Axis of Andes, Part One

Axis of Andes, an alternative history of World War II in South America will be released in May, 2021

And I have a book cover!  Check it out.  Nifty, eh. It’s a little busy, but it’s patterned on the style of history texts.  So there’s a dominant image of South America at War, with Soldiers trudging along the bottom, and a collage of war images in right and left hand columns. I’m pretty happy with it. I might ask for a tweak here and there.

In other news, Axis of Andes has been broken into two books – Part 1 and Part 2. Simple reason, it was simply too massive for one volume.

The book opens in 1937, as a delegation from Peru meets with Hitler and his cabinet in Berlin, looking for his assistance. From there, the narrative winds back and forth through the history of the region, through the societies and economies of the various nations, as events set nations on a path to war.

Inspired by an actual war between Peru and Ecuador that lasted less than a month in the 1940’s, this new version of history has this war gaining momentum and force, until literally every country in South America is dragged into the conflict and a continent is in flames.

Part One features the origins and early phases of the conflict to the point where the three countries of the Andes – Ecuador, Peru and Chile are locked in a ferocious death struggle.

Part Two sees the conflict escalate steadily engulfing one country after the other, extending from Bolivia and Argentina, to Colombia and the rain forests of Brazil.

LEXX – The Thrill of the New

LEXX Unauthorized, the final volume!  The amazing behind the scenes chronicle of the most brilliantly surreal sci fi series ever made.  Twenty years in the making.  Releasing next week! Be sure to get your copy and don’t forget to buy the previous books.

I remember the first time I saw I Worship His Shadow.

Forgive me, I’m trying to promote the final book, so that means talking about it and the other books. But I’m coming to the end of my run with LEXX, this thing that’s shadowed me for twenty years, and I think that makes me contemplative.

So… the first time I saw I Worship His Shadow.

It was amazing. We kind of forget that sometimes. We are so awash in stories, in film and television, books and games, there’s only so many ways to play something. After a while, we just get used to it, we get jaded, and there’s so much that becomes so predictable. Genuine surprise and wonder eventually gets dulled.

Ever have a moment where you’re watching a film or television show for the first time, and it’s so utterly formulaic, that you can literally shout out the lines before the actors do? Because even though this is the first time you’ve watched it, it is so dull, so much a part of things we’ve seen over and over, that there’s no surprise. Watching it for the first time, you can recite the actor’s dialogue and the story beats.

But what about those times when an actor says something, when the story does something that you didn’t see coming. When it’s honestly new and unexpected. Remember that thrill?

If any of you are writers or artists out there, then take this as a suggestion. Be unexpected, do the unexpected. The most interesting thing for people is not knowing what happens next. That’s what people watch for. Because if they know what’s next… why do they need to bother watching or reading? Maybe there are other reasons, but if there are, you damned well need to deliver something.

I Worship His Shadow? It was absolutely brilliant. Things happened that I wasn’t expecting or anticipating, everything was new. It was that ‘first time’ sense of wonder and excitement. I literally had no idea what was coming next, who was going to live, who was going to die, where the story was going to go, who was even important to the story, what anyone was going to say. I just had to keep watching to see what happens, I was watching without a net.

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LEXX – The Clone War, An old spec script

[FREE ONLINE] LEXX CLONE WARS aka MAXIMUM CLONEAGE – D.G. Valdron (denvaldron.com)

It’s odd.  I’m not really a fan by nature.  I liked Star Trek, enjoyed Star Wars, but I’ve never really gone overboard.  I’m mostly a take it or leave it kind of guy.  I go through life appreciating things, but I generally don’t obsess.

Well, maybe two exceptions.  LEXX and Doctor Who.  I step up for those. I like the Doctor because he’s good. I like the LEXX because they’re bizarre.  Of the two, I think it was LEXX I went overboard for.  Almost to the point of obsession.  I wrote the book – the LEXX Unauthorized series. Along the way, I wrote fanfics, submitted spec scripts, watched, wrote and researched obsessively, I even edited together my own versions of LEXX episodes.

I make no apologies, LEXX was endlessly fascinating and anarchic, behind the scenes and on screen. There was an energy, a creativity, a sheer imagination and bravado to the show that still amazes me decades later. It wasn’t perfect, there’s a weird stunted sexuality, they suffered from too much ambition and too little money, and sometimes it went off the rails. But it’s best, it was brilliant. And more than brilliant, it was subversive and surreal.

