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    The Desert of Souls

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving…

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    The Bones of the Old Ones

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped…

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    The Waters of Eternity

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    Venture into the time of the Arabian Nights with stalwart Captain Asim and the brilliant Dabir as they hunt an unseen killer that craves only the eyes of…

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    Plague of Shadows

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In the third official novel in Paizo’s Pathfinder Tales line, the race is on to free Lord Stelan from the grip of a wasting curse, and only Elyana,…

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    Stalking the Beast

    Monday, August 13, 1066

      When a mysterious monster carves a path of destruction across the southern River Kingdoms, desperate townsfolk look to the famed elven ranger Elyana and her half-orc companion…

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Deep in Revision

busy-running-scheduleI’m deep in revision, so there may be a little radio silence here for a while.

I’m head down over the second pass of the second Paizo novel of the summer, smoothing out the rough draft and groaning at the bad stuff. Occasionally I happen upon a chunk of text I like so well I can hardly believe I wrote it, which is always a nice surprise. Will I complete it and a final, third pass, by the end of September? Will Lassie warn the firemen? Will the sherif stop the stagecoach? Probably.

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Magical List of Noir

Last year Chris Hocking gave me a list of noir “must-reads” and it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

Hocking, editor of Detroit Noir, writer of my favorite Conan pastiche, and all-around talented guy and great human being happens to be widely read on sword-and-sorcery but is perhaps even better read in noir.

The list he gave me is a distillation of at least thirty years of his reading in the mystery and harboiled genres — Hocking’s thoughts on the very, very best. You could use it to teach a course on what makes noir great. Read More




Noir Masters

Over the last few months I’ve said that the books of the talented writer Wade Miller are must reads, and I thought I’d finally tell you why.

Bob Wade and Bill Miller wrote in tandem as a combination of their last two names, or as Dale Wilmer, or as Whit Masterson, up until Bill Miller’s untimely death at age 41 in 1961.The two created wonderful, twisting, unpredictable, satisfying noir. And they pulled the neat trick of delivering consistently excellent work story after story.

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Day After Day

A musical break today with one of my favorite bands. Take it away, Badfinger!





Meandering Mission Statement

rightSometimes I feel a generation removed from the important things that are happening in social media, and then I realize that there are plenty of people my age who ARE engaged in the arguments and concerns raging across Twitter or writer/publisher blogs. It’s just me, not my generation. I always learn about controversies and rumors weeks, months, or years later and have to explain to people I live in a hole. As much as I tell myself, “Och laddie, ye’ve got to change” (without using a terrible Scottish accent) my efforts to alter this aspect of my social behavior continue to fail.

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Ancient Arabia

The Wily Dalilah: Arabian Nights Feminist

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In a work as varied as The Arabian Nights there are naturally some portions more popular than others, probably because some are more easily adapted into standalone tales…

The Fantasy Adventures of Alexander the Great

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I think my favorite parts of Alexander the Great’s life involve his fight with the dragon, and the time he climbed to a mountain summit and saw the…

Link Day

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I need to hit the ground running today, so I’m going to hook you up with some nifty and eclectic links. First, a post from my talented writer…

Authorial Voice, Scheduling, and a New Review

Monday, January 14, 2013

I wrote my most recent post about Guy le Strange’s book on ancient Baghdad in one long sustained burst, and upon revisiting just noticed that I use the…

Ancient Baghdad’s Street Plan

Friday, January 11, 2013

When you’re researching you sometimes stumble onto books that seem to have been written just for you. I’ve read a long shelf’s worth of interesting and sometimes wonderful…