Sunday, 31 July 2016

Tau Ceti Mission - 10.05.2352 - Lost Communication


In Seb's latest report, the Venti probe has lost communications with Earth:

http://www.taucetimission.com/2016/07/10052352-lost-communication.html

Cthulhu T-Shirts Now Available In Grey and Red

As well as the ever popular green, the Cthulhu t-shirts are now available in red and grey from the Old Ones Productions store:

Order your red t-shirt here:

https://oldonesproductions.com/collections/apparel/products/red-green-cthulhu-t-shirt


Order you grey t-shirt here:

https://oldonesproductions.com/collections/apparel/products/grey-cthulhu-t-shirt

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Wear Your Tiger I With Pride!



Something a little different from the usual range on the store, but it is my favourite armoured vehicle, ever since building the Arfix models as a kid! Created from an incredible painting by Martin Squires this fine t-shirt is a fitting tribute to the feared Tiger I tank.

Only limited numbers are available - so grab yours now!

https://oldonesproductions.com/products/tiger-i-t-shirt



Monday, 25 July 2016

Insanity is your opening move...

Insanity is your opening move with this Cthulhu chess set t-shirt.

Available in unisex sizes small to XXXL.

Original artwork by Luciana Nedelea.

https://oldonesproductions.com/products/cthulhu-chess-set-t-shirt

Monday, 18 July 2016

Old Ones Productions - New T-Shirt - Dark Eyes

A girl with dark eyes, and an unnatural hunger in this quality t-shirt.

Available in unisex sizes small to XXXL.

Original artwork by Luciana Nedelea.

https://oldonesproductions.com/products/black-eyes-t-shirt



I'm Now an Ambassador for SpecialEffect



I rarely post work related stuff on my personal blog - the game get's enough coverage without my help :-) However there are circumstances that transcend that policy and that is how generous the community for our game.Since the game's release the fund raising activities have demonstrated the kind nature of our fans.

One of the great causes which we've helped support was SpecialEffect - a charity who works with disabled people to enjoy computer games to help enrich their lives. Just before Christmas we held a 24 hour live auction, fronted by the ever entertaining Ed Lewis, and with the overwhelming support of the community raised over £20,000. You can find out more about the work that this amazing charity does here:

http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/

Along with a few other members of the team, we were offered the roles of ambassadors for them, which we were honoured to accept. I'd like to offer my thanks for the opportunity, and wish them all the best for the future.


I also encourage you to find out more about them, and if you're able to help them out with a donation - large or small!



Tau Ceti Mission - 06.04.2352 - Sun Dragon Threat


Seb delves deeper into the Cetian archive to learn more about the Visitors and a possible connection with the Sun Dragons:

http://www.taucetimission.com/2016/07/06042352-sun-dragon-threat.html

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

New Drabble - Awakening

Image author unknown

Awakening

The rank stench of decay pervades the shifting mist. I glimpse vague forms, their movement creeping ever closer. Loathsome whispers torment my hearing with a hunger eager for satisfaction. Terror chokes me into silence, my scream a lump in my throat.

For the briefest moment their majestic horror is revealed. I behold creatures ancient while our universe was still young. The scream inside bursts free…

In a panic I awaken, sweat clammy on my skin. The relief is orgasmic as the fear fades. It returns in a heartbeat with the smell of corruption, and a shadow moves in the gloom.

Check out some of my other drabbles here: http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/p/100-word-stories.html

Monday, 11 July 2016

Crises and Conflicts Anthology Released Today!

On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the 10th birthday celebration for NewCon press, a publisher devoted to the art of the short story. As part of those celebrations the Crises and Conflicts anthology was released, which includes a short story from me, called 'The Ten Second War' - check out the other other contributors below:


From distant planets to space-borne combat, from desperate attempts to win a race to the last hope of a beleaguered world, fifteen stories of Military SF and space opera written to celebrate the tenth birthday of independent publisher NewCon Press:

1. Introduction
2. The Last Tank Commander – Allen Stroud
3. Between Nine and Eleven – Adam Roberts
4. Taking Flight – Una McCormack
5. The 10 Second War – Michael Brookes
6. Decommissioned – Tade Thompson
7. Another Day in Paradise – Amy DuBoff
8. Round Trip – Robert Sharp
9. Arm Every Woman – Nik Abnett
10. Hill 435 – Tim C. Taylor
11. The Wolf, The Goat, and the Cabbage – Janet Edwards
12. Pickaxes and Shovels – Christopher Nuttall
13. The Gun – Ian Whates
14. Tactics for Optimal Outcomes in Negotiations with Wergen Ambassadors
– Mercurio D Rivera
15. The Story of the Ten – Jo Zebedee
16. The Beauty of our Weapons – Gavin Smith

