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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Blog Tour- THE RUSH: This Hungry Earth Reddens Under Snowclad Hills by @sispurrier & #nathancgooden With Their Favorite Video Games & A #Giveaway! @thevaultcomics, & @RockstarBkTours

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE RUSH by Si Spurrier & Nathan C. Gooden Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


About The Book:

Title: THE RUSH: This Hungry Earth Reddens Under Snowclad Hills (The Rush #1-5)

Author: Si Spurrier, Addison Duke (Colorist), Nathan C. Gooden (Illustrations), Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (Letterer), Adrian F. Wassel (Editor)

Pub. Date: August 9, 2022

Publisher: Vault Comics

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 136

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

Historical horror that chills to the bone, The RUSH. is for fans of Dan Simmons’, The Terror mined with a Northwestern Yukon gold rush edge. Answer the call of the wild north and stampede to the Klondike…


This Hungry Earth Reddens Under Snowclad Hills.

1899, Yukon Territory. A frozen frontier, bloodied and bruised by the last great Gold Rush. But in the lawless wastes to the North, something whispers in the hindbrains of men, drawing them to a blighted valley, where giant spidertracks mark the snow and impossible guns roar in the night.

To Brokehoof, where gold and blood are mined alike. Now, stumbling towards its haunted forests comes a woman gripped not by greed -- but the snarling rage of a mother in search of her child...

From Si Spurrier (Way of X, Hellblazer) and Nathan C. Gooden (Barbaric, Dark One) comes THE RUSH, a dark, lyrical delve into the horror and madness of the wild Yukon.

Collects the entire series. For fans of The TerrorFortitudeCoda, and Moonshine.


"The book strikes a wealthy mixed vein of sophisticated psychological chills and monstrous horror."― Publishers Weekly

"Gritty historical drama meets supernatural horror in this sumptuously drawn tale set during the Yukon Gold Rush." ― PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"The Rush is a chilling bit of historical horror. Rugged and raw and thoroughly researched. It's got such a wonderfully creepy sense of menace but most of all it's the moving story of a mother searching for her child, that's its beating heart. Wonderful work."  -- Victor Lavalle (best-selling and award-winning author of he anthology, Slapboxing with Jesus and four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling, the fantasy-horror novella The Ballad of Black Tom, and the comics series Destroyer and Eve)

"The Rush is a splendidly savage tale of frontier scum and the doom they’ve brought down upon themselves, and the innocents cursed to suffer alongside them. I for one can’t wait to see more."  -- Garth Ennis (best-selling and award-winning writer, Preacher, and writer/co-creator of The Boys)


Guest Post:

What are some of your favorite video games?

Si: I’m very much a narrative-first gamer. I want story.

To the extent, in fact, that I get a bit wincey when I hear people say “I beat the game!” No, you didn’t. If the designers wanted the game to be unbeatable they could’ve made it that way. You persisted. And yes, I get it, the phrase is a skeuomorphic relic from the days when games were arcade-exclusive and completing one meant no more industrious sacrificing of quarters. Hence: triumph. But I’m petty about things like this.

It’s a good thing therefore that there are plenty of gamers unlike me whose primary gratification is proving their skill, overcoming obstacles, feeling victorious. Sports games, racing games, fighting games. I want a bit of that, sure – challenge me, make me think, test my reaction times – but only in as much as I’m constantly being rewarded by the next partial unraveling of the story. And the very notion of competing with other Actual Human Beings online? Gah! This is supposed to be leisure time - don’t make me interact with people! That’s just cruel.

Thinking with my typing-fingers, here: evidently I see videogames as a sort of dimensional elongation of prose novels, with the carefully tooled illusion of interactivity heightening the payoffs. I want to feel safely and expertly held in the storytellers’ hands. I don’t want any danger of the bubbling chaos of my own brain tripping up the experience of a well-told story. Don’t make me choose how this ends!

One exception to the rule: the utterly exquisite Disco Elysium, about which I cannot rant enough. Here the interactive elements, the decisions and choices, can often feel maddeningly painful – maddeningly real in the sense that you simply can’t predict how things will spin out – and yet the writing (and voice acting) is so deftly handled that one always feels confident in a satisfying resolution, irrespective of what forks in the path are taken along the way. That’s an extraordinary level of genius at work, and actively invites replays. If you haven’t played it, you must.

