Brian Rush


Brian Rush has been writing compulsively in one form or another for many years. He has been a student (one is always a student) of the occult for just as long, and has published articles and taught classes on the subject. He has lived on both coasts of the U.S., never far from the sea, and currently resides in northern California.

Where to find Brian Rush online

Where to buy in print


A Sip of Fear
Series: The Illuminated. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,280. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
When Gordon the bio-mage and the other Illuminated – magicians blessed with familiar spirits that give them remarkable powers – hear rumors that Shadow is on his way, they soon learn that the adept of Death, supposedly mythical, really exists. He’s undead, invincible, and ruthless. He kills Illuminated. Nothing can stop him, and now it seems that Gordon is his chosen target.
The Ingathering
Series: Refuge. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,980. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Claire's magic is so powerful it makes her mentally ill. Suffering symptoms of bipolar disorder caused by her undeveloped talent, she escapes a Droon murder squad and reluctantly seeks training from the Andol. But the enemy follows and launches a plot to destroy the Andol stronghold. Can Claire recover her sanity and develop her powers in time to save herself and her friends from certain death?
The Order Master
Series: Refuge, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 75,650. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Science fiction » General
He hates it. He wants out. But the Order will kill him if he tries to run. When Michael Cambridge inherits the post of Order Master, he discovers the truth about his order and the people they kill. He finds himself walking a path that might lead to his freedom – or his death.
Goddess-Born (A Tale of Two Worlds)
Series: A Tale of Two Worlds, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 106,850. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
The Kingdom of Grandlock heaves with revolution. The nobility have oppressed the people for generations, but new advances in technology are enabling them to drive more and more people into unemployed misery, at the same time as radical ideas spread among the populace: ideas like democracy and popular rule. Liberty is only a revolt away – but magic threatens to subvert it.
Reclaiming Socialism, or: Economic Democracy (Recovering a Stolen Word)
Price: Free! Words: 15,410. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Economic policy, Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Civil and human rights
An attempt to reclaim the word "socialism" from those that have re-defined it and rendered it taboo. Socialism does NOT mean a state-run economy or the end of private property, let alone Soviet-style tyranny. Socialism DOES mean economic democracy, worker-owned business, an economy for the 99%, and a humane alternative to capitalism. Capitalism is broken and it's time to discuss replacing it.
The Green Stone Tower
Series: A Tale of Two Worlds, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 93,780. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Long ago in the legendary time, at the very dawn of civilized days, the Old Gods sang the Green Stone Towers into being as bridges between two worlds. By means of the Towers the workers of magic, descended of the gods, escaped the wrath of the rest of mankind. Into the world of Faerie the mages fled, the gods followed, and the doors of the Towers were sealed behind them.
The Star Mages
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 258,680. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
A fantasy story set in the modern world. Two secret orders of powerful magicians. Two ex-lovers. One order is filled with idealistic zeal and a vision of utopia. He's in that one. The other is consumed with selfish ambition. She's in it. Follow the mystical, magical journey through layers of hidden plots and sorcerous intrigue, in which nothing is ever what it seems at first glance.
Democracy: A Proposal For a New Constitution For the United States
Price: Free! Words: 4,510. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Democracy
A proposal to cut through the corrupting influence of campaign donations and corporate money on the U.S. government with a new Constitution that would make such corruption literally impossible.
The Golden Game
Series: The Star Mages, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,810. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Part 3 of The Star Mages. A hundred years have passed since the Sword was banished, and now the Star's plan is complete. Angée's door is opened and conflict between Star and Sword is fought to its finish. Once more caught on the pivot between love and power, Angée must again make a terrible sacrifice in order to save everything she holds most dear.
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 13,750. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Robin Hood in a dystopian science-fiction future. Robert Hunter, incredibly rich son of a robotics magnate, takes on the role of Robin Hood as his father and grandfather did before him to free the people from oppression. The Hooded Man lives again, armed with high-tech weapons and hacking skills in place of a longbow, but always the hero of the common people. First of a series.
The Child of Paradox
Series: The Star Mages, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 81,330. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Star Mages Book 2. The Morrigan is reborn as Angée, daughter of Dolphin and Falcon, called the Child of Paradox in a mysterious prophecy. The Sword (formerly the Third Key) disturbs the dreams of the Star Mages and stirs them to rebellion. Even Falcon is not immune, and must make a fateful choice between the Star and the Sword. But the final choice between danger and despair lies with Angée.
The Stairway To Nowhere
Series: The Star Mages, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 101,360. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
A fantasy story set in the modern world. Two secret orders of powerful magicians locked in bitter rivalry. Two ex-lovers. She's in one order. He's in the other. As the former leaders of the two orders join forces to destroy them both, Karla and Correl must work together to stop them, and find their feelings for each other, still strong, complicate everything.

