Merkabah Rider Tales Of A High Planes Drifter……Adios

Howdy ‘lil boychicks and maidels,

My contract with the publisher of Merkabah Rider: Tales Of A High Planes Drifter, the first in the Merkabah Rider series (read all about that here), has ridden off into the sunset, so all those that are out there in the ether (and there are a lot) and the used paperback copies putzing around on Amazon, bookfinder, and ebay are all there will be for the foreseeable future.

I do have a limited number of hard copies on hand which fifteen bucks American (via Paypal) will part me with. Just email me at emerdelac(at)gmail.com if you want to work that out. That’s fifteen bucks shipping included, and I’ll sign it for you as well.

Books two, three, and four remain numberless, but in the next two years as their respective contracts expire, they’ll be going into a Disney-like moratorium as well, so grab ’em while they’re red hot.

-Adios

merkabahrider

In other news, it looks like in addition to my forthcoming short story appearances (I’m counting four right now), I’ve got two new releases scheduled for August, a new novel, Andersonville, and a novella collection, With Sword And Pistol.

More on those later.

Published in: on January 7, 2015 at 9:51 am  Comments (3)  
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The Reverend Mr. Goodworks And The Yeggs Of Yig Appearing In Steampunk Cthulhu

Up for preorder from Chaosium Books and editors Brian Sammons and Glynn Owen Barrass is Steampunk Cthulhu, featuring stories from Jeffrey Thomas, Adam Bolivar, Carrie Cuinn, William Meikle, John Goodrich, Lee Clark Zumpe, D.J. Tyrer, Christine Morgan, Christopher M. Geeson, Thana Niveau, Leigh Kimmel, Josh Reynolds, Robert Neilson, Pete Rawlik, and including my story The Reverend Mister Goodworks and The Yeggs of Yig.

The book is due out June 16th and features a killer cover from Daniele Serra, who also did the cover for my novel Coyote’s Trail.

Readers of my Merkabah Rider series  may recognize the name The Reverend Mister Goodworks from the final book in the series, Once Upon A Time In The Weird West.

Also known as The Reverend Shadrach Mischach Abednego Carter, a former train engineer who, after a horrific crash, is partially reconstructed with steam engine parts and becomes a battling preacher dedicated to the destruction of evil, the Reverend Mr. Goodworks plays a sizable part in the events of Once Upon A Time In The Weird West.

NehushtanThis story can be considered a prequel spinoff which directly ties into the the last MR novel, and provides some insight into the character.

I actually wrote this some time before I published Once Upon A Time In The Weird West, so I’m excited to see it in print at last. It involves the servants of the Lovecraftian deity Yig (obviously), and ties into the Old Testament story of the Nehushtan.

yigIn this story, the Reverend encounters a distraught pregnant Mexican woman fleeing across the desert at night. Although she begs him to kill her before they are born, the Reverend delivers her children, only to be attacked by them as they slither from her womb; a pair of vicious serpent-human hybrids. He sets out to find those responsible for this abomination….

Here’s an excerpt.

_______________________________________

The Reverend lurched into New Valusia sometime before noon, the sand grinding in his knee joints. It was little more than a few communal frame houses, some gardens, and a couple outbuildings, all arranged around a two story farmhouse with a veranda.

On the porch stood a strikingly tall, lean, yellow haired woman in a white and purple robe. She folded her sun freckled arms at his approach.

Several of the New Valusians in white cassocks rose from their various tasks to interpose themselves, bearing only shovels and hoes as weapons. The Reverend was forced to halt or else plough through them.

He stood quietly, a head taller than their tallest, and surveyed the small crowd.

“Which of you is Susannah?” he bellowed at last.

“I’m Sister Susannah Coyle,” said the woman on the porch. “What brings you here?”

“The Lord brang me here,” drawled the Reverend, unfastening his coat.

“Well, the Lord welcome you.”

“Not your lord, bitch,” growled the Reverend.

He threw open his greatcoat like a knightly tabard.

Beneath, his body was flat black with steel accents, like the shell of a richly ornamented locomotive engine. Indeed, his chest resembled the face of a locomotive, with the dim lamp set in the center. His torso was further festooned with dancing pressure gauges and valve wheels, like a harness of little metal daisies. His heavy, ironclad legs bristled with pistons and driveshafts that plunged and hissed as he moved.

