Read Some Of DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM

As promised earlier, here is the opening of my pulp adventure novel Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, the first adventure of Dr. Spartacus Wilde and his swashbuckling kids Brian and Wren. As you read this, understand that the book is currently going through a polish and extra edit, so neither this nor the original text of the edition published earlier by Putnam is exactly as it will appear in the improved, fully-illustrated re-release  of the book this June.

In April, I’ll be running a Kickstarter project encompassing this novel and its two follow-ups (which I’d originally contracted to Putnam, but now am publishing independently for reasons detailed here), all of which will be released this year. Next week I’ll post the first peek anyone has seen of the long-awaited second book, Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull, and the week after a glimpse of Doc Wilde and The Dance of the Werewolf, which Putnam thought too scary in its original form. I like scary and won’t be changing it.

The art you’ll see below (as well as the early draft cover above) was done by comic book artist Gary Chaloner before I’d even sold the first book to Putnam, in the hopes the book would be illustrated by him when published. That didn’t work out originally, but now Gary’s wonderful take on the Wildes will be an integral part of the series. This isn’t finished art, or necessarily images that will make it into the final book, but it will give you a taste of what’s to come… Continue reading

A Return to SKULLDUGGERY (A Free Serialized Novel by Tim Byrd)

Drogarth.

The name alone conjures dark images of spilling blood, of blackest magiks, of lawlessness and chaos. Throughout the kingdom children hear stories of this evil city and are told they must never go there — and they wish with all their hearts that one day they will. For children are the custodians of wishes, of dreams; they know in their hearts, in their souls, that only in the darkest of pits can the brightest adventures be found…

A couple of years ago (oddly enough, exactly two years ago, to the day, as I type this, now that I check), I started to post my novel Skullduggery, A Tale of Thievesas a free serialized novel at its own site. Then, life happened, and the project very quickly faltered.

Today, I’m pleased to renew my commitment to making this book available, and there are several new chapters up. I’m going to try to put up at least some new material weekly from now on, which I’ll announce here on my blog (probably on Fridays, click the “Follow” button in the sidebar to the right if you want to make sure to get updates).

Click below to join me on this dark adventure…

SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES

Grewt Ningrich and the Party of Lies

Newt Gingrich.

Newt. Fucking. Gingrich.

This is how bad things have gotten.

I think it’s time to revisit a post I did a while back. It’s primarily about lies in politics, but has a good amount of information about Gingrich specifically that most people aren’t aware of. I’m pretty proud of this piece:

Pants on Fire

Two-Fisted Flickage (My Latest IMJ Pulp Column)

My latest column at Inveterate Media Junkies is up. It’s part 2 of my look at pulp adventure films.

Two-Fisted Flickage (Pulp On The Big Screen, Part 2)

And if you missed part 1 or earlier columns:

If Adventure Has A Name (Pulp On The Big Screen)

Column 1: I Am Doc Savage

Column 2: I Am Not Doc Savage

If Adventure Has A Name… (My Latest IMJ Pulp Column)

He knows.

My latest column on pulp adventure is up at Inveterate Media Junkies. This month I’m discussing pulp movies.

If Adventure Has A Name (Pulp On The Big Screen)

And if you missed the earlier columns:

Column 1: I Am Doc Savage

Column 2: I Am Not Doc Savage

My Pulp Pit Column at IMJ Returns! Pulp Pit #2: “I Am Not Doc Savage”

After many travails, my second column at Inveterate Media Junkies is now finally online:

I AM NOT DOC SAVAGE

“Though No Horns Adorn My Head” (A Poem)

Though no horns adorn my head
My spirit points to the moon’s sky.

Though my legs don’t end in hoofs
I walk a cocksure prance ‘cross sacred Earth.

My body is hairy.
I’m a proud-hung young buck.
Behind sharp eyes my soul stalks wild.

Horned God–
Horny As Hell God–
Reviled by  fundamental debasers of flesh sacredness–
You still live
in me.

I will drink red wine
I will eat bloody venison meat
And I will dance and sing and fuck and live
So that you may be sacred still.

So that I may be sacred still.

So that life will be sacred still.

“Threshold” (A Poem)

Planks solid underfoot

then

storm and waves and
wind bash and batter
splintering
that on which I stand.

