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Monday, February 29, 2016

GIVEAWAY: The Brotherhood Of The Wheel by R.S. Belcher


Official Author Website
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Six-Gun Tarot
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Shotgun Arcana
Read The Route To Golgotha by R. S. Belcher (Guest Post)

I’m a big fan of R. S. Belcher’s Golgotha series and his previous book Nightwise. We at Fantasy Book Critic are lucky to be giving away a hardback copy of his newest release “The Brotherhood Of The Wheel” and one snazzy trucker hat (see pic below) to One Lucky Winner!!!


To enter, please send an email to fbcgiveaway@gmail.com with your Name, Mailing Address, and the subject: BROTHERHOOD. Giveaway HAS ENDED and will be open to participants in USA & CANADA ONLY.

Thank you for entering and Good Luck!

GIVEAWAY RULES:
 1) Open To Anyone in USA & CANADA ONLY
 2) Only One Entry Per Household (Multiple Entries Will Be Disqualified)
 3) Must Enter Valid Email Address, Mailing Address + Name
 4) No Purchase Necessary
 5) Giveaway HAS ENDED
 6) Winner Will Be Randomly Selected and Notified By Email
 7) Personal Information Will Only Be Used In Mailing Out the Books To The Winner




About The Brotherhood of The Wheel: In 1119 A.D., a group of nine crusaders became known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon--a militant monastic order charged with protecting pilgrims and caravans traveling on the roads to and from the Holy Land. In time, the Knights Templar would grow in power and, ultimately, be laid low. But a small offshoot of the Templars endure and have returned to the order's original mission: to defend the roads of the world and guard those who travel on them.

Theirs is a secret line of knights: truckers, bikers, taxi hacks, state troopers, bus drivers, RV gypsies--any of the folks who live and work on the asphalt arteries of America. They call themselves the Brotherhood of the Wheel.

Jimmy Aussapile is one such knight. He's driving a big rig down South when a promise to a ghostly hitchhiker sets him on a quest to find out the terrible truth behind a string of children gone missing all across the country. The road leads him to Lovina Hewitt, a skeptical Louisiana State Police investigator working the same case and, eventually, to a forgotten town that's not on any map--and to the secret behind the eerie Black-Eyed Kids said to prowl the highways.
Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Night Study: Soulfinders Series 2" by Maria V. Snyder (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)




Visit Maria V. Snyder's Official Website here
Read FBC's review of Shadow Study here



OVERVIEW: Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek...secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister that they could have ever imagined.

FORMAT: Night Study is the second book in the Soulfinder Series. It is the fifth Book in the Study Series and is considered the eighth book in the Chronicles of Ixia.

Night Study is a YA fantasy romance. Night Study stands at 444 pages and was released January 26, 2016 by Mira in the US. It has a UK release date of February 25, 2016.  


ANALYSIS: Last year, Maria V. Snyder continued to tell the story of Yelena and Valek. While readers got brief glimpses of these two characters in her Glass Series, this new series focused mainly on their trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, returning to this world wasn't everything I expected it to be.

Shadow Study was by far not the strongest book from Snyder that I read. The pacing felt off, the story felt overused, and the introduction of varying POV just made the entire novel feel 'off'. It wasn't bad, but to me the other books felt smoother, faster paced, and overall more enjoyable. However, I didn't want to give up on the series and so I continued to read the second novel – Night Study.

Snyder appears to have learned from some of the mistakes that occurred in Shadow Study. First, the main POVs are between Yelena and Valek. There is an occasional chapter told by Leif and two chapters from Janco, but there weren't as many side missions/quests and varying stories from other characters. This gives the book a smoother, more polished feel to it that the first book was lacking.

It wasn't that I didn't like Janco from Shadow Study. I found him overly played out. He used cutesy nicknames and it got a bit old after a while. Leif, when he did tell his story, was more mature and likeable. Of course, this is all a personal preference. Some will love the new focus; others will wish Janco was back.

