Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic, The Conclusion

It got away from me over the the holiday weekend, but better late than never! Today we finally reach the end of our journey to the strange alternate world our vampires have found themselves flung headlong into...and find out who made it and who didn't.

Tommy and Dorian seem to have finally shaken the pursuit of the blind dead, thanks to a little residual molecular dragging courtesy Katheryne's decoherence torus (remember that doohickey?), and had just heard the sound of a mighty V8 engine firing up in the woods. Good news? Maybe. Bad news? Well, with the way this trip has been going, that's a pretty fair estimation, I'd say.

Our finale is short but sweet (maybe), and after today, I'll be looking into posting short stories again to help you further kill some time while you're stuck at home and staying out of trouble. Thank you to everybody who's been reading...hope you've enjoyed this trip as much as I have!

And now, let's see how it all turns out, shall we?

Friday, May 15, 2020

Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic, Part 7

So how about those Knights Templar Ex Mortis? What a bunch of creepy assholes!

Hope you enjoyed their appearance as much as I had writing it; I've been wanting to add them to a story for years now. They come from the Spanish Blind Dead film series, created and directed by the late, great Amando Ossorio, and while they're not what you'd call masterpieces of film-making, their atmosphere is second to none, and are well worth your time if you're a horror fanatic. I've always found them fascinating and menacing, as well as criminally-overlooked, and their inclusion in Mighty Mutagenic is my homage to these largely-forgotten gems of horror.

The Knights' appearance in Mighty Mutagenic stays largely true to their film portrayal, minus the reality-hopping and that kind of thing, so if you're a horror fiend and liked them here, I highly recommend you seek out the films! Each movie is self-contained and doesn't follow from the previous one, either, and the final one, Night Of The Seagulls, is the best-made out of all of them, so that'd be the one for a newbie to start with. I've included the long-ass trailer for it below...even if you don't watch the movie itself, the trailer gives you a good taste of the blind dead!

In the meantime, our weary vampire heroes have managed to escape from the catacombs of the blind dead, only to find that the bloodthirsty Knights Templar Ex Mortis aren't done yet. Seriously, what does it take to get home?! And after this installment, will everybody even make it home? Will anybody? The silent menace of the blind dead continues in today's installment, as our novel begins to wind down, with the conclusion coming next week. The question is, will it be a happy conclusion?

Not if the Knights Templar Ex Mortis have anything to say about it. Read on!

And if you're curious about the blind dead, check out the trailer for Night Of The Seagulls!


Friday, May 8, 2020

Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic, Part 6

Last week found our (mostly) intrepid vampires fleeing a horde of angry mutants and ending up in a sinister old monastery, and barely after they had a chance to catch their breath, they were besieged eerie chantings and thunderous bell-ringings. And investigation to the monastery's bell tower only led to a collapsing floor and plunge into the stygian depths beneath the creepy, abandoned town, and...

Now what?

Answers to some of the questions that've plagued our heroes from the beginning of their long strange trip, and trouble...a hell of a lot of trouble. More trouble than they might be able to handle in their weakened state, even.

I'm beyond hyped for this week's installment, because I've finally been able to include some of my favorite movie villains into a story! I don't want to go into too much detail, for the sake of spoilers, but I'll discuss them a little more at length next week. I wrote this novel purely for the fun of it, with the intent of just seeing where it went and I took the opportunity to do some things I've always wanted to, but hadn't found the right story to do it in.

In the meantime, I've included one of my favorite tracks from British doom-metal masters Cathedral to help set the mood. Like myself, Cathedral are huge fans of this week's "guest stars," and wrote no less than four songs about them over the course of their career. Even if metal's not your thing, having this on in the background will nicely help set the mood for this week's installment. Cathedral beautifully manages to capture the slow, haunting atmosphere that made the old movies so effective, and it's a song I never, ever tire of.

Enjoy...and don't let anything creep up behind you, eh?

