DREAMS OF FIRE AND STEEL – the latest arrival in the pulp revolution!

DREAMS OF FIRE AND STEEL –                           the latest arrival in the pulp revolution!

If you are a fan, or if you’ve been paying attention, then you already are aware of the growing pulp revolution. A return to the storytelling style of days gone by, Sword and Sorcery, Raypunk, and Cosmic Horror. Stories inspired by the worlds of H.P Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Robert E Howard, to name but a few.

The latest volume of such stories about to hit the market is “Dreams of Fire and Steel,” edited by Alex S Johnson and published by Nocturnicorn Books.

The list of featured authors in this collection is impressive, but one author, in particular, holds a special place in my heart. Travis J Gates: Creator of the character, Minister, who made his appearance in Barbwire Butterfly’s collection of sword n sorcery, “The Devil’s Armory” two years ago.

When I first started taking writing seriously, I came across some art by Travis J. Gates on the ever-popular Facebook group, The H.P Lovecraft Historical Society, and fell in love. I contacted Mr.Gates, and we became fast friends. Besides following his work which has appeared in collections such as “Barbarian Crowns” and  “The Junk Merchants- A Literary Tribute to William S Burroughs,” Travis has become a sort of modern-day, digital pen pal to me.

It was he alone, that encouraged me to write the short stories I’ve written and submit them, offering me guidance and advice along the way. Thanks to him I have not only had the ten or so stories I’ve finished published, but I have made more friends and contacts in the world of small press publishing and the Pulp Revolution.

“Dreams of Fire and Steel” (whose title pays homage to a line by Howard) will feature two new Minister stories by Travis J Gates, and to celebrate, I reached out to interview him. He gratiously accepted my offer.

I sincerely hope you will enjoy picking his brain as much as I did, and hope that you too will pick up this volume of fantastic stories when it drops. Link to the book’s page found here: https://www.facebook.com/dreamsoffireandsteel/

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B.Michael Stevens: I first came across your character, Minister, in the Anthology “Devils Armory.” Which I believe was a spin-off from “Barbarian Crowns.” And now we have two more Minister stories (At the Hearth of the Gilded Lamb, and The Witch-Tree of Harper’s Hollow, respectively) to look forward to in the upcoming Anthology, “Dreams of Fire and Steel.” I wonder if we could start with you telling us what gave you the idea for this remarkable character?

Travis J. Gates: The answer to this one is simple: I love Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane stories, especially the setting. Europe in the 1600s was a dirty, filthy, magical place. So I tried my hand at a Kane story, and Minister stepped in instead.

B. Michael Stevens: I get the impression that Minister is a bit of an anti-hero. Does he serve a higher purpose or is he out for himself?

Travis J. Gates: Minister is putting together a puzzle, and some shady characters have some of the pieces he needs. He’s working on something that will have immortal consequences which is why he seems so callous to mortals: they’re just irrelevant in the long run.

B. Michael Stevens: Have you always had a soft spot for anti-heroes? Deathstalker? Elric?

Travis J. Gates: I like the first Deathstalker movie. I’ve never had any encounters with Elric. When I think anti-hero, I think Garth Ennis’s run on Punisher. Frank Castle’s goals are entirely selfish, but they do end up serving some “greater good,” and he chooses his methods for serving that ideal. That resonates with me in a Sinatra kind of way.

B. Michael Stevens: In the past, I’ve read you saying that you don’t much care for most fantasy. But you seem to adore Robert E Howard’s work. What, to you, is the distinguishing feature between, say popular high fantasy such as LOTR and what we could expect from DND fanfic, versus the pulpy sword and sorcery genre?

Travis J. Gates: The dirt. REH’s stories seem to be set in a used sort of world where the people don’t really do good for good’s sake. Conan may carry the One Ring, but he’s going to bed some buxom maidens on the way and may sell it for a fair price. It’s the difference between Alien and Star Trek. One is a rigidly defined and quite obviously a created utopia, and the other is truckers in space. Tolkien’s world is great if you’re a linguist or if you like myths and legends, but it never rings true in the way that so-called low fantasy does. In Conan, the fantasy elements are frosting on an already enjoyable cake.

