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WILLIAM MEIKLE

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New Book Day: Sigils and Totems: A novella collection

The three Sigils and Totems novellas are now available in a compiled ebook collection from Crossroad Press ( paperback on its way)

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. 

There it is in a nutshell. There are houses where people can go to get in touch with their dead loved ones.

But this gives me lots of things to play with. To even get inside a room, you need a sigil; a tattoo or carving on your skin, and a totem, a memento of your loved one. Then there’s the fact that your loved one might be a parallel universe version rather than the one you actually know.

And where do these houses come from? What’s behind the walls? How do they work? Why do they work? And who chooses the concierges who run them? Or fixes them when they don’t work?

So I’ve got all that to play with, plus the fact that the houses can exist anywhere, at any time. They’re like lots of boxy, multi-faceted Tardis, spread across space time, places and situations into which I can hook in characters and stories.

I’ve also started linking it through to some of my other characters and ongoing work, so there’s sigils and totems stories featuring members of the Seton family, Derek Adams, the Midnight Eye, and Carnacki. Augustus Seton will be getting involved in 16th C Scotland soon too.

I think I’ve stumbled into something that could keep me busy for a few years.

More details HERE.

The novellas that used the concept, BROKEN SIGIL, THE JOB and PENTACLE were well received and are in standalone ebooks, and also collected in a single omnibus edition ( the paperback will be along soon).

There’s a novel that expands the idea further, SONGS OF DREAMING GODS, where a house is lying empty in the town center of St. Johns, Newfoundland after a brutal ritual murder, and, coming soon, THE BOATHOUSE, where the rooms are on an old whaling boat in a derelict shed and seem connected to an old chess set, and the arrival of a hurricane.

Alongside them, there’s a growing number of short stories, including the title story in my latest CARNACKI collection, THE EDINBURGH TOWNHOUSE.

I’ve also got an idea for a big honking fantasy trilogy using the concept, but that’ll have to wait until I’ve got time to do it justice.

Wish me luck, I’m about to knock on the door again.

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Newsflash – Rowan Casey boxset offer

Most of you know that I’m involved in the VEIL KNIGHTS series under the pen name of Rowan Casey with 11 other fine writers. Today we’re running a promo to bring new readers into the series, with a box set of the first three books on sale at Amazon for only 99c in the US. It’s also now on offer for US NOOK, KOBO and ibooks readers.

We’re already up to book eight of the proposed twelve. This set contains the first three books, and the third one, HOUND OF NIGHT, is my contribution to the series. Regular readers of mine will find a Seton family member in here, as well as the Concordances of the Red Serpent, and an opener of the way that is becoming strangely familiar.

Get it on AMAZON.COM

In the distant past the Knights were formed to serve as the protectors of humanity against the powers of darkness and the supernatural. A powerful sorcerer known as the Merlin served as their leader and mentor. Together they erected the Veil between this world and what they called the demimonde, or half-world, which served as the home to all the supernatural races. They took all the creatures, races, and demons that form the supernatural legends we know today and locked them away on the other side of the barrier.

For centuries that barrier has held and in time the Knights came down through history as nothing more than a legend about a group who supported their King and lived lives of chivalry.

Now Merlin needs them again, and calls them forth from their hiding places to do battle against the old foes.

These are their stories.

 

Book Review: 5 of 5 stars to The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

The Stress of Her RegardThe Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of my favorite Powers books, and that’s saying something, this ranks up there with THE ANUBIS GATES and LAST CALL in the pantheon of greatness.

Again, it’s a simple enough idea — what if the muses of the great Romantic poets were actual supernatural beings, a kind of psychic vampire? From that Powers imagination takes flight and we get Nephilim, Byron, Shelley, Keats and all manner of innocent bystanders pulled under the influence of ancient creatures, Lamia, trying to find a foothold again in the world.

As ever with Powers the language is lyrical, the imagery is staggeringly well conceived and the characters meticulously drawn. There are majestic supernatural set pieces high in the Alps and in the narrow canals and palaces of Venice, musings on the nature of reality, and tying it all together a fractured love story that starts, and ends, in an English pub garden.

It’s such a beautifully put together novel. I’m in envy of the man’s talent.

View all my reviews

Book Review: 5 of 5 stars to Three Days to Never by Tim Powers

Three Days to NeverThree Days to Never by Tim Powers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I do love Tim Powers’ writing. THREE DAYS TO NEVER marks me catching up completely, and finishing reading all of his novels, and they’ve all been brilliant in their own way. A couple haven’t quite grabbed me as much as others, but this one has time travel, remote sensing, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin and a great cast of characters tightly bound in an intricate plot. I was hooked from the start.

I’ve been away for two days in Powers’ head, held by his way of taking a weird idea, such as Einstein inventing a time machine, then filtering it through a world view that contains ghosts, ESP and all manner of psychic phenomena. Anybody who has read Powers in recent years knows all his tics and enthusiasms, and they’re here in full, but this is tighter, more controlled than the frenzy of, say, Earthquake Weather, and all the better for it.

There are moments of brilliance here too, in descriptions of how a blind woman can live by seeing through others’ eyes, of swooping travels in the astral planes, and a climactic sequence as tense as any thriller.

But at heart, it’s a story of a broken family, working together for each other against heavy odds, and it’s often rather touching and tender. And funny too, with a comedic touch that’s sometimes absent from Powers’ books.

I’m sorry I took so long getting to this one.

It’s another winner.

And I’m also sorry that there’s no more new Powers books for me to read now. I’ll be waiting impatiently for his next one.

View all my reviews

THE JOB – A Sigils and Totems novella

Originally only available to DarkFuse magazine subscribers, my novella THE JOB is now available for the first time in ebook (in mobi and epub formats from the usual suspects.)

It’s another in the Sigils and Totems mythos, and another Scottish house needing to be fixed. In this one you’ll find cults, chanting, beer, cigarettes, a guitar, some singing, more beer, and some dodgy Glasgwegians.

http://www.williammeikle.com/aboutthejob.html

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.

Dave Wilson is down on his luck, with gambling debts coming due. He takes on a risky burglary at a Scottish country house, but the job goes badly wrong, and all too soon Dave is embroiled in a fight he wants no part of—an ages-old battle for ownership of the house.

Opposing factions are at work, and both want Dave’s help. There are demons to fight, both metaphorical and literal, and there are hard choices to be made, if Dave has the strength to make them.

Book Review: 5/5 stars to Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd

Dan Leno and the Limehouse GolemDan Leno and the Limehouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The play’s the thing.

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for Victorian London fiction, whether it be fiction written at the time by Conan Doyle or Robert Louis Stevenson, or modern takes on it by the likes of Tim Powers, Dan Simmons, Kim Newman or, in this case, Peter Ackroyd.

As in all Ackroyd books, the city itself is a character, and in this one the cast and crew enact a drama while their lives and fortunes intertwine over a period of years. As ever Ackroyd’s literary mechanics are flawless, switching between voices seamlessly, whether it be in the form of trial transcripts, diary entries, or the over-arching, all seeing eye of the city itself. The plot moves along equally seamlessly, each cog in the clockwork moving as it must. At times I was greatly reminded of The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr Hyde in the way matters unfolded.

Reality and fiction are both at play, and they too are intertwined, as bloody murder is mimicked on pantomine stages, and grotesque pantomine is played out in the streets of Limehouse when the Golem walks abroad.

It’s a tour-de-force throughout, and Ackroyd keeps all his balls juggling in the air like one of his music hall performers.

A fine addition to the ranks of Victoriana. I loved it.

View all my reviews

NEW BOOK DAY: CARNACKI: THE EDINBURGH TOWNHOUSE

My third collection of Carnacki stories based on William Hope Hodgson’s character is out now from Lovecraft Ezine in paperback and ebook

CARNACKI operates in shadowy occult realms, on the fringes of science, in places out of sight and out of mind of normal everyday people. But sometimes the darkness touches the lives of others in ways they cannot understand, and they find they need help – the kind of help that only Carnacki can provide.

