Tag Archive: monkeys


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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TBRSRKR1979he Berserkers have been around a very long time – and not just in the fabric of its own universe. Fred Saberhagen published his stories of planet-sized robotic killing machines gradually extinguishing all life wherever they encountered it in 1963 and ever since, its been a strong contender: Berserker stories were still being published in 2005, with Rogue Berserker as its most recent title.

Its hard to say whether Saberhagen created the original race of robotic killing machines, but in the wake of Berserker, there are an awful lot of similar creations expounding upon the concept and not just in SF Literature circles – the Inhibitors of Alastair Reynold’s Revelation Space series, the Necrons of Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 and the Reapers/Old Machines from Bioware’s SF RPG video game, Mass Effect and these are just the most notable ones. Aliens and their robotoc creations have always been rather opposed to human life (and life in general), so as a concept they have attracted the imaginations of many an author.

vintage-sf-badge

The Vintage SF Not-A-Challenge over at The Little Red Reviewer

Berserker has been sitting on my “Reading List” shelf for nigh on eight years now, ever since I kicked off my own “vintage SF reading spree”, though it was a very hard task to actually find a copy. Eventually, I buckled in to online stores and got myself a nice paperback version. It sat there for quite some time, as my reading list is well over fifty books and never seems to go down at all, but Berserker got fast tracked when the Little Red Reviewer announced her Vintage SF Not-A-Challenge.

Berserker is an anthology of short stories connected by the common thread of their subject matter – the Berserkers, and described by one of the Carmpan, a race of telepathic aliens that almost saw extinction at the hands of the Berserkers, if they hadn’t have allied themselves with good Ol’ Humanity.  The Berserkers are the left over weapons of an ancient war between two technological advanced races, the Builders and the Red Race. When the Builders perfected their doomsday creations that would later be called “Berserkers” by the children of Earth, they weren’t to know that they would take their programming to incredible lengths and continue their destruction well after the last of the Red Race was to fall, or that they’d be the next and definitely not the last, civilization to fall prey to them. Since then, the Berserkers have roved the galaxy, exterminating any semblance of living sentience – learning about their enemies, understanding their defences and taking them apart piece by piece until nothing is left. They are pretty much the biggest kick in the teeth Asimov’s Laws of Robotics ever received, I think.

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