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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Four to buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- The Ghost of Christmas Past special double edition!

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer, it is good to stop for a moment and reflect on all that has happened and all the good things we have done during the previous year. Now some of us haven't done all that much that could be considered good, really. Not getting drunk and shooting out streetlights, or failing to borrow a hundred bucks from your brother, never intending to pay him back really don't count as good deeds. They belong more in the column of unaccomplished bad deeds, which kinda fits if you are looking for that slacker image. Not so much if you want to be considered a pHilan...a fillanthro... a good deed doer. What would really put in the "nice" column, and innoculate you from many of the most common "naughty" lists items would be to click on the link below and order a copy of The Servant Of the Manthycore, one for you, and one for that brother of yours. Then borrow the hundred from him.

Remember all those Christmases when you were kids growing up together? And you would come down Christmas morning, knowing that this time for sure you would finally get that pony? And how everyone laughed at the expression on your face when you opened the big box under the tree to find a gallon of house paint and some wool socks? Your brother got the bicycle that year, remember? Now think back at how cool it would have been if you got the bicycle first, instead of having to blackmail it away with those incrimating poloroids of him kissing Becky Walters? That's the feeling you'll get when you just take a moment and click on the link below and order a few copies of The Servant of the Manthycore.

Now that we have disposed of reason number four, let's move on to the Special Bonus: Countdown to Christmas: Reason Three to buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- The Ghost of Christmas Future!

You still have those poloroids, don't you, stuffed away in a box in the back of the closet? Now is the time to recycle them! Chances are, Becky Walters won't be all that hard to find, and chances are she has a boyfriend or husband who wouldn't be all that happy about those pictures being widely circulated. The future is now, baby! A simple threat to post them on Facebook with a spam message to 10,000 users should be able to leverage a considerable amount of angst from your brother. Now that you don't have to pay back that hundred, you can for sure afford to take a moment and click below for your very own copy of The Servant of the Manthycore. Heck, get one for Becky, too. She'll be delighted and surprised to hear from you!

Tomorrow: Reason Number Two to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- A very special Christmas Eve episode that you will never forget!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore Here!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Five to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

This episode of CtC:RN5tBTSotM was delayed by the real world. A switch wigged out and had to be replaced--- one of those computer things. The server farm is three hours away, so I was out of commission for a number of hours while I coaxed its replacement into working order. When I returned in the wee hours, I was thrilled to find yet more corespondance from readers with questions about what I was trying to do.

A reader from the far upper right of the US emailed me to complain about the tone of CtC:RN5tBTSotM. She thought that if I was a little nicer, I would sell more copies of The Servant of the Manthycore (Available by simply clicking through the link below!). She said that I would catch more flys with sugar than with vinegar. I took a few minutes to relect, and realized that she was right, and immediately regreted my return email, but of course, it was too late, so, whatever. Sugar is much better than vinegar, if what you want to catch is flies. But you, gentle readers, are not flies. Actually, I am not certain what you are, but I am certain it is not that, though it does amuse me to imagine at least one critic as a tiny buzzing creature cought in a web, squeeking out "Help me!" in its tiny little voice from its all-too-human head. Whatever you choose as a descriptor, I am assuming that you have more economic clout than any household pest, including mooching brothers-in-law, and can afford my book. (Available by simple click-work through the link below!)

Speaking of brothers-in-law, lets not waste any time and just start into Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Five to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore--- Five Golden Rings.

It starts out this way. To make this a little simpler, I want you to get a paper napkin and a pen, because you will want to make a visual aid. Take the pen, and make a small ring, or circle on the napkin. This circle represents you, and the people you know. When you buy a copy of The Servant of the Manthycore (Available by simply clicking through the link below!) you will be able to help yourself with some quality reading, and once you have read it, you will be able to buy copies for your family and friends. However, if you can find just two more people, (and here you want to draw two more circles underneath the first one, and connect them with lines to the first, which for clarity's sake we will call the "Diamond" circle) you will have greatly expanded your Servant of the Manthycore influence circles. Now I'll be honest with you, this is as far as most people get, and there is no shame in that, but you seem like a little more of a go-getter. If you can convince just one of the lower circles (we'll call them your "Downline") to add two circles of their own (and here you will draw two more circles beneath one of the bottom rings, or circles and connect them with line to it) you will be secure in the knowledge that you have done your part in promoting and selling The Servant of the Manthycore (easy to start, just click on the link below). At that point all your circles, or rings become Golden, and many benefits accrue, including being able to take near-strangers to coffee, and deducting the check as a business expense.