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

You Want Books? I've Got A Few.

Been enjoying Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic? Want to read more adventures from the (R)Evolution By Night gang? You're in luck...there's plenty more where Mighty Mutagenic came from!

Below you'll find a listing of all the (R)Evolution By Night books currently in-print, along with an anthology appearance. All are available digitally, and with the except of the anthology, everything's available in paper, too. Plus, if you're not keen on spending money on Amazon, you can order these books from just about any other retailer!

Or you can contact me, and I'd be happy to sell you some copies direct, with no additional charge for autographs or custom greetings.

Love Is For Suckers
On a hot August night in 1987, streetwise vampire Steele is wallowing in the aftermath of a messy breakup with a succubus, and all he wants to do is go back to his apartment and sulk while listening to the new Twisted Sister album. But the fates are having none of that. After nearly getting himself killed in the attempted rescue of a pistol-packing, Harley-riding vampiress named Clarisse from a gang of brutal slimeballs, Steele finds himself on a high-speed motorcycle chase through the unforgiving streets of Los Angeles, complete with thrills, chills, and explosions aplenty!

“Love Is For Suckers” reveals the first meeting between two of the Unholy War duology’s pivotal characters. Before they waged war against a lunatic cult of vampire zealots, Steele and Clarisse fought a white-knuckle battle against
a horde of relentless bastards, forging a bond of friendship…a bond which may ultimately grow into something far greater. But before that happens, they’ve gotta avoid being splattered all over the pavement or blown to bits before the night’s over. Easier said than done, kids.

Unholy War: The Gathering Storm
Steele is a tough, streetwise old vampire who sings in a glam rock band, and he is fiercely loyal to his immortal friends, who are both powerful and playful, loyal and loving, tender and treacherous. The vampires of Hollywood are, at their hearts, human—people who’ve found a city they can call home, away from the madness and prejudice that plagued them throughout the centuries…a place where they can be happy and finally enjoy their long lives.

When the Crimson Order comes knocking with an army of revenants and werewolves, looking to restart old battles, there is absolute and utter hell to pay. No quarter will be given—this unholy war is for keeps.

Unholy War: Rage And Redemption
The Battle of Los Angeles is over and won, but not everybody made it. With one friend dead and another slipping into a hell of her own making, streetwise vampire Steele is forced to confront the spectres of his past in the form of a super-powered megalomanic hellbent on subjugating or slaying the vampires of LA.

Not only does the Crimson Order live again, but it’s more powerful than ever.

Even as the fanged champions of Hollywood fight for their lives, gentle half-blood Katheryne fights for her very soul against an all-too-real Goddess. If she fails, it’ll mean not only the fall of Los Angeles, but the start of an all-out war between vampires and mortals...a war where everybody loses.

The Unholy War duology screams to its explosive conclusion with a tale of rage and redemption in the belly of the beast.

Not Of This Earth
When four vampire friends take a trip into the woods for some much-needed rest and relaxation, they find themselves face-to-face with a terror that’s out of this world! Powerful Brandi confronts this strange and violent visitor head-on, but will her incredible supernatural might be enough to conquer a foe from the stars? Even as Brandi fights for her friends and her very life, clever Clarisse seeks to unravel the mystery behind this hulking horror, but what will she discover? And will she make a difference before the monster reaches the little town of Marshall?

In the meantime, the rough and ready duo of Steele and Stacey find that no good deed goes unpunished, as their attempt to warn Marshall of the monster’s advance lands them behind bars, with a vengeful cop holding the keys! Their odds don’t look good! As this cosmic conundrum deepens and Brandi’s fury grows, a reckoning will be had in Marshall, even as Clarisse races to prevent a terrible tragedy when the shocking truth is revealed. Who and what will be left standing when creatures of the night confront an evil that’s…NOT OF THIS EARTH?

