Blackest Spells available in Kindle and paperback format

Hey folks,

I have a great announcement for you. My second and final fantasy anthology, BLACKEST SPELLS, has been released in paperback and ebook form for your purusal. It is a collection of over dozen short stories from some of the best indie fantasy writers today.

Magic to make the sanest man go mad.

Dark wizardry. Witchcraft. Curses. Hexes. Evil Sorcerers. Fantasy has a long history of people wielding the forces of darkness for nefarious ends. Blackest Spells is a collection of eighteen short stories and novelettes detailing stories of shadowy figures wielding unholy power. The sequel to the Blackest Knights anthology contains stories ranging from the machinations of the fae to wishes gone wrong to wicked plots in space.

Contains fiction by: Michael R. Baker, Allan Batchelder, C. H. Baum, Matthew P. Gilbert, S. D. Howarth, Matthew Johnson, Christopher Keene, Paul Lavender, Ulff Lehmann, Frank Martin, Richard Nell, Martin Owton, C. T. Phipps, Michael Pogach, Jesse Teller, Damien Wilder, and David Niall Wilson

I hope everyone will pick up a copy and enjoy it. There’s a couple of my stories in there as well.

Available for purchase here

Brightblade now available on audiobook and in physical form

 Hey everyone,

I thought you’d like to know that BRIGHTBLADE is now available on both audiobook as narrated by Heather Costa and also in physical book form. It is the adventures of a ex-superhero turned private eye/bounty hunter named Ashley Morgan.

Psychic. Superhero. Spy. Detective. Bounty hunter. Ashley Morgan has been many things and failed at all of them. The 28-year old has her whole life ahead of her but has already resigned herself to working a dead-end job bringing in the debt-ridden supernatural criminals of New Detroit.

A chance encounter with the vampire sheriff reveals a secret that motivates her to change her life forever: Her long-missing brother Arthur is alive (in a manner of speaking).

Ashley sets out on a quest to not only find him but also deal with old lovers, treacherous criminals, a magic sword, and a quest to raise an ancient vampire from the dead.

Brightblade is set in the same world as the Red Room series, The Bright Falls Mysteries, and Straight Outta Fangton.

Brightblade is now ready for purchase!

Hey folks,

Good news! We have a new book from me available for order! BRIGHTBLADE is the next installment of the UNITED STATES OF MONSTERS universe that includes the RED ROOM, BRIGHT FALLS MYSTERIES, and STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON books. This book, first of the MORGAN DETECTIVE AGENCY series is about the adventures of Ashley Morgan, PI and bounty hunter.

Psychic. Superhero. Spy. Detective. Bounty Hunter. Ashley Morgan has been many things and failed at all of them. The twenty-eight-year old has her whole life ahead of her but has already resigned herself to working a dead end job bringing in the debt-ridden supernatural criminals of New Detroit. A chance encounter with the vampire sheriff reveals a secret that motivates her to change her life forever: her long-missing brother Arthur is alive (in a manner of speaking).

“Not only does it fit into the universe, but charts in own course, adding new layers to what they have been creating in other books in the universe.” – The Bookwyrm Speaks

Pick up your copy here

Brightblade available for pre-order

Hey folks,

Good news! We have a new book from me available for pre-order! BRIGHTBLADE is the next installment of the UNITED STATES OF MONSTERS universe that includes the RED ROOM, BRIGHT FALLS MYSTERIES, and STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON books. This book, first of the MORGAN DETECTIVE AGENCY series is about the adventures of Ashley Morgan, PI and bounty hunter.

Psychic. Superhero. Spy. Detective. Bounty Hunter. Ashley Morgan has been many things and failed at all of them. The twenty-eight-year old has her whole life ahead of her but has already resigned herself to working a dead end job bringing in the debt-ridden supernatural criminals of New Detroit. A chance encounter with the vampire sheriff reveals a secret that motivates her to change her life forever: her long-missing brother Arthur is alive (in a manner of speaking).

