Tag Archives: paranormal

Let’s all be punks!

I've been toying with where to pigeonhole The Yak Guy Project when I finally finish it. It occurred to me there are a whole bunch of new categories that I might explore.

It all started with cyberpunk. It soon branched out into some of these other genres:

  • Steampunk
  • Dieselpunk
  • Biopunk
  • Clockpunk
  • Splatterpunk
  • Elfpunk
  • Magepunk
  • Wizardpunk
  • Atompunk

It seems to me the common denominator is punk. A big part of this is because everyone likes to make up new words. It's like a word for a celebrity couple, like Benifer or Kimye. In other words, it doesn't mean squat. Oh, and it also all seems to involve one of the speculative genres.

 

Let's pretend there is something to all this for a moment. These things involve alternate realities. Heck, I could get into that. I write stuff like that. They generally involve whatever fictional world being under complete control of the first half of the term. Steampunk = Steam, get it.

 

The punk part usually means that some fringe person or group doesn't agree with the status quo. They go on to face the villain using their mastery of the same technology everyone else has.

 

All in all it isn't a bad way of telling a story. I just don't love the terms. They tell me something about the era, and give me an idea of what to expect though. Dieselpunk means I expect a specific era in time, say from WWI to about the birth of the atomic age, after that it's atompunk.

 

Maybe my novel will spawn a whole new genre, yakpunk. In fact, I can see a whole bunch of new genres in my future, providing they don't already exist:

 

Monsterpunk – Frankenstein, darn.

Robotpunk – I Robot.

Apepunk…nope.

 

Alright, let me try again:

  • Flintpunk – a stone age political thriller involving tribes and species.
  • Bowpunk – angsty young archers storm the castle.
  • Rocketpunk – may already exist.
  • Bronzepunk – Are we not entertained?
  • Punkpunk – a late 20th century setting with lots of music.
  • Circuspunk – crazed clowns are overthrown by freaks riding circus elephants.
  • Crudepunk – the oil industry battles the EPA over leases and nature preserves.
  • Ritalinpunk – just, no.
  • NASCARpunk – self explanatory.
  • Junkpunk – everyone lives in a junkyard and government scavengers are taking all the best junk.
  • Spelunkpunk – everyone lives in caves, and access to daylight is denied. Thank god for some wild eyed youths.
  • Cowpunk – westerns with oppressive controls in place.
  • Romancepunk – despite an oppressive regime, love conquers all.
  • Heropunk – everyone is a hero. A group of outcast youths become villains to balance the scales.
  • 50shadespunk – everyone is a sex weirdo, but a group of friendship ring wearing virgins stand up for their rights.
Okay, enough. What do you think about genres? What about genres that are too specific? Do you think fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and even horror are enough?

  • Authorpunk – in a world where everyone is an author (Somebody help me. Send beer.)
  • Artillerypunk – (I'm not kidding, send beer.)
  • Siliconebarbiepunk – (Maybe something stronger)

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The Astronomer’s Crypt, on Lisa Burton Radio

Don't touch that dial, you've found Lisa Burton Radio. Coming at you with 1.21 jigawatts of power, this is the only show that interviews the characters from the books you love. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and with me today is Mike Teter. Mike is an astronomer with the Carson Peak Observatory in New Mexico. “Welcome to the show, Mike.”

“Hi Lisa, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me on the show.”

“My bio says you've recently returned to the observatory after a two year hiatus. What happened, grass wasn't greener?”

“Actually, leaving the observatory was the hardest thing I'd ever done. You see, a terrible blizzard blew in my last night there and the two of us working that night decided to leave the site. Ron Wallerstein drove ahead of me. He was going a little too fast when he reached a bridge spanning a gorge that had iced up… Sorry, this is difficult, I don't talk about it much… He went off the road and died instantly. I tried to get help, but couldn't get cell phone service. He died clutching the data he'd taken that night. I took a week off, but I've never been able to get the image out of my mind. I just couldn't bear going back.”

“So you had a breakdown?”

“Erm, I hadn't really thought about it like that, but I guess so. I needed to get my feet back under me, so to speak. I opened a little computer repair business. Anyway, Jerome Torres, the site manager called me a couple of weeks ago and persuaded me to come back. He had a staffing shortfall and said he needed me back.”

“I just searched newspaper articles from your time period and found a report that Roscoe Perkins was involved in a big fight at the Sacred Portals Casino and was dismissed from the observatory the next day.”

