Category: Gratuitous Plugs


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.

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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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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”

Pulp-O-Mized!

Word’s going around of a new service that may be of interest to those with Pulpy and retrostyled taste in Science Fiction/Sci-Fi: the Pulp-0-Mizer.  Its a web-app that allows you to create a faux book cover with Golden Age stylings, with your choice of text, images, fonts, etc. It is a commercial service, so they only let you do a low-res image for shits and giggles, but it is kinda cool. As soon as a saw it, I knew I had to slap PS-Ana into it and this was the result:

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image

That is the maximum free resolution, but you can also get something framed for Facebook that is closer to 500×500.

If I can’t get my act together for a painting when the damn novel is done, I may have to end up using this – at this resolution too, since sales of my e-Book, The Unorthodox Eater, haven’t been enough to buy a poster res version of this cover. 😦 It might have something to do with my complete lack of marketing prowess and its godawful cover.

If you want to Pulp-O-Mize an image of your own, head over to Thrilling Tales Pulp-O-Mizer. Don’t tell them I sent you, because they don’t give a shug, chummer!

PS: Yeah, I’m putting this up because my main article was taking quite some time to put together, as its a bit of a trek through some of the archives. Hopefully that will be done in a day or so, if the Universe abides.

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