Monday, 2 October 2017

October Time!

Hello everyone! It's that time of year again, and Halloween is fast approaching. I however, have some big plans for October. This month I will be reviewing four fantastic terrifying tales, one each week. These books are ones that are either near and dear to my cold dead heart, or ones that I think are worthy of recognition.

I will also have a bit of a surprise for everyone of my own. It's a little one, but one that I intend to top off the month with by putting out! Until then I'll just tease you with this image to give you some ideas!



Stay tuned for my big scary reveal October 30th!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Guest Post: Donald Trump, Liberal Millennials, and THE THING IN THE WOODS

Though the 2016 election was a surprising turn of events for people all around the world as the unexpected candidate Donald Trump snatched the Republican nomination from out of nowhere then created the greatest electoral upset in nearly a century; it is not as surprising as finding a Lovecraftian horror infesting the woods near your where you live. Though maybe for some of you it was. Here author and fellow blogger Matthew Quinn lays out how some of his characters from his recent novel, The Thing in the Woods would most likely have acted if this story were set ten years further on in history during an election year. Being set in rural Georgia (a state which Trump carried with over 50% of the vote) it is easy to see how the ages and occupations of these characters set them out in support of nefarious goings on, or bias them against it and how such biases can be used to make excellent conflict in stories. I'll let Mr. Quinn take it from here and show you what he means.


The 2016 presidential election was, at least in part, a generational conflict. A significant chunk of Donald Trump's support came from older, more traditionalist people who disliked recent cultural and economic changes. Fears of "cultural displacement" motivated members of the white working class to vote for a man one would think resembles a particularly boorish boss instead of a champion of the little guy. A great many self-identified Christians supported Trump despite his history of rancidly un-Christian behavior for much the same reason.

Monday, 28 August 2017

So About John A. Macdonald

So it came to light recently that following this interesting trend in tearing down statues in the United States, some bright minded people have decided the best thing to do is try to remove the name of our first PM from some schools for reasons which seem rather far fetched. Felipe Pareja, who put forward the motion claims: "it might be difficult for Indigenous students and teachers to go to a school named after someone who he says was complicit in the genocide of Indigenous people."

Felipe Pajera is clearly not a historian.

Monday, 21 August 2017

The Dark Tower

Well having dipped my toes into the world of Stephen King's Dark Tower in dead tree format, I decided to jump in and see the film version on the big screen. I came away both impressed, and disappointed. Why you may ask? Well join me now as we journey through Keystone Earth and out onto the many spokes of the Dark Tower, and through many worlds.

Jake Chambers dreams of a Tower which a sinister Man in Black hopes to destroy, he also dreams of a mysterious gunslinger who fights him. This leads to him being seen as crazy, but soon those dreams become all too real and he is caught up in a plot to save all worlds from being consumed by darkness and fire...

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Terrorism By Any Other Name

I was deeply saddened to read of the events taking place in Charlottesville Virginia this weekend. The violence and simply shocking outpouring of hatred by the radical right white supremacists seems like something out of another age, and the events leading up to the terrorist attack of that day can only have belonged in another era. Surely we in the West are more enlightened?

Of course not.

From nebulous cloud

It is disturbing to note a rise in hate crimes and racist violence, the outright terror attack this weekend is something else.

We have seen this kind of tactic used in foreign terrorist attacks. Now we see someone, of a different ideology, driving a vehicle with deliberate intent into a crowd of ideological enemies and mowing down more then twenty before fleeing. Thankfully the assailant was arrested, and the violence in Virginia has ceased. But will it end here?

I am sad to say I think it will not. That is by and large because of the simple lack of response from Mr. Trump regarding these events, and then his broad blanket condemnation of violence and bigotry from "many sides", and his subsequent refusal to even condemn the racists and Nazis directly until  two days later. It screams of a pathetic dog whistle attempt to keep the radical right on his side, and that is simple moral cowardice.

What gave me cheer was seeing that despite the violence and rhetoric, the Nazis are condemned broadly by both political parties, and society at large. I think that means that we are truly moving away from that particular mistake of the past, but I hope that their hate and radicalism doesn't simply become attached to another cause in the future.