Guns And Romances
A collection of short tales jam-packed full of action and romance, with full guns a-blazing! My (R)Evolution By Night tale, "The Dance," closes out the anthology, wherein our big, enigmatic vampire pal Wade comes face-to-face with a diminutive pain-in-the-ass from his past, and not only is she possessed of incredible strength, but she's also packing a monstrous beast of a gun, forged from meteor metal! If you've read "It's A Wicked Night, Wade!" you'll already be familiar with the likes of Raven, and know what kind of mayhem she can unleash!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic, Part 5

Well, our vampire heroes narrowly survived their brush with Mutantville's resident kaiju last week, so what now? For starters, Tommy's still stuck as a mortal, but feeling better, but Katheryne's speeder-gum-influenced power burst from last week is starting to wane...and the gang's got a whole horde of angry mutants chasing them, with torches and pitchforks, no less!

I know they're our protagonists, but it's hard to blame the residents of Mutantville, eh?

But Katheryne's got enough power left that she could wipe out the angry mob with a magick force blast, though the question is whether or not she's up for it. And even if she did, there are plenty more mutants where this mob came from!

Maybe it's time to bug out and hide somewhere while the Caddy finishes recharging? But where? That creepy old town Katheryne and Donita spied from atop the necronaut? Hell no!

But any port in a storm, as they say...even if the port has a hellish hidden history. Oh boy.

Read on via the link below, and rest assured--this tale is far from over!

Photo Credit: The Ruins of Belchite by Martin Zalba

Friday, April 24, 2020

Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic, Part 4

So what's up with Tommy, huh? The waters from the 'ol Mighty Mutagenic pack an oddly particular...kick, don't they?

Today's installment won't allow our surly professor much time to reflect on his predicament, as he can't seem to keep himself out of trouble...a cursed blessing for a vampire who's suddenly found himself back in mortal shoes again, in a town filled with mutants far stronger than him. Thankfully Dorian's reconnaissance mission seems to be proceeding apace, but at the same time, he's still got no idea where Tommy is, or what's happened to him.

And the boys are about to find out they grown 'em BIG way down Mutantville way. Just when you think the day can't get any worse...

Meanwhile, Katheryne and Donita are still in the middle the autopsy of the necronaut, and Katheryne discovers she can't fly anymore. What the hell's going on? To find out, read this week's installment!

Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic, Part 4

The artwork is Witcher 3 concept art by Grzegorz Przybyś.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic, Part 3

 So things start to get weird today. Or weirder, I guess.

Last week's installment left us with an irreverent autopsy and a professorial kidnapping, and today's installment brings us a necronaut, diplomacy in action, deceptions abound, and quite possibly the worst insult you can hurl at a vampire. Why that insult is so bad, I have no idea, but never say it to a vampire, apparently!

While Tommy attempts to build bridges of understanding with his captors, with varying levels of fear and success, Donita and Katheryne hatch a plan to make use of Dorian's much-maligned Rob Platypus costume, effectively sending the kind-hearted vampire into the figurative belly of the beast. Not necessarily the greatest idea, but it's all they have with their limited resources, and as matters play out, it turns out the best way to sell a deception is with a fistfight. Thankfully, it never takes long for matters with vampires to devolve into screaming matches and thrown punches, so they're well-suited for this!

Not only that, but this week is Katheryne's turn to perform an autopsy, and she learns a few things about other folk that may have traveled from their world to this new one...folk who were even bigger troublemakers than vampires. Who were they, and what kind of horrid shit were they up to? And what kind of horrid shit happens to Tommy?!

Read on to find out that and witness other oddball antics in this week's installment of Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Tales From The Banks Of The Might Mutagenic, Part 2

It's time once again to depart from this screwy world of ours and enter into another! How screwy is this brave new world? We're starting to find out, and I dunno if the results are promising!

