Jason S. Ridler's Blood & Sawdust was published in October 2012.

Jay Ridler is a professional historian and writer. He is the author of the novel Death Match, the first Spar Battersea thriller, Knockouts: Ten Tales of Fantasy and Noir, and has published over fifty stories in such magazines and anthologies as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Brain Harvest, Not One of Us, Chilling Tales, Tesseracts Thirteen, and more. His popular non-fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Dark Scribe, and the Internet Review of Science Fiction. A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Mr. Ridler holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Click here to visit the author's official website.

Here's a description of Blood & Sawdust:

Tough and smart at thirteen-years-old, Malcolm knew the illegal fight game like a pro, making bets and staying alive one day at a time. But nothing prepared him for Milkwood: a fat, ugly bastard who could take a beating like a government mule, but never, ever won. So when Malcolm risks his life to discover Milkwood's secret, he convinces the fighter to stop being a punching bag and to go for broke in the local tournament. Only problem? A beautiful woman called Lash who needs Milkwood for her own purposes, and a fouler creature on her heels known only as Dizzy Colt. But for Malcolm and Milkwood? Hell, it’s just another day of Blood and Sawdust.


Jason S. Ridler's Blood & Sawdust is a surprisingly good and entertaining combination of fantasy, horror and thriller/crime elements. It has a fresh pulpy feel to it. Blood & Sawdust is a hardboiled dark fantasy book for fans of pulp stories (this book will definitely be of interest to fans of pulp fiction), but it will also appeal to fans of vampire stories.

Here's a bit of information about the story:

Malcolm goes to watch a fighting match. He sees how Milkwood loses and is carried away barely alive. He sees Milkwood after the fight and notices that he has almost miraculously recovered from the fight. Malcolm befriends Milkwood... (That's all I'll write about the plot.)

The main characters are interesting, because they're not your usual kind of heroes and villains. Malcolm is an interesting young guy who makes a living with his brother by betting on underground fighting matches. Milkwood is an intriguing character, because he is an ugly and fat vampire, who has to deal with immortality (he's quite a complex character). The other characters are also interesting - they spice up the story, because they're colourful characters and the author writes about them in an interesting way.

Blood & Sawdust is a delightfully different kind of a vampire book, because Milkwood isn't a young and heavenly beautiful vampire. It's great that the vampires in this book don't sparkle and make the hearts of teenage girls throb with unrestrained passion.

I'm sure that all the readers, who are tired of reading paranormal vampire fantasies and young adult vampire books, will love Blood & Sawdust, because it's totally different kind of a book. It's a great antidote to boredom caused by reading too many paranormal vampire books and several young adult vampire stories (I'm sure that there are several readers out there who are as fed up with the new vampire books as I am).

The author's descriptions about fighting are brutally realistic, which is nice. In this book fighting is truly fighting and it's nasty. He infuses the story with harsh realism, heart felt pain and depictions of urban decay and angst. In my opinion the fighting scenes and brutality can be seen as a harsh metaphor for urban decay and decline of the modern society.

I seldom read vampire books nowadays, because most of them are more or less boring or they contain too many paranormal romance elements for my taste (I like books by Bram Stoker and Anne Rice etc, but most new vampire books don't appeal to me). Fortunately Blood & Sawdust was refreshingly original and different kind of vampire fiction. It was great that the author offers a healthy dose of brutal realism to his readers.

If you're looking for something entertaining and a bit different to read, Blood & Sawdust is a good book for you. It's hardboiled fun for fans of vampire stories and pulp fiction.

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