Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Personal Discovery


Edgar Rice BurroughsEdgar Rice Burroughs is a favorite author of mine, however my interest in him and his work is relatively new.  Burroughs captures some of my favorite genres easily and comfortably by exploring science fiction through character development and creating modern day fairy tales which represent philosophical movements.  His prose his clean and simple which really wasn’t a popular style till about a decade later after his first foray into publishing.  Both accounts amaze me, but alas I was and still am a neophyte.  I was clueless and ignorant (as I often am), until I watched Disney’s film adaptation of Burroughs second most popular series, “John Carter.”

Personally, I enjoyed the quality of the film, but what I got most out of the movie was the love and appreciation for an author that (at the time) I knew next to nothing about.  I dived headlong into his work.  I quickly read the first three John Carter novels in a collection that I purchased off of Amazon for a small, paltry sum.  They are truly magnificent.

If you ever get a chance, gobble ‘em up.  They are incredibly well-written, but the human quality and realism that Burroughs brings to his writing makes the otherworldly settings and characters background noise rather than the main spectacle.  From there I dived into Tarzan.  Contextually it seems oddly, but in actuality it is a fairly logical segue considering Burroughs’ work.  I’ve made limited headway on the series (partially because there are over 20 novels), because honestly I am not a big fan of the character.  Unfortunately, I am several generations removed from enjoying the meaning of the series.  The primitive movement was big after the second World War and it just has never connected with me as it did to so many upon their release.

At the Earth's CoreHowever, I did dive into Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Pellucidar” series, which begins with the Vernian “At the Earth’s Core.”  “At the Earth’s Core” is a quick read (it only clocks in at roughly 150 pages), but it does create a great founding point for Burroughs to expand upon and unlike Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center” Burroughs builds an entire franchise (and thus universe) upon the back of the ideas originally laid down by Verne a generation before.

I have yet to find a copy, but I have heard that there was a film adaptation of “At the Earth’s Core” in 1976.  I haven’t explicitly removed everything from my plate to seek it out, but I am positive that I will one day find a lazy afternoon in which I will be able to sit down, find, and watch “At the Earth’s Core.”

Tangentially, I first discovered “At the Earth’s Core” at a wonderful bookstore out in Coeur d’Alene, ID called, Browsers (not to be confused with Mario’s archenemy).  I ended up purchasing “At the Earth’s Core,” “The Land that Time Forgot,” and “Llana of Gathol.”  All of which were copies re-published throughout the 1970’s, which greatly pleased me because I am exceedingly tired of solely coming across movie and television book covers.  For whatever reason, they sour the experience for me.

Regardless of cover, I encourage all to read at least something of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  He is an amazingly talented author, and his breadth of work has spurred various schools of thought, inspired millions, and ultimately helped shape current pop culture even though he began writing over 100 years ago.

 

A KickStarter Campaign to Fund the Self-Publication of my Short Story Anthology, “Human.”


For the past two years, I have been writing and compiling an anthology of short stories, quotes, and nonfiction interludes in a collection named, “Human.”  At this juncture, I now have enough material to finish my anthology, but now I need backers.  I have decided to self-publish this go-around, because I wanted to get people involved–I want external support to make this a successful project, and with the popularity of KickStarter rising I decided that it would be a good idea to use it to finance the self-publication of “Human.”

I am trying to raise $3,800 to pay for the publishing, marketing, and editing services of Amazon’s CreateSpace, the rewards that the backers will receive, and the fees that KickStarter and AmazonPayments will deduct on a successful campaign.  I want this to be a success; a first of many.

Check out my KickStarter campaign page by clicking the KickStarter logo below and please donate what you can.  $8 will nab you an electronic copy of the anthology and $20 will get you a signed paper back with the rewards only climbing from there.  However, feel free to donate even just a dollar, or at the very least spread the word.  Share this post on your blog or your Facebook/Twitter account–I would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you for reading this post, and I hope you will give this project a chance.  I look forward to reading your name in the ‘Thank You’ section of the short story anthology, “Human.”

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“Rory Winters” – Introduction


“Dreaming of Pyramids” by perfectbound

Her flashlight flickered in and out of existence as she sat cross-legged beneath the old patchwork quilt.  She repeatedly smacked the light to her palm to focus the beam, and as it solidified she placed it beneath her chin and gave a wicked grin.  She looked directly in the eyes of the omniscient and whispered something sinister.  She knew he was there, just like a man knows that the moon is there in the daylight, but unlike the moon it never speaks to men of evil.

At that moment the defined features of her long locks and green eyes faded into sand—becoming nothing but granular bits wafting in the breeze.  Eventually the breeze shifted becoming something more powerful—a wind.  The quilt fluttered like a tent flap, the flashlight melted into a simple camping lantern, and in an instant the world the girl inhabited was no longer there.  She and it had disappeared from reality: a beam of light finally winking out beneath a dark, damp quilt and a merciful moon.

