About the Author

By day I'm a mild-mannered math professor at a small university in the Texas border region. By night I write fantasy stories and paint pictures in watercolor and oil. My stories have appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies and elsewhere, as you can see in the sidebar. You can view some of my paintings here.

I most enjoy fiction that has a contemplative outlook and a sense of mystery (in the traditional meaning of the word, i.e., substance that can't be explained away with words or concepts), combined with concrete imagery and a dash of violence. I like to imagine that my writing draws equally from British high fantasy and American pulp fantasy – think Ballantine Adult Fantasy series.

Other things I like and draw from include film noir, samurai movies, spaghetti westerns, sci-fi actioners from the eighties, Batman comics, Greek mythology, the Book of Genesis, paleontology, More's Utopia, Art Nouveau, Moby-Dick, fairy tales, medieval philosophy, geometry, Friedrich Nietzsche, Final Fantasy IV-VI, and St. John of the Cross.

If you like any of these, maybe you'll like my writing!

All of my published stories take place in the world of Antellus, the paleozoic counter-earth at the cosmic antipodes (hence my blog's title). They are, roughly speaking, sword-and-planet tales, with prehistoric beasts and ocean-girding cities, freight trains and flashing swords, ancient ruins and space elevators, primordial daemons and Art Nouveau.

You can buy Dragonfly, the first volume in my tetralogy, here; Hythloday House, the publisher, has additional information here. I'm excited to say that the second volume, The King of Nightspore's Crown, will come out sometime soon.

Presentation means a lot to me. Being a superficial person, I have a hard time reading a book if I don't like the cover. And what I really love are the wrap-around covers of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series edited by Lin Carter in the sixties and seventies. For example:

See more examples here. Colorful to the point of exuberance, slightly crude or even amateurish, delightfully bizarre, and – here's the main point – downright fantastic. A far cry from the modern Photoshop collage! In that spirit, each volume of my Antellus tetralogy is to have its own wrap-around cover art painted by yours truly. E.g.:

I live in the southwest Texas border region, not far from where I grew up. I happen to like it here, amid the goat ranches and onion fields and sweltering thickets of prickly pear and huisache and huajilla, but it would be overstating the case to describe it as a center of literary culture. Actually, there's not a bookstore within eighty miles. So, you see, I'm a bit isolated.

Once I tried to get away, but here I am again. The world drew me out, took a long look at me, and threw me back. I guess I could be bitter about it, but we're probably both better off this way. To tell the truth, the feeling was mutual. Now I'm just trying to make a virtue of necessity. Robert E. Howard flourished in the Texas hinterlands. So why can't I?