Tag: December Radio

Get 2 eBooks and the December Radio Paperback for $16!

Now in UK too!

December Radio cover
December Radio cover

To celebrate December Radio’s release I have arranged a bargain offer for you! The paperback ( click here to see on Amazon ) is available to order in USA and UK book stores, which is by far the cheapest option.
Click here for my other books at Amazon.

List of book stores stocking December Radio

If you can’t get to a book store, you can still get 2 eBooks free by ordering December Radio paperback online at Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com. Simply email me the receipt!

But if you are near a book store, here’s the deal for 2 eBooks:

1. Call or go into any book store in the USA or Waterstones in the UK and order or buy my book (B&N: $16.19, Waterstones: £15.50). This is the cheapest option but you can order online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble and pay delivery costs if you wish!

December Radio by Lazlo Ferran. ISBN-13: 978-1942981473

My other eBooks are priced at up to $9.99 and you can choose any of these formats: pdf, ePub, pdb, lit, html, kindle format. So you can’t lose!

2. And either:

Go to my Facebook page and post a selfie of you with the book there with the title “I bought December Radio” (or on your Instagram or twitter page) and message me.

Or email me a photo of your receipt: lazloferran@gmail.com

Don’t forget to specify which 2 books and formats you want!

Read Chapter One of December Radio in FREE eBook Inchoate: (Short Stories Volume I): on Amazon or Google Play (pdf version only), or start reading the preview at top of the right hand column.

NB. I am sorry but the December Radio eBook is not included in this offer.

That’s it! Have fun.

Continue reading “Get 2 eBooks and the December Radio Paperback for $16!”

Project Aurora technology

Is this Aurora (or Astra)?
Is this Aurora (or Astra)?

I have been reading The Hunt for Zero Point by Nick Cook and I am more convinced than ever that The Skunk Works have used technology from the Nazi secret project Die Glocke (The Bell) during WWII to power the new project Aurora spy plane. Continue reading “Project Aurora technology”

Blog: Witchfinder General – Lazlo Ferran

This week: Sneak Preview, Gravity’s Rainbow review, the End of Formula 1?

Sneak Preview

This week’s is from a a project provisionally entitled December Radio. Hard to say what it’s about at this point without giving it all away but you can be sure there will plenty of tension with a huge climax and even some philosophy for those that have the time. This excerpt holds the reason for this week’s blog title.

December Radio

Copyright © 2013 by Lazlo Ferran

All Rights Reserved

Sarah barked at the crows, “Shut yer mouths. I ain’t got no food for you and you int a ‘having my body. Not even when I’m dead. They’s ‘ll probably burn me and if not, I will get a Chist’an burial. She spat into the puddle swilling around her filthy skirt- hem but missed and it splatted against piece of rock. She even found this funny; Sarah had a bright soul. Her long, brown and unwashed hair had fallen loose over her left eye while she had been working at the crosses and she pushed the strands back into place while humming a tune. She had made it up to go with the spell her mother had taught her so long ago:

Firft, third and fourth finger,
From a dying fold’r,
To tickle the Debil
– he’ll hold back the sickle
But afore he’ll do It –
‘E must dance on the ‘eather,
In black temper weather,
Naked as t’wer in cradle.
T’sharpen hif piffle.

How she had wondered when she was a little-un what piffle was! It hadn’t been long afore she found out! She laughed as she sang.

Eh! It’s grand to be a healer – a wise woman – aye a witch! Dancing under the stars in summer, walking the lanes for herbs and not a man to hold her down. She could take a man whenever she wanted! Eh, it was grand until the likes of Matthew ‘opkins came a’hunting. And drowning. But now Merry Charlie was on the throne things were better. It was almost back to the old life. She was stopped in the middle of a laugh when she reached the top of the short hill. Serious for a moment, she turned to look back at the crossroads one last time. Shielding her eyes with her palm against the lowering sun in the blood red sky, she stared sadly at the three corpses hanging like fleshy rags from the crosses made by the townsfolk.

Review of Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

I am about 70 pages from the end of this epic novel. The middle section about Slothrop’s adventures really had me hooked. But they came after page 400 which is leaving it very late; I might well have given up before then if it hadn’t been for a friend’s encouragement. I also love Byron the (eternal) Bulb’s story. It’s very witty and just the sort of thing I love. For instance, my favourite bit of Life of Brian is the alien spaceship bit. I love frivolity which throws the  main story into focus. There is no doubt Pynchon has a keen wit.