B. Michael Stevens: Do you think the return of Pulp is a response of some kind? Why do you think we are seeing a resurgence of pulp in both sci-fi/sword n sorcery/horror?

Travis J. Gates: Every generation has to find the pulps in their own way. In a world filled with active shooters and terrorism, there is a definite appeal of Lovecraft or Howard who wrote that mankind was inert in a much older universe. If horrible acts don’t matter in the long run, it makes them easier to live through.

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B. Michael Stevens: Insightful. Are there plans for a Minister novel?

Travis J. Gates: Definitely. Or maybe an anthology if there’s interest. I’ve got five or six more stories that I’ve worked out but haven’t set to paper yet.

B. Michael Stevens: Are the Minister stories set in a particular world? What can you tell us about it?

Travis J. Gates: When Minister is in our world, it’s very much the historical world of the 1600s. There’s another dimension that he hops in and out of, though. I call it The Way. It’s basically a highway that intersects different spaces and times. There, magic exists, monsters can be bargained with, and superstition is fact. It’s something I’ll be exploring more soon.

B. Michael Stevens: Does Minister work alone or is he part of something bigger than himself?

Travis J. Gates: Minister is an independent, but he’s always looking for a companion that he can outrun if something nasty is chasing him.

B. Michael Stevens: Do the stories tie together somehow?

Travis J. Gates: The three stories published so far have a chronology to them. I try to reference the history throughout. I actually see them more as episodes than stories. I always had a soft spot for Flash Gordon serials.

B. Michael Stevens: I understand that you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. That must make writing difficult. Not that we are complaining, cause we love your stories, but why do it?

Travis J. Gates: My stories were initially conceived to entertain myself. Sometimes, I think they’re good enough to share, so I write them down. All of my heroes have been authors. It’s what I’ve always felt I should become.

B. Michael Stevens: You’re an avid reader and connoisseur of pulp and retro sci-fi/horror films. If we were stranded on a desert island, what three books and what three films would TJ Gates pack in our luggage for us?

Travis J. Gates: Wow. That’s a big question. Ok, books first: ST Joshi’s Annotated Lovecraft volume one, House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski, and the Solomon Kane anthology. Movies: The Thing (1982), both Schwarzenegger Conan movies (a bit of a cheat, but they’re sold together) and Das Boot.

B. Michael Stevens: Das Boot? Really?

Travis J. Gates: Desert Island..it’s long, and I’ve never been able to watch the whole thing. Maybe I could learn German.

B. Michael Stevens: So, what’s next?

Travis J. Gates: Hopefully there will be interest in a Minister anthology. I would also love to see Solomon Kane get the Conan and Cthulhu treatment with new stories. I’d definitely write for that…

B. Michael Stevens: That would be cool. Well sir, thank you for your time. We look forward to the release of this incredible looking book. Till next time.

 

The Minister story, Deadly Sin can be found in “The Devil’s Armory” here: https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Armory-Barbwire-Butterfly-Press/dp/1326338390/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1507668626&sr=8-5&keywords=devils+armory

 

The other works of Travis J. Gates can be found here:

https://www.amazon.com/Barbarian-Crowns-Barbwire-Butterfly-Books/dp/1326354922/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507668694&sr=1-2&keywords=Barbarian+Crowns

and

 

 

 

And be sure to grab this up when it drops!
https://www.facebook.com/dreamsoffireandsteel/

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Missing in Action

Missing in Action

Just a quick note to let the world know that I’m still alive. Just focused on finishing No Gods, No Masters.
The end of the book is in sight and I hope to have the draft off to the editors before the Holidays.
The journey to completion has been long and hard. Feels like the pic above. Only one last battle to go, and then a rest, before the next war.
In other news, my short story, “Cowboys and Angels” has been pushed back for release in the ‘Forbidden Thoughts 2’ Anthology from Superversive Press and will come out in January.
I hope everyone is getting ready for Halloween, the most wonderful time of year for a Horror writer.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me this last year by picking up one of my stories and a special thanks to those who spent the time and energy to leave a review on Amazon. Those help more than you know.
Since I have no news or releases this month, I will leave you with some pictures to awe and inspire. Activate the almonds, so to say.
Till next month,
B

FUN! FUN! A twisted tale of fandom gone horribly wrong.

