Reviews: American Alchemy Gold by Oliver Altair AND King Cage and the Worth Street Djinni by Mike Stop Continues

You might remember from all of the European Cruise pictures that last month I went on a wonderful adventure with the Writing Excuses team to Europe. At that time, my partner in crime and fellow Unreliable Narrator Chris Cornell and I met a lot of wonderful people. Almost on the first day I met Mike and Oliver, and the descriptions they gave me of their work enticed me, so we kind of exchanged information and books. I’ve finished American Alchemy Gold and King Cage and the Worth Street Djinni, and now I gotta tell you enthusiastically that you need to get out there and start reading these guys.

Let’s start with American Alchemy Gold. Altair writes a moody and driven novella with a serious edge. What happens to the main character in the book happened, no doubt, to many a prospector who set out to prove themselves in California. This is a tale of greed over friendship, over sanity, over self-respect, and then, in a Weird West twist, it becomes a supernatural tale of revenge. Altair has incredible momentum. You can feel the sanity slipping away from the narrator like the continuing dull beat of a bass drum. I am reminded of Poe’s characters and how they slip loose from sanity, a noose of madness circling them tighter and tighter around their neck. There are more stories in this series, and I want to encourage you to go download the first of them, just like I did, and enjoy. I don’t know if I’d read them late at night.

Mike Stop Continues writes an entirely different sort of fiction. King Cage and the Worth Street Djinni is an action sequence that lasts around 100 pages. It is brutal and violent, fascinating to watch, as King Cage, a street artist who works in his medium to confine djinn, fights against time, odds, and self-doubt to protect the city. The characterization are raw, the hero in thankless work, the only paladin against an invasion only he can see. A touch Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere with the aesthetic of Paul Cornell’s The Severed Streets series, Continues is telling a heroic, satisfying story that will make you wince. Website here.

I am so lucky to have met these talented writers, and I’m looking forward to following their work. And guys, happy anniversary today!

The Vessel of Ra Internet Round Up (Links at Bottom; Thanks at Top)

Again, I cannot thank all of the fine people enough who have helped me get the Klaereon family out into the world and into your hands. There is a rather extensive thank you in the book itself, but briefly here are all the groups who totally rock and deserve a shout out.

The person to whom I owe the biggest debt: my spousal unit, sounding board and love of my life Bryon Stump

The Sugar Quill, Viable Paradise 13, Taos Toolbox 2012, the Unreliable Narrators, the Shohola Group, my peeps from the many Paradise Icons, almost all of my writer Internet acquaintance, supportive agent mates,and that gaming group I’ve been with since 1994.

And truly influential individuals in the writing and inspiration process: Walter Jon Williams, Laura J. Mixon, Chris Cornell, Lauren Teffeau, Miranda Suri, George R. Galuschak, Chia Evers, Yolanda Joosten, Catrina Horsfield, Mark McKibben, and Michelle Weinard McKibben.

And those fine people from the industry who helped me navigate the publishing waters: my agent Mary C. Moore, Kathleen Kubasiak, my cover artist Eugene Teplitsky, Clare Dugmore, Tanya Yakimenko, and my editor Mollie Weisenfeld.

And inspiring authors who have led by example and given me incredibly helpful advice and have been great role models: Jim C. Hines, Caroline Stevermer, Ann Leckie, Steven Gould, Pamela Dean, Kate Heartfield, Pat Esden, J. Kathleen Cheney, Wendy Nikel, Ken Liu, Elizabeth Bear, and all those wonderful people who run the Writing Excuses Cruise.

Wow. Let’s be cliche. It really does take a village.


Now, and this will ultimately become a page unto itself, but if you are looking today, tomorrow, next week, here are all the wonderful people who are helping me get the word out on the Internet. There are at least 3 other things I know about in the ether, and I’ll announce and update them as they come in.


SFN Podcast EpiXode 2.20: Character Archetypes: The Young Innocent Idealist
Review by Terri LeBlanc
Curiosity Quills
Goodreads (So many links from this page. Thanks to all the early reviewers!)
Unreliable Narrators
Stories for Nerds
Rati Mehrotra
My Favorite Bit at Mary Robinette Kowal‘s Website

Stories for Nerds
Cedar Rapids Gazette Article



Again, thank you. I hope you enjoy these characters as much as I do.

The Vessel of Ra on Amazon

You may now pre-order the electronic version of The Vessel of Ra on Amazon. It will also be available soon in print (and I know some of you specifically want print, so hold on!) But yeah. Kindle that sucker!

And, if you want the book, go into your bookshops next week and order it. It should be available through their catalogues. If not, let me know, and I’ll see what can be done.

Local peeps: Icon signing at Barnes and Noble on Thursday, September 27th. Gonna have books for sure. Come on out. Also book launch party at Icon on Saturday night. Should have books there.

Okay, so. Yeah. Gonna go to a meeting at work now. I know how to celebrate like a celebrating fool.