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As Dave Butler
I write fantastic adventure stories for kids and other readers. My big press debut, out in June 2016, is The Kidnap Plot. Charlie Pondicherry isn’t allowed outside the house, until one day his father is kidnapped by trolls and Charlie has to organize the rescue party.
Kirkus Reviews says “Reminiscent of both Pinocchio and The Great Mouse Detective, this novel is tailor-made for young readers who love adventure narratives and steampunk fiction.”
School Library Journal says “VERDICT A page-turning adventure for ambitious readers who don’t mind a bit of a learning curve.”
The Giant’s Seat, book two, follows Charlie into the wide world of adventure. Look for the third and last book, The Library Machine, in 2018!
As D.J. Butler
Witchy Eye is my epic fantasy, published by Baen. Sarah Calhoun is the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Elector Andrew Calhoun, one of Appalachee’s military heroes and one of the electors who gets to decide who will next ascend as the Emperor of the New World. None of that matters to Sarah. She has a natural talent for hexing and one bad eye, and all she wants is to be left alone—especially by outsiders.
But Sarah’s world gets turned on its head at the Nashville Tobacco Fair when a Yankee wizard-priest tries to kidnap her. Sarah fights back with the aid of a mysterious monk named Thalanes, who is one of the not-quite-human Firstborn, the Moundbuilders of the Ohio. It is Thalanes who reveals to Sarah a secret heritage she never dreamed could be hers.
Now on a desperate quest with Thalanes to claim this heritage, she is hunted by the Emperor’s bodyguard of elite dragoons, as well as by darker things—shapeshifting Mockers and undead Lazars, and behind them a power more sinister still. If Sarah cannot claim her heritage, it may mean the end to her, her family—and to the world where she is just beginning to find her place.
Look for Witchy Winter — in which Sarah enters the strange homeland of her father’s people in pursuit of his history, his throne, and his goddess — in spring 2018!
City of the Saints is a four-part gonzo action steampunk adventure tale. 1859. War among the states looms. Sam Clemens, U.S. Army agent, is tasked with getting Brigham Young’s Kingdom of Deseret, with its air-ships and phlogiston guns, into the war on the side of the Union. Clemens rides west aboard the amphibious steam-truck the Jim Smiley, but his competition is fierce: the explorer Captain Richard Burton for Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and as agent of the clandestine Confederate leadership, Edgar Allan Poe, who travels disguised as an exhibitor of Egyptian antiquities, armed with cunning clockwork weaponry. But will even the hypnotic hypocephalus and the flesh-eating scarabs be enough when the machinating Danites spring their coup?
The four installments are Liahona, Deseret, Timpanogos, and Teancum, all available now as ebooks. City of the Saints is also available as a complete tale in paperback form. City of the Saints was a 2012 Whitney Award finalist in the Speculative Fiction category, and is also available in audiobook form, recorded by Deren Hansen.
Rock Band Fights Evil is an action-horror pulp fiction serial. Jim is Satan’s son, who keeps a vow of silence and wants to be left alone. Eddie sold his soul but was cheated, and became the world’s greatest tambourine player for his trouble. Adrian is a powerful wizard… when the narcolepsy doesn’t knock him out. Twitch is an outcast, shape-shifting fairy. Mike is a drunk, haunted by the ghost of the brother he accidentally killed. Follow the dogged band of damned rock and rollers as they struggle to save themselves. Can they get the fragment of Azazel’s hoof, their bargaining chip? Once they get it, can they keep it? And who else might have designs on the hoof… or on the members of the band?
The Rock Band stories are novella-length adventures, and Rock Band #1 is Hellhound on My Trail. Since 2015, Rock Band has been published by WordFire Press, and can be found for sale at all the best conventions from coast to coast. The first three Rock Band stories are collected in an omnibus called Band on the Run.
The first of the Eldritch Anthologies was Space Eldritch, a 2012 anthology of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired tales of space opera horror. That’s right, it’s The Call of Cthulhu in space. In addition to my story “Arise Thou Niarlat from Thy Rest,” there are stories by Michael Collings, Howard Tayler, Brad Torgersen and Carter Reid, David West, Nathan Shumate, and Robert J Defendi. The cover art is by Carter Reid, who also does the cover art for the Rock Band Fights Evil tales. Larry Correia provides a power-punching foreword.
Space Eldritch was well enough received that in 2013 some of the same writers, plus others — including Steve Peck, Michaelbrent Collings, and Larry Correia — put together a follow-up: Space Eldritch II: The Haunted Stars. My contribution this time was “Seed.” I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but I tried to write something that was less action-adventure and also both more science fiction and more horror. You’ll have to judge whether I succeeded for yourself, but I will tell you this: it was fun to write about telepathic space fungus that wants to have sex.
For 2016’s Redneck Eldritch I dug into one of my other areas of interest, folk music, to write “Recording Devices.” Think Alan Lomax meets Cthulhu.
Crecheling is book one of The Buza System, a tale for young adults and other readers. Dyan receives her Lot Letter as she prepares to leave the Creche, identifying her Calling — her future rule in Buza System, the only family Dyan has ever known — as Magister. Gifted with empathy and an understanding of people, Dyan will take her place as a teacher and nurturer of future generations. But before she can do so, she must pass a final test the System puts to her, and that test is murder.
The Buza System is dark science fiction set in the crumbling ruins and blasted deserts of a future in which all people are not created equal and control is exerted by savage rituals of blood.
Book two of The Buza System is Urbane. Jak and Dyan sneak into the System in an attempt to rescue Dyan’s condemned mother. The knowledge they will gather — about the System and about themselves — is precious and bittersweet, and the price they will have to pay is high.
Shared Nightmares is an anthology of horror stories, all touching in some way on dreams, including such greats as Sara Hoyt and Larry Correia. My own story, “Incubation,” is about judgment, divine or infernal visions, and the ancient practice of sleeping in sacred places as a way of provoking a meeting with the gods.
Other anthologies containing my stories include: Windows into Hell (“Short Rests in Hell” is about a damned high school music teacher, condemned to listen to nearly-identical pieces of music and spot the differences until he learns his lesson), Under a Brass Moon (“Kung Pow Chicken for Pygmalion” is a steampunk-wuxiaish tribute to James Clavell about a secret agent looking for a secret weapon), and States of Deseret (my story is “The Guns of Perdition,” about a necromancer auctioning off a pair of guns made from the flesh and bones of a martyred prophet).