*Tomorrow: Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Four to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- The Ghost of Christmas Past!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore Here!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Six to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

Once again I was going to make this one simple, you know, in the spirit of things, but then I recieved more email asking me some very specific questions that needed to be answered, so lets get this out of the way before we get down to the important business of why you should buy The Servant of the Manthycore (available through the link at the bottom of the page, of course.)

A concerned person from a state that starts with a vowel wrote and asked if my books were produced in a country that supports fair labor practices. Fair enough question. While I would like to say that they come from a tropical paradise where they are rolled between the thighs of dusky ink-stained maidens, like the old cigar ads (the cigars were rolled, not the ads--- those were printed in some third-world hell-hole in appalling conditions by abused workers held in a state of near-starvation) in fact these fine books were printed here in the good old U.S. of A! So you can be proud to display your copy in the window of your Toyota, BMW, or Kia next Labor Day.

Another person wrote in to ask if maybe this whole extravagant claim thingy I was doing with the whole countdown was a little over the top, and perhaps more than a bit misleading. She was concerned that folks might be deceived into buying my book thinking it was a comedy, or perhaps even worse because they thought it really would make them more attractive to the opposite sex. Another valid question, and one I am happy to answer. Do I think someone might buy the book for the "wrong" reasons, rather than on its own merits? Holy Smoke, I sure hope so! In fact, if you match that description, please waste no more time on this and go right to the bottom of the page, where you will find the handy link to purchase The Servant of the Manthycore.

Why am I not concerned that someone might be mislead into buying my book? Ahhh, glad you asked, because that makes a nice segue into Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Six to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore--- Financial Security!

Yes, my friends, it is true. When I first thought of this program I was down to my last dime, writing on the back of matchbook covers and in the margins of old Tiger Beat magazines. But after I wrote The Servant of the Manthycore, whole new worlds opened to me! Now I am typing on this fine emachine computerish thingy, and my words are spewed out through the internets to appear right there on your screen. The only thing I can think of that would be better would be if the words I wrote were sitting right there in your hands, in tangible form, between the covers so marvelously designed by Rachel Marks. You too can share this dream of my financial security by simply doing what you know is right. Click that link, order my book, change my world.

*Tomorrow-- Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Five to Buy my Book: Five Golden Rings!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Seven to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

I was going to just jump right into this one, but I received yet more correspondence, this time from people who somehow suspected that the brief mention yesterday of "Uncle Rodney who every Christmas shows up pickled and manages to find a new hard-to-find place to barf" was somehow directed at them. I want to reassure everyone that, yes, it was aimed specifically at you, and yes, I have been reading your mail. Get over it. Dick Cheney reads your mail, too, which is why he always has that snarl on his face, and why he keeps having those surgeries which are announced as heart bypasses, but are in fact total replacements of the kryptonite, which seems to have a shorter half-life than the original scientists promised him. He replaced them too, of course, and where they are there is no mail, so count your blessings, Buster.

Someone else wrote and asked if I would be willing to autograph the four copies she bought. (You, of course, can buy any number of copies The Servant of the Manthycore by simply clicking the link below!) I was of course flattered. I am not like major league ballplayers, who have to be bribed to sign a baseball. I will sign a baseball for free. Books, of course, are different, especially when they are my books. Because she was kind enough to buy so many at once, I reduced my inscribing fee by 7%, and would likely do the same for anyone else, except she also got a special purchase price discount of 5%. She wanted more, but finally in the interests of peace I finally had to tell her, "I just can't be bothered to mess with the pricing anymore. If you want a bigger discount, you'll just have to order in bigger lots, Mom."

Which in a roundabout way brings us to today's Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Seven to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- P.O.E., which stands for Peace On Earth, or in some cases Purity Of Essence.

Let's go with the first one first. What does the phrase Peace on Earth mean to you? To me it is evocative of snow falling gently outside, the crackle of a log burning brightly in the fireplace, carolers and Santas ringing their bells, and the triptophan-induced food coma caused by the traditional holiday combination of turkey, mashed potatoes and Jim Beam. What better way to finish off a perfect Christmas day than to sit down by that fire, open your new copy of The Servant of the Manthycore, and read aloud the faux-ancient stories of bondage, blood, betrayal and death. It will sure beat listening to Aunt Selma's rehashing of family history, with all that bondage, blood, betrayal and death. Think of the children! And if you do it right, and I get off my carcass, and the first book sells well enough (and you can do your part, by clicking on the link below!) maybe you will have started a new family tradition, and next year you can read the sequel aloud, too.

