Thursday, May 29, 2014

An Interview with James A Moore On THE BLASTED LANDS and other projects

James a Moore's latest book THE BLASTED LANDS
from Angry Robot Books has recently been released and he has taken time to answer some questions about his new book and future projects.

Barry - You are best known as a horror writer, what made you decide on writing a fantasy series?

James A. Moore - I’ve been a horror writer because the genre says I’m a horror writer. In all honestly I’ve always believed in writing whatever struck my fancy and I guess I just decided to was time to break a little new (for me anyways) ground.

Barry - Who would you say was a bigger influence on you – Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock or someone else?

James A. Moore - Only one? Hard to say. Michael Moorcock was one of my first serious influences along the fantasy lines, but Fritz Leiber, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and at least a dozen others played their parts, too.

Barry - Seven Forges gave us a lot of background on the characters and their unusual religious customs. How did you use this in The Blasted Lands?

James A. Moore - Oh, I think the religious aspect will only get stronger as the series builds. The religious Customs of The Sa’ba Taalor are different from the rather lax religious beliefs of the Fellein Empire, but there are connections that neither group is truly aware of yet. The introduction of a character only called the Pilgrim is going to shake things up a bit.

Barry - Is Merros Dulver based on any other characters you have created, or did he come out fully developed?

James A. Moore - He pretty much just came out ready to go. Merros is a veteran of a long time in a peaceful army. Now he has to be a soldier in a serious conflict. For him that’s one of the biggest challenges.

Barry - There are Seven Forges and seven gods, why did you pick seven rather than some other number? Is there thing Biblical associated with it?

James A. Moore - I have always liked the number seven. And there is one god for each forge for a very deliberate reason. But no, nothing biblical. I just like the number.

Barry - How large a part will Swech’s child with Merros Dulver play in the future, or will all of that work out in volume three?

James A. Moore - Swech’s child plays absolutely no part in the third book. Swech on the other hand, stays very busy.

Barry - How did you come up with the metal replacement of limbs with the different metals as used by the gods?

James A. Moore - Each of the gods has a different metal that is their chosen metal. Though they can offer up rewards to any of their followers, those rewards (replacement limbs) will always be made of the metal they are associated with. That’s an important part of their culture.

Barry - You have recently begun writing with a partner. How did this come about?

James A. Moore - I’ve actually worked with several partners over the years. Charles R. Rutledge is a longtime friend of mine and used to be my sensei when I studied karate. We have a lot in common and we got to talking about writing on several occasions until I finally suggested we try working together on a project. Charles is rather unique in that he’s as fast as I am when it comes to writing and we’re genuinely having a lot of fun. There are several projects we intend to work on together.

Barry - If you were not a writer, what do you think your career would be instead?

James A. Moore - I’d still like to be a comic book artist. Or barring that, a comic book editor. Man, let me get my hands on a few of the titles out there…

Barry - Other than book three of this series, what else do you have planned for future offerings?

James A. Moore - There’s a new fantasy series I’m plotting out with Charles. There’s a straight crime novel that is tied in with Blind Shadows and Congregations of the Dead. I know I’ve said for years that I’m working on a new Crowley novel but it’s absolutely true and almost finished. It’s called Boomtown. I’m 10,000 words into an apocalyptic science fiction novel that’s coming out from Earthling publications. I still have to work out the proper outline for the next novel(s) in the Seven Forges series. I have few other top secret projects I’m working on as well.

Thanks to James A Moore for taking time out of his busy schedule and giving us some insights into The Blasted Lands and his other projects. I know I can’t wait for volume 3 of the Seven Forges saga and the other titles mentioned that he is working on.

The Blasted Lands
, published by Angry Robot, $7.99 is available from your local bookseller and

Friday, May 23, 2014

Writers of the Future Volume 30


What to say about WRITERS OF THE FUTURE? The fact that this is Volume 30 speaks volumes itself. This is an established brand – a strong brand – that has for thirty years provided exciting stories by fresh new authors as selected by a panel of science fiction veterans with names like Silverberg, Pohl, Resnick and many others of stature.

This series serves to give a leg-up to new authors and to continuously refresh the ranks of writers who provide so much entertainment to those of us who love to read. I no longer read as much SF as in the past – so many of my favorite authors are gone – so when I do I want to be rewarded for my time. WRITERS OF THE FUTURE always delivers.

To mention just a couple of stories is a shame but “Shifter” by Paul Eckheart was a clear winner with me. It involves a unique way of changing ones appearance and more with a family drama. “The Shaadi Exile” by Amanda Forrest, while set in worlds far beyond our own, resonates with attitudes that taint certain cultures with which we are dealing. I must also mention a story called “Robots Don’t Cry” by Mike Resnick, One of the contest judges. Maybe robots don’t cry but sometimes readers feel strong emotions when an author does his job extra well – and Resnick did with this one.

