Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BASTION Science Fiction Magazine

I'm happy to report R. Leigh Hennig and the fine folks at Bastion Science Fiction Magazine will be running a story of mine in their October 2014 issue!

It's an excellent magazine and you really should check it out. Why? Well, it's excellent. I thought I said that.

Being a bit of a cover art junkie, I just love their covers. Take a peek at issues 1 - 7.

Beautiful. Especially Issues 3 and 7. Those are my personal faves.



April

"The Dreamcatcher", by M. Justine Gerard
"The Last Repairman", by David Austin
"Shale", by David Jack Sorensen
"The Crystal Forest", by Kurt Heinrich Hyatt
"That World Up There", by Kurt Bachard
"Shock", by Samuel Marzioli
"The Dead Channel", by David Galef
"Lighthouse to the Depths", by Nicholas Mazmanian



May

"Moving Past Legs", by Jamie Lackey
"The Endless Flickering Night", Gary Emmette Chandler
"Worried About", by Brandon McNulty
"Vines", by G. J. Brown
"A Considerate Invasion", by Mark Patrick Lynch
"A Rather Different Sort of F-Bomb", by Marty Bonus
"Zombie Limbo Master", by Rosemary Claire Smith
"Nigh", by Eric Del Carlo
"Wruyian Sands", by Jessica Payseur 


June

"Two Gentlemen" by Kurt Bachard
"Past Imperfect" by Dominic Dulley
"The Tree" by Benjamin Sperduto
"Miracle of Asteroid Camp 88" by Michael Andre-Driussi
"Bartleby, the Robot Killer: A Story of Difference Street" by Alex Livingston
"Compile Sensory Information and Extrapolate" by Jenna Bilbrey
"The Broken Places" by Melanie Marttila 


July

"Abandoned", by Hannah Goodwin
"Degausser", Axel Taiari
"Forever Lights", by Peter Medeiros
"Red Rubber Nose", by Robert Quinlivan
"Remember Prometheus", by Eleanor R. Wood
"The Maltese Pterodactyl", by George S. Walker
"The Properties of Water", by Alex Hernandez 



August

“The Skip” by Clint Spivey
“Zip” by Emma Osborne
“Going Solo on a Goldilocks” by Mary Alexandra Agner
“The Cure” by William Delman
“That Place Betwen Déjà vu and a Memory” by J. Daniel Batt
“Mirror of Stars” by Frank Smith
“Nestmaker” by Jared W. Cooper
“Sanctuary Farm” by Garrick Fincham



September

“Death Wears Yellow” by J.C. Davis
“The Custody of Memory” by Paul Hamilton
“Debugging the Ghosts” by Damien Krsteski
“The Last Lawsuit” by Maggie Clark
“The Long, Slow War” by Stephanie Herman
“The Loop” by James Hart
“Pancakes” by John Herman

Friday, August 1, 2014

Omni Reboot


When Omni hit the shelves in 1978 I was not a magazine reader. I'll give you that I was only a kid, so magazines were not exactly at the top of my reading list alongside the assorted comics, occasional issue of Eerie and my completely accidental exposure to Heavy Metal. What a ride that was, but that's a story for another day. The only magazines I'd been exposed to at that time, and came close to taking a liking to, were the copies of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics that the barber shop would have while I was waiting on a haircut. Every now and again, Bobby, the barber, would tell me to take one with me. I'd check out the pictures mostly and read an occasional article but none that made a lasting impression on me. 

And then there was Omni. A single word did not go unread. What flipped the switch for me?

Was it the artwork? That amazing blend of surreal and hard science? Sometimes risque, sometimes bizarre and always provocative to those long superseded and impressionable young synapses.


The fiction was amazing. My first exposure to a number of authors I now consider my favorites. Arthur C. Clarke, Ben Bova, Fritz Leiber, George R.R. Martin, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, Joe Haldeman, Orson Scott Card, Philip K. Dick, Robert Sheckley, Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, Theodore Sturgeon, Ursula K. LeGuin and William Gibson.