Rory Winters awoke with a sharp jolt.  His heart was pounding and he was perspiring.  Even though he had the same dream almost every night, it still scared him and his body reacted accordingly.  The girl frightened him, but after twenty odd years, the girl beneath the blanket was like an old friend.  His tent flapped in the wind as he promptly fell back to slumber dreaming of the morning sun, forgetting the low drone of the jungle background.  The treasure and ancient secrets that he would soon uncover in the distant temple were more than enough to plummet Rory back into his vestibule.

Most men dream while they sleep, but great men dream while they’re awake—bending and twisting their dreams into something tangible and real.  It is these men that are the most dangerous, because nothing is out of the grasp of a man who dreams amongst the sun.

“Dorian Waters”


I’ve been slowly working on a new short story titled “Dorian Waters,” which will be an Amazon exclusive upon release.  I wanted to take the charisma of 007, the cheesiness of a ’70s sci-fi flick, and the ridiculous strength of Stallone’s Rambo–with all that being said…let me introduce you to Dorian Waters:

Dorian Waters

Dorian rocketed towards the outer crust of the lush planet at speeds almost intolerable for his Tibranium launch suit.  At just the precise moment he jotted in his PI code and the blackened outer shell of suit unbuckled from his frame in a thousand fractured pieces, rocketed past him, and immediately burned up in the upper atmosphere.  Dorian repositioned himself as he fell into a sort of Swan dive and fell headlong into a thick layer clouds.  With a flick of his wrist he yanked the ripcord and his blue shoot billowed from his back pulling him upwards briefly before eventually allowing him to slowly descend into the dark green canopy below.

“Terra de Verde,” Dorian muttered in awe as he came into the canopy lining.

The landing was a bit rough, but with only a couple scratches from broken branches, and the consideration that little to no preparation time was had when he rashly jumped out of the low orbit Skirt Pod, it could have gone much, much worse.  He hung gently swinging, listening, and thinking about the sounds he was hearing before finally unsheathing his knife and cutting himself loose from the thick, brown branches that held him captive.

He awoke flat on his back, clutched for his knife which was missing.  He glanced upwards towards the canopy where he had fallen through several strata of branches–loll and behold he could see the glint of steel lodged into the bark in the distance.

Quickly thinking, he pawed for something close by, found a rock, and struck the cat-like creature as it leapt for his prone body.  The 180-lb creature growled in pain and fell to its side in a hiss of dust and a belabored roar.

“Kitty’s got claws,” Dorian mumbled to himself and then promptly passed out.

He awoke in awash of his own blood and rain.  Dorian sputtered water as he jolted awake in a nightmarish-like fashion.  He grimaced and propped up on his elbows.

“Fuck…it’s wet.”

Waters was ironically drenched and thoroughly pissed.

Joseph Nassise’s “By the Blood of the Heroes: The Great Undead War: Book I”


Joseph Nassise is written a slew of supernatural, dark fantasy thrillers that have all hit my Kindle at one time or another.  My mother turned me on to him several years back and I remember vividly reading the Templar Chronicles–which if you haven’t read them I would highly recommend picking up a copy.  It is a high-octane thriller that takes the supernatural genre and puts a great new lens on it.

When I started professionally writing I emailed several of my favorite artists and authors for advice, and Nassise was one of the few authors who emailed me back.  He was more than willing to chat with me about his work.  That alone kicked him up a notch in my book—punned intended.

Earlier this month I attended a virtual launch party for Joseph Nassise’s newest novel, “By the Blood of the Heroes: The Great Undead War: Book 1”  A company by the name of Shindig hosted the event, and basically it worked like a traditional launch party except from the comfort of your own home.  Mr. Nassise’s video feed was front and center, and he began by reading the first chapter-and-a-half of his novel, and then as people joined the event a smaller video would pop up onto the screen down below in the ‘audience’ section.  The whole event was placed over a snazzy a library background and run by a Shindig moderator who ‘pop’ in every once in a while to provide information and direction.

After Joseph Nassise finished his reading, he did a brief Q&A, and then ‘mingled’ with the crowd in private chat sessions.  Overall, I was quite impressed.  I can definitely picture Shindig’s virtual launch parties taking off.  It cuts down on the overhead costs of a traditional book tours and provides people who normally wouldn’t be able to go to a launch party a chance to attend one.

If you get a chance to pick up Nassise’s new novel, or any of his others, definitely snap it up.  “The Great Undead War” replaces the invention of Mustard Gas during WWI with the fictional Corpse Gas, and centers around a ‘what-if’ scenario involving zombies.  It has already released and is available on Amazon for a scant $10.00.  Check it out!

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