Myth, Magic and Mystery


Hello all and welcome to my website which focuses on my books, musings and writings.  From this page you should be able to access most of the items on the site as well as gain an Idea of what I am working on at the moment. You can view and purchase my past works and see what the future may hold. I have also included a few short stories, out-takes and thoughts should you wish to read them. There are also links to other stuff if you are interested in viewing them. My name is Raymond Walker and I am an author. Books, short stories, Novellas and even some rather bad poetry has passed from my pen to paper over the years and I formed this site to tell you of it, if interested.

I hope that you consider it worth a look.

Like any author, good bad or indifferent I wish to sell my books and so I will be advertising whatever my next book is on this page. I hope to update it every time a new book is on the horizon.

 "She Wept Black Tears"

 "She Wept Black Tears" will be my next book, due to be released September or October this year (2017) we are still arguing over the date. The book is complete and ready but there is some thought to delay it for the Christmas market. I will let you know of the release date once I know for sure.  Meanwhile here is the blurb and a couple of the pre-release reviews. 

There is a war coming, visceral, bloodthirsty and damaging. The Morrigan sits on the stone of a ruined structure and knows that more blood will be spilled here. A man goes hill walking just to enjoy the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and happens upon a ruined hill fort that no one has seen in hundreds of years. The fort, now discovered is the scene of an ancient battle, one that still rages between Celtic and demonic forces magical and mystical. Rob, the aesthete, the fool, the romantic dreamer, is about to get drawn into the strangest of worlds. 
 
What else can I say but "Wow". I thought that I was reading a guide book to the Scottish Highland's and then it hit. Weird and wonderful, I could not stop this mad travelogue until I was in tears. 
Margarite Fanning. The book review. 
 
I have often given Raymond Walker great book reviews and I do not regret a single one but this is stranger, still, than many of his other books. A walk into the Scot's Highlands, a lost civilization. Eagle feathers and demonic personages take centre stage. 
A true fantasy coupled with a beautiful sadness that infuses all the characters,  
Marsha main. Poetry monthly.

Book Reviews

I am and have always been a reader of books, Now I also write them and many have told me that the reviews that I post here and there of other peoples books give them insight into wither they would like to read them. So I decided to do this blog that will simply post book reviews.

<p>This will sound like a terrible review but it is actually
wonderful. stay with me through the bad stuff and you will find the gems at the
end.</p><p>I grew up reading the likes of Carl Sagan’s “Contact” and as
a sci-fi buff it set me alight. “Peter Watts” is not taking the easy track with
this piece of hard sci-fi. In fact, he seems, at times, to wish for no readers.
Even to such as I that has enjoyed Benford, Banks, Brin and Bear (do all the
surnames have to start with a “B”) this is a difficult read. Many acronyms are
used with no guide to their meaning unless you are really up to date on your physics,
biology, brain chemistry and chemical psychology, which most are not.  This book is made even more difficult to read
because the author factors in a vampire, as a side shoot of the human genome. A
predator that preys upon predators. All this aside and I agree that it is a
great deal to put aside. You end up with a truly original book.  So Finally, here are the good bits. </p><p>Much as we all loved Carl Sagan, He was an optimist who
wished for intelligent and thoughtful aliens that cared for and cosseted humanity.
 Peter Watts takes a far more realistic
view, In my opinion. What is alien, is truly alien. No one person can imagine
the meeting of minds in a first contact. I suspect that it will (if it ever
happens) be even stranger than Mr Watts ideas. Mr Watts presents this book as a
hard-sci-fi piece, which it truly is, steeped in the genre and wallowing there.
Yet this book has more to offer upon the human condition than you may first
expect. I would recommend this book to all readers that can stand the pretty much
unreadable. Go on give yourself a challenge. After this I look back on “Iron in
the Soul” by Sartre with fond enjoyment.</p><p>





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This will sound like a terrible review but it is actually wonderful. stay with me through the bad stuff and you will find the gems at the end.

I grew up reading the likes of Carl Sagan’s “Contact” and as a sci-fi buff it set me alight. “Peter Watts” is not taking the easy track with this piece of hard sci-fi. In fact, he seems, at times, to wish for no readers. Even to such as I that has enjoyed Benford, Banks, Brin and Bear (do all the surnames have to start with a “B”) this is a difficult read. Many acronyms are used with no guide to their meaning unless you are really up to date on your physics, biology, brain chemistry and chemical psychology, which most are not.  This book is made even more difficult to read because the author factors in a vampire, as a side shoot of the human genome. A predator that preys upon predators. All this aside and I agree that it is a great deal to put aside. You end up with a truly original book.  So Finally, here are the good bits.