As if this isn’t enough, this book also highlights the 25th year of the Illustrators of the Future contest. This showcases some beautiful artwork – both black and white and color – from some very talented folks but the cover illustration by Cassandre Bolan for Shauna O’Meara’s story, “Beneath the Surface of Two Kills” is particularly outstanding.

So is this series!

//My compliments to Galaxy for going to the trade paperback size with this volume. The larger size allows for greater detail in the art and is easier for some of us older readers to enjoy. Thanks to all involved for another marvelous volume in a long line of terrific stories and new writers. Barry//

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Sorry for te lax in posting lately, been having diabetes and heart problems over the past week or so. Will try to get back to normal soon.

changing and adjusting drugs and in person and telephone checks everyday. Glad to have concerned and caring VA doctors in this time of bad news for some VA patients.

My thanks to the Atlanta VA hospital and all the folks that help give me terrific treatment.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Martha Raye, Vietnam Veteran

It was well recognized that Martha Raye endured less comfort and more danger than any other Vietnam entertainer.

The most unforgivable oversight of TV is that her shows were not taped. I was unaware of her credentials or where she is buried.
Somehow I just can't see Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, or Jessica Simpson doing what this woman (and the other USO women, including Ann
Margaret & Joey Heatherton) did for our troops in past wars. Most of the old time entertainers were made of a lot sterner stuff than
today's crop of activists bland whiners.

The following is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip down memory lane: "It was just before Thanksgiving '67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku. We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back.

*All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge' woman's voice in the rear. There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a Special Forces* *beret and
jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard 'Maggie' had been visiting her SF 'heroes' out 'west'. We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku.

As we all started unloading our sad pax's, a 'Smart Mouth' USAF Captain said to Martha.... "Ms Ray, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your show!" To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said "Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird' in the US Army Reserve, and this is a 'Caduceus' which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical, take me to your wounded!"

He said, "Yes ma'am... follow me." Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving* *a nurse a
well-deserved break. Martha is the only woman buried in the Special Forces cemetery at Ft Bragg.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

I hope all of you remember your Mothers today. May they be here with us or looking down, keeping watch over us.

I would also like to give a special thanks to the Mothers who are raising adoptive children. You are special and unique.

My love and best wishes to all of you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Reviews from Harriet

The Scrivener's Tale
Fiona McIntosh
Harper Voyager, $14.99
ISBN: 9780062237309

A trucker wanting to be home with his wife and kid pushed himself on Britain’s M1 until his eyes shut. The ensuing pile-up left many dead including Lauren and Henry; fate intervened and spared the life of their husband-father psychiatrist Gabe. He coped for a year before fleeing to France for the last fifteen months. In Paris, Gabe the bookstore employee agrees to provide a professional opinion on the mental state of Angelina. She tells him about her haunting delusions that frighten the psychiatrist as they eerily link to his nightmares.

In Morgravia, Fynch the guardian feels a powerful malevolence places the Wild in peril; so he deploys a plan to save the land from the demon who escaped the void. Cyricus the demon seeks destruction of the Wild for his eons of exile. He begins his vendetta by possessing those foolish to join his quest, which will end when he as Queen Florentyna orders the devastation of the Wild that will also lead to war between the neighboring nations of Morgravia, Briavel and The Razors. Gabe mysteriously arrives in the magical Kingdom where he encounters Cassien the warrior guarding Queen Florentyna from internal threats and Hamelyn the orphan. Together the three must defeat Cyricus or a world will perish.

Taking place long after The Quickening trilogy, fans of the series and newcomers will relish this engaging quest fantasy due to a strong cast especially the fully-developed flawed heroes. Filled with non-stop action except for the French interlude that never quite fits inside the storyline in spite of establishing that Gabe is otherworldly in time and place, The Scrivener's Tale is a delightful engaging good and evil fantasy. Harriet Klausner

Red Moon
Benjamin Percy
Grand Central, $25.99
ISBN: 9781455501663

As his National Guard father deploys on a military peacekeeping mission operation inside the Lupine Republic, which is rich with uranium, teenager Patrick Gamble flies home to be with his mother. While in the air, a lycan goes berserk; killing everyone in the in the seating area except Patrick. He survives the bloody assault by hiding underneath a pile of corpses. The media calls him the "Miracle Boy" while a militant Lycan liberation army claims the attack that shocks the nation.

