Monday, July 25, 2016

Scares That Care 3



Another great Scares That Care and another great visit to Williamsburg! Mr. Joe Ripple did it up right again. Seemed like everything went off flawlessly from my table with the Virginia Chapter of the Horror Writer's Association. No matter where I went Joe was buzzing around or rushing by. I can only imagine what it takes to pull off one of these things. Well done, sir!

Thanks to all the folks who stopped by the table to say hello, talk horror and pick up a book or two. That truly means the world to us writerly types. There is no substitute for being around a hotel full of folks who enjoy a good scare!

So, this year I learned that I am the world's worst photographer. Not that my pictures are bad, nope, not that. I'm the world's worst photographer because I didn't take any pictures! That's like a writer who doesn't write. Sad. Pathetic. Pitiful. In need of a serious inmuse-ion. Great, now I'm resorting to Crypt Keeper style puns! I should be so lucky. In truth, I did capture a few souls in the old lens box, but not even close to how many I should have carried home. 


Next year, friends, next year.

Here are a couple of mine and a few snagged from social media surrounding the event. Thanks to those who helped capture the memories!

  


 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Passions


My youngest son runs cross-country and track. He's pretty darn good at the running thing too, if I say so myself. Maybe just a touch of fatherly pride there. Most importantly, though, he loves it. Even though the passion for running can and does clearly skip a generation (or two), the drive to follow what you love does not. That passion might take the form of running. It might be acting, like my youngest. Or writing, like in my case. We all have that passion in us. I believe that. Anything that will make you set your alarm an hour early when you're already pushing to squeeze in six hours of sleep is something you're not taking lightly. Something worth stretching just a little farther to reach.

A couple of days ago, I was reminiscing about "Deuteronomy," the story I wrote for the Anywhere But Earth anthology way back in 2011. Still one of my favorites and one of the best darned science fiction anthologies out there. And yet I would change so much about the story if I were to go back and rewrite it. I'd change the style, the pacing. I'd smooth off the rough edges and I'd probably add another thousand words or so since I'm a little long-winded these days. But you can only revisit the past so many times before getting trapped there, I think. It's better to learn your lessons, learn them well, and use that wisdom, those skills, as a jumping-off point for places new and unknown. So I won't be editing "Deuteronomy" any time soon, unless Hollywood calls for the movie rights, of course. What I will do is build up from that story and others like it toward something a little grander. And after that something grander still.



Oops. Waxed a little flowery there for a second. Not always a good thing for the horror writer who wanders in and out of hard science fiction as much as I do. Best wrap it up.

Once after a particularly good race, my son, hair dripping with sweat, face absolutely glowing, left the chute and came over to me and my wife. He told us how he'd started cramping up and feeling really fatigued as he closed in on the final mile. There was no one near him and he was on target to run his usual time. He could have been satisfied with that and not lost any ground.

"Then I asked myself," he said. "Could I be running faster?"

"And?"

"The answer was yes." And I still remember his smile. Confident. Prepared. Ready. "So I did."

I love that story. Even chokes me up a little.

Can I be running faster? Writing better? Can you?

I think we all know the answer.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Futures


When I was a boy I wasn't sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. By the time I was seven or so I had narrowed the possibilities down to three.

1) Astronaut/Explorer. Captain Kirk, specifically.

2) Scientist. There was only one kind so when I got tired of astrophysics I could move to archaeology, then biology, etc. You know. Just like in the real world.

3) Zookeeper. Because animals were cool.

In that nether world between lives, I must have picked a decidedly different set of objectives before beginning this one though. By the time I'd reached 2015, it was clear I'd used up my life points on dashing good looks and the love of the finest woman in the land. A fair and equitable trade, if I say so myself. Still those choices meant no one would ever find me in the pages of a single scientific journal, except maybe as an anonymous subject in a study of dashing good looks.

Only that would not be the case at all.

For readers of Nature, my story, "Single Layer I.T.," can be found in Volume 528 Number 7583, 24 December 2015, in the journal's fiction series Futures! It's a tremendous honor to bear the Futures torch this week, the same torch held by some of my own favorite authors. Award winners, groundbreakers and unparalleled wordsmiths such as Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Arthur C. Clarke, Tanith Lee, Frederick Pohl, Mike Resnick, Alastair Reynolds and Norman Spinrad.

