Archive for murder

Stanley Riiks Interview Part 3

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2020 by stanleyriiks

What other writers have influenced you?

The usual suspects: King, Barker, Koontz, Gaiman, J. K. Rowling, no surprises there. But, these guys, for me are surpasses by:

Garth Ennis who writes the best comics, brutal, violent, fun. Preacheris my favourite of his.

Gary McMahon whose Dead Bad Thingsis one of the darkest, nastiest, and filthiest novels I’ve ever read. It’s sublime. I read it years ago, and it’s still one of my favourites.

Andy Remic creates the best fantasy worlds, and inhabits them with amazing characters. And then he kills and tortures them. The blend of horror and fantasy is pure genius. He’s the only writer ever to make me physically wince while reading.

Neal Asher creates worlds I want to visit (Spatterjay), and A.I. I want to meet. SF at its best, complex plotting and great story-telling.

James A. Moore is another fantasy/horror writer who really punches you in the face with his novels. You don’t so much read them as experience them.

The only other author who deserves a special mention is Richard Kadrey and his Sandman Slim books. This series is a serious blast of adrenaline, full-octane, furiousness.

In terms of non-fiction it’s less about the writers and more about the topics, biographies on Ian Fleming, Warren Buffett, Hitler, Jenna Jameson. I read quite a range! I’m interested in how people work, and I like to know how companies and businesses work, like Apple, Amazon, WordPress.


What are your other influences?

I love films, I used to go to the cinema every week. I watch everything, romantic comedies, horror films and everything in between. Recently I’ve gotten bored with modern films that are just too long. I find myself bored halfway through a two-and-a-half-hour film, so we’ve started watching classics from the 90s and 2000s, like The Matrix,The Transporter, Leon.

I enjoy manga and anima, and US comic books. Particularly the darker ones like Batman, Preacher, The Sandmanand Vertigo comics.


Do you have any rituals or routines when you write?

I used to have a candle that I would burn, but my desk is now filled with mortgage statements and searches, so that would be a fire hazard. I just sit and type on my iMac. For non-fiction I usually need to concentrate more, but I will come back to something and add bits and pieces, expand areas in a very organic way, because I have the structure laid down. For fiction I flow more easily into the story, so it’s organic in a very different way.


If you could go back in time to when you started writing and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?

Keep going. There have been times when I’ve given up, but it’s a very cathartic experience, and creating is a beautiful thing. More people should do it, not necessarily for publishing, but just for the joy of creating something from nothing but their imagination.

Also, I believe that nearly everybody has an area of expertise, and they can share that knowledge.


What book are you reading now?

The Soldier by Neal Asher. I’ve read a few of his, the covers are amazing. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s how I pick them usually, and Asher had never let me down.


What is your proudest moment as a writer?

Seeing the cover of Think Rich, Get Rich.


Are you disappointed with any of your work when you look back on it?

When I edit I’m disappointed by every other word. Editing is actually something I feel quite good at, but it makes me cringe when reading my work back. Like when you record your voice and then listen to it. It doesn’t sound like that in your head. Words can’t capture the perfect of your imagination.


What’s next?

I’m editing the first two books in a series of erotic novels for a friend (just a slight change of direction there!). At the moment I’m happy to consume words rather than writing them for a little while longer.


Stanley Riiks Interview Part 2

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2020 by stanleyriiks

What does rich mean to you?

I think being rich is being financially independent. Not many people are. Financial independence means not being dependent on anyone, not a company for your wages, not your boss for a job. Having your own income outside of work, having a passive income, having time and money, and not having to choose between one or the other. Be able to live the life you want, to me that’s rich.


Is this a get rich quick scheme?

It’s not a get rich quick scheme. Nor it is a network marketing scheme, and it’s not an advert for a game or a course. A lot of the financial books I’ve read are just sales tools. I’m not upselling anything, I’ve just sharing hard-won knowledge.


Why do you feel now is the right time to launch a book like Think Rich, Get Rich: 5 Steps to Financial Independence?

The likelihood is we are going into one of the worse recessions on record. Now is the best time for people to be gaining knowledge about finance. This isn’t a book for rich people, they already know the secrets to wealth, this is a book for anyone who wants to know some of those secrets and set themselves up to be wealthy.


You’ve been writing for a while now. What inspired you to start writing?

I loved reading when I was young. And then I just kind of lost interest for a few years, but as a teenager I rediscovered books when I bought one of the Conan novels on my way home from school. I took it home, read the first chapter, then went straight out and bought a couple more books. It was my first fantasy novel and I was hooked. After that I borrowed my dad’s Stephen King novels and read those, and then SF, and everything else. I joined multiple book clubs, I visited the school and local libraries, and loved being in worlds not my own.