I drift
looking at stars for guidance.

The dark god
has struck
is trying to keep me from
landfall
I have yearned toward.

My heart is strong.
I swim like a bastard.

Estuary.
River mouth roaring turbulence
and it seems I’m lost
just as I am saved.

I pray the god of this river
for sanctuary:

O great flowing god
god of life and motion
and change; 

O great god,
I ask your mercy
I am on my knees
your suppliant

and I see that in your flow
is wisdom gained
and strength born
if only I swim, and look,
and realize.

Grant me, o god,
sanctuary and
sanctity;
safe harbor;
calm shores to salve
my wounds…

and spirits to guide me.

And then were the waters
calmed;
then, the sky grew blue;
then, the bright sun
burned away darkness,
leaving shadow, plain to see,
but woven into the world of light,
unhidden
undangerous.

Landfall.
And I am alive.

And living.

“I Eat You Eat I” (A Poem) NSFW

It is a vision
some would say
lacks grace:

our two sweaty bodies
coiled together
mouths and crotches
slurping
sucking
lapping
warm
and wet
and rockhard
or soft.

It is not love-making of the face to face sort
but more carnal
if only for its social awkwardness.

The vision recurs…

I remember your soft flesh
wet and musky
moving under my probing, stroking
tongue–
the feel of your lips teeth tongue
throat
engulfing my shaft, swallowing, tasting me.
Our bodies tight and heaving.
Lost in passion,
topsy turvy with love,
no up nor down to this lustful embrace,
this meal
as I eat you as
you eat me as
I eat you
as you eat me
as–

Some would say
it lacks, if not taste,
definitely grace.
‘Tis not tactful, to love so.

But to me, remembering,
there was eternity in the act,
a circle formed without seam
complete
two halves making a perfect roundness
rolling like a wheel
toward forever.
Like the worm Ouroboros
swallowing its snaking tail,
to me, if only me,
we formed an eternity.

To live,
we eat.

Run For Deer Life (A Poem)

you run for        deer life
blood shoots through veins of flesh
horns       rattling branches       as
hooves          sink in dark autumn mulch

and         rifleshot cracks         the cold air
shatters your ribs          blood exploding     spraying
you stagger         pain       and run on          pain
world reels in your eyes

rifleshot cracks

your head jerks       odd angle
bony point on right antler        splinters
in near miss       pain   in   side         inside

but        then      eyes clear  as lovewarmthstrength
fills you      pain washes away     spindly legs become
muscled springs launching through forest faster than
before      ever before     and       in mind mixed
of personal moment and species past is sudden
recognition of        GODHOOD       in you but
also utter terrifying            aloneness
other deer in forest      but you the last of herd
of line from out you heaved       bloody sticky awkward

cold air      run     no pain      run      hunter far behind
you reach sweet drinking creek      slow      blood flow from
side of mouth     hot sweet       stagger       fold
to earth        painless grace     vision rolls       breathe
breathe      breathe                   not
two spirits die        in you
your herd         your line
are no more.

Watching Hunters

A memory from an old journal of mine…

I am sitting uncomfortably, strapped with my back to a pine, thirty-odd feet off the ground. It’s dark and cold, not yet five a.m. A periodic wind pushes the branchless length of trunk this way and that and cuts through the layers of clothing I wear. The worst part is my feet feel like ice sculptures in my boots. I can’t feel my toes.

I’m on a deer hunt, this autumn of ’91, but just as an observer. It’s bow season and I am unarmed. The men I’ve come with are spaced in hopeful stillness across several miles of night-dark Georgia forest, participants in a ritual much older than recorded time. Hunters. Predators. There is camaraderie, even when everyone is alone, frozen, quiet. Camaraderie building to beers to be shared, observations spoken, well-meant insults inflicted. But now there’s just stillness and darkness and cold.

Uncomfortable as I am, I have a thrilling sense of connectedness, an awareness of how alive I am, and how alive the woods are around me.  This place, this rural, undeveloped parcel of land, still dreams the deep dreams of wilderness, and I, not back in my bed partitioned from the earth’s breath by walls with their own vented, heated breath, am a part of those dreams. Continue reading

She Rises Lunar (A Poem)

She rises lunar above the crumpled flannel horizon
Heavenly body shimmering with lambent light–
Beaded sweat–
And the tide of blood in me flows toward her.
Then my Rising Sign waxes
Called by her–
And her fullness wanes
Across the dark-wall sky
And by the moonlight beacon of the window
I am eclipsed
Wet
Once again
By her darkness.