Check Futures out. There are many amazing stories dating back as far as 1999, each one short, sweet and bound to stick with you for a while.

Nature's site describes Futures like so:

"SCIENCE FICTION FROM THE HOME OF SCIENCE

"What does the future hold? Is there life beyond the stars? Will artificial intelligence take over the world? Is time travel possible? All of these questions and more are addressed every week in Futures, Nature's science-fiction column. Featuring short stories from established authors and those just beginning their writing career, Futures presents an eclectic view of what may come to pass. Here you can dive into the entire archive and discover what may be lurking around the corner. Prepare to be amazed, amused, stimulated and even outraged …"

Quick aside: Nature has been around as a scientific journal since 1869! If you're not subscribed yet, do yourself a favor and remedy that right now.

As for the status on those three occupations? Well, the closest I've come so far is requesting a concealed carry permit for my phaser and Augusta County has yet to respond. I guess, for now, I'll just have to be content with my entry into Nature Futures.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Dew of Heaven, Like Ashes

Does anyone have a short-story-to-novel-converter handy? Anyone?

I could use one. Or a secret formula.

Hard work and a planet-sized bucket of time, you say? Yeah. I know. You're right. You're all right. Anything less and no one would be fooled for a minute.

I have quite a few short stories I'd love to give the conversion treatment. My story, "The Dew of Heaven, Like Ashes," for example. It's currently enjoying the grand finale position in Flame Tree Publishing's Chilling Horror Short Stories, part of their Gothic Fantasy Series, but of all the tales I've crafted it's definitely causing me the most sleepless nights.



I included a good portion of the Table of Contents in a previous post but here is the entire kit and caboodle.

"Ecdysis" by Rebecca J. Allred
"The Damned Thing" by Ambrose Bierce
"Beyond the Wall" by Ambrose Bierce
"Mirror’s Keeper" by Michael Bondies
"The Watcher by the Threshold" by John Buchan
"The Dying Art" by Glen Damien Campbell
"The Yellow Sign" by Robert W. Chambers
"Breach by Justin Coates
"The Dead Smile" by F. Marion Crawford
"The Screaming Skull" by F. Marion Crawford
"The Child's Story" by Charles Dickens
"The Leather Funnel" by Arthur Conan Doyle
"In Search of a New Wilhelm" by John H. Dromey
"Leonora" by Elise Forier Edie
"A Game of Conquest" by David A. Elsensohn
"Thing in the Bucket" by Eric Esser
"The Murdered Cousin" by Sheridan Le Fanu
"The Grey Woman" by Elizabeth Gaskell
"Worth the Having by Michael Paul Gonzalez
"Extraneus Invokat by Ed Grabianowski
"The Three Strangers" by Thomas Hardy
"Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
"The Gateway of the Monster" by William Hope Hodgson
"The Challenge from Beyond" by Robert E. Howard, Frank Belknap Long, H.P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt and C.L. Moore
"The Man in the Ambry" by Gwendolyn Kiste
"Start with Color" by Bill Kte’pi
"The Rocking-Horse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence
"The Magnificat of Devils" by James Lecky
"The Dunwich Horror" by H. P. Lovecraft
"The Horla" by Guy de Maupassant
"The Woman of the Wood" by A. Merritt
"The Vampire" by Jan Neruda
"The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Premature Burial" by Edgar Allan Poe
"Trial and Error" by Frank Roger
"The Mortal Immortal" by Mary Shelley
"The Body Snatcher" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Dracula's Guest" by Bram Stoker
"Blessed Be the Bound" by Lucy Taylor
"Dead End" by Kristopher Triana
"Justified" by DJ Tyrer
"Afterward" by Edith Wharton
"Deep-sixed Without a Depth Gauge" by Andrew J. Wilson
"The Dew of Heaven, Like Ashes" by William R.D. Wood

In all, 480 pages of foiled, hardcover goodness, friends.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tales of the Talisman

David Lee Summers, editor of Tales of the Talisman, published "Shady Moons" in their July issue this year. Here's a look at the cover. 