I’m glad to have had had the access and the contacts that allowed me to research and write, LEXX Unauthorized.

Honestly – this post is just shameless self promotion. I’m trying to get you to by the last book – hell, buy all of them.

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What have I been up to lately?

Ebooks by D.G. Valdron

THE MERMAID’S TALE

AUDIOBOOK, Fossil Cove Publishing– ISBN 10 192740097X

To catch a monster, hire a monster. Life is cheap in a primordial city where races from goblins to giants struggle to coexist. But something has crossed the line; a sacred Mermaid has been savagely murdered. The Elders summon an abomination in the eyes of every god, a savage Orc to find the killer. But no one could have guessed where the Orc’s search would take her, or how tenaciously she would cling to her mission. As the city spirals relentlessly into a brutal civil war, the Orc prowls the savage landscape from one kingdom and one race to the next, encountering ruthless shamans, evading the machinations of shadowy powers, she discovers something she never imagined… her own humanity.

Reviews

This book is violent and brutal and haunting and beautiful. If I could give this a sixth star I would. – Michael Fletcher, author of Beyond Redemption

I absolutely loved this book; it’s already one I know I’ll remember for a long time. I would never have thought a book about an orc would be one of the best existential works I’ve ever read. Kindle Reviewer

This book was wonderful. Seriously… What a beautiful story full of feels, violence and loads of good stuff. This novel definitely exceeded my expectations. – Lady Luna, Goodreads Reviewer

“Where’s the line between the animal and the human? What defines us as humans? I felt this book strike the core of this matter. Oh wow, what a read. This book is dark, engaging, a bit annoying, interesting and full of hard life. With a slight touch of light, shining in the horizon, while sitting near the ocean and listening for the Mermaid’s Tale…. What a tale.” – Orient, Goodreads Reviewer.

Great standalone book. It is certainly grim dark but the blunt humor evens it out. But the ending is triumphantly hopeful – Kindle Reviewer

D.G. Valdron’s ‘The Mermaid’s Tale’ was a completely unexpected read. When I began the book, I never thought I’d come to love the lowly Arukh, a kind of female orc. The story had me questioning everything I think I know about life. When I was done the book, I was overwhelmed by emotion. Kindle Reviewer.

“The Mermaid’s Tale is a fable of personhood wrapped in a murder mystery framed by a fantasy setting, peopled by familiar races that are presented in subtly original ways.” – Melanie, Goodreads Reviewer.

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LEXX, a personal story

Here I am working on the fourth and final book of LEXX, and it’s a bittersweet experience.

I’m going through old notes, re-reading interviews with Lex Gigeroff and John Dunsworth, hearing their voices in my head, the friendliness, the enthusiasm, the sheer joy of life, and it saddens me to know that they’re gone. That now those voices are only in my head, triggered by the words on screen. The world is a little smaller, a little duller.

With the fourth book, I’m coming to the end of my own long journey with LEXX, and that’s also a little sad I suppose. It’s been with me for such a long time, and finishing this book, setting it loose in the world, will mean the end of something personal for me.
I’ll take a moment and be completely honest. I’m doing a bit of huckstering. I’d like to sell a few books. Honestly, I’d like to sell a lot. But I’ll settle for a few. And hell, maybe even interest some of you in some of my other work. I’m a writer, so I figured the best way to do that is to write something. Offer up something to people that they haven’t seen with LEXX, something that’s just not another publicity photo of Eva or a screen cap of Michael. Offer up myself.

You see, I genuinely believe that LEXX really was something special, something unique. That it was visually innovative and startling, that it plumbed depths or surrealism and absurdity. Everyone knows Vadim for Barbarella, or Jodorowsky or Bunel for surrealism, or Ionescu for the Rhinoceros or Ubu Rex. They teach courses in these guys, they have classes, they’re studied, people do Masters degrees and PhD’s, and I honestly think LEXX is that calibre, that innovative, that subversive and ground breaking. That LEXX is that significant, and the story of LEXX is fascinating and important.

So yes! Yes I want to sell books. When I released the first volume, I just wanted it out of my hard drive, and out in the world. But now, years later, putting all the work into it again and again, damned right I want people to read it!