“Not only does it fit into the universe, but charts in own course, adding new layers to what they have been creating in other books in the universe.” – The Bookwyrm Speaks

Pick up your copy here

UPDATE ON WRITING- October 11th, 2019

 Hey folks,

I thought I would give folks an update about my current projects and what’s going on in my attempt to write as many wonderful stories as possible before someone buys Gary then makes it into a multi-billion dollar movie.

BOOK SALE: Good news for people who may not have had a chance to enjoy my “serious” books with WRAITH KNIGHT and LUCIFER’S STAR are going to be on sale for 99c on Kindle, Nook, and other sources this month. They’re two of my best works and I think fans of the other ones will find it tremendous.

99c Lucifer’s Star ebook

99c Wraith Knight ebook

 AGENT G: I’m finally getting around to getting the physical copies of AGENT G’s trilogy. I’ve long loved the adventures of my cyborg antihero and I am looking forward to once more letting fans have a chance to read it in paperback. I’m a little embarrassed that it’s taken so long to make the transfer. I’m also debating a new set of covers.

BRIGHTBLADE: I’m very pleased to announce the imminent release of another series in my UNITED STATES OF MONSTERS world. Brightblade follows the adventures of Ashley Morgan, private detective and bounty hunter operating in New Detroit (City of Vampires). When her ex-boyfriend, Alex Timons (I was a Teenage Weredeer) shows up and a magic sword falls into her possession, she has to keep an ancient evil from coming back.

THE KINGDOM OF SUPERVILLAINY: I have plans to do no less than 12 volumes of the Supervillainy Saga. The Kingdom of Supervillainy follows Gary’s less-than-spectacular attempts to be a hero in Atlas City. When someone kills the previous Splotch, he has a murder to investigate and all too much evidence it happened at the hands of an old friend. No cover art commissioned for it, yet.

LUCIFER’S WORLD: The third Lucifer’s Star novel is one I’m working on methodically as I want it to stick to the high standards of the previous volumes. Cassius Mass and company end up on a quest for an ancient treasure ship that contains documents that may guarantee humanity’s freedom under their new masters. Of course, everything they’ve been told is a lie.

BLACKEST SPELLS: The sequel to my very successful anthology last year. Blackest Spells will be a collection of short stories by wonderful writers like Allan Batchelder, Paul Lavender, Ulff Lehmann, and Matthew Johnson. Each story will talk of evil magic, curses, wizards, and other examples of foul sorcery. I have three stories in it myself.

Worldbuilding #2: Lucifer’s Star universe

Article 1#: Supervillainy-Verse

Article 2#: Lucifer’s Star universe

Hey folks,

It’s been awhile since I did my initial write-up for the Supervillainy Saga. I had a lot of fun detailing my notes for the backstory of the world, its characters, and what I was thinking when I created it. Now I’m extra pleased to share the notes that went into creating Lucifer’s Star, my fantastic dark space opera setting that I cheerfully think of as my own personal “R-rated Star Wars.”

The inspiration for Lucifer’s Star wars seeing The Force Awakens and realizing that the stories I most wanted to see weren’t ones that weren’t on the screen. It was much more interesting to me to think of what the galaxy would be like after the Empire’s fall and what sort of fate would await the kind of people who used to serve the Empire. Amusingly, that seems to be the basis for The Mandalorian TV show and recent publications like Alphabet Squadron by Alexander Freed. I also drew heavily on Firefly, Blade Runner, and other favorite science fiction creations. If you feel like picking up a copy and reviewing it afterward, I’d be very grateful.

The Setting

Lucifer’s Star is set around the Spiral, which in actual astronomical terms is the Orion Arm and two-thirds of the way from the center of the galaxy. The Spiral is, in simple terms, kind of a shithole. Despite having thousands of settled worlds, it is considered a backward and war-torn place by the rest of galactic civilization. This is due to the Great Collapse (detailed below) that caused the once prosperous High Human Federation to end. It’s only now, centuries later, that it is beginning to recover and there’s an accent on the word beginning.

    The Spiral is officially designated human territory despite a half-dozen other sentient species living in its confines, all below space travel levels of travel. There are thirteen Sectors within that territory with roughly one thousand settled worlds each. These were worlds settled and terraformed during the apex of human civilization, some having degenerated into barbarism while others maintain lifestyles roughly equivalent to the decadent luxury of before.

