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.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Sea Lords of the Columbia and my Homage to Fritz Leiber


When I was asked to write a story for an anthology of rockabilly horror, I only said yes because I was asked by Eric Guignard, my former mentoree and now peer. I had no idea what I was going to write until I was in Astoria, Oregon last summer and saw the Desdemona - a bar made from the remains of an old frigate that was shipwrecked on the Columbia Bar. Then it came to me. And as I began writing the story, I realized that my characters had a startling resemblance to Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. Part of me said to stop and change them, but another part, a louder and more obnoxious part told me to roll with it. I not only did, but I intentionally paid attention to Fritz Leiber's creations and tried to get them to inhabit my characters of Hemmo and Doogie.

Growing up playing Dungeons and Dragons and reading any fantasy book with swords and sorcery, I was very familiar with these scourges of Lankhmar. One hulking and one small and both deadly, like a bad ass version of Gilligan and the Skipper but without the slapstick. I saw in Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser the sensibilities I needed for Hemmo and Doogie. 

Then came the story. I needed an epic sword and sorcery tale in the vein of Leiber but set in 1950s Astoria right after the Korean War. So what did I do? I have sentient talking sturgeon and prostitute mermaids and all sort of fun monsters to inhabit our real world. I think that was the most fun, and the sort of things I like to read -- magic in real life.

Here's a snap of the first page:

Sea Lords of the Columbia appears in Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror which is up for pre-order at Dark Moon Books.

This isn't the only time the Sea Lords will make an appearance. I can hear them calling. They want a new adventure. Soon, I think, I will give one to them.

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