Let us hope and pray for a brighter future.

Monday, 14 August 2017

House of the Proud (A Shattered Nation Novel)

In a stunning sequel to the epic alternate history novel Shattered Nation, Jeffery Brooks spins an intriguing tale of political intrigue, racial tensions, and geopolitical rivalries. I can happily say that I enjoyed this book just as much as his previous works, the first of which I reviewed in order to pave the way for this review. The book is a fascinating look at a world changed by the vortex around Atlanta in 1864 and set in the not too distant future of 1867.

As a note, there are slight spoilers for the previous installment, Shattered Nation, as I'm writing this I am assuming readers will be familiar with that book and so feel no compunction about some spoilers. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do.

So join me now as I examine a world where the United States is a shattered nation, bordering a House of the Proud.


                                                            Credit to BiblePic.com

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Shattered Nation: An Alternate History Novel of the American Civil War

Just recently I finished re-reading a book I picked up a few years back by fellow alternatehistory.com member Anaxagoras, otherwise known as Jeffery Evan Brooks, which is (if you haven't already guessed) an interesting take on an alternate ending for the American Civil War. Now, most Civil War novels will tend to focus on men like Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson, the great commanders of the South, and even then they will largely focus on the events of 1862-63, with things like the battle of Antietam or Gettysburg and all of these become major war winning victories. This novel, does things a little differently.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Castlevania (2017)

There's a new animated series out on Netflix, and in it we get a glimpse into some things behind the long running Castlevania franchise of video games. In a night of sleeplessness I was able to watch the whole series from start to finish. It is only 4 episodes long, but it almost feels like it is 4 episodes too long really.


So is this Netflix series worth a watch? Well, let's just say if you were looking for something original, interesting, or even well paced, you've come to the wrong place.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Sailing to Sarantium

Recently I just polished off a pair of books I hadn't read since grade school. Those two lovely novels were the apart of the Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay, and they were Sailing to Sarantium, and Lord of Emperors. Each is a tale of travel, self realization, passion, and ultimately, betrayal. Sarantium, is ultimately a city of wonders. Join me now as I describe this world and how it all ties together in one great journey.

Credit to harryguinness.com

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The World Without Gunpowder?

Recently I saw a discussion about whether it was possible to have industrialization without the discovery of gunpowder. This idea got me thinking, and it is impossible not to say that gunpowder changed much of the modern world as we know it. We owe much to its development. Not just in terms of warfare, but in the changes that wrought in government, social mobility, economics, and technology.



The question is though, what might a world without gunpowder look like?

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Beautiful City

Many days I wake up and look out my window and I have to smile, because I live in a very beautiful city. Canada's capital may not be as old as say, London, New York, or even Quebec City, but Ottawa is still a very beautiful place.

Originally known as a lumber town more notable for the scope of the violence between its French and Irish lumbermen, its choice as Canada's capital was a compromise which satisfied no one and displeased many. Almost until the last minute people were hoping minds would be changed and that the capital could be moved somewhere else rather than this little hilly city which it seemed was only fit for habitation by swine and lumber barons, and the two were not necessarily mutual exclusive. However, the city stuck, and just in time in 1867, the Parliament Building was completed

Just in time

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Uncle Sam and the Kaiser

A few weeks ago I discussed the starting of the Russian Revolution. Today I would just like to make a small discussion on a moment one hundred years ago, which brought the largest nation yet uncommitted in the Great War to the battlefields of Europe. Today, one hundred years ago, The United States entered World War I and declared war on the German Empire.

The reasons for the United States entering the war are varied, but they largely stem from the policy of the German High Command deciding to implement unrestricted submarine warfare despite the objections of neutral nations.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Not Your Average Alien Invasion: Out of the Deeps

We all know the classic tropes for alien invasions. The Martians (or whomever) come down to earth, they begin burning our cities, slaughtering our populations, and generally taking over our land masses. They start to terraform Earth more to their liking, and humans generally must scatter before their superior technology. This is a staple set all the way back in 1898 by H. G. Wells in 1898. So we all know what to expect. Or do we?