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The Nazification of the Republican Party

THE NAZIS HAVE COME OUT OF THE CLOSET
Strong words? Yes they are. But well deserved. I know that some will think I’m overstating it, or that I’m trivializing the historical Nazis, after all, the Capitol Insurrectionists were just a small group.  It’s not like we’re looking at concentration camps and gas chambers.
But then, for much of their history, the Nazis weren’t about concentration camps and gas chambers.  That sort of stuff came later, when they were fully in charge, and no one could stop them.
Before it got to that point though, between 1920 and 1933 when they took over, the Nazis spent a long time becoming what they were, and building and bullying their way into power.  These are the Nazis I’m talking about.
January 6, 2021, and the days that follow have been traumatic. It’s one thing to worry about the direction things are going. It’s one thing to watch the Republicans get crazier and crazier, going from Global Climate Change is a hoax, to Russian hoax, Coronavirus hoax, to watch them politicise everything, to embrace a culture of lies and spin and perpetual rage.  It’s one thing to watch with profound disquiet as a man who campaigned to lock his rival up and openly suggested a ‘second amendment solution’ or assassination for her, systematically tears down democracy.
But it’s still stunning to see full fledged Nazism rear its head.

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LEXX Unauthorized – Reviews

Generally, I get these books out, and then I don’t think about them too much.  Nobody else does, so it evens out.  But uploading the Latest LEXX Unauthorized, I was startled to discover that I got reviews.  So, I thought I’d share them.  Apologies to folks if I’m violating someone’s copyright. But really, I’m flattered, and frankly, it’s a lonely thing to be a writer.  So here goes…

FROM AMAZON

LEXX UNAUTHORIZED, Volume 1
Abraham
Reviewed in Canada on June 18, 2020
Verified Purchase

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LEXX Unauthorized, Series Three: It’s Hot and It’s Cold

Fire and Water, Heaven and Hell

Cause it’s hot and it’s cold
It’s “Yes” or it’s “No”
It’s in if it’s out
It’s up but it’s down
It’s wrong or it’s right

It’s black and it’s white

                                                                                        Apologies to Katy Perry

SERIES THREE OF LEXX, when everything radically.  Gone were the Sci Fi adventures from planet to planet, the dark, funny, furious adventures.  In it’s place was a thirteen part serial in which the LEXX was trapped in orbit around two warring planets, Fire and Water, and the crew journeyed between them, solving the mystery of Heaven and Hell. Behind the scenes, the genesis of series three was just as topsy turvy, with story roots going back before the first series was even released, driven by the crises and struggles of the second season, and wrestling with financial cutbacks. Volume three covers everything and anything to do with the third series.

WHAT IS LEXX: A ground breaking Canadian sci fi television series, created by Paul Donovan, Lex Gigeroff and Jeff Hirschfield, shot and produced in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by Salter Street Films, that ran four seasons between 1996 and 2002.

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Local Heroes: David Perlmutter’s ORTHICON

David (D.K.) Perlmutter is another local genre writer. I first ran across him through his vividly written ‘American Toons,’ a nonfiction history of animation in America that was fresh, lively and engaging. It is perhaps not a surprise that his debut novel, Orthicon, draws on those sources, following in the footsteps of Roger Rabbit…

Imagine you live a relatively normal life, in a relatively normal place. Then, without warning, you are abducted, and sent to live in a distant place, far off Earth. It gets stranger still when you find out you are not human, or animal, or whatever you thought you were, but completely alien. And your entire life, past, present and future, has been shaped by forces beyond your control, with no way for you to control them.  Save one…

Named one of the top 50 Best Indie Books of the Year by Read.Freely.com, “Orthicon” is a revealing narrative told in many voices, coming to only one conclusion. A revealing debut novel with an intriguing premise: who decides what is real, what is human, and what is otherwise.

I’m a freelance writer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The first major book I had published was America ‘Toons In: A History Of Television Animation (McFarland Press) in 2013; the title is self-explanatory, I think. I’m currently working on an updated second edition of that.  I’ve also written a reference work, The Encyclopedia Of American Animated Television Shows (Rowman and Littlefield).

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And the winner is not….

…me.

Oh well. Boo hoo and all that.

The finals have been announced for the Booklife Contest.  As per previous blog posts, my novel, The Princess of Asylum had made it to the quarter finals, and then the semi-finals. Really good review, really good score.  Check it out here:

https://booklife.com/project/the-princess-of-asylum-49518

Alas, not quite good enough.

The Finalist, Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror for is E.M. Hamill’s Peacemaker.  You can check it out here:

https://booklife.com/project/peacemaker-46487

E.M. Hamill, according to her bio on Booklife is  “a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and whenever she can steal quality time with her laptop. She lives with her family, a dog, and a cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.”

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