The Adventures of Captain Stalwart, Realistic Action Hero

Okay, so this guy, Loki Lokash, did a great review of my book, The Devil’s Mouth, on YouTube. It’s quite entertaining and really very flattering, so you should probably watch it and all his other book reviews. But he brought up a great point. Namely, how can action heroes manage to stay so pretty when they’re getting beaten up all the time? As sometimes happens in my brain, this question inspired an odd little short story.

So, yeah. Watch the review. Read the story. Buy the book.


The Adventures of Captain Stalwart, Realistic Action Hero


“Oh, no.”

Jeeves, loyal butler and manservant to the caped crimefighter Captain Stalwart, peered out the window of the limousine at the abandoned quad cane standing on the sidewalk. He pulled the car to the curb and got out.

The sound of angry yelling attracted his attention, coming from a nearby deli.

Jeeves picked up the cane and entered the deli.

Inside, in front of the cold case, an old man stood on wobbly legs and swung his fist at the hapless deli clerk. The clerk fended his attacker off with a chair. He looked over at Jeeves when the bell on the door rang. “Hey man, help!” he cried. “Get this old lunatic off me!”

“Take that, Doctor Nefarious!” yelled the old man, windmilling his fists wildly. “I’ll not rest until you’re back in Stonegate Prison!”

“Master Jason,” said Jeeves sternly, taking hold of the old man’s arm, “stop this! He isn’t Doctor Nefarious! Doctor Nefarious is a senator now. You know this. Come along, let’s get you back to the mansion. You need to take your medication.”

“Eh?” said the old man. “But he—”

“Captain, no,” Jeeves said, sternly. “We need to go home right now. I’ve brought the car.”

The deli clerk said, “Thanks, man. That old lunatic thinks he’s Captain Stalwart.”

“Well actually,” responded Jeeves, “he is Captain Stalwart. Was, rather.”

The clerk’s face showed disbelief. “No way, dude. Captain Stalwart is… well he’s not ugly. Or old. This guy’s face looks like a bowl of mashed potatoes. And he’s like sixty.”

“Hrah!” Said Captain Stalwart, taking another half-hearted swing at the clerk.

Jeeves looked over his boss’s face: The massed scar tissue, the misshapen, flattened nose, the cauliflower ears, the split lips and the missing teeth. “Sad to say, he’s only 43. I’m afraid he’s gone downhill rather quickly. As it turns out, when one goes out and gets in bare-knuckle brawls with Doctor Nefarious’ henchmen every night for years, the damage tends to add up.” He handed Stalwart the cane. The superhero grasped the handle with trembling hands that barely flexed. Jeeves looked down at the swollen knuckles “Not to mention arthritis from all of the broken knuckles.”

The clerk scratched his head. “And, like, isn’t Captain Stalwart some kind of genius detective? This guy doesn’t even know what day of the week it is.”

“Yes, well,” Jeeves nodded sadly, “again, he’s gone downhill lately. As it turns out, despite what the comic books say, when one gets hit in the face with a pipe-wrench, it’s not the sort of thing one just shakes off. In fact, one spends two weeks in a coma. After ten years of being concussed, beaten with bats, and knocked out with lead saps on a weekly basis, it all starts to have an effect. Our Captain here is suffering from a nasty combination of dementia pugilistica, Parkinson’s, and the after-effects of a few dozen traumatic brain injuries.”

Doctor Nefarious!” Stalwart screamed. He abandoned the cane and lunged towards the clerk, then promptly fell on his face when his knees gave way.

“And of course his knees are shot,” said Jeeves, helping his boss to his feet. “One can only jump off of a second-story rooftop so many times. We could get the joints replaced, if only he hadn’t squandered his family fortune on crime-fighting toys. I told him to save something for his retirement, but oh no, he had to have a fighter jet. To chase purse-snatchers.”

“Jeeze, the poor guy.” The clerk made a sympathetic face.

“Yes, well I warned him. Repeatedly, and at length.” Jeeves held Stalwart’s shoulder. He turned to the clerk. “Sir, I apologize for all of this hassle. I take my eyes off him for one second, and he wanders right out the front gates of Stalwart Manor.” To Stalwart, he said, “Come along, master Jason. We’ve got to get you home and change your colostomy bag.”

“Colostomy bag? Aw, man. That’s rough.”

Jeeves nodded sadly. “Yes, I’m afraid that was about the end of Captain Stalwart’s crime-fighting career. The surgeons had to remove twelve feet of his lower intestines, after he ran afoul of the Doctor’s secret weapon.”

“Holy shit,” said the clerk. “What was the secret weapon? Some kind of death ray? A diabolical trap?”

Jeeves replied, “Actually, it was a shotgun.”



Another Great Review!

Check out this great review from author Patrick Dorn!

Matt Kincade’s breakout novel doesn’t just kick butt in the action scenes—all writers in this genre had better know their way around describing exciting murder and mayhem—the story goes DEEP and BROAD in creating a believable world where society’s outcasts and outlaws have formed a community to defend the world from equally established criminal organizations of fanged, undead predators.

I’ve gotta say, after living for quite some time with this bizarre fantasy world churning around in my brain, it feels pretty darned good to get it out in the world and have normal people not think that I’m completely insane. Thanks for the great review, Patrick! Check out out Patrick’s website, and of course pick up a copy of The Devil’s Mouth!