I guess partly my approach (cf: my neurosis?) to all this speaks to media territorialism: I don’t have much time at the end of the working day to unwind, so if it’s not a game it’s gonna be a TV show. We live in a golden age of television – I can pretty much guarantee that within a 45 minute slot I will be moved and surprised and emotionally manipulated with expert grace – so games have gotta work pretty hard to compete for my story-addicted hindbrain. In short: I want passivity masquerading as proactivity.

Luckily some of the best writing I’ve recently encountered has been in games. I think that owes something to the unique mechanism behind the journey the player takes. Investment, effort, reward. All writers understand that if they can make an audience work a little bit – whether it’s subconscious effort, sacrifice of time, memorisation, puzzling, whatever – then the emotional beats, when they come, hit harder and deeper. (Oddly enough this is also a very good working definition for ceremonial magic. You sacrifice something – usually time and effort – and in return you feel or think something. Interesting.)

But… make the journey too difficult or the reward too slight? People quit. It’s an exquisitely precise balancing act, made all the more complicated because everyone has a different tolerance. For me the best games are the ones which walk the tightrope without a single teeter, irrespective of the bells and whistles. The reassuring presence of the storyteller. This is all meant to happen this way. I’m not interested in beating the game. I’m interested in it holding my hand while we jump off ledges together.

To give an interesting example, I find the Hidetaka Miyazaki games almost tailor-made to infuriate me. The setup is so compelling, the worldbuilding is chock full of hooks and draws, the worlds are so beautifully realized and welcoming to the explorer – I want in. And yet the (notorious) difficulty of the gameplay plus the deliberate thinness of the unraveling plot, bumps the balancing scales of my Effort/Reward equilibrium waaaay too far towards the former. But I know very well that a lot of people love this stuff with a passion. Nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong.

In general I’d rather be transported into someone else’s head and thoughts. I want to experience the West as John Marston, or Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption & RDR2) - with all their flaws and history and baggage and tragedy - than be invited to impose myself upon the role.

Red Dead Redemption, in fact – which I’ll talk about a little more in a moment – was one of the defining narratives of my 20s. Along with Deadwood it seeded, watered and shaped my obsession with the deep and mythic themes lurking behind the Western genre. Transition, tragedy, the loss of entire paradigms. The Wild West only becomes truly compelling when there’s a sense the era is about to end. So many of the best Westerns feature a character who is overtly Of The Old World, often fighting to protect the brave new world that’s coming, even though he or she has no place in it.

I mention all this here because my most recent graphic novel, The Rush, is very much a long-brew product of many years of pondering these things. It’s a Western – well, a North Western – in which the tragedy and mortality of the time is muddled with folkloric horror and the driving purity of a parent’s love. I think it may be the best thing I’ve ever written, and a deep dive into its DNA would absolutely stumble across Red Dead Redemption (and its zombie-centric DLC!).

Anyway, back to videogames. Back to the tyranny of a clear narrative. Personally I’d far rather submit to a story than attempt to insert myself solipsistically into it. I’d rather explore a fantastical continent as Geralt of Rivia (a la The Witcher series) than create a tabula rasa character to do the same (eg - The Elder Scrolls series). That’s probably the novelist in me talking again. I’m tyrannical about stories having their perfect pitch. I want to know the writer is in control of every element, steering things towards the most satisfying payoff possible. I want elements of interactivity and choice to be carefully curated so they don’t trip up the story.

Some recent joys, then – having set out my stall – to join the ones I mentioned already.

The Horizon: Zero etc etc games have both been a wonderful diversion. Some slightly odd narrative choices and occasionally repetitive gameplay, but more than redeemed by the expertly paced uncoiling of the broader conspiracies. And who doesn’t want to spend as much time as possible in an apocalyptic tribal wilderness populated by robot megafauna? Sometimes the world is the story, and – as long as it’s a good one – that’s fine.

Control was a revelation. A totally unexpected gem weaving character, play and story with some huuuuge, mind-bending ideas. Highly recommended.

