As promised, I’m delivering a change of pace today. We’ll leap straight from children’s reading and apps to adult language with this one.
I’ve downloaded several free titles by Johnny B. Truant in previous months, but the first one that caught my attention enough to read was a short titled “The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying Fuck About You.” Although at first glance, it might appear that anything with such a title would leave the reader feeling hopeless and uninspired, for me, this short work was completely the opposite. I finished the e-book feeling like I should seize life by the balls, since nothing was going to be handed to me.
My Kindle’s suggestions (and my own library of already downloaded titles) showed Truant to be quite a prolific writer, who also offers his own suggestions on independent publishing. I decided that I would check out the multiple other works by Truant. My next read was another short in the same “Epic” series, “You Are Dying, and Your World is a Lie.” Although on the same theme of life lessons, this essay didn’t have the same riveting power of “The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying Fuck About You.”
And so, I moved on from essays to Truant’s fiction, beginning with “Fat Vampire.” And I was sucked into his writing again. I found the premise amusing and refreshingly different than other vampire tales – how a fat man gets changed into a vampire. Truant has considered the nuances of why vampires have always been made to an ideal form in the past, and the differences and difficulties that a fat vampire would face. I finished with a definite interest in returning to the series at some point.
I then moved on to “Unicorn Western” (co-written with Sean Platt). Again, I found myself vaguely disappointed at second glance. In the beginning, I felt the book was a bit overly descriptive of the subtle nuances that differentiated the world of this series from the one we live in. Perhaps to readers of the full saga, those details will be useful. Slow in the beginning, this book did pick up pace. It’s a humorous science-fiction fantasy look at the western novel, and might be appealing to readers who are fans of either genre. The few places scattered throughout the novel that I felt were a bit stilted may have been because of the co-authorship.
But, to consider that theory, I decided to give this writing partnership of Truant and Platt one final chance at redemption. And I was glad I did. “Robot Proletariat” was a return to the theme of taking a familiar concept (this time robots and artificial intelligence; the idealism of vampires in “Fat Vampire;” the concept of the Western novel in an alternate world in “Unicorn Western”) and looking at it in a new way. This introduction to the series established the robots as characters that the reader could connect with and set the stage for an apparent upcoming robot revolution. This was another series that I’d be interested in continuing in the future.
Altogether, Truant’s work leaves a lot of options for the reader, and there are ample opportunities to try before you buy. I’d definitely recommend Truant ‘s works to any fans of the science fiction/fantasy genre; and as free reads, it’s a great chance for any reader to give these stories a try.
For those interested in self-publishing, Truant, Platt and David Wright offer tips in “Write. Publish. Repeat.” Based solely on the number of literary options available from Truant and the quality of what I have read, I feel that this could be a useful read for aspiring authors. (I have not purchased or read this book.)
I’ve moved on for a change of pace in my current reading material, but Truant has several more series that I’ll sample in the future. Free titles by Truant and Platt that I’ve downloaded today are:
Also, while researching this topic, I’ve found that there were several books for the Kindle titled “Cursed,” some of them free, even. Look for an upcoming blog on these “Cursed” books as I read them in the next few weeks.