Heavy Metal Thunder 3 and Other Updates!

By Kyle B. Stiff

First off, forgive me for leaving you guys with no updates for so long! Now, it should go without saying that the B. Stiff was working like mad the entire time, tirelessly giving everything he had just so you – my precious readers – might be entertained. We already know that’s what I was doing, right? Great! Then let’s move on.

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First bit of good news! Heavy Metal Thunder 3: Slaughter at Masada is now available for pre-order at Amazon! Sorry, but it looks like there won’t be a fancy app version. The last time I visited Cubus Games in Barcelona, I was horrified to see their studio in flames. I went inside with my gun held ready, but I was too late… they had all been shotgunned to death by nihilistic murder-junkies from a timeline abandoned by God. Some of my slain allies even had signs of torture, with their you-know-whats twisted into oversized pretzels. I swore vengeance on those who… well, I was going to swear vengeance, but I had a lot on my plate, you know? I figured someone would sort things out.

But anyway, the third installment of the Heavy Metal Thunder series will launch on July 11, but you can preorder a copy right now. How amazing is that?

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I’m also close to finishing VOIVOD Book 3: Forest of Spears, which brings our historically accurate tale of Vlad the Impaler up to the fateful events of 1462 AD, when… ah, but I can’t give it away! Let’s just say that all the goofy tales of blood-sucking vampires can’t even come close to matching the REAL and largely-unknown saga of Vlad and a few  brave knights taking a stand against something so horrific that we can hardly imagine it today, what with being modern-day, pigeon-toed, narrow-shouldered man-children.

I haven’t forgotten about Demonworld, either. I promise, once VOIVOD is done (four books total, third is about to drop), then I’ll work on Demonworld until it’s complete. I’ve dragged it out for far too long!

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At the risk of sounding annoyingly vague, I’ve also been involved in some other… projects. Many projects, in fact. Out of all of them, only one fell apart when the project lead collapsed in a fit of anguish and shrieking paranoia during the relatively carefree early stages of the project. I tend to work alone (that’s part of what makes me seem so cool), and that incident taught me a lot about the mindset a person needs to have in order to be a part of a team. However, all of the other projects are moving along! Who knows, we might even see the B. Stiff place his gentle (yet powerful) hands on some story-based projects that aren’t books.

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Which is great, because how big of a nerd do you have to be to actually read a book?!? Seriously!

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The B. Stiff Flies from One Victory to the Next (Life of Privilege Continues)

Thought I’d send a smoke signal to let you guys know I’m still alive!
I’ve finished the first two books in my new Voivod series. It’s a historically accurate (but fictionalized) account of the life of Vlad the Impaler, the real-life Dracula. It has nothing to do with vampires or pasty fashionistas, and everything to do with medieval warfare and one man’s struggle against the Islamic slave trade in medieval Eastern Europe. I’m working on the third book in the four-book series, which is called Forest of Spears. It’s dynamite! The first two books are already available in hard copy, so there’s no reason to be jealous of the rich kids with their fancy e-readers.

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I’d like to write some more historical fiction later, but first, I fully intend to finish Demonworld after Voivod. That’s right! Demonword books seven, eight, nine, and ten are going to launch one after the other, BAM BAM BAM, like a literary machinegun tearing apart everything in its sights.

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I’m also writing for a few video games. I had an unexpected insight the other day that if a creator doesn’t keep a full plate, then depression comes as a natural consequence. A creator has to keep his to-do list so full that it becomes overwhelming. I don’t think the tricks we use to make our minds go quiet and harness our will are necessarily fool-proof; humans are born to do things, and creators especially are born to make things. So I’m pushing myself to do more and create more. Depression will be the first casualty in this sort of violent engagement with the enemy, but that’s a casualty that I’m willing to accept!

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In closing, if I could leave everyone with a piece of advice regarding time management and achieving goals, I can only say that if you’re on a bunch of drugs and you accidentally run over someone, you should keep driving as if nothing has happened. That usually works for me!

