Fantasy Inspired Artwork

Fantasy Inspired Artwork

From winter’s decay bloom the flowers of spring.

 

Above is a piece of artwork I just finished. It is inspired by a book I haven’t yet written, probably called the Flowers of Spring. It is a World Apparent Tale which follows the sequel to The Best Weapon, called The Path of Sorrow.

The Best Weapon is due to be released on 19 February on paperback and kindle. The Path of Sorrow will be released later this year.

Win a Free Copy of Epic Fantasy The Best Weapon

Epic Fantasy The Best Weapon

“The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy.” ~ Friedrich Nietzche

 

You can now enter to win one of three paperback copies of our fantasy novel, The Best Weapon, in our Goodreads giveaway. The competition ends on 19 February, at which point three lucky winners will be selected at random and their copies will be posted. Good luck!

Two young men, born on the same day on opposite ends of the world and into two vastly different cultures, are inexorably drawn together by forces outside their control or understanding.

As they come of age and face their own personal trials, they begin to become aware of their true identities. Driven by dark forces, their shared fate draws them on a journey to the centre of The World Apparent, where their enemies gather in wait.

As their world slides into war and chaos, they discover there is much more to The World Apparent than meets the eye, and glimpse the other worlds that lie beyond the physical plane. Created and manipulated by demonic forces, they must seize control of their destiny, conquer their fears, vanquish their enemies and prevent the very disaster they are supposed to bring about. But first they must learn that the power to do so lies within…

The Best Weapon is the first book in the Tales of The World Apparent, a fantasy world created by David Pilling and Martin Bolton.

 

The Best Weapon: A World Apparent Tale

Epic Fantasy The Best Weapon

The good news is the publishing contract for the first fantasy fiction novel I co-wrote with David Pilling has now expired. This means we are able to re-publish with a new cover and also make available on paperback.

The story is called The Best Weapon, and is set in a fantasy world created by myself and my co-writer, David Pilling. The world is known as The World Apparent. I think the following excerpt sums up well how this world works. This excerpt, however, is from another World Apparent Tale which we are still writing, so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out when it is finished.

“As I drift through and between the three planes of existence, each mirroring the last, I occasionally catch a glimpse of the void. The place that existed before even the physical realm of men. The infinite chasm beyond The World Apparent, with its endless dimensions and crushing, incalculable vastness. The contemplation of which would drive even the immortal minds of gods, themselves as young and minuscule as man’s basest desires, to eternal despair.

I shy away from such terrifying glimpses, not just through a healthy fear, but through a sense of preservation. To know the limits of one’s own consciousness is to resist the temptation to discover the ancient alien horrors that dwell in the abyss, beyond the physical plane and its spiritual parallels.

In stark contrast to the void are the lives of men, by their very nature trivial and temporary, even fleeting. Yet their lives are governed by powerful things: love and hate, hunger and greed, honour and pride. Emotions so powerful they drive men to incredible acts of strength and heroism, and despicable crimes of brutality and murder. So strong are the hearts and minds of men they unknowingly created the Celestial Sphere and the searing caverns of Hell. They dictate the course of events in the physical plane, known to gods, demons and men as The World Apparent. A world of chaos.”

Fantasy-Parchment_map-v1_downsized

The World Apparent

My inspiration for the story comes from my own personal struggle with anger and loss, and writing it has helped me come to terms with many things in my life.

The sequel, entitled The Path of Sorrow, will be released later this year. It was previously released as a serial entitled “Sorrow” but was originally written as a single novel. We are returning it to its natural state, so keep your eyes peeled for news on that soon.

In the meantime, The Best Weapon is available to pre-order now on Amazon, and will be released on 19 February 2015. Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

“Two young men, born on the same day on opposite ends of the world and into two vastly different cultures, are inexorably drawn together by forces outside their control or understanding.

As they come of age and face their own personal trials, they begin to become aware of their true identities. Driven by dark forces, their shared fate draws them on a journey to the centre of The World Apparent, where their enemies gather in wait.

As their world slides into war and chaos, they discover there is much more to The World Apparent than meets the eye, and glimpse the other worlds that lie beyond the physical plane. Created and manipulated by demonic forces, they must seize control of their destiny, conquer their fears, vanquish their enemies and prevent the very disaster they are supposed to bring about. But first they must learn that the power to do so lies within…”

Burn Thy Neighbour – a 900 Club Short Story

I haven’t posted anything on here for a while. Partly because I’m lazy and partly because if I haven’t got anything to say I just shut the fuck up. Unless I’m drunk. In fact, when I’m drunk I’ve always got something to say, so the former still applies.