Much as we all loved Carl Sagan, He was an optimist who wished for intelligent and thoughtful aliens that cared for and cosseted humanity. Peter Watts takes a far more realistic view, In my opinion. What is alien, is truly alien. No one person can imagine the meeting of minds in a first contact. I suspect that it will (if it ever happens) be even stranger than Mr Watts ideas. Mr Watts presents this book as a hard-sci-fi piece, which it truly is, steeped in the genre and wallowing there. Yet this book has more to offer upon the human condition than you may first expect. I would recommend this book to all readers that can stand the pretty much unreadable. Go on give yourself a challenge. After this I look back on “Iron in the Soul” by Sartre with fond enjoyment.

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Posted 1 day ago

Perhaps there is hope for the grand fantasy novel.

Once upon a time I devoured great fantasy novels with a voracious hunger. Then many became similar and seemed reworkings of the the earlier novel or part in the series(David and Leigh Eddings,Terry Brooks etc.) and so I gave up on fantasy and moved my reading eyes to other literary wonders. My time elsewhere was fruitful but I yearned for my heartlands in Science fiction and Fantasy. I posted an article of this sort on Goodreads, a eulogy, I suppose, to the great fantasy reads of the past. 

Someone popped up recommending this book and foolish as I am and wishing to reclaim the desires and impetus of my youth, I bought it. The Recommend it turns out came from a wise and learned person as this is a great book. It is original and different and does not draw upon the great themes of fantasy (that I grew so bored with). I will not supply a summary as it is easily available but rather just recommend the book to readers of “grand” fantasy. I am sure that all will love it.

Posted 18 weeks ago

Horror story or Psychotic fugue, It doesn't matter, It's great.

This Horror tale or (possibly) a psychological depiction of paranoid madness, I thought excellent. I will not give you a summary of the story as it can be viewed from two standpoints. That of the paranoid and delusional main character, whom, if you are to believe his thoughts, is caught in the middle of a grand conspiracy to prove him mad for the benefit of others or alternatively that of his psychiatrist who is either trying to help or destroy him (depending up your viewpoint). The complex story is built gradually through a series of hypnotic regressions, therapy notes and delusional episodes so it is not the easiest of reads (for those of faint heart) but it is certainly worth persevering. As the story reaches fullness it becomes littered with tiny clues to the truth. Like “Blatty’s "Legion” or “Redemption”, a couple of Stephen King novels, Dan Simmons “Drood”  and a few others, this novel stands up as one of the great “Horror” novels of our time. I would certainly recommend it.  

Posted 19 weeks ago

The Snow Child By Eowyn Ivey

Over the years many of my own books have been compared to “The Snow child” by Eowyn Ivey and so I have always meant to read this book and I, eventually, have. I have written many Faerie Tales, where a creature of Faerie interacts with the lives of “normal” humans to change them for the better or worse much as this tales does but that is where all comparison between myself and Ms Ivey ends. I love this book, sure it tells the old faerie tale and so is not based upon an original thought but that is where all similarities with the faerie tale stop.

Firstly this is beautifully written and well told, Ms Ivey can let loose the fanciful and stylish allusions, delightful descriptions and language when she wishes but mostly the book is restrained and she only lets her literary-self loose on occasion. This restraint makes the book flow better, makes it easy to read leading to an “unputdownable” book so do not be surprised if you are still reading in “The wee sma hours”. I will not give you a summary of the book other than to say it is the old Russian faerie tale retold in 1920′s Alaska where an older couple that cannot have children build a girl of snow and she comes to life. The characters are believable, in parts the book made me recall “Miss Smilla’s feeling for Snow” and that is a high recommendation. 

Posted 22 weeks ago

Wolf Winter

I have taken time out to read some “Winter Tales” as it is now the height of summer here in Scotland and so I can face the “chill” for once. This was one of those tales where I found the writing of this novel “Odd” rather than bad or particularly good (as I noticed others have said) but rather, simply different. In places I loved the style, in others, unusually for me, I had to check back to make sure that I understood the sentence. Take that away for a second and there is a well told story hidden beneath that argument. 

In Northern Sweden in the early seventeen hundreds a family relocates from the coast to take over a farm. This tale centers around Maija, her eldest daughter Dorotea and a disemboweled corpse found in the forest. It is a tale of hardship, strict Christianity and old enmities slowly surfacing after a thaw. It is bleak at times but also wonderful in its own way (do not expect many laughs along the way) as it draws you into the lives of Maija and her children as well as her neighbors and the local priest. They have the mystery of the corpse to solve with no idea how to do so other than asking questions. 
 I really enjoyed this book and suspect that others also will.