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Kyle B. Stiff Update: Vlad the Impaler

Hello! Kept you waiting, huh?

Sorry for the long absence. My life went through a big shakedowns in which god-level cosmic forces steamrolled through every aspect of my existence. Everything that wasn’t nailed down was carried off only to be flung into a raging inferno. When my team of doctors finally let me out of the resurrection chamber, I was unrecognizable even to my own mother, with an elbow on my forehead and a spinal column dangling where my you-know-what used to be.

But I’m all better now! In fact, I’m in a situation where I can write for your enjoyment for hours and hours, each and every day. I really lucked out! In a few months I’ll start writing DEMONWORLD BOOK SEVEN: THE DEMON WAR. But first, I need to finish this short series of historical fiction books that I’ve been researching for so long. The series is called VOIVOD, and it’s about the life of Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula. I’m going for historical accuracy, which means there’s not going to be any vampires, or frankenfurters, nor any bigfeets or Loch Ness Monsters from the Black Lagoon. But don’t worry, the life of Vlad the Impaler was way more interesting than a bunch of drama club queens biting each other on the neck and collecting “swag” and “merch” from Hot Topic.

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Vlad was at the forefront of a war waged for slaves, and he took a stand that most people will never know about. His life story was written by his enemies. Once you strip away the propaganda, you’re left with a story about a man who was taken from his family, fought a war against child slavery, and was remembered as a monster. I’m going to release all four books fairly close to one another, all before the end of 2017 if things go according to plan. (Don’t worry, things never go according to plan.)

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For readers of Demonworld and Heavy Metal Thunder, forgive me for the delay. I had to write this Vlad series because I was starting to become obsessed. I was reading book after book and having strange dreams and waking up overcome with emotion. I had an intense sense of betrayal, and after studying Vlad’s life, it made sense. The good news, for my regular readers, is that Heavy Metal Thunder Book Three: SLAUGHTER AT MASADA, is already written. The wizards and warriors at Cubus Games will begin work on the app any day now!

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Also, after my recent life changes, I’m a lot more aware of the fact that any of us can go at any minute. After I finish the series about Vlad, I might just go ahead and finish all of the Demonworld books. You guys have waited long enough!

B. Stiff Is Back!

Wow, I really left you guys hanging, huh? Well, I’m back. Every once in a while, when you get too comfortable, a metaphorical semi blasts through your living room. You try to clean up after it as best you can, but then a bunch of monsters hop out the back. You try to sell them on the idea of attacking your neighbors and not your family (sorry) but their laser rifles are honed in on your loved ones and they know the layout of your house so you know they’ve been sent specifically for you so in the end (still just a metaphor) you lose everything you thought you had. In the aftermath, when you feel like a ghost drifting through a desolate landscape littered with the memories of the man you once were, you turn to old issues of the Punisher because you know that’s what you have to become if you want to survive. Survival demands you keep moving, and it doesn’t hand out rewards, only duties.

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My metaphor went off the shit-end of the stick, but what I’m trying to say is that I’m going to be writing a lot more for you guys in 2017. But 2016 wasn’t as much of a bust as it looked like! Even while struggling against horrors that no reasonable universe would ever ask anyone to face, I still wrote the third Heavy Metal Thunder book. It won’t be available until the wizards at Cubus Games finish the ritual that turns it into an app, but I’ve done my part. (I’m sure they also want to complete Frankenstein Wars first.) I also knocked out a couple of scripts for your enjoyment, if you’re interested: Phoenix and HUMAN.EXE.

I almost forgot, I also made part of an old-school RPG for you guys, too! You can read about it or even download it HERE.

See? 2016 wasn’t so bad, now, was it?

