Orctober Approaches

As October 1st barrels toward us, I figured I’d share some plans for the month. What with the Orctober celebration and release of Demon Haunted, I’m putting together some weekly stuff to celebrate. I need to get a few folks still but the plan is for Mondays and Fridays to showcase a different orc-centric or orc-heavy creator. I have several fellow writers lined up, including the granddaddy of orc protagonists, Stan Nicholls, author of the Orcs series.

I’ll also be reading and reviewing two books by two of my peers. Amalia Dillin’s second Orc Saga book, Blood of the Queen, and James Jakins’s Jack Bloodfist: Fixer. I really liked the first Orc Saga book, Honor Among Orcs. It’s a romance heavy adventure and it was a lot of fun. Looking forward to Blood. And Fixer looks fun too and has an amazing cover. After that, Wednesdays will see me sharing factoids about Grimluk and his world. Outside of that MWF stuff, I haven’t decided on what else I’ll do but I’m happy to take suggestions or share things folks want to show off.

What should you be reading? The answer may surprise you!

It won’t, actually. Well, I don’t think it will. Anyways, I’m gonna offer up some recommendations for stuff to read that I’ve either read, plan to read, or just plain like the author. Though, more than likely, the latter point means I’ve probably read or plan to read their stuff anyways. Mostly, I include that point to make it clear that I want support my community. Now, if you’re reading this outside of the dashboard reader on wordpress, you’ll see that there’s a “Recommended Reads” tab above. I’m going to copy and paste that list but I’m also going to be trying to add new stuff here. In we go!


  • S.A. Hunt, Author of the award-winning Outlaw King fantasy series and the newly released Malus Domestica urban horror.
  • Sara Amundson, Creator of Make-A-Monster
  • M.Todd Gallowglas, Author of the Dead Weight, Tears of Rage, & Halloween Jack series.
  • Z. Rider, Author of Suckers, a new spin on vampire horror.
  • Edward M. Erdelac, Author of the award winning Merkabah Rider series, lover of the weird, and High Geek Master
  • Krista D. Ball, Author of the Tales of Tranquility and Spirit Caller series. Master of Snark.
  • Christopher Ruz, Author of the Century of Sand fantasy series and the Rust horror series.
  • Steph Lehenbauer, Author of the Wanderlust series. Though, I need to add that Steph’s Wanderlust publisher shut down. She’s currently reworking the series for a re-release at some point.
  • Al Barrera, Author of Darker Shadows Lie Below.
  • J.S. Collyer, Author of the Orbit series.
  • Luke Matthews, Author of Construct.
  • Courtney Cantrell, Author of the Legends of the Light-Walkers series, master of colored hair.
  • Laird Barron, Author of The Imago Sequence and Other Stories and all around high priest of the New Weird.
  • Tim Marquitz, Author of the Demon Squad series, former gravedigger, and fellow lover of Heavy Metal.
  • SM Reine, Author of, well, a huge slew of urban fantasy.



  • Rat Queens. Are you reading this? Why are you not reading this? It’s amazing. Orc Dave is a precious gift from heaven and Braga is our orc queen goddess. The whole cast is fucking amazing though.
  • East of West. It’s a sci-fi weird western starring the Four Horsemen. If that doesn’t get your interest, I can’t help you.
  • Death Vigil by Stjepan Šejić, who is also doing the art for Rat Queens now. This is one of his own books though. He writes it and handles the art duties and it is awesome. Buy the trade.
  • Daughter of the Lillies. This one came up on r/Fantasy in a rec thread for orcs and goblins as protags and it surprised me. Start at the beginning and read through it. New pages will start on the 22nd. The art’s lovely and the characters jump out immediately. And it’s FREE.

I’m not really caught up on comics lately but I will say that Image, Dark Horse, and IDW (mostly for the Ghostbusters series) are where all the best comics are happening right now. As I find more indie comics, I’ll post about them too and as always, recommendations are absolutely welcome.

Happy reading, everyone!

Follow Friday #3 – Edward M. Erdelac

Firstly, the formalities: “Edward M. Erdelac is an award winning screenwriter, an independent filmmaker, and contributor to Star Wars canon. He’s been published in several magazines and is the author of Buff Tea, Dubaku, and the acclaimed weird western series Merkabah Rider.”

Secondly, he’s my friend and he’s been a big help and inspiration for me getting this writer thing going.

Thirdly, the Merkabah Rider series is one of the best weird westerns you will ever read.  Whenever I recommend weird westerns, it’s the first series I go to.  You cannot, unfortunately, purchase the first book anymore, and the second and third books will be joining that list over the next year or two as well.

Now, it’s true that my Follow Fridays are usually going to be me promoting friends, but the thing with Ed is that I started out just a fan.  We became friends over the past few years because I was totally floored by how good the first Merkabah Rider book was.  I had just discovered Lovecraft and Howard a year or two before.  I’d finished the Dark Tower series around the same time and found myself wrapped in the loving embrace of the weird west.  An old blog, The Weird West Emporium, which is now operating off of facebook, led me to a whole bunch of exciting new things and discussions.  Among them, was a recommendation for the first Merkabah Rider book.  I bought it, devoured it, and as soon as I saw the second book was out, I did the same for that.  I can’t remember the specific order of events, but I sought Ed out on facebook and found him friendly and fun to interact with (something that still holds true).  I think I surprised him with my enthusiasm.  Maybe not though.  In any case, we ended up chatting some, and before the third book came out, we got more familiar.  Three years later and I’ve seen the man finish the story of the Rider, put out plenty of new stuff, and get a story in Star Wars magazine.

He’s a good writer.  He works hard on his stories, does the research he needs to (something that I think shines through supremely with all the Jewish mythology in Merkabah Rider, however liberal the depictions), and he’s also happy to chat with folks.  So, seriously, drop by facebook and give him a like, or follow his blog, and hit up his Amazon store and grab a book or two.  Oh and don’t worry, he’s going to bring the Rider’s story back.

Follow Friday #1 – S.A. Hunt

First Follow Friday and I’m gonna put my buddy SA Hunt out there for everyone.  SA is a recent winner of the /r/Fantasy Stabby Award for Best Self-Published/Indie Book of 2014 for the third book in his Dark Tower inspired Outlaw King series, Ten Thousand Devils.  In his own words, “I am a U.S. veteran with very little money and far too much free time, which is now spent telling lies about time-bending cowboys and brainwashing witches. I live in a shack in the woods in Summerville, GA, where I write books, drink moonshine out of a clay jug, and play music with spoons.”  Currently, he’s working on a new, standalone horror novel and trying to gather funds to attend the World Horror Con and Dragon*Con this year (and you should definitely kick him a buck or two).

You can find him and all the places he frequents on his site, The Usual Madman and his works on his Amazon shop.  And if you’re a fan of weird westerns, you should hit up goodreads and join our upcoming February group read.