ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Zombies, Grunts, and Cormac McCarthy

What do these three things have in common? Well, if you read Blood Meridian you'd know. I was recently interviewed about my writing and asked about influential authors. Here's what I said about Cormac McCarthy:

Cormac McCarthy. Besides the fact that I’m envious because he can get away without any of the usual punctuation, there is no one out there writing with such power about the relationship and constant battle man (humankind) has against nature, be it the nature of self, the physical nature of the universe, or the nature of an idea. He is a master of it. Perhaps my favorite part of any text in any book, other than the section below (from The Sound of Summer Running by Ray Bradbury), is from the last thousand words of the second book of his Plains series called The Crossing. The pang and loss the main character feels as well as his inability to do anything about it is so stark and powerful, the passage left me breathless.

 But not everyone is ready for McCarthy. The move The Counselor directed by Ridley Scott and starring Cameron Diaz and Michael Fastbender wasn’t a hit. I personally think that the movie is magnificent. It’s pure McCarthy. But what viewers want is a happy ending. They want to see a happy character arc. But as I mentioned, McCarthy is the master of man versus nature and in the movie man comes up against the intractability of nature. Realize, with nature, you can’t argue with it, you can’t fight against it, it’s there. In this case, nature is like a zombie.

 One last thought on McCarthy. I'd never read any of his work prior to 2000. The reason I picked him up was because the New York Times came up with a list of the top fifty books of the last fifty years of the twentieth century. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy was number one. Based on that, I had to read it. Talk about a powerful book about man versus nature… Blood Meridian will scour your heart and make you weep

 The rest of the interview can be read here.

Scaring the daylights out of Amy B. Smith
Salton Sea Zombies. A review just in of my 2010 Zombie novel EMPIRE OF SALT from Abaddon's Tomes of the Dead series. Hachi Snax gives it a 9 out of 10. I suppose of you're jonesing for something new in zombies this would be it. The review manages to be very comprehensive without ruining any major plot or character arcs. Good job.

"So, what was Ochse's take on the shambler trope? And how did it fare? Empire of Salt is, quite simply put, an excellent zombie yarn. It combines a fresh take on the often stale undead formula, mixes in a good amount of shoot-em-up action, and incorporates a solid young adult underpinning that is enjoyable, not annoying or cloying. This is no mean feat."

The review can be read in it's entirety here

Something Grunty This Way Comes. Another review of Grunt Life. What can I say? It's become everyone's favorite military sci fi novel. A lot of the thanks goes to the solid editing staff at Solaris Books. While I can write, they can edit and made some recommendations that seriously helped the book along.

Man, this book amped me up! It shakes up the genre and gives it a much-needed shot in the arm...GRUNT LIFE is a huge win for me, and I highly recommend it. Author Weston Ochse is ex-military, and his extensive knowledge of the armed forces shines through in this novel, resulting in a high energy, high entertainment read. I can’t wait to see where book two takes the story. GRUNT LIFE is available now in a variety of formats, so give it a look.

For the full review click here.
You see? 

And you didn't think I could put zombies, grunts and McCarthy together.

Do me a favor... at the very least, go out and buy a copy of Blood Meridian. Sure, I'd like for you to buy my books too, but I'd also like you to share in my admiration for a master- Cormac McCarthy.

“War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

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