There was a thick bandolier belted around his blocky waist. Hanging from the belt was an old LeMat pistol. He brought his left arm up sharply, accompanied by a series of mechanical whirs and clicks. The sleeve was split down the middle from elbow to cuff, allowing the arm to emerge from the fabric unencumbered. His right hand went to his elbow and jacked a brass lever there. A strange amalgamation of octagonal rifle barrels, three in number, and situated in a kind of pyramid one atop the other, appeared at the end of the metal arm.

The Reverend rightly assumed any of these New Valusians walking around of their own volition were acquiescent in the hell the young woman he’d buried had been put through. He had no compunctions about firing into their midst, but he directed his aim at the statuesque Susannah Coyle, furiously levering his tri-repeater arm and cutting loose with a rapid barrage.

The New Valusians weren’t used to facing gunfire and scattered, dropping their makeshift weapons in their mad flight.

Susannah Coyle didn’t budge. To his amazement, the fifteen bullets he had flung in her direction all stopped and hung suspended in mid-air a few feet from the porch, spinning in a tight group.

When he lowered his smoking arm, frowning, he became aware of a deep thrumming in the air.

The door to the house opened and two muscular white-clad men armed with primitive, two-handed stone headed mallets appeared.

“The Pacifier Field,” Susannah explained, flicking the spinning bullets one by one with her finger until they bounced down the porch steps and rolled harmlessly in the dust at the Reverend’s feet. “An electromagnetic generator. It protects our Nesting House from those who do violence. It’s on its most agreeable setting now, but when I order it directed against your person, it will repel all your metal components, even from each other. That suit of yours will come apart and fly to the compass points.”

“It’s not a suit,” said the Reverend.

————————————————-

Steampunk Cthulhu is up for preorder now on Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Steampunk-Cthulhu-Mythos-Chaosium-Fiction/dp/1568823940/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1402728266&sr=8-5&keywords=erdelac

 

The Wood Of Ephraim in Sword And Mythos

swordandmythosMy Lovecraftian sword and sorcery story The Wood Of Ephraim appears in Sword And Mythos, a beautiful new book from Innsmouth Free Press featuring stories from the ever lovin’ Willie Miekle, my friend and master of steamfunk/sword and soul,  Balogun Ojedate, Maurice Broaddus, Graham J. Darling, Paul Jessup, Nadia Bulkin, Bogi Takacs, Orrin Grey, Diana L. Paxson, Adrian Chamberlain, Thana Niveau, E. Catherine Tobler, Nellie Geraldine Garcia-Rosas, and Greg Yuen, and featuring essays by G.W. Thomas, Paula Stiles, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, who is even now bringing you She Walks In Shadows, an all-female author anthology of Lovecraftian fiction.

Set during the reign of King David, The Wood Of Ephraim is a retelling of the Biblical account of the death of David’s rebel son Prince Absalom. While fleeing David’s men, Absalom’s long and lustrous hair was famously caught in the low hanging branches of a tree. He was discovered by David’s high general, Joab, who hated Absalom’s guts over various slights in the past, and promptly slain.

ms-KingConan-15I suppose indirectly this story takes place in the universe of my Merkabah Rider series, which posits the existence of the Outer Gods as being which existed in the chaos prior to the creation of the physical universe, and directly references an idea put forth by one of the characters in MR, that the Old Ones (in particular, Shub Niggurath) were unleashed on the earth in Noah’s time, and once again, unwittingly, by King David himself….

But it’s also a sword swinging adventure/ survival horror story of the type I absolutely loved to read in my teenaged years, as penned by Robert E. Howard, and probably takes a bit of inspiration from a King Conan comic (#15) I read and re-read as a kid (and also, just a little bit, Xenophon’s Anabasis). It features the Gibborim – David’s legendary hand picked band of elite warriors, who were the ancient Hebrew equivalent of the Argonauts and Robin Hood’s Merry Men wrapped into one.

This is a great book with some excellent, diverse stories and settings, ranging from Africa to Albion. I love what I’ve read of it so far.

Here’s an excerpt from my own offering.

*****************************************************

absalom_doreAt their approach the aspect of the hanging man grew clear. The ostentatious purple cloak, better suited to the court than the battlefield, the handsome mail, the golden spangles adorning the thin, struggling arms, the rich, jewel studded sandals ten feet off the ground.