Purity of Essence is a little more difficult, so hang with me here. Some of you are thinking that I have ripped off Dr. Strangelove here, as POE was the fail safe code in that wonderful movie. As you recall, General Ripper was so concerned with the possibility that the enemy was planning to sap and impurify the precious bodily fluids of the American people with fluoridated water that he started a nuclear holocaust. Now, I am certainly not claiming that failing to purchase as many copies of The Servant of the Manthycore as you are able will set off some sort of holocaust, nuclear or otherwise, but I would like to mention that the terrorists are trying to destroy our way of life, including our free-enterprise system, and would like nothing more than to have you fail to purchase The Servant of the Manthycore out of fear. Nor am I claiming that clicking on the link below will in any way help you maintain your Purity of Essence. But you can never be too careful, and at the list price $13.99 (available for as little as $6.99 plus shipping) it seems a pretty reasonable investment against those who would threaten our precious bodily fluids with impurity. And I am proud to guarantee that The Servant of the Manthcore contains not one drop of added fluoride.

*Tomorrow-- Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Six to Buy my Book: Financial Freedom!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Eight to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

So where are we? I think it is the "Three calling birds" day, right? Anyway, I wanted to let those of you who have already purchased my book, The Servant of the Manthycore (available through the link below, of course) that although your purchase is greatly appreciated, it is simply not enough. Did you go through your High School yearbook and insist that each person there buy a copy? Why not? Its not like you risk them never talking to you again. At your next reunion they will still have to read your name tag in order to pretend convincingly to be happy to see you even though they have absolutely no memory of you.

Some of you have also mentioned that my implying that my readers might still live in their mother's basement a little mean and unfair, and they are correct. It is mean and unfair, so get a job, slacker! The advantages to all will be immediate and profound. You will have a renewed self-respect, your Mom will be able to air out your old basement room and finally be able to get rid of that old gym sock and Hai Karate Aftershave odor that so disturbs her bridge club,and I will see yet another copy of my book sold, because you will finally have the coin to buy it. See? Everyone wins!

So how does this have anything to do with today's installment of Countdown to Christmas? Well today we are going to show the self-esteem and relationship-building advantages to owning a copy or two of The Servant of the Manthycore. (Available by making a few simple clicks through the link below!)

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Eight to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore: It will improve your confidence, posture and attractiveness to the opposite sex.

How can this be? Good that you ask, because the path to enlightenment begins with a single question, or something like that. Those who were surveyed found that reading The Servant of the Manthycore improved their confidence, some to the point of delusion. Because of the absolute certainty that no matter how much they messed up, they were never going to be fed to the Manthycore, unless they traveled back to bronze age Mesopotamia and annoyed a short, scarred woman with no sense of humor. Knowing that made 87% of readers less afraid of the dark, 76% less afraid around scarred women with no sense of humor (unless it was their ex-wife) and a whopping 91% less afraid of dating people of any sort that would possibly consider dating them. Strangely, it did nothing to abate the fear of clowns, the fear of red socks, or the fear of Rachel Ray, but those are for another book.

More confidence means better posture, of course. No longer having to scan the sidewalks looking for manthycore tracks means that those who have read The Servant of the Manthycore can lift their heads high in the full knowledge that even if they are hit by a bus in the next 15 minutes, they at least will not end up as the digestive end-product of a mythical beast.

And let me tell you, brothers and sisters, next to scars and just behind a Maserati GT with snakeskin upholstery, the opposite sex digs a person with confidence-- the confidence that comes from knowing you purchased The Servant of the Manthycore, read and enjoyed it, and went out and bought copies for your entire family, even Uncle Rodney who every Christmas shows up pickled and manages to find a new hard-to-find place to barf. Because that is just the sort of person you are!

*Tomorrow-- Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Seven to Buy my Book: Peace on Earth, Baby!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Nine to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

Okay, several of you have written to me saying that you really did have legitimate fiduciary conflicts preventing a purchase of my book, The Servant of the Manthycore. Two things--if you can use "Fiduciary conflict" with a straight face, then you are clearly a poseur covering up your inadequacies with a slacker façade. Go get a job, slacker. Someday you’ll thank me, and so will your mother. She will need that basement space you are living in to store the fabric she will be able to afford when you finally move out and stop sponging off of her. And secondly, the joker who sent me the picture of his Mom in the iron lung? Cute, but your Photoshop skills need honing a little. And unless your Mom is Barbara Billingsley, I ain’t buying it. I mean, really, who wears pearls in an iron lung?

If this edition of Countdown to Christmas: Ten Reasons to Buy my Book seems a little Mom heavy, it is because reason number nine will compare The Servant of the Manthycore (available by simply clicking the handy link below) to that favorite of Moms everywhere, the classic love novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Countdown to Christmas: Ten Reasons to Buy my Book, Reason Number 9: Servant of the Manthycore is a lot like Wuthering Heights, only with more swords and monsters and human sacrifice and stuff.

