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philipdodd52

philipdodd52

My poem, Dandelion Time, published in The Poetry of Flowers

My poem, Dandelion Time, was published in The Poetry of Flowers by Selected International Poets, published by Lost Tower Publications, October, 2016. My poem, The Redundancy of Gods, was published in Greek Fire by Selected International Poets in 2015.   http://losttowerpublications.jigsy.com

 

 

Klubbe the Turkle and the Golden Star Coracle: Kindle Version available on Amazon

The Kindle Version of my new book, Klubbe the Turkle and the Golden Star Coracle, is now visible and available to buy on Amazon. The Paperback Version will be available on Amazon soon. It is available already on Lulu. Two paperback copies of my book are available to be won in a Booklikes Giveaway, open to members Worldwide. The Giveaway began on Monday, 13th, April, 2015, and ends on Wednesday, 13th, May, 2015.

Readers of science fiction may like a rest from the high seriousness and complexities of modern science fiction and relax while reading the biography of Klubbe, inventor, explorer, native of the planet, Ankor. My story was inspired by a tiny toy model of a turtle, designed to fit on the end of a pencil, which I found on the floor. Oddly, it stood on two legs, so I decided it was not a turtle at all, but a being that only looked like one. So I changed the second t in turtle to k to get turkle, and I named this particular turkle, Klubbe, native of the planet, Ankor.  Here is the blurb I wrote for the back cover of my book:

On the planet Ankor, Klubbe the turkle lives as a hermit. A marine mishap inspires him to be an inventor. His inventions and explorations change his life, his entire planet.

Turkles are close cousins of turtles. Unlike them, they have yellow golden skin and back shells, walk on their hind legs, have the gift of language, and the ability to create their own culture.

The life of Klubbe may read like a light-hearted science fiction story, but it actually happened to him. Princess Corka thinks his invention is sublime. Ubbtosh, the pyramid priest, promises to guide him to the core of the cosmos. In space, there are no sign posts, he finds, but there are other beings. And on Ankor, there are mysteries to be solved. Is the Great Glom more than a myth? And what about the Great Archy Eopta?

Angel War available as an E-book on Amazon

Available as a paperback since April, 2013, my book, Angel War, is now available as an E-book, since Friday, 7th, March, 2014. Published by Fast Print Publishing, the E-book version costs £3.29p/$4.99

Angel War could be classed as a work of fantasy fiction, rooted in The Bible. It was inspired by Chapter Six of the Book of Revelation, which speaks of the war in heaven, fought between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels. The Bible only says that the war happened, but not why, so I decided to write my own version of the events of the war and its aftermath.

Angel War: Finalist for The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards 2013

My book, Angel War, has been chosen as one of the twelve finalists for The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards for 2013 in Category 5, Books for Adults (fiction), I am very surprised and pleased to report. The Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists will be announced at Author.con in April, 2014. The main reason I entered my book for the awards is that I will get feedback from those who judged it in London and in Stockholm and reviews of it from them on Goodreads and Amazon. I never expected to be one of the finalists, so now I am very happy that I am. Available as a paperback since April, 2013, my book, Angel War, will soon be available as an E-book, too. 

  The Fair Majesty Of Folk At Peace, one of my poems, inspired by the life of King Alfred and rooted in my love of Anglo-Saxon verse, has been accepted for publication in a future issue of The Dawntreader, a quarterly poetry magazine, edited by Dawn Bauling and Ronnie Goodyer, and published by Indigo Dreams Publishing, I am happy to say. Searching For The Sangreal, another one of my poems, was published in the Summer 2013 issue of the same magazine. I just felt like sharing with you my good news while wishing you a belated Happy New Year for 2014.