Earth moves.

“She Stalks Starlit Wilds” (A Poem)

She stalks starlit wilds
Hot sweat slicking her skin.
Naked skin.
And under that, Blood.
Hot and Red and Lusting.
Life blood.

Her hair is a wild mane cascade
Catching the wild winds–
And scintillating stars spark and spin
In its curls.

She loves to Hunt
To Eat
To Fuck
To LIVE
Feeling her godness in her body moving
Muscle and bone and tendon
And Blood, tided to the Moon forever.

She stalks the Wild.
She hunts for Passion.
Blood. Moon.
Life.
She stalks starlit wilds.

And I dream that she is hunting
For me.

“Wild Soul – Nature, Civilization, and the Ecological Spirit” (Now Available, Just 99¢)

 

JUST 99¢!!!

My essay “WILD SOUL – Nature, Civilization, and the Ecological Spiritis now available from Amazon as a Kindle download for 99 cents.

In the near future, it will be going up at other online venues, in other ebook formats. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read Kindle books with free programs downloadable from Amazon, like Kindle for PC. I read Kindle books on my iPhone and desktop computer.)

Traditional tales across the world describe mankind’s joyful rise in a wild paradise like the Garden of Eden. But they also tell of our fall from such lives of bliss and natural grace.

Our technology, our cities, our toys, our wealth, all have done nothing to ground us as individuals or as societies. If they had, we would live in a near Utopia, rather than the reelingly chaotic and violent world-on-the-brink around us, for surely our affluence and level of comfort is greater than it has been for any people in the history of the earth.

Is Eden forever lost, or is there a way back?

Can we access that marvelous, mythic place in our souls, find a path to its joyful, natural wonders? Or have we slumbered so long in civilized ways that our vital selves are banished for the rest of time?

Can we reclaim the power of the primitive without denying ourselves the comforts and wonders of the modern world?

Exploring sources ranging from the Old Testament and Eastern mysticism, from poetry to popular fiction, from ancient fable to contemporary deep psychology, novelist Tim Byrd finds the prescription for our ills.

We need to live and love more fully, and do things that matter.

We need a renewal of a sense of sacredness towards the natural world, and intimacy with that world.

We need wild soul.

“Dead Folks” Now Available

Click To Buy!

My story “Dead Folks” is now available from Amazon as a Kindle download for 99 cents. In the near future, it will be going up at other online venues, in other ebook formats. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read Kindle books with free programs downloadable from Amazon, like Kindle for PC. I read Kindle books on my iPhone and desktop computer.)

Here’s the story’s description:

What do you do when your town is suddenly inundated with pesky corpses from various historical eras?

The problem turns personal for young Johnny when he and his sister find Franklin Delano Roosevelt floating dead in the lake. Then the stakes become more dire when he discovers the plague of dead folks might just be the least of his troubles.

Tim Byrd’s clever short story spins the sort of yarn that Mark Twain and Stephen King might produce if spacetime allowed them to collaborate. Join the creepy fun, but watch where you step.

If you read it, please consider leaving a short review on Amazon. It’s new and fresh and needs all the lovin’ it can get…

Introducing My New Monthly Column on Pulp Adventure: The Pulp Pit

A Typical Pulp Hero...

As I mentioned in the Song of the Week post yesterday, I have a new monthly column over at Inveterate Media Junkies. The first installment is now live and you can read it here:

I Am Doc Savage

The column is called “The Pulp Pit,” and as you might deduce, its subject is pulp. I’ll be covering whatever pulpy topics tickle my muse (or maybe cuddle my muse, since she’s not that fond of tickling), pointing out cool pulp stuff for people to enjoy, and reviewing books, comics, movies, games, TV shows, and whatever else as appropriate.

