The cable access TV interview I participated in, about my Viking reenactment group, is now accessible on YouTube:
The folks at the Untold Podcast have posted this video review of my novel, Wolf Time. It’s short.
I’m very gratified that the good folks over at Grim’s Hall, one of my favorite blogs, have decided to host a multi-part discussion of my novel Wolf Time. It’s been a long time since I wrote that book, but there are some who think it holds up, and even has things to say today. Parts of it, I like to think, are prescient.
Here’s the first post in the discussion.
And here’s the second.
And here’s video of Sen. Bernie Sanders essentially arguing for at least a part of the Definition of Religion Act, a major plot element in Wolf Time.
A new column of mine, Letter to a Young Friend, has been published today at The American Spectator Online.
So here we are, post-election, looking at an outcome neither of us expected. I’m not about to do an end zone dance — this election wasn’t exactly a triumph for conservatism. Frankly, I expect the new president will do a lot more that will please you than you expect at this point.
But now seems to me a good time for a thought experiment.
I owe you an update. You know I’m done with my graduate work. That’s kind of an annoyance, in a way, because I’d gotten used to using school as an all-purpose excuse. “Gee, I’d like to help you move on Saturday, but golly, I’ve just got so much homework to do!”
Hard on the heels of that consummation, I was asked to do another edit on the Viking book I translated. I did that, and then when I had sent it in I re-considered and asked to have it back for one more pass. Because I like to do these things right. I have an idea that this translation will be a large part of the footprint I leave behind in this life.
Yesterday they sent me a draft cover for the book (to be called Viking Legacy, by Torgrim Titlestad). I’d share it with you, but I don’t have permission to. And it’ll probably change anyway. But I felt a quiet swelling of pride in my chest when I saw it. It’ll be good. Watch for it. This fall. Sometime.
Looks like I’ll be having some more translation work to do in the future too. I’m going to have to work out how to balance that with my novel writing.
I have been working on the next novel too, though. The problem is that this one’s a toughy. Of all the books in the Erling series, this will be the hardest to plot. It involves the lowest point in Erling’s life, and by extension in Father Ailill’s. I’ve got to figure out how to keep this one from combining the optimistic sparkle of Dostoevsky with the cheery fun of Game of Thrones.
Last night one of the characters did something I didn’t see coming. I’m still working out (while time is paused in his world) how Ailill will react.
So I shall not want for work to do.
I have in my hands the latest issue of a handsome publication called Fungi: A Magazine of Fantasy and Weird Fiction. It includes a “spotlight” section devoted to Your Humble Servant, which includes:
-“Lars Walker Biography”
-“Lars Walker Bibliography”
-“Laxdaela Saga,” a critical essay by me which first appeared on this blog
-“Song of a Grumphy Dwarf,” a poem by me, also originally published here (though they leave off the last verse for some reason, which kind of spoils it in my opinion)
-“Harbard,” my favorite of my own short stories, first published in “Amazing Stories.”
The bibliography was penned by our friend Dale Nelson, who also recommended me to Fungi’s publisher, Pierre Comtois.
The issue is available at Amazon, here.
My novel Wolf Time, so long out of print, is now available as an e-book! Kindle version available here.
I’ve been keeping a secret from you. We plan, God willing, to release a new novel of mine within the near future. This is a draft of the cover, with a lovely painting by our friend Jeremiah Humphries, and cover design by our own Phil Wade.
How is this possible, you ask, when I keep complaining of having no writing time because of graduate school? Well, this is a book that’s been pretty much finished for some time, except for a couple plot problems. I took my brief study hiatus this summer to work on those holes, and now I think she’s ready for launch.
The novel, entitled (obviously) Death’s Doors, is sort of a sequel to Wolf Time, but not what you’d call a close sequel. The location is the same, the town of Epsom, Minnesota, but a few years later, and with only a couple of the same characters showing up. In the world of Death’s Doors, assisted suicide has become a constitutional right. The main character, Tom Galloway, is trying to keep his depressed daughter from exercising that right, with no help from the authorities. On top of that pressure, a stranger drops into his life — the Viking nobleman Jarl Haakon (whom you may remember from The Year of the Warrior), who has passed through a door in time.
What we’re asking of you, at this point, is just your opinion on the cover above. Phil isn’t sure he’s satisfied, and would appreciate your input.
Thank you for your support.
Friends, I have found my drug of choice.
It’s live steel combat.
On Sunday I was delayed by being on the church setup team and having to stay late. But as soon as I could get away, I tootled over to Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, where the rest of the Vikings had already been set up for some time.
Minnehaha Park (home of Minnehaha Falls, immortalized by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who never actually visited there) has a sort of dedicated service road along its length, punctuated by (inadequate) parking areas. Since the day was nice and the Norway Day festival was going on, I figured I wouldn’t get a nearby place, so I parked in about the first slot I saw.
This was a mistake. I’d forgotten how long that park is. I had already determined that the smartest way to get my armor to the camp site was to wear it (mail is much easier to wear than to carry). So I set off walking toward the festival area.
And walked. And walked.
I think I must have parked at least a half mile from the site. I passed many open parking spaces, but reckoning (inaccurately) how far I had yet to go against how far I’d come, I decided to trudge on.
I made it at last (today my feet are extremely sore from the pounding they took in my thin-soled Viking shoes). I was too tired to join in the fight that was starting just then, but I got in a while later.
They put me up against Eirik, son of Ragnar, an old hand at live steel.
I beat him. Twice.
I’m still entertaining the suspicion that Eirik threw the fights, just to encourage me.
In any case, the guys told me that I’m pretty good. I didn’t beat Ragnar Hairyfoot when I went up against him, of course. Ragnar is wily and old and a Special Forces veteran. But he told me, with a straight face, that I gave him one or two worried moments. Then again, Ragnar has been known to embellish a story.
Be that as it may, I came away tremendously bucked, as I generally do after live steel (I’ve had training before, and participated in a couple small battles, but had never done a one-on-one duel before). For a guy as geeky as I, who has never, ever been any good at any athletic activity of any kind, to suddenly find myself playing with the big kids in simulated Viking combat was tremendously affirming. It’s a common nerd fantasy – “I was born out of my proper time. If I’d been born in an earlier age, I’d have been a mighty warrior.”
It’s not true, of course, but now I can pretend it is.
I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, “He makes all these grandiose claims, but can he back it up with video documentation?
As it happens, I can. This Quicktime movie comes courtesy of the Viking Age Club & Society of the Sons of Norway. I am the guy with the red-and-blue shield on your left in the shield wall at the beginning. Note who is the Last Man Standing.
Fear my wrath.
I just sent an e-mail to the guy who runs my website, telling him to note that I’ll be at the Nordic Fest in Decorah, Iowa, July 27-29. I gave him a link to their web page. I then scrolled down the page and found picture of myself playing Viking last year, handsome in a red shirt. You can see it here.