And a look at that sweet table of contents for you folks who enjoy seeing a jam-packed issue of poetry and fiction.

Final Journey
Story by Stephen C. Ormsby
Illustration by Morland Gonsoulin

The Last Gypsies
Poem by Bruce Boston

Shady Moons
Story by William R. D. Wood
Illustration by Teresa Tunaley

A Brief History of Human Evolution
Poem by Gary Every

The Day the Electricals Ended
Story by K.S. Hardy
Illustration by Tom Kelly

Willicicle
Poem by Neal Wilgus

Chained Pearls
Poem by W. C. Roberts

Good Samaritans
Story by Mark Silcox
Illustration by Teresa Tunaley

Aggression: Deleted Genome Project
Poem by Lauren McBride

Thursday’s Child Has Far to Go
Story by Mark Anthony Brennan
Illustration by Tom Kelly

Dear Cthulhu
Column by Patrick Thomas

Crows
Story by Melinda Moore
Illustration by Laura Givens

The Cursed Land of Dreams
Poem by Livia Finucci

The Stones Next Door
Story by Linda Maye Adams
Illustration by Laura Givens

Passage Through a Shifting Past
Poem by Nicolo Santilli

A Trivial Case of Haunting
Story by Jeffery Scott Sims
Illustration by Jag Lall

Ooze Blues
Poem by Louise Webster

Just Another Indian Kid
Story by David B. Riley
Illustration by Neil T. Foster

Draystone's Secret Story by Simon Bleaken
Illustration by Kathy Ferrell

Spinning the Threads
Poem by K.S. Hardy

Finally Free
Story by Frances Silversmith
Illustration by Erika McGinnis

Night Life
Poem by William Corner Clarke

Dreams of the Docent
Story by Lee Clark Zumpe
Illustration by Tom Kelly

Under the Cancer Tree
Poem by Sandra Lindow

Angel Comfortings
Story by Douglas Empringham
Illustration by Paul Niemiec

Yellow, Orange, Red
Poem by Alessio Zanelli

Bound
Story by Timothy Bastek and Taylor Packer
Illustration by Kathy Ferrell

Fried Okra
Poem by Beth Cato

Metamorphos
Story by Kathryn Yelinek
Illustration by Teresa Tunaley

Echo Canyon
Poem by Neal Wilgus

We Call Them the Gods
Poem by Jason Sturner

The Sphinx & the Signet
Story by Courtney Floyd
Illustration by Paul Niemiec

Fairy Moon
Poem by John Hayes

Talisman Book Reviews
Reviews by Karissa B. Sluss, David Lee Summers,
and Neal Wilgus

Lastly, because I am such a sucker for cover art, a few of my favorite covers from the archives of Tales of the Talisman. Sadly, Mr. Summers placed the magazine in hypersleep about the same time that Volume 10, Issue 4 hit the shelves. We can only hope that he wakes it up soon!



 


Friday, August 14, 2015

Chilling Horror Short Stories

Re-posting the blog by Nick Wells from Flame Tree Publishing:
_______________________________________________

Fantasy & Gothic Blog

Chilling Horror Short Stories: Author Biogs
Posted by Nick Wells
Our forthcoming Gothic Fantasy anthologies feature an explosive mix of new and classic writers. We've released the list of new authors, and their stories, now here are the biographies of Chilling Horror Short Stories. Some are first time writers, others have had stories printed in magazines and story collections before. 



Rebecca J. AllredEcdysis (First Publication)
Rebecca lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, working by day as a doctor of pathology, but after-hours she transforms into a practitioner of macabre fiction, infecting readers with her malign prose. Her work has been featured on Hellnotes.com, Freeze Frame Fiction, Sirens Call eZine and Vignettes from the End of the World. When she isn’t busy rendering diagnoses or writing, Rebecca enjoys reading, drawing, laughing at RiffTrax, and spending time with her husband, Zach, and their kitty, Bug. You can keep up with Rebecca at diagnosisdiabolique.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @LadyHazmat.

