I previously promised treats, and now it’s time to deliver! Problematic Press offers eager readers TWO tasty treats for their minds to munch on. *om nom nom*
First, let me present you with a sample poem from David Reynolds’ adaptation of Robert Hayman’s Quodlibets, Lately Come over from New Britaniola, Old Newfoundland. Hayman’s Quodlibets contains over 300 poems, written as epigrams or witty verses. The following poem is a tribute to Sir Francis Drake, whom Hayman met as a small boy in the streets of Totnes. The admiration Hayman views Drake with is clear here. That meeting could have been the spark that ignited Hayman’s adventurous spirit, eventually leading to his expedition across the Atlantic to the rugged coasts of Newfoundland. So, for your reading pleasure, here is the seventh verse from the fourth book of Quodlibets:
7. Of the Great and Famous, ever to be honoured Knight, Sir Francis Drake, and of my little-little self.
The Dragon, that our Seas did raise his Crest,
And brought back heaps of gold unto his nest,
Unto his Foes more terrible than Thunder,
Glory of his age, After-ages wonder,
Excelling all those that excell’d before;
It’s fear’d we shall have none such any more;
Effecting all, he sole did undertake,
Valiant, just, wise, mild, honest, godly Drake.
This man when I was little, I did meet,
As he was walking up Totnes‘ long Street,
He ask’d me whose I was? I answer’d him.
He ask’d me if his good friend were within?
A fair red Orange in his hand he had,
He gave it me, whereof I was right glad,
Takes and kissed me, and prays, God bless my boy:
Which I record with comfort to this day.
Could he on me have breathed with his breath,
His gifts Elias-like, after his death,
Then had I been enabled for to do
Many brave things I have a heart unto.
I have as great desire, as e’er had he
To joy; annoy; friends; foes; but ’twill not be.
This poem expresses how a chance meeting could be just the right sort of encouragement for an adventurer. Perhaps that’s why I like it so much. Hayman’s Quodlibets contains many more poetic gems like this, and Problematic Press will launch that title later this month!
As for the second treat, Problematic Press is proud to present David Reynolds’ short story “Showdown at the Cactus’s Prick,” available as a FREE ebook at Smashwords! That’s right. It’s free. Just drop by Smashwords and you can download the story in just about every ebook format imaginable, like .epub, .mobi, .pdf, .html, and more. Share the link with your friends to give the story to others. It’s as easy as that.
Originally published in Late Night Dungeons, “Showdown at the Cactus’s Prick” was going to be part of a series of short stories, collectively called Sabaku, the Deserter. Perhaps it may still become that series. It’s an action-adventure tale set in a fantasy dystopia. Sabaku has abandoned his homeland to escape the tyranny of its oppressive ruler. Not far beyond the borders of his homeland, he must avoid capture at the Cactus’s Prick, a tiny refuge for rebels and outlaws. Since it’s a short story, I’ll let you read it yourself to discover the outcome.
Enjoy these treats, folks! Stay tuned for the launch of Quodlibets later in March!