Category: books


The Ear of a King

Ear of a King

This fine craftsmanship…?

So, my latest e-book has finally passed Smashwords “Premium catalog” entry bar and is now available for a mere $1.25.  Yes, for the price of a reasonable coffee (I’m using a Tim Horton’s double/double as a baseline) you can have a snappy tale of courtly manipulations, corrupt nobility, degenerate torture and rampant monkeys!

This tale was handcrafted over a series of many years, its cover hand-illustrated by myself and can be yours to enjoy digitally for a mere pittance. A cup of coffee is made in a few minutes, sold in seconds and enjoyed for perhaps an hour tops – if you nurse it, yet The Ear of a King can (theoretically) be enjoyed over and over again, and took many hours of loving artifice to bring to its fevered realization.

“The Ear of a King” is a short story centered around the lowly, manipulative and sometimes ethically bereft Wannear, a jester in the court of King Ecclesiastes the 18th, more commonly known as “King Eggo.”  The Kingdom of Ulvendorf is falling apart at the seams after centuries of laziness, corruption and iron-handed military rule, but Eggo is the weakest of its rulers and many plots aim to remove him entirely. But Wannear realizes that a weak, kindly King, is better than a bloodthirsty, sadistic replacement and looks to see what he can do to preserve the peace.  With Wannear’s conniving guile, a stolen coin in the right place and a testy, territorial monkey named “Xerxes” the Kingdom couldn’t be in safer hands, right?

 

You can purchase it outright or download a small sample at the Ear of a King on Smashwords.com.

Tim-Hortons-Coffee

Or just another cup of Joe?

PS: All reviews welcome!

Image Credits:  Ear of a King cover, Ken McCulloch. Tim’s coffee is a trademark of Tim Hortons… and is damned good.

the-next-big-thing1Thanks to the kindly C.B. McCullough (still not sure if a distant relation!) Pan Spectrum Analyzer has been nominated for a blog-hop: The Next Big Thing.  I’m a bit too humble for my own good, so writing something like this feels rather weird to me, but here we go.

What is the title of your book?

And we’re off to the hard questions already.  It actually doesn’t have a name yet, so I’ve been forced to resort to “Pan Spectrum Analyzer” or just PSA to tag it.  Its not even really finished, but it is kinda. I have no idea what it might finally be called.

What is the genre of your book?

Considering the specification of what science fiction is, I’ll have to say Sci-Fi, as the novel itself isn’t based on a scientific notion. It is slathered with science-fiction tropes though, with nods of space opera through and through.

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There’s an interesting aspect to the thing referred to by fans as “Canon” with regards to the individual creations. Its forms a life raft, if you will, of information, upon which the imaginations of both the creator and fan (viewer, reader, player, etc) stays afloat. Without the idea of “canon” material, a creation cannot have its own fundamental identity.

Wikipedia defines the term “canon” as:

In fiction, canon is the conceptual material accepted as “official” in a fictional universe’s fan base.

By default, this is the set of information defined by the author(s), creators and other people working creatively on a specific. When writer Jimmy Joe describes his character smoking Indonesian Kretek cigarettes, that’s canon. When fanfic author Jammy Johns suggests he smokes Camels, its not.

Canon is what keeps the wolves and bears at bay. But it can also be a hazy, vague and infuriating thing to define properly and protect. Yet it is also the first thing to lay by the wayside when popularity hits and more and more people want to share in it.

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My short e-book “The Unorthodox Eater” is now available on Smashwords and its affiliates for the incredibly low price of zero, zilch, zip, nada to celebrate its six month riding the interwebs.  Not sure how long it will stay at this price, could be over in a week, could be permanent, but if you’d like to get it for the most painless price, I’d grab it while you can.

What is it? Basically, three short stories about a guy – Phileas McNeil – who wants to eat one of everything, but may have met his match – the Ullyean Shrimp. Semi-humourous, semi-philosophical, its really what happens when a writer needs to write something to change the pace of his life.

Reviews? Well, no one has said anything bad about it. You could be the first! 🙂 Reviews welcome.

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 7TH - 2011 - For story on 'Picky Eaters'.

Phileas McNeil started his quest young…

Image: Andrew Tolson for Macleans magazine article, “Picky Eaters”

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