Let’s run through the similarities first. Wuthering Heights is famous for its circular structure and innovating plotting. So is Servant of the Manthycore—its first story uses a circular timeline, and as an episodic novel the plotting covers important events in the timeline without dragging the reader through bridging exposition.

Wuthering Heights is a story of timeless love, told through the eyes of several of the stories characters, which creates a rich tapestry of history and narrative. The Servant of the Manthycore also is a story of timeless love, spread over 800 years as the Servant takes people out into the deserts and feeds them to the monster, in order to preserve her love held captive by the Beast, and is also told through the viewpoint of several of the stories characters, creating a similar rich tapestry of history and narrative.

And the most important similarity between Wuthering Heights and The Servant of the Manthycore? You haven’t read either one, you mook! This is easily fixed by clicking on the link below, because if you don't buy it, you can't read it! (I’m sure you can find a nice copy of Bronte there, too.)

Okay, now let's look at some of the reasons why Servant of the Manthycore might be better than Wuthering Heights. Both have supernatural aspect--Bronte uses the device of ghosts and their warnings as both a plot-driver and as a way of maintaining a gothic feel to the story, but she totally punks out. Not one of her several ghosts ever rips someone's head off, or offers them immortality in return for their eternal service as hit-woman for an ancient Syrian Death Goddess. In fact, The Servant of the Manthycore rocks pretty hard when it comes to supernatural beings and body count, and the whole immortality for service is a conceptual backbone of the story.

Wuthering Heights uses an exotic and mysterious setting to create a mood of melancholy, deep history and brooding. The name of the novel itself refers to the stormy and wind-lashed cliffs and moors of Yorkshire. The Servant of the Manthycore uses the exotic mysterious setting of bronze-age Mesopotamia to create a setting of deep history, but where Bronte completely drops the ball and doesn't even include one human sacrifice by ancient Druids or some other cult, The Servant of the Manthycore is full of ancient cults and sacrifice including at least one (don’t want to spoil it) ichor-dripping ziggurat in a city of the dead. Advantage: Manthycore!

Finally, while I have to admit that Wuthering Heights has some of the most vivid and well-drawn characters in the history of English letters, and the relationships between the various narrators and characters are complex, rich and vital, not one of them is an 800 year-old sword babe. Cathy, though a strong character, is too indecisive and a whole bunch of her problems would be simplified by taking a few folks out into the moors and returning alone. But she doesn't, which is the final nail in the coffin of Wuthering Heights.

So if your mom or some other family member or friend simply adored Wuthering Heights, you won't go far wrong by surprising them with a copy of The Servant of the Manthycore. And while you are at it, pick up one for yourself, by simply clicking that little link below. You know you want to!

*Tomorrow, Countdown to Christmas: Ten Reasons to Buy my Book (CtC:TRtBmB) Reason Number 8: Lose weight, feel better, and improve your attraction to the opposite sex!

Buy Servant of the Manthycore!

Counting down to Christmas: 10 reasons to buy my book

Lets give this a try. It has come to my attention that there are several of you out there who haven't bought my book yet, The Servant of the Manthycore, available to the right of the page, just a few simple clicks away. Maybe you haven't gotten around to it, or maybe you are thinking "I should wait until payday; there is the rent, after all."

I am here to show you the error of your ways. First off, your flimsy excuses won't wash. I mentioned just a few sentences ago that it was just a few clicks away, so get around to it, Buddy! Even I'm not that lazy. And the whole, "rent or Michael's book" thing is pretty lame, too. If your rent is 13.99, available as low as 6.99 plus shipping, then you are clearly living in some sort of rat hole, and you need to move. Trust me, the money is better spent on the book.

So, having dealt with some of the lamer excuses (I'm not even going to dignify the "I need money for my widowed mother's iron lung" thing with an answer) let's move on to some of the reasons why you want to get my book (available, as I have no doubt mentioned, by just making a few clicks on the handy links to the right of the page) before Christmas. I'll post one each day as a sort of count down, and by the end I'm hoping that at least some of you will wake up Christmas morning to peace on earth, goodwill toward men, and a copy of The Servant of the Manthycore tied to the saddle of your new pony.

So, here is reason #10 to buy The Servant of the Manthycore before Christmas
Michael Moorcock likes it. A lot. So much he wrote a foreword for it.
How much is that? Here's an excerpt:

Michael Ehart’s story of dark bloodshed, torment and betrayal invokes the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia, of Ur and Babylon, set against landscapes we all now know so well from our nightly news bulletins. These are the places where our oldest mythologies began and where our youngest ones are now being created. He provides us with telling images as well as some tremendous descriptions, none more so than the terrifying monster of the title.