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A Fear of Endings

Have you ever been reading a good book (or a series of books) or watching a particularly good television series and then suddenly found yourself at the end? Have you found yourself so immersed in the media that you've crept progressively closer and closer to the grand finale without even realizing it?

As you come upon that ending do you suddenly find yourself filled with dread at the thought that it was done? The sudden feeling that there is no more in this world to be had and your experience with that media is now complete. In short, have you ever finished something and felt your life was meaningless?

All credit to tapastic.com and Sarah Anderson

Friday, 17 March 2017

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Trump Administration

Trump has been in office for over a month now. A month dogged by scandals, outrageous allegations, and general inefficiency. Trump, in his one month in office, has been immensely insecure, whether it was about the size of his electoral victory, the size of his inauguration crowd, the stability of his own staff, scandal with Russia, and his great plans for the country. In less than a month continuing scandal surrounding Russia has emerged, his National Security Advisor Micheal Flynn was forced to resign, and nearly all of Trump's campaign staff are revealed to have had some form of contact with Russia, and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from handling any of those investigations as he "forgot" to mention meetings with the Russian Ambassador during the campaign. Now Sessions may be excused if he met with the Ambassador as part of his duties in the Senate, but the allegations cropping up around Micheal Flynn and other campaign and staff members, are inexcusable.



However, the unfolding damage against Trump regarding Russia is nowhere near as alarming as his continued attempts to obscure the problem behind a wall of paranoid conspiracy theories.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Russian Revolution

One hundred years ago today, perhaps the greatest revolution of the 20th century shook the foundations of Europe as it erupted across the vast expanse that was then the Russian Empire. The world was engulfed in the flames of the greatest war to ever rage across the planet up to that point. Millions had died, famines had engulfed nations, and borders were changing rapidly... on the Eastern front at least.


The Russian Empire, even mauled as it had been in 1914, had been clinging desperately to life come 1917, even making limited gains through military strength in the Brusilov Offensive of late 1916. However, it was becoming clear that Russia, for all intents and purposes, had shot its bolt.

By this point the Russian people were tiring of war. Despite an enormous outpouring of patriotism and national unity at the start of the conflict in 1914, by 1917 millions were dead or dying, and the Imperial armies were being forced back mile by mile. Worse, bureaucratic inefficiency and the poor state of the Russian internal railways meant supplies were not getting to the front, and supplies were not even making it to the cities where the war industries were churning out armaments to support the forces in the field. This was especially true of food.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

The 60 Million Dollar Couple

Recently this article popped up on Kindle author Christopher Nuttall's blog talking about this article which discusses Barrack and Michelle Obama signing a whopping 60 million dollar deal with Penguin Books. Now this is only a reported number, the exact number not being disclosed by any sources. If that number was true though, that would be the most expensive book deal of the century!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Cell by Stephen King

A while back now while browsing the book section at Costco I came across a novel simply title Cell. Due to its curious cover I picked up the book and began browsing. Needless to say I bought the book soon after. Little did I know this would be my first foray into the world of Stephen King.

Stephen King is of course the best selling author and horror writer who perhaps has defined horror in the last half century and thus needs no introduction.

As a note this contains mild spoilers regarding both the book and the film so consider yourself warned.




Friday, 20 January 2017

Inauguration Day 2017

Well ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. Time to do away with a popular president who is leaving the White House with a 60% approval rating, and making way for a man who is going into it with a 40% approval rating. Here goes a president who made his best effort to engage with the media, and here comes a president who calls major news agencies "fake news" for running a story about him he doesn't like. A mature and well spoken president leaves office, and in goes a childish, petty, and immature gentlemen who seems more concerned about his image than his constituents.

All in all it's a sad day for American politics I would say. The wealthiest cabinet ever will be taking office, and one which has already managed to generate more than a little controversy. It is perhaps going to be a time when the people running the nation are more disconnected from the average voter in terms of lifestyle than ever. Add to that a key member of a rabid right wing news rag being made a key White House staffer, well we're in for some interesting times as they say.