Unfortunately, even the shift of focus on POVs couldn't fix a pacing problem. The first 50% of the novel was extremely slow. There was a lot of back and forth between a personal issue Yelena was going through (I don't want to say what it is because it'd spoil the first book). This dragged down the pacing of the novel. I found I just didn't care about it one way or another so having so much focus on it made the book go by slower.

Another issue I had with the first part of Night Study was for a good 25% of the novel there is this huge sense of urgency to find these hidden greenhouses. All of a sudden, this issue was wrapped up in a quick page or two and then the focus is shifted elsewhere. So much time was spent building up this plot element and it didn't really go anywhere.

I will say the second half of the book was amazing. Snyder takes readers deeper into Valek's past, which is something I have always wondered about and wanted to know more. There were hints given throughout the previous novels, but it was nice to really see it all laid out. This part of the novel was so enjoyable and it seemed to have gone by so fast. In fact, it is this little twist and part of the novel that actually will keep me reading the series – for now.

There is one point I would like to bring up - the relationship with Valek and Yelena. Things seem to be moving way too fast. I really would have liked to see things slow down a little and really show readers their interactions. It seems to be a growing trend to break the two up and split them up – which is fine, but it leaves me with a rushed relationship feeling to it.

Overall, Night Study was about what I expected. My expectations weren't too high based on my mixed feelings from Shadow Study, but I found a few unexpected plot twists entertaining. For myself, it doesn't capture the inspiring 'love it' feeling I had with the Study Series or the Glass Series, but that is okay. I think fans of Snyder will enjoy it and love it, which is ultimately all that really matters.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Library At Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (Reviewed by Joshua Redlich & Mihir Wanchoo)


Order the book HERE
Read the first chapter HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Scott Hawkins was born in Idaho, grew up in South Carolina and completed his education all the way to his MS over in South Carolina. He has always worked in the field of computers since he graduated and counts himself as a big lover of dogs. Currently living with his wife and a band of his four-legged buddies, Scott is deep into writing his second book as well as a sequel short story to TLAMC. This book was his speculative fiction debut.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. She's sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for. After all, she was a normal American herself, once.

That was a long time ago, of course—before the time she calls “adoption day,” when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.

Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible. In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn't gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient Pelapi customs. They've studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power.

Sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.

Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library—and with it, power over all of creation. As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her.

But Carolyn can win. She's sure of it. What she doesn't realize is that her victory may come at an unacceptable price—because in becoming a God, she's forgotten a great deal about being human.

ANALYSIS (Joshua): I have always been a fan of mythology, and books about gods are always quickly finding their way to the top of my reading list. Such was the same with The Library at Mount Char (TLAMC). Hawkins’s debut, however, was not at all what I expected.

True, TLAMC is about gods (though they are never actually referred to as such); but the familiar characters of mythology are completely absent from the story. The godly figures that inhabit Hawkins’s world are instead completely new creations, making this a story unlike any of its type that I have ever experienced. Throughout the novel, readers are introduced to a complex hierarchy of gods, as well as their relationships with one another and their fascinating history. It is clear that Hawkins put a significant amount of thought into every little detail, and the world he has created is beautiful and realistic, though very, very dark.

Once I finished the first chapter and realized the book was not about the gods I already knew, I was instantly curious to learn more about the Librarians as they use their various abilities to find Father. Yet the story quickly defied my expectations once more. Instead of following the Librarians exclusively, many of the beginning chapters instead bring in new, seemingly random characters that are only minimally connected to the Librarians, or so it seems at first. Eventually, everything becomes linked in much more significant ways, but since this is not clear at first, the beginning of the book comes off as episodic and random. Fortunately, Hawkins is an engaging writer, so these departures from the main protagonists still make for compelling and entertaining reads.

TLAMC is not without other faults as well. One problem I had was that the librarians, primarily the protagonist Carolyn, are all very difficult to relate to, as each one is completely detached from humanity. To them, human life is something inconsequential and expendable, and the human emotions they still experience are few and far between. They are constantly committing horrifying acts in the most casual ways, and even though the reader comes to understand why that is, it is still a challenge to be sympathetic toward them. However, it becomes clear that this is the case very early on in the story, and while it may not be easy to relate to Carolyn and her friends, it takes no time at all to become invested in the events of the story.