Technology is incredibly advanced but unevenly distributed with the majority of humans still working laborious hours on a standard Albion week. Humans who live and work in space are called Spacers and humans who live on habitable planets are called Grounders. Spacers tend to be extremely cosmopolitan, sexually free, superstitious, and cynical. Pragmatism guides the majority of their decisions with few caring about politics beyond how it affects their bottom line. Grounders tend to be more conservative, traditional, and nationalistic. Obviously, this varies a great deal but is a definite trend. Starships vary from tiny starfighters to massive kilometers-long transport vessels that have crews that live and work there for generations.

The most important technology for the setting are the jumpdrive and bioroids. Jumpdrives are the means for which faster-than-light travel is possible, traveling through an alternate dimension called jumpspace. Jumpspace is an incredibly disorientating location that is said to drive humans mad when exposed to it but mostly just makes people violently ill (so no one is ever out in it voluntarily). Bioroids are a highly controversial slave caste made of androids and gynoids built around grown-brains. They are heavily conditioned to obey their human masters and most would never rebel but their very human-like characteristics mean that many find the trade in them vile. The fact that abuse and overwork (as well as treating them like people) can break their conditioning also compounds the issue. Bounty Hunters are given rewards for exterminating “malfunctioning” units. No advocates seriously campaign for less-humanized “Bots” with no organic components.

One technology that is expressly forbidden to engage in is Cognition A.I. Regular A.I. is allowed to only be as smart as humans and their organic brains guarantee it. Cognition A.I. are sentient programs capable of unlimited growth that once was a bedrock of the High Human Federation. Their role in the Great Collapse and superstition means that humans fear them with irrational hatred. Furthermore, the Galactic Community has ordered the total destruction of any world that constructs one. It has enforced this law on numerous occasions, leading to few exceptions. Still, they exist, and some believe silently guide human society.

Much of the Spiral remains lawless due to the still-recovering nature of human society post the Great Collapse. It is a wild and untamed world that is frequently subject to great wars. There are also terrible things that lie close to the Galactic Core.


Exhausted of resources and on the verge of environmental collapse in the late 22nd century, the Earth found a lifeline in the form of a Community starship visiting and exchanging large amounts of nonessential technology. This included the Jump Drive. These items were reverse engineered to result in a mass exodus and repeated terra-forming of worlds in the nearby star clusters.

    In defiance of Community laws, Earth made large numbers of Cognition A.I. to coordinate all of its star charting as well as create new technology that exceeded the bounds of what would later be possible like nano-replication, brain uploading, and instant evolution. The High Human Empire would grow and expand until well over ten thousand worlds were colonized.

The Great Collapse would occur after eight hundred years of prosperity with the corruption of the Earth’s Cognition A.I.s and the Jump Gate Network. The portals were simply shut off and mass infrastructure collapse ensued. Billions starved to death, died of easily curable diseases, and had their societies fall apart. This was accompanied by the insanity of many of the Cognition A.I. leading them to attacking worlds, conquering them, and even destroying them outright.

Eventually, the Community intervened on a “mission of sapience” and destroyed the remaining Cognition A.I.s before enforcing the Ranak Edict that would guarantee a planet’s destruction if they violated the strictures against using them. By this time, almost a century had passed with all remaining cultures either self-sufficient or having developed ship-based jump drives that used cyberized navigators or massive unintelligent computers.

The Sol System was eventually recontacted only to find out that the entire planet had been reduced to volcanic ash with its crust having been burned from orbit. While Mars remained a viable colony, they could not determine who was responsible. A fictional terrorist organization known as the Knights of Valusia was accredited with the action to distract from the possibility it might have been done by the Elder Races (and drive humans to suicidal attack against them).

In place of Earth, new powers arose with Albion being the most powerful, followed by the feudal Crius. Both planets began campaigns of conquest to build empires in the wake of the human homeworld’s destruction. Albion because of a belief that only a united humanity could rebuild after the disaster and Crius because they wished to line the pockets of their genetically engineered nobility. The war between those two powers would be the beginning of this story.