Michael Bondies. Mirror’s Keeper. (Originally Published in Black Static, 2011)

Michael Bondies is a native of Dallas, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Colorado Denver music program. He has work appearing or forthcoming in several different venues including Bards and Sages Quarterly, Blood Moon Rising, Tales of the Undead: Suffer Eternal Anthology Volume III, and the anthology Little Stories for the Smallest Room. He currently lives on the West Coast, and when he’s not writing you will usually find him playing guitar. Visit him at: www.MichaelBondies.com.

Glen Damien CampbellThe Dying Art. (Originally Published in The Boneyard, 2014)

Glen Damien Campbell lives and works in London. His horror fiction has appeared in a variety of anthologies and magazines, including Something Wicked Vol. One, 100 Doors to Madness, Tales of the Undead: Suffer Eternal,Tales from the Blue Gonk Café and Miseria’s Chorale. Besides writing, his interests are music, painting and horror movies. For more information about Glen, or to read his jottings on various things horror and heavy-metal related, visit his blog at gdcampbell.wordpress.com.

Justin CoatesBreach. (First Publication)

Justin Coates is a citizen of Detroit, Michigan. His formative years of reading involved copious amounts of Lovecraft and King, and in recent years he has read every grim tale set in the ‘Warhammer: 40K’ universe he can get his hands on. A veteran with two tours in Afghanistan, Justin also draws on his combat experience when writing, and finds the process immensely useful in his spiritual recovery from war. This is his first publication, an opportunity for which he is extremely grateful. Take a look at Justin's blog here: www.justincoates.postagon.com

John H. DromeyIn Search of a New Wilhelm. (First Publication)

John H. Dromey was born in Northeast Missouri. He grew up on a farm, but likes the conveniences of city life. Once upon a time he had bylines for brief, humorous items (daffynitions, one-liners, light verse) in over 150 different newspapers and magazines, including Reader’s Digest and The Wall Street Journal. He’s had short fiction published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Black Denim Lit #7, Gumshoe Review, Stupefying Stories Showcase, and elsewhere, as well as in a number of anthologies.

Elise Forier EdieLeonora. (Originally Published in Penumbra Magazine, 2013)

Elise Forier Edie lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and two dogs. Her works of horror and speculative fiction have been published by Tartarus Press and World Weaver Press. Before becoming a fiction writer, Elise worked for many years as a playwright, and still continues to work in the theatre as an actress and director. Her first novella, a paranormal romance called The Devil in Midwinter, was released in April 2014. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Authors Guild.

David A. Elsensohn. A Game of Conquest. (Originally Published with Ether Books App, 2011)

David Elsensohn is usually busy being distracted by such language-coaxers as Tolkien, Howard, Leiber, Gaiman and Lovecraft, or by well-crafted batches of single malt whisky. He has works published in the Northridge Review, Crack the Spine, The Golden Key, Kazka Press’s California Cantata, Grim Corps II, and Literary Underground’s Unearthed Anthology. A native of Los Angeles, he lives with an inspirational wife and a curmudgeonly black cat.

Eric Esser. Thing in the Bucket. (Originally Published in Fictionvale, 2013)

Eric Esser lives and writes in San Francisco with his love Courtney and the ghost of their black cat Mina. When he was small he used to wander the perimeter of his elementary school soccer field every recess imagining stories set in other worlds, and for some reason no one made fun of him for it. He suspects they discussed him secretly. He is a graduate of the 2012 Clarion Writers Workshop. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Schoolbooks and Sorcery, Pseudopod, and the Awkward Robots anthology series. Visit him at ericesser.net or follow him on Twitter (@ericdesser).

Michael Paul Gonzalez. Worth the Having. (Originally Published in Halloween Tales, Omnium Gatherum Books, 2014)

Michael Paul Gonzalez is the author of the novels Angel Falls and Miss Massacre’s Guide to Murder and Vengeance. A member of the Horror Writer’s Association, his short stories have appeared in print and online, including theBooked podcast anthology, FCJR, HeavyMetal.com, and the Appalachian Undead anthology. He resides in Los Angeles, a place full of wonders and monsters far stranger than any that live in the imagination. You can visit him online at MichaelPaulGonzalez.com

Ed GrabianowskiExtraneus Invokat. (Originally Published in Black Static, 2011)

Ed Grabianowski’s stories have appeared in Black Static, the Geek Love anthology, and David Wellington’s Fear Project. You’ll find his non-fiction work at sites like io9 and HowStuffWorks. His influences include pulp horror and sword & sorcery like H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard and C.L. Moore, The Twilight Zone and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. A native of Buffalo, New York, Ed likes zombies, welding, dogs and pizza.

