Archive for the ‘books’ Category


Well, put it down, it is boring, read my book instead.

Not convinced?

Perhaps this new cover art from Casey Conan will change your mind!


Today begins an auspicious new day for Threat Quality Press, as we begin publishing the first volume of Sword of Savonarola, by Chris Braak.  Rather than an epic series of stand-alone novels that, when strung together, constitute a very long story, Sword of Savonarola is one very long story that is conveniently divided into seven different books.

The first book is The Man with the Red Right Hand.  Chapter One can be found here.  New chapters will post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the end of December.  However, at ANY TIME you will be able to purchase the entire book from Amazon in ELECTRONIC FORM:

book cover

So. If you’re patient, you can read the whole thing for free. If you’re excited about it, and you’ve got a spare three dollars, you can read the whole thing at once. As you can see, we’re trying something a little different with this, and if you are interested, we’re going to explain the theory here.


(I have published this piece from Moff, of Moff’s Law Fame; I have done this because I AM NOT AFRAID OF HIM.)

I remembered, at about 1:07 p.m. on Thursday the 1st that November is National Novel Writing Month, and that in recent weeks I had entertained the notion of officially participating this year for the very first time. And so it came to pass that at about 1:08 p.m. on Thursday the 1st, I decided to do so.

So, now you are a writer, great! You have probably made a lot of characters in your writing, and gone to classes, and done workshops, and read a bunch of books, you probably know about ten times more on this subject than I do. And yet here you are, reading what I, BRAAK!, have to say about writing, as though I know what the fuck I’m talking about.

Well, since you’re here, let’s talk about how to humanize a character, and let’s be real about it, you know? Just. Real.


So, some time ago, I reviewed Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files novel Changes, and in it I suggested that, while pop culture references were nice, there’s something a little weird about having all of the pop culture references in an Urban Fantasy novel be:  Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or the Wizard of Oz.  In his newest book, Ghost Story, Butcher — with a change so dramatic that it actually felt like he was personally addressing me in particular — there is a different pop culture reference in almost every chapter, and they come from all over.

A lot of Star Wars, still, but also X-Men, Pirates of Caribbean, it’s all over now.


(Today, I review things from the past; this is because I do not always get the new books, and sometimes have to read things I find in the bookstore.)

Unholy Ghosts
Stacia Kane

Urban Fantasy is a hard genre to be impressive with, especially without resorting to the Creeping Body Count. This is what makes Stacia Kane’s startlingly unique and darkly fascinating Unholy Ghosts — the first in her Downside Ghosts series — such a refreshing surprise.

The premise of the series is this: some time, roughly twenty or so years ago, all the dead came back to earth as ghosts for a week, and tried to kill all the living. Of the many churches, cults, and magicians in our world, only one of them turned out to have the actual, real right answers – the ability to put the ghosts back where they belonged.


Julian Comstock

Posted: January 5, 2011 in books, Braak
Tags: , ,

Here’s a review over at Black Gate that I did for a book called Julian Comstock.  I actually wrote it a while ago, and the book had come out even before that, but it never ended up going to print.  So, now you can read it.

Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd Century America is not your typical story of a futuristic dystopian United States. There are no mutant cannibals, no hidden super-technologies, no weird psychics or alien visitations. Even “dystopian” isn’t quite right; Robert Charles Wilson’s 22nd century America has its problems, yes, but it is arguably not any more dystopian than any other civilization that crawled its way to the top of the heap in the last two thousand years. The story takes place after the End of Oil, a hotly-debated potential real-world crisis that, in this case, has caused America to revert to a feudal nation with Victorian values and technology.

Read more!

Authors and Self-Promotion

Posted: November 12, 2010 in books, Braak
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Here’s an interesting bit about writing and self-promotion by Betsy Lerner.  Her general point — that authors have to work to promote their book, and that getting published isn’t a guarantee of getting noticed is well-taken, and true.  What would be the point of creating a beautiful store with a fine logo, and then just waiting for your audience to come by?


In our ongoing effort to provide you, the READER!, with more books, Threat Quality Press has produced yet another book!  Facsimile, by TQP contributor Erin L. Snyder is now available for purchase.

$8.99 at Amazon, $2.99 in the Kindle Store.

“At AuroroTech, we record your actions and your words, then transform that data into a lifelike simulation. After that, the possibilities are endless. Imagine meeting yourself, being able to experience what others truly see and hear when they talk to you. Imagine if your friends and family could always keep in touch, no matter how busy you are. Imagine if in a hundred years from now, a part of you remains for future generations to interact with.”

When Persephone Kilard signed up and strapped on the miniature recorder, all she wanted was a social networking service that would take the actual work of socializing off of her hands. Fringe religious groups could wax poetic about deeper meanings and universal truths; she just wanted to make her life a little easier. After all, the simulation was only supposed to be her reflection, not her soul.

But there was one small glitch. Suddenly Persephone’s digital profile has a mind of its own. Face to face with herself, Persephone is forced to confront questions about the nature of identity that she’d rather avoid. She’d better figure it out quickly, though, because hers isn’t the only mind lurking in AuroroTech’s drives and networks. Somewhere, hidden in the code, a simulated ghost is watching her while the border between reality and replica unravels. The virtual danger is becoming all too real, and both versions of Persephone need to uncover the truth if either is going to have a chance to survive.



Big Dumb Objects

Posted: July 14, 2010 in books, Braak, poetics
Tags: , ,

This is something that turned up on Jonathon McCalmont’s blog, he’s reviewing a book called Wolfsangel, and he wants to delve into the idea of the Big Dumb Object, which is a term I hadn’t really heard before.  Is it possible, he asks, to create a fantasy Big Dumb Object? (I’m paraphrasing that, obviously.)

The whole idea is interesting, and I want to consider it.