“Yeah, I didn't want to say his name because of confidentiality, but yeah, that's why they asked me back.”

“How did you decide to return to the site of your breakdown?”

“Oh boy, that was tough, but my wife, Bethany, is expecting our first child. She's an astronomer at New Mexico State University and wants to take some extra leave. We really needed a better income than the computer business provided.”

“She's an astronomer too? Any chance to spend a working evening together up there? It could be kind of romantic.”

“You've gotta be kidding me!”

“Really? That's harsh.”

“Look, I know I sound like a terrible husband, but it's at altitude and it's a primitive site. There aren't any creature comforts and I want the best for my wife.”

“I hate to be rude, but it sounds like you're making excuses, Mike. There've been rumors that you saw something up there right before Ron Wallerstein died. I've read stories that the site is haunted by the ghost of the observatory's first director, Robert Burroughs.”

“Lisa, I don't know what you've heard, but I can tell you it wasn't the ghost of Professor Burroughs. I've heard those stories, too. I don't even know if what I saw was real. I'd like to think I was just sleep deprived, but what I saw was the stuff of nightmares. I was just minding my own business, getting the telescope shut down for the day when I saw this thing that looked almost like those velociraptors from Jurassic Park, except it had a flat face, like an owl, and it was covered in grizzly feathers. Man, it gives me the chills just thinking about it. It ran at me and then… it just vanished. I was still shaking when I got in my car. It was right after that Wallerstein ran off the road.”

“Creepy! And you want to go up there and spend your nights peeping at the stars and not watching your back? I hope they're paying you well.”

“Well, like I say, I was probably just sleep–“

“Hold that thought, we have a caller. Hello, caller, welcome to Lisa Burton Radio with Lisa and Mike. What's on your mind?”

“My name is, … Ronald Parsons. I'm a … friend of Mr. Perkins and I'm here to tell you the observatory management made a big mistake. I was … I mean Roscoe was the best technician that observatory ever saw.”

“Look, I have nothing against Roscoe. From everything I heard, he was good at his job. He just made a mistake, that's all.”

“Mistake, hell. The only person who made a mistake was Jerome Torres, the observatory manager. So what if Roscoe threw a few dollars at the roulette wheel or cards. So what if he unwound with a drink or two.”

“Wait a minute. Your voice is familiar. Roscoe, is that you?”

“All right, you got me. This is Roscoe. Man, you jerks will be sorry when I'm in the Bahamas soaking up rays with a woman on each arm, while you're still up there freezing your butts off at that observatory.”

“Roscoe, this is Lisa. If you've lost your job, how are you going to get to the Bahamas?”

“Er, um, let's just say Roscoe has a new gig and we'll leave it at that. Bye bye for now, suckers!”

“Sorry about that, Lisa. Where were we again?”

“I don't remember either, but it sounds like Roscoe has an axe to grind. What can you tell us about that?”

“All I can tell you is that Sacred Portals is an Apache casino and Jerome, my boss, is also Apache. From what I hear, the tribe took Roscoe's car and put a lien on his house because of all the money he lost at the casino. Oh God, I hope he hasn't fallen in with pot hunters.”

“Pot hunters?”

“People who look for Native American artifacts and sell them on the black market. Carson Peak has a handful of sacred caves. The tribe believes they're the portals humans used to enter this world. There are stories of monsters hidden behind some of those portals.”

“Like the one you thought you saw?”

“Now that you mention it…”

“I sure hope he doesn't take something that opens one of those portals.”

“You're right about that. The portals are all just old stories and superstition, but Roscoe's in bad enough trouble with the tribe. If he goes into those caves, he could be in jail for a very long time.”

“Thank you for being with us today, Mike. You be careful up there… all alone… in the dark.”

“Thanks, Lisa. You know, I never had any problems working in remote locations until that one night. It just took me a couple of years to realize that Wallerstein's death wasn't my fault and that… creature… was just a figment of my imagination. Let me tell you, none of it holds a candle to the amazing stuff I see at the telescope. I've taken images of colliding galaxies, exploding stars, and there's even a nebula out there that looks just like a phoenix. On that note, it's time for me to catch up on some sleep so I can rise from the ashes and get back to work.”

“Mike's story unfolds in the pages of The Astronomer's Crypt, available right now. I'll put all the deets on the website.

“Make sure to hit those sharing buttons before you run to Amazon to check out the book. Mike will appreciate it, and I'm sure David Lee Summers, his author, would appreciate it too.”

