Wednesday 26 June 2013

Beyond Redemption in Large Print

I was pleased to get the news that Beyond Redemption will be published as a Large Print paperback. It should come out around the summer of 2014 and it'll be my 20th Linford Western.

As a child Jeff Dale witnessed the terrible aftermath of an atrocity. Elmer Drake killed three members of a family and when the surviving girl Cynthia went missing, Jeff vowed that one day he'd find her, no matter how long it took.

Ten years later, after finding a clue about Cynthia's fate, Jeff becomes a bounty hunter and follows the trail to the frontier town of Redemption. And in Redemption stalks a gunslinger who carries a gun in one hand and a cross in the other. A man with a rope-burn around his neck, called Elmer Drake...

Saturday 15 June 2013

R.I.P. Tom Sharpe

I'd missed noticing that the author Tom Sharpe died last week. He was another author of whom I can say I've read everything he ever wrote. In truth his recent comeback produced several not particularly funny books, but that only accentuated just how hilarious his early books were.

His comic novels in the 70s and 80s were a delight as they came before the need to be politically correct sapped humour of its bite. His tales featured inadequate buffoons and fat nymphomaniacs in crude and outlandish stories filled with the comic mayhem that would inevitably result when condoms are filled with helium or mountaineers buy tampons instead of crampons. The above cover depicts some typical scenes from an early Sharpe novel and to avoid the risk of offending anyone I probably shouldn't describe what they depict other than to say political correctness would deem these tales to be sexist, racist and homophobic and miss the point that they were of course poking satirical fun at the idiots who hold such views.

Even if comedy tastes have changed and his brand of humour stopped being fashionable, it'll never change the simple fact that Tom Sharpe was a very funny writer, in a snorting coffee out your nose and having a choking fit sort of way.

Monday 10 June 2013

R.I.P. Iain Banks

I've just heard the sad news that the author Iain Banks has died, only a few months after announcing he was officially very poorly. He was one of my favourite authors and I've read all but his last few novels, as I tend to be a few years behind.

I started reading him before he turned to science fiction with Espedair Street, which was my favourite of his non-sf novels. His science fiction mainly featured the loosely connected universe of the Culture that, unusually for space opera, was a utopian vision of the far-future. My favourite of those was Consider Phlebas. I remember at the time I'd gone off science fiction as most new books tended to be depressing dystopian cyberpunk where I never had a clue what was going on or what half the words meant. Then along came the Culture featuring fast-paced, lively, grand old-fashioned space opera that was above all else fun.

For the last 25 years, whenever I'm seeking out a new science fiction novel to read, my definition of good science fiction has been stories that are a bit like Iain Banks. I can’t see me changing that definition.

Monday 3 June 2013

Amazon's Fathers' Day promotion - Kindle westerns for $2.99 or less are running a promotion for selected western titles. It's already started and runs through to June 16, which is Fathers' Day in the U.S.

There's 175 Kindle titles to choose from and I'm happy to report that several of mine are in there, and I'm even happier to report that for a whole hour yesterday Miss Dempsey's School for Gunslingers was outselling several books by two up and coming authors Max Brand and Louis L'Amour. Although I was less happy to note that The Miracle of Santa Maria was the 171st bestselling title in the promotion.

Anyhow, all the books in the promotion can be found here.