And the ideas and visions of the future. Everything from concept cars to space elevators. Hmm. Although the space elevator might have just been part of an artwork spread. And again, the artwork. I connect stories with vivid imagery when I'm reading, when I'm writing. I still remember how disappointed I was when the novelization of Heinlein's Number of the Beast didn't carry the same style of artwork that accompanied the teaser excerpt from Omni. The humanity!

Sigh. Good memories. Many late nights reading through each and every word.

My collection is long gone after many moves while in the Navy and since, but browsing through Google's instant archive of cover images, I remember almost every one.

And now, thanks to Jeremy Frommer, editor Claire L. Evans, and a host of others my work will be appearing online under Omni's new mantle, namely, Omni Reboot!

Life is good.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Photo Prompts


I've mentioned Photoshop before. It's a great program even in its older incarnations like mine which is rumored to have been discovered in a certain cave west of the Dead Sea in 1948. I spend more than a little time adjusting, tweaking, and downright screwing with images. The images I create are either interpretations of stories I'm working on or serve as inspiration for stories yet to come. It's a great way for me to get my creative energies going.

In and out of the internet there's never a shortage of good photo prompts. If you take a moment to look around, you can't help but trip over a good one, sometimes literally. Occasionally, though, one catches my eye and the inspiration strikes. Hell, if you want to hook me into an anthology or magazine, an intriguing cover will do it every time.


Writer's Digest puts out a photo prompt every couple of months under their Your Story Competition banner. When this one came up I was tempted without even looking at the word count but then I saw 25 words or fewer and I was all but reeled in already.

My humble entry took third place and you can see the top ten entries here and in the July/August 2014 issue.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Scares That Care


The Scares That Care Weekend Convention is a horror convention designed to delight horror fans while benefiting those in need. “Scares That Care!” is an IRS approved, 501(c)(3) charitable organization, designed to bring together the fans of “all things spooky.” Whether it’s haunted houses, paranormal, horror films, or anything else in the “vein” of the horror genre, “Scares That Care!” brings together those individuals in order to give back to the families that need it most…and in turn, become “Good Ambassadors of Horror.”

The difference between our convention and the other, fantastic shows that are out there, is simple. All of our proceeds will go to the families that need our assistance. We pride ourselves in being an organization that has no salaries, and no paychecks. We do this because it’s the right thing to do, and we want to represent the Horror community in the best light possible.


That's what Joe Ripple had to say about the Scares That Care Weekend on the website devoted to the event. I was fortunate enough to be invited to sit at the table for the Horror Writers Association's newborn VA Chapter. Not hiding behind my laptop in my super-secret skycave was a little out of my comfort zone, but after meeting and talking with all the folks that happened by our table, I'm thinking its time to go shopping for a new comfort zone. 

I'd never been to a con before so this was an awesome experience for me.

A few highlights for me:

1) Manning the HWA table with Dee Southerland (unstoppable force behind the HWA's VA Chapter)

2) Talking with fellow HWA member D. Alexander Ward about all things writing.

3) Meeting Jacob Haddon of Apokrupha and editor of Vignettes From the End of the World.

4) Reminding Matthew Warner that we've met before. A couple of times. I really need to do something memorable next time.

And even though I didn't get a chance to meet any of them, being within arms length of:

5) Yaphet Kotto, Parker from Alien.

6) Sid Haig from House of a 1000 Corpses. My first memory of Mr. Haig was playing the bad guy on Jason of Star Command! That kinda dates me but its worth it. Drago rules.

7) Chris Sarandon from Fright Night and The Princess Bride.

8) Amanda Bearse from Fright Night and, of course, Married with Children.

9) Bill Atherton from Ghostbusters and a metric ton of other things.

10) And Elivra herself, Cassandra Peterson. Wow, just wow.

