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Semi-Weird April 9, 2017

Posted by bobv451 in business, fantasy, Haiti, movies & TV, outlaws, westerns, Wild West, writing.
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Weird westerns are like zebras, either black with white stripes or white with black stripes, depending on your viewpoint. Is it weird, ie horror oriented? Or is a western, complete with western tropes? Mixing the two requires some kind of a decision. Mostly, when I write weird westerns, I go with the western basis and the horror/fantastical added on top of it.

Considering the interests of the readership (is it western or is it horror?) I have chosen poorly going the way I have. Western readers don’t seem to like much outside the traditional. Horror readers are more eclectic in their tastes, and a western setting can be reshaped into Victorian or even Gothic. I tried a trilogy, which I quite like both in concept and execution, with the voodoo element causing the western protagonist all kinds of trouble. Marketed to western readers, it hasn’t done well at all.

Punished was called semi-weird by one reviewer because it isn’t the usual stew pot of weird (like Penny Dreadful with Frankenstein’s monster, vampires, witchcraft and about everything else in the supernatural arsenal). I stuck with one menace. A not very nice protagonist is cursed by a voodoo practitioner and slowly turns into a zombie. To lift the curse he has to cross country from San Francisco to New Orleans. Along the way the very people he hates most are the only ones who can help him hold the curse at bay. As a zombie he is old school, not George Romero brain-eating, shambling or hyperzombie.

Poor Vincente has lost everything and now deals with Navajo shaman, Chinese herbalists and reluctant black voodoo mama loi. But at its core, this is a western dealing with outlaws, riverboats and all the usual, including cavalry, hanging judges and snake oil salesman. I enjoyed writing the three books but if I had them to do over, I’d go the route of western romances (romance base, western setting). Undead, Navajo Witches and Bayou Voodoo would be horrific stories set in the West.


Punished 01


A Different Use for VIPub February 12, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in Haiti, inventions, VIPub, writing.
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The print world will never go away, and this is a wonderful example. But this is certainly a nontraditional publication and shows how disasters such as Haiti can bring about innovative uses for technology. If you haven’t come across the Espresso Book Machine, go to YouTube and hunt down a demo video such as this one. Literally print-on-demand. Literally print as you watch.

Such technology could put traditional bookstores out of business. The only need for bookstore inventory would be as an example. You see a book you want, it’s printed in front of your eyes. Stock clerks become less in demand than techs to keep the machine running and supplied with ink and paper.

I have books available through the entire network of EBM–all the Zumaya Otherworld titles, including Alien Death Fleet are. The only EBM I know of “nearby” is in the new Orleans Public Library. Units are spread worldwide. Lightning Source also uses this for titles such as Scott Phillips’ Unsafe on Any Screen.

But the use of the EBM to publish necessary documents for Haitian aid workers kicks up the use of print-on-demand to a new level. A traditional publisher would be working on this, oh, next year.

POD we must.