Click here to buy Crises and Conflicts from Amazon

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Space In-between T-Shirt and Print


Of all of the t-shirts and prints I offer through the Old Ones Productions store, the Space In-between is my favourite, so much so I had it tattooed as a back piece! It's another amazing piece of artwork by Luciana Nedelea, and it illustrates a book of the same name I'm working on. As I'm sure you can see it's Milton and Lovecraft mashup, two of my most important literary influences.

The A3 print is only £10 and can be ordered here:

https://oldonesproductions.com/collections/prints/products/the-space-inbetween-print

T-shirts are available in unisex sizes Small to XXXL for only £15.99 here:

https://oldonesproductions.com/collections/apparel/products/the-space-inbetween-t-shirt-black

The original painting is also available here:

https://oldonesproductions.com/collections/original-art/products/the-space-inbetween-painting





Tau Ceti Mission - 05.04.2352 - Alien Ark

Artist's conception of the five-planet Tau Ceti system (Photo: J. Pinfield/RoPACS/University of Hertfordshire)

Seb learns more about the mysterious alien visitors from the Cetian database:

http://www.taucetimission.com/2016/07/05042352-alien-ark.html

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Short Story Review - Set in Stone by Newton

This short story grabbed me from the opening line. It sets the scene well, and promises secrets and horror. Unfortunately the rest of the story doesn't quite live up to that opening. It's far from bad, I enjoyed it a lot. It's well written and tightly plotted, but it lacked a certain sparkle.The opening led me to think that it would be something more.

That grumble aside it progressed at a decent pace, and there's some good conflict and emotion here. I'd previously read The Reconstruction Descending by this author and that contained some wonderful imagination. This newer story is better written from a technical perspective, but doesn't quite offer the same richness.

I am perhaps being a little harsh, the story does have many things going for it, and it's superbly told, just not quite as good as the earlier work. If you like a dark tale, then you should give it a try.


His parents deceased, young Michael O'Donahue inherits the sole responsibility of maintaining the local cemetery known by most as The Yard. Torn between a lustful affair with the town harlot and a blossoming romance with the youngest daughter of one the most prominent families in town, his life is suddenly ripped apart by evil unseen forces.

'Set in Stone' is a gothic tale of magic, mystery and shattered romance.

Click here to buy Set in Stone from Amazon

Short Story Review - The Dark Mister Snark by Lori R Lopez

This is an unusual read, and a little out of my usual reading comfort zone, but it's also a lot of fun! It's in the form of rhyming prose, and credit must go to the author for the consistency of the text. It provided a bouncing cadence to the read that ripped through the pages. Only on a few occasions did it falter with  forced rhyme,  but they were very few.

It also has a nonsensical style, which isn't something I encounter very often, and again top marks to the author for carrying it so successfully. It's a dark tale, but one that is full of life. The crows in particular were a delight.

It's only real downfall is that it's a short read, I would have happily read more about Mister Snark's antics. Highly recommended!


There are those individuals we know little about who skulk and creep delightfully across page or screen. In reality, we are taught to avoid them. Sometimes, however, they may surprise us. The Dark Mister Snark is such a figure. Beware!

"Candidly lurking in the shadiest of places, a fellow whose mask wore the gruesomest faces, the dark Mister Snark might be tiptoeing after — shunning the sun and the mirthfullest laughter, spying and shying from your backward stares, following to catch you in complete unawares!"

Narrated by witty rhymes that spin the tangled threads of solitude and acceptance, this book tells the tale of a mysterious man prone to stalking through shadows. Is he misunderstood or mad? A villain or an anti-hero?

His secrets will be revealed in humorous and touching verse, with Halloween and Edgar Allan Poe among the themes. You will not look at corn or crows the same. And once read, you could find Mister Snark watching you from every dark place! This illustrated print edition features peculiar artwork by the author, Lori R. Lopez.

Click here to buy The Dark Mister Snark from Amazon


Book Review - The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

I loved this book. It's a great take on first contact. It's a topic that fascinates me, and one that is often tackled by science fiction authors, and this book is a fascinating read. It touches on details that I hadn't thought of in this situation.

