Book Review: The Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane

Howard, Robert E. The Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane (Del Ray Reprint, 2004) E-book.

Although best known as the creator of Conan the Barbarian, Robert Howard had a number of other memorable protagonists, including the lean Puritan with glittering dark eyes, Solomon Kane. He traveled the world righting wrongs and sending the doers of evil to their fate, whatever that might be. The stories are set in Europe and Africa of the late 1600s, although there are a number of hints and nods to lost civilizations such as Atlantis and Mu. Continue reading


Duluth, MN: Some Flying

I had not quite reached the insurance minimums for the plane, so I was flying copilot.

We lift off five minutes before late summer sunrise. As our light twin climbs up to six thousand feet, a molten gold ball spreads over the eastern horizon, turning the few morning clouds purple and gold. Another beautiful, sky-borne sunrise with promises of a sunny warm day in the Plains. But we aim more north and east, heading for (to me) the unexplored territory of Duluth, Minnesota, on the western point of Lake Superior. Threads of fog trace their way south, gray against the green-shaded fields on the river banks. At altitude, a bend in the jet stream adds a welcomed forty knots to our ground speed. Tom points to the mileage ticking down on the GPS read out and smiles. The earlier we arrived, the better our odds of getting home before the morning’s 0300 wake up call starts to show. Our passenger snores quietly, making up for his own early start. Continue reading

Miasmas and Disease

Why do people get sick? The ancient Greeks and their medieval followers thought that an imbalance in the humors could do it, as well as outside forces such as planetary misalignment, and miasmas.

Those of you who have read the Merchant and Empire books know that these disease theories are prevalent in that story-world. Tycho and his physicians (and wife) have a long-running dispute over what he should eat: cooling, moist foods that match his nature, or the hot, crispy fried things he enjoys. He, and others, are also aware of the poisonous exhalations of the earth that they call miasmas. Continue reading

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day…

… the guns on the western front of “the War,” soon to be called the Great War or the World War, fell silent. Fighting in the east continued for another four years, and more if you count the Russian Civil War.

When I was younger, Veterans Day was about veterans and the First World War just happened to end on November 11th. Which is also the feast of St. Martin of Tours. I seem to remember parades, or I might be mis-remembering, because the weather didn’t favor parades in November. Continue reading

Against a Rising Tide is now available

The last in the alternate-history series The Powers, Against a Rising Tide is now available in e-book. The print book will be out before Thanksgiving.

What will it take to save the Houses and the Powers? More than István Eszterházy  might be able to give. Torn between Russia and the World War’s victors, István, Archduke Rudolph, and their allies struggle to hold the Habsburg Confederation together. The tides of poisoned nationalism, Communism, and obsession and revenge threaten to drown the world.

What can one man do? István will find out.

Ouch, That’s bright

I rounded the corner and was almost blinded by the (street)light. Ow. It’s bad enough with the vampire-slaying halogen headlights {great commercial] that wipe out your night vision for ten minutes, and that’s if they’re not on bright. And the Porch Lights of Doom that go off when a car passes by two blocks over. Now the street lights are out to get me! Continue reading

Cover teaser…

If all goes well, the book will be on sale this weekend, for the Armistice Day centenary.

All is not well in Eastern Europe. The English and French insist on punishing the members of the Habsburg Confederation while nationalists and Communists threaten to tear the alliance and the Houses apart from within. As chaos swirls and tensions rise, István Eszterházy and Archduke Rudolph von Habsburg struggle to preserve order, and to preserve both Houses and Powers.

The Soviets discovered a key. Now István must hide it once more.

A Quick Apology

Posting has been a little odd recently, and will continue so for the rest of this week. A novel has me by the throat and I’m trying to get it written while organizing some things at Day Job. My time-on-station at Day Job has also increased by 25%, so I’m getting reoriented to the new scheduled.