The last word I heard was uncertain on whether or not we can expect a Scares That Care Weekend 2015, but if there is one (and I certainly hope there will be!), I'll be one of the first to block off that weekend on the family calendar, book a room, and drag the family kicking and screaming when the times comes. They say they don't like the kicking and screaming part, but deep down, I know they really do.

Siphon

Grooovy!

William R.D. Wood and Delona Southerland

For anyone who wants to know, this is who we called.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Phobos Magazine Issue Two: Emergence



Phobos Magazine, Philadelphia's semi-annual magazine of weird fiction, has just released it's second issue! Issue Two: Emergence contains my story, "Moonspots," I'm proud to say. You'll find some excellent stories all hunted down and corralled in these pages by editors Robert Corry, Luke St. Germaine, and Adam Halterman.

Phobos Magazine is pleased to present our second issue, "Emergence," which features thirteen short pieces about transformation, skin-shedding, things coming together, bursting forth, surfacing from the depths, and emerging from the darkness for good or ill. These short stories, flash fictions, and poetic works of weird fiction are by an international cast of both new and established talent.
--Amazon blurb

Authors include:


The Last Deduction, by A.E. Decker 
Angels, by K.C. Norton
Dream of Alligators, by Jerard Fagerberg
Hail Khepera in Thy Boat, by Elizabeth Twist
Tybault the Resurrectionist, by Luke St. Germaine
Nightmares, by Arthur St. Germaine
Under Two Moons, by Jonathan Shipley
The Wedding Party, by Joel A. Nichols
Carnival Country, by Daniel Nathan Horn
Blackhearted Son, by George Cotronis
Last Routine at the End of the World, by Ian Hunter
The Work Party, by E.E. King
River Path, by Tina Crone


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Den's Used Caskets


Sky Warrior Books will be releasing an anthology of vampire fiction later this year containing my story "Den's Used Caskets."


In all fairness, I'm not much of vampire guy. In fact, I wasn't much of a vampire guy before it was cool to be not much of vampire guy. That assertion not withstanding, one of my favorite stories is "Adaptive Strategies." In that one, the vamps are played by my interpretation of the Indian asrapa. Beautiful and graceful. And anything but human. That non-sparkly, non-angsty view of vampires is what attracted me to this anthology.

The submission call for These Vampires Don’t Sparkle – A Vampire Anthology read as follows.

"At Sky Warrior Books, we’re not above…well, anything. Hence, we love Vampires – but NOT the sparkly kind. We’re betting you love vampires too. So, send us your best work on vampires, original or reprint (must have the rights), of stories 500 to 7000 words in length. Can be fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Sure, we’ll take standard horror and dark fantasy, but you can be creative. vampires in space, vampire critters, vampire love stories (uh, no erotica or sparkles), fantasy vampires, steampunk vampires, vampire humor (a strong plus), vampires on stakes…well, you get the idea."

"Den's Used Caskets" takes a more traditional approach to vampires and I hope readers find it a lot of fun.

The Table of Contents will appear something like this.

Vampiric Fluff by Rhonda Parrish
The Hall of the Cavern King by Alexis Glynn Latner
Customer Service by Katherine Tomlinson
Luftgeist by David Lee Summers
A Novel Love by Steve Alguire
Pixie Dust by James Pratt
To Catch a Glimpse by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
Two Fangs by Jonathan D Nichols
Charlie Makes His Way by Peggy McFarland
Saving Grace by Lillian Csernica
The Longest Night by Cynthia Ward
Crosses by David B Riley
Night Work if You Can Get It by Jeff Baker
Solutions by Bear Weiter
Origins by Rie Sheridan Rose
Little Brother by Evan Purcell
And Thus Returning by Lyn McConchie
Truck Driving Women by Trudy Myers
Drac's Diet by John Lance
Outcast by Chris Barili
Desperate Sparkles by Guy Anthony De Marco
From Family Blood is Born by Dana Bell
Avalon Knocking by Vic Kerry
Safe Haven by Jonathan Shipley
Den's Used Caskets by William RD Wood
Kids These Days by Mac Jones
Mountains of Hope and Dreaming by Chris Wong Sick Hong

Monday, April 28, 2014

Vignettes from the End of the World


The End of the World arrived two days ago.