Gwendolyn KisteThe Man in the Ambry. (Originally Published in Typehouse Literary Magazine, 2015)

With parents who married on Halloween and read her Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe stories long before she started kindergarten, Gwendolyn Kiste considers horror, fantasy, and all things strange to be her birthright. Her speculative fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in LampLightSanitarium Magazine, and Nightmare among other outlets. An Ohio native, she currently resides on an abandoned horse farm in Pennsylvania. You can find her online at  www.gwendolynkiste.com and on Twitter @GwendolynKiste.

Bill Kte’piStart with Colour. (Originally Published in Strange Horizons, 2003)

Bill Kte’pi is the author of two horror novels, Low Country and Frankie Teardrop, the latter of which was published in 2015 by Fey Publishing. He has been publishing short stories for 25 years, with links to available online work at ktepi.comStart With Color shares a setting with The Minotaur, originally published in Strange Horizons. Bill and his girlfriend live in New England and are planning a move to the Southern U.S.

James Lecky. The Magnificat of Devils. (Originally Published in Oktobyr, 1997)

James Lecky is a writer, actor and (occasional) stand-up comedian from Derry, N. Ireland. His short fiction has appeared in a number of publications both in print and online including Beneath Ceaseless SkiesHeroic Fantasy Quarterly,The Phantom Queen AwakesArcaneJupiter SF and Emerald Eye: The Best Irish Imaginative Fiction. His influences are many and varied including (but not limited to) Clark Ashton Smith, Jack Vance, Philip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard and Lord Dunsany.

Frank RogerTrial and Error. (Originally Published in Portulaan, 2013)

Frank Roger was born in 1957 in Ghent, Belgium. His first story appeared in 1975. He now  has a few hundred short stories to his credit, published in more than 40 languages. In 2012 a story collection in English (The Burning Woman and Other Stories) was published in Ireland by Evertype (www.evertype.com). Apart from fiction, he also produces collages and graphic work in a surrealist and satirical tradition. They have appeared in various magazines and books. Find out more at www.frankroger.be .

Lucy TaylorBlessed Be the Bound. (Originally Published in Guignoir, 1991)

Lucy Taylor is the Stoker-winning author of The Safety of Unknown Cities,SpreeUnnatural Acts and Other Stories and eleven other horror/suspense novels and collections. Her most recent work includes the short story collection Fatal Journeys and the novelette A Respite for the Dead. Upcoming publications include the short story In the Cave of the Delicate Singers (Tor.com; August 2015), Wingless Beasts (‘Best Horror of the Year #7’; Night Shade Books), and Moth Frenzy (‘Peeling Back the Skin’; Grey Matter Press). She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico: a land full of mystery, romance, and the macabre. Visit her website at: www.lucytaylor.us.

Kristopher TrianaDead End. (First Publication)

Kristopher Triana is an American author of southern gothic, horror, western and crime fiction. He is the author of Growing Dark and he has two new novels, The Ruin Season and Body Art, which will both be released in 2016. His short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including D.O.A. IIThe Ghost is the Machine, Spinetingler MagazineZombie Jesus and Other True Stories, and Halloween Forevermore. In addition, some of his work has also been translated into Russian. He works as a professional dog trainer and lives in North Carolina with his wife.

D.J. Tyrer. Justified. (Originally Published in Surreal Grotesque, 2013)

DJ Tyrer lives in Southend-on-Sea, and is the person behind Atlantean Publishing. He has been published in anthologies and magazines in the UK, USA and elsewhere, including 

Andrew J. WilsonDeep-sixed Without a Depth Gauge. (Originally Published with Ghostwriter Publications, 2009)

Andrew J. Wilson lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two sons. His short stories, poetry and journalism have appeared all over the world, sometimes in the most unlikely places. The Terminal Zone, his play about Rod Serling, has been performed several times, and was restaged under his direction at the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention in London. With Neil Williamson he co-edited Nova Scotia: New Scottish Speculative Fiction, a critically acclaimed original anthology that was nominated for a World Fantasy Award.

