Saturday, 19 May 2018

Temple of the Exploding Head Omnibus by Ren Garcia




Starfarers and explorers, the League settled on Kana thousands of years ago. They found it to be a paradise, a perfect, virtually uninhabited planet waiting just for them in the cradle of space.
Lovely Kana … it was too good to be true …

But, all was not as it seemed. Simmering beneath the ground was a demented god who had soaked Kana in blood for untold ages, luring in victims, lying to them, and rejoicing in their suffering as they died at the hands of his dark angels.

And there will be blood again … From his Temple in the ground, the Horned God stirs.
When Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort, a young man troubled by the weight of the world, dares give his heart to a girl from a mysterious ancient household, one that pre-dates the League itself, he comes to know the shadows of the past that hover over her.

He comes to know of the Horned God, and for love he is destined to face him. All roads lead to the Temple of the Exploding Head, a place of evil and death, rooted in the ancient past, but also tied to the distant future.



Excerpt:

         When they returned to the castle, Lady Kilos followed Kay to his tower, Zorn Tower, one of the larger ones on the western face, southern wing. “Hey, you know what we can do, Kay?” she asked. “We can do an exorcism. Yeah. I have a book I inherited from Aunt Pardock that shows you how to do it. Let me go get it, and I’ll meet you upstairs. Leave your door open.” She stood straight up and concentrated. After a minute or so, she Wafted away. Ki’s Gifts, at only eight years old, were manifesting quite well. Kay felt a little jealous as his Gifts weren’t doing anything yet, and he was four years older.
         He went inside and took the lift up. The floors, mostly empty, whizzed by as he climbed.
         He got out and went into his bedroom. While not feeling scared, per se, he was feeling a bit anxious. Perfectly understandable seeing how a ghost just tried to put its tongue in his mouth.
         He got his toy gazelle down from its shelf. It was his favorite toy; he’d had it forever. It always helped calm him on nights when he was certain there were monsters in the room with him. He swore it had a voice. He swore it sang to him sometimes.
         As he waited for Ki, he sat to check his holo-mail. There were several new posts, mostly from Sarah.
         His cousin Sarah, two years younger than he and the daughter of his aunt, Lady Poe of Blanchefort, had a love of the bizarre and the grotesque. She lived there in the castle in Xyotel Tower during the summer and went south with her parents in the winter.  Every day she trawled the Posts looking for lurid headlines and sordid articles, looking for stories of monsters and murder, never failing to find them in abundance. When she was there in the summer, she assailed Kay and her twin brother Phillip with all the sensational stories she’d found. When she was gone in the winter, she’d holo-post them to Kay’s account every day. Sarah and Phillip, by all accounts, were Kay’s best friends, their friendship growing with each passing year.
         He’d get items from her like:

“DEMONS TERRORIZE CHRISTOPHER PARK!”
or:
“WRAITH OF GASTON’ STRIKES.”

         He read the posts as Ki Wafted in with a crash of wind and noise. She was holding a huge book.
         “Where did you get that?” he asked.
         “I said I inherited it from Aunt Pardock. It belonged to our great grandmother!” Kilos put her hand to her mouth and whispered. “... And she was a Bloodstein Witch. Yeah.”
         “Oh,” Kay said, impressed.
         Ki flopped down cross-legged in the massive inverted funnel of her gown and opened the book, flipping through the creaky pages.
         “Ah!” she cried. “Here it is. Ritual to perform an exorcism. It says the three points of a triangle are very important. It says the top of the triangle represents the present, the left side the past and the right side the future. It says that, if we can surround something of the Pale Ghost on three sides, then we can wish it away or do whatever we want. Oh wait! We don’t have anything of it, do we?”



REN GARCIA, is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author and Texas native who grew up in western Ohio. He has been writing since before he could write, often scribbling alien lingo on any available wall or floor with assorted crayons.

He attended The Ohio State University and majored in English Literature. Ren has been an avid lover of anything surreal since childhood, he also has a passion for caving, urban archeology and architecture.

His books are published by Loconeal Publishing and include: The League of Elder: Sygillis of Metatron, The Hazards of the Old Ones, The Dead Held Hands, The Machine, and The Temple of the Exploding Head. LoE Book VI: Sands of the Solar Empire was released in July, 2012 and Book VII: “Against the Druries” was released in 2013. His next set of books,  “The Shadow tech Goddess” was released in 2014 with the most recent book, Stenibelle, released in June 2015.
 He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, and their three dogs.


