The Patriot Witch by C.C. Finlay
The publisher's summary adequately describes the premise of this novel, the first foray of C.C. Finlay/Charles Coleman Finlay into historical fantasy. (Prior to this, Mr. Finlay was perhaps best known for his fantasy novel The Prodigal Troll, as well as the gritty, sword-against-sorcery tales of Vertir and Kuikan that graced the pages of Fantasy & Science Fiction.)
Colonial America has been, at least to my knowledge, an under-used setting for speculative fiction, and The Patriot Witch steps nicely into that gap. The first six chapters develop rather slowly, as the hero, Proctor Brown, tries to make sense both of the violence at Lexington and Concord and his own natural talent for magic. But once other 'witches' appear in Ch... Read More
Charles Coleman (C.C.) Finlay(1964- )
This author writes as Charles Coleman Finlay and C.C. Finlay. He studied literature at Capital University and did graduate work in history at the Ohio State University, where he was a research assistant on two award-winning books about the U.S. Constitution. Here’s his website.
Traitor to the Crown — (2009) Publisher: The year is 1775. On the surface, Proctor Brown appears to be an ordinary young man working the family farm in New England. He is a minuteman, a member of the local militia, determined to defend the rights of the colonies. Yet Proctor is so much more. Magic is in his blood, a dark secret passed down from generation to generation. But Proctor’s mother has taught him to hide his talents, lest he be labeled a witch and find himself dangling at the end of a rope. A chance encounter with an arrogant British officer bearing magic of his own catapults Proctor out of his comfortable existence and into the adventure of a lifetime, as resistance sparks rebellion and rebellion becomes revolution. Now, even as he fights alongside his fellow patriots from Lexington to Bunker Hill, Proctor finds himself enmeshed in a war of a different sort–a secret war of magic against magic, witch against witch, with the stakes not only the independence of a young nation but the future of humanity itself.
The Patriot Witch by C.C. Finlay
The Prodigal Troll by Charles Coleman Finlay
Although many cultures have a similar story, the most famous prodigal is that of the parable of Jesus told in Luke 15:11-31. In it, a young man takes his inheritance, leaves his family, and seeks his fortune in the wider world. He soon learns that the world is a cruel place and ends up returning to his father. The term “prodigal” eventually came to mean one who returned after a long absence, usually after finding trouble apart from their families.
The prodigal in Charles Coleman Finlay’s The Prodigal Troll is Maggot, a young man heir to power who ends up being reared by a lowly troll. Similar to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes, Maggot is a human reared by a more bestial race. Finlay’s trolls are what we expect: although not savage, they live a primitive, subsistence life, and ... Read More
Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories edited by John Joseph Adams
Even people who don’t usually read science fiction will often be familiar with a few classic titles in the “dystopian SF” sub-genre. After all, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and of course the famous Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World are some of the few SF titles that have entered the mainstream literary canon to such an extent that they’ve become assigned school reading for many students. However, novel-length dystopian SF didn’t stop with those venerable classics, and can even be said to be thriving at the moment. See, for example, the recent success of Paolo Bacigalupi’s debut The Windup Girl Read More
Brave New Worlds (second edition) edited by John Joseph Adams
This anthology of dystopian fiction, edited by John Joseph Adams, contains stories from some of the greatest names in fantasy and science fiction, including Ursula K. LeGuin, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow and Kim Stanley Robinson. The first edition was reviewed by Stefan Raets and earned a five-star rating. I picked up the second edition to see what the new volume added.
What I found was that the entire first edition was intact. Three stories were added, along with a study guide featuring questions for some of the stories if you wanted to use this in a book club (I w... Read More
Wild Things — (2005) A story collection. Publisher’s Weekly: Finlay shows himself to be a versatile writer of imaginative fiction in his first story collection. A Lake Erie couple must deal with the aftermath of their kinky proclivities in the unusual vampire story “Lucy, in Her Splendor.” A wrestling fan finds Lovecraftian weirdness in “The Smackdown Outside Dedham.” The literate, if only slightly fantastic, “Still Life with Action Figure” explores the relationship between an artistic father and son. A theocratic future in which men and women never commingle is the basis of “Pervert.” Examining the meaning of freedom, “We Come Not to Praise Washington” is set in an alternative past in which George Washington died in 1793, Alexander Hamilton is the new “Washington,” and Aaron Burr pleads that Thomas Jefferson be allowed to return from his exile at Napoleon’s court. The brief, teasing “Footnotes” consists entirely of footnotes. The title story takes a different look at a character from Arthurian legend as well as the world of faerie. Solidly told and occasionally memorable, these 14 tales display an insightful knowledge of human nature.