Prince Absalom’s grimacing face was partly obscured in the tangle of branches and his own famously long and lustrous hair, which was drawn tightly across his eyes, likely a result of his own efforts to extricate himself.

They came to stand immediately below him in the road. Some of them smiled to see the unfortunate traitor so lucklessly suspended by the chief object of his own vanity.

Joab laughed aloud.

“It seems your pretty locks have caught you up, O prince,” he remarked.

“Shall we pluck this fruit down for you, General?” roared Ira ben Ikkesh.

“Let it ripen!” shouted Hezro.

“Yes,” laughed Gareb, “it’s yet too bitter for the general’s plate!”

“Perhaps we should leave it here to rot,” Elez suggested in all seriousness. “Or divide it amongst us.”

The laughter died down at that. All eyes went to Joab.

Naharai frowned.

“No,” said Joab. “We will cut him down.” He looked back at Zalmon. “The king’s orders are clear.”

“Yes master,” said Zalmon, nodding his approval and glancing at Naharai, who smiled broadly, vindicated.

Joab looked up at the prince, kicking and whimpering in the branches.

“Don’t worry about sparing his lovely hair, men,” said Joab. “He left me once with a bare field because I didn’t come quickly enough when he called. Now we’ll leave him stubble-headed because he didn’t come running when his father bade him.”

Zalmon and two other men moved off the road, intending to scale the tree and hack through bough or hair.

Then Jeribai the charioteer called out from behind.

“Wait!”

The three Gibborim stopped and looked back.

Naharai felt a chill then, as something wet splashed his bare arm. He looked down to see a perfectly round spot of blood, followed quickly by another.

“Look to his face!” Jeribai urged, pointing up at Absalom, his eyes bugging.

absalomThe men on the road moved around to Jeribai’s vantage to get a better look. Naharai backed away, smearing the blood down his arm.

They saw that the spindly fingers of the tree branch were hooked into the corners of Absalom’s clenched mouth, which oozed blood.

For a moment Naharai wondered why Absalom suffered the intrusion as a simple movement of his jaw could have easily dislodged the offending branches. But then he saw; they all saw. The tendons in his neck, the muscles in his jaw, were bunched in an effort to keep his teeth shut against the pull of some unknown force. There were ragged cuts in his lips. His breaths came out in terrified white puffs in the cold air. Before their eyes, his jaw wrenched open with a pop and he screamed.

Then with a hiss, something snaked its way rapidly up the branch, faster than any serpent, snapping twigs and shedding a few brown crackling leaves in its haste. White, shiny tubers circled up the base of every branch, converging on Absalom. They flowed down his throat, filling his gaping mouth with thick wood stuff, choking off his screaming.

The whole tree shuddered as if in ecstasy. A wet sucking sound came down to them. The slick tubers in his mouth quivered. The men staggered back at the perverse spectacle of the blindfolded prince dancing jerkily in the tree limbs. Something dark that was not blood filled the tubers spilling from his mouth, which were translucent enough to see the course it took back to the trunk of the great tree.

“Lord!” Naharai exclaimed. “What is it?”

Eliam looked about to answer when Joab commanded;

“Save the prince!”

Zalmon and the two other warriors at the edge of the road drew their swords and axes and hesitated, unsure whether to pursue their earlier course and climb the tree to reach Absalom, or hew it down instead.

“General!”

It was Eliam, now at Joab’s shoulder.

“It’s too late.”

Joab opened his mouth to protest, but then saw the weird wet stalks thrusting themselves further down Absalom’s throat, so far his neck bulged hideously outward beneath his chin.

He flipped the spear in his hand, drawing it back over his shoulder.

“No!” Naharai interrupted, pushing forward and grabbing Joab’s arm. “Remember the king’s edict!”

By now word had reached King David that the battle had ended in victory and that his son had fled. If Absalom were killed, no one would believe Joab had not murdered him.

But the general was a bull, and the strongest of them. With a mere shrug, Naharai clattered to the road.

youngJoab regained himself and cast the spear. It transfixed Prince Absalom through the chest, a killing blow. Yet still the prince thrashed and fought. His teeth ground loudly against the tubers, finally cracking off in his mouth under the strain.

“Spear!” Joab cried.