William R.D. WoodThe Dew of Heaven, Like Ashes. (Originally Published in Tomorrow: Apocalyptic Short Stories, Kayelle Press, 2013)

William R.D. Wood lives with his wife and children in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in an old farmhouse turned backwards to the road. He enjoys exploring this world and creating new ones of his own. His work has appeared in Omni Reboot, the Lovecraft eZine and in titles from Emby Press, Morpheus Press and Apokrupha. Far, far too much greatness exists in the realms of speculative fiction to pick favorite influences, but William’s ideal would be to write Lovecraftian fiction like Stephen King in an Arthur C. Clarke universe interpreted by H. R. Giger. Check out www.williamRDwood.com for more.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Scares That Care 2



Scares That Care Weekend 2 drew to a close Sunday evening in beautiful (and slightly toasty) Williamsburg, Virginia this weekend. I spent my Saturday and Sunday gracing (okay, maybe infesting) the HWA table. There's something about being around folks who share a love for all things horror that brings out the best in all of us. Truly.

Below are some pictures that I've heisted from various locations in the interest of promoting the cause and sharing my mug alongside some faces I've known forever but never had the pleasure to meet. And a few I met last year at the inaugural voyage of Scares That Care Williamsburg.

Talking to folks is always the highlight for me. Everyone from authors to actors to movie makers to craftspeople, ranging from newbies to seasoned pros.

I was completely new to the con scene last year, but as near as I could tell this year was a lot more successful than 2014 so I think we can expect a Scares That Care Weekend 3 in 2016 and if it comes I'll be there!

Thanks to Mr. Joe Ripple for all of his hard work in making this happen, the HWA for their sponsorship of the HWA Virginia table and to Dee Southerland, David Alexander and Pamela Kinney for putting up with my incessant rambling.


The place was hopping!


Me with Pamela Kinney at the HWA table


No one rocks a kilt like Jacob Haddon


Mr. D. Alexander Ward and some guy that looks like that William R.D. Wood fellow


The lovely me, the lovely and talented Kara, and the oh, so talented Mr. Ronald Malfi


Tim Waggoner standing next to the guy with only one facial expression


Brian Keene in one of the rare moments when my expression was actually different, unfortunately, in this case, not better


Jonathan Janz, ladies and gentlemen!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

1st and Starlight

How about that cover, folks? I'm a sucker for good art. Always have been.

1st and Starlight collects stories from fourteen Writers of the Future finalists, some of whom went on to the collect wins in their respective quarters.

My story, "Shepherd of the Spheres," explores matters of faith on a lonely space station in orbit around Jupiter. In the accompanying author's notes/essay I talk a little about the making of the story and the terror I face every time I ask the question "Are We Ready?"

1st and Starlight's stellar table of contents reads:

"Catch a Fallen Star" by Jennifer Campbell Hicks
"Shoeless" by Fi Mitchell
"Life Out of Harmony" by Rebecca Birch
"The Minder's Bond" by Kary English
"The Artist Fades Away" by Holly Heisey
"Guardians of Public Safety" by Julie Frost
"Shepherd of the Spheres" by William R.D. Wood
"The Witch's Curse" by Robert R. Finegold, M.D.
"The Factory Amidst the Stars" by Dustin Adams
"The Recycle of Life" by Frank Dutkiewicz
"Twisted Electricity" by Sean Monaghan
"The Skin Script" by Stephanie Lorée
"| Absolute Zero |" by Scott R. Parkin
"Watch Over Me Always" by Sky McKinnon

And a special, special thanks to Sky Mckinnon who served tirelessly as our fearless editor. Or was that fearlessly as our tireless editor? Regardless, thanks for making us look so good, Sky!

And one more look at the cover. Yeah. That's good stuff.

So, great stories, great art. That makes this one book you can judge by its cover.

