Light Dawning details finally arrive

New grimdark fantasy / horror novel coming May 26th!

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Today it’s time to officially unveil details on “Light Dawning!”

Following my debut sci-fi novella “Empty” from 2016, now I’m pivoting away from the emptiness of space and diving headlong into the waters of fantasy, but with a seriously grimdark twist. This next foray into the bleaker corners of human existence is officially slated for release on Friday, May 26th, 2017.

Like its predecessor, the creation of “Light Dawning” was driven forward by the power of music, with special thanks in particular  due to U.K. avant-garde black metal group Code, Norwegian musical enigma Ihsahn, and Chilean prog rock group Bauda. To get an advance preview of the themes and tone of the novel, a music playlist matching several scenes can be heard below.

Once known as the City on the Hill and revered far and wide for its independence and boundless opportunity, Cestia has become home only to the damned. Surviving under the brutal occupation of a southern empire for three long years, the oppressed populace has lost hope of liberation, turning instead towards an increasingly desperate rebellion willing to commit any atrocity for a chance at freedom.

As total war approaches, four lost souls trapped behind Cestia’s walls are on a collision course with fate, destined to either save the city or see it utterly destroyed while calling on forces beyond mankind’s comprehension. For good or ill, the light of a new day is about to dawn.

As with all my work, this story is inspired by a real life experience translated into a fictional setting, and completing this book took a lot out of me. Its set in an unquestionably fantasy universe, but don’t expect any elves or farm boy chosen ones saving the world.

My take on the genre draws more from cosmic dread and the horror of war than anything with unlikely heroes or lovable rogues. Don’t expect any happy endings.

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Cover artwork and release date!

Confessions Of A Reviewer has the exclusive premiere today

It’s long, long overdue, but today I’m excited to announce full details have finally arrived on “Light Dawning.”

The ever-amazing review site Confessions Of A Reviewer – which has long been a stalwart champion of the horror and dark fiction scene – just exclusively premiered the cover artwork and release date reveal right here!

A full press release will be out to the rest of the literary world on Friday – stay tuned for more to come!

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Forward Momentum

A long journey is about to come to an end…

Feels like its been forever on this journey towards the light, but we’re almost there now! Very excited for full official release info on “Light Dawning” to arrive this week.

Keep your eyes peeled as this coming Wednesday the 19th an excellent review site that covers all things dark and horror will be officially unveiling the book cover and release info!

Can’t wait to share this nightmare of the light with all of you and finally move on towards new releases!

A Call Of Cthulhu scenario in movie form

“The Void” delivers a big budget experience on a shoestring IndieGogo budget

topSome years back, Guillermo Del Toro – the man behind visually stunning movies like “Pan’s Labyrinth” – revealed he was gearing up to create a big budget adaptation of Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains Of Madness.”

It seemed like it was time for “Dagon” to lose its placed as the best Lovecraft film adaptation. Fans were split on the casting however, with many upset about Hollywood heartthrob Tom Cruise taking the role of doomed researcher Danforth.

Personally, I think the casting was spot on because A) Cruise is already insane so it wouldn’t be acting and B) his beliefs as a high level Scientologist about humanity’s origins actually aren’t significantly different from what Danforth discovers about how the species started in “At The Mountains Of Madness.”

Sadly it wasn’t meant to be, because some moron studio executive decided putting money into a hard-R horror flick wasn’t going to net a return (although now that hard-R super hero flicks are a thing, maybe that decision will change). For now, the indie film makers will have to tackle the more disturbing elements of horror, and perhaps that’s how it should be.

That leads us to “The Void,” which is now taking the place of the best, most effects-laden Lovecraftian movie of the age, even thought it doesn’t draw from a specific Lovecraft tale and instead is simply suffused with Cthulhu Mythos elements.

A crowd funding success story, “The Void” is brought to us by a small team of film makers with a passion for practical effects over computer generated ones, and it really shows. They manage to do a whole lot with so little in mostly one location.

sideI’d been following the movie’s progress for years now, since before even the crowd funding campaign, so as we got closer to VOD release a certain unease started to grow as I wondered if perhaps I’d overhyped this for myself. Were we about to witness a gigantic flop that just had a good trailer?

Thankfully no, this is the real deal, and of particular note is the level of acting for such a small budget flick. For the most part, the leads are on par with or even exceeding what you get with indie classics like “Grave Encounters,” “Willow Creek,” “Creep,” “Absentia,” etc.

There are a ton of Mythos references throughout the movie (the main character’s name is Carter for instance), including some that are going to delight tabletop RPG fans who dig the Call Of Cthulu roleplaying game. During the movies opening moments there’s a curious lack of sound quality as some odd events occur. The sound evens out shortly after, but then later as the main characters are all gathered in a hospital fleeing cultists, suddenly the sound becomes grainy, static-laden, and distorted yet again.

At first I thought this was just a side effect of the movie’s low-budget nature, but then it dawned on me: we were literally hearing when the investigators are losing sanity. When a stabilizing force comes in, like when an officer takes control of the situation or a horrible thing from beyond is defeated, sound returns to normal as sanity is regained. My interest in the movie immediately shot up even more as I realized we were watching a Call Of Cthulhu scenario in film form.

side2From there you’ll notice a lot of CoC scenario staples, like stumbling upon Polaroids of terrible things and a cache of eldritch tomes filled with unspeakable knowledge when the investigators figure out the identity of the real antagonist. The crew behind the movie clearly has a love for all things horror though, as it’s not just cosmic horror of the Lovecraftian variety on hand.

The last third of the film takes a hard left turn into “Hellraiser,” complete with a skinless man and walls recessing to access the abyss. Those familiar with Italian horror will note the final frame of the movie is 100% homage to Lucio Fulci’s “The Beyond,” another harrowing tale of hell unleashed on earth.

Simply put: “The Void” delivers on the effects, the story, the scares, and the acting. It’s one of the best horror flicks I’ve seen in recent memory, and its blessedly not a remake, reboot, prequel, or sequel. It easily beats out the low budget competition and even manages to create a better experience than most of the big budget schlock coming out of the horror genre these days.

This team needs to be given access to bigger budgets and more stories, and hopefully we’ll see another IndieGogo campaign in the not-too-distant future!

Carve a smile on your face

“Empty” now sits on a stunning horror roster!

You might have noticed a change in the last post, and in that switch, my previous sci-fi novella “Empty” has now been re-released via the horror press Sinister Grin!

Engineer Hansen’s struggle against the unknown now proudly sits on a roster with the likes of the much buzzed “Children of the Dark” by Jonathan Janz and the Bram Stoker-nominated “Mayan Blue” by Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason.

Excerpts from “Light Dawning” beta read

Ready to be burned by the light?

Been awhile since we’ve had a proper update and that’s because there’s been a lot going on beyond the scenes that’s all now being finalized.

I’m excited to announce my upcoming grimdark fantasy / horror novel “Light Dawning” will be released this summer.

While the cover and release date are still under wraps for a short time, to let you know what’s in store and give you an idea of the emotionally draining journey to come, here are a few excerpts from the beta read:

“…an immersive story that inspired debate within myself over the strengths of light and darkness.”

“The major theme of this story is pain, and seeing the struggles was rough.”

“the whole thing gives me WWII and Anne Frank vibes, giving it all a historical and real level of urgency.”

 

Here’s to a grimdark new year

2017 here we come…

Many thanks to everyone who read and reviewed “Empty” over the course of this tumultuous year! Big things are brewing, with my grimdark novel “Light Dawning” being slated for a Q2 2017 release and a zombie apocalypse graphic novel I was fortunate enough to be involved with now being inked and prepped for release. See you all next year!