Yep, friends, it's all over. That comfy little garden of bus passes and cellphones and digital watches (primitive, true, but still a pretty neat idea) is over dude and dudess. Done. Spent. Belly up. Pau hana. 

Luckily, if you missed it, your can relive the world's final moments over and over at your leisure in an assortment of flavors, one sure to suit your fancy. Not that it really matters because the next stop is the Hereafter. Heaven. Valhalla. The Other Side. Sto-Vo-Kor. 

You get the idea.

Check out the buying options below, get yourself a copy, and bask in the Vignettes from the End of the World. The end only comes around 58 times, so make the best of them.

Through the publisher:

http://apokrupha.com/vignettes

From Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/432279

And CreateSpace:

https://www.createspace.com/4728458

And its not a book if you can't get it from Amazon:

kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JXMQAH8
print: http://amzn.com/1497431182

And that killer table of contents one more time:

Christine Morga, Essel Pratt, Cameron Suey, T. Fox Dunham, Guy Anthony De Marco, Mandy DeGeit, Jessica McHugh, Kristopher Kelly, E. Catherine Tobler, Jamie Lackey, George Cotronis, William R.D. Wood, Lee Clark Zumpe, Lincoln Crisler, Eryk Pruitt, Michael H. Antonio, Kallirroe Agelopoulou, Steve Calvert, Rebecca J. Allred, Darcie Little Badger, Erik B. Scott, Terry M. West, Glenn Rolfe, Josh Strnad, J.A. Martin, Darryl Dawson, DJ Tyrer, Joana Eça de Queiroz, Lex T. Lindsay, Arno Hurter, Cameron Shifflet, J.P. Freeman, Marie DesJardin, Dusty Wallace, Doug Murano, Ken MacGregor, Victoria Dalpe, Kelda Crich, Pedro Iniguez, Joey Capora, S.R. Mastrantone, Damir Salkovic, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, Jason Sharp, Leslianne Wilder, Jennifer Loring, Bryce Hughes, L.C. Mortimer, Rebecca Barbee, E. E. King, David Turnbull, Richard Thomas, Rose Blackthorn, K.Z. Morano, Adrian Ludens, Kenneth W. Cain, Michael Haynes, Michael Penkas.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Alternate History 101

All of us wonder what our lives would be like if we'd made one decision instead of another. If we'd asked Jenny to the prom instead of Christine. If we'd chosen Army instead of Navy. College instead of North Sea gunrunning. Steak instead of chicken.

Running what-ifs through through an imaginative mind can change your whole world, literally. And those are just the changes on the level of a few lives. Suppose large-scale historical events played out a little differently. Suppose they played out very differently. Now, those changes could blossom out and change your hometown, your home state, your whole country. Even the world. Hell, maybe all of human history. Doesn't that sound like fun?

A lot of authors sure think so, this one included. Few are the wordsmiths that don't dabble along alternate timelines in one form or another. Countless movies, novels and short stories have explored this theme and there are some great examples of each. Fatherland and Cast a Deadly Spell come to mind for cinema, the latter tossing magic into the mix.

In the prose world, Harry Turtledove is just about untouchable. His Worldwar series is one of my favorites.

I played on that playground once or twice myself. Most recently in the Altered America anthology from Martinus Press, released in late March. Editor Martin T. Ingham included my story, "Goodbye, Norma Jean," along with twenty others - full Table of Contents below.

Gotta go. Phone's ringing. Caller ID says its that guy from North Sea Importers again. Why does he keep calling me?



