Helldorado, Walking Dead, Steampunk, and the Usual

Chris Van Deelen

Here we go again, another week, another blog.

I’ll get right into the meat of it. This blog is going to be far shorter than my previous blogs, as I have been damned busy working on the Mutations trilogy of books, which has led to less time for anything else.

So I finished the edits and cuts from the Physical Mutation book earlier this week. I did cut a LOT of material, but at the same time I also added dozens upon dozens of entries. I honestly feel the book is far better now than it was when I first submitted it!

I’m currently about 50% of the way through the same treatment with the Mental Mutations book, and at the rate I’m going I should have it complete within two weeks, hopefully a lot less. After that, then it’s the tiny Plant Mutation book, the smallest of the three.

When that is finished, I will go through a ton of source material I own from various sources and look for inspiration, as well as finish off a stack of random pieces of notes I have from over the years and add the material from there as well.


I also did write up two new entries last week for New Mutant Monday, and as I mentioned with my previous blog I wrote up the first conversion of one of his Runequest monsters. That particular monster was inspired by an image he used and I named it Plains Walker (not to be confused with the Magic the Gathering type of card). I also wrote up a creature I called the Spiny Stalker, based on another image which was sent to me by one of my readers.

Yes, another conversion of one of Clint’s critters is going up tomorrow and another creature inspired by an image sent my way.

So as always, stay tuned.

Let’s see… Skirmisher released Derek Hollands Quantum Flux: Unique superscience items.’ I haven’t read it, so I can’t give you my personal opinion on it. However it is published by Skirmisher so it will be top-notch and worth every penny!

I didn’t see any new movies this week, although I might catch Central Intelligence later this upcoming week – we shall see.

However I did finish the adaptation of 11/22/63 miniseries. For the most part it was quite faithful to the source material, although without too much in the way of spoilers Jake did not do anywhere near as much jumping back and forth in the timeline as he did in the novel, but at least the ending was very faithful.

BOTH are worth your time, the novel and the miniseries!

I should consider watching ‘Under the Dome’, but I already have a hell of a lot of shows waiting for my wife and I to get into.

Oh yeah we did finish season 1 of Fear the Walking Dead. I loved how the first couple of episodes built up the tension and suspense, but they rushed the last couple. I know people would rather see zombies and survival, but I would have been happy to see more about the overall breakdown. They could have spread it out over season two before everything fell apart.

I know there are haters for the show, but I personally enjoyed it and feel it’s an excellent companion to the Walking Dead series. Play it right and it could be around for the long run.

I finished The Pirates of Pacta Servanda The Pillars of Reality book 4. This novel is John Hemry AKA Jack Campbell steampunk, and I am so damn glad he does away with all the steampunk cliché’s. Normally I wouldn’t read this type of book, but I’m a fan of his Lost Fleet and the spinoff novels, so I figured I’d give the series a shot.

Mari and her Alain travel to the destroyed kingdom of Tiae in order to look for a place to set up shop and to see about recruiting more people to join their cause against the Mechanic and Mage guilds.

I won’t spill any more details other than to say the little band is growing and the books are becoming more and more compelling as it rapidly approaches its climax in book six. 

Growing up in the 80’s I was quite hooked on the typical ‘Men’s Adventure’ series which were so prevalent at the time. I read Bolan, some Destroyer, as well as pretty much every testosterone-dripping post-apocalyptic series available.

Some were so awful I had to wonder how they ever got published, others were pretty good, and a few stood out.

With very few exceptions, almost all the series have gone the way of the dinosaurs, and for that I am glad.

Once in a blue moon I get nostalgic for the ‘bad old days’ and occasionally go out of my way to pick up a book that brings back the memories of the kind of adventure novels I grew up on.

The Spur: Helldorado by Mark Ellis fulfilled that desire for nostalgia, and it reminded me of all the GOOD adventure novels I read, not the complete and utter crap that was most prevalent.

It combines science fiction – not just science fantasy from the 80’s and even managed to incorporate some titillating facts from Native American legend and lore.

The novel is set on a lost colony of Loki in the Orion Spur. A team lead by a no-nonsense Colonel Quentin Crockett is attempting to build an hypothesis on the conditions there after a global catastrophe which occurred around two hundred years previous.

I can’t and won’t go into too much detail simply as it is not fair to readers that I spoil it for you!

Alien bugs, Saber-tooth tigers, high-tech and hovercraft chases abound!

Frankly if you’re a fan of Westerns, Firefly, Defiance, this is the book for you. Well worth your time and money to pick up and read.

And there we have it. I did state this blog was significantly shorter than my previous blogs.

We shall see what next week brings. I can say this however, I am really eager to get back into either working on finishing the first zombie novel rewrites, or just get back into writing short stories or possibly novels.

So until next week, continue to enjoy life and for the younger readers, REALLY enjoy your summer. September will be here before you know it!