1933). In Roussel's novel Locus Solus, for example, we encounter a scientist who has invented a balloon-powered, road- building machine, which, using human teeth of varying hues of brown, is assembling a mosaic of a Native American warrior. While this is the sort of oddity a reader shouldn't be surprised to turn up in a Gessner fiction, the language Roussel uses is Victorian in its formality and almost scrupulously objective - at least in translation - as might befit a scientist. Roussel's novel is carried not so much by his style as by an array of ingenious curiosities. Gessner strikes a more equal balance between the poetry of the prose and the parade of strangeness, between whimsical wordplay and the progression of the tale itself.
"He is also relentlessly funny. Virtually every paragraph in Excerpts from the Diary of a Neanderthal Dilettante - the title is self-explanatory - presents the reader with material worthy of a stand- up routine." - Vincent Czyz
A REVIEW OF RICHARD GESSNER'S THE CONDUIT AND OTHER VISIONARY TALES OF MORPHING WHIMSY
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Michael Fiegel.
Michael Fiegel is a writer and game designer known in Internet circles as the creator of the satiric website Ninja Burger. He has written in both the pen-and-paper and computer game industries on award-winning and acclaimed titles such as Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising and Hellas: Worlds of Sun & Stone. His nonfiction humor book, Ninja Burger: Honorable Employee Handbook, was published in 2006.
Michael's first novel, Blackbird, is a literary thriller that releases on November 14, 2017. Learn more about Blackbird and read an excerpt at https://www.ibelieveincondiments.com/
GUEST POST: Blackbird: Deep Into That Darkness Peering...
By Michael Fiegel
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Gail Z. Martin.
Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books and Orbit Books. Vengeance: A Darkhurst novel, is the second in a new epic fantasy series for Solaris (coming April, 2018). Her Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC has a new novel, Vendetta, and a new collection, Trifles and Folly. Spells, Salt, and Steel is the first in another new urban fantasy series set in upstate Pennsylvania.
Other work includes the Chronicles Of The Necromancer series, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms series, the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series, and Iron & Blood (co-authored with Larry N. Martin).
GUEST POST: Coming Attractions: New books, new series and plenty of surprises!
By Gail Z. Martin
T. R. Thompson's The Blood within the Stone was published by Odyssey Books in July 2017.
Information about T. R. Thompson:
Tom is an Australian speculative fiction writer. He lives in Belgrave on the outskirts of Melbourne with his wife and two young sons.
When not writing or reading he spends too much time gaming and taking long meandering walks through the forest that always seem to end up at a tavern.
The Blood Within the Stone is his first novel.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about The Blood within the Stone:
“Within you and without you
The blood within the stone
Writ for you and about you
Together and yet alone”
In the isolated traders’ town of Greystone, two young thieves named Wilt and Higgs scratch out a living on the street. Both have quick minds and even quicker fingers, but Wilt has another weapon, an ability to sink into others' thoughts, reading them, knowing before they do what action they will take.
Such power is not easily hidden when the Prefects of Redmondis come through town on a pilgrimage to recruit skilled ones, wielders, those who have an affinity with the secret welds that join all living things.
For a shadow is spreading across the land, a strange dark power that uses its victims' fears to drive into their minds and suck their life away. The Nine Sisters of Redmondis sense this threat, and have a prophecy that one will come, one who understands and controls the power of the blood within the stone. One they hope to rule and use for their own ends...
A REVIEW OF T. R. THOMPSON'S THE BLOOD WITHIN THE STONE
New Fears (edited by Mark Morris) was published by Titan Books in September 2017.
Information about Mark Morris:
Mark Morris has written over twenty-five novels, including four books in the popular Doctor Who range. He is also the author of two short story collections and several novellas. His short fiction, articles and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and magazines, and he is editor of Cinema Macabre, a book of horror movie essays for which he won the 2007 British Fantasy Award.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about New Fears:
The horror genre’s greatest living practitioners drag our darkest fears kicking and screaming into the light in this collection of nineteen brand-new stories. In “The Boggle Hole” by Alison Littlewood an ancient folk tale leads to irrevocable loss. In Josh Malerman’s “The House of the Head” a dollhouse becomes the focus for an incident both violent and inexplicable. And in “Speaking Still” Ramsey Campbell suggests that beyond death there may be far worse things waiting than we can ever imagine... Numinous, surreal and gut wrenching, New Fears is a vibrant collection showcasing the very best fiction modern horror has to offer.
A REVIEW OF NEW FEARS (EDITED BY MARK MORRIS)