* The Archduchy of Crius: It is a feudalist military dictatorship that is ruled by a genetically-engineered elite that has conquered its own surrounding territory and with significantly more brutality. The archduchy isn’t afraid fo push lines of science and has casual use of both cybernetics as well as bio-enhancements. It believes itself capable of defeating the Commonwealth in a war but while their technology level is higher, the Commonwealth has a far greater industrial and population base. The primary religion of the Archduchy is Luciferianism, which is a religion based on a gnostic cult from the Union of Faith founded by the self-styled Prophet Stephen Allenway. Allenway’s descendants are the ancestors of the noble houses but his direct line was killed by their cousins.

* The Commonwealth: It is an aggressive conquering state that is, ironically, a parliamentary republic. It exists for the purpose of expanding its borders for the purposes of rebuilding the human race to its former glory. Planets are offered the carrot and if they refuse then they are given the stick. Eventually, after a ten year period, planets are allowed to vote and send representatives to Parliament on the world of Albion. The Commonwealth is notable for successfully integrating most of its conquered worlds but having stretched itself thin in rebuilding them.

* The Community: While a few primitive alien species live and work among humanity in the Spiral, most aliens you will encounter come from the Galactic Community that dominates the other Spirals. There are tens of thousands of alien races (when mathematics say there should be millions) that are far more advanced than humanity. The Community’s advantage over humanity has been shrinking in recent decades and some believe it is time for them to join while others think humanity should be pushed back down. Cognition A.I. is forbidden in the Community and beyond as part of their Articles of Rule.

* The Corporate Alliance: The transtellars are a collection of planetary-level corporations that have power larger than most nation-states. They rule over territory where all citizens are dubbed “employees” and owe their companies for the air they breathe as well as environment they grow up in. Disturbingly, they have better standards of living than most nation-states and a better social safety net due to corporations being forced to become socialist to keep the flow of money going. The Alliance is the only group to regularly do business with the Community and is working to gradually raise the human technology level to their standards. They are pariahs abroad, however, due to the legalization of Bio-Slavery within their ranks.

* The Elder Races: Far older than the Community (which is 48,000 years old) is the Elder Races that exist in the Galactic Core. All who enter their territory are destroyed. They also destroyed a previous galactic government that only now exists in ruins. They are inscrutable, all-powerful, and believed to be potentially A.I. themselves. It is believed they could be responsible for the destruction of all the other races that should exist in the galaxy and are the answer to “Fermi’s Paradox.”

* The Union of Faith: A theocracy of ecumenism, which should be a contradiction of terms. It is an alliance of hundreds of worlds that are a mixture of hardcore fundamentalists, cults, officially one state, and religiously free liberal democracies that prefer to take their chances with the Union rather than the Commonwealth. Generally, it is a hands-off government that only maintains itself due to its members willingness to contribute to a fleet to defend them all. Its largest faith among spacers, Wheelerism, is a science-based faith that is based on a combination of pantheism and human-centrism. Aratana, Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and combination faiths on are the next most common.

Random Factoids

* Lucifer’s Star has the same setting as Agent G (taking place in the 21st century) and Wraith Knight (taking place 10,000 years in the future). Obviously, there’s very little potential for crossover in the setting.

* In the Garyverse, the Lucifer’s Star Universe is called Universe-L. It is part of the cluster of universes that exist directly adjacent to Universe-A. The existence of a multiverse is known in the Spiral but they do not have the technology to cross over (yet).

* Barriers are a common form of personal technology that more or less function as personal energy shields. This allowed the return of melee weapons since they’re actually better at repelling firearms and energy blasts than slow-moving personal weapons. Even then, most melee weapons are ceremonial or “sporting” in nature.

* The most common cybernetic implant is a computer chip in one’s brain for quick calculations and hand implant for accessing data. The second and third most common are bio-implants hardening the bones and for recycling the body’s interior fluids for enduring space-travel.

* Relationships in space tend to be poly-amorous, open, and with lots of flexibility. It has been speculated by many journals as to why that is but it turns out it’s mostly just because the typical years-long space tour is really-really boring.

* The Star Wars saga and David Bowie’s catalog have both survived to the 32nd Century. Both have been remade, covered, and retold the same way other ancient stories and songs have.