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As for 2017, not only do I want to finish Demonworld Book 7: The Demon War (finally!), but I also want to write a historical fiction novel. How crazy is that? I have a particular man and a particular era in mind, and I’ve been doing more research than ten professors melted down and squeezed together into one super-professor. I had a few intense dreams, too, where I would see things from that character’s perspective, and would even wake up crying! Pretty overwhelming stuff! So I think my muse is telling me that this person’s story needs to be told. Don’t worry – it’s going to be entertaining as hell!

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So let’s beat the hell out of 2017! We’ll slay one day after another, but we’ll let one day live so that it can run to 2018 and give a garbled, tearful, whiny warning.

“Beware! Beware the B. Stiff!!!”

The Official Kyle B. Stiff Update

Hey everyone, thought I’d give you an update. I’m sure the few but formidable fans of Demonworld and Heavy Metal Thunder are wondering when the next book is coming out. These days I’ve started the process (once again) of finding an agent. I have to accept that I’m not very good at self-promotion, so self-publishing is never going to take off for me. I need the hideous strength of the established world of publishing. Instead of fighting for one reader here and one reader there, I need books with nice covers spewing out of giant bookstores where people can’t even get in the door without being assaulted by posters and displays telling them that buying Demonworld is not a choice, but a necessity. That’s our path to victory, readers.

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But to get there, I need an agent. It’s been a while since I took part in the cycle of looking / finding / submitting / being rejected, so things have changed. I have to admit… agents have gotten weird. Sorry, but it’s true. Back in the day, they used to say, “I publish science fiction. Send your manuscript to this address” or “I publish literature, here’s where I can be found.” These days, there’s a bit more dictation up front. The modern day superagent wants to find “the next big thing” rather than the next great read, and they’re getting specific. “I would love to receive a manuscript about a reluctant space pirate with a wise-cracking dog in a wheelchair!” or “Writers, I’m looking for a superhero zombie story with a sarcastic granny and a gay Vietnamese good-guy serial killer. Also must be reminiscent of Breaking Bad.” Uh… I’ve got six Demonworld books that readers seem to like, how’s that sound? No? Okay – see you later!

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As you can see, it’s a little frustrating. Obviously they want the humorous, quirky, short-lived cash cow, but I think it’s the dark stuff, the complicated and tragic tales, that endure. Lots of readers agree. Nobody ever read Game of Thrones or Stephen King or Dune or Wool or Joe Abercrombie because they wanted a light-hearted romp. Lots of readers want to see characters pushed beyond their limits. They don’t want the sitcom version of Tolkien. They want something that can grow with them.

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But I’m rambling. Basically I have to find an agent who believes in Demonworld just as much as I do, just as much as my readers do. Any help would be appreciated… maybe a collection of signatures? I don’t know. Like I said, I’m bad at this.

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But there’s only one path to victory, dear readers… and that path is guarded by the agents.

Don’t forget, the first Demonworld book is still free if you click here!

 

Demonworld Six Murders Readers’ Faces!

… and it’s using my worn-out body as a flail!

Hey everyone, Demonworld Book Six is now available at Amazon! It’s already gotten some great reviews; thank you, readers! It’s really nice to know that people are willing to give their time and attention to Wodan and his strange journey. It’s also good to know that you guys are enjoying the turns the story has taken. I was afraid people might think this installment of Demonworld was just too weird. But when you’re in a post-apocalyptic holy land contending with wasteland gods, weird is the norm.

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Click to…

See the book at Amazon!

See my updated Amazon author page and my massive array of textual oddities!

See the first Demonworld book, which is free!

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Thanks for sticking with me, readers! Let’s keep going until Wodi reaches the end of his path!

 

David Bowie’s Blackstar: Possible Occult Interpretations

The beautifully weird video for David Bowie’s new song Blackstar may be much more than just a crazy collage of random imagery. It’s full of occult references! Meaning can be found, but only if you’re willing to strip away comfortable ideas and step into the world of gods and symbols and unexpected correlations. Read the full piece!

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David Bowie - Blackstar