2017 Books You Should Be Checking Out

From horror to romance and sci-fi!

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Now that Light Dawning fervor is dying down and work is underway on new material (stay tuned for info coming soon), let’s take a look at books from other authors you should be reading this year!

Grimdark Fantasy

darklandsM.L. Spencer’s Rhenwars series is getting a ton of praise lately, and the third and final book Darklands just came out earlier this summer.

Going a bit different direction is the highly-praised Kings Of The Wyld by Nicolas Eames, which interjects rock ‘n roll into the dark fantasy genre as a band of old mercenaries come back together for one last job.

If you like your fantasy to feature an orc invasion, don’t miss out on The Eighth God by Paul S. Lavender either!

 

Grimdark Sci-Fi

lucGrimdark is definitely focused on the fantasy lately, but don’t forget that it very much has roots in sci-fi, with the grand daddy of the genre of course being Warhammer 40,000.

Offering up a futuristic rendition of the dark fantasy style is C.T. Phipps and his space opera Lucifer’s Star.

 

 

 

Sci-Fi Romance

1861379684Now hold on a sec… romance you say? Yeah, it’s not my normal thing, but Wendie Nordgren’s Space Merchants series is actually some pretty legit action sci-fi that happens to have a lot of heavy breathing, beefcake princes, and will-they won’t-they going on.

Teagan starts from humble beginnings on earth but goes on to rule a galaxy-spanning empire. The Space Merchants series is now in its fifth iteration with the recently-released Spider Queen. The whole series just got some killer new covers as well.

 

How About Some Horror?

metalmagicBrian Barr has been pumping out some bizarre and wonderfully weird horror shorts this year, including the Three H trilogy (The Head, The House, and The Hell) along with some music themed stories, which of course always piques my interest.

This prolific author’s heavy metal / horror extravaganza Metal Magic is out now, with a punk themed follow-up also in the works and due out soon.

 

 

Speculative Fiction… With Dinosaur Races!

5120Vk0ivnLWe’ll cap this off with a fun anthology feature Stant Litore, a Facebook friend of mine since I read his biblical zombie epic Strangers In The Land a few years back.

The Jurassic Chronicles features 13 different authors all giving their take on everybody’s favorite extinct creatures brought to life!

How A Story Changes On The Path To Getting Published

Find out how “Empty” went from a werewolf camp story to a claustrophobic sci-fi tale

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It’s rare for a story to go from vague concept in a writer’s head to edited and published manuscript without major changes taking place.

Whether a character doesn’t work in the story or a major plot point hasn’t been thought out properly, there’s always changes. “Empty” went through quite a few, starting off as a short story in a very different setting than the sci-fi novella it eventually become.

I was invited by The Scary Reviews to discuss how a story changes and the vicious, rejection-strewn path to getting published in a new guest post. An excerpt follows:

All of my work is inspired by personal experiences, with this one stemming from a disturbing encounter I had at a religious summer camp as a kid. The first version was going to be a straightforward modern day tale with a supernatural twist as a camper contracts lycanthropy and has to keep his affliction hidden. Every time I’d go to write a new page though, I couldn’t stop thinking about the moon (being a werewolf tale and all) along with all that vast emptiness out in space.

The original version was junked and I started over with an engineer on a spacefaring vessel, ostracized for breaking the rules and stuck all alone serving punishment duty in the bowels of the ship. Many of the themes and ideas from the original source material made their way in, just in new forms, as the engineer explores an ancient ship, encounters a madman on a religious mission, and discovers something beyond his comprehension that offers disturbing implications about man’s place in the order of things.

The full guest post is available now at The Scary Reviews here – be on the lookout for more coming soon examining both “Empty” and my upcoming dark fantasy novel!

Confessions Of My Literary Past And Future

Find out what stories shaped my youth and what I’m reading lately

gatheringdarkFollowing the stellar 5 star review for “Empty” bestowed by Confessions Of A Reviewer, the site asked me to contribute to their Confessions Of My Past, Present, And Future column.

The idea is to explain what inspired an author in the past, what is occupying all their reading time in the present, and then to give a tease of what’s coming soon from that writer in the future.

hellboundheart

In my addition to the column, I go way back to middle and high school, covering my earlier  fantasy influences from the timeless Redwall series to a Magic: The Gathering novel with some truly subversive concepts packed into its planeswalking action.