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Smashwords book reviews by Brian Rush

  • The Door Into Fire on Jan. 29, 2010

    I first read The Door Into Fire many years ago. It's as wonderful now as it was then. The characters are deeply real and engaging, the world is rich with fully-developed traditions and history, and the style conveys profundity while at the same time bubbling with laughter and whimsy, as only one who has felt great pain or sorrow and overcome it can combine the two. The best advice I can give anyone who thinks of diving into the world of the Middle Kingdoms and of Herewiss and Freelorn is to divest himself of all expectations and preconceptions before taking the plunge. Let the world and its people enchant you in their own terms. You won't regret it.
  • A Bear Tale on June 24, 2012

    This novella is full of very human characters, many of them not human. Diana, the MC, comes across initially as a somewhat shallow young woman almost exclusively focused on getting a guy, but we come to understand her better through her relationship with her dog and a bear and find that she is a very earthy and instinctive person, tied in to nature without consciously acknowledging it, full of intuitive depths that she doesn't articulate but that show up strongly in her actions. Along the way, issues of humanity's relationship with the wilderness and wild animals emerge in a sharply-defined way, as they do when fear is a part of the picture. The story can be a little slow going in, but as it unfolds along with our understanding of Diana, it becomes clear it couldn't be told another way.
  • x0 on July 29, 2012

    This book is really creative and unusual. That up front. I'm interested in seeing the sequel, which is always high praise. The voice is good, the characters are interesting, and so is the plot. There are a couple of experiments that the book makes and I'm still trying to decide if they work, which probably means they do. I'll get to that in a moment. In synopsis, this is about two women living on opposite sides of the world, geographically and culturally, who are bound together by a telepathic tie even though they are total strangers. The main plot line involves a nefarious political scheme, with the sister of one of the two women as its intended victim. It's a good story, and the way the telepathy contributes to the story development held my interest. A word about the experiments. There are two of them. One is that the point of view shifts often and abruptly, creating the sense of identify being a fluid and shifting thing, and the isolation of the individual being an illusion. That violates a basic convention of fiction writing which holds that point-of-view changes should be done not too often and clearly delineated by (for example) chapter headings (although other ways of making the shift clear and unconfusing can work, too). I found that jarring to begin with, and you may, too, but my suggestion is to get past it and get used to it -- I think it works. The defiance of the convention is deliberate here, I understand why it was done, and the story still flows well. The other experiment is to embed links in the story to music, articles, and so on where these occur in the story. That I don't think works as well, but it's by no means a killer. If you click on those links, you'll disrupt the flow of the tale badly and lose immersion, but I didn't find it hard to ignore them, and of course they're still there if I want to go back and check it out. I did feel that the pace of the story could have been a bit faster and livelier. Some of the passages of description and technical detail could have been shortened, the necessary information conveyed more economically, and the story would have been more gripping; as it was, some of the plot's potential (and it has a lot) was lost, I felt. Still, good story, and a worthy read. Oh, and also: if you, yourself, are a telepath, you'll especially love this. I won't explain that. You'll understand if it applies.
  • Trinity on Sep. 29, 2012