* Artificial gravity doesn’t exist in human territories. Gravity has to be generated by ship thrust, rotation, or other tricks of space travel. The Community, by contrast, does have artificial gravity.

* Human-like aliens do exist but they’re usually either human variants in evolution or genetically engineered races based on a human genome. Most aliens are animal-like at best and more often completely bizarre to human sensibilities.

Available here

Audiobook here

The Future of Supervillainy is now available in audiobook!

Hey folks,

I have some excellent news! THE FUTURE OF SUPERVILLAINY is now available on audiobook, ebook, and in paperback format.

Gary Karkofsky, a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillainy without Mercy, has decided to retire from supervillainy. He’s lost too many friends and killed too many people (though they all had it coming). Unfortunately, this proves to be easier said than done when the Department of Supernatural Services (DOSS) shows up to arrest him for all of his crimes. Quickly landing himself in more trouble, he decides to get out of town and help a struggling underground kingdom in the center of the Earth. What he finds is an army of Nazis, gods, lost temples, and dinosaurs. He also is forced to fight once more against the world’s first supervillain: Tom Terror, archenemy of heroes everywhere.

He just can’t catch a break, can he?

It may be my best work yet!




Book Review: Cthulhu Armageddon, by CT Phipps

An awesome review of CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON.


I like genre mash-ups, have loved Lovecraft’s work (and have role-played the old Call of Cthulhu RPG), and although I don’t read much dystopian works these days I was in the mood for something darker. Cthulhu Armageddon was it.

What to expect

The author notes in the preface that he set out to mix Mad Max with the Cthulhu mythos, coming from a background of gaming. He has done exactly that. The tone of the novels has that lone-gunman, cobbled-up technology relics feeling of the Mad Max movies and similar dystopia, while the creatures that inspired H.R. Giger and generations of horror lovers pop up to provide a suitable bloodbath and target practice.

The pace is quick, the action is constant, and in between the protagonist travels and adventures reminiscent of The Walking Dead there is that sense of deeper, mystical conspiracies and the doom of mankind.

What I liked

View original post 278 more words

The Future of Supervillainy is now available on Kindle and in paperback

THE FUTURE OF SUPERVILLAINY is the sixth novel in the Supervillainy Saga and probably the best one yet. Gary Karkofsky returns for another adventure as the U.S. Government forces him out of retirement. Having accidentally caused them to hate him, he’s anxious to get away for awhile and ends up being recruited by CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON’s John and Mercury to go rescue a bunch of refugees in the Hollow Earth. The subterranean kingdom is under attack by P.H.A.N.T.O.M soldiers led by none other than RULES OF SUPERVILLAINY villain Tom Terror. Never turning down a chance to punch a Nazi, Gary heads off with his family. Except he’s not the only person that’s familiar down there.

Available for purchase here

I was a Teenage Weredeer wins Independent Audiobook Award

Hey folks,

I’m astounded to share the news that I won the 2019 HEARNOW FESTIVAL’s Independent Audiobook Award for BEST PARANORMAL novel! Yes, I won with I WAS A TEENAGE WEREDEER and that is just an amazing feather in my kept.

It is an honor to have the judges choose it as the best example of its class for 2018.

Jane Doe is a weredeer, the least-threatening shapechanger species in the world. Blessed with the ability to turn furry at will and psychically read objects, Jane has done her best to live a normal life working as a waitress at the Deerlightful Diner. She has big dreams of escaping life in the supernatural-filled town of Bright Falls, Michigan, and her 18th birthday promises the beginning of her teenage dreams coming true.

Unfortunately, her birthday is ruined by the sudden murder of her best friend’s sister in an apparent occult killing. Oh, and her brother is the primary suspect. Allying with an eccentric FBI agent, the local crime lord, and a snarky werecrow, Jane has her work cut out for her in turning her big day around.

Thankfully, she’s game.

Set in the same world as Straight Outta Fangton.

Here’s what the award looks like!

If you don’t have a copy yet, I recommend picking one up!

If you want to see the actual award ceremony, it’s available for streaming here (I’m at 42:00).