Westerns, SF, and the fun of writing Deuces Wild

In my cyber-travels earlier today, I happened upon a conversation about westerns, which asked why no one seems to write or want to read them. I wonder that too, and agree it’s a shame. I love westerns (I just finished Longmire, and if you haven’t watched that show, you should!). I’ve read tons of westerns (I have all of Zane Grey’s books in gorgeous, matching hardcovers), and one of my favorite books (book, note, not movie) is Shane. We need more westerns!

And just like I love westerns, I love science fiction. That’s part of the whole fun of the Deuces Wild series – cowboys and spaceships. I might try to write a true western one day, but for now, I’ll stick to my westerns-in-space series.

And I thought I’d share a snip of a scene from the first Deuces Wild book: Beginners’ Luck, just because it was fun to write, and I love to share the fun stuff.

I don’t know that any context is needed, it’s the juxtaposition of the two seemingly disparate genres in the scene that makes it amusing. To me, at least. Your mileage may vary:

…the whine of hover bikes grew behind him. He spun. Three of them. He grabbed a plasma grenade and lobbed it. One bike took the hit, but the other two swerved, flanking him. He dove to the ground, firing left, rolling, and firing right. He missed.

The bikes circled to make another run. But Tristan had more time to aim. Hot sand sprayed in his face as he fired. He rolled again, coughing and blinking, and fired toward the sounds of a bike.

He held still in the ensuing, relative quiet, listening for a bike as the dust settled. He raised his head, and found himself staring up at the bike’s rider, a laser pistol leveled at him.

A wild cowboy whoop echoed just then, and the biker whirled. A large copper-colored horse thundered up, Slap on its back, a rope circling above the cowboy’s head. He threw the rope, snagged the gun, and snatched it from the biker. Tristan fired, and the soldier crumpled.

Slap caught the gun in mid-air from the noose that held it as he drew the horse to a stop near Tristan, grinning. “Want a ride?”

Tristan eyed the huge beast as it pawed the ground and tossed its head. “You’re not kidding, are you?”

“Just tell me where you want to go.”

Tristan glanced around the spaceport. The Eridani had the upper hand. “Let’s go to Giselle.”




A note of appreciation for my son

It’s hard as you get older to admit you need help. And I do get help from my kids, but in this particular post, I’m focusing on just one of them.

I must say, I don’t know what I’d do without the help of my older son. He takes care of house maintenance and small things too as well, such as (and this is the “small thing” that inspired this post) getting air in my tires for me (a difficult task even in warm weather due to arthritis – unscrewing the cap on the valve stem is so very painful to my hands and I cannot properly squat or kneel so I must oomph myself down to sit on the ground to actually put the air in the tires). And he goes beyond – for example, via the internet he is teaching himself about clock works and has gotten my grandfather clock working again.

I also love his feedback on my stories, and his help with science-y stuff. Oh yes, I do have My Very Own Physicist™, but my son jumps in to help as well. It was fun listening to them Skype and reading the compilation of messages they wrote to each other as they tried to figure out how a single ship could possibly take on a whole space fleet and break a planetary blockade (see Deuces Wild: Stacking the Deck). Yes, I still have all those conversations. Some of them actually made their way into the book.


Oh, by the way – if you like to have both the print and e-book versions…

I was reminded of a conversation recently where a reader did not know about Amazon’s Kindle MatchBook.

Just a note that all my books are enrolled in the Kindle MatchBook. What this means is if you have already bought the print version of any of my books through Amazon, or do buy them, you can also get the e-book at a reduced price.

In the Deuces Wild series, the Matchbook price for the e-book is $0.99, and for the Sword’s Edge Chronicles it’s $1.99.

Thought you ought to know (but without fainting like Professor Quirrell).



Can’t stop the signal? Perhaps. But who will pay attention or believe it?

I’ve always had one big problem with the movie Serenity. They risked everything to get the government’s big, horrible secret out:
“Can’t stop the signal.”
Like that would solve everything. But it’s a crock. It doesn’t matter if you break open Big Secrets, because most folks won’t believe it, or say it’s all garbage dreamt up loonies, or by those on the fringes (either left or right, depending on which side *they’re* on).