Jeribai took hold of one of the general’s spears and tossed it to Joab.

Joab ran Prince Absalom through a second time. The body lurched and sagged in the grip of the tree, blood spurting down the haft.

The flow of stuff from the corpse ceased. There was a sound like a cross between the groan of falling timber and a hysterical chittering.

Then before their eyes, the branches entwined about the dead prince’s head moved.

********************************************

Pick up a copy of the book here or on Amazon –

http://www.innsmouthfreepress.com/blog/tb-books/sword-and-mythos/

 

 

 

 

 

Black Tallow In The Dark Rites Of Cthulhu

darkritesI’m very proud to have my story BLACK TALLOW appearing in the inaugural book from Neil Baker’s April Moon Books, THE DARK RITES OF CTHULHU.

Neil is a fellow Star Wars What’s The Story alumn and Mythos enthusiast, and he’s wrangled some great talent for his house’s first book, including editor/author Brian M. Sammons, Glynn Owen Barrass, John Goodrich, Scott T. Goudsward, T. E. Grau, C.J. Henderson, Tom Lynch, the ever lovin’ William Meikle, Christine Morgan, Robert M. Price, Pete Rawlik, Josh Reynolds, Sam Stone, Jeffrey Thomas and Don Webb.

Lovecraft Ezine just did a midnight chat on the book which you can view here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRjmMBp7kw0

Unfortunately I had some technical issues and wound up missing it, but here’s what I WOULD have talked about –

Brian pitched Dark Rites to me as a Hammer Studios style take on the ritualistic aspect of the Lovecraftian Mythos, akin to Dennis Wheatley’s fiction (like The Devil Rides Out) and Curse Of The Demon. I latched onto the idea immediately (and had a hand in naming the book).

My story BLACK TALLOW is about a rare book translator and lapsed occultist who is called to the house of an old friend who claims to owe all his substantial worldly success to the pursuit of ritual magic. And yet, the wealthy practitioner is as yet spiritually unfulfilled, until he comes across a rare tome whose ultimate purpose is said to be to grant the occultist the greatest desire of his heart.

blacktallowThe story incorporates The Infernalius, a book which readers of my Merkabah Rider series will recognize.

Perhaps I share my character’s love of physical books, but I have to take a minute and talk about how impressed I am with the look of this anthology. As you can see, Neil distressed the cover image to give the book a very 1960’s paperback feel which I love. He’s also crafted a series of minimalist representational images for each of the stories.

Here’s an excerpt from BLACK TALLOW.

He moved to the book and removed the covering.

I leaned in close.

bookIt was an ugly little thing, less than a hundred pages. It was bound in mottled, flaking, pale leather, and rather inexpertly, I thought. Some of the pages did not quite fit, as if they were mismatched, or taken from disparate sources.  I squinted hard at the cover, which bore no markings. It was old, whatever it was.

“Anthropodermic bibliopegy,” he mumbled, very close to my ear. He was standing near, hovering almost.

“Binding in human skin?” I wrinkled my nose. Claims of book jackets made from human skin usually turned out to be unfounded. Pig skin was often mistaken for human. I had once seen a copy of deSade’s Justine et Juliette with a human nipple on the front board below the title, and another time, Carnegie’s biography of Lincoln bound in a black man’s hide.  “Not very well done, is it?”

“It was stitched together by hand. By the same hand that did the fleshing and tanning.”

“Whose hand is that?” I asked, reaching out to thumb the pages.

“No, don’t open it!” he snapped. Then, more gently, “Let me.”

There was no title, only page after page of densely inscribed text, all in various hands, languages, even hieroglyphs on what looked like brittle papyrus. There were strange diagrams inside. I knew it was some kind of grimoire, but it was impossible for me to guess where it originated from.

“What is this, Paul? Some kind of scrapbook?”

“Sort of. Have you ever heard of the Infernalius?”

“It sounds….familiar.”

“Think back to the books we heard talked about in our college days, Raymond. The books your own grandfather had from his great uncle.”

That was Great Great Uncle Warren, the man family history had always told me I’d inherited my love of languages and old books from. He’d been a Classical Languages professor in Arkham, Massachussetts in the old days, and a chum of the somewhat notorious occult scholar Henry Armitage. Upon Warren’s death in 1931, most of his books and papers had been donated to his university, though a few had been passed on to his brother.

