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.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Invasion of the British Snatchers

Sarah and me giving away an award at the 2010
Bram Stoker Awards in England - that's her laughing
at something I'm saying... probably dorky.
First of all, it's a coincidence that this post is up against the London Olympic Games. I am not an official sponsor of the London Olympics. They asked me to be, but I as informed I'd be paid in mushy peas. I like peas. I really do. But if I wanted mine pre-chewed, I'd order them that way.

Second of all, I'm not an Anglophile. I'm a Welshman in exile, so you can figure that out pretty easily. Several times while writing this I actually cramped up. It's hard sometimes to give credit where it's due.

In all seriousness, there were three English-made projects I saw this year that literally blew my socks off and I am obligated to give them their due. (I know that some of these were made in 2010, but to me they were new, so...)

Adam Nevill's The Ritual was the first book I read last week-- Sarah's was the second --and let me tell you what a terrific week of reading it was. I don't think I've met Adam, but we have the same publisher. Still, when I saw the cover and his name, I knew I wanted to read it. I've wanted to read Adam for some time now, so... I gave the book clerk my money, and left with a bag of books. I literally dove into The Ritual. To say it's atmospheric is to say San Francisco has a little fog now and then. This book is steeped in the creep. The story of a group of college friends who set out to hike through an ancient Scandinavian forest, they begin to encounter things that would make the Blair Witch pee her little black panties. This dire book left me gasping several times... the sign of an amazingly-skilled writer. I'm definitely going to read me some Nevill again.

I've known Sarah since we met in Montreal in 2001 (has it been that long ago?), when she quit being a school teacher (or was in the process of quitting) to become a writer  in Toronto or New York circa 2007ish (according to what we can piece together). I'd read some of her earlier books, which were good, but her latest works from Gollancz (coming to America by Ace) are amazing. Regarding A Matter of Blood, what on the surface appears to be a police procedural in a nearby future, slowly becomes one man's destiny to discover what the glow is and who the Dog-faced Gods are. This is epic dark fantasy disguised as a simple mystery. Sarah's prose in this book is enviable. As an author, I know she spent considerable time working her sentences. These aren't first draft throws. These are artful without being stodgy.  I could fawn over them for hours. This book is hard, cold, but with glimpses into a reality far deeper than any furrow in our flesh. I've tracked down book two and it's on the way. Book three will be in my hands shortly afterward. With any luck, I'll have read the trilogy before the first one is printed using American ink. I'm so pleased for Sarah. If this doesn't get her name in everyone's conversations, I might have to come to each of your homes and smack you over the head with this book. Maybe that will get your attention.

Now let's talk about The Jaw-- or Kiera Knightly as the rest of the world knows here. I first saw her in King Arthur, but you probably know her from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, or the cute movie, Bend it Like Beckam. Well, I was sick one day after we moved into our new house and I flipped to a movie that was just staring. It captivated me. It shocked me. It was so damn terribly fabulous. How come I never heard of it? The movie was Never Let Me Go. It's an alternate history science fiction drama about cloned kids who grow up as organ donors for their 'real' versions. I think about this movie all the time. The acting was so powerful. Not just from The Jaw, but from the rest of the cast, especially Carey Mulligan. This movie is at once hopeful and hopeless. It's about as powerful a movie about the nature of what it takes to be human as anything I've ever seen.

Get on your Netflix or favorite shopping store and buy this movie. Then buy Adam's and Sarah's books. If you can, buy them from a bookstore, and when you go there, tell them that I sent you.

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