I started writing in my mid-teens, and enjoyed the feeling of being god, being in total and utter control of my characters’ lives and the worlds they lived in.


Why the switch to non-fiction after many years of writing fiction?

I started writing fiction, but I also had a diary, so my connection with non-fiction is long. I’ve written book reviews for as long as I can remember, and I don’t restrict myself to any one genre. I just write. Sometimes that’s stories, sometimes those stories are real and sometimes they aren’t. I don’t pick categories to write in, it just depends what I’m interested in at the time.

THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS By John Wyndham – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2019 by stanleyriiks

In my much younger days I watched the BBC dramatisation of this book. It gave me nightmares. I remember it to this day, many many years later. So I approached this novel with some trepidation.

The original, the book, is somewhat different to my memories of the mini-series though.

I think in my young mind it’s been partially merged with Arthur Dent in his dressing gown, but those deadly plants I remember far too well.

Bill Masen wakes up in hospital to silence. It’s strangely quiet. And while he waits for his blindfold to be removed after his operation he gradually becomes aware that things have changed overnight. The nurses are not at their stations, the hospital and outside are strangely quiet. When he heads out tentatively to investigate, his blindfold still in place, he realises that much of the rest of the hospital is blind too.

As Bill ventures outside he realises that the blindness is not restricted to the hospital, and that soon London will become an apocalyptic wasteland, run by gangs of criminals…

The Triffids, flesh eating man-sized plants that have a whip-like stinger are only part of his apocalyptic world. This is really the story of man’s descent when the world becomes blind overnight.

This is The Walking Dead but with killer plants instead of zombies, and set in 50s Britain.

I’m sure the TV series made more of the killer plants, in the book they are a mere part of the hysteria and menace of post-normal life. The Day of the Triffids is a classic SF apocalypse novel, and the precursor to virtually every post-apocalypse story ever since.

Tragic, quietly brilliant, and disturbing.

THE KILL SOCIETY By Richard Kadrey – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2019 by stanleyriiks

Ah, and Sandman Slim is back with a bang.

After the very slightly disappointing eighth book in the series, Kadrey throws Slim into hell, where he becomes trapped with a fanatical group of demons and other criminals, intent on taking a secret weapon to heaven and getting involved in the civil war going on there. Of course, they have to escape the tenebrae first, the desolate wasteland of the lost dead.

Will Slim be able to save his friend Father Traven? Will he be able to escape the dangerous clutches of the ruthless Magistrate? Will he be able to escape hell itself for a second time? And is being dead going to help or hinder his adventures?

This nice departure from Slim saving the world yet again in his magic-fuelled world of LA is Kadrey back to his best. Slim is the perfect anti-hero, he has a terrible attitude, and his kill-first-and-ask-questions-later mentality are on full show once again.

A great addition to the Slim chronicles, and definitely essential reading if you like your urban fantasy with a boot up the arse.

DELIVERANCE LOST By Gav Thorpe – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2019 by stanleyriiks

The legend of the Horus Heresy continues. In the 30th Century the Empire of Man is under threat from the vilest villain it had ever faced, not the orks or any other alien invaders, but from the Emperor’s favourite son: Horus.

The remaining Raven Guard of the Isstvan V slaughter manage to escape the awful violence caused by the Space Marines traitor legions, and head back to Earth to heal their wounds and regroup.

This is the story of the troubles they face, the machinations of the traitor legions against them, and the internal politics and paranoia of an empire under siege.

To describe what happens in book 18 of this series any further would do it a disservice, as there are shocks and surprises throughout.

This is the Heresy in all its wonderful glory: epic scale, brilliant characters, brother fighting brother and you, the excited reader, torn as much as the characters are by the intricacy of this brutal war.

Gav Thorpe is does an outstanding job in his first Heresy book, this is exciting stuff, and a great insight into one of the less well-known but still very interesting Primarchs.

One of the best Heresy novels and definitely worth a read.


Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2019 by stanleyriiks

This is a short final collection of four stories featuring the world’s most famous spy, James Bond. The original stories offer little that will be familiar to film fans other than the titles. The stories offer little of anything really, they are equally forgettable, offering some of the stylish flare of the longer books, but none of the characterisation or pace.

Reading these stories it’s more noticeable what is missing, and in some of them that includes the exciting and dangerous presence of Bond. In “Octopussy” for example Bond has a conversation with a Nazi, but doesn’t appear in the story until three quarters of the way through and only for about ten pages.