I must admit I struggled a lot until half-way through. At 900 pages it is way longer than anything of its kind that I have read before. It has very little chronological structure – indeed very little structure of any kind. The author attempts to make words the fabric of a reality without the meaning that we apply to the one around us but one in which everything is inter-connected. He is reducing reality to a serendipitous flux. I know Pynchon flirted with the beat writers but did he finally settle for the existential school of Camus et al? I haven’t finished yet but that seems so at this point; it’s a kind of American existentialism.

There are a few errors; Luftwaffe pilots did not get ‘furlough’s or holidays for instance. They had to fly until they dropped. There are a few references to things that didn’t come until after the War. So unless this is a time-travel story they are out of place. But fair dos – the book is very complex and Pynchon was writing before the world wide web so its a masterful piece of period depiction (and research), even with the mistakes (if you meant them Thomas, forgive me).

As I understand it, Mr Pynchon is shy of public intention so he’s unlikely to correct me. What are your views?

The End of Formula 1?

Brazil: the last race of the season and you would think it would be happy affair. Brazil is known for its parties – Valentino Rossi used to make a week-long affair or it. But it was like a funeral. Mark Webber retiring, Massa moving down a few teams from Ferrarri and Ross Braun apparently moving on made it it a very sad occasion.

I was not surprised when, somehow, Webber’s tyre went wrong, AGAIN! It even looked staged when Vettel has a similar problem. Perhaps the Red Bull feelers detected a certain sang froid from their fans and decided to stage Vettel’s problem to molify them? It didn’t work for me if that was the case. Mark’s time with Red Bull (not when it was Jaguar, mind) has been a story of mechanical and strategic failures whereas the Golden Boy, Vettel has had all the ‘luck’. Massa seems to have always come out worse when he has gone up against Hamilton and this week was no exception. Crossing the ‘hatched lines’ on pit entry has never been punished before. Why now? And especially why on his last race with Ferrari. It just seems cruel as well as unjust.

It just seems to me there is an element of choreography going on behind the scenes in F1. Some drivers (so called ‘crowd pleasers’) like Vettel and Hamilton are singled out and pushed into the limelight. They more than often than not win in any ruling situation with the stewards. Meanwhile drivers who are probably considered saps by the some cynics behind the scenes – Massa and Webber come to mind – are treated cruelly at times. I think it’s very sad to see a talented driver’s career being curtailed like this. Those responsible – if they are – should be ashamed.

Braun leaving Mercedes? It seems that Mercedes, having bought Braun racing from him, have decided he is no longer so useful to them. This is not just typical of F1 but of most industries. Buy up a successful business – reassuring the owner of their l;ong-term security of course – and then summarily sack them after a few years. The trouble with that is that the business usually fails soon after. Indeed a good example is Jaguar racing which was Stewart before that. Mercedes had better take note.

I won’t be sad if I never see another F1 race.

Blog: Playing for Keeps – by Lazlo Ferran

This week: Sneak Preview, Free offer results, Short Stirlings, philosophy.

Sneak Preview is back!
Yes, I am writing again! It’s taken a few weeks but here is an excerpt from the forthcoming (in the next few years!) novel with the working title December Radio.

