Month: December 2016

Covers of the Dire Planet

Below is a collection of the covers for the Dire Planet series:

 

 

Dire Planet (Book 1): Cover by Mats Minnhagen, Preview

Exiles of the Dire Planet (Book 2): Cover by Noel Tuazon, Preview

Into the Dire Planet (Book 3): Cover by Noel Tuazon, Preview

Into the Dire Planet (Book 3): Alternate cover by MD Jackson, Preview

Strange Gods of the Dire Planet (Book 4): Cover by MD Jackson, Preview

Lost Tribes of the Dire Planet (Book 5): Cover by MD Jackson, Preview

PulpWork Christmas Special (2012): Cover by MD Jackson, containing Lair of the White Ape which is depicted in cover illustration, Preview

 

 

 

 

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Year of the Dire Planet

At the end of the year I like to do an inventory of a few of the things I’ve managed to accomplish. This is sometimes problematic since I often can’t even recall what I did on the weekend when someone asks me the next day. I remember being busy, but don’t remember the details.

2016 is very much like that. I’m pretty sure I did something, but not quite sure what. I did keep track of how many books I read and came up with a respectable 85 books finished and 14 discarded before finishing, either because of excessive profanity or excessive boredom.

I did have four books released through PulpWork Press (though I had to refer to Amazon to remind me just which books they were): Teeth of Necropolis, Dead Blonde Walking, Weird Worlds of Joel Jenkins 3, and finally Rise of the Skull Crusher.

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In addition, I had a Lone Crow short story published in the second issue of Story Emporium, and a Gantlet Brother story published in the PulpWork Halloween Special 2016.

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As for what I wrote this year, my schedule went out the window and I ended up writing four consecutive Dire Planet novels (Abominations of the Dire Planet, Immortals of the Dire Planet, Forbidden Cities of the Dire Planet, Last Outpost of the Dire Planet). Considering there are currently five released Dire Planet novels (Dire Planet, Into the Dire Planet, Exiles of the Dire Planet, Strange Gods of the Dire Planet, Lost Tribes of the Dire Planet), this will bring the series up to nine books.

If all goes well Abominations of the Dire Planet could appear at the end of 2017.

 

Who’s Who in the Weird Worlds?

The wrap-around cover by the illustrious MD Jackson pictures quite a number of characters as written by author Joel Jenkins. Here is the complete listing:

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Left to right:

  1. Tredia, former exile and new ally of the Muvari (appearing in the Dire Planet series)
  2. Naegrick, former member of the Scurm tribe and now friend and ally of Garvey Dire (appearing in the Dire Planet series)
  3. The Adder, Jean Paul Belanger–Master thespian and disguise artist, and midnight avenger
  4. The Eel, Vincent Spinelli–Master of escape, reformed thief, and midnight avenger
  5. (sitting on shoulder) Fineous the clever crow
  6. Jake Shaunessy–Who had an unfortunate encounter with vampires at a graduation party (also appearing in The Teeth of Necropolis)
  7. Amelia Earhart–famous pilot and adventurer who, on our earth, disappeared on a flight over the Pacific Ocean.
  8. Azark–shipwrecked adventurer who finds himself in entangled in the bewildering machinations of the guilds of Bathos (appearing in the Tales from the City of Bathos series)
  9. Astin-Resident of Saffronyia and son of the Mayor. Astin is known for his inexplicable ability to shoot people or creatures in the eye, even when it is not intended.
  10. The much maligned and put upon Mayor of the mystical land of Saffronyia, who as of yet remains unnamed.
  11. Porter Rockwell-famed Mormon gunman, who is said to have killed more outlaws than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Tom Horn and Bat Masterson combined.
  12. Matthias Gantlet–famous rock vocalist of the Gantlet Brothers, German defector, and adventurer (appearing in the Gantlet Brothers series)
  13. Blake Hawkins–Once he fought Matthias Gantlet to a standstill, reformed drug-dealer and criminal, now a personal bodyguard to Matthias Gantlet’s family. (appearing in the Gantlet Brother series)
  14. Damon St. Cloud–Former reporter and vampire hunter, who once lost his family to bloodsuckers because he came too close to uncovering the truth. (appearing in the Denbrook Supernatural series)
  15. Monica Killingsworth-Ice cold assassin and enemy of the Gantlet Brothers (appearing in Dead Blonde Walking, Gantlet Brothers: Sold Out, The Specialists)

Killingsworth Cover Cavalcade

Though ice cold assassin Monica Killingsworth has just one book to call her own, she has appeared on a number of covers.

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Dead Blonde Walking, PulpWork Press (2016)
Cover by Damon Orrell
Preview

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The Gantlet Brothers: Sold Out, PulpWork Press (2013)
Cover by MD Jackson
Book Preview

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Weird Worlds of Joel Jenkins, PulpWork Press (2013)
Cover by MD Jackson
Preview

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The Dame Did It, Pro Se Press (2015)
Cover by Jeff Hayes

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PulpWork Christmas Special 2011, PulpWork Press
Cover by MD Jackson
Preview

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PulpWork Christmas Special 2013, PulpWork Press
Cover Design by Joel Jenkins
Preview

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Bonus illustration from The False-Faced Killer, which appears in Legends of New Pulp, published by Airship 27(2016). Illustration by Ron Root.

Gantlet Brother Cover Gallery

Below is a collection which includes the covers for the currently published Gantlet Brother novels, followed by two other covers of story collections which feature one or more Gantlet Brothers and contain a Gantlet story within.