I wrote this story back in July 2014 for The 900 Club. It was Black Comedy month. I rather enjoyed writing this because it plays out a fantasy that runs through my own head when I meet certain people. This is one of the reasons I write. I hope you enjoy it.

Burn Thy Neighbour

by Martin Bolton

Sherman sat cross-legged on the brow of the hill, looking down Victoria Park’s grassy slope towards five houses. 50-54 Hill Avenue. Sandwiched in between Marmaduke Street and Monmouth Street. He took another swig of ale.

The sun was setting behind him and the sky was purple, rimmed with orange. The street lights were coming on one by one. From his vantage point Sherman felt as though he was on the surface of a dark pond, with bioluminescent creatures winking into life on its bottom. He saw that vision through new eyes, because Shermon had been reborn. For the first time in his infuriatingly monotonous life, he felt content.

Sherman’s house was number fifty two, the centre one of the five houses he now gazed at, waiting patiently for the seeds he had so carefully sown to bloom into bright, hot flowers.

He had moved in a year ago with his girlfriend, Millie. She said he was getting her down, too pessimistic, never happy. She said he always saw the worst in people. He thought he saw the best in them, but sadly the best in people was shit.

Sherman remembered his father’s last words, just before the man was electrocuted by his own badly wired light switch, “I named you after a tank for a reason boy. I want you to roll on, never compromising your ethics, never bending to peer pressure.” Sherman’s dad was as much a failure in death as he was in life. A failure on such a spectacular level it could almost be called an achievement. Sherman hadn’t even managed to fail well.

And so Sherman’s life had rolled on, never deviating from its arrow straight path of relentless mediocrity. Sherman hadn’t lived. Sherman hadn’t even survived, that would give the impression of some sort of triumph over adversity. No, Sherman had merely existed in a sort of crushing mental stasis. Until tonight.

Sherman’s disillusionment soup began to steam when he moved into 52 Hill Avenue and reached boiling point when Millie left. After that he spiralled into a squalid pit of impotent rage.

The neighbours he hated the most were the ones Millie had liked. The bastards. Guy and Lizzie at number 53, a pair of smug, self righteous, ignorant shit heads.

Guy had ridiculously thick hair that stood out at all angles, and his head was a preposterous size. The thing looked like it had been plundered from Easter Island by one of Guy’s rich ancestors. Why do toffs have such massive heads? Sherman supposed they needed room for all those teeth and the vast sense of self entitlement.

Lizzie was just as posh, but she thought she was “new age” with her astrology and her yoga classes. Fucking yoga. Every time Sherman was forced to attend one of their vegetarian dinner parties to listen to them brag about their twee, effortless, old money lives he wanted to leave something nasty in their aquarium. Like a poisonous turd, or maybe a nail bomb.

Then there was Mrs Overy, the old widow at number 54. She always had a sweet, concerned smile for Millie, asking her, “How are you coping, darling?” As if coping with Sherman must be a daily trial, and Millie was so brave to face the ordeal every morning. When Mrs Overy’s rheumy eyes met Sherman’s her smile would fade, ever so slightly, and the disgust that lay behind it seemed to ooze through her pores.

The bloke in number 51 was a noisy cross-eyed moron. He was a vast, orange lump of gristle in a muscle vest, every tendon taut with kinetic rage, jaw jutting forward as though trying to do the job his tiny eyes neglected. Sherman said hello once, the response was a confused primeval grimace, button eyeballs glaring at two separate points in space. Sherman often fantasised about chasing the cunt across a grassy plain in a land rover with a massive gun, putting a bullet the size of a beer can in his back and sticking his head on a wall.

Number 50 was occupied by students. Dirty sons of bitches. He saw one finish a can of beer once and drop the can into the road before going into the house. The students deserved ruin.

Sherman reminisced on his hatred of his neighbours as the sun went down and he sipped his ale. The ale was getting warm, but that could not detract from the taste. Not because it was good ale, but because tonight the ale tasted of vengeance.

He saw the bright light a split second before he heard the loud bang and felt its vibrations in the ground beneath him. 54 went up first, just as he had planned. The sound was incredible. The force of the explosion was more powerful than he could have hoped.

Then 53 bloomed in all its resplendent glory, and Sherman had a warm feeling in his heart.

51 was next. He pictured the beady-eyed twit disintegrating in a bright, wet blossom as jagged bits of his home gymnasium liquidised him.

Then 50 exploded and the students once more littered the street, except now they showered bits of themselves all across it, and this time Sherman approved.

Sherman relaxed, finally at peace. He smiled as one of Mrs Overy’s sensible shows landed on the grass before him with a muffled thump, still occupied by a blackened, smouldering foot.