I have a sort of Ur-Moment I talk about sometimes, which established (and still defines) my enduring love for games. I suppose it’s a great example of the ways that smart storytellers can manipulate the ludonarrative balance. It’s a moment in Red Dead Redemption, which I mentioned earlier. The sequel is undoubtedly the more technically brilliant and immersive game (and also features some very clever storytelling) but this particular moment I’m about to elaborate was my first experience of a storytelling tool unique to the medium. It marked me like a scar. For those who don’t know, RDR is the story of a former criminal in the dying days of the Wild West (transitional eras being inevitably soaked in tragedy and therefore automatically fertile ground for stories). Our ex-outlaw is trying to go straight – trying to run a little farm with his wife and son – but some assholes have kidnapped his family and are forcing him to go round-up the members of his old gang. As you’d expect, there ensues a lot of riding around, shooting bad guys, lassoing killers and so forth. In gamer terms: fun.

But then eventually there comes a moment when you think you’ve completed the game. (Don’t worry - this isn’t much of a spoiler. There’s still plenty more game to go.) You’ve got your family back, you’re home on the farm, all seems well. And suddenly the sorts of missions you’re being given by the game switch from (eg) go kill some guy, go burn down some gang’s hideout, go mow down legions of bandits with a gatling gun… to (eg) please scare the birds off the crops, please round up the cows, please fix the grainstore…

It’s boring. But it’s deliberately boring. Because the game has manipulated you, the gamer, into feeling something which the main character – who is nothing like you in the real world – is also feeling. To whit: life was better when I was an outlaw and killer. I don’t want to be a farmer after all.

That’s brilliant storytelling.

Nathan: HALO! I LOVE  a challenge when I want to compete against other gamers. I have to agree with Si, Red DEAD Redemption is something special. It transports you to another time and place. 

For THE RUSH, the game Hunt really inspired me, it is a horror story set in the west during the gold rush. Great designs and premise. It really set the stage for me to work with SI.

Jaime: Want to try any of the awesome games they’ve mentioned? They talk about a few of mine here (The Witcher, The Red Dead Games, The Witcher) so it made me happy!


About Si Spurrier:

His work in the latter field stretches from award winning creator-owned books such as NumbercruncherSix-Gun Gorilla and The Spire to projects in the U.S. mainstream like HellblazerThe Dreaming, and X-Men. It all began with a series of twist-in-the-tail stories for the UK’s beloved 2000AD, which ignited an enduring love for genre fiction. His latest book, Coda, is being published by Boom! Studios at present.

His prose works range from the beatnik neurosis-noir of Contract to the occult whodunnit A Serpent Uncoiled via various franchise and genre-transgressing titles. In 2016 he took a foray into experimental fiction with the e-novella Unusual Concentrations: a tale of coffee, crime and overhead conversations.

He lives in Margate, regards sushi as part of the plotting process, and has the fluffiest of cats.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


About Nathan C. Gooden:

An award-winning illustrator and sequential artist, Nathan C. Gooden is Art Director at Vault Comics. Nathan studied animation at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and worked in film production, before co-founding Vault Comics. Nathan’s previous works include Brandon Sanderson’s Dark One (Vault), Barbaric (Vault), Zojaqan (Vault), and  Killbox (from American Gothic Press). He lives in Southern California, where he plays a lot of basketball and hikes constantly with his wife. 

Website |  Instagram | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a finished copy of THE RUSH, US Only.

Ends August 23rd, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Writer of Wrongs

Guest Post



Guest Post/IG Post


#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog



Two Chicks on Books

Guest Post



IG Post



Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

 Week Two:


Sadie's Spotlight

Guest Post/IG Post


Rajiv's Reviews

Review/IG Post


The Girl Who Reads

Review/IG Post


Fire and Ice



The Real World According To Sam

Review/IG Post



IG Post


See Sadie Read

Review/IG Post

 Week Three:


The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post


Lifestyle of Me



Two Points of Interest



The Chatty Bookworm

Tik Tok Review/IG Post


One More Exclamation

Review/IG Post






IG Review

 Week Four:


The Underground




IG Review


Brandi Danielle Davis

Review/IG Post


More Books Please blog



Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post



Review/IG Post

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