The only other problem I had with the book is actually quite interesting, because it’s usually something I want in the books I read: closure. Though the beginning of TLAMC leads readers from one question to the next as they try to figure out exactly what is going on and why, the last hundred pages or so are all answers. Normally, I love having my questions answered; after all, it’s usually the questions raised in the first chapter of a book that pushes me to continue reading, and to get to the last page only to have those questions remain such is a disappointment. But 100 pages worth of answers is, in my opinion, a bit excessive, even if it did bring everything together rather perfectly.

Despite these few faults, which for a debut author are fairly minimal, TLAMC is truly an exceptional book. Hawkins’s writing is smooth, his descriptions vivid, his characters complex, his world building thoughtful, and his story fascinating. Yet the author’s principal strength is his ability to tease information. Littered throughout the story are myriad one-liners that hint to things to come, whether it’s a brief mention of something mind blowing that isn’t expounded on for several more chapters or a sudden, unexpected twist followed by an unrelated chapter. These little nuggets of information, which come fairly often, keep the book shifting so the reader never really knows exactly what is going on or what to expect, yet with each one the reader becomes more and more invested in the story and curious about how it will end.

ANALYSIS (MIHIR): The Library At Mount Char is a hard book to define or compartmentalize in terms of genre. It's like a wild mishmash of horror, thriller, urban fantasy and general fiction. The author begins the tale by introducing us to Carolyn and Steve, two individuals who couldn't be further away from each other in their thinking and behavior. Carolyn inducts Steve into sort of breaking into a house, and the plot keeps getting weirder after that.

We the readers are then introduced to Carolyn's past and her upbringing along with eleven other children by a person who asks them to call him Father and who initiates each of them in a separate field. They are told that these studies are wildly necessary and any transgression into each other's domains is punished severely.  The twin plot strands of Carolyn's past recollections and the present wherein she and her fellow brother and sisters cause mayhem in our current world make up the story. 

If you feel the above two paragraphs were confusing then get ready to be confused massively by this dark book which will have you confused at first but enthralled entirely by the end. The author has to be lauded for writing a version of Hogwarts and the Harry Potter world as imagined by Cormac McCarthy of Road fame. It’s a solid gut punch of a story focussing on a group of quasi-immortals who have been brought together by a scary “Father” figure who does his best to harden them for a task. What the task is and what is actually happening in the book is the main mystery among many but the way Scott Hawkins brings all the plot threads together is remarkable.

The writing is really dark but laced with witty observations and a wry style of humor that will cause the reader to chuckle along from time to time. The author doesn't pull any punches with descriptions of hard core violence and gore but he doesn't over do it or make it comical like Quentin Tarantino. The book has a fluid pace to it and slowly but surely becomes more and more streamlined as plot threads start to coalesce in to a tundering climax where everything is revealed. I thoroughly enjoyed how it all made sense in the end and we truly understand who Father might be and what were his motivations.

This book was in my top 10 debuts of 2015 and I can't wait to read what the author writes about next. Whatever it might be, it's safe to say Scott Hawkins marks himself as a literary maverick and an author to watch out for.

CONCLUSION (Joshua): Whether you are the sort of reader that gets drawn into a novel through a unique and interesting backstory and a satisfying number of unexplained mysteries or the type that just wants constant action, The Library At Mount Char is the book for you. Just as long as you can stomach gore and violence.
Thursday, February 18, 2016

"The Dark Days Club: Lady Helen Book 1" by Alison Goodman (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)





 Visit the Dark Days Club Website Here

OVERVIEW: London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

FORMAT: Dark Days Club is the first book in a YA regency adventure novel/supernatural novel. It is the first in a proposed series titled Lady Helen.

Dark Days Club has a mix of regency adventure/setting, slight romance, mystery, and supernatural elements. It stands at 496 pages and was published January 26, 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers.  