For those with possible review materials they think might be on-topic for a pulp column, please drop me a line at thepulppit at gmail.com (just connect the two parts up with an @). I’m interested in any sort of pulpish media, old or new. I don’t want people just sending me things that stack up and I never get to, as that costs you money and both of us time. So tell me what it is, and if I think it’s something I might actually make time to read/watch/play/etc., I’ll tell you how to send it to me.

Regular readers of this blog  might have noticed a recent password-protected entry titled I Am Doc Savage (Pulp Pit # 1). Two weeks after a column appears on IMJ, I’ll remove the password and make the post public, so it’s available to readers here.

I Am Doc Savage (Pulp Pit # 1)

[This is a Pulp Pit column, originally published at Inveterate Media Junkies. These columns are exclusively available at their site for two weeks, then I make them available here on my blog.]

I am Doc Savage.

If you know me, you know that to the world at large, I am a strange, mysterious figure of glistening bronze skin and golden eyes. A man of superhuman strength and protean genius. My life is dedicated to the destruction of evil-doers. I am the greatest adventure hero of all time.

Now hear me out. Sure, I lack the bronze. My eyes are blue, and I tend toward what you might call an Irish tan, which is to say, freckles at best, charbroiled melanoma at worst. So, I’m not literally the original superman, standing tall with a tropic tan and eyes of swirled gold.

Nor do I live in the Empire State Building, have a team of action-packed scientist aides, or play a mean violin.

Plus, I don’t live in the early twentieth century.

So where do I get off saying that  I’m Doc Savage? Continue reading

SKULLDUGGERY (A Free, Serialized Novel by Tim Byrd)

Drogarth.

The name alone conjures dark images of spilling blood, of blackest magiks, of lawlessness and chaos. Throughout the kingdom children hear stories of this evil city and are told they must never go there — and they wish with all their hearts that one day they will. For children are the custodians of wishes, of dreams; they know in their hearts, in their souls, that only in the darkest of pits can the brightest adventures be found…

Years and years ago, when I had a bit more spring in my step and fewer callouses on my heart, I got out of a misguided stint in the U.S. Army and plopped down at a cheap portable typewriter to begin living the life I always intended to live, that of a dashing and prolific novelist.

I was living on savings, shacking up in Kassel, West Germany (there was still an East Germany then) with a wonderful girlfriend named Rike (whom I’d met the very day I’d arrived at my Army post), who was deep in her own university studies while I took the time to write.

It was a happy year. It was the most productive year of my life, too.

First, I wrote a short fantasy adventure novel called The Road to Adventure. It was sort of stock fantasy — knights and elves and hot pagan priestesses — mixed with sheer swashbuckling and quite a bit of eldritch horror. Took me just over a month to write, and I got it in the mail and started the next project.

The Road to Adventure damn near got published too. A senior editor at one of the big science fiction/fantasy publishers took a liking to it and went to bat for it with the editorial board. See, getting a book published isn’t just a matter of getting a “yes,” it’s a matter of getting a series of “yeses,” and if you get a “no” in that series, you’re screwed. According to the editor, I had the majority of folks wanting the book, but got two key noes; I was screwed. But hey, pretty good for the first shot.

Of course, that resolution took a while, during which I wrote my second book. This took a lot longer than a month. Whereas I’d written Road with a detailed outline, I started this one with a setting, a couple of character ideas, and the notion that I was gonna write a “hardboiled fantasy,” mixing standard sword and sorcery tropes with gritty crime fiction. And I had the title:

Skullduggery. A Tale of Thieves. Continue reading

Blood of Eden

Many moons ago, I was friends with Shane Black (who makes an appearance on the acknowledgments page of my book). He’s the guy who wrote Lethal Weapon and spent a few years wrestling Joe Eszterhas for highest amount ever paid for a screenplay (Shane’s personal best was $4,000,000 for The Long Kiss Goodnight, which was then run through the mediocritizer by director Renny Harlin).

Shane also wrote and directed the INCREDIBLE Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which is oceans full of fun, and has great performances by Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, and Michelle Monaghan.

But I digress.

Seriously, we'll all be better off if you let Tim write the movie.

Seriously, we’ll all be better off if you let Tim write the movie.

Shortly after Lethal Weapon 2 was released, I had what I figured was a great idea for a third movie in the series. I wrote a treatment, and Shane took a look. Continue reading