It was the revelation that I was Warren Rice’s great great grand nephew that had started off Paul’s fascination with me in school. He seemed to buy into the old story about how Warren and Armitage had had some strange mystical dealings in Dunwich in 1928 or so.

The books my grandfather had let us peruse in his study one summer that had belonged to Warren were mainly scholarly treatises, such as Copeland’s Zanthu Tablets: A Conjectural Translation, Casterwell’s Kranorian Annals, and von Junzt’s Nameless Cults.

Then I remembered.

“The Book of Books?”

Paul smiled.

“The Book of Books. Not some idle boast, but a literal description. A book hidden among the pages of seven other books.” He held up his hands and ticked them off, finger by finger. “The Book of Eibon, the Book of Karnak, the Testament of Carnamagos, the Ponape Scripture, de Vermiss Mysteriis, and the Scroll of Thoth-Amon. Each one a rare treasure in their own right.”

“Come on, Paul. It’s a fantasy,” I laughed. “The timeline’s all wrong. How could something be hidden in an ancient Egyptian scroll and a book written in 1542?”

“You know of the Akashic Record. The ethereal library of all knowledge written and unwritten which men may tap into. And the history says that The Dark Man entity dictated The Infernalius to the Hyborean wizard Gargalesh Svidren, who dispersed the knowledge through time. Abdul Al-Hazred hid the assembly instructions in the original, unexpurgated Arabic Kitab al-Azif. They’re only visible to those who already know it’s there. A book which rewards the practitioner with ultimate knowledge of the universe.”

“I thought it was supposed to end the world,” I said, pursing my lips. “How much did you get fleeced for buying this, Paul?”

“It’s the genuine article,” said Paul. “Dr. Francis Morgan recovered it from Old Noah Whateley’s personal library in Dunwich after the affair with your uncle and Professor Armitage.  It’s been in a private collection since 1966, along with Whateley’s diary.”

“Noah Whateley kept a diary?” I said, incredulous.

Whateley’s reputation as a sorcerer was renowned, but like my own as a translator, only among certain circles. As students, we’d spent our junior year spring break in Arkham and Dunwich trying to learn all we could about him and run into a wall. I’d chalked it all up to being folklore. Paul had insisted the locals had protected us from the true knowledge.

“He did, and related his assembly of the book in 1882.”

“Finding the right copies of those books, unaltered by translation….it would’ve been impossible for one man,” I said.

“He was hired by a cult, the Order of The Black Dragon. You remember them.”

I nodded. Von Junzt had mentioned them, some sort of apocalyptic cult with origins in ancient Israel and adherents all over the globe.

“Their members gathered the required books and brought them to Whateley. He assembled them, and once the Order had performed the ritual and taken what they wanted from the book, he was sent back to Dunwich with it. Apparently it was their intention to call something forth, something that should have ended the world.”

“Well, so the book’s a fraud,” I said. “Obviously the world didn’t end.”

“The book’s purpose isn’t to end the world, but to grant the ritualist his heart’s desire. The Order wanted the end of the world. The book gave them the means. The book changes to fit the magician’s desire.”

“A book that changes? That’s crazy….”

—–

Black_candles_Speyer_1THE DARK RITES OF CTHULHU is available now in Kindle, and for preorder in paperback. Neil’s made some cool perks for the special edition of the book too, so check them out here.

http://www.aprilmoonbooks.com/#!the-dark-rites-of-cthulhu/c1q0a

 

 

The Big Giveaway Contest

Merkabah Rider 4 coverSaludos amigos!

With the Christmas holiday approaching and me having completed the last of my convention appearances for the year, I thought it’d be fun to clear out a little book stock and give you all an end of the year contest.

Normally I just do the usual first five postings thing, but I decided to do something interesting this time out. Below is an excerpt from the final book in my Judeocentric/Lovecraftian weird western series, Merkabah Rider: Once Upon A Time In the Weird West. I like to include little easter eggs in my books, references to things that have inspired me, links to other worlds and characters in the grand fictional multiverse of the collective consciousness, and Merkabah Rider is full of them. Besides the historical characters who pop up from time to time, in the various books I’ve tied the world of the Rider to among other things, Solomon Kane, King Arthur, Quantum Leap, and Doctor Who.