December Radio

Copyright © 2013 by Lazlo Ferran

All Rights Reserved

“Scary the first time but don’t look too long; you’ll be fine,” said Max Schickert, coiling the blue nylon safety line around the taut muscles in his forearm.
It was Davis Connaughy’s first trip to ‘The Telescope’. He looked at the innocent-looking gap between the two boulders with distrust. The noon-day heat of Peru in October was making him sweat slightly after the long hike up the hill above San Ramon. He glanced at the blonde Apollo in front of him and grinned. He turned to look back out across the vast valley of refulgent green, ruffled nearby by the gentle east-north east breeze.
“No problemo. I have done The Cave of Swallows twice!”
“You do realise how privileged you are to be here? Don’t fuck up! And pay attention.”
“Strap on here.” Max patted the piton he had just fixed his safety-line to and slipped through the tall grass covering the opening between the boulders. “Remember what I told you,” he shouted from within the cave. “The first twenty feet looks easy, but it’s slippy.”
Davis attached his line, took a deep breath and pushed aside the grass to enter the cave. “Moss?”
“Probably. Shit too. Including human. Shepherds used this as a latrine for hundreds of years.”
“Yeah I can smell that. Can’t see a damned thing yet.”
“You will. Swallows is nothing like this. I mean, bigger, yeah. But this place is just damned weird. Press will have a field day once this gets out. Okay, you beginning to see?”
“Yeah. Je-sus!”
“And I bet you ain’t never jumped from within a cave before.”
“Oops. Nearly went over! Still, Swallows is tricky at the top! Where is the first annulus?”
“You won’t see it. Not from up here. Stand here. And shut the fuck up about Swallows. It’s a walk in the park compared with this baby. Do you wanna die? I only accepted you along ‘cause your dad used to jump with my dad. I don’t usually jump with newbies!”
David caught up with Max on a narrow ledge overlooking the strange vaulted cavern. Once inside the entrance he could see for himself that the upper opening had been blocked by a massive rock fall, perhaps for thousands of years. The rocks were held in place only by their own weight. Any violent earthquake could have brought them down. The cave – if cave it was – ran down at an angle of 44.9 degrees from the horizontal and was five times as wide as the Albert Hall.
“I can’t even see the other side!”
“Nope. You’ll only see that when you jump!”
“This is the only way out and that’s the only way up,” Davis reflected out loud. He pointed to the single rappel rope secured around a rock to the right of his feet. It hung over the edge of the precipice and it stretched into the yawning abyss below. He stomach turned over.
“Yeah, we’ll fit a winch when we get time. Don’t forget you’re only the fifth man in here. How is your SRT?”
“Rusty. Never done much single-rope stuff.”
“Well make sure you have your gear secured before you jump. No way I’m pulling you up! You better get your stuff ready. And whatever you see, you’re sworn to secrecy. Right?”
Both men prepared their parachute equipment in silence. Speech could mean death. Davis was the first to finish.
“I’m ready,” he announced.
“Yeah… Well check it again. I’m not ready.”
“The lights!”
“Yeah. I’ll turn them on.”
Max bent to a crude electrical switch on the end of a black cable which also snaked over the precipice and into the gloom. Instantly the awesome shape of the cave was revealed dimly by a string of halogen lights, stretching away to the bottom of the cave. Every hundred metres or so, an annular opening marked a narrowing of the tunnel – five in all – before the bottom, over four hundred metres away.
“Wow! That looks scary!”
“Oh yeah! You’d better have your shit together here, man! Those ridges are what makes it lethal. And it narrows down to less than a tennis-court. Wet too. Mostly a big, slushy puddle. But you won’t mind, if you get that far. Ready?”

Free Offer Results

I had 373 downloads for Attack Hitler’s Bunker! which was a lot more than for Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate the week before. Admittedly there was a small promotional advert on Facebook but it yielded very few click-throughs so I think it’s a pretty fair comparison. It’s good to know my most recent work is doing so well.

Short Stirlings

As any who are fans of WWII aircraft will know, there are no Short Stirlings left in this world. Some may say that is a good thing; who wants to remember old bombers? However the Short Stirling was the first British heavy bomber. It suffered many handicaps forced on it by a short-sighted Air Ministry and yet still delighted the pilots who flew it with its beautiful flight characteristics. All other heavy bombers from all sides are represented in museums around the world but the few Stirling wrecks have been left to rot at the bottom of the sea and on mountain sides. The Stirling Aircraft Society aims to correct this. With very little money and few resources they are slowly, painstakingly building a ‘replica’ of a Stirling front fuselage using as many original parts as possible. Although I am not a member of the Society I have taken a keen interest in their progress. My book Attack Hitler’s Bunker! deliberately featured the Stirling prominently in an effort by myself to raise awareness of its achievements and plight. All profits from the book for the first two years will go to the Society. Last week I became aware of a wreck discovered by a French team of divers. They clearly do not realise the importance of the wreck which seems almost intact. It would be such a wonderful event if it could be lifted. The Society has contacted the team but as yet I have no information about where it is or how easy it would be to recover. I will post updates on here if there is any  progress.

Review of Castle Keep

I am reviewing this obscure WWII film  not because it’s good but because it raises some questions for me. The book is an average production, telling the story of a platoon of US soldiers defending a Belgian 11th Century castle during the Battle of the Bulge. No doubt soldiers had become incredibly cynical by 1944; the campaign was known for it’s brutality. No wonder then that it was chosen by the producers in the Hippy sunset of 1969. The period is known for its picaresque movies.

