Reviews: The Miskatonic Manuscript

The Miskatonic Manuscript

Now that Vin Suprynowicz’s new novel, The Miskatonic Manuscript is out, the reviews are coming in. Click the names to read the entire reviews.

To get your own copy, click these links:


  • Claire Wolfe:
    This isn’t just a story of fighting drug warriors (though that, too). When something goes awry between dimensions and a rescue operation is needed, The Miskatonic Manuscript rapidly expands to encompass even more inter-dimensional travel, dinosaurs, nekkid women, .50 BMGs and RPGs, entheogenic drugs, and … well, you should really read to find out.
  • Thomas Mitchell:
    “The Miskatonic Manuscript,” novel, available for the first time today, picks up where last year’s “The Testament of James” left off. The book dares to imagine a world in which New England horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s work was as much science as it was fiction and in which someone is actually fighting back in the War on Drugs. Think of it as Robert A. Heinlein meets Jules Verne and Carlos Castaneda.
  • John Walker:
    And now things start to get weird—very weird—Lovecraft weird. A mysterious gadget arrives with instructions to plug it into a computer. Impossible crimes. Glowing orbs. Secret laboratories. Native American shamans. Vortices. Big hungry things with sharp teeth. Matthew and Chantal find themselves on an adventure as risky and lurid as those on the Golden Age pulp science fiction shelves of the bookstore.
  • Thomas Knapp:
    One key question posed in The Miskatonic Manuscript is: “What if you fought a War on Drugs, and someone fought back?” The answer is laid out in a style tactically reminiscent both of Suprynowicz’s own The Black Arrow and Bill Brannon’s Let Us Prey. Those segments, and the careful explanation of the rationale, are worth the price of this book all by themselves. At some point in the probably not-too-distant future, I expect — and hope — they’ll be cited as prescient.
  • Tom Jackson:
    Anyone interested in the war on drugs and in psychedelic drugs will likely find the book interesting. The book moves along at a good clip, and Suprynowicz is interested in many of the same topics as I am and seems to know a lot.

My own review will be coming eventually.

A Reminder: Miskatonic Manuscript

Informed informers inform me that Vin Suprynowicz‘ new novel The Miskatonic Manuscript should be available in about a month. I hope you’ve set your cash aside already.

The Miskatonic Manuscript

I’ve read* an early draft of Miskatonic (which is the sequel to The Testament of James**). It’s a lot of fun, and… interesting. [grin]

* Disclosure: I did some graphic design work on Miskatonic as well as Testament.

** Apparently some people took the cover art of Testament to indicate that it is a religious tract*** of some sort. Some people should have read the book description and reviews. It ain’t.

*** We’re hoping that no one will mistake the cover of Miskatonic for religious reading material. Except, perhaps, members of the Church of Cthulhu.

New Novel coming from Vin Suprynowicz

Coming in November
The Miskatonic Manuscript
What if Rhode Island horror writer H.P. Lovecraft didn’t just imagine the “resonator” in his 1920 short story “From Beyond”? What if Henry Annesley actually built the machine that allowed him to see into the Sixth Dimension -– and allowed creatures from The Other Side to invade us here?

Facing Draconian prison sentences, their Cthulhian Church banned by the federal drug warriors for employing holy sacraments that actually work, Windsor and Worthington Annesley turn to a desperate search for their great-uncle’s resonator, hoping it may be the game-changer they need.
Read More

I’ve read an early draft. It’s a logical follow-on in the series (but works well as a stand-alone novel, too), but is very, very… different from The Testament of James. I liked it. You’ll like it.

David Codrea: Good news for once

Examiner made the mistake of firing David Codrea. Personally, David was pretty much the only reason I would knowingly click an Examiner link; the site sucks in more ways than I want to bother listing here.


TTAG Announcement:
BREAKING: David Codrea Leaves Examiner for The Truth About Guns

I’ll be honest. TTAG hasn’t been on my regular reading list. But I would still hit it far more often than I would Examiner. And now I’ll be there a whole lot more.

The Truth About Guns. Bookmark it.

Movie: Moon Is A Harsh Mistress?

miahmI see there’s a lot of excitement over the announcement that yet another group… plans to make a film adaptation of the Heinlein classic. Some folks are fairly piddling themselves in excitement, while others bemoan the anticipated shredding of Heinlein’s ideas (think the fascist BEM gore-fest, Starship Troopers, which managed to miss-or-invert every freaking point RAH raised).

I fall somewhere in the middle, not because MIAHM is one of my favorite books, but why it’s a favorite.

It’s a complicated tale, all things considered. Far too much so for a two hour Hollywood hack. They’ll have to reduce it to a skiffy action flick. That’s means leaving out the complications that made it a favored novel: Not just polyandry/line/etc marriage, but the explanations of why it developed, and how those same attitudes at once serve to keep the Loonies from rebelling and yet… rebel. Economic theory; balance of trade and resource depletion, can you imagine Hollywood hipsters doing that as entertainingly as Heinlein in two hours?

Heinlein’s books were my own introduction to ballistics*, and multiple key plot points in MIAHM revolve around that. Care to wager on whether the linear accelerator manages to hit the Earth in seconds, at most minutes?