In MR. CHURCHILL’S SURPRISE and INTO THE LIGHT Carnacki is called on to help a young Winston Churchill investigate a strangely empty German U-Boat captured in the North Sea, and in dispelling something that is lingering in a London inn that was home to a club of gentlemen seeking illicit pleasures and a path to power.

In FINS IN THE FOG and THE KING’S TREASURE, Carnacki again aids another Hodgson character, Captain Gault, in ridding him of a nemesis brought up from the deeps of the ocean intent on revenge, and in the salvage of a cursed treasure off the coast of Scotland.

In other tales you will meet an Egyptian amulet and the thing that protects it, a photographer whose pictures contain strange developments, a very strange occurrence on a cricket field, an old Edinburgh townhouse that is much more than it seems, and much more.

In these new stories Carnacki helps old friends and new acquaintances in the never ending battle to keep the Great Beyond at bay.

GET IT HERE

New Book Day! – SONGS OF DREAMING GODS

With the demise of DarkFuse, my new novels will now be coming from CROSSROAD PRESS, and here’s the first of them.

SONGS OF DREAMING GODS is the story of a house. In this one you’ll find creepy china dolls, a haunted lavatory, some hippies, some large, nasty ratty things, a chess board, a reaper, some cops, the great beyond, the other great beyond, and a lot of singing.

GET IT HERE

It’s an exploration of my growing Sigils and Totems idea. 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.

There it is in a nutshell. There are houses where people can go to get in touch with their dead loved ones.

But this gives me lots of things to play with. To even get inside a room, you need a sigil; a tattoo or carving on your skin, and a totem, a memento of your loved one. Then there’s the fact that your loved one might be a parallel universe version rather than the one you actually know.

And where do these houses come from? What’s behind the walls? How do they work? Why do they work? And who chooses the concierges who run them? Or fixes them when they don’t work?

SONGS OF DREAMING GODS is an exploration as to what’s behind the curtain.

I would be most grateful to any of my newsletter readers that would like to share this around on social media. It all helps.

Q&A: What do you have coming up?

So, Willie. What do you have coming down the pike in 2017 and beyond that we can look forward to sinking our teeth into?”

On the novels side, I have 3 coming from DarkFuse, all in limited edition hardcover at first with ebooks to follow …

SONGS OF DREAMING GODS is a tale of a very strange house on a corner plot in St. John’s Newfoundland, and a continuation and exploration of more parts of my ongoing Sigils and Totems works. Dark fantasy more than horror I think…

THE BOATHOUSE is a short novel set here in my new home town of Catalina, and is a tale of an old boathouse, a hurricane, a derelict whaler and a very strange scrimshaw chess set… it also touches on the sigils and totems mythos, but less overtly.

RAMSKULL is a Scottish based Hammer horror homage – satanic rituals on a remote Scottish island, with plenty of gore and mayhem.

On the short stories front, I have 2 collections coming…

CARNACKI: THE EDINBURGH TOWNHOUSE is another set of new Carnacki ghost stories, this time coming from the Lovecraft Ezine fiction imprint.

THE GHOST CLUB is a set of Victorian supernatural stories coming from Crystal Lake and is a set told as if by different writers of the period, so there’s tales by Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, H Rider Haggard, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, Jules Verne etc… Pretty damn ambitious of me, and might fall flat on its face, but I had to try… 🙂 More info on that coming soon.

There’s another Newfoundland based horror novel currently with DarkFuse for consideration, a tale of industrial archaeologists and strange things coming up from an old mine shaft…

And I’m working on a big epic historical fantasy trilogy collaboration with another writer at the moment… book 1 nearly done. More info on that when we’re ready to tell the world…

 

As always, get my newsletter to keep up to date with forthcoming releases.

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