Shane Jiraiya Cummings's Blog
June 30, 2014
Captain Max Calder returns in the latest Ravenous Gods ebook!
Backed by the savage power of Dreamtime monstrosities and supported by shadowy masters, an Australian cult known as ‘The Reign of Terror’ attempts to detonate a supernatural weapon of mass destruction at a meeting of world leaders in Perth, Western Australia. If successful, their bold plan will devastate the earth. Can mercenary hero Captain Max Calder infiltrate the cult, fend off the yakuza and Lovecraftian horrors, and ultimately bring down the plot from the inside – with one hell of a bang?
June 20, 2014
MND is a terrible life-limiting illness that progressively shuts down the body. Today is MND Awareness Day, and I’d urge you to donate to your local MND organisation. If you’re in New Zealand, it is www.mnda.org.nz or if you’re in Australia, it is www.mndaust.asn.au
If you’d like to support Rocky and enjoy dark fiction that gives evil the finger (written by the masters of horror & fantasy such as Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, F. Paul Wilson, Jonathan Maberry, Nancy Holder, Scott Nicholson and many more, including Aussies Stephen M. Irwin, David Conyers, and Gary Kemble), then I’d urge you to pick up a copy today.
Rocky has published a number of non-fiction books, so if Rage Against the Night doesn’t appeal, you can support him by buying one of those.
Every now and again, I give my catalogue a bit of polish, and this time around, I focussed on my my first collection (and major work), SHARDS. The collection has been off people’s radar’s for a while, but it’s a hidden gem. If you’re into really short stories, give this one a go for just $1.99:
Take a guided tour of the darkest backroads of the imagination. Imagine worlds that are twisted fragments of our own … In one, a woman with foresight puts her scarred body on the line to stop crimes before they happen. In another, a pervert channels the spirit of a dead school friend in the hopes of getting lucky. In yet another, the Antichrist is a misunderstood teenager who is tired of being manipulated.
In Shards, the seasons turn deadly, and a day at the beach becomes a nightmare. A vision in the mirror is anything but heavenly. The zombie apocalypse triggers one survivor’s unhealthy obsession. And where do you run when the world begins to physically unravel?
Shards is fiction at its shortest and sharpest, a collection of disturbing stories from a master of dark flash fiction. A shard is a story read in just moments … but it will linger with you for the rest of your life.
June 10, 2014
Whenever I’m home alone, my thoughts turn dark. At the moment, they are a nightmare parade of Japanese yokai, but my mind keeps returning to Fenrir, the devourer of Norse legend. My head is a jumble of warring mythologies. While I wrangle with these thoughts, I leave you (in lieu of more meaningful content) with a musical interlude …
March 29, 2014
Source: StornArt.com (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License).
While Yamabushi Kaidan was the obvious choice to kick off these profiles, I’ll mix things up a bit … the first of the nine heroes from Circle of Tears who I will profile is Akio.
Akio is a young Shugendo priest (a shugenja) that serves the village of Kyuusai. Kyuusai is the only settlment in the remote Autumn Valley, which is encircled by impassable mountains. Kyuusai lies at the foot of the majestic Autumn Mountain, the dominant feature of the landscape that gives the valley its name.
Akio studies under Yamabushi Kaidan whenever Kaidan descends from his meditations atop the Autumn Mountain. Given Akio’s enthusiasm for Kaidan’s bushcraft, Akio could be loosely described as Kaidan’s apprentice. However, in the world of Circle of Tears, yamabushi and shugenja follow different callings. Shugenja are the urban-based cousins of the hermet-like yamabushi.
As a novice shugenja, Akio tends to the village’s spiritual needs. Like Yamabushi Kaidan, Akio channels magic through Mikkyo chants and rituals … primarily drawing on the elements: wind, water, earth, fire, and void/spirit.
Akio has a natural aptitude for healing, and while at the beginning of the novel he relies on natural remedies such as herbs, as the story progresses, he develops magical mantras that heal the body and soul.
Akio’s journey through Circle of Tears is one of the most challenging. As a studious and reserved character, Akio is forced to find inner strength as war threatens everything he loves. If you have read The Smoke Dragon and The Mist Ninja, you will know that Akio stands up against bandits and ninja … with consequences.
