Girl Power and the Role (or lack thereof) of Men

© James Pyles

My 3 1/2 (closer to 4 actually) year old granddaughter loves books and she loves being read to. She knows her alphabet really well and can spell her first and last name. She’s a smart kid.

I love reading to her and my wife often takes our granddaughter to the local public library to check out books, lots and lots of books. The other day, I came home from work, and after my granddaughter woke up from her nap, she wanted me to read to her. Two of the library books she chose were Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs by Jacky Davis and Red Riding Hood Superhero: A Graphic Novel by Otis Frampton.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Holding “1929” In My Hand

1929

Cover of the anthology “1929”

When I got home from my day job yesterday, it was sitting on my desk waiting for me. What a thrill.

1929

“1929” Table of Contents

1929

My story “The Devil’s Regret” featured in the anthology “1929”

Planetary Anthologies Call for Submissions!

jupiter

Cover image for Jupiter planetary anthology

As my regular readers know, so far in 2019, five of my short stories have been accepted for publication, with three of them being currently available. Sadