Showing posts sorted by relevance for query barczak. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query barczak. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Heroika II: Skirmishers

Originally posted on BlackGate.com Sunday, May 3rd, 2020:

Heroika II: Skirmishers – Heroism on the History: Fantasy Battlefront


The Heroika anthology series is created by author and editor Janet Morris (known for her Heroes in HellSacred Band of Stepsons, and Kerrion Empire (Silistra) series). The first volume Heroika I: Dragon Eaters featured seventeen stories from across the globe, from ancient to modern times arranged chronologically. Black Gate reviewer Fletcher Vredenburgh reported: “Too many anthologies pick a tone and then it doesn’t vary from story to story. Heroika avoids that. Connected by the themes of heroism and dragon-fighting, it allows room for varying styles of mythic tales and heroic fantasy as well as all-out pulp craziness.” Heroika II: Skirmishers follows suit, this time with twelve heroic tales spanning ancient history to modern times, arranged chronologically again. Most authors have a historical fiction bent, so Skirmishers really is 50% historical fiction and 50% fantasy. Brief forwards provide context to each story. This post offers a brochure-like tour guide of these battlegrounds.

41vWAgGs40LThe Official Blurb

HEROIKA: SKIRMISHERS (available now in Kindle and Paperback) Conflict is a constant. When force on force is inevitable only the intrepid need come forth. Summon the Skirmishers to their eternal purpose, to face a foe who must be opposed at all cost. Gird yourself and join the brotherhood of 'do or die.' Created by Janet Morris and edited by Alexandra Butcher, HEROIKA: SKIRMISHERS is an anthology of desperate struggles in far flung time-scapes, the age old smell of battle and death. SKIRMISHERS --Tales for the bold among you!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Heroika: Skirmishers

HEROIKA: SKIRMISHERS

by Janet E. Morris (Creator), Alex Butcher (Editor)

Perseid Press


Conflict is a constant. When force on force is inevitable only the intrepid need come forth. Summon the Skirmishers to their eternal purpose, to face a foe who must be opposed at all cost. Gird yourself and join the brotherhood of 'do or die.' Created by Janet Morris and edited by Alexandra Butcher, HEROIKA: SKIRMISHERS is an anthology of desperate struggles in far flung time-scapes, the age old smell of battle and death. SKIRMISHERS --Tales for the bold among you!


CONTENTS:

HABIRU by Michael H. Hanson
A HANDFUL OF SALT by Sean Poage
THE NAKED DAEMON by S.E. Lindberg
SOULS OF A LION by Tom Barczak
NITHING by Travis Ludvigson
IN THE SEASON OF RUST by Charles Gramlich
BLACK QUILL by Cas Peace
OLD GOLD by A.L. Butcher
A LION IN KAMERUN By Ken Kiser
THE PATROL by William Hiles
LA PORTE EN ARRIERE by Beth W. Patterson
DURENDAL by Bruce Durham





Friday, November 8, 2019

Barczak 2019

Van's Pig Stand... or Starbucks?

Since 2014, Tom and I have met each November in Norman OK for coffee, and it has always been a blast. Blogging has captured our chats, drawing, and join ups.

Far be it for two writers with similar minds to miscommunicate, but we almost missed our annual connect due to ambiguous messaging.  My agenda included a 6PM connection with OU professors at Van's Pig Stand and (next day) 6AM meeting with Tom... but fate would take him to the BBQ joint in the morning looking for me. 

We overcame the madness, but are now motivated to spice up our routine next year.
2019, S.E. Lindberg and Tom Barczak


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Barczak Loot and XP - 2018

"Bakassas The Witch Queen" - 2018 Tom Barczak
As I attended an annual Surfactant Consortium meeting (IASR) in Norman, OK, I swung by Tom Barczak's art show. His Prophecy of Evarun series is emotive dark fantasy. He's working on the next installment now: "Hands of the Dragon".

He had over a dozen sketches and paintings presented at a boardgame boutique called Loot and XP, a comfortable establishment with snacks and hugs tables... and tons of games to play. "Loot" is a good theme for the trip, since I returned with a sketch of the above painting and Prophecy of Evarun coffee mug. If you are a Norman local, check that out that place.

What started as a chance meeting has turned into an annual join up (list below). Every time we share our muses on weird art and writing. 

Reviews by SE of Tom Barczak's works:

My interview with Tom Barzcak on the topic : "Beauty in Weird Fiction"


SE and Tom with the sketch used for the "Bakassas Witch Queen" painting

We had to meet at 6:45AM prior my work meeting and school, and Tom had some of his boys with him in tow. Coffee helped wake a few. Was nice meeting them all.
That's me, stewing about whether or not I could actually by the Bakassas painting 
A sampling of other Barczak paintings on display at  Loot and XP








Loot: my very own Mouth of the Dragon cup!

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









Saturday, March 4, 2017

Mouth of the Dragon - Review by SE

Mouth of the Dragon: Prophecy of the EvarunMouth of the Dragon: Prophecy of the Evarun by Tom Barczak
S.E. rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mouth of the Dragon: Prophecy of the Evarun is surreal, angelic warfare

Enjoy walking in cemeteries? This book is for you. If Edgar Allen Poe or Clark Ashton Smith were to rewrite Tolkien, they would produce something like Tom Barczak’s Evarun series. There are no elves here, but there are angels who have abandoned a land to susceptible humans. Disembodied forces and corporeal possession abound. The author’s dark, poetic style keeps bringing me back to his portfolio.

Mouth of the Dragon: Prophecy of the Evarun continues the royal Chaelus’s journey from Veil of the Dragon, which readers will want to read first. His body has become a puppet in war between good and evil. He is currently possessed by good-natured angel(s) tasked to confront the demonic, disembodied evil that was mastered him. The major conflict is between Chaelus (and the spirit Talus within him) versus the titular Dragon that has corrupted land of the Theocracy and his betrothed Faerowyn. The war escalates to epic, apocalypse. It closes well but sets up for another book.

Deep and Poetic: As revealed in many interviews, Barczak is an architect by day and writer/painter by night; he also experienced the death of a 2yr old daughter named Olivia. His artistic flare shows through with wonderful architectural descriptions including “clerestory lights” and “dark pools of cenotaphs.” He paid homage to Olivia with a character of the same name who first appeared in the Awakening Evarun set. Olivia appears in Mouth of the Dragon as Revered Mother over the Servian Order, centuries old. This echoes other instances of children saving adults. From the prelude book Veil of the Dragon, “Al-Aaron,” a child priest-warrior, saved and mentored Chaelus. Barczak continually explores the role of children saving or superseding adults: in Mouth the main duo for this interplay is Login and Maedelous.

Style: Barczak style defines his writing. He writes with entertaining paradox. In one sense, the conflict could not be more stark: good angels vs. evil demons; yet both are presented as reflections, or veiled versions of the other. The author is fascinated with sensing strange/beautiful things, such as the ailment synesthesia which refers to a secondary stimulus of senses. For instance, a subset is called chromesthesia, in which hearing certain sounds will trigger recoloring of whatever is being viewed by eye: one could be looking at a white wall and it would change to red or blue as certain music is played. Such dissonance is similar to one making sense of Rene Magritte’s Ceci n'est pas une pipe (this is not a pipe). Barczak intentionally provides beautiful synesthetic observations. Here are example excerpts:
There was nothing to see here but a sullen whisper.

Darkness seared her vision. It bled down her cheeks like oil. It drained from her mouth, like every soul she had ever taken it from.

The gray morning light, sullen, settled in full over the golden city of Paleos, the glimmer of its domes struck mute by its haze.
Everything is veiled and unsettled: A surreal milieu pervades the book. The best example is of the gossomar covered blades of Servian knights who vowed to kill only non-blooded humans (i.e. wraith like Remnants). The cover of Veil of the Dragon drawn by the author displayed this. It highlights the paradox of a military legion representing a benevolent religious organization. Again, Barczak intentionally blurs what is superficially clear. The Servian Order plays a large role again in Mouth, of course. However the cloth “veil” over the blade resonates with myraid other veils: ghostly phantoms, smokey tendrils obscuring vision, memories bleeding into dreams and reality. There are two contrarian, prophetic forces running in parallel: two sets of Servian knights, two sets of prophets, two armies…etc. It is like both good and evil are personified and stare through a window at each other; the reader is watching too, trying to figure out which one is real… or are they reflections of the reader in a mirror?

Poetic Style: There is an obvious rhythm. This is done in part with oft repeated words (azure, veil, Happas…which is an archaic word for a Roman highway), and with repeated phrasing such as:
The man’s eyes stared up at her from somewhere beyond, where he cradled himself at her feet. The stain of blood and darker things colored his chin, his face, his chest. Black tendrils had begun to lace across his pale skin. Soon, the Dragon’s Sleep would take him. Soon, the Dragon’s Sleep would take them all. Even the one she had just let go. Even her lover who was coming for her, for she knew it was the only way he could save her.

He could still see them, all of them. He could still see the knights’ faces staring back at him with their dead eyes, staring back at him from the edge of the encampment; seven of them, each of them with arms and legs flayed out upon a prostrate cross, staring back at him, staring through him long after they had passed from his sight.

Evarun series: Evarun’s audience and backing is deservedly growing. The serial Awakening series was an independent endeavor, but not Barczak now has the backing of Perserid Press who provided the book with a Roy Mauritsen designed cover (elegantly embedding the author’s sketch).

Awakening Evarun (Part I of VI) by Tom Barczak Awakening Evarun (Part II of VI) by Tom Barczak Awakening Evarun (Part III of VI) by Tom Barczak Awakening Evarun (Part IV of VI) by Tom Barczak Awakening Evarun (Part V of VI) by Tom Barczak Awakening Evarun (Part VI of VI) by Tom Barczak
Veil of the Dragon (Prophecy of the Evarun) by Tom Barczak
Mouth of the Dragon Prophecy of the Evarun by Tom Barczak

Judging by the author’s blog, the next installment is to be called “Hands of the Dragon,” which would refer to several wizards serving all-things-dragon: Vas Ore and Vas Kael. The author has drawn them too.


View all my reviews

Friday, November 11, 2016

Norman OK - Tom and his Dragon



For the last several years I have made an annual trip to Norman OK to attend a consortium on surfactants (IASR). I've been lucky to sneak a snack in with local friend and author Tom Barzcak. He also writes surreal dark fantasy, and is an artist too. This round we took turns speed-drawing as we talked. I drew a portrait of Tom with a shadowy dragon perched on his shoulders and he drew my lead protagonist, the skeletal warrior Lysis! Woo-hoo fan art of Dyscrasia Fiction!

We both contribute to Perseid Press's Heroika and Heroes in Hell series. Always enjoy discussing art and writing with Tom. Below is table of contents of my posts on his work and a great interview about his inspirations. 





Nov 21, 2015 ... Last year I took the opportunity to track down Tom Barczak whom I interviewed in 2014 and happens to live there. He has a similar poetic/dark ...
www.selindberg.com
Jun 12, 2014 ... Tom Barczak Interview. This continues the interviews of weird/speculative fiction authors on the themes of Art & Beauty in Fiction. Tom Barczak ...
www.selindberg.com
May 9, 2014 ... Veil of the Dragon by Tom Barczak S.E. rating: 4 of 5 stars “…all seemed like a ghost that he could scarcely remember…” There is a lot to like in ...
www.selindberg.com
Aug 19, 2016 ... Awakening Evarun by Tom Barczak S.E. rating: 5 of 5 stars. Thaumaturgy is associated with deep incantation of magic, and Tom Barczak is an ...
www.selind

Friday, August 19, 2016

Awakening Evarun - Dark Poetic Adventure like Clark Ashton Smith

Awakening Evarun (Part I of VI)Awakening Evarun by Tom Barczak
S.E. rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thaumaturgy is associated with deep incantation of magic, and Tom Barczak is an expert at such language-delivered-necromancy. I had the pleasure of interviewing him on the topic of Beauty in Weird fiction.

Weird fiction pioneer Clark Ashton Smith once wrote: "My own conscious ideal has been to delude the reader into accepting an impossibility, or series of impossibilities, by means of a sort of verbal black magic, in the achievement of which I make use of prose-rhythm, metaphor, simile, tone-color, counter-point, and other stylistic resources, like a sort of incantation."

Tom Barczak's poetic style is as mesmerizing like Clark Ashton Smith's style, but produces fiction laced with both (a) total grimness and (b) hopeful redemption. His work is compact Sword & Sorcery for the serious reader, with undertones of spirituality. This is not like C.S. Lewis's approach to Young Adult fantasy fiction; Barczak writes for a mature reader who wants to explore ruins filled with ghosts and meet evil face-to-face. Here is an excerpt:

"A little boy stared back at him with living eyes. Dark, deep, and soul filled eyes, eyes that hadn’t begun to carry the scars of the loss of everything around them, eyes that didn’t hide behind a veil, behind a promise made to be broken. His eyes were familiar. The boy’s eyes weren’t afraid. They were hungry.

Talus threw himself backwards, fumbling with his cloak. He thrust the small blade of his trembling knife towards the boy. The new light of day settled upon it like blood.

The boy scrambled away, but his dark eyes held like ice. He raised his hand to a growing red scar just let upon his cheek. A supplicant’s smile stretched his lips. He placed the back of his hand against his face."

There are six short stories in the Awakening, a set that is a prequel to Veil of the Dragon (which I enjoyed of course). They are very short... but the amount of impact per word is very high. This type of work is best served in limited doses (i.e. like espresso). Unpolished illustrations from the author are a nice touch; they are fitting since the author is an artists/architect, but they are bonus material to complement the experience.

The Awakening Evarun is highly recommended.

Awakening Evarun (Part I of VI) by Tom Barczak Awakening Evarun (Part II of VI) by Tom Barczak Awakening Evarun (Part IV of VI) by Tom Barczak Awakening Evarun (Part III of VI) by Tom Barczak




View all my reviews

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Latte with Tom Barczak - Norman Oklahoma 2015

S E Lindberg and Tom Barczak - 2015 Norman - Heroikan's drink lattes
This month I visited Norman OK for the third year in a row as I participate in a consortium on surfactants run by chemical engineering professors at Oklahoma University (IASR). Last year I took the opportunity to track down Tom Barczak whom I interviewed in 2014 and happens to live there. He has a similar poetic/dark style. Apart from our own endeavors (his Evarun and my Dyscrasia Fiction), our short stories appeared together in Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters this year, an anthology which many are proud of; here is a snippet of Ricky L. Brown's review via Amazing Stories Magazine:


Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters is an anthology of well-crafted work with a wide range of entertaining perspectives. Spanning across cultures, centuries, and even the dimensions of time and space, each contribution has its own distinct charm. In essence, this book is a colorful bouquet of bold stories about one of the darkest primal forces in mythological lore...  Published by Perseid Press and edited by Janet Morris, this collection is due to be released on May 25, 2015. There are seventeen tales in all. Though breaking each one down with literary criticism would take multiple reviews to cover thoroughly, it is advised to just pick up a copy and dive right in because odds are pretty good you'll find plenty to enjoy...

In the Legacy of the Great Dragon by S.E. Lindberg, readers will discover another use for the dragons in getting one’s sight back, but here we cross the fine line between man and god, and see how the twisted significance of the word “legacy” can define both... 

Forged by Tom Barczak is a fairytale adventure with good versus evil, eventually allowing readers to discover the hidden magic of dragons that lies in the soul of a young girl and how “love” works its magic in unexpected ways..."

I highly recommend Tom's work. As I reviewed Veil of the Dragon, his style is poetic, and it is timely to note that this prose can now be heard thanks to the beautiful narration by Neil Hellegers. Check out the audible sample on Audible: 




Friday, June 19, 2015

Free Paperbacks of Heroika Dragon Eaters!

Enter to win Free Paperbacks of Heroika!

Dragon Eaters by Janet E. Morris     

Dragon Eaters

by Janet E. Morris

Giveaway ends July 21, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.          

“It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.” – J.R.R. Tolkien


Enter to win Free Paperbacks of Heroika, 

and learn the Art of Dragon Killing!


Dragons have been eating humans for centuries. Now you can join the heroes throughout history stalking their legendary foe. A literary feast for the bloody-minded. In Janet Morris' anthology on the art of dragon killing, seventeen writers bring you so close to dragons you can smell their fetid breath. Tales for the bold among you.

HEROIKA 1: DRAGON EATERS, an anthology of heroic fiction featuring original stories by Janet E. Morris, Chris Morris, S.E. Lindberg, Walter Rhein, Cas Peace, Jack William Finley, A.L. Butcher, Travis Ludvigson, Tom Barczak, J.P. Wilder, Joe Bonadonna, Milton Davis, M. Harold Page, William Hiles, Beth W. Patterson, Bruce Durham, Mark Finn.


About the editor: Best selling author Janet E. Morris began writing in 1976 and has since published more than 30 novels, many co-authored with her husband Chris Morris or others. She has contributed short fiction to the shared universe fantasy series Thieves World, in which she created the Sacred Band of Stepsons, a mythical unit of ancient fighters modeled on the Sacred Band of Thebes. She created, orchestrated, and edited the Bangsian fantasy series Heroes in Hell, writing stories for the series as well as co-writing the related novel, The Little Helliad, with Chris Morris.

Enter to win Free Paperbacks of Heroika!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dragon Killing in Newcastle


That's me in Newcastle, UK on a business trip, recently. While roaming the city, I stumbled across this moving monument to those who died fighting for justice and peace -- namely WWI and WWII. It was timely to see St. George kill a dragon, since the release of Heroika: Dragon Eaters' release  coincided with Memorial Day USA (May 25th 2015).  It is now available in ePub and Paperback from most online retailers.


My short story Legacy of the Great Dragon appears in HEROIKA -- DRAGON EATERS  along with sixteen more tales of dragon hunting/consumption, each with a varied milieu & style (from an awesome set of authors). Each took a perspective from a different century and local, so the recipe's are varied.

HEROIKA -- DRAGON EATERS is an anthology of heroic fiction edited by Janet E. Morris, and featuring original stories by: Seth (S.E.) LindbergJack William FinleyTravis LudvigsonTom BarczakJp WilderJoe BonadonnaMilton DavisAlex ButcherWill HilesM Harold PageWalter RheinCas Peace Bruce DurhamMark Finn.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

S.E. Lindberg Interviewed by AL Butcher

Alex Butcher (a.k.a A L or Alexandra), authors fantasy fiction for adults. She kindly interviewed me this February, which is my official first interview! 



I am trying to corner AL Butcher for a counter-interview, to get her take on Beauty In Weird Fictionshe has an interesting milieu regarding Magic-Elf-Eroticism that would be great to learn more about.  

Actually, our stories will appear together this May in HEROIKA -- DRAGON EATERS (pre-order link). Check out this anthology of Heroes hunting their legendary foe across centuries!



HEROIKA -- DRAGON EATERS is an anthology of heroic fiction 
Edited by Janet E. Morris, featuring original stories by:


Heroes throughout history stalk their legendary foe: the Father of Alchemy entombs his own magic; dragons must not kill dragons; even a patron saint struggles when confronted by the mighty Wyght Worm; Hunting dragons, getting there is half the battle; mankind’s fate lies in a man, a child, and a dragon; holy warriors write their legend in the blood of dragons; the love of the innocent meets a dragon’s heart; one dragon hunter finds out the truth about feeding on dragon’s blood; one woman and two wolverines seek a dragon’s egg; cross the water and stop a new plague of dragons before it’s too late; bounty hunters pit their dirigible against a dragon and a flying castle; seven enemies unite to kill an ancient legend; In the bayou stews more than storm and alligators; remnants of the human race face their ultimate challenge in the bleak Arctic; when dinosaurs return, a squad of Rangers goes from dragon hunters to hunted.