ANALYSIS: Alison Goodman is best known for her YA fantasy duology Eon and Eona. It has been some time since that series was completed and readers have been anxiously awaiting her new series – Lady Helen.

The Lady Helen series takes place in 1812 London and stars 18-year old Lady Helen Wrexhall. As with any historical fantasy novel that takes place in this time period, it is filled with parties, balls, and a huge desire to make sure every rule is followed to a T. Unfortunately, Lady Helen is a bit restless and isn't sure she wants to do. She is headstrong and not all that interested in immediately settling down with the first man to ask for her hand in marriage – but that looks like the way things will go until the unexpected happens.

One of Lady Helen's housemaids disappears. Lady Helen takes it upon herself to investigate the mysterious disappearance, which leads her to uncover a truth about her destiny that is unexpected. A truth that includes evil demon-like creatures that are intent on causing destruction, but it is up to a secret society of individuals to stop them and Lady Helen is connected to them somehow.

I have mixed feelings about The Dark Days Club – the first novel in the Lady Helen series. There isn't anything specific wrong with it. Alison Goodman is an amazing wordsmith and creates a detailed world, but it toes the line on too detailed to the point it slows down the pacing.

Alison Goodman did a lot of research about this time period and it shows in the writing. Unfortunately, there are huge chunks of this book which is just filled with bogging the reader down with relatively unrelated and somewhat boring information. Readers are treated to party scenes with intricate details about proper etiquette, how dances are performed, how people interact. All of which is great, but in small doses. This was not in small doses and it eventually dragged the pacing of the book down.

For example, the beginning scenes talk about Lady Helen as she is preparing for her presentation to the Queen. There are details included, such as how she needed to practice because she will need to pee in a small porcelain tray while standing up at the presentation. While this information is great for history buffs, it didn't add to anything in the story and really slowed it down.

The pacing of the novel does pick up, but it isn't until well past the 75% mark. Once the pacing does pick up, the novel moved quickly and turned out to be fairly enjoyable. There was demon fighting, drama, and mystery, all of which was lacking in the first part of the book.

The pacing and over-indulgence of information wasn't the only issue I had. I found it extremely difficult to relate and/or like the heroine of the novel – Lady Helen. London 1812 didn't leave a lot of room for women to do anything. They had to be constantly watched, were under the control of men until they were married (and even if they weren't), they weren't encouraged to read or know anything about the world. All of this showed in the character development of Lady Helen.

Lady Helen was supposed to be this strong, independent woman – or at least that was what readers are supposed to think of her. But she came across as very shallow, one-sided, and just plain boring. There were brief moments where some sense of humor showed through, but those moments were few and far between. She did start to shape up in the last 15 pages or so, which is enough to keep me reading until the next series, but I wish I had seen more of Lady Helen's unique characteristics earlier in the novel.

In my opinion, Lord Carlston was the best character. Unfortunately, he is mysterious in this novel and isn't featured a lot. It will be interesting to see his character grow and develop too.

There is one part of the novel I would like to point out and one I found extremely disappointing. I have read and reread this part of the book, so maybe I missed it. Readers are shown that Lady Helen is a Reclaimer – fighter of these evil demon creatures that look human, but aren't. All of a sudden, in the next chapter her handmaid knows all about this and is asking if creatures are around them. This was a perfect opportunity to develop the friendship between Lady Helen and her handmaid, but it wasn't there. It happened off book.

I would have really liked to have seen Lady Helen explain the demons, her role in the society, and everything to her handmaid. I would have liked to see the handmaid's reaction. I think this would have really allowed readers to connect and understand the relationship.

While it may seem like I didn't like the novel, it really did pick up at the end and turn out to be a semi-decent read. It appears to be one of those series that might be better read as a whole, as this seemed like a setup to better things to come.

This is definitely not a novel for those looking for fast-paced action or who really want to jump immediately into a story. But I do think there is an audience for the book – especially since there is very little romance (at least in this novel).  

