Daily Archives: July 13, 2011

Time for another round of Shameless Self Promotion!

I haven’t done this in a while, so as a reminder, it’s another round of shameless self promotion!  The Adventures of Black Mask and Pale Rider, my first published work, and Canyons of Steel, the novella.  Available online now!  Also, stay tuned for locations that people can go buy the books at.

Direct from…

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

By Tim Holtorf

Paperback, 280 page

List Price: $20.00

Price: $15.00

You Save: $5.00

Ships in 3–5 business days

…or, from…

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider [Paperback]

Tim Holtorf (Author)
Price: $20.00 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details

In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider is also available in digital format.

A Tale of Six Gun & Sorcery

Genre/Category: Fantasy
Print Enabled: Yes
Read Aloud: Yes
Format: PDF
File Size: 1.3mb Zipped
Pages: 299
Size: 148 x 210mm

Elven magic meets gunslinger grit. What happens when two elven travellers find themselves in the United States in the middle of the Civil War? The Adventures of Black Mask and Pale Rider tells the story of two elven women who’s curiosity gets the better of them.  The wild ride takes them from the Union to the Confederacy and back again. Along the way they make enemies and friends and learn a little bit about this world, and about themselves. An adventure of six guns and sorcery.

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider is the first novel by Tim Holtorf and is now available in PDF format, for free download from!  With cover illustrated by Clarrisa R. Hummel.

Black Mask & Pale Rider at

Also, pick up a copy of Canyons of Steel!  Direct from!

Canyons of Steel: A Modern Day Western

By Tim Holtorf

Paperback, 160 pages

Price: $15.00
Ships in 3–5 business days

What happens when an old gun hand makes a decision to turn his life around and set a new course? In Canyons of Steel, Johnathon Tiberius Walker makes the choice of turning his back on the underground military of the Red Hand and try to make right his own sins. All because he wants his daughter to live in a better world than he does.

And for the next week, if anyone drops me a line at or an ask in my tumblr or comments here, give me your email address and I’ll shoot off a free digital copy.  I will promise to keep all email addresses confidential and will not publish them.


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The authors of the new age

Cover of the pulp magazine Weird Tales (March ...

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I remember a while back I wrote about dime novels and penny dreadfuls.  They were short novels, often in a serial format, published during the late 18th early 19th Centuries and continued on into the 20th Century, where they became known as pulp novels.  I recently watched a documentary on H.P. Lovecraft, who’s work almost all appeared in pulp novel and serial series formats.  Very much like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes and Lost World stories, the former appeared on a regular basis in the Strand Magazine, these stories would come out in regular intervals to an audience that wanted to know more and more and more about them.

Cover for an issue of Asimov's Science Fiction.

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Books like Weird Tales, Amazing Stories and much more that were all mainstays of the pulp area.  Some of those styles of books lived on in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Asimov’s Science Fiction, both of which are still published and reader’s can still order subscriptions to.  But they are few in a market that used to be flooded with them, which often times makes one think is the age of the pulp writer gone.  Will we no longer see Penny Dreadfuls or Dime Novels?

Perhaps note in book form, though there are anthology books often published which are similar to pulp novels, but there is the new face of fiction in such a serialized format.  The community is small, but it has been growing for many, many years.  Unlike the penny dreadfuls and pulps of one hundred years ago, these writers aren’t trying to scratch together a living out of writing.  Though, one could say that any money they receive can be equal to what many of those authors of the late 19th Century made (it’s said H. P. Lovecraft made $5 from his first story), many of these new age pulp fiction authors write for the pure joy of it.

Cover of the pulp magazine Mystery Novels Maga...

Image via Wikipedia

Some of the work is original, some of it is fanfiction, but it’s all writing, all serialized.  And they have a following.

These new authors have tastes that many fans crave, as mainstream media seems to refuse to place certain characters in certain roles.  Urban Fantasy?  It’s there.  Gothic horror western?  Look hard enough and you’ll find it. Looking for strong female characterizations? There’s lots out there.  Any genre, any characterizations, any style, it’s out there for the reading public.  And most of it is free.