Rio Grande by Jackson Kuhl
We the People by Dan Gainor
A Single Decision by Bruno Lombardi
What If... The Louisiana Purchase Never Happened by Edmund Wells
The Orthogonian by Sam Kepfield
Revolution 1865 by Brad Hafford
Ship of Souls by Erik Bundy
End of the Rainbow by Dusty Wallace
The Loyalist Washington by Owen Morgan
Guns of the Green Mountains by Ryan McCall
The Shining Path by Jason Sharp
The Union Forever by Sean Menken
Goodbye, Norma Jean by William R.D. Wood
Wild Blue by Jeff Provine
Avoid Seeing a Mouse by James S. Dorr
Thomas Edison Visits Selwood by Martin T. Ingham
Divided States of America by Lauren A. Forry
A Girl’s Best Friend by Cyrus P. Underwood
The Lights on Broadway by Charles Wilcox
The Black Blizzard by Philip Overby
The Road Was Lit With Moon and Star by Bruno Lombardi

Monday, April 7, 2014

Coming Soon to an Apocalypse Near You!

Vignettes from the End of the World.

58 tales soon to be released from their restraints by Jacob Haddon of Apokrupha. Warning: these tales are not to be trifled with. They're a little ticked off and they mean business. If you have any doubts about whether you're ready for them...okay, who am I kidding here?

Check this book out as soon as possible.

It might be your only chance at survival. Forewarned is forearmed.


And, as listed on the cover, you can find the darkest imaginings of:

Adrian Ludens
Arno Hurter
Bryce Hughes
Cameron Shifflet
Cameron Suey
Christine Morgan
D.J. Tyler
Damir Salkovic
Darcie Little Badger
Darryl Dawson
David Turnbull
Doug Murano
Dusty Wallace
E. Catherine Tobler
E. E. King
Erik B. Scott
Eryk Pruitt
Essel Pratt
George Cotronis
Glenn Rolfe
J. A. Martin
J. P. Freeman
Jamie Lackey
Jason Sharp
Jessica McHugh
Joana Eca de Queiroz
Kallirroe Agelopoulou
Ken MacGregor
Kristopher Kelly
L. C. Mortimer
Lex T. Lindsay
Lincoln Crisler
Mandy DeGeit
Marie DesJardin
Matilda Finkelbunker
Michael H. Antonio
Michael Haynes
Michael Penkas
Pedro Iniguez
Rebecca Barbee
Rebecca J. Allred
Richard Thomas
Rose Blackthorn
S. R. Mastrantone
Steve Calvert
Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
T. Joseph Dunham
Terry M. West
Victoria Dalpe

Friday, March 28, 2014

Emerald City Comicon



There are about a hundred reasons to wish I were at Emerald City Comicon this year. Okay, that's not true. Make it a thousand.

Still, the one reason that's nearest and dearest to my heart this year is the debut of the Book of the Emissaries.


Kevin J. Anderson, David Farland, Cat Rambo, and Nick Mamatas will even be on a panel discussing that very book. Hopefully someone legally and lawfully records that event and posts it for those of us unable to attend. I'd surely love to hear that discussion.

The description from the site (a bit redundant) reads:

"Award-winning authors Kevin J. Anderson (Jedi Academy), David Farland (The Mummy Chronicles), Cat Rambo (A Seed Upon the Wind) and Nick Mamatas (Haunted Legends) talk about writing a world-building anthology for aboriginal fantasy TV series: Animism."

After a quick peek at the guest list, it's probably for the best I'm not going. In addition to these fine folks there are a ton of celebrity types I'd spend all weekend (and all bank account) in line to see.

A few irresistible highlights for me personally would have been:

Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Biehn, John de Lancie, Michael Dorn, Eliza Dushku, Karen Gillan, Nichelle Nichols, Ron Perlman, Dwight Schultz, and Peter Steigerwald. Hmm. Looks like that list is just a tad Trek heavy. Weird.

Sooner or later I'm going to have to make it to a con.