 

***

The Astronmer's Crypt:

If you scare easily, don’t read this book.

If you dare to read it, you’ve been warned.

Two years ago on a stormy night, in the dead of winter, Mike Teter experienced something that would change his life forever. Mike was a telescope operator at the world renowned Carson Peak Observatory in New Mexico. We won’t tell you what he saw that night on the mountain nor what happened afterward on a dark stretch of highway, because it would haunt you just as it has haunted Mike. But what we will tell you is that Mike is back at Carson Peak. And what he witnessed that night two years ago is about to become a reality…

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon:

Kobo:

Lachesis Publishing:

Bio:

David Lee Summers is the author of ten novels along with numerous short stories and poems. His writing spans a wide range of the imaginative from science fiction to fantasy to horror. David’s Old Star/New Earth science fiction series and his Scarlet Order Vampire series are both published by Lachesis Publishing. He's also the author of the Clockwork Legion Steampunk series from Sky Warrior Publishing.

His short stories and poems have appeared in such magazines as Realms of Fantasy and Cemetery Dance. He’s been twice nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award. In addition to writing, David edited the quarterly science fiction and fantasy magazine Tales of the Talisman for ten years and has edited four science fiction anthologies: A Kepler’s Dozen, Space Pirates, Space Horrors and Maximum Velocity: The Best of the Full-Throttle Space Tales.

When not working with the written word, David operates telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Contact Info

Website Twitter Facebook Amazon

 

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A Wonderful Review

craig

Please head over to Carmen’s and check out her wonderful review of one of my favorites.

Will O’ the Wisp is the story of a teenage girl, Patty Hall, told in the first person POV. I haven’t read any story with such a young main character and was curious about this one. As I read other books by Craig Boyack I hoped it wouldn’t disappoint me. And it didn’t. Read more here

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Dear Lisa, on #LisaBurtonRadio

This is Lisa Burton Radio, and I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl. One of the things I've wanted to try is sharing some of the mail we get on the air. So here we go.

I've gotten a lot of mail about my tattoos. The questions vary, so I'll try to cover as much as I can and hopefully your answer is in there somewhere.

When I was first booted up, they gave me a job, planted me in a house, and abandoned me. I found myself with days off as part of my cover. Nobody was supposed to know I was a robot, so I had to live like everyone else. I spent a lot of my off-time at the open air markets and street festival. All the other girls that summer had a kind of retro-style going on, so I adapted it to fit in better. It's still a popular sub-culture, and I still enjoy it.

The other girls had tattoos, and I really didn't know if I could get one or not. I'm covered with a genetically modified human skin, and it's fed by a hydroponic layer from underneath. Basically, I gambled whether it would work or not.

My leg is based upon a silk painting I saw, but I changed it up to things I like. There are koi fish on my ankle, mandarin ducks on my leg, and a persimmon tree with fruit up on my hip. They're always in odd numbers, so three fish, five duckies, and seven persimmons.

My shoulder has a chambered nautilus out hunting. Mathematical things appeal to my programming. I like bricks and tiles. The perfect spiral of the nautilus is just awesome. My tattoo artist came up with the ruins she's hunting among, and I went with it.

It hurt, and my pain receptors worked pretty hard. I don't know if I felt it exactly like you might, but that's the only experience I have. The ink stayed, and I love them.

A couple of you wanted to know about my hair. It's real hair, and seems to have become permanent. I wore a wig until the lab decided to test some new baldness drug on me. They painted it wherever they wanted me to have hair. My skin registered some pretty serious chemical burns, but the hair grew. They never released the drug for human consumption. I guess, in a way, it's okay to experiment on a robot girl. At least I saved some poor rabbit from the same experience.

I don't have hair anywhere they didn't paint me. I'm okay with that, because I never have to shave. I like my hair, and my brunette wig didn't look nearly as nice.

This one says, “Dear Lisa, what it's like working for an author?” I only know about one author, but it isn't a bad gig. Craig mostly likes peace and quiet when he writes. That and a couple gallons of coffee. This is his quiet phase.

There are times when he gets all manic, and excited about stuff too. Those are the times when we assemble a cast of characters and go over dialog together. If it doesn't sound right, he changes things and we do it again. Sometimes I get to swing weapons around, shoot guns, and even mix up magical ingredients. Those are fun days, but then it's usually back to more quiet time.

Eventually it becomes time to publish something. I'm the one who arranges blog tours, places Amazon advertising, and nearly everything else. Over the course of the last few books I've gotten to pose with various story elements and share my posters with various blog hosts. I really enjoy that part of the job.