I shudder to think what they’ll do to Mycroft “Mike” Holmes. Probably rename him Wally, and use him as a comic relief sidekick peripheral to “real” story.

Mannie will likely get a glowing red eye and tell the Lunar Authority he’ll be back.

OTOH, Wyoh was eye-candy, albeit smart, independent, tough eye-candy. Scarlett Johansson maybe… I could enjoy that.

The sad fact is that novels rarely adapt well to single movies. Too long, too complex. Short stories or novellas work much better: consider Carpenter’s The Thing, an adaption of Campbell’s Who Goes There? Or ponder the visually glorious mess Jackson made of The Lord of the Rings. That took three movies that made a mockery of the original tale, and still managed to leave out The Scouring of the Shire… which was the point — the hobbits’ graduation exercise, so to speak — that everything else led up to.

Are these people — who apparently believe that MIAHM is “right-wing libertarian science-fiction” — to be trusted to get it right… this time?

I would dearly love to see an adaption of the book. But I don’t think the conventional big screen theater with conventional time and ideological constraints in the venue for it. To do it right, I think it will have to be a mini-series. It might have to air on SyFy to reach the target demographic, but it should absolutely effing not be produced by those morons. Independent production, then transmission rights leased to SyFy.

Then again, Disney has a good track record with direct-to-DVD releases of stuff that would never succeed in theaters. That might be the route to go.

Mini-series or DVD; either would provide the format for getting all the plot details right, which I don’t believe can be done in a conventional Hollywood two hour screening.

* And getting it right. Heinlein’s example is why — even though I don’t dwell on the ballistic trivia in my novels, the details work. I wrote a computer program just for the purpose of… when I say that the Ferocious Golfball made it to the Trojans when it did, you know it would, because I ran the acceleration profile and trajectories to be sure it was physically possible (and added a throwaway booster stage to make it work).

The Testament of James ebook now available

That’s good news. Just $5.99.
testament-of-james-front-cover-1951x2850-300dpi-205x300And there are still signed hard bound editions available. Same great story, in a high quality, fully cloth bound and foil stamped collectible package. With a nice [grin]* Matthias Stom-based dust jacket. Get yours while they last; it’s a limited printed, 650 copies total, I believe.

* I may be slightly biased, but I liked the draft Vin sent so much that I really wanted to be part of the project, even in a small way.

The Testament of James: A very generous offer

Nah, not from cheap ol’ me. From Cat (aka “The Brunette”) and Vin.


From a comment to an earlier post on The Testament of James:

It would be too bad for anyone to dismiss TToJ as a Da Vinci Code knock-off, which it’s not. And much as we’d like to SELL copies of the book, I hereby invite the first 10 readers of Bear’s blog to email me — cat (at) — for a free copy of “The Testament of James” ebook. Please specify whether you wish the MOBI (Kindle) or EPUB edition, and I’ll do my best to oblige. Then you can decide how accurate (or not) the “Da Vinci Code” comparisons are for yourself. Offer good from 1/1/15 to 1/15/15. Tell us Bear sent you.

I’m not sure I have ten regular readers. [grin]

While I also think it would be good for people to buy Vin’s book, I encourage you to accept. You can “pay” in reviews (which I already know will be positive, because TToJ is that good) and recommendations.

I’ve read Vin’s previous foray into fiction, The Black Arrow. I liked it. When I got the draft of TToJ, I think I was expecting something along similar lines, but it proved to be quite different. I confess that I, too, initially thought it was going in a Brownish direction…

…but that didn’t really seem likely. So I kept reading. Damned right it wasn’t likely. Very different direction. And you can take it on several levels: the idea can be fun. And very thought-provoking. Vin explores something that never, ever would have occurred to me, and makes it so logical that I’m going to have to add another pile of books to my reading list (Vin’s TToJ bibliography will just be the start).

But if you’re really looking forward to another action packed novel like The Black Arrow, rest assured that the different course does include swooping caped bad guys. And broken toilets.

I’ve been privileged to read a few early drafts of people’s novels. Usually I have a presumptuous suggestion or two to offer (I made some observations on a draft of L. Neil Smith’s The American Zone, for which he got even by… well, read that one, too; you’ll find Neil’s revenge on page 158 of the hardback edition.) But TToJ: I couldn’t find a single story element that needed changing/adding/deleting. And I knew that I wanted to be a (small) part of the project.

I’ll offer a small TToJ challenge. No prize beyond enjoying the book, I’m afraid. Try to spot all the…cats.

The Testament of James, Part Twoish

UPDATE: See the generous offer below in comments.

Now that Vin Suprynowicz’s new novel, The Testament of James is on sale, people are taking notice, like Tom Knapp who notes that this is something a little different.
Go buy a copy. You’ll like it. I did. Just two notes:

1. If you’re tired of libertarian screeds disguised as fiction, you’ll like it.

2. If you want to really test Vin’s adherence to the principle of nonaggression, read a couple of pages then dismiss it as, “Oh, that’s a rehash of The Da Vinci Code.” No, it isn’t. Keep reading. You’ll like it.

Disclosure: I have copy #12, for which I did not pay cash. I do, though, think I earned it, as observant folk can figure out. I receive no recompense for recommending the book, which you’ll like.