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WILLIAM MEIKLE

Genre Fiction

The Boathouse launches

THE BOATHOUSE, the latest novel in my loosely connected Sigils and Totems mythos launches today in ebook and paperback from Crossroad Press.

In this one you’ll find a hurricane, a scrimshaw chess set, a derelict boatyard, beer, cigarettes, a Newfoundland fishing town, more beer, sigils, totems, a ouija board and an old whaler, going to rot…among other things.

It’s a simple enough concept.


There are houses like this all over the world. Most people only know of them from whispered stories over campfires; tall tales told to scare the unwary. But some, those who suffer, some know better. They are drawn to the places where what ails them can be eased.

If you have the will, the fortitude, you can peer into another life, where the dead are not gone, where you can see that they thrive and go on, in the dreams that stuff is made of.

We went through a hurricane here a few years ago, and this story was sparked off by some of the mayhem the force of nature left behind. So there’s that, a lifelong love for interesting chess sets, and a look at another facet of my ongoing Sigils and Totems mythos (see the INFO link under the book cover for more details on my website.)

But it’s mainly about getting older, and friendships lost, and found again in dire circumstances.

As ever, if you buy it and read it, a wee review anywhere of your choosing is always appreciated, on this, or any of my books.



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Newsflash – OPERATION: SIBERIA Launches

OPERATION: SIBERIA, the 3rd in my S-Squad series from Severed Press launches today.

OPERATION: SIBERIA follows the survivors of the Scottish Special Forces squad from INFESTATION and OPERATION: ANTARCTICA, to the opposite side of the world this time, and an investigation of a very peculiar zoo in the Northern Russian Tundra

In this one you’ll find more sweary Scotsmen, lots of bullets, big hairy beasties, Mammoths, Dire Wolves, Thunderbirds, more bullets, and more swearing.

I’m still having great fun with this group of my countrymen.

They’ll be back.

What’s left of them.


When Captain John Banks and his squad are sent to investigate a zoo in Siberia, he expects to find tigers, bears, maybe elk But there is something there that is new, yet very, very old.

Beasts that haven’t walked the Earth since the last Ice Age have been cloned, revived, and set loose to roam free

And some of them are very hungry.



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A Book a Day for May

Regular readers will know I started using the #abookaday tag on Twitter to post a cover of a book that influenced or entertained me over the half a century and more of my reading life. Here’s the list for May.

LEGION – William Peter Blatty
WOLF IN SHADOW – David Gemmell
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY – Oscar Wilde
ANNO DRACULA – Kim Newman
A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ – Walter M Miller Jr
MORE THAN HUMAN – Theodore Sturgeon
FAREWELL, MY LOVELY – Raymond Chandler
TREASURE ISLAND – Robert Louis Stevenson
DREAMSNAKE – Vonda J McIntyre
DOUBLE INDEMNITY – James M Cain
THE NAME OF THE ROSE – Umberto Eco
THE CRYSTAL CAVE – Mary Stewart
THE TRIAL – Franz Kafka
1984 – George Orwell
RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA – Arthur C Clarke
THE HOUSE ON NAZARETH HILL – Ramsey Campbell
THE CIRCUS OF DR. LAO – Charles G Finney
THE LOST WORLD – Arthur Conan Doyle
DECLARE – Tim Powers
HAWKSMOOR – Peter Ackroyd
STEPPENWOLF – Herman Hesse
THE BIRTHGRAVE – Tanith Lee
WOLF’S HOUR – Robert McCammon
THE DEAD ZONE – Stephen King
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES – Ray Bradbury
THE DROWNED WORLD – J G Ballard
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY – John Le Carre
TOADY – Mark Morris
BRIGHTON ROCK – Graham Greene
LES ENFANTS TERRIBLE – Jean Cocteau
THE SEANCE AND OTHER STORIES – Isaac Bashevis Singer

The list will continue in June, so follow the #abookaday tag for a daily recommendation

 

Newsflash: THE MIDNIGHT EYE Omnibus on discount

AMAZON currently have THE MIDNIGHT EYE FILES Omnibus on sale at 99c or the equivalent for KINDLE worldwide. Get in quick and snatch it while it’s cheap.

In this you’ll find all three of the Midnight Eye files novels, THE AMULET, THE SIRENS, THE SKIN GAME, and several extra short stories, so it’s a great bargain. Tell your friends. Hell, tell your enemies.

Derek Adams is a Glasgow P.I. who somewhat reluctantly gets involved in weird cases. It’s what gets called urban fantasy these days, but it’s really my homage to classic detective fiction, to B-movies, monsters, and more than a touch of nostalgia for Glasgow as it was when I lived there back when the world was young. This is me having fun, and I think it shows.

THE AMULET in particular has been very good for me over the years, selling well and also appearing in German and Portuguese editions. People all over seem to click with Derek immediately, something for which I’m very grateful.

(The Amulet)… is a loving romp in and out of both the Lovecraft Mythos and the noir detective novel, predictable in its own way but unapologetically so, and ultimately fulfilling because most of us have loved the same two sets of elements forever and can’t resist whenever they are brought together again.Chizine



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Book Review: THE MAD GOD’S AMULET by Michael Moorcock

The Mad God's Amulet (History of the Runestaff, #2)The Mad God’s Amulet by Michael Moorcock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE MAD GOD’s AMULET has the feel of a middle-eight, an episodic set of adventures there to move the main story forward to the next adventure. It’s the IRON MAN 2 of the series.

It’s very short, and all done at Moorcock’s trademark breakneck speed of course, so you hardly notice the joins, but for me too much time is spent away from the main conflict in this one, although we do get a lovely set piece fight scene on a pirate vessel, a mad sorceror’s castle, a fight with a robot monster, and a big climactic battle scene to get all the main protagonists, more mcguffins, and a new enemy-turned-friend, back into place for what’s to come.

Still loads of fun of course, but I’m looking forward more to the main events about to be unleashed in the following sections.

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Book Review: THE JEWEL IN THE SKULL by Michael Moorcock

The Jewel in the Skull (History of the Runestaff, #1)The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A young knight, having lost everyone and everything he holds dear, travels to a strange land, falls in with an older man and a beautiful woman in a battle against an evil empire, one that is ruled by a mystical ancient emperor and his most trusted evil, general, a vile battle-hardened brute who always wears a mask. There’s a mystical force controlling our hero’s destiny although he knows little about it at first, oh, and there’s also a trusted companion covered totally in long ginger hair.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before 🙂

Moorcock’s tale came a few years before Star Wars, but a fairy tale is a fairy tale, however it’s told, and this one follows the same great themes. It takes place in the far future on earth rather than in a galaxy long ago and far away, and being Moorcock, reality is never all that stable, but it’s another great romp.

Dorian Hawkmoon is the latest incarnation of the Eternal Champion in this one, book one of the four-book history of the Runestaff. And again there’s epic battles — even more of them than in previous volumes — some truly vicious bad guys, and heroic defenders standing against them.

The evil empire of the future Great Britain, with its beast-masks, vast military, flying machines, time palaces and crystal bridges is more of Moorcock’s early proto-steampunk, and comes alive wonderfully in the mind’s eye, as does the castle in the Camarg that stands against them.

As book 1 of 4 it’s a wonderful introduction to all the main players, and the big battle is a joyous romp of old-school sword and sorcery. These four books as a whole are among my favorites of all of Moorcock’s work, and I’m looking forward to spending most of the weekend lost in his world with them.

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THE GHOST CLUB on discount

AMAZON currently have THE GHOST CLUB on sale at 99c for KINDLE. Get in quick and snatch it while it’s cheap.

In Victorian London, a select group of writers, led by Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker and Henry James held an informal dining club, the price of entry to which was the telling of a story by each invited guest.

These are their stories, containing tales of revenant loved ones, lost cities, weird science, spectral appearances and mysteries in the fog of the old city, all told by some of the foremost writers of the day. In here you’ll find Verne and Wells, Tolstoy and Checkov, Stevenson and Oliphant, Kipling, Twain, Haggard, Wilde and Blavatsky alongside their hosts.

Come, join us for dinner and a story.

‘The Ghost Club is a massively ambitious anthology of stories ‘by’ classic authors as imagined by the extremely talented William Meikle. Massively entertaining, too.’Simon Clark, author of the award winning The Night of the Triffids

It’s where we come from. The Victorian era storytelling tradition was the launching point for horror, and also for crime fiction, for science fiction, for fantasy and for much of how we see the world today. It gave us Sherlock Holmes, Dr Jeckyll, Dracula, the Invisible Man, Captain Nemo, and all manner of ghosts, spooks and spectres that still fill our entertainment of choice today.

THE GHOST CLUB is my way of paying homage to that tradition. This is who I am.


Book Review: THE DRAGON IN THE SWORD by Michael Moorcock

The Dragon in the Sword (Erekosë, #3)The Dragon in the Sword by Michael Moorcock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE DRAGON IN THE SWORD wraps up one part of Erekose’s place in the Eternal Champion cycle in fine style.

It’s another slightly later addition to the whole great dance, and brings on several well loved characters along the way as signposts to Erekose’s quest for the Dragon Sword, a McGuffin that drives this plot along.

There some of Moorcock’s proto-steampunkery in the great city-vessels that steam across the marshes, there’s much high weirdness travelling through space, time and melting reality and there’s even an appearance by my favorite undead warrior army in the climactic battle scene.

As ever, Erekose is a bit of a moody old bugger at times, but the supporting cast keep him honest, there’s some magnificent set pieces, and all in all, it’s another fine example of sword and sorcery from the master.

And now that the Lords of Chaos are introduced, and the swords are in play, we can get on to the really strange stuff. Next up for me, more marshes, and another doomed hero, as Dorian Hawkmoon pays a call at Castle Brass, and the history of the Runestaff unfolds.

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Book Review: PHOENIX IN OBSIDIAN by Michael Moorcock

Phoenix in Obsidian (Erekosë, #2)Phoenix in Obsidian by Michael Moorcock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In PHOENIX IN OBSIDIAN (aka THE SILVER WARRIORS ), the Eternal Champion, Erekose in a new guise, is called to an icy world, and a new quest.

This is the one where the Black Sword on which so much of his fate rests is introduced, a soul-sucking blade as dangerous to friend as it is to foe. And it is put to good use here, in some stirring set-piece battles and serving as a plot device to bring us all up to speed with the raising of stakes for our champion.

Once again Moorcock’s eye for a visual is striking, not least right at the beginning, with our fur and mail clad hero riding a chariot drawn by polar bears — an image that Frazetta fans, or owners of the Dell edition called THE SILVER WARRIORS in the USA, will recognize immediately.

There’s a doomed race in a world under a dying sun, huge beasts engineered eons passed for strange purposes, decadent peoples, plucky salt of the earth types and, along with the sword, an early appearance of what will become a well-known and well-loved companion for our champion.

It’s a short, fast, read that I blew through in a couple of hours. Again it’s all blood-stirring stuff, even if Erekose is a bit of a moper between the epic battles, and it rolls along at breakneck pace for the most part, to an ending that gives Erekose a glimpse of the sort of powers he’ll be dealing with in the books to follow.

Like our champion, I’m now hooked into the multiverse, and won’t be able to let go until we reach Tanelorn and the conjunction of the spheres. It will be a while yet before that, but I intend to enjoy the ride.

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