Clan by David P Elliot

I won Clan by David P Elliot as a Booklikes giveaway, I am pleased to say. Firstly, I was drawn to the book by the picture of Hermitage Castle on its cover, a place I have visited a few times. It is a dark tale, rooted in the history of the Scottish clans and the supernatural folk of the border ballads. The author seemed to be more concerned with the describing of events rather than delving into the past and deeps of his characters. Once that was clear, I found his dark supernatural thriller, as it could be called, interesting, entertaining, and, at times, truly scary, alarming. Perhaps his most original creation in his book is the character he has named Robin Redcap, who, along with his fellow Red Caps, leaps onto the page from the shadows of nightmare and the dark pit of Hell itself. He is summoned into the modern world by Lord William de Soulis, who is presented as a brutal warrior chieftain from the old days of the clan feuds and wars, and who is also a wizard, in league with those beings that are called in the book the Dark Spirits. His plan is to sit on the ancient throne of Scotland and become master of the world by use of his dark supernatural power and his army of Red Caps forms the main plot of the book.                                                                                                                    It was a pleasure to read a novel written in such clear, precise prose, in mostly short chapters, and one set in a landscape I know quite well, that being Northumberland and the Scottish borders. The names of places I have visited are mentioned in the book, such as Newcastleton, Jedburgh, Hawick and, of course, Hermitage Castle. At the centre of the tale is David Elliot, who appears to have a lot of darkness inside him. He is fifty seven, we are told, jobless and alone, after three failed marriages, and he has never fully recovered from the death of his father. So he goes to stay in a cottage, not far from  Hermitage Castle, with his daughter, Kate, her husband, Simon, and her young son, Thomas, to get back to his roots, to try to redeem and save himself. In a village pub, the family meet one of the most interesting characters in the book, a man named Thomas Truman. He is more of a spirit than a human man, who speaks of Heaven and Hell not as places but as spiritual states and it is he who reveals to David Elliot and his family the war that has always been going on between good and evil, the forces of light against the Dark Spirits. The only weapon against the Dark Spirits, the tale reveals, is love, particularly family love, the bond between members of the same Clan. I found the ideas in the novel relating to the life of the spirit in the after life interesting, stimulating, and the tale it told well worth the read. To conclude with some wise words from Franz Kafka: "We need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests, far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us."

 

 

 

SHARDFALL by Paul E. Horsman

I won this book as a Booklikes giveaway, I am very pleased to say. Never won a book before. Firstly, I was drawn to this book by its cover, which displays a very fine illustration by an artist called Jos Weijmer. Now that I have read the book, I know that it depicts the struggle in Chapter One, between Kjelle, the young heir to a mininghold, and his slave, Muus, on a snowy mountain slope, in the moment after they have found the magical object that has fallen from the sky, which is called the skyshard. After the avalanche, caused by the small stone with its strange blue glow, the two young men, who have only hatred for eachother, are forced to journey and depend on one another, first down an icy tunnel, then out into the world of wolves and feuding Viking bands.

  'Shardfall' is at root a swiftly moving adventure story, set in the Viking Age in the north lands, in a violent, hostile world where it seems far easier to be killed by sword, arrow, fire or spear than to live for another day. It is not a fantasy novel, set in an imaginary land, more of a wild and rough adventure story, in a land that sounds most like to me the west coast of Norway. From the first page, however, there is magic in the tale. A watchman, on duty, guarding a mininghold, at the foot of a mountain, called Silfjall, sees a tiny ball of light fall from the sky. It lands in the snow, near the top of the mountain. It is Muus who holds it first, and becomes its bearer, the Shardheld, as he is named by Asgisla, the Volva, an old woman, who practises what is called in the book seidr magic, who to me was like the seeress, summoned by Odin in the Voluspa, my favourite among the poems of The Elder Edda. She tells him that he must reunite the skyshard with the Kalminir, a standing stone, to stop magic from dying from the world. So like all good quests, the quest of the skyshard, undertaken by Muus, in the company of Kjelle, and others they meet on their way, such as Hrabb, the young thief, Birthe, the girl with her baby son, Bui, wrapped in a cloth bundle, and Ajkell , the bear warrior, though it takes place in the physical world is, at root, a spiritual quest. For what could be more important than achieving a quest that will save magic from vanishing from the world?

  Being a lover of Norse mythology, I enjoyed hearing the characters in this book naming the gods and goddesses of Asgard, such as Odin, Thor, Loki, Freya and Njord. Odin himself appears in the book in his human form as Harbard, a mysterious, one eyed old man. Of course, this is only Book One of the Shardheld Saga. I look forward to reading Book Two and Book Three, to see how the quest of the skyshard is achieved. There is magic in this book, as there is in real life, but it needs to be constantly sought for and when found, it ought not to be taken for granted, but cared for and honoured.

  Of the books in my book collection, this book reminded me most of Weland: Smith of the Gods by Ursula Synge, a retelling of the tale of Volund the smith and the swan maidens of Valhalla from The Elder Edda. That tale too is a wild and rough adventure story, which involves magic and supernatural events and influences. All the way through the wild, often violent events of 'Shardfall', there is the magical, blue glow of the skyshard, the small stone that fell from the sky that Muus keeps in a pouch hung round his neck, and the awareness of a grander, older world than the mortal world, that of the gods and goddesses of the north. A longship sails towards a fjord mouth near the end of the book, so well described by the author that it willed me to want to read the saga to its end, which I will.