The following passage contains seven references to various books and movies (a hint: three of the names mentioned are part of one reference). Send a list of what they are and where they come from to emerdelacATgmail.com. It’s an open internet test so it probably won’t be too hard. The person with the most correct answers gets the whole enchilada – a signed set of the complete Merkabah Rider series….so if it’s something you’ve been curious to try and haven’t yet, here’s your chance to get the whole series free of charge.

If multiple people get all seven, I’ll choose four winners at random. First place gets the set, second place gets a signed copy of my latest release, Coyote’s Trail. Third place gets a signed copy of Terovolas. Fourth gets a signed copy of Buff Tea. Take a look at the links on the right, click on the book covers to see what each title is about and read a sample from each, if you like.

In the excerpt below there is also an eighth, bonus reference not to a book or a movie. Name it with your picks and I’ll include something random.

And here’s another thing. Even if you don’t feel like looking all this up/don’t know it/don’t care….from now until 11:59PM Pacific December 19th, just drop me an email and you can have one e-copy of anything I’ve written (that I have e-copies of) abso-smurfly free. Limit one per response/email.

I’ll leave the contest open from now until midnight December 20th when I’ll pick and announce the winners and get ‘em in the mail for you by the 21st.

Here’s the excerpt….

In the Todos Mis Amigos cantina, the jeers and passions rose to a fevered pitch around the starkly lit fighting sand, as the black rooster Zorro rose fluttering and sunk its spur into the red shoulder of Gallo del Cielo. Blood flecked out on the sand and fortunes quivered and changed hands.

Among the shadowed patrons sweating tequila over fistfuls of hard earned money, swirling in the dreamy clouds of cigarro smoke, dozens of dramas unfolded that had no bearing upon the mortal battle of the roosters, and yet were reflected in their combat. Red Headed Slim Reezer pondered the betrayal of his partner Jesse McLaughlin. Young Oscar Diggs swore if the black won he would never set foot in Kansas again. A miner named Richard Wilkins III sipped mescal, guessing if the world were still here after tomorrow, maybe he would see what California was like. Lin McAdams waited for High Spade to return with the beer, and thought about the woman sleeping in his hotel room, wondered whether she could love a man that killed his own brother. Freddie Sykes propped a fresh corpse in the corner, pulling the dead man’s hat over his staring face and wiping his knife on his knee, trying to decide if this would affect the bank job he and Dog Kelly had planned for tomorrow, wondering for the twentieth time why he didn’t just find a señorita somewhere and retire. John Russell watched the barbaric exultations of the Indah stoically, inwardly aghast that he was one of them. A giggling woman passed a little white card back to the bespectacled gringo on whose knee she was perched and asked;

“What means ‘Electricisto y Aventurero?”
—–
Hasta pronto! Good luck, and Merry Christmas.

Willow Anne’s Water Damage Giveaway

This is my daughter Willow. She’s three years old.

P1030712 (Medium)

A couple of days ago I loaded a box of my books into the back of the old Star Destroyer, on the floor between the car seats of her and her brother, Augustus.

Later, when I went to unload the books I found Willie (I call her Willie, after Kate Capshaw’s character in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – don’t tell her mother), I found the top layer of books were wet. Willow had tipped an open water bottle over them.

“Sorry, daddy,” she said.

terovolascoverWell, so the end result is, I have three copies of my prize winning Van Helsing in Texas novel TEROVOLAS (read all about that right here and here) and two copies of MERKABAH RIDER: TALES OF A HIGH PLANES DRIFTER, the first book in my four book weird western series about a Hasidic gunslinger tracking the renegade teacher who betrayed his mystic Jewish order of astral travelers to the Lovecraftian Outer Gods (read about that here)….that are basically unsellable. The water damage isn’t extensive, particularly to the Merkabah Riders – just some wrinkling to the back pages. The TEROVOLAS (es) took the brunt, though most of the damage is to the lower ends of the pages and not entirely all the way through the book. None of the pages are stuck together or torn, and there’s no real bleeding.

At any rate, I can’t in good conscience sell them or donate them to the library, so if anybody’s interested and doesn’t mind a little personality to their books, send an email to emerdelacATgmail.com with your preference of title, name and address.

First five responders, I’ll ship them for free, signed if you like.