The present section goes over my recent torrid love affair with graphic novels, from Hellraiser to Shutter and Black Science. Finally in the future, I offer a brief glimpse at an upcoming full-length dark fantasy novel. Read the full article over here.

The Music That Inspired “Empty”

Experience the music that kept my head in the properly disturbing sci-fi space

I’ve talked extensively about where the inspiration for horror comes from in the past, and a huge part of any story I craft is the music that drives the writing sessions. “Empty” is no exception.

This sci-fi/horror tale about a down on his luck engineer named Hansen was fueled both by personal experiences and by a steady stream of killer music that more of the world needs to know about.

These are the songs that not only played constantly during my writing sessions, but that work very well as a soundtrack to the book. You can actually listen to them all at this playlist.

With a story dealing with isolation and the sense of being separated from the herd, I’m hoping metal fans in particular will identify with “Empty.”

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 “Oversee The Rebirth” – Augury

Man, we are so overdue for a new album from this Canadian technical/progressive death metal band. The “Fragmentary Evidence” album is all about various conspiracy theories, and this track always makes me think of floating out in space for for the opening two minutes and then something really bad happens when the heavy part with the harsh vocals arrives around 2:40. The sudden (and shocking) change of pace into unexpected violence is something I tried to nail in a certain segment of my book as well.

anathema“Distant Satellites” – Anathema

The only track on this playlist that isn’t strictly “metal,” Anathema nonetheless has strong roots in the metal scene, and this title track in particular really creates the feeling of being alone out in the darkness of the stars. This one’s a lot more low key and atmospheric, the perfect accompaniment to the downtime segments when things aren’t going horribly wrong for Hansen.

Keep on reading!

The Scary Reviews covers space adventure “Empty”

Classic space elements meet unexpected and horrific danger

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The Scary Reviews is exactly what it sounds like – a repository of book assessments running the gamut of the entire horror spectrum: sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, speculative, fantasy, and more.

Reviewer David Spell recently uploaded his thoughts on my sci-fi / horror mashup novella “Empty,” having this to say about the tale:

Ty Arthur has an excellent way of writing and filling our heads with all the sci-fi elements of a classic space adventure. From the technology to the dangers of space travel and exploration. You feel the desperate feelings quickly as Hansen scrambles for safety. As he learns what the mystery organism is his desperation rises. When he figures out the organism’s plans for the crew of the Penrose it’s game over. While Empty is very short and a quick read it has a great beginning, build up and ending that left me wanting more.

For the full review and to find plenty more scary stories worth reading, head over to The Scary Reviews site here.

Big Sky State Buzz dissects “Empty”

Action-packed space drama to inspire other writers

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My fellow Montanan Jake Sorich from Big Sky State Buzz recently posted a lengthy and in-depth analysis of “Empty,” dissecting the characters, writing style, and pacing.

This is easily the most comprehensive break down of my novella that’s available anywhere on the web at the moment. While nearly every aspect of the story is covered, what was the final verdict? Sorich writes:

What this book does well, real well, in fact, is moving the plot along and making the characters move in ways that make you feel like you’re reading an action movie. It’s a skill in which I wish I could bring more to my own writing and have to tip my cap to Mr. Arthur for doing well.

Want to read the full review and find out what else Big Sky State Buzz liked and didn’t like about the story? Its available right here.

“Stone Work” author Dominic Stabile discusses “Empty”

Noire author says the novella will fit right in for fans of Alien and Dead Space

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Dominic Stabile, author of the post-apocalyptic and ultra-noire novel “Stone Work,” was kind enough to read my sci-fi tale “Empty” and share his thoughts. Here’s a section of what he had to say after finishing a read through of the novella:

Clocking in at seventy-seven pages, Arthur manages to create a world worthy of seven hundred… If you’re a fan of Alien or the Dead Space video games, you will probably enjoy this book. But one of the things I truly enjoyed most about it was Ty’s prose. He manages to combine elegance with bluntness, and insight with action in a way that keeps you thinking about the story even after you have stepped away from it.

Check out the full review at his author website here. Looking for some excellent new fiction to read? You can pick up his book – described as a mix of Blade Runner and Sin City – through Amazon.com.