Overall, I think the Lady Helen series shows promise. I am hoping that since we have the historical setting and info-dumping out of the way, it will give the series room to let other more interesting aspects shine. It certainly was well-written and shows amazing promise. I will certainly tune in for book 2, but I hope there are some improvements.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

GUEST BLOG: Between the Interstice: On Lovecraft and Weird Fiction by Mike Robinson



Fantasy Book Critic is excited to welcome Mike Robinson to our blog today. Mike is the author of the non-linear The Enigma of the Twilight Falls. He has stopped by today to talk about weird fiction/dark fantasy.

About The Enigma of Twilight Falls Series:

The Enigma of Twilight Falls is a trilogy that can be read in any sequence, composed of the novels The Green-Eyed Monster, Negative Space and the recently released Waking Gods. All titles give glimpses into the strange and cosmic phenomenon beating in the town’s breast.
 
The Green-Eyed Monster (2012) introduces the northern California town of Twilight Falls, isolated in a mist-swept valley and a beacon to artists of all stripes - a “brothel of muses”, as someone once put it. Bestselling authors John Becker and Martin Smith are natives, not to mention notorious rivals, their dark and ultimately fatal dynamic embodying something sinister, something knowing and something looming, at the core of the town.
And what of this strange artistic movement (to some, a cult) dubbed Neo-Naturalism, the heart of which seems to reside in Twilight Falls? Negative Space (2013) offers another vantage point on the mystery, introducing one Clifford Feldman, the premiere, charismatic face of Neo-Naturalism, who believes humankind’s destiny lies beyond the flesh, in the realm of ultimate Creation.

Welcome Mike Robinson!

*****************************************************************


 
Between the Interstice
On Lovecraft and Weird Fiction

"Back then, with the visions, most of the time I was convinced I'd lost it. There were other times, though, where I thought I was mainlining the secret truth to the universe."
                            ------------ Rust Cohle, True Detective

Behind the wide facade of Speculative Fiction twist the hedge-mazes of fantasy, brood the catacombs of horror and gaze the far-seeing floors of science fiction. Among them, between them, are the closets and crawlspaces of the niche, one of which -- a relatively bigger one -- is the place of Weird Fiction, a dark storage of many souvenirs from fantasy, horror and science fiction, though dusted with its own special charms.
   
Weird Fiction is a subgenre that, perhaps more consciously than other fields of speculative fiction, stirs together elements of the metaphysical, cosmological and horrific to grimly honor the Big Questions, remind us of our insurmountable ignorance, to pin down our squirming selves into our rightful position in the child’s seat, to whisper, maybe in some alien, mud-packed voice, that, hey, the world slippery and you won’t ever, ever catch it. The world, in short, is weird.
   
And past all the horror, the strangeness, that to me is a nourishing thought. Let me explain.
   
The moment I cemented my decision to not pursue an M.F.A (or any academic training) in writing is vivid. While enrolled at Otis College of Art & Design, I found in my mailbox a little perfect-bound literary booklet featuring work by the graduate students in fiction. I flipped it open to a random story. After wading cautiously into the second paragraph of a painful scrutiny of eyebrow-plucking, I was done. Other entries weren’t much better. Too many of them seemed concerned with stereotypical, high-literary minutia, unfortunately the focus and baffling preference of innumerable professors, awards, journals, and workshops (cough-Iowa-cough).

Personally, I have little interest in quaint journalistic accounts of Malaysian transvestite violinists at the turn of the century (yes, I made that up), or the endless slew of aptly-termed “McFiction” featuring some cocky narrator coming of age amongst his or her overfed, dysfunctional family. No, I prefer going head-on at the Big Questions, going at them, as George Carlin might say, with no less than a sledgehammer. Give me ballsy confrontations with Life, Death, the Cosmos, with Existence, with God.
   
In their noble attempts at social redemption and inclusion, many contemporary teachers of literature treat writings in the framework of their political significance. To me, though, such attempts seem to me nothing more than new forms of division. It is looking at the grains and forgetting the shore. Does the world really need a Marxist reading of Huckleberry Finn, complete with ten-dollar jargon? Academics are on the lookout for the “next best thing”, the new trend in analysis, the new prism through which to see literary works of yesterday and today. I say: what about our shared heritage? Our shared -- and uncertain -- future? Not as any one ethnicity, gender, party, or faction, but as an entire civilization. A species. A collective piece of this vast Universe.
   