The book is formed from two parts. The first is the initial contact with the aliens and the expedition to initiate first contact. This was my favourite part of the book. The aliens are well realised, with just enough commonality to allow the reader to relate to them, but with sufficient differences to make them feel alien. To be honest, I would have been happy to read more about this process.

Naturally the aliens have a secret, one that threatens any possible deal with humanity. This leads into the second part of the book with the political fallout and dealings within the human empire. While this didn't interest me as much as discovering the aliens, it did raise some interesting points and does set it up nicely for the next book.

It does have it's flaws though. The core story is fine, but some of the components don't match up. The characterisation is limited in many cases with most just filling their roles for the plot. Don't let that put you off though, this is a gem of a read.


In 3016, the 2nd Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems, thanks to faster-than-light Alderson Drive. Intelligent beings are finally found from the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud. The bottled-up ancient civilization, at least one million years old, are welcoming, kind, yet evasive, with a dark problem they have not solved in over a million years.

Click here to buy The Mote in God's Eye from Amazon



Currently Reading - The Temporal Void by Peter F Hamilton


The Intersolar Commonwealth is in turmoil as the Living Dream's deadline for launching its Pilgrimage into the Void draws closer. Not only is the Ocisen Empire fleet fast approaching on a mission of genocide, but also an internecine war has broken out between the post-human factions over the destiny of humanity.

Countering the various and increasingly desperate agents and factions is Paula Myo, a ruthlessly single-minded investigator, beset by foes from her distant past and colleagues of dubious allegiance...but she is fast losing a race against time.

At the heart of all this is Edeard the  , who once lived a long time ago deep inside the Void. He is the messiah of Living Dream, and visions of his life are shared by, and inspire billions of humans. It is his glorious, captivating story that is the driving force behind Living Dream's Pilgrimage, a force that is too strong to be thwarted. As Edeard nears his final victory the true nature of the Void is finally revealed.

Click here to buy The Temporal Void from Amazon



Friday, 8 July 2016

Guest Post - Croatian Queen of Horror by Viktoria Faust

Last year I published my first book in English. After 30-40 published books in Croatia, I thought I know what I’m doing, and that I was a pro.

I had no idea!

So, you see - it's a big, big world out there. Once you decide to go out, to open your door, you can expect - well, anything.  And you're suddenly facing the realization that you know nothing. You've been doing that same job that filled you with bliss for 20 something years, but when you open that door, all you thought you knew... puff!

They call me "Croatian Queen of Horror". That's just a silly little title. I don't even know how that started, but it stuck, and it sounds good, so why not. I live in one little country most people in the world would not be able to point on the map. And that's OK, we have this little piece of paradise for ourselves.

I'm a writer, and I’ve been written my whole life, and I write a lot. And here in my country not to many writers write horror.  That's why "the Queen" part, and that's why "the silly title" part - it's not so hard to be queen of some "village" hidden from the rest of the world.  In any case, I was never considered all of it too seriously. Writing horror is my favorite hobby, and that’s all. But also - I know I’m kind of special. People treated me special (there is good and bad in that, but that’s not something I want to talk about right now). I got used being that Viktoria Faust. But you know what I found out? When you decide to take your books and your talent out there - when you open that door - you are not special at all. Or at least - you need to shovel away from your path all those other special people, who are as special as you are, or even more.

So how come one decides if he/she is special enough in the big, big world full of special people?  I guess I have answer to that. It’s like in beginning, when I really was no one, just some silly girl, writing her silly/scary stories, being published in story collection named “Stories Of Unknown Authors”. And after 30 yeast of writing, and 20 of being published, it starts all over again. I was unknown then. Some years later, I was "a Queen".

I did it once. So why not do it again?



About Viktoria Faust

Viktoria Faust is pen name for award winning Croatian horror, SF and children's/fantasy author with more then 30 books published. I'm most famous for my vampire novels, and I'm proud to be called Croatian Queen of Horror. I began to write when I was 13, published my first story when I was 24. My first published novel was the one last year published in English and it was first published in Croatia 16 years ago. It's first in serial of seven books.Lately I'm more engaged in translating and publishing my books in English so more readers can get to know my writing.