Soon afterward, Lycan Claire Forrester watches in horror as government agents raid her family home killing her parents and forcing her to flee from her suburban lifestyle as her uncle’s militant group claims credit for the air assaults. At the same Oregon Governor Chase Williams takes advantage of Lycan fears to make a run for the White House based on his strong take the fight to the enemy position; though he conceals a secret that would derail his presidential ambitions. As discriminatory laws to control Lycan become increasingly the norm and the voices of rage drown out reason, society proves that "violence is as American as cherry pie" (H. Rap Brown).

The keys to this strong urban fantasy is that the biology and medical causes of the lycan prion seem genuine and the plot’s reflections of real American movements from the civil rights to the GWOT, etc. The expected romance between Claire and Patrick adds depth to the de facto racism each has seen as their respective species violently prevent inter-relationships. Filled with gory action, yet loaded with a strong social-political message on basic human rights, Red Moon is a terrific thriller.
Harriet Klausner

Let the Dead Sleep
Heather Graham
Mira, $24.95
ISBN: 9780778315056

In New Orleans, Danni Cafferty is in a hospital room as her father lies near death. Heartbroken she tells her dying dad she loves him and needs him to stay with her. He abruptly tells her he failed her when he delayed telling her of her inheritance; as he allowed his love for her to let her live a little longer as a normal. Before collapsing, her father insists she keep his curio shop she inherits and protect his ancient lore tome.

Not long after her father’s death, a distraught woman enters the shop to demand Danni take away an evil statue that killed her husband and will kill her next. Danni arrives at the woman’s home to learn she committed suicide and meets former NOPD cop turned private investigator Michael Quinn; the statue is gone. After informing her he collaborated on cases with her late dad, Michael further explains to her he is looking into strange deaths related to a Renaissance statue stolen from the grave of a malevolent monster. They team up in search of the missing artifact though both fear what will happen to them if they obtain this evil without precautions like having Catholic and Voodoo priests accompanying them.

The first Cafferty & Quinn romantic urban fantasy is an engaging tale though the love subplot between the protagonists seems more of an intruding sub-genre requirement. The New Orleans hunt for the malevolent killing relic is fun to follow even without a Krewe of Hunters for readers to rely on; as Heather Graham opens up her new series with an entertaining paranormal thriller. Harriet Klausner

Thursday, May 1, 2014


VA Statement on Allegations Regarding the Phoenix VA Health Care System

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) cares deeply for every Veteran we are privileged to serve, and we are committed to delivering the highest quality care. We take any allegations about patient care or employee misconduct very seriously, which is why the Department invited the independent VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to complete a comprehensive review at the Phoenix VA Health Care System as quickly as possible. VA also sent a team of clinical experts to Phoenix to review appointment scheduling procedures at that facility and the existence of any delays in care.

VA believes it is important to allow the Inspector General’s independent, objective review to proceed. We trust that the Inspector General will complete that comprehensive review as quickly as possible. These allegations, if true, are absolutely unacceptable and if the Inspector General’s investigation substantiates these claims, VA will take swift and appropriate action.

Veterans deserve to have full faith in their VA health care. VA facilities are committed to transparency and undergo multiple external, independent reviews every year to ensure its safety and quality. We appreciate the continued hard work and dedication of our employees and of the community stakeholders we work with every day in our service to Veterans.


Solaris is very pleased to announce that it has acquired a brand new series from a debut author – starting with The Iron Ship.

The first book in the Gates of the World series by KM McKinley, The Iron Ship will be released on August 2015. The second book in the series, City of Ice, is due to be published in 2016.

The Iron Ship is the first book by McKinley, who lives in Inverness, Scotland. It is set in a world at the beginning of the age of industry, but where the balance between science and magic is fraught with danger and difficulty.

Solaris editor-in-chief Jonathan Oliver said: “KM McKinley mixes two favourite things in fantasy: an epic quest and a terrifically exciting adventure story. I’m delighted to be bringing this astonishingly talented debut author to a wide audience. McKinley’s characters are brilliantly portrayed and the novels promises to be packed full of incident, incisive writing and immersive world-building.”

The Twin flees across the sky, bringing in its wake the Great Tide. The Earth trembles under the shadow of its brother. Times are changing.

The order of the world is in turmoil. An age of industry is beginning, an age of machines fuelled by magic. Sprawling cities rise, strange devices stalk the land. New money brings new power. The balance between the Hundred Kingdoms is upset. For the first time in generations the threat of war looms.

In these turbulent days, fortunes can be won. Magic runs strong in the Kressind family. Six siblings strive – one to triumph in a world of men, one to survive murderous intrigue, one to master forbidden sorcery, one to wash away his sins, one to contain the terrible energies of his soul.

And one will do the impossible, by marrying the might of magic and iron in the heart of a great ship, to cross an ocean that cannot be crossed.