‘Picaresque’  – of or relating to a type of fiction in which the hero, a rogue, goes through a series of episodic adventures. It originated in Spain in the 16th century – Collins English Dictionary

Don Quixote is perhaps the first novel that suggests this type of character but he/she seems to have become very French by 1969. In most movies of this type there is at least one French character and so it is here; the US Major, played by Burt Lancaster billets at the castle and sleeps with the Count’s gorgeous young wife. His platoon are the usual bunch of misfits but with one art critic who envies the Major his bed-partner. Another soldier, played by Columbo’s Peter Falk is a former baker and when they discover a brothel he instead heads for the bakery.

“Where there is a baker, there’s a baker’s wife,” he answers to their jeers.

And sure enough the baker’s wife asks him to “Come to bed,” within a few short minutes. He has seemlessly replaced her lost husband. This typifies the slightly crazy and cynical nature of the film. In another scene a German tank is driven right inside a large church where the soldiers capture it. They try to drive it out but end up knocking down the whole church; typical dramatic and unnerving juxtaposition of images and ideas used in these picaresque adventures. They usually end inconclusively and so does this one. I find that I don’t really care for any of the characters; they have become too cynical for that. We are supposed to like the Major. Sometimes he is referred to as the General and I suppose this is where this film fails to even match it’s genre rivals. Everything about him is vague, as if he is a cipher.

Other movies of the type do better. The Beatles particularly employed this style in Help and The Magical Mystery Tour and here they manage to be likable. Perhaps they have more respect for the style. I can’t think of earlier films that follow this style but certainly by the turn of the decade films from Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines to The Confessions series to blockbusters like Waterloo and even Mary Poppins employed it. One of the more successful uses was Clint Eastwood’s series of Spaghetti Westerns (the genre probably culminating in El Topo, about as far ‘out there’ as a movie could be). Indeed Eastwood himself went on to star in one of the last picareque movies, Kelly’s Heroes.

Of course it’s not surprising that films became more cynical after the stifling of the Hippy movement. Either the directors were liberal and felt disappointed or they were right-wing and appropriated some of the Hippy aesthetics for their own use. Either way, such darker films became very typical in the early 1970s. Was it perhaps an Anglo Saxon attempt to appropriate French existential ideas as a sop during these dark times? British moral structure became almost vacuous in the wake of the Hippy collapse; probably not because everyone missed it but because nobody had anything better to offer.

Into this vacuum, perhaps the Dog-eat-dog philosophy of Freddie Ayers seeped. Many of his ideas were formed during the terrible Spanish Civil War of the late 30s and so his suggested structure – we are all animals so why not behave like it’ (my paraphrasing) was tailor-made for such times. Unfortunately, it may be that they have left a deeper imprint on our society than we would like to think.

Until now my views have been impartial, speculative but I leave you with one final thought and here I do have strong views: it might even be that the Big Brother House and X-Factor owe their existence to the picareque Don Quixote. Perhaps with the terrible fate of Jade Goody, who after all had nothing more than a hunger for fame as a talent, we have seen the noon of this way of thinking. Perhaps now we can get back to some sanity and appreciation of real talent.

Other News

As you can see from the excerpt, I am writing again. I reached a nice stage with the IT stuff so for the next month or so I will be concentrating on writing alone. I am assured that the Second Edition of Amit Bobrov’s The Journals of Raymond Brooks is being worked on by the publisher so I think we can expect that out soon. It is edited by me.


I was a bit disappointed with the way Valentino Rossi ‘sacked’ Jeremy Burgess. After all these years of working so closely together it’s a bit rough. However I think it shows just how ruthless and determined to win Vale is. Let’s hope at least it brings results next year. Burgess has surely been one of Rossi’s most crucial partners during his whole career.

Blog: Operation Crossbow

This week: Sneak Preview, Reviews and Sales of Attack Hitler’s Bunker!

Sneak Preview

This week’s is from December Radio (aka The Farmer’s Wife). By the way the tongue-in-cheek title of the blog this week refers to the mediocre George Peppard film featuring V2 rockets; these feature in the current project December Radio.


December Radio

Copyright © 2013 by Lazlo Ferran

All Rights Reserved.