FUN! FUN!                                                           A twisted tale of fandom gone horribly wrong.

My little Pony. You’ve probably heard of it. A delightful childrens cartoon that in the last few years has found a massive fandom from a most unorthodox group of people: Grown men. Enter the Bronies.

When good friend and editor, Alex S. Johnson contacted me and asked me to write a Brony-themed horror story for his new Anthology “Bronies Gone Wild”, I declined at first; not wanting to add to the list of supposed evils these Bronies commit. After some reflection and some time, I changed my mind. Hell, this is fiction, is it not?

An idea sprang into my head: One part Stephen King’s “Misery”, one part MLP fan phenemona “Pinamena” (Pinkie Pie’s sadistic alter-ego) and three parts meme-dropping. The result is something I consider to be quite ‘Fun! Fun!’ and hope you will too.

Join me, and many other fantastic up and coming authors as we explore what happens when you combine an obessesed fan base and bleeding edge geek culture with body horror, twisted minds, and dark erotica.

Enjoy. And remeber, Friendship is Murder.

You can purchase the Anthology here:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/horrified-press/bronies-gone-wild/paperback/product-23274189.html

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Now in its second printing!

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Grey Matter Monsters -Takers of Souls- was originally released as a Charity Anthology, its proceeds going to help woman and children in need.

Fake monsters, helping victims of real monsters.

I was fortunate enough to have my story, “Sisterhood of the Travelling Consciousness” get picked up and be featured in this collection, alongside many other great tales by many talented authors.

My story was inspired by a visit to Washington States “Most Haunted Town,” Port Gamble. In my tale, which follows the mythology of the Yith cycle, (first started by the late, great, H.P Lovecraft), a middle-aged woman, Beatrice,  returns with her daughter to the town of her childhood. A childhood which she has run away from and not thought of for many years. Her daughter’s interest in the family tree and the town itself sparks something deep inside Beatrice. She then begins to suffer bizarre, alien dreams, eventually forcing herself to look deep into the closet of her forgotten past and dance with the skeletons in there.

Pick up your copy today, please!
Available in both paperback and Kindle editions!

We would read their shopping lists if published!

We would read their shopping lists if published!

We have heard it before. That someone loves a particular author so much that they ‘would read their shopping lists’ if published. 🙂

Well, I am honored and proud to announce that my story “Breaking Ahab”, along with my shopping list of wants, had been included in this brilliant Anthology by Hellbound Books.

If you love Horror and Dark Fantasy, you need to pick this up today.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0998636959/ref=ox_sc_act_image_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

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Have YOU seen the Orange Sign??

Have YOU seen the Orange Sign??

This anthology is YUUUUGE. I mean, tremendous. Full of bigly authors, including yours truly. There isn’t another Anthology like it! You’re going to love reading this book so much, that you will get tired of reading it!

🙂

Yes. Love him or hate him, President Trump has certainly made an impression.

I decided to have a little fun and get on board with this amazing Anthology from Horrified Press.

Among many, many other great stories and poems, you can find my story, “Have you seen the Orange Sign?” in Trumpacalypse. It’s a what if of the worst fears expressed by Trump’s detractors mixed with some good ol’ Lovecraftian fun gore.

Pre-order it now and save 30%.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/horrified-press/trumpocalypse/paperback/product-23152878.html

Beware of the Santa Muerte… Beware of Lucy!

Beware of the Santa Muerte…         Beware of Lucy!

Lucy, the Lady of the Holy Death. Maya’s fierce fighting Jaguar has arrived!

Once broken and abused, used by the despotic Chairman Warbak to eliminate political rivals, forced to assassinate the innocent, Lucy found freedom when she met Maya.

Her mind is now her own, but her body, 90% machine will always reflect the terriblness of Warbak’s vision. Her face, forever decorated like a skull, once used to terryify the enemies of the State, now haunts the head of that state.

As Maya’s sworn gaurdian, Lucy delivers swift, brutal justice to all those who would corrupt the world with their greed and evil.

Soon you will be able to follow her story, along with the others in “No Gods, No Masters.”

Stay tuned Fam

You can follow the artist, the brilliant Zach Raw, here at: http://zachraw.deviantart.com/

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