I just watched Stranger Things 2, and in episode 5, one character hit it on the head:

“Them… The world at large. They won’t believe any of this. They don’t spend their lives trying to get a look at what’s behind the curtain. They like the curtain. It provides them stability, comfort, definition. This…this would open the curtain, and the curtain behind that curtain, okay? So the minute someone with an ounce of authority calls bullshit, everyone will nod their heads and say, ‘See? Ha! I knew it! It was bullshit.’ That is, even if you get their attention at all.”

I sort of mention this briefly in one of my books. In Deuces Wild: Beginners’ Luck, Slap doesn’t understand how the people on Eridani wouldn’t want to know the truth. His friend replies:

“Most people aren’t interested in truth.” Tristan paused and sipped his tisane, then added, “Unless it’s convenient or advantageous.”



Deuces Wild – The Space Romp You’ve Been Waiting For!

I have recently read several articles or posts from people who are tired of the overly serious, dark, dystopian science fiction that seems to dominate the scene right now.

If you’re tired of DDSF, why not try my Deuces Wild series? It’s adventurous, and yes, has some desperate moments, but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

From the forward of the first book, Beginners’ Luck:

“There is something intriguing about the prospect of throwing two different temperaments together and watching the sparks fly. Especially when one party is a rigorously meticulous death-dealer, and the other is a happy-go-lucky life-giver.

In Deuces Wild: Beginners’ Luck, we get to see the beginning of a classic, literary friendship. Two diametrically opposed personalities work together to forge their uneasy bond, thrown together by cruelty, circumstance, and sealed by something as old-school as “honor.”

Author L. S. King gives us a series which combines the best Western vibe of Butch and Sundance with the space-faring vigor of Joss Whedon’s Firefly. This is a new series whose elements feel familiar, but whose treatment is entirely fresh.”

Johne Cook
Editor, Ray Gun Revival magazine

And endorsements for Stacking the Deck show the second book keeps the same spirit:

“Recommended reading to all lovers of space opera, science fiction, and unlikely buddies saving the universe.”
Keanan Brand

“It’s fast-paced, fun, and well-written. …you probably won’t put it down until you finish.”
Lou Antonelli

“In DEUCES WILD, L. S. King gives us a fast-moving adventure, told with wit and grace, and more than a dose of humor.”
Mike Resnick

So what are you waiting for? The Deuces Wild books are available in print or in e-book format.



Turning to the Dark Side – Again

In order to know what’s going to happen in DW3, I have to know what the bad guys are up to. So here comes the process of getting into the bad guys’ heads. I always despise this part of the process; I feel icky afterwards, like I need a shower.

Does anyone else have a problem with getting inside the minds of their bad guys and having to think like they do?


Summertime Reading Suggestions

If you want something to read this summer, perhaps lazing by a pool or on the beach, or even in your backyard, (or like me, perhaps just reclining on your sofa) might I suggest some raygun-zapping space adventure with my Deuces Wild series? Two books are published so far, and there’s some serious fun in those pages:


“It’s fast-paced, fun, and well-written. … Make sure you don’t have anything on your schedule the day you start reading it – you probably won’t put it down until you finish.” – Lou Antonelli

“Recommended reading to all lovers of space opera, science fiction, and unlikely buddies saving the universe.” – Keanan Brand

“In DEUCES WILD, L. S. King gives us a fast-moving adventure, told with wit and grace, and more than a dose of humor.” – Mike Resnick




Also, it’s a great time to be introduced to Tam, Alcandhor, and their kin in Sword’s Edge. Book two of the series, Children of the Enaisi, will be out this fall. In case you can’t tell by the title, there’s swordplay to be had in the book, and some cape-swishing too, if you like that sort of thing – which I do. I blame Zorro and Johnston McCulley.





(And just in case you enjoy holding a real book, but like to have e-books for when you’re on the go, my books all have the Amazon Matchbook price: buy the print book and you can purchase the Kindle version for a lower price: only $0.99 for each Deuces Wild, and $1.99 for Sword’s Edge.)