The needle scratched yet another circuit of acetate from Duke Ellington’s Cotton Tail locked groove. A ray of sun threw it’s first shadow over the boy’s buttock cheeks, muscular escapees from a pair of Levi’s. From under them a Maria had only minutes before unhooked herself, checked her purse and quietly shut the door. The click had opened one of the boy’s blue eyes. Without moving he surveyed the strewn cushions, vino stains, fag buts and ash; soirée memorials. No neighbour complained. Membership of the right-wing NSB party guaranteed this.
After snapping shut his eye to regret, Carl pulled on a t-shirt; the very latest thing, grabbed his notebook and made for his usual watering-hole. The absynth-ine crowd of poets, artists and musicians at the cafe was reduced by three Jews to four sopping intellectuals. Saddest of all was the liberal painter Dieter. The truth was that Carl couldn’t write but poet was a good disguise for a dissolute with few talents.
A ruddy-faced man with a stick who Carl knew wore a jock-strap, wriggled in the wicker chair and suggested, “Hey, Carl? Isn’t it your round?”
“Would be, if I had a sou.”
“Gave it all to Maria, I guess,” a man with blonde hair like a thicket and limbs like briars interjected.
“Ah the gorgeous Maria! I fear her lack of philosophy will make her the banker of us all!” added the first man.
Peeved and protective, Carl retorted,”And hyper-philosophy will make someone wanker of us all!”


I received my first review of Attack Hitler’s Bunker! By Ash Buttle, whose opinion I hold in great esteem. Highlights of the review include ‘A rip-roaring sky-ride’ ‘The flying sequences where this story shines, tense, exciting, dramatic…’

Blog: Carnival of Souls

This week: a story’s soul,  Frankenstein and the Monster, Strunk & White: The Elements of Style

A Story’s Soul This week I have returned to another incomplete work, December Radio. The story is a sci-fi WWII whodunnit of sorts. So far I haven’t written a lthis although I have spent many hours thinkabouit it. The problem is that the story’s soul as I last envisaged it may be too obvious. The problem has been compounded by the recommendation by a friend, based on my description, to read Gravity’s Rainbow. I am on page 50 and so far I have very little idea what is going on; a British Agent is investigating V2 rockets amidst a chaotic kaleidoscope of disjointed feelings, weird characters and disparate locations. What is clear is that the main story is uncomfortably close to mine.  A battle has begun for the soul of my story. Attack Hitler’s BunkWas was a simple story; men fighting against immense odds for Good. It’s soul was born without hiccups on page one. The Ordo Lupus series have their origins in my own private obsessions with the darker side of Religion and more specifically, Faith, God, the Devil and luck. However, both Escher’s Staircase and December Radio have been born of the nebulous (to quote William Shatner) inspiration of a relationshhip; they have neither a beginning or end when I start wItch think think the former title has now settled into a comfortable childhood but the latter may lack something to distinguish it from it’s distinguished competition. Once I have the soul, the story will tell me what to write. This probably probably sounds lkid whimsy and not a little bit pretentiousI, but I believe it! If a book doesn’t have a soul it can’t live.

The soul of a book can be as simple as a basic plot or it can be as elusive as Faith itself. I just need to try harder to find this story’s soul, and if you are struggling with a book, maybe you do too.

Frankenstein and the Monster

I couldn’t blog this week without mentioning the above film, last Frankenstein film by Hammer. It made a very average, if not poor, start but Peter Cushing was the reliable screen presence usual ways is. Those cheekbones never fail to impress and here his gaze bore into the cheap camera lens as if he is the mad doctor himself; willing the genre to succeed, and challenging you to forget him. I can easily forgive the crude jokes early on, the policeman falling into a grave, the local ‘Neanderthal’ who looks more like a gorilla; both are slapstick tools usually sexy seen in Carry On films, and the brain transplant is actually fairly convincing. David Hemming has since proved himself a talented actor and here he is very good. Mabeauties ties one of the great 60s beauties known for her wide-eyed innocence does well with almost no lines as the supposedly mute Angel. All in all it’s quite a point mix, and the film echoes Dickens in some cutting jibes at beaurocracy. Great fun. Watch it!

Strunk & White:  The Elements of Style

I wanted to quickly mention this little book. If you write anything and want to be clear you need this. In a few pages they explain elements of grammar which have confused me for years.