Archangel (horror sci-fi WW 2 story) Coming Soon

June, 1944, Lieutenant Adam Richelieu of the Canadian 5th Commandos is being ferried high above the English channel in the belly of a Whitworth Albermarle with two dozen of his best men. However, before they can reach the drop zone, flak rips through the belly of the aircraft and the lieutenant survives the drop with fewer men than he can count on his fingers.

Unrelenting, he carries on to meet his French Resistance contacts at the tiny village of Ange-Gardien, only to find the hamlet mysteriously deserted, save for an old flame and and a strange infestation more dangerous and horrifying than the local SS garrison.

My dark horror meets sci-fi WWII novelette, “Archangel” details that fateful night for a handful of Canadian servicemen fighting their own strange battle against stranger foes in the Normandy countryside. It will be appearing later this year in the collection called War by the always wonderful Black Hare Press.

Pre-orders are now available. Hope you enjoy.


Heist – Cyberpunk Crime Noir – Is Now Out

My debut novella Heist – a cyberpunk dystopia set crime noir is now out through the always lovely Black Hare Press. Barker, a hardened criminal who is down on his luck, has a chance to recover his losses when a mysterious woman from his past Meera walks back into his life and makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

The story is basically a take on the classic crime thriller genre dominated by figures like the Westlake alias Richard Stark but placed in a dystopian late-stage capitalist hellhole version of a future Montreal. I borrowed a lot of the tropes of the crime noir (criminal antihero down on his luck, mysterious femme fatales, treachery, a past that comes back to haunt people, etc.) albeit set in a world more at home to a Richard Morgan or William Gibson story.

The process of writring this was interesting. I first wrote the majority of a first draft of it – albeit, aiming for a novel length story – two or three years back. It had a lot of the same elements as this version, but messier, sprawling, and without a clear sense of where it was all going.

I then rewrote the bastard a second time, but written in the first person rather than the third. And while it was a tighter story, it still didn’t fully work.

It was really only the third time I wrote it from start to finish, as a much briefer novella, that I managed to cram most of everything in there I wanted and somehow make it work.

In any case, I won’t necessarily argue the literary merits of this pulpy romp, but I will argue that it can make for a damn fun read.

Links to various Amazon domains and other places where you can pick it up are available through the publisher’s website.


Books I Read in 2021

In 2021, I read a total of 20 books. Not my strongest year, not by far.
I would argue that having a baby, buying a house, receiving a promotion to a new post, and writing a book of my own got in the way of my reading schedule. But also I just plain made less time for myself reading than before.

It’s funny in a way, how the pandemic has actually seen my reading habits drop. Missing are those 20 minute bus rides twice a day that helped me slay a book a week.

Anyways, here is the list:
Olsen – A Conspiracy of Faith
Olsen – Purity of Vengeance
Kepler – Lazarus
Druon – King without a Kingdom
Anthropy – ZZT
Ito – Uzomaki
Morgan – The Steel Remains
Morgan – The Cold Commands
Morgan – The Dark Defiles
Higginbotham – Midnight in Chernobyl
Brown – Red Rising
Brown – Golden Sun
Brown – Morning Star
Baker – Gospel According to the Klan
Harris – Red Dragon
Haruki Murakami – After Dark
Ryo Murakami – In the Miso Soup
Reed – Resident Evil
Higashino – Salvation of a Saint
Duncan – Before the Storm

Some thoughts on these:
Morgan’s dark fantasy trilogy made for an enjoyable if forgetable read (along the lines of me needing to make this list to even recall reading them). That’s not to say they were poor, but compared to his Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, the world felt – lighter? More hollow? Evn then he does a lot of worldbuilding, a lot of it felt less coherent or consistent than his sci-fi work for whatever reason. Maybe it had to do with his decision to make everyone speak in contemporary and vulgar English that caused it to feel almost like fantasy cosplay at times.

While reading Red Dragon, I was amazed at times both by how close the two movie versions hewed to the novel, as well as that it could become such a bestseller at all. Now, I don’t mean it was a poor book or anything like that (certainly not perplexing in the way something like 50 Shades might become a billion dollar franchise), but I suppose I was waiting for something in it to really astound me or rattle me to the core the way one might. I suppose on the one hand its because I had already seen these characters acted out on a screen a few times before, and on the other that I am already an avid reader of crime thrillers that this book influenced (and unfortunately, while it was an originator of what would become tropes, reading in this order stop it from feeling like the tropes it created).

The one true disappointment from this list would be Druon’s King without a Kingdom – the seventh and final book in the Cursed Kings series about the slow fall of the Capetan Dynasty of France. The first six books were brilliant, if sometimes uneven, giving us characters to love and hate (and sometimes both) as it plotted out almost nonstop intrigues and treachery like a 13th century Godfather story. Book seven, however, was something else – written in a completely different style (pompous letters or monologues from a pompous character on the sidelines) about different characters, in a different era, The end result read more like a boring appendi or a failed experiment than a true final book to the series.