Of course, much of this material is studied, and much of it is exhaustively considered and written about. Enter Weird Fiction!

As any fellow devotee will know, H.P. Lovecraft -- arguably the most esteemed and influential practitioner of the genre -- cleaned out the catacombs with his pen, defying tropes of ghosts and vampires and expanding imaginations with interconnected tales of ancient civilizations antedating our own, of towering alien-gods, of unseen dimensions and humanity’s sanity-shattering smallness in an inexplicable cosmos. All this made more impressive by the fact that he wrote in the 1920s, when so much of that stuff was barely on anyone’s speculative radar, including scientists’. His unknowns are truly Unknown, and will forever elude explanation.
   
Certainly Lovecraft’s work has failings, failings probably more surface-level than those of other lauded authors. He was well aware of his own wooden dialogue (hence, quotation marks are scarce in his pages) and his prose sometimes gushes into the purple. Nevertheless, his voice, with its richly archaic, darkly celebratory cadence, stands alone, and will survive as long as we’re unsure what lurks “out there”.

Sadly, Lovecraft, and especially his “Cthulu” mythos, have become somewhat franchised, relegated to corners of the market generally aimed at Dungeons and Dragons fans, horror enthusiasts, and nihilistic young adults sporting black fingernails and lipstick. It is a wide “cult following”, but nonetheless a cult following. Although some scholars have acknowledged his importance, many see him as a troublesome bridge from Poe to Stephen King. It is this identity that has, I’m sure, dissuaded many from giving him a serious go. “Lovecraft? Oh, no, I don’t like that horror stuff.”
   
But back up. Here we come back to the question of Weird Fiction itself, because I don’t necessarily consider the canon, or Lovecraft’s work, “horror”. Certainly there are horrific elements in his work, and his career does include several standard supernatural yarns. But in his treatment of cosmic mysteries, and the shadowed realms of prehistory, his is more a prying curious eye, forcing us to consider those Big Questions, to ponder notions of, and issues with, the likes of religion, biology, cosmology, archaeology, and psychology. He sets you on the outside looking in, a contrast to being in and looking further in to the point of navel-gazing. This exercise of outside-looking-in, one I believe most writers of fiction should undertake, helps in a kind of rounding out of thought.
   
No matter the genre in which one writes, I believe the best, most poignant stories have at least an undercurrent of  this “larger awareness”, a perception conveying authority and wisdom. So many stories feel constricted by their own world, characters or concerns. Yet to read Lovecraft is to confront directly that raw Unknown that surrounds us, that is us. To get a healthy dose of perspective: a shambling, roaring, behemoth upswell of perspective.
   
I mentioned earlier that I think such a perspective can be ultimately nourishing. In an era of economic, cultural and political tumult, when millions of Davids the world over shout in fiery voice against the few far-reaching, corrupt Goliaths, there is morbid comfort in knowing that, despite whatever the megalomaniacal egos of sadistic leaders, immoral bankers, or bribe-pocketing politicians might make of themselves, there are impenetrable forces beyond all of them that will cast mocking eyes towards their suited-up, gold-rimmed delusions, if they even care to acknowledge them. Lovecraft, and the general tradition of Weird Fiction, reminds us just how little power the powerful actually wield. After all, Goliath was, what, ten feet tall? When the mountain-sized Cthulu rises once more, those people will be nothing but scrambling ants -- along with the rest of us.

About Mike Robinson: An avid writer since age 7, award-winning author Mike Robinson began selling professionally at 19, placing various speculative fiction stories in magazines, anthologies, e-zines and podcasts. He is the author of the novels Skunk Ape SemesterThe Prince of Earth, the short story collection Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray and the non-linear trilogy The Enigma of Twilight Falls. A native of Los Angeles, he is also a screenwriter and producer, and the managing editor of Literary Landscapes, the official publication of The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society. His official website can be found at www.mikerobinson-author.com.



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