Spring Into SciFi 2020 Reviewed!

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Cover at for “Spring Into SciFi 2020”

Spring Into SciFi: 2020 Edition just got its first review, but not on Amazon. Cheyanne A. Lepka reviewed the anthology on her personal blog five days ago (as I write this), giving it a four out of five star (which is pretty good).

Read the full review HERE.

The review calls out four of the contributing authors: Gary Wosk, Charles Venable, Elizabeth Houseman, and James Pyles (me).

She also included links to all the author bios on the “Cloaked Press” website. Here’s what mine looks like.

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Science Fiction Anthology “Spring Into SciFi” Available Friday, April 3rd!

Finished cover art for the Cloaked Press anthology “Spring Into SciFi 2020”

I just found out that not only is the Cloaked Press anthology “Spring Into SciFi 2020” available on Amazon for pre-order, but it will be delivered to your kindle device on April 3, 2020. That’s this coming Friday, folks.

The book features my science fiction short story “The Colonists,” which I’m absolutely thrilled about. This is a concept and a universe I’ve wanted to get out to readers for quite some time now, and I’m hoping SciFi fans will really enjoy it.

Previously, I mentioned that I would make free advanced digital (epub or MOBI) copies of the anthology available to anyone who requested one, as long as they agreed to write an Amazon review. So far, I’ve had no takers (which is surprising because, hey, free book).

The offer still stands. Contact me if you are interested. I’m extending the offer for another week, until Sunday, April 5, 2020 (which also happens to be First Contact Day), two days after the book becomes available for direct sale.

Here’s an excerpt I haven’t put online before:

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Video Promotion of the “Sol” Planetary Anthology

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Screen capture from the Sol planetary anthology promotional video

As with the Mars planetary anthology, the Sol planetary anthology now has its own promotional video.

“Sol” features my science fiction short story “The Pleiades Dilemma,” the tale of an interstellar interloper into our solar system that not only seems piloted, but is on a direct course for our Sun. The question is, will this probe save humanity or destroy it?

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Review of the Zombie Pirate Publishing Fantasy Anthology “Witches vs. Wizards”

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Cover art for the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology “Witches vs. Wizards”

I just finished Zombie Pirate Publishing‘s 2018 anthology WITCHES VS WIZARDS: A Fantasy Anthology, and I must say I was exceptionally impressed. Typically, indie anthologies are a mix of terrific, good, and okay stories, with one or two stinkers, but this one surprised me.

I can’t say I found a story I didn’t like. A few of them were on themes I don’t naturally resonate with, but in each and every case, the writing was solid, and they all had an interesting, if not always unique take on the world of magic.

Derek Paterson’s “The House of Magus” was a compelling tale that could have come out of the pages of a Robert E. Howard “Conan” short story, although with more thought and a bit less bashing.

Adam Bennett’s “The Apprentice” was somewhat predictable, at least at the end, but getting there was half the fun. I had hoped for a happier ending for the hapless protagonist, but sometimes that’s not how magic and quest to slay witches works out.

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Excerpt from My Untitled WIP Novella

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Novaraptor – image found at multiple sources

I’ve been doing a lot of writing on my two days off, and as of today, submitted two pieces to different anthologies. My WIP (one of them) right now is a Novella between 20,000 and 40,000 words long. I’m in Heaven, well, sort of. I’m around the 13,600 mark for the first draft and hoping I can tell a story that makes sense. My normal tale is anywhere between 3,000 and 7,500 words in length.

Decided that since I’ve been posting mainly book reviews and self promotional stuff lately, and too little of my actual writing, that I’d share this Novella length WIP, well, a small part of it. Keep in mind, you’re coming in late in the game, so a lot of the character and situational details have already been covered.

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Review of “Forgotten Ones: Drabbles of Myth and Legend”

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Cover art for the Eerie River Publishing anthology “Forgotten Ones”

I’ve been downloading a lot of digital books that are being offered cost free as promotions lately. It’s a great way to read new material and it’s easy on my meager budget, especially since the libraries have closed (sounds dystopian, doesn’t it?).

Somewhere on Facebook (probably), I found a link to the Eerie River Publishing anthology Forgotten Ones: Drabbles of Myth and Legend. Although I’ve written a drabble or two in my time, and have had them published in various anthologies, I’ve never read a drabble anthology cover to cover.

I guess the concept never really appealed to me (ducks as objects by drabble authors are thrown at my head).

And that was how I started reading “Forgotten Ones”. I quickly picked up on each author’s source material in mythology and theology, but they just didn’t seem to float my boat. At heart, I’m a short story to novella writer. I thrive on character development, painting a scene with broad strokes, and then highlighting it with subtle pens and pencils. A 100-word drabble just doesn’t allow for that.

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Video Promotion of the “Mars” Planetary Anthology

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Screen capture from twitter

As it turns out, Richard Paolinelli posted a video promoting the Mars planetary anthology on twitter, which I saw when I got from my menial day job this afternoon.

You’ll have to click “Continue reading” to see it, and then you’ll have to wait through most of the video to see my credits. However, they are something special:

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Book Review of “Plastic Nightmare”

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Cover image for Aditya Deshmukh’s short story “Plastic Nightmare”

Aditya Deshmukh’s short story Plastic Nightmare reads more like a prelude to a novel than anything else. It certainly ended on a cliffhanger, and Deshmukh even states that there will be a sequel.

I really felt like the author didn’t give himself enough room to develop the situation or the characters.

Five years ago, police officer Razia lost her brother. To the rest of the world, it was a tragic accident, but accidents don’t happen in their future utopia. The result is that she has increasingly become obsessed with his disappearance, letting her career begin a long, downward spiral.

Her main foil seems to be her lover and her boss on the police force (not a good combination), and when what appears to be a serial murder impossibly occurs in a world with practically no crime, Razia starts making connections between the so-called “Scarlet Killer” and her brother’s vanishing.

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Review of “Echo Volume 4: The Last Edge of Darkness”

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Cover image of Kent Wayne’s novel “Echo Volume 4: The Last Edge of Darkness”

I finally got around to keeping my promise to Kent Wayne (pseudonym) and finishing and reviewing the fourth edition of his “Echo” series, Echo Volume 4: The Last Edge of Darkness Kindle Edition . It marks the conclusion of the physical, psychological, and spiritual quest of elite soldier, Crusader Kischan Atriya.

For reference, here are my reviews of Echo 1, Echo 2, and Echo 3.

In this final installment, Atriya finally arrives at the semi-mythical Mandala City. He has a brief reunion with his former tutor and mystical adept Chrysalis Verus, but the main action centers around his training (again) with Mandala City’s blind “Headmaster” Dake. The training physically disassembles Atriya on a daily basis in an effort to get him to “free his mind” (shades of “the Matrix”).

Actually, there were tons and tons of entertainment, literary, religious, and philosophical references. Wayne pulled no punches in pouring every last ounce of his own viewpoints and beliefs (which he makes very plain in the afterword) into Atriya, Dake, and most of the other characters.

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“Spring Into SciFi: 2020 Edition” Available for Pre-Order Now!

© James Pyles

Just got the email update from Cloaked Press that the digital copy of “Spring Into SciFi 2020” is available for pre-order now at Amazon. The ebook will be downloaded to your kindle device on April 3, 2020.

My science fiction short story “The Colonists” appears within its pages, and I’m incredibly thrilled.

Now for an offer:

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