Worth reading if you want to complete the collection, but not really worthy of your attention for any other reason, sadly.

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE By Ian Fleming – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2018 by stanleyriiks

Bond is sent to Japan to liaise with their head of security and finds himself sent on an assassination mission. His target turns out to be Blofeld, and Bond must infiltrate a castle of death to finally avenge the murder of his wife.
The Bond novels chart the move between the pulp fiction of the thirties and forties, to the noir novels of the fifties, and the superhero comics of the sixties, containing elements of all of them.

We have a Bond on the edge of a breakdown, suffering from the death of his wife and PTSD (before they had a phrase to describe it). He’s sent on a mission by M, as his final chance to redeem himself, and then blackmailed into killing by a Japan secret service head. Only to find his target is his archenemy…

Bond is a superhero in a noir world of pulp supervillains, with Fleming providing enough detail and depth to really draw us into that world.

Containing all the elements of a classic Bond story; luxury, wealth, exotic locations and even more exotic woman, it’s a playboy fantasy with a measure of action and excitement thrown in. A boy’s own adventure for adult males. Fleming gives us exactly what we’re looking for: adventure, sex, and thrills. No wonder the books and the character continue to be so successful.

THE PERDITION SCORE By Richard Kadrey – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2018 by stanleyriiks

It’s with such delight that I order the latest Sandman Slim novel, number eight in the series. And then I read it.
I’m all for character development, and the character has developed nicely since he escaped hell, became Lucifer, went back to hell, and has fought vampires, demons, zombies, gods and all manner of mystical powers.
But he seems to be approaching middle age fast, he’s settled down, he’s got a job, and dare I say it, he’s lost his mojo…

The attitude, the enthusiasm for violence, the fuck you, fuck everyone, the punch first and ask questions later thinking. It’s all a bit toned down, a bit “matured”, a bit “civilised”.

Sure, there’s a helping of violence in here. And Kadrey sticks very closely to his formula for these novels, put Stark in an almost impossible situation, making him investigate in his own merry way, and then he has to throw himself on the line yet again to resolve the problem and save the world, which happens far too easily and far too often for my liking.

Kadrey seems to be settling, and our anti-hero Stark is settled into his middle years far too well.

Is this exciting? Yes, it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s everything you’d expect from a Sandman Slim novel. And may be I’m expecting too much, but I’ve seen all of this before. It’s still exciting, it’s still Sandman Slim. But the novelty is wearing off a little.

I’ll stick around for the next book in the series, but my hopes for the new one will not be so high. At least then may be I won’t be so disappointed.

CONAN THE FREELANCE By Steve Perry – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2018 by stanleyriiks

Our hero is once again dragged into helping a damsel in distress, although this one is no shrinking violet. When Conan rescues her in the desert he is invited to her forest and tree-city. While enjoying himself and making friends, he becomes embroiled in a three-way tussle for a magical seed. Fighting, battles, trickery, betrayal and love all follow, with Conan at the centre of it all through no fault of his own…

Some interesting characters, and, chasing chasing and more chasing, are enough to raise it above the standard Conan fair. Things are still pretty predictable, and this is good old fashioned sword and sorcery at its best.
Perry isn’t the best writer to have worked on this set of novels, but the story has plenty of action and enough going on to keep you interested.

Good stuff, despite the lack of originality and surprises.

THE FIRST HERETIC By Aaron Dembski-Bowden – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2018 by stanleyriiks

Another instalment in the epic saga of the 30th century greatest tragedy, the Horus Heresy. In this volume we follow the tale of Lorgar and the Word Bearers, loyal warriors who were shamed many years before the Heresy by the Emperor, who castigates them as worshippers. What follows is a tale of treachery and chaos, as daemons falls upon the shamed legion, tricking them and manipulating them. The simple tale of father against son, of rebellion and treachery, are no simple matters. The battles of brother verses brother, writ large across the galaxy, start here…

The Heresy becomes more and more complex as we find out about the background events to lead up to the greatest tragedy the universe has ever witnessed.

It’s nice to see such a powerful individual as a Primarch, the leader of the Space Marine legions, playing such a pivotal part in the story. This time-spanning novel feels a little disjointed, as the time periods cut this into three distinct (linked) sections.

This book, much more than the previous instalment, Nemesis, does feel like an essential part of the Heresy story, but it still feels like we are only moving forward slightly. It gives us a much greater insight into the chaos daemons, and their manipulative nature, but only hints at their scariness.

This brings us a bit closer to the date of the Isstvan V battle, and gives a great battle scene with Primarch against Primarch. But for some reason it still left me wanting more.