Today's episode of Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic brings us some visceral fallout from last week's encounter with the late, unlamented Señor Leech, and we also rejoin our favorite professor, Tommy, as he somehow manages to get into a whole hell of a lot of trouble while hiding in the trunk of the Caddy. It's truly amazing the kind of shit one can get into when you're just minding your own business, isn't it?

Grab your favorite drink, put your feed up, and enjoy!

As a bonus, I've included "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," the song that Donita whistles as she--ahem--goes to work. It's an oldie but a goodie, particularly if you're a half-vampire who's been around the block a few hundred times!


Friday, April 3, 2020

Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic, Part I

 While on their way home from a Mexican comic convention, vampires Katheryne, Donita, Tommy, and Dorian find themselves accidentally plunged into an alternate reality following a radar detector malfunction, and they find themselves parked alongside a beautifully unspoiled river on a bright, sunny day. Power exhausted from the unexpected travel between dimensions, Donita's trusty '62 Cadillac Coup De Ville is useless until its battery can recharge, leaving the foursome stuck for the time being.

Since Katheryne and Donita are half-bloods, the sunlight poses no problem to them, but it also means that full-blooded professor Tommy is stuck in the trunk, while Dorian is trapped inside his Rob Platypus costume, which at least lets him remain mobile in the sunlight. (Even though Donita won't stop telling him he looks like an asshole.)

After taking stock of their situation, the vampires do what vampires generally do when faced with the unknown: they wanna go check shit out. Vampires are a curious bunch, y'see!

But it doesn't take long before our heroes encounter their first native in this brave new world, and--as usually happens where vampires are involved--things start to spiral out of control.

So begins the first installment of the new (R)Evolution By Night novel, Tales From The Banks Of The Mighty Mutagenic! Today's offering includes the first three chapters of this action-packed tale of hilarity, horror, and mayhem, wherein you'll see our protagonists turned loose in a world that's probably not ready for them.

For new readers, please note that you don't need to know ANYTHING about the (R)Evolution By Night universe to read and understand what's going on here...this tale is a full-on standalone, and everything you'll need is contained within. I'm also calling this a "Drive-In Movie Novel," as the focus here is on action and adventure, and I was going for the easily-digestible, fun-filled feel of an old movie, including more monsters and mutants than you can shake a stick at!

So grab your favorite drink, put on some loud, trippy music, and let the world go away for a while as you find yourself in a new, unexplored realm, discovering it along with a group of stranded Hollywood vampires!

Friday, March 27, 2020

It's A Wicked Night, Wade!

It's time for another tale to get us through the day! Today's story, "It's A Wicked Night, Wade!" takes us back to the middle of the 20th century, where in a little Illinois town called Kowalski, multiple supernatural entities are setting the stage for a Halloween gone apeshit.

Our two vampire protagonists, Wade and Raven, have proven to be some of my most enduring characters, with an extraordinarily long history between the two of them, the surface of which has only been scratched and hinted at in their appearances over the years. At the moment, most of those stories are out of print, but in the near future, I plan on rectifying that, so if you enjoy them and their interactions, there's plenty more to come!

This story, or novella, really, was initially inspired by the Danzig song, "On A Wicked Night," from his killer return-to-form album Deth Red Sabaoth, though it took very little time before the story turned into an extended Peanuts homage, as well. As much as I love horror, action, adventure, and science fiction, few things make me happier than old Charlie Brown comics and cartoons, and while I doubt Charles Schulz would've been thrilled with the content--or language--of this tale, it was all done out of love. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but you'll know who everybody is.

To enhance your reading experience, I've also put together an official companion soundtrack to the story, which consists of selected Danzig, Samhain, and Misfits songs mixed together with some Vince Guaraldi Trio classics to help set the mood. I'm sure it won't be for everybody, but I'm willing to bet some of you are gonna love it. You can find the link to the soundtrack, which is on YouTube, below. I tried to do a Spotify playlist, but of course, most of the Danzig tracks weren't available. Go figure.

