Continuing our closer look at the books and authors in the Weird Western StoryBundle, today I am pleased to welcome Mr. Tiberius Bogg. Mr. Bogg is the main character in the New World series by Steven W. White. New World, Book 1 is available free to subscribers to the StoryBundle newsletter, and Book 2, Hair of the Bear, is part of the bundle.
1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?
Name’s Tiberius Bogg. If there’s anything significant there, I’ve no knowance of it.
I got no title, as those are uncommon things where I come from. You need not even bother with “Mr. Bogg,” as most folks just call me Bogg… if they know my name at all.
2. How old are you?
I can’t conjure up a precise number. I judge I’ve seen forty summers, surely. But I can still outrun a bear, given a decent head start. So I reckon I’m not fifty, not yet.
3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
I ain’t seen my Ma and Pa since I was a pup. They fell onto hard times in Algolus, and struck out across the sea for Mira, like a lot of folks. I was born right here in Mira, and ain’t never ventured to the old country. Don’t plan on going, neither. Algolus is too full of kings and knights, castles and dragons. Too much history there. You can’t get free of it.
Mira is the right place for me. It catches Algolans by surprise, but I fit right in here.
Beyond Ma and Pa, I’ve no knowance of any foreparents. My onliest brother, Ackerley, lives in Fort Sanctuary, on the coast. He can stand that sort of life, with crowds and streets and noise. We’re different in that way. I don’t care for people, my own self. I prefer to play a lone hand.
What do I like about Ackerley? I’ve come to him twice… no, three times in my life, when wilderness living has left me short of needments. Once, he saved me when I was ailish with winter fever. He’s never shut me out.
I can’t say there’s anything I dislike about him. He don’t set his table to city folks’ rules. Still, he sees hisself as an educated man compared to me, and when I’m about, he’ll strut like a rooster in tall oats.
4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?
I recollect a pettifogger’s daughter, a long way back. I can no longer call her by name, but she was pretty as a fence-corner peach.
5. What is your occupation?
Occupation? I’m a weed-bender, a rabbit-twister. Polite folks will call me a mountain man.
That is to say, I cleave to the deep and piney woods and get by with trapping and grazing. I make my own clothes. Buckskin is easiest to work with, though I’ve got a cloak made of splintercat skin, black as coal at midnight and well nigh invulnerable. That’s saved me more than once. Mira is full of magical creatures, some of them useful. If they don’t kill you, that is.
Occupation… that’s a fine way to put it.
My best qualities? By jings, where do I start? I’m resourceful, witty as all get out without being over-educated, hearty as a bull ox, nimble as a polecat, not overly concerned with city foofaraw such as bathing, and devilishly handsome if you don’t mind the beard.My worst qualities? Alas, I have the misfortune of being far, far too humble.7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?
[Bogg blushes.] Good land! What kind of questions are these?
[Kyra looks down at her clipboard] Oops, we seem to have stumbled into my romance interview. [Tears out a bunch of papers and throws them away.] Sorry about that! Let’s move on, shall we?
8. What is your favorite thing to do?
After having a think on this question, I’d ruther choose those long quiet evenings after supper, the fire not too hot, and the lakeside air not too cool, the belly full, as I stretch out by the water, feeling easy and comfortable.
There are plenty of fine lakes I go back to, depending on the season. Hottencold Lake, Laundry Lake, Massacre Lake. Boiling Coffee Springs is not unpleasant in the winter.
Then again, I do enjoy a good fracas, too. There’s nothing quite like feathering into a feller who righteously deserves it… though I’ve learned not to seek out such things. Never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you, Ackerley would say.
9. What is your greatest fear?
Fear? Lessee, fear. I am trying to recall the meaning of that word. Alas, no. I am not familiar with this term. I am not an educated man, you see.
All right. Let me not be too pleased with myself, nor stretch the blanket too much. My greatest fear, with no varnish on it?
10. What is your most treasured possession?
That’s simple enough.
[Bogg draws a weapon from his rope belt, a large knife. Its handle is carved from the antler of an elk, and its curving white blade is the serrated canine of a sabertooth.]
This fine tool has gotten me out of more scrapes than I can recollect. You know about magical weapons from Algolus? Enchanted swords and so on? Well, here in Mira, those old hexes don’t work so well. Where I live, the magic is in the land, and the trees, and the fearsome critters that roam here. A bite from a sabertooth could cut anything… and sure enough, this blade can cut anything.
Kyra here: I tore through New World and Hair of the Bear in about three days all together. Exciting, scary, funny, fast-moving (and even emotional and thought-provoking) adventures through the frontier of Fantasyland’s New World in the company of the inimitable Tiberius Bogg. Wonderful reading for anyone who wants a taste of the frontier in their fantasy. I would particularly recommend them for teen boys, junior high age and up, who enjoy fantasy and adventure. As the mom of two former teenage boys, I know it can be hard to find books for them, and the New World books fit the bill splendidly.
About the author:
Steven W. White has written science fiction and fantasy since he was a teenager. Along the way, he’s been a Christmas tree farmer, a rocket scientist, and a snake handler. Lately, he’s earned a Fiction MFA from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island, Washington. He writes, teaches, and occasionally plays with fire in the Pacific Northwest.