Hugh Likes Fiction: Rencor

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Rencor: Life in Grudge City
Written by Matt Wallace
Published by From Parts Unknown Publications

“Rencor: Life in Grudge City” is the Luchador Superhero Detective novella you didn’t know you needed in your life. The eponymous setting is a U.S/Mexico border town founded in the 1950’s as a sort of hometown for luchadores. But like all things, time moves on.
Ten years ago, Technico El Victor III and Rudo Mil Calavaras III fought their last, epic match in the ring at Coleseo Rencor. The climactic battle saw the defeated Calavaras banished from Rencor, a place where the rules of the ring and the rule of are one and the same, forever. It was the beginning of the end for Luchadores in Rencor.
Now, El Victor is scraping by in a world that doesn’t hold the enmascardos in the same esteem anymore, and Mil Calavaras works as a ‘reformed’ consultant to the FBI, successful but denied his home and revenge. But an unusual break-in at Museo Rencor will bring El Victor back to hero work, and Mil Calaveras back to his hometown. Will the former rivals solve the case, or kill each other first?
Rencor: Life in Grudge City is another fast-paced, inventive, and supremely entertaining novella from Matt Wallace. Steeped in the unique lore of the lucha libre and populated by his usual eccentric and elegantly sketched characters, the book draws in the reader and gives them everything they need, even if they’ve never heard of the likes of El Santo before. Wallace’s deep knowledge and abiding love of old-school wresting shines through in every page, and the work is elevated by it. His embrace of the super-heroic and mystical bits, in a graying world that is leaving such things behind makes for a not only entertaining read, but a moving one.
While Wallace’s action scenes are outstanding and for the most part easy to follow, I think a glossary for some of the more technical moves and terms would have been helpful. I was never really lost, but Wallace throws out a lot of wrestling terminology throughout the book. That’s honestly the only criticism I can say, although I will add that the novella ends on a hell of a cliffhanger. Hopefully Matt will return to Rencor soon.
Rencor: Life in Grudge City is available in print and ebook. You can buy it via Amazon, or order it from you local bookstore.

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Podcast: Fiction: “The Real Stuff” by Tara Campbell

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The Way of the Buffalo podcast is proud to present “The Real Stuff” by Tara Campbell!
Today’s story is read by Scott Roche.
Click HERE to listen!
Today’s promo is for The Voice of Free Planet X.
Music is today’s podcast was provided by Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.
If you enjoyed today’s podcast, please share it, or leave a review on iTunes.  You can also support Hugh on Patreon for early content and other cool bonuses!
Thanks for listening!

This podcast originally appeared at The Way of the Buffalo on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

Podcast: The Freelance Hunters: The Gold Equations

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You can’t take it with you in “The Gold Equations,” A Freelance Hunters Adventure written and performed by Hugh J. O’Donnell.

Click HERE to listen.

This episode was originally posted at TheFreelanceHunters.com on September 9, 2015.  Click on the link for more Freelance Hunters stories in audio and digital formats.

Thanks for listening.  If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it or leave a review on iTunes.  You can also support me on Patreon for more content.

Podcast: The Freelance Hunters: A Splash on the Big Bridge

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In this story performed and produced by Katharina and Mick Bordet of the Every Photo Tells podcast, The Freelance Hunters must sneak into an impregnable castle to prevent an international incident.  Easy enough, but there’s just the tiny matter of the goblin war band standing in their way…

Click HERE to listen online.

This podcast was originally posted at Every Photo Tells on October 8th, 2013.  Visit their site for more excellent audio fiction and inspiring photo prompts.

You can find more Freelance Hunters fiction and audio at TheFreelanceHunters.com.

Thanks for listening!  If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it, or rate and review iTunes!  You can also support me via Patreon for more content.

Podcast: The Freelance Hunters in “Blocked!”

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Today’s podcast is “Blocked!” a Freelance Hunters short story that originally appeared at TheFreelanceHuters.com on June 30th, 2015.

Click HERE to listen online.

If you enjoyed this story and want more content, please visit my Patreon page to help support the podcast.  Patrons of $1 a month or more get exclusive podcasts and short fiction as well as early access to podcast episodes.

Hugh Likes Fiction: Envy of Angels

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Envy of Angels
Written by Matt Wallace
Published by Tor
What would you do for your dream job?  Two struggling line chefs are forced to grapple with that question when they are hired by Sin Du Jour, a very exclusive catering company with a most unusual clientele.
Sin Du Jour caters for demons.  And goblins, and a host of other supernatural creatures that the rest of the world thinks are myths.  But when Sin Du Jour is contracted to serve a post-treaty signing banquet for warring demon tribes, the menu might be more than they can stomach.
Filled with quirky characters, shocking twists, and clever high concepts, Matt Wallace’s Envy of Angels is a delightfully weird novella.  He has a wonderful talent of pulling out a new reveal just when you think the story has gone as far as it can.  It’s not an adventure so much as it is a magic show.  You keep turning the page less to see if the heroes will make it than to see what kind of three-headed fire-breathing rabbit Wallace will pull out of his hat next.
He mixes this with an ability to draw out sympathy for his characters in remarkably efficient language.  He can make you hate a character and then deliver a get-punch you never saw coming in the space of a single paragraph.  It makes for a fast read that is difficult to put down.
This brief and blustery novella might not be for everyone, however.  The short length and large cast means that as much as I was rooting for these characters, I didn’t get to know them quite as well as I’d have liked to.  We get one or two details, then the book barrels onward.  Much of the second act is also set away from the kitchen, which puts supposed main characters Lena and Darren out of the reader’s eye to follow another team of Sin Du Jour employees.  It still makes for an interesting read, but it isn’t a traditional narrative by any stretch.  The ending also feels a bit abrupt.
Even though it doesn’t quite fill the belly as much as a novel, Envy of Angels is a satisfying first course in Matt Wallace’s “Sin Du Jour” series.  Check it out in print or ebook!

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Drabble-The Alien Message

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The message was short, and at first, puzzling.  It boomed in every local language from anything with a power source and a speaker.  There should have been a mothership, a miles long modern sculpture hanging over a major metropolitan center.  That was the alien invasion Hollywood promised us.  But the skies were clear.  All we got was the message, delivered in a smooth, emotionless baritone.
“The test begins now.  You have eight minutes.  Good luck.”  At first, this contact was met with confusion.  We only understood it when the sun went out.
And by then, it was far too late.

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