Check out her free short story 'Recycled' here: https://freeditorial.com/en/books/recycled



Viktoria, a young and not particularly talented painter, comes across war vampires in the middle of war torn Croatia in 1992. She becomes obsessed with them. But socializing with vampires is dangerous. One of them attacks her and infects her with what she believes is AIDS. To save herself she leaves with Damian, the oldest of the vampires, on an adventure that will prolong her life forever ... or end it.

This is the first publication in English of well known Croatian vampire book "U anđeoskom liku zvijeri"

Click here to buy Beauty of the Beast from Amazon


Prepare for extreme horror. This unique collection of ten stories features a range of international talent: award-winning authors, masters of horror, rising stars, and fresh new voices in the genre. Take care as you reach into these dark places, for the things here bite, and you may withdraw a hand short of a few fingers.

Water, Ice, And Vice, by Antonio Simon, Jr. - Jeremy's new apartment harbors a demonic wish-granting fridge, which he uses to exact bloody vengeance on his obnoxious roommate.

The Dinner Party, by Trevor Boelter - A dinner party devolves into a massacre when the blood flows as freely as the wine.

Routine, by Mia Bravo - Edward's life is neat and orderly, just the way he likes it. It doesn't stay that way for long once bizarre apparitions threaten to end his life, and worse - break his daily routine.

The Final Spell, by Mark Meier - Ken, a modern-day wizard, risks life and liberty in pursuit of the ultimate magick. How far will he go to obtain limitless power?

Back Through The Mist, by J.S. Watts - Police Sergeant Comberton's investigation of a baffling murder strains her resolve to its breaking point. When the enquiry takes an otherworldly turn, she questions whether the past holds the key to her future.

Spawn, by Paige Reiring - Assassin-for-hire Alice's personality is so keen, it can kill. She'll need every edge she can get when the hunter becomes the hunted.

The Pied Piper's Appetite, by Rich Phelan - A competitive eater leads a ghastly double life in pursuit of a gruesome personal crusade.

Riana In The Gray Dusk, by Viktoria Faust - A hastily taken photograph leads to a shocking revelation and a rare glimpse at a singular individual.

The Autobiography Of An Unsuccessful Author, by Brittany Gonzalez - A one-hit-wonder's search for inspiration blurs the line between reality and insanity, with horrifying results.


Crying, by Darren Worrow - Vinny's research into an urban legend about a haunted painting reveals more about himself than he ever dared to ask.

Click here to buy Shadows and Teeth from Amazon

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Book Review - Wasteland Gods by Jonathan Woodrow

This was a thought provoking read. Without the supernatural aspect this would have portrayed an excellent descent in madness, and at times I thought that was what the story was about, and perhaps it might have been stronger for it. The divine beings felt more like plot devices compared to the visceral experiences of the human characters. I suspect this is too keep them mysterious, but it makes them the weaker part of the story.

And it's with them that that the book really shines. You feel for Billy and his loss. While the events follow a familiar pattern, the emotion is well realised and draws you into the wreckage of his life. This same feeling is drawn with the other characters. The entry of the first of the divine beings changes the course of his life and sets things up for the rest of the plot. Here the book is weaker, but is more than compensated by the rest of the story.

Things do get confusing as the story progresses, although the clues are there as to what is going on. There's a diverse range of characters, and enough mystery to keep you pondering. I liked the author's writing style, and the pacing pulls you through the story well. It fell a little flat at the end with a grand appearance from another divine character who ties things up for Billy, without really explaining anything about the backdrop the story was drawn across.

So, it has some disappointments, but overall it's a tight, and well written story with some nice ideas.


After the brutal murder of his son is broadcast over the internet, Billy Kingston becomes consumed with alcoholism and thoughts of revenge.

But his outlook changes when a divine being named Dr. Verity offers Billy the chance to not only find the man responsible for his pain but to remove him from this world before he can commit the murder.

When the deal with Verity takes a wrong turn, Billy moves to the small, remote town of Benton Lake and the chance of a new life. Only Dr. Verity isn’t through with him yet. Not by a long shot...

Click here to buy Wasteland Gods from Amazon


Currently Reading - The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle


In 3016, the 2nd Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems, thanks to faster-than-light Alderson Drive. Intelligent beings are finally found from the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud. The bottled-up ancient civilization, at least one million years old, are welcoming, kind, yet evasive, with a dark problem they have not solved in over a million years.

Click here to buy The Mote in God's Eye from Amazon


My Books on Goodreads