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Book One: The Nuclear Suitcase, PulpWork Press (2010)
Cover by MD Jackson (Preview)

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Book Two: The Gantlet Brothers Greatest Hits, PulpWork Press (2011)
Cover by MD Jackson (Preview)

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Book Three: Sold Out, PulpWork Press (2013)
Cover by MD Jackson (Preview)

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Book Four: The Specialists, PulpWork Press (2016)
Cover by MD Jackson (Preview)

Collections that Contain Gantlet Brother Stories:

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Pulpwork Christmas Special 2015 (Preview)
Cover by MD Jackson

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PulpWork Halloween Special 2016
Cover by MD Jackson

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Weird Words of Joel Jenkins (Vol 1), PulpWork Press (2013)
Matthias Gantlet pictured on left, Blake Hawkins pictured center
Cover by MD Jackson (Preview)

 

 

Calling the Virtue of Bathsheba into Question

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Though much is made of the transgression of King David whose motivations are obviously lustful, there is little in the tale to indicate what Bathsheba’s motivations were. who, though already legitimately married to a number of wives and concubines, goes up on the roof of his palace one day and notices Bathsheba bathing on the rooftops, decides he can’t live without her, calls her to the palace, sleeps with her and, when she becomes pregnant from the

In synopsis, King David, though already legitimately married to a number of wives and concubines, goes up on the roof of his palace one day and notices Bathsheba bathing on the rooftops, decides he can’t live without her, calls her to the palace, sleeps with her and, when she becomes pregnant from the

In a thumbnail sketch King David, who, though already legitimately married to a number of wives and concubines, goes up on the roof of his palace one day and notices Bathsheba bathing on the rooftops, decides he can’t live without her, calls her to the palace, sleeps with her and, when she becomes pregnant from the tryst, arranges for Bathsheba’s soldier husband, the unfortunate Uriah the Hittite, to be put at the forefront of a hot battle and have the main force of the army withdraw, leaving him to die.

This story is related in the Second book of Samuel within the Old Testament and there is no doubt that these actions are condemned, because later the prophet Nathan comes to King David and tells him the parable of a poor man who owned just one ewe lamb and how a wealthy man with many lambs took the poor man’s lamb to feed a traveler.

When King David is angered at the actions of this wealthy man, the prophet Nathan reveals that King David is this wealthy man. He tells King David exactly what sins he has been hiding, condemns him, and prophesies that David’s own wives will be given to his neighbor and that he shall lie with them in the sight of the sun, indicating that it will be done openly–unlike how David committed his sins.

Though the writer(s) of the book of Samuel (probably Samuel himself, but the prophets Gad and Nathan may have contributed) clearly condemn King David’s actions, the actions of Bathsheba are not condoned, condemned or otherwise judged.

It is very possible that she was merely the unfortunate victim of circumstances and that being called into the presence of the king, one who was powerful enough to order or arrange for her death, she felt she had no choice but to comply with the lustful demands of King David.

After Bathsheba’s husband was killed by the Ammonites, by David’s conspiracy with the general Joab who was over the armies of Israel, David called Bathsheba again, but this time was free to marry her. The spawn of their illegitimate coupling died shortly after birth, but Bathsheba later bore King David a son named Solomon, who would go on to be the successor to the throne.

In many readings of the Old Testament I wondered what Bathsheba felt about being married to the man who arranged for the death of her first husband and what her thoughts might have been about the whole sordid affair.

Then, a later passage in the Second Book of Samuel, threw a new light on her motivations.

Eventually, the prophecies of Nathan indeed do come to pass, and David’s own son, Absalom, turns against him, gathers an army and drives David out of his palace. David flees and leaves behind ten of his concubines to tend to the palace in his absence. In order to show everybody his dominance, Absalom pitches tents “upon the top of the house” and goes into sleep with his father’s concubines “in the sight of all Israel.”

It’s this last phrase, “in the sight of all Israel.” that shed some light upon Bathsheba’s motivations. If she was bathing on her rooftop would not this also be “in the sight of all Israel”? Why would a woman bathe on the rooftop, in the sight of the palace walls no less, if she was not hoping to catch the attention of someone–perhaps the king?

Of course, the common interpretation that Bathsheba was bathing on the rooftop may be called into question. We know for sure that King David was on the roof of the palace and all these years I’ve assumed (and it is a common assumption) that in order for David to see Bathsheba bathing she was on the rooftop as well.

If it turned out King David was using a telescope to peer through a window or some sort of other peeping then my whole theory of Bathsheba’s motivations goes out the window … along with the bathwater.

It’s Hard to Be Humble When You’re the Best

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This second book in the Greattrix Chronicles is now out in ebook format and the print version should be along in a couple of days.

It takes place on a dusty planet with a lesser gravity than that of Earth and is a sort of sword and sorcery mixed with giant airships which do battle in the brazen skies. The protagonist is Strommand Greattrix, dispossessed prince of the kingdom of Argalas, who suffers from the possibly fatal flaws of ego as well as a weakness for a pretty face and feminine figure.

As the saying goes, “It’s hard to be humble when your the best” and Strommand Greattrix just happens to be just about the best warrior in Argalas, and a prince has a lot of attractive women throwing themselves in his direction, so humility comes hard-earned.

This volume finds a slightly more humbled and introspective Strommand Greattrix, but not one who is entirely immune to the temptations and manipulations of wily women. Strommand seeks out his uncle and enlists him in a desperate plan to retake the city of Argalas, which has been seized by the Damionite hordes–but there are a number of temptations and obstacles in their path.

As some of my readers know, my protagonists don’t always survive, so it really is a question whether Strommand Greattrix will survive his fatal flaws or if they will end up being his undoing.

Check out the preview chapters of Rise of the Skull Crusher or throw caution to the wind and pick up a copy.