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Review Trade, Anyone?

So hey there, authors. I’m getting set to release my urban fantasy thriller, The Devil’s Mouth, on the Kindle store in about two weeks. I’m looking for reviews, and the book review blog scene seems to be pretty well saturated with manuscripts. Is anybody else out there looking for advance reviews? Want to trade? Comment on here or look me up through the contacts page.

Also, if you’re an avid reader who posts reviews on Amazon or Goodreads or you happen to run a book review blog that I somehow missed, and you think the book looks awesome, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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I Love a Good Apocalypse: Three Movies so Bad, They’re Good

There’s something about low-budget dystopian sci-fi from the eighties and nineties…I don’t know if I can explain it. It’s just so…exuberantly bad. No computer graphics, no fancy set design, just a bunch of weirdos who somehow got access to a budget, and went running amok in the desert with a few old cars and gallons of fake blood. Horrible, yet innovative practical effects. Props made from spray-painted thrift store finds. Terrible dialogue. Worse acting. Bitchin’ synthesizer soundtracks. I love ’em. I’m not sure what that says about me, but there it is.

20160421_110118Now I’m not saying these movies are good. They didn’t get robbed of an Oscar or anything. They ain’t Children of Men. If you’ll care to look to your right, you’ll see Matt Kincade’s Circle of Cheese™, illustrating that movie quality is in fact more circular than linear. If it gets bad enough, it gets good again. Crazy, counter-intuitive, but true. Because I said it’s true. And I think I know what I’m talking about.

Buckaroo Banzai, Mad Max, Escape from New York, some of these are pretty well known. But there are a few gems that seem to have slipped through the cracks.

These are a few of my favorite video-store finds, from back in the days before Netflix, when your parents wouldn’t pay extra for cable so you had four channels to choose from, and KTVU played The Road Warrior or Robocop like every other week which was cool, but still… if you wanted to see something different, you had to go on down to Blockbuster. And honestly, for being usurious corporate robots, they still had some pretty weird, obscure stuff.

Most of these you can find on the internet, whether on Netflix, for free on YouTube, or off the pirate bay. I don’t know, google it. Most of these are more fun if you’re slightly inebriated on your intoxicant of choice. Continue reading

Use this one weird trick to make Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series even better

Sabriel_Book_CoverIf there was any damned justice in the world, The Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix would be as well known as Harry Potter. Young protagonist learning about their magical birthright? Check. Creepy semi-dead bad guy? Check. Expansive magical world built as solidly as a brick house? Check. Fun, exciting plot that starts out simple, then is revealed to actually be really complex and convoluted, yet the author still manages to steer the ship true and bring it all home in a really satisfying way? Check. YA fiction that’s still deep, engaging and layered enough to be enjoyed even by the most cynical of adults? Check. And of course, bonus points for numerous bad-ass female protagonists. Imagine Hermione Granger, if it was her destiny to defeat the living dead with an enchanted sword and bells.

And yet, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a Harry Potter knock-off. Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, and the recently published Clariel inhabit their own unique world, with their own unique characters and plotlines.. In the kingdom of Ancelstierre, they don’t believe in silly things like magic. They have cars, electricity, and guns. But at the southern border of Ancelstierre runs The Wall, and past that the Old Kingdom, where—since the kingdom fell—magical creatures, sorcerers, and the living dead run amok. Also, modern things like electricity and guns don’t work so well south of The Wall.

LiraelEnter Sabriel, a teenage girl in a boarding school in Ancelstierre who finds out she is the daughter of the Abhorsen, a necromancer whose job is to make sure the dead stay dead. His powers include the ability to travel into the land of the dead and to bind and command the dead with a set of magical bells, each one of which has its own powers and its own dangers.

Through magical channels, Sabriel’s father informs her that he is trapped deep in the land of the dead, and sends her his set of bells and his sword, informing her that she is heir to the mantle of the Abhorsen and she must set things right.

Well, that’s all you really need to know. The world of charter magic and free magic, necromancers, charter marks and free magic elementals, only gets better and better as the series goes on.

334643If I could kidnap Guillermo Del Toro, tie him to a bed in a cabin in the woods, and break his legs with a sledge hammer in order to make him create a movie of my choice, I’d make him direct adaptations of these books. Probably starring Hugo Weaving in one role or another. And Tim Curry as the voice of The Mogget, a powerful free magic creature trapped in the form of a cynical talking cat.

Oh wait, but I was here to tell you about that one weird trick.

Okay, so I’d already read these books and enjoyed them immensely. But then, reading the author’s biography, I realized that Garth Nix is Australian. Which means that all of his characters likely have Australian accents. I read the books again, keeping that in mind.

The books instantly got ten times better. Unicorns flew overhead, vomiting candy rainbows. Dogs danced with cats and sang showtunes. Water turned into wine. Budweiser turned into Erdinger Weissbier.

I was finally reading this work as it was meant to be read. Not “the Abhorsen,” “thee Eebhoahsin!”

“Oi dewnt undahsteend,” Sabriel whispered. She couldn’t face Mogget’s eyes anymore. “Oi dewnt knew…oi dewnt knew eenough. Abewt anytheeng. Thee Auld Keengdom, Chahtah mageek, Not eveen me ewn fathah.”

Go ahead and try it. You can thank me later.