Oh, and for clarity's sake, this project is not affiliated with the Writers of the Future contest.  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Science Fiction for Middle Grade Readers

If you haven't seen it yet, see it now. If you haven't bought it for your middle grade reader, hey, you can do that now too. You'll be glad you did and so will they.

Here's the cover in all of its delightful artsy-ness.

























And here's the publisher's description from our buddies at Amazon:

Book Description

Publication Date: January 3, 2015 Age Level: 9 - 15

Parents are saying: 

"I just wanted to let you know that I received my print copy last night. I backed the book for my 6 year old daughter. My expectation was that we would need to hold on to it for a few years. I had to pry it out of her hands to get her to go to bed. The going is a bit slow, in part because the stories are the most advanced she has read, but in part because she is so excited she has to stop regularly to explain to me what is going on in the story. She has declared it her favorite book." Gary D.

"My daughter is on the couch presently, reading her copy, which I handed to her approximately 3 minutes ago. She is engrossed. Thank you. :)" Matthew McFarland

24 science fiction short stories for the middle grade reader from Hugo and Nebula winning authors as well as newer writers.

It’s time for a bigger universe.

Sally Ride, first American woman in space and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, famously said: “Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.”

Girls need to read stories where any number of possible roles are modeled for them. Just as importantly, boys need to read stories where girls are active participants in adventures. And children of all colors and backgrounds need to know the future includes them.

"When I was a child, the school library had a Girls' Section, which included fairy tales, and a Boys' Section, which included all the science fiction. Things have changed, of course, but not enough. There is a strong need for science fiction, as opposed to fantasy, aimed at girls, especially in the middle grades. This anthology is an important contribution to the effort to fill that need, and I'm delighted to be a part of it."

~ Nancy Kress, winner of five Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award

Authors in the anthology are:

Marilag Angway
Deanna Baran
Mike Barretta
Eric Del Carlo
Salena Casha
Brigid Collins
Ron Collins
Cory Cone
C.J. Daring
Evan Dicken
Anne E. Johnson
Amy Griswold
Jeanne Kramer-Smyth
Nancy Kress
Wendy Lambert
Vanessa MacLellan
Phoebe North
Angela Penrose
Douglas Smith
Eric James Stone
Sonja Thomas
Deborah Walker
Jeannie Warner
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro


Monday, January 26, 2015

Downfracking the Mandelbrot





Depending on when you checked out "Downfracking the Mandelbrot" at Omni Reboot, you might have wondered why the story seemed to end in the middle. Or not actually end at all. Well, there was indeed a little glitch in those hallowed halls which has been tracked down, trapped, and released in the wild where it can do no further harm.

"Downfracking the Mandelbrot" is now complete and ready for viewing and commenting (hint hint nudge nudge). Do drop in and check it out along with all of the other awesomeness available at Omni Reboot.

Here's a sample:

Ben trudged down the dimly lit street of their El Paso. Their low-res, squeaky-clean, downfractal El Paso. The air was cold and fresh with a hint of ozone. That much was nice. He recognized the neighborhood from the basic outline of the buildings against the reddening evening sky and could almost imagine this was the same city he'd grown up in. He'd have been about ten or twelve when his El Paso had looked like this.

Behind him, the amber spike of light on the horizon at their entry point into this reality was a testament to that. They were here for a reason, same as always. It wasn't personal.

The silhouette of a man rushed toward him from an alley, a metal pipe glinting in one hand, but stumbled a few paces away and stopped.

Ben and the two other men in his team continued their trek down the street, faces covered by the mirrored visors of their combat helmets and heads positioned as if they hadn't noticed the man at all. 

Ben casually slid his hand back from the sling he wore across his shoulder like a bandolier. The Louisville Slugger hanging from it was the same one his father had swung game after game playing with the Diablo's at the old Cohen Stadium when Ben had been a kid. Now the bat was hollowed out and held a military grade stunner. If the locals got out of line, and the stunner function didn't work, he could always crack the living dog shit out of them. The tiny pistol grip versions supplied by Command were useless if their power cells failed.

Ben heard either Graham or Koch—probably Graham being the near-insufferable newb that he was—grip his R1MA assault weapon just a little more tightly. He wanted to tell the kid to relax a little but speaking right now might help the downie regain his focus.

...


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