That's about all you need to know for this one. This tale clocks in at about 23,000 words, which is roughly a fourth of the size of a regular novel, so it ought to keep you busy for a while. Just put on the music, grab your favorite drink, and have at it!

The story is available below in PDF format, but if that format doesn't work for you--or you'd like it to be available in a different format, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I'm not at all against wrestling with epub or mobi formats for iBook, Kobo, or Kindle readers...I want everybody to be able to read these things! Also, you're fully welcome to save this (or any of my posted stories) to your device, print them out, share them, whatever. If you know somebody who loves this kind of shit and can use a pick-me-up, please do pass it on!

As always, feedback on content/format is not only welcome, but encouraged. Tell me what you like, don't like, or might want to see!

Also, editing on the forthcoming serial novel has almost been completed by my lovely wife Holly, and I'm feeling like the first chapter will be up here within a week or less, with new ones to be posted weekly, or maybe even more often than that. So between dusting off old tales and creating new ones, there should be no shortage of reading material for you here!

And now, without further rambling, it's time to dive into the mid-20th century of a world almost, but not quite, like ours and to let our own world go away for a while, for this is a Samhain night unlike any other...

Artwork by Nathaniel D. Smith and Charles Schulz.

Monday, March 23, 2020

If Ever There Was A Time For Free Stories, The Time Is Now.

Yeah, I know. It's been literally years since I've done anything with this site, and while I've released other books in the interim, I haven't done anything here because I got lazy and just promoted on Facebook. It happens.

But I'm done being lazy on that front, and I feel like it's time I get back to doing the thing that got the ball rolling for my writing in the first place...just writing stories and posting them. Some of it'll get published, some of it won't, but it'll be there for the reading, and right now, I don't think anybody's gonna grudge some free escapist literature.

I've got a whole hoard of older tales I'm looking to dust off and post over the next few weeks/months, and I've also got a brand-new, never-before-seen (R)Evolution By Night NOVEL that I'll be serializing in the near future. Longtime readers ought to remember the days of serialized novels on my site...that shit was fun, and I wanna do it again.

In addition to The Novel, I've also got two finished (R)Evolution novellas that've been sitting on my hard drive, waiting for me to publish...real life and responsibilities have gotten in the way of publishing them over the past couple years. Nothing bad or anything, but when you're taking care of your adulting business and trying to make the right moves for the future, throwing together the cash for proper editing, formatting, and cover art can fall by the wayside. Instead of sitting on them, those two novellas--follow-ups to the Unholy War duology and part of a trilogy I started with Not Of This Earth--will likely end up serialized on here sooner or later, too.

Because what's the point of writing stuff--especially stuff you're really pleased with--if you're not gonna share 'em?

Further details will come...right now, I just wanna post something for you guys to read. This tale is called "Epitaphs Are For The Living," and was something I wrote a few years back for an anthology that never materialized, and to the best of my knowledge, I've never posted it anywhere else before. So this is something for the longtime readers AND the new readers...all are welcome.

For those of you unfamiliar with the (R)Evolution By Night, it's an urban fantasy series that I've been hacking away at off and on since 1997, wherein I follow around a group of vampires who live in L.A. and get themselves into all sorts of action-packed, sometimes horrific, and often ridiculous adventures. Tonally, it's along the lines of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Supernatural, with dashes of Hellboy thrown in.

I'd also favorably compare it to What We Do In The Shadows, which is the greatest thing to happen to vampires in the last 50 years...if I'd had something like What We Do In The Shadows to watch back in '97, I may not have had to resort to writing my own irreverent vampire fiction!


Let's do this. Time to leave our cares behind and travel back to the autumn of 1989, where you'll meet--or re-familiarize yourself with--two vampires named Steele and Clarisse, who are out for a moonlit date with a legendary guitar...and are about to get themselves into a whole load of trouble.

(I'm currently posting in PDF format for relative convenience. If that doesn't work for you or if you have suggestions, drop me a line and let's figure it out.)