Category: Fantasy


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.

Ear of a KingWell, in short, he’s a monkey – though you’ve probably figured that out already. More specifically, he’s a White-headed Capuchin monkey, named Xerxes and a somewhat angry, kleptomaniac, tongueless one at that. He is the companion of the “hero” of a series of stories I started to write seven years ago.  Yeah, I know you’ve heard that story before. I’ve probably told it several times on this blog already, each time about a different project.   But at least with this one, there is an end in sight, or hopefully, a new beginning for it, as I’m hoping to kick it out of the door as an e-book called “The Ear of a King.”

“The Ear of a King” grew out of a response to G.R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire.”  Though I enjoyed the series, I was frustrated with the rate of his storytelling and in some way I wanted to lampoon his work and his style.  There are still some slight barbs toward Mr. Martin’s work, but it turns out I didn’t really have it in me, and the project grew into its own kind of twisted sapling. Though this probably had  lot more to do with the tone, colours and wretched squalor of Terry Gilliam’s film “Jabberwocky” of which I’ve been a long time fan. In particular, Max Wall’s performance as a tired, disinterested King and the inner workings of his courtroom, the by the book herald and the zealous, unflappable guards, gave me the starting point I needed to put pen to paper. Metaphorically speaking, anyway, since it was a laptop computer, using Circus Ponies’ Notebook and MS Word, rather than pen and paper.

Continue reading

Neonomicon’s semi-interesting, mostly-boring cover. At least it is connected to the story.

Alan Moore has become one of the preeminent voices in comics today, and quite rightly so. From his small beginnings working for 2000ad on strange little SF flavoured anecdotes (Tharg’s Future Shocks) all the way to writing what some people would call one of the best comics ever written (Watchmen) and in the process change the very idea of what we call comics and graphic novels. This might seem grandiose praise, but I do believe that he has had a massive impact. I’ve enjoyed his work immensely.

So then, I was very interested to discover that he had written a small comic series influenced by H.P.Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, entitled “Neonomicon.”  A large portion of my own professional work has been dedicated to a similar pursuit, so it was inevitable that I would (eventually) get around to reading it. I am very late to the party though, since its been out for about two years. GRrr! I was dismayed, however, that it wasn’t as good as it could have been, or even, as good as it should have been. Heh, yeah, that does sound rather demanding, doesn’t it?

Continue reading

This is it: NaNoWriMo 2012!

(c) Ken McCulloch, 2012I’ve been putting it off for a very long time, but this year marks the first NaNoWriMo I will participate in. I’ve long since stood on the sidelines while others’ fingers bled throughout battlefield November, but not this time. I’m in!

I suppose the big reason that I didn’t enter before was that I already had a writing gig and didn’t feel the need to be published in a traditional manner, even though I did write for myself from time to time. This last year has seen a lot of changes, both personally and professionally, and now is the time to saddle up the horse and head for novel-dom.

So, what’s in the offing? Well, I have been writing my novel-in-progress pretty aggressively over the last few months, and as I develop it, I realize that it will need a lot more effort to make it “work” than I previously thought. Its shaping up nicely, but ultimately, I think its going to a sort of chill and think about books, rather than what I need to get sold. My NaNoWriMo entry will be a sort of mid-level historical-fantasy kind of thing, entitled “The Vale of Odin.”

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: