Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Midnight Riders

Book Info:
Title: Midnight Riders
Author: Pete Clark
“Gather ‘round people and you shall hear about a bunch of bullshit that is clear. Of riders and horses and monsters too; your parents lied - they can still get you. Hardly anyone who was there is alive to dispel the rumor, uncover the lies, but there was more than one man who rode that day and more than just Redcoats who got in their way.”
Along the way, Longfellow lost something in his translation it seems.
Everyone has heard of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. However, they have not heard about them this way! The American founding fathers had a lot more to deal with at the end of the 18th century than tariffs and tea; avoiding hurled trees from Wendigos and gargoyles falling from the sky took a lot of patience. How is Samuel Prescott supposed to hunt the leader of the Rippers when the British keep infringing upon the colonists’ rights?

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Boone was sure he heard Revere scream as the zombie Forbes charged at them. On his way, Forbes took a nice hearty bite out of an off duty soldier who happened to be nearby. “Grullarrk,” the soldier said clearly before falling to the ground.

Forbes Zombie was fast. A hell of a lot faster than Forbes was in real life. How the heck did that work out, Boone wondered. Oh well. He unslung his double-barreled reverse musket, an invention of Revere; the guy was good for something, thought Boone as he fired and turned his former commanding officer’s head into a floating cloud of red mist. He then flipped the release on his musket, spun the barrels so that the fired barrel faced back and the loaded faced forward, and he vaporized the downed soldier’s head as well just to be sure. He wasn’t about to let any zombies rise on his watch.

“Everybody to the wall,” Fraser ordered. It seemed that Boone’s gunfire and the shrieking had alerted the remaining werewolves, who were apparently done feasting on the French and wanted to upgrade to a little English breakfast.

“Zombies and werewolves,” whined Revere. “I sure hope no vampires show up.”

“Vampires?” Boone countered. “What are you, a child? Vampires aren’t real.”

“They’re not?” asked Revere.

“No - vampires are just a myth. But dragons, dragons will fuck your shit up,” said George Washington.

Playlist for Midnight Riders

“Loved by the Sun”: Tangerine Dream  

This is a cheeseball eighties song and I love me some cheeseball eighties music. This one has a sort of epic and mystical sound to it. So it’s good for when I’m trying to get into more of the supernatural elements of the story.

“You Don’t have to be a Prostitute”: Flight of the Conchords

This is a strange and enjoyable tune with a bit of steel drum. Who doesn’t love a bit of steel drum? If you know the band, then you already know what kind of song this is. I like this song and others like it because it is somewhat inspiring to see the utter chaos. Utter chaos is crucial to many of my stories.

“Community Property:” Steel Panther 

See the first two selections and you know that I love strange lyrics and eighties music. Well this song is the best of both worlds. Written to sound like a traditional 80s rock ballad but the lyrics are amazingly offensive and bizarre. It was love at first listen to me. This is also a nice barometer. Because if you are offended by this song, then chances are the language in my books is a bit harsh for you as well.

“Jack Sparrow”: The Lonely Island (featuring Michael Bolton)

I like this song both for its oddly energetic chorus and also for the style of comedy it uses. I like confusion and manipulation of audience expectation to create comic situations. This song certainly plays with that. Good times.

“Werewolves of London”: Warren Zevon

First off this song is awesome so it should be on every playlist. And as an added bonus, it features stylish werewolves. My book also has werewolves. But mine are bastards. His have perfect hair and a fondness for Chinese takeout. Seriously this song belongs everywhere.

“Anders”: Trust. 

I like this song because of its poppy cheesiness. I also have a tendency, when it comes to music, to relate more to the sound than the words and although the lyrics are certainly interesting if you speak Flemish or whatever, it is the music alone that provides all of the inspirational boost I need. The video in the link is just a picture with the music because the actual videos are pretty poor quality.

“Bangers and Mash:” Infant Sorrow

Another song that is actually a really excellent tune but has the added bonus of being rather bizarre. A fictional band designed for a movie but regardless, a lot of their music is good. This song is a good example of how you can have a good song with childish humor and still make it work. Again I love strange comedy.

“Before the Lobotomy”: Green Day. 

This song is both beautiful and thunderous. One of my favorite Green Day songs. This song I find to be a very powerful tool for inspiration for scenes that involve intense emotion and beauty. There are a few of them in my books and the sound of this song makes for a good example of the balance I look for in those scenes.