The 21st Century authors are no different than the ones who wrote for Weird Tales or Amazing Stories.  They’re filling a desire by the reading public, and with today’s technology, it’s so easy to get written work out there. Maybe, it one hundred years a lot of these online serial authors will be looked at in the same light as many of the pulp and serial authors are from the 19th Century.  I guess we’ll have to see.

Until next time…

…keep ’em flyin’!

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Opinion, randomness, Writing


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It’s the end of the world as we know it

Heavy rains!  Strong winds! Tornadoes! The world is coming to an end!

No, it’s actually just another typical summer in Saskatchewan.

After a few years of less than ideal conditions in the province, we’ve gone from cold and crappy summer months to hot, muggy, rainy, windy and every other adjective, adverb or other descriptive word that one could use to describe this summer so far.  Some people like the latter, some like the former.  I’m sort of in the middle.  I can do without the humidity.

Last night with heavy rain and wind, and pitch black clouds, it was the second event and third event of the realization that we definitely are dependent on a lot of things.

A few weeks ago we had a telecommunications outage.  No internet, no cellphone (or rather limited might be better) and no long distance or local calling, which also meant no faxing.  We just had no phone service at all.  It wasn’t just this building, where I work, it was the entire region.  Bank ATM’s were down, which meant money withdrawls had to be done the old fashioned way.  No business could accept credit cards or debit cards at all.  Everything had to be cash.  It was like there was suddenly no communication whatsoever.  No, it was exactly like that.  Like we were stuck in the 80’s.  For real!  I was waiting for a John Hughs movie to start up, something starring Molly Ringwald.

Last night, the other two things happened.  The first was being informed that the apartment building’s water was being shut off for emergency due to a backed up sewer line.  I didn’t have much choice, but instead I prepared for it.  I hopped into my car, drove to work and filled two small pails of water.  For washing, cleaning dishes and morning coffee.  Yes, the pails were clean, I made certain of that.  Needless to say, there wasn’t a whole lot of water for washing.  At least I had enough to brush my teeth.

So there again was the amazing aspect of living without something we take for granted; running water.  I am old enough that I do remember the days driving down to the municipal water station and for 25 cents filling a water tank on the back of our ’49 Chev half ton.  I’m also old enough to remember 35 cents per litre for gas, and how shocked we were when it rose to 70 cents.  Now it’s $1.23 per litre.  But water, running water from the tap.  That’s another thing that amazes me how much we depend on it.  No water for washing dishes, none for taking a bath or a shower, no water for cooking, and no water for going to the bathroom and flushing the toilet.

The irony of all of that, came when the third event happened late last night.  Around the time the sky turned black and the first thunder clap roared.

It was one of those storms where you just know the power is going to go down.  You expect it, and if it doesn’t happen it’s a complete fluke.  Last night stayed true to form, as I was working on my computer (fortunately I had saved along the way, because I had a strange feeling) and saw the lights, monitor and other appliances visibly or audibly flicker.  For a brief second it was as though the power struggled to stay on, but it was only for a second.

And then darkness.

Power is that one thing that all the previous things are dependent on, and in turn, that we are dependent on.  When the power goes down, the darkness can be quite unsettling, and the quiet can be deafening.  Without power, there is no telecommunication of any kind.  Nor is there any water, because power is needed to help water move through the water lines.  But even more, power operates our entertainment centres, our street lights, our phone and laptop chargers, our refrigerators and freezers.

If the power goes down, then one can still read a book, or play card games (with real cards).  But as it happened last night, it was black outside.  I needed candles (of which all I had were the scented kind, really need to buy emergency candles) and I needed my flashlight.  Once I had those, I could move through the apartment quite easily.

This morning I woke up, with power because it wasn’t out for too long last night, but without water.  And the news telling me on the radio that there were several tornado warnings last night issued for Delisle and area, not far from me.  We’re a month into summer.  This is gonna be a wild season.

Until next time…

…keep ’em flyin’!

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Life, randomness


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