Mare Ridden

The moonlight that filtered through the tangled branches of the nightmare pines was tainted by their boughs, and where it touched the snowclad ground, black twins of the twisted branches lay. In the still night a single draught slid across the moonlight snow towards the peacefully slumbering farm. It slipped over a snow drift and gently tipped a latch on the stable door, creeping inside. In the gloom of the stable, something in the draught watched the black horse’s nostrils flare as it sensed the presence, whickering in fear. The draught swept across the hay-strewn floor, towards its prey.

 *

               At the horse’s scream, Karl jerked from his sleep, breathless and sweating. The house was silent but the scream still quivered in his ears, worming its way into his brain, thundering through his heart and racing in his breath. It shivered down his spine. Around him his dark bedroom loomed, and the formerly safe room, his day-time sanctuary from the arduous work of the farm, leaned in close as though waiting for its moment. Continue reading

Books Wot I Have Read

Last week (01 Aug- 08 Aug 16) was a bumper reading week, in which I powered through some old favourites in order to recap for a new release, tackled some stuff that I’d been really struggling to get through and started a few other bits and pieces.

The Sandman Slim Series by Richard Kadrey (8 books)

These are a nice easy read; Kadrey’s writing goes down smoothly and the tension is kept taught enough to pull you through the novels with barely a pause for breath. James Stark, the series titular Sandman Slim, is a ‘sympathetic bastard’; a likeable antihero. You don’t root for him because he’s the good guy, (it’s tough to marry good and Stark at the start of the first novel) but once you understand his motivation and are introduced to his scathing wit, it’s hard not to fall in love with the guy, as he goes from assassin to uncomfortably burdened hero. The setting is a wonderful mash-up of urban fantasy, action and noir, like Paradise Lost by way of the Big Sleep. Continue reading