It helps that I have a swag deal that lets me keep the clothing and various things I pose with. That's how I got the formerly haunted biplane, the rocket-pack, and more.

So how about it gang? Do you like an occasional Dear Lisa segment? There are a lot of places I could go with this. I could get a sponsor, like one of your books. I could read your letters on the air, and include links to your social media. To do that, I need a couple of things.

First, I need more questions. It might be cool not to make them all about me. Maybe the odd advice question could be fun. Maybe you'd like to know how Craig sets up his book releases, or how he outlines things. If you like this segment, send me some questions.

Second, I would need someone to volunteer as a sponsor. It isn't bad exposure for the price of free. Maybe you have a price reduction, or an anthology to promote. My regular interviews are better for a new release, but a bundle or anthology would make a good sponsor.

Speaking of my interviews, I always need guests. If you have a new book coming out, maybe something freshly released, or even a special price reduction, a character interview could entice a few buyers. Drop me a line and we'll set something up. I need more guests right now.

Craig said I could use an anthology he's in as an example. It might sound something like this… Today's sponsor is Macabre Sanctuary, a collection of ten short stories by ten fabulous authors. These tales are all paranormal, supernatural, and horror, guaranteed to make your hair stand on end. Pick up your copy today for the amazing low price of absolutely free. Macabre Sanctuary.

For Lisa Burton Radio, I'm Lisa Burton. And seriously, you guys, drop me a question or set something up for a character interview. I think Craig wants to turn my radio station into a chicken coop.

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The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II

My second Experimental Notebook got its own review too. I’m so glad everyone is enjoying these stories.

When Angels Fly

2

I have just finished reading The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II and my review follows the blurb on Amazon from the author.

“A second collection of short stories and micro-fiction. Every story can be read in a single session. This time there are a few tributes to the pulp era. Stories include science fiction, paranormal, and horror.”

Boyack has written a very nice collection of short stories; including sci-fi, horror, and paranormal genres. Each story was woven well and described in a vivid manner. Each story was unique, full of twists and turns, and they were short enough in length that allowed for excitement in knowing that another short was following soon.  Each stories theme was uniquely different from each other. I rate five stars!

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The Playground by C. S. Boyack

A wonderful new review for The Playground. Actually, it would be fun to see one of my stories turned into a feature film.

When Angels Fly

123

The Playground by C. S. Boyack

My review follows the authors blurb found on Amazon.

“The hottest new toys of the Christmas season are the Playground Network dolls. They contain a worldwide social network for children. Except the network is controlled by a ruthless businessman with dreams of power. To reach his goals he turns to the occult. Will our children make up his personal army? Could we have an enemy soldier in every home? Gina Greybill is a cancer survivor who stumbles into her own brush with the paranormal. She wants nothing to do with it, but may be the only one who can bring down the Playground Network. To do it she’ll have to embrace her new situation, and recover the next generation of Playground software. There is competition for the software in the form of a brutal thug named Clovis. He’s bigger, more ruthless, and more experienced…

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A Thousand Rooms, on Lisa Burton Radio

Don't touch that dial, you've discovered Lisa Burton Radio. The only show out there where the characters from the books you love get to tell their stories. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we're waiting for my guest to call in. What am I, competing with The View or something? Where is this guy?

<Squeeeeeerrrrrooooooo>

Wait a minute, I'm getting some feedback that I've heard before on the show. Let me add another gallon of psychode to the ectomometer and turn the planchette up to seven. Maybe we can get someone else on the show.

<Squeeeeeerrrrrooooooo>

<Kick, thump>

“Hello? Er, where the hell am I?”

“You're on the air with Lisa Burton Radio. Ah there you are, I'm starting to get a visual. Nice red shoes – very Dorothy of you. Love the outfit too – black’s a favourite colour of mine. So, how are you?”

“Erm, confused? This doesn’t look much like Heaven– but then I guess none of the places I’ve visited have. So, is this your Heaven?”

“Nope. This is my radio station.”

“Then how can you see me, if you aren’t dead?”

“The ectomometer told me you were nearby. A little extra psychode helped me tune you in.”

“F*ck. Well I am dead and I’m getting pretty tired of it, to be honest. One minute I’m walking to work, the next minute wham! Stepped off the curb without looking, got hit by a car and that’s it, lights out, game over. Then nothing. No angels, no loved ones – seriously, this sucks. And now I’m alone and lost and trying to fricking hitchhike my way to Heaven, but instead I’ve ended up here and so, I don’t know. Maybe that’s not working anymore either.”