As you will read in The Mist Ninja, Akio’s friendship with Yumi deepens into love. The dynamic between Akio and Yumi drives much of the story, and it creates tensions with other characters – especially Kaidan.
Akio is one of the three principal protagonists (along with Kaidan and Yumi) and a founding member of Kaidan’s nine heroes, along with Tsubasa and Yamabushi Kaidan himself.
March 28, 2014
The Cthulhu Mythos Writers Samplers 2013 (put together by David Conyers late last year) is FREE for the next few days!
With a whole bunch of awesome Mythos authors, including Cody Goodfellow, C. J. Henderson, William Miekle, David Dunwoody, Conyers himself … and of course, me … this is a brilliant buffet of top notch Lovecraftian horror. The sampler is a mix of complete stories, novel excerpts, and author interviews. If you’re into H. P. Lovecraft, horror, or the Cthulhu Mythos, this is essential stuff.
My contribution is the very sci-fi horror story “Graveyard Orbit”, which was first published in Midnight Echo #6.
March 25, 2014
An interesting thing happened to me after I moved to Wellington (New Zealand). I discovered the amazing people at Whitireia New Zealand, and I’ve begun the journey to completing my long-overdue first novel, Circle of Tears, while I complete my long-overdue Bachelor of Arts at Whitireia.
Circle of Tears will be an epic Japanese fantasy story, the tale of nine legendary heroes versus the eponymous Circle, a cabal of yokai (evil spirit) lords. It is book one of the Adventures of Yamabushi Kaidan. Early fragments of the novel have been published as my popular novelettes The Smoke Dragon and The Mist Ninja.
Circle of Tears is coming to life a little more every day, and as it does, I want to share some of the characters with the world. Let’s start with Kaidan’s nine heroes. They are:
Yamabushi Kaidan, a battle-hardened, cunning mountain monk who lives atop the remote Autumn Mountain.
Akio, a kind-hearted Shugendo priest and healer and Kaidan’s acolyte.
Tsubasa the sparrowhawk, Kaidan’s frequent companion.
Haru, a bumbling but well-intentioned samurai, heir to the lordship of the Shinichi clan.
Teraku, a samurai of the Shinichi clan, and Haru’s stalwart friend.
Benkei, a towering, indomitable, Sohei warrior monk.
The ghost of Musashi, the legendary, unruly, undefeated kensai (‘sword saint’).
Sasuke Monkeyjump, a wild Koga ninja.
Hosokawa the badger dad, a talking badger and forest elder.
Can this unlikely band overcome the darkest shadows from Japan’s history? Perhaps, but not without cost …
I will explore more about these nine heroes and their enemies, the Circle of Tears, in the coming weeks.
January 4, 2014
2014 – Year of the Horse
I’m a Tiger in the the Chinese Zodiac, and 2013 – the Year of the Snake – was an unspectacular year for me. It was solid work-wise and relationship-wise, but not so much creatively, financially, or spiritually. However, in a few weeks, the Year of the Horse kicks in, and the Horse and the Tiger are great mates, so if you’re partial to believing such things, 2014 bodes well for a Tiger like me.
Creatively, I’m looking forward to 2014. First of all, my writing output is going to skyrocket. I will be attending Wellington’s Whitireia Polytechnic to complete my previously incomplete Bachelor of Arts. The attraction to the course is that it is one of New Zealand’s best specialised Creative Writing courses, and it is especially focussed on applied writing.
I’m hoping the renewed focus on daily writing will reinvigorate some of my other in-progress projects.
The other good news on the writing front is my master collection, The Abandonment of Grace and Everything After, will be published in the first quarter of 2014. I’m very much looking forward to its publication. It’s a very personal book, and I’ll discuss it in more detail in the days and weeks ahead.
For the small cadre of my readers out there, your patience will soon be rewarded with these new and very substantial releases. I hope your 2014 looms as exciting as mine!
December 24, 2013
November 10, 2013
Flash fiction is an art form, and horror flash fiction is often incredibly difficult to pull off. This film maker pulls off a visual masterpiece in two minutes with just two sentences. Bravo!
And yes, it will unnerve the hell out of you…