UPDATE: Wow, what a great response! Thanks all, for requesting copies. The water-touched copies are gone now, but if you’ve come late to the party and have an e-reader, let me know and I’ll relinquish free e-copies of either book to all respondents who want one till say, 4PM my time (Pacific US).  – EME

merkabahrider

Published in: on July 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm  Comments (2)  
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Atomic Interviews #9

Mark Bousquet’s Atomic Interviews #9 features me talking about Merkabah Rider and The Van Helsing Papers. Give it a read here –

http://atomicanxiety.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/atomic-interview-9-talking-the-merkabah-rider-with-ed-erdelac/

Published in: on April 29, 2013 at 7:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Merkabah Rider: Once Upon A Time In The Weird West Now Available

Merkabah Rider 4 coverToday everybody’s favorite wandering Hasidic gunslinger walks off into the sunset.

Merkabah Rider 4: Once Upon A Time In The Weird West, is now available most everywhere.

It’s high noon for the universe, and the Outer Gods are stirring in their slumber. Adon has gathered the Creed, his brotherhood of traitorous merkabah riders, as well as a host of dark allies including Navajo skinwalkers, an order of death worshipping monks, an master gunslinger cobbled together from the corpses of famous gunfighters, Lilith the Queen of Demons, and the fallen angel of death Samael himself to bring the Hour of Incursion about.

The Rider and Kabede, last of the Sons of The Essenes, form their own company to oppose him, including a fanatical preacher more steam engine than man, a pagan witch, a skilled kung fu nun, and of course Faustus Montague, an angel from another universe.

But from the capitol of hell, Lucifer waits to throw his legions in with the winning side…

gunFor four years the Rider’s taken me along on his journey across the demon haunted old west, tangling with tentacular entities, possessed gunmen, invisible monsters, throwing down on gunmen, demons, and other horrors. He’s taught me about the fascinating richness of Jewish faith and folklore, and I’ve grown as a writer relating his saga.

For that I’m eternally thankful.

Shalom, old demonpuncher.

Here’s a brief excerpt for you all.

——————

the-quiet-southwest-desert-lightning-storm-james-bo-insognaA whip chain of lightning lashed across the black sky, illuminating the landscape in a rapid series of photographer’s blue flashes, and if the Reverend’s heart had been capable of skipping a beat, it would have.

Below them, crossing the dark plain, advancing through the tempest pounding towards the house, was an army of nightmares pressed from Hell.

The Reverend saw hundreds of creatures creeping across the desert. It was as if the buried bones of the country had risen up all at once. He saw a herd of bleached white cattle, dried leather whipping on the bones like the wind torn rags of derelict sailing ships, thundering alongside a group of long dead buffalo. A pack of rotting coyotes ran beside shambling, skeletal bears, though no bears had been in these parts in ages. There were cadaverous human shapes, too, and fast moving, long tailed, reptilian forms. These were creatures of ages past, roused unnaturally from their long torpor. He saw a dozen of those prehistoric horrors, with black clad, armed riders mounted on their spiny backs. Large scissor-billed avian skeletons wheeled overhead, beating the black sky with impossible bone wings, ranging ahead of the undead host, some of them big enough to pick up a horseman in each bare, taloned foot.

Most terrible of all, he saw an immense human skeleton, maybe twenty feet tall, drag itself up out of the muddy ground, the rain melting the sediment of eons from its tree trunk-thick brown bones. The sloped crown of its massive skull was elongated, inhuman, and the huge, sorrowful eye sockets were black and deep as the gulfs in which curled every twisted nightmare, every prickling dread and doubt that plagued the restless in the dead of night.

The Reverend had to lean on a boulder to keep from falling to his knees, and though he was immovable, the howling wind did its best to blow him from the hill.

Good God, what were they?

—-

Pick it up here –

http://www.amazon.com/Merkabah-Rider-Once-Weird-Volume/dp/1483975517/ref=sr_sp-btf_title_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1365837342&sr=8-4&keywords=merkabah+rider

Published in: on April 13, 2013 at 12:16 am  Comments (7)  
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I Got PULPED!

Hey all, listen as Tommy Hancock interviews me about such diverse subjects as Merkabah Rider, Robert E. Howard, religion, Van Helsing, and The Creature From The Black Lagoon over at PULPED!