I was given book for honest review. American history is retold to include the Midnight Riders truth. It’s not only the British that’s out there one must also contend with the monsters. Clark tells an immensely unique historical outlook that is a funny, entertaining joy to read.

  Pete Clark likes writing, animals, potato chips, and cheese. Midnight Riders is his first published novel, although he can also proudly say he finally finished Helix Crashing, the fantasy novel he has been working on for over a decade. Someday, it will be out. In addition, he has written Across the Barren Landscape, a collection of linked Western short stories, and Tales from Midnight's Graveyard, a collection of unconnected horror, science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural stories. He cowrote Backward Compatible: A Geek Love Story with author Sarah Daltry. He also writes plays, both dramatic and comedic. When he is not writing, Pete tends to ignore everyone around him and obsess over sports.

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Top Ten:
For this list I have put together ten of my favorite supernatural creatures in no particular order. Some liberties are taken with some of the lore but hey, it’s just a fun list. I may change my mind about what should be on it by tomorrow or the next day, but they are all awesome and that is what counts.
Wendigo: A violent incarnation of insanity and rage. The wendigo is often portrayed as a simple cannibal, but when you really turn these guys loose and let them blossom into the terrain obliterating fuzzy mass of unstoppable rage that they can be, then they are tough not to love.
Zombies: Ah the zombie; so simple, so stupid, and yet oddly creepy. The mindless solitary desire to feed at all costs, even at the cost of its own destruction, combined with a grotesque yet formally dressed appearance makes the zombie a frightening entity. Although only in groups; one zombie is nothing. But don’t get cocky. Chances are there’s more than one; you just don’t know where it is.
Phoenix: I am a fan of birds. Birds that burst into a searing torrent of flame and are then reborn? Well, that makes for an awesome bird.
Werebear: I love me a quality lycan. But those damn werewolves are getting overdone. So why not go with the Werebear. Bears are cooler than wolves anyway. How many times have you seen a wolf beat up a bear? I’ll tell you how many times- no times. Because it never happens. Bears will kill the hell out of you; Were Bears are capable of some major carnage.
Manticore: I love hybrid creatures. Monsters that are a mix of other things and smashed together. Well hello Mr. Manticore. Lion, cool wings, poison darts. What - poison darts come out of you? Ok that gets you on the list.
Chimera: Hey look another hybrid creature. But the chimera is the best hybrid of them all. A simply amazing and unpredictable mixture of a lion, a dragon, and a goat. That’s right. They got a goat mixed in there. Dragons are amazing, but when you mix it with the excitement of a goat monster, it makes a big pile of awesome.
Old School Vampires: Now I am pretty wary about putting vampires on this list as vampires have become a big sparkly bucket of teen angsty love and overall suckiness. But I say no. Those are not vampires; those are just well dressed men with sharp teeth. The real vampires burst in the sun, kill you for your blood, sort of smell like the grave, and enjoy a good fight. Those vampires are still awesome. It is just so hard to find a good vampire nowadays. Poor vampires. They have been ruined by junior high girls.
Succubus: Succubae are basically really hot girls that will kill you by having sex with you. I think that pretty much makes the case.
Doppelganger: The awesome name, best enjoyed while being said in a borderline offensive German accent, does half the work. Also it can become anything. Even you. In fact, you just might be a double walker right now and don’t know. Ich Liebe Doppelgangers.  I also Liebe flammenwerfers but that is another list.
Kappa: Small creepy little water sprits that just want to invite you in for a swim. Sure, it’s to drown you, but that’s no reason to be rude. They also have little bowls on their head. So if you get attacked by one, shove its ass over and dump the water out of its head. That will mess it up. Also Japanese mythology is packed with cool creepy things. I had to have at least one on the list.
Dragon: The dragon? Yes. Maybe it’s predictable, maybe they are overused according to some. But the dragon is the ultra-expression of sheer supernatural creature power. Flight, size, claws, armored skin and a variety of awesome breath weapons, often fire. What else does a dragon need? Perhaps a large mountain to make its home and a pile of riches from its mangled foes? Oh wait - they have that too. Dragons are the best and if you don’t think so then we probably can’t be friends.
Honorable mention: Minotaur, Centaur, Sphinx. And about fifty others. J

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