This is a grim and gripping tale appealing to all of us who grew up fascinated by our Indo-European heritage, by Fraser’s Golden Bough or Graves’s White Goddess, by Zoroaster and the Epic of Gilgamesh or tales of the Minotaur, even Beowulf and The Green Knight.

This book is a thoroughly engaging page-turner. It’s a very long time since I read a fantastic tale as good as this. Michael Ehart is an impressive talent.
--Michael Moorcock

So why are you arguing with Michael Moorcock? Does that seem safe? Go buy the book, already!

*Tomorrow, Reason #9 "Everyone loves a good love story, especially one with man-eating mythical monsters, Death Goddesses, zombies and human sacrifice."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cool site and nice mini-review

A nice mini-review of Flashing Swords on Quasar Dragon:

"Stand, Stand, Shall They Cry" by Michael Ehart.

A wondrous tale of ancient Assyria.

"Yes, child, but not by choice. And look at how they are armed. I have only my sword. Against determined spearmen with secured flanks I would have no chance. They have positioned themselves well. On the bridge where they stand there is no way around them, and in the middle they are out of bow range, even if we still had our bows."

This site has some very nice retro skiffy and fantasy art, both new and classic, and lots of mini-reviews like the one above.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

International audience? Flashing Swords reviewed in French.

From La Premiere Tribu Fantasy!

Flashing swords 8
La sword and sorcery est un sous genre mal aimé de la fantasy. Le webzine Flashing Swords essaie depuis 2005 de lui donner ses lettres de noblesse. Et après un hiatus de presque un an dû à un changement d'équipe éditoriale il nous revient.
Et ce numéro ! met l'accent sur les héros torturé par le hasard de son sommaire. Dermanassian, l'elfe du désert créé par SC Bryce a vu son peuple exterminé par la folie d'un dieu et se lance sur le chemin de sa vengeance. Calthus, le héros de Steve Gobble a été ressucité par des prètre 700 ans après sa mort et ne connaît plus le monde dans lequel il est contraint d'évoluer. Dans cette nouvelle aventure il rencontre l'équipage d'un navire et un sorcier détenteur d'un terrible secret. La servante de la Mathycore de Michael Ehart est contrainte de servir une créature sanguinaire. Dans le texte proposé ici elle doit s'échapper de la cité de Ninive après avoir dérobé les Larmes d'Ishtar.
Mais la manière Howardienne n'est pas oublié et Michael D Turner nous propose un récit se déroulant dans un univers à l'ambiance proche des mille et une nuits où un mendiants entraine un jeune courtisan dans une chasse au trésor. Le texte de TW Williams me convainc déjà moins : un gladiateur aide une femme à se débarasser des guerriers qui la rackette.
Mais Flashing Swords c'est aussi deux poèmes de Michael D Turner et Jason M Waltz. Des interviews et des articles.
Pour tous ceux qui lisent l'anglais et qui aiment la sword and sorcery c'est un vrai bonheur.

English courtesy of Babel Fish:

The sword and sorcery is under badly liked kind of the fantasy. The webzine Flashing Swords tries since 2005 to give him its letters of nobility. And after a hiatus of almost a year due to a change of leading team it returns to us. And this number! the accent puts on the heroes tortured by the chance of its synopsis. Dermanassian, the elf of the desert created by SC Bryce saw its people exterminated by the madness of a god and launches out on the way of its revenge. Calthus, the hero of Steve Gobble was ressucity by prètre 700 years after its death and does not know any more the world in which it is constrained to evolve/move. In this new adventure it meets the crew of a ship and a wizard holder of a terrible secrecy. The maidservant of Mathycore of Michael Ehart is forced to serve a sanguinary creature. In the text proposed here it must escape from the city of Ninive after having concealed the Tears of Ishtar.
But the Howardienne manner is not forgotten and Michael D Turner proposes an account being held in a universe with environment close to to us Thousand and One Nights when beggars entraine a young courtier in a hunting for the treasure. The text of TW Williams convinces me already less: a gladiator helps a woman with débarasser warriors who it rackette. But Flashing Swords they is also two poems of Michael D Turner and Jason Mr. Waltz. Interviews and articles. For all those which read English and who likes the sword and sorcery it is a true happiness.

A true happiness indeed!

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Please check out the latest Residential Aliens-- Lyn was kind enough to do an interview of me, and it is right there, on the front page, for everyone to see! Some great art, there too, as well as their usual fine line-up of fiction and more.