Excuse the “uhs” and “awesomes.” It’s my first podcast interview.

http://pulped.libsyn.com/pulped-the-official-new-pulp-podcast-ed-erdelac-gets-pulped

Last Danse: The Exclusive in Danse Macabre

Now available from EDGE Publishing is Danse Macabre: Close Encounters With The Reaper, featuring stores from Brian Lumley, Lisa Morton, William Meikle, Tom Piccirilli, Gabriel Boutros, Brad Carson, Suzanne Church, Dan Devine, Lorne Dixon, Tom Dullemond, Opal Edgar, Ian M. Emberson, Sabrina Furminger, Stanley S. Hampton, Sr., Brian Hodge, Nancy Holder & Erin Underwood, J. Y. T. Kennedy, Nancy Kilpatrick, Tanith Lee, Morgan Dempsey, Timothy Reynolds, Angela Roberts, Lawrence Salani, Lucy Taylor, Bev Vincent, Bill Zaget and yours truly.

The brainchild of editor Nancy Kilpatrick, Danse Macabre is inspired by the macabre art of 14th century plague-wracked Europe, those amazing woodcuts, sculptures, and paintings of the grinning, skeletal Grim Reaper whirling hapless mortals of every class and creed in prancing, strangely joyous dance of Death.  The central theme of the anthology is the various ways in which mortal men and women might encounter Death as a personification.

My own entry, The Exclusive, is set in the 1880’s. A crusading newspaper editor finds himself eating his own words when a group of violent gunmen hired by a corrupt rancher smash his office, drag him out of town, lash him to his printing press and toss him in the river. When a strange, naked man apparently saves him from a watery grave, realization soon dawns, and he finds himself with a unique opportunity for a one on one interview with the most infamous killer the world has ever known.

For my own depiction of Death, I chose to elaborate on the Jewish fable of Lilith the first woman portrayed in The Alphabet of Ben Sirach, and her apocryphal love affair with the angel Samael, with whom she conceived the first demons and who in some accounts, became the Angel of Death.

Readers of my Merkabah Rider series will recognize this take on the story of Lilith and Samael’s doomed love affair – it plays an important role in those books. I saw this as an opportunity to expand a little on their story through the eyes of a character not tied up in the epic cosmic events of Merkabah Rider.

Here’s a short excerpt – – –

“I remember the last time I saw her, before they sealed me in this prison. She was clothed in animal skins. I had never seen such a thing. She was a fierce, golden spirit twice-wrapped in death. So willful. She would have stared God in the face if that act wouldn’t have burned her to nothingness. But she didn’t even look at Michael as he passed sentence. She looked at me. And there were tears running from her eyes. The blood of the human soul.”

They were quiet for a long time, Death and Twiggs. Death’s thoughts were inscrutable, but Twiggs’ were of Junia and the last time he’d seen her. It was the last time he would ever see her.

“For the first thousand years,” Sam said, “I punished you mortals. I tore your souls from this earth and shook you like babes wakened in the night by enemy soldiers. I flung you into hell wailing. I laughed to see you scream. I concocted new perversities to inflict upon every soul I was called to claim, and each one I think plummeted into hell a little less sane than the last. I think I was insane myself. I have danced with the dying, swung them around and around to music only I could hear only to cast them into the inferno on the last go ’round. I emptied my heart in hatred of you until I became a great scar. Then my sadism bored me, and I spoke little at all. All the crimes I committed were useless. No soul came to me dreading what I had done before. Each feared only the change I represented. Once I sat silently on the soul of a man for eight years, just to watch him gibber beneath me like an animal.”

“Well,” said Twiggs, “I’m glad you’re past that period, anyway.”

—-

Danse Macabre features some amazing stories, and I’m not just saying that because I’m in it. Lisa Morton’s The Secret Engravings (about the plague artist Hans Holbein The Younger’s strange patron), Brian Hodge’s For I Must Be About My Father’s Work (a hitman who upon hearing a victim’s desperate prayers, decides to wait along with him to see if God intervenes), La Senora Blanca (an old Mexican woman’s confrontation with the goddess of criminals, Santa Muerte) by Lucy Taylor were particular standouts for me. I can’t recommend them enough.

You can pick up Danse Macabre here from the publisher  http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/dansemacabre/dansemacabre.html

Or on Amazon.

Hasta pronto!