Posted 23 weeks ago
<p>I decided to take a trip both back in time and into the future and read Gregory Benford’s Galactic Centre series of books. They are considered Science Fiction classics but for some reason I have never read them. This was the time to make up for that shortfall my book pile dwindling for the first time in many years due to illness. I read his Novel “Foundations Fear” (part of the Bear, Benford, Brin, Isaac Asimov legacy) many years ago and thought it truly magnificent but somehow I had never read what is considered his masterwork.</p><p>This is the first novel in a series of eight and so expect more reviews on them salted through others.  I have to be honest and say that this novel was a terrible disappointment though it is not bad. I suspect that it had its time in the early seventies and has faded as other more impressive Sci-fi writers have come along doing the same things but having learned from the likes of this man know how to do it better. I do not mean to fault it, as it is a well put together tale. For the time this was written I suspect it was faultless but the likes of Iain M Banks and Dan Simmons make the originality look woefully old and creaky though i suspect it was groundbreaking at the time.</p><p>Like many of these Hard Science fiction books I suspect that if i had read this in the seventies I would have said; wow. It is dated and was clearly of its time even if visionary. I must say that I feel rather rotten but two stars out of five. I apologise to Mr Benford. I suspect it is the period when it was written rather than the novel itself.</p>

I decided to take a trip both back in time and into the future and read Gregory Benford’s Galactic Centre series of books. They are considered Science Fiction classics but for some reason I have never read them. This was the time to make up for that shortfall my book pile dwindling for the first time in many years due to illness. I read his Novel “Foundations Fear” (part of the Bear, Benford, Brin, Isaac Asimov legacy) many years ago and thought it truly magnificent but somehow I had never read what is considered his masterwork.

This is the first novel in a series of eight and so expect more reviews on them salted through others.  I have to be honest and say that this novel was a terrible disappointment though it is not bad. I suspect that it had its time in the early seventies and has faded as other more impressive Sci-fi writers have come along doing the same things but having learned from the likes of this man know how to do it better. I do not mean to fault it, as it is a well put together tale. For the time this was written I suspect it was faultless but the likes of Iain M Banks and Dan Simmons make the originality look woefully old and creaky though i suspect it was groundbreaking at the time.

Like many of these Hard Science fiction books I suspect that if i had read this in the seventies I would have said; wow. It is dated and was clearly of its time even if visionary. I must say that I feel rather rotten but two stars out of five. I apologise to Mr Benford. I suspect it is the period when it was written rather than the novel itself.

Posted 123 weeks ago
<p>

I finished the book last night and must say I thought it marvelous, well planned and put together, clever and funny at times despite the distressing subject matter. Witty, certainly, and not the mish mash I was (to a certain extent) lead to believe. It is certainly a novel that I would recommend to everyone and I can be rather fussy (a sad failing on my part) . In my humble opinion it is not as good as “To kill a Mockingbird” But then “To Kill….” was an exceptional book and something that even approaches the quality of it deserves to be lauded. <br/>I will happily admit that even the best of my novels do not come close (though I hope one day) and obviously I have a vested interest in saying how good my own are (and they are good ((with the exception of Cornelius)) but Miss or Ms Lee has a rare talent, not only rarely to be seen with only the two novels but an ability to involve you in what motives her interest with what seems easily written (though i suspect it was not) simple prose.</p><p>Do read this. Four stars out of five from me.   <br/></p>

I finished the book last night and must say I thought it marvelous, well planned and put together, clever and funny at times despite the distressing subject matter. Witty, certainly, and not the mish mash I was (to a certain extent) lead to believe. It is certainly a novel that I would recommend to everyone and I can be rather fussy (a sad failing on my part) . In my humble opinion it is not as good as “To kill a Mockingbird” But then “To Kill….” was an exceptional book and something that even approaches the quality of it deserves to be lauded.
I will happily admit that even the best of my novels do not come close (though I hope one day) and obviously I have a vested interest in saying how good my own are (and they are good ((with the exception of Cornelius)) but Miss or Ms Lee has a rare talent, not only rarely to be seen with only the two novels but an ability to involve you in what motives her interest with what seems easily written (though i suspect it was not) simple prose.

Do read this. Four stars out of five from me.   

Posted 123 weeks ago

The Abomination

A very Pleasant Surprise.

I picked this novel up in a hurry when I had no time to look for another, better, one. The cover is quite plain and Mr Holt is trying, rather obviously, to get into the Dan Brown market. And so he should be as apart from “Angels and demons” and “The DA Vinci code”, he has written a better book. Set in Venice much as “Inferno” was he has created a better story, still involving the history and ideal of Venice but in a much more engaging story. This book came a surprise to me, One I expected little from yet received much. I would highly recommend this novel to those that enjoy a detective novel, a “Dan Brown” type Mystery  but expect a little more. Good characters carried along by the story itself. A very good (and surprising) Three star recommendation by myself.

Well worth a read I say.

Posted 129 weeks ago

The Silence of Ghosts By Johnathan Aycliffe.

raynayday:

Another Glorious work of art from Mr Aycliffe. There are few in the world that can write a ghost story such as this man. I only aspire to write as well as he. In this tale he follows standard routes yet even then the tale is creepy, the setting wonderful and strange. A master of the art in my opinion. 

Posted 133 weeks ago

The Silence of Ghosts By Johnathan Aycliffe.

Another Glorious work of art from Mr Aycliffe (Danial Easterman). There are few in the world that can write a ghost story such as this man. I only aspire to write as well as he.  In this tale he follows standard routes yet even then the tale is creepy , the setting wonderful and strange. A master of the art in my opinion. 

Posted 134 weeks ago