Book Review: Cutting the strings of human exceptionalism

Beautifully written, challenging, exquisitely thought out – fans of Gray will not be disappointed.

John Gray covers familiar ground, eloquently. He plunders obscure writers and leans heavily on his knowledge of history to build an argument that deconstructs human exceptionalism and to dispel the notion that people, society and culture progress in some linear fashion. His thesis is that humans create the illusion of order because the alternative — embracing the certainty that we are mortal and meaningless creatures (“flawed, intermittently lucid animals”) in an indifferent world — fills many of us with paralyzing dread. That created sense of order was once overseen by invented gods, then an invented god and now by science (which, in a sense, elevates human ingenuity to the status of an invented god). Regardless of how it is embodied, the underlying impulse is to create a sense of purpose and progress that he, of course, considers false. Read the rest of this entry »

Ask a Cowboy!

Dear Cowboy, How do you get a cowboy to like you without talking to him? Signed, Shy Girl Problems

Dear Shy Girl, I’ve got some good news, some bad news and some really good news. First, the good news. According to folks much smarter than me, 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. Plenty of other smart people take issue with that number, but no matter the specifics it should be pretty clear that a whole mess of nonverbal attributes — your body language, gestures, your eyes and your tone of voice — convey a lot of information in addition to words. In a sense, how you say things is at least as important as what you say. At first blush, that may seem like good news to people who don’t like to use their words, but it ain’t. Read more of the Cowboy’s answer>>

Book Review: Porius, Endure to the End

It was an exhilarating, bewildering and mind-altering read that left me feeling like Porius when, “he had begun to feel as if the inmost pith of his being was being nibbled away by the rats of purposeless dissolution…”

Tungerong larry ong — endure to the end — is both a rallying cry of the main character of this incredible, and incredibly complex, book, and a much-needed encouragement to readers. At 762 pages, each filled with epic, breathless sentences crackling with mystical subtext, unpronounceable Welsh names and a gargantuan cast of characters, this is not a book one should enter into lightly.

It took me almost three months to finish, but the journey was worth it. Porius is gripping and challenging and dense and impenetrable and layered with swirling currents of meaning. It is an insane mix of history and magic, action and romance, and philosophy and religion. There are giants and magicians (including Merlin), scheming druids and savage forest people with poisoned arrows, the foppish court of King Arthur and grim-faced Saxon invaders, owls that become women, nature worship, magic rivers, enchanted mists, old curses, ancient myths and even more ancient burial grounds and all manner of petty, squabbling gods and their slavish worshippers — from Saturn to Mithras to Yahweh. Read the rest of this entry »

A bow to origins, and 1999

Clark and Kathleen are putting the final touches on the fourth book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection. The authors have commissioned an artist to design the cover of this final book chronicling Tucker and Lizzie’s opposites-attract love story arc as an homage to the vintage 1999 cover, but within the aesthetic of the current covers. Published (Llewellyn) before the e-book revolution, the 1999 now-first edition was print only. Tough to tell in the image below, but the blood and boot design were raised/textured and given a shiny treatment. This original book has become a bit of a collector’s item. Stay tuned. We’ll share the new 1999-inspired cover and book title soon. Publication expected in early 2016.


Love and blood in the modern west


Riveting, wickedly funny, existential, brilliantly written, authentically western …

Introducing racial issues isn’t the only adjustment the authors have made to the vampire mythos, but it’s more than just the details that set this series apart. Rather, it’s the way the authors utilize those details to create meaningful conflicts and world-altering choices for the characters. Riveting. – Kirkus Reviews

One of the funniest and most engaging series I have read in a long time. – Bitten by Books

Pour yourself a shot of the good stuff and settle in for a wickedly good read. – The Eastern Oregonian 

Unremitting fun, and a damn good read. – Fresh Fiction

Go ahead. You’re trying not to laugh at the title. Let it out! It’s funny and so is the book; sly and adult. – SF Site Featured Review

One of the weirdest stories I have ever read. It’s right up there with Neil Gaiman’s man-swallowing woman parts and talking tents. Instead, here we have rocket-launching, womb-sucking, Bible-bending, non-pointy-toothed vampires. And love. And cowboys. Depending on what you are looking for, that might be a good thing. If I had to liken this book to a movie, it would either be to Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, or maybe more appropriately, Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk to Dawn. – The Avid Reader

A choice and very much recommended read, not to be missed. – Midwest Book