“Seriously, you should be more careful–“

“It was the text! Goddamn city boys, think they can take me out then not call… I mean, what do they expect? Like I’m going to wait forever? Assholes.”

“Okay… So, I'm Lisa. Who are you?”

“Oh! Sorry. I’m Katie. I’m from Sydney, North Shore. Well, I was, I guess. Now…”

“So how did an Australian spirit wind up in my Airstream?”

“No idea. There I was, on my way up with another spirit – I mean, it looked like it was going to be a pretty cool Heaven, all zigzags and glitter and guitars, music everywhere then, I don’t know, something seemed to pull at me and I ended up here instead of… well, wherever the hell they were going. Are you sure you’re not some sort of medium? Or have some sort of thingy that attracts dead people?”

“Um, yeah, pretty sure. So why didn't you go to Heaven?”

“You tell me. That’s the story they sell us, right? You die, then you go… somewhere. At least, you’re supposed to. But I didn’t! I’ve just been hanging around in my apartment, well, except for that weird trip through my memories where I thought I was going to Hell, wandering around the office, watching my mum and sister and best friend clearing out my stuff. Do you know how sh*tty it is to have to attend your own funeral? Wasn’t a bad turnout, though.”

“A lot of people are going to be disappointed to hear that.”

“Well, that’s the thing. It isn't everyone – it's just me. I’ve been to Heaven, or wherever, twice now, and each time they just throw me out and I end up back here for whatever reason. The first place was lovely, but I just felt like an outsider and, even though I saw that gorgeous guy and I think he wanted to dance with me, I got pushed out before he could even ask. And as for the next one… Valhalla is a hell of a lot more than an advertising concept, that’s for sure. But I was sooo close to staying! And now I just have to wander around and find dying people and try not to let anyone walk through me because a) it’s gross and b) it’s weird.”

“I think that makes you a ghost. I've heard that ghosts have unfinished business, and they can't move on until that business is resolved. Do you think it could be something like that?”

“Huh. I don’t know. I kind of feel like it’s more that, I’ve never done anything that great, you know? Like, when I went back through my life, it was all pretty sh*t. So maybe I’m just not interesting enough to get there. Sorry, am I being a bit of downer? I know I can go anywhere, see anyone, whenever I want to now. But all I really want is to go back to my old life, to my job and my family, dance at my best friend’s wedding, maybe even meet someone special. But instead I’m stuck here and, I guess, it’s getting a bit depressing. Sometimes I just sit, you know, and everything seems to fade and it’s as though I’m about to disappear…”

“I think time is on your side now. I'd go visit something unique and do some deep thinking. Then give it another try.”

“Righto, I guess I’d better get going. Are there any hospitals or nursing homes er, wherever this is? Or can you just chuck me back out into the airwaves – maybe I can find my way from there. I mean, I have to do something, right? I can’t be like this forever.”

“There actually isn't much like that around here. UPS is delivering my motorcycle parts today, I've been tracking the package. I'll bet you can hitch a ride on his truck. That would get you back to town. Lucky they were too heavy so ship by drone, otherwise there might not be anyone here for weeks on end.”

“Um, thanks for having me.”

“We can walk over to the cabin. I make a mean cup of coffee. Do you, I mean can you–“

“Sure, I'll walk over with you. I'd prefer tea, to be honest, but I'm dead, so it doesn't really matter. It'd be nice to talk for a while, if that's okay…”

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I'm Lisa Burton. If I can get any more info I'll post it on the website.”

***

Today's show was sponsored by A Thousand Rooms, by Helen Jones. Please click on her links and check out her wares. When your character appears here some day, you'll appreciate people sharing the post, so pay it forward and feel free to use those sharing links.

Universal Book Link: myBook.to/AThousandRooms

Twitter: @AuthorHelenJ

Blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/author/helenjones

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorhelenjones/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/helenejones33/

 

 

 

Helen Jones was born in the UK, but then spent many years living in Canada and Australia before returning to England several years ago. She has worked as a freelance writer for the past ten years, runs her own blog and has contributed guest posts to others, including the Bloomsbury Writers & Artists site. When she's not writing, she likes to walk, paint and study karate. She's now working on several other novels unrelated to Ambeth, enjoying the chance to explore other fantasy worlds. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and daughter and spends her days writing, thinking, cleaning and counting cats on the way to school.

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