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Character Interview:


Interview with Lady Sammidoran of Monama

What season do you most enjoy? Why?

What season? Oh dear, how can I choose? Living on the shores of Lake Monama most of my life, we really don’t have different seasons there—that weather is pretty-much the same all the time. I think I love fall the most, seeing the trees change colors, smelling the logs in the fireplace, it’s all so amazing.

What do you feel most passionate about?
I love being a Vith now. I believe myself to be a Vith Lady—I cut my hair to Vith lengths, and I file my nails down. I’ve even gotten a bit of a tan being in the sun so much, haha! I guess, and I’m not really proud to say it—I now think of the habits and traditions of the Monamas a little backwards and silly. My own people, but living with the Vith, being married to a Vith, I now feel differently, I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person or anything.

What ‘group’ were you in during your highschool years?
Schooling? Well, I’m ashamed to say, but we don’t have any sort of schooling in the Monamalands. We learn trades and such—if one’s father is a blacksmith, then one might be inclined to become a blacksmith as well. In my House of Astralon, we always learned to read and write, in Anuie of course, but many of the other tribes don’t. The Conox didn’t even have an alphabet for the longest time. The most schooling I’ve had involved learning how to speak in League Common. I hope now that things are different, that my people will leave the lakeside and participate more in the League, including schooling. I think a better day is dawning for my people.

What was your role in your family growing up?
Me? My situation is quite different. I am an Anuian Monama. That’s extremely rare, perhaps one birthing in thousands. As such, I was always fussed over, and even fought over by the other tribes hoping to secure me as a mate in the hopes I would produce more Anuian offspring. But, of course, I married a Vith, and, some back home were none too happy about that. They said it was my civic duty to create Anuian offspring, but, nobody is telling me what to do. I worked long and hard to get where I am, with the man I love in this place that I love—I guess that’s the Anuian in me speaking.

What trait do you find most admirable in others?
Hmmm, I really don’t know. My husband is brave, which I like, and he’s also humble—and I think that’s how a person should be. My cousin-in-law, Sarah, is bold and unrelenting, and even though we fight about that all the time, I admire her for her tenacity. My cousin-in-law, Phillip, is very studious and cerebral—I also admire that. I think ‘Humble’ is the best part. Sarah is not humble at all, and that’s why we fight.
TOTEH.jpg
The original painting of Sam by Fantasio

If you had to choose, do you want a job that helps people, or a job that makes money?
A job? I really don’t know, I’ve never had a job. I would say, and this is just me guessing, that a job that helps people would be best. In my situation, money is not an issue, so I would say helping would be best, though, if we were poor, then of course you would need a job to support the family. That’s an interesting question for a Vith Lady, though I am probably not very qualified to properly answer it.

What are your bad habits?
I’m perfect, don’t you know, haha! Well, I’m pretty quiet around people I don’t know—in fact I’m wearing a bolabung right now to help me with this interview, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be saying much. Saying little is a Monama-thing, but I’m Vith now, so I need to fix that problem. Also, I love eating—Vith food is soooooo good. I often go down and sneak out a snack. Don’t tell Kay, but I’ve gained a bit of weigh since our marriage. I hope it doesn’t show too much.

What do you do when you’re bored?
I really don’t have a chance to be bored much around here—Sarah is always concocting something new to keep us active, which is good. In the Monamalands, we test each other’s speed and strength a lot when we’re not doing anything. I might not look like it, but I’m a champion wrestler—undefeated, actually. Being an Anuian, I get challenged, a lot.

What do you think happens after we die?
In Monama lore, we go to the greenlands where the Gods in Jade and Sapphire wait for us. In Vith lore, they just sit in a gallery and observe the living, which sounds pretty boring to me. I’d rather go to the greenlands. If I go to the greenlands some day and Kay goes to the Gallery of the Dead, then I’ll come and take him with me, to the greenlands, I mean. Even if he doesn’t want to come, he’s coming. He better want to come.

What did you want to be when you grew up – and what did you end up actually becoming?
I wanted to be exactly what I am—a Vith Lady. I’ve seen it in my head since I was a child, every night, just waiting for it to come to pass. I’m lucky, I guess—all my dreams came true.






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