Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hell Hounds - Review by S.E.

Hell Hounds by Andrew P. Weston
S.E. rating: 5 of 5 stars

Entertaining, Genre-Bending, Satirical Madness:
Hell Hounds is a mashup of genres: Fantasy, Satirical Horror, Historical Fiction, and some Mystery Noir thrown in. Imagine a parallel universe to our reality on earth where the dead “un-live” for an eternity. If they die there, they feel the pain but then reawaken…. sometimes creatively transformed by The Undertaker (i.e., perhaps he’ll remove your testicles and use them handles on a zipper that wraps around your neck!). Goofy, satirical puns laden the map (Paris is Perish, the Eiffel Tower now the Awful Tower, etc.]. Want to read fresh fiction, read Andrew P. Weston’s Daemon Grim series (check out the guide below to begin).

Daemon Grim is the Reaper, Satan’s personal enforcer and chief bounty hunter. He commands the titular Hell Hounds, a band of agents (Nimrod – the rebellious, biblical king, Charlotte Corday – murderess of Marat, Yamato Takeru—a ninjutsu master of the Yamato dynasty, and more ). They ultimately all serve Satan, Father of Lies, who needs them to control Hell from the conniving dead and meddling angels; but Satan is also punishing his servants for their sins, so no one is on good terms.

Underlying tension spans many groups: Satan, Grim & his Hell Hounds, the duo Frederic Chopin and Nikola Telsa (an ingenious duo learning to control the physics & time in Hell), an insane Angel stripped of his Wings (Grislington), and seven angelic Sibitti who are auditing the souls in Hell. At first the combinations of intentions and conflict is downright farcical. Eventually several themes converge, usually about Grim. The last 20% is a blast of a climax which clarifies the chaos. Along the way, Mr. Weston will occasionally slip into dosing out exposition-through-dialogue, which didn’t bother me. Usually this occurs at times the reader will desire a boost in clarity about the abstract conflicts.

There are two primary games occurring. One is the continuing, cat-and-mouse battle between Grim and Chopin/Tesla, who love to leave scavenger-hunt notes at crime scenes. The second is Grim vs. the angels (and perhaps himself &/or Satan); there is a mystery in this series which is slowly being revealed: who “was” Grim before becoming Satan’s strongest champion?

Where to Start:
Hell Hounds is wacky and fun, but is not the beginning. The Heroes in Hell is primarily a series of anthologies; this novel focuses on Grim but has story arcs connected to HIH. Given the breadth of abstract interactions, I recommend initial readers begin with either:
1) Doctors in Hell (HIH #18): Daemon Grim is introduced in this collection, and even though it is #18 in the series, it is a perfect entryway for HIH newcomers.
2) Or…. Hell Bound (Grim novel #1): Daemon Grim’s first novel, occurring chronologically after Doctors, but before Hell Hounds.
3) Or for those who’ve done that, note Grim also appears in Pirates in Hell (“Pieces of Hate”)



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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Time Traveler's Wife "victim" now plagued with dyscrasia



Dyscrasia Fiction - Books for Beverage Program continues.


A few years ago, Jessica read The Time Traveler's Wife; she enjoyed it, but it was emotionally draining and she has not read fiction since. Eh gad! She has read lots of scientific literature on the engineering of industrial cleaning & santization, so she was primed for some good horror.

So, she was lured into the weird-fiction world with Helen's Daimones.  The Book for Beverage Program was key for this therapy (in short: buy a Dyscrasia Ficiton book of any format, and I'll treat you to a beverage). She chose coffee as her reward. Starbuck's came through, and the Holiday Spice Flat White was a good stand-in for the desired Pumpkin Spice. A freshly toasted crumpet or authentic scone would have been better yet, but hey we are not in England.

Thanks Jessica for your support.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Helen's Daimones in the Hands of Pax Masculina Producer John Scamehorn

Producer & Professor John Scamehorn with SE

As per the previous post my trip to Norman OK for IASR, in between sessions I also continued discussing artistic endeavors with Professor John Scamehorn (Professor by day, and Producer by night). His steampunk horror short film Pax Masculina is making the rounds at film festivals. He's got a few horror movies in queue! Check out his IMDB profile.  

Not sure if he has the CGI budget to tackle all the ghosts in Helen's Daimones, but one day it would be fun to expand Dyscrasia Fiction into a medium beyond audio books & paper.







Barczak and Lindberg - Storming Norman 2017

Micelles in Evarun!

The last several years I head to Norman Oklahoma to attend the annual Institute for Applied Surfactant Research (IASR) meeting. What else is in Norman? My friend and author Tom Barczak, a fellow Perseid Press contributor with a poetic, dark style.  Barczak is an artist & architect who has a beautiful ability to capture angelic warfare with drawing pencil and keyboard. 

Before the seminars started, I squeezed in another Starbuck's meeting.  This time I got a glimpse into Tom's sketches for his Hands of the Dragon book...and  was allowed to share a bit with you (see below)!  And what out! I think creepy surfactant assemblies are inspiring him!

Tom Barczak holding Helen's Daimones : S E Lindberg with Mouth of The Dragon
Tom Barczak & his notebook

The notes read: "A suitable sacrifice .... A cenotaph of blood..."
[click to expand image]
Barczak's Notebook: Hands of the Dragon


Eh gad, is that a micelle?

Of course my mind is focused on surfactants, and what do I see has Tom's notebook? A micelle? That's a spherical assembly of soap molecules, a key technology for detergency. Well he claims his sketch is his visualization of an epic assembly of people as they execute a divine ritual.  Anyway, I adore micelle formations, having illustrated them for Prof. Steven Abbott's Surfactant Science: Principles and Practice ... with the app Practical Surfactants (available for free).  But they also creepy me out (surfactants can form some scary "living" structures, such as myelins). 

So the moral of this story is:

 Obey your muse... and be wary of self-assembled structures!


Micelle Illustrations By S.E. for Steven Abbott

Surfactant Packing Illustrations - S.E. for Steven Abbott



Previous Barczak Coffee Runs:

  • 2016: Drawing Evarun Dragons & Dyscrasia Skeletons
  • 2015: Heroika #1: Dragon Eaters
  • 2014: "Soap, disease, and dragons"

Interviews and Reviews