    Clare Davidson’s Trinity could have been about half again as long as it is. In reading this story, which held my interest well, I felt there was a lot of potential that didn’t quite manage to be developed. The framework of the world and its difficulties caused by the death (more or less) of two-thirds of its pantheon is clever and original. I felt that a lot more could have been done in terms of covering the way in which the society was impacted by the theological disaster. We learn the gist of it, but the way in which the effective absence of the two goddesses has sent the land and people into a kind of simmering madness, that periodically becomes complete madness, could have been dealt with better, especially in some of the later scenes which presented a perfect opportunity. The characters, I feel, are another area that deserved and should have had more development. In concept, and in what development occurred, these are great, complex, strong characters. Each of the five main characters has complicated layers of motivation that are the stuff of great immersion in a story, and much more could have been added that would have shown their personalities in all their depths. Instead, I felt the story was rushed and that the author was in too great a hurry to get to the conclusion of the tale. This is especially true of Kiana, the incarnation of the goddess Miale. Kiana is actually a very strong woman, but one has to stop oneself, look back on her actions, and figure this out. The impression one gains while reading the story is of a weak, ignorant, cowardly, rather pathetic little bimbo, because those are the emotions she is always expressing. Since that isn’t really what she’s like — I could present actions on her part aplenty to prove this, but they would be spoilers — I don’t feel it worked to present her as if she were. I found that this evidence of strength and stubbornness had to power a rational understanding that she really is a stronger character than the impression I was getting. On a visceral level, she comes across as weak, whining, and somewhat empty-headed. A little of that, especially in the beginning, might have been very good, but she should have hardened in her behavior over time as the group faced their difficulties and she developed a determination to save the world. The other characters — the Guardian with healing powers, the renegade Wolf who was enemy-turned-ally, the Wolf battle leader pursuing the renegade with motives of personal vengeance as well as justice, and the far-sighted magician who accompanies the battle leader — don’t display the same sort of disconnect between visceral impressions and their actions, but each of them could have been better developed. There was so much in concept to each of them that I felt they deserved more of their own stories told. The writing style of Trinity is solid. I felt it could have benefited from another round of editing but on the whole, it’s well written, with few wasted words and a nice, crisp style. The concept is good and original, the characters are interesting and complex, and the conclusion handled reasonably well. If it were half again as long to develop both plot and characters in more depth, it would be great. It’s still worth reading even so.
  • City of Masks on Jan. 13, 2013

    Mike Reeves called City of Masks a “magicless fantasy.” I wondered what that could be until I read the book. Having done so, I can say that it isn’t a fantasy (there are no fantasy elements in the story), but it is a wonderful, tightly-crafted tale with richly-developed characters and an intricate plot in a highly imaginative setting. I believe the reason Reeves calls it a fantasy is because it takes place in an alternate world, but of course that isn’t a defining characteristic of fantasy; many fantasies don’t take place in alternate worlds, but all fantasies include fantastic elements, which City of Masks does not. But enough on categories and genres. The alternate world of this story is a city, Bonvidaeo, where everyone wears a mask at all times. Not only does everyone wear a mask but everyone is supposed to behave in a manner appropriate to the mask being worn, and there are restriction on who can wear what masks when. In fact, the city has adopted (and enforced) a religious doctrine called “characterism” which asserts that the person wearing the mask is the mask and must be treated accordingly. Opposing this is an underground which preaches the heretical doctrine of “personalism,” the idea that the mask and the person are two separate entities. The story centers around this religious dispute and a series of grisly murders that touches upon it. The book is told in first-person via the memoirs and journals of several characters. Most of it is from the point of view of a foreign envoy who is there to represent his nation and the immigrants from it into the city of Bonvidaeo, one of whom is the first known victim of the killer. In the course of tracking down the murderer, a twisted political plot is uncovered, love is found, surprises arise behind the masks, there is swordplay, an assassination plot, a beautiful and devious and powerful woman, and, of course, quite a bit of disguise and impersonation. This sort of first-person writing is hard to bring off successfully but Reeves does succeed in giving each perspective its own voice. I am going to give this book five stars for superior characterization, plot, and writing style, all three, although none of them stood out enough to justify five stars by itself. The pace may be a little slow for readers accustomed to books packed with action, but there is plenty of action in this story.