 

   

 

I HAVE'NT LIVED AT ALL by Evelyn Knightley

Firstly, I was drawn to this book because I liked its title. "I Have'nt Lived At All" is a thought that can come to any one of us, whatever age we are. You can think it when just concentrating on your own life or comparing it with that of others. What it means to actually live is another matter. This is Evelyn Knightley's first published book. Still in her early twenties, she writes through her collection of verse and prose in a clear, direct way. All of the best tales and poems that have survived have been written in a clear, direct way, with an awareness that the words are meant to be understood and appreciated by the reader and not just by the author alone.

  The book is divided into two parts. Part One is a collection of poetry, Part Two is a collection of short stories. In both the poems and the short stories, the narrator is conscious of her own aloneness and separation from the world, but, thankfully, without self pity or despair. 'On The Moon', the first poem sets the tone for the entire collection of writings. While the narrator of the poem felt so isolated that she 'lived on the moon', she wonders if the person her verses are addressed to ever knew she was there at all.

  It is a short book that deserves a long think about. There are poems about memories, of seeing clowns as a child in a circus, of people who the author was frustrated by and lost patience with, who she tried to help, save, and there are meditations on time, its passing, and the knowledge that the best is yet to come.

  Of the short stories in Part Two, I was moved most by one called 'Work In Progress'.

On the surface, it is an account of what it is like for a young woman to work as a barmaid in a country village pub, one who is weary of her daily routine, who does not want to be there, but elsewhere. Underneath, it reveals what it is like to feel not part of, not one with those who life has led you to have to deal with, to feel trapped, with no door in the distance, to escape through.

  At times, the narrator of the poems and short stories reminded me of a character in a novel by Franz Kafka, being very aware of and involved in what is called everyday life, but utterly isolated and separate from it at the same time. When someone knocks on the door in the short story, called 'Ending Seasons', for example, it is as disturbing for the reader as much as it is for the narrator of the tale. For more than just outside, on the other side of the door, the visitor seems to be in another world from the narrator altogether.

  Death, freedom, escape, disconnectedness, time, memory, love, rejection, hope, such are some of the themes of the writings in this book, which is well worth the read and the thinking over. I liked the false ending to the book. After the About the Author page, which would usually be at the end of the book, there is a final short story, aptly called 'Disconnected', which acts like an encore at the end of a concert. Then the end finally comes with 'Soundtrack', being a list of some of the songs the author listened to while she was writing her book. Now, her first book published, she stands on the shore, what ocean lies before her is up to her to imagine.  

 

SHARDFALL BY PAUL E. HORSMAN

My copy of Shardfall by Paul E. Horsman arrived through my letterbox today, all the way from Holland, much to my pleasure. I won it as a giveaway here on Booklikes, I am very happy to say. Never won a book before. When I have read it, I will review it on Booklikes, Goodreads and Amazon. 

 

 

 

ANGEL WAR INSPIRATIONS

Welcome to my web of words linked to my book, Angel War, and those works of literature I have loved in my life. My name is Philip Dodd. I was born in 1952, live in Liverpool, England, have a degree in English literature from Newcastle University, and I have been writing songs, stories and poems since I was twelve. My book, Angel War, was published on Tuesday, 23rd, April, 2013 by Fast Print Publishing. As it took me twenty six years to write, I felt I owed it to my story to get it published. It can be found on the Fast Print Publishing on line bookshop at www.fast-print.com and on Amazon and I am pleased to be a Goodreads  Author with my own page for my book on Goodreads. My book can also be found on Pinterest and the New Book Journal. My main inspiration for my book was The King James Version of the Holy Bible, which has had a great influence on English literature ever since it was first published. It has inspired many of my favourite writers, such as John Milton, Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot, John Donne, Thomas Traherne, William Blake, J.R.R. Tolkien, and William Wordsworth.          My book was inspired by Chapter Twelve of the Book of Revelation, which speaks of the war in heaven, fought between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels. The Bible only says that the war happened, but not why. So I decided to write my own version of the events of the war and its aftermath. Much art, paintings, sculptures, poems, and stories, have been inspired by the same chapter in The Bible. 'Paradise Lost' by John Milton, for one fine example, was inspired by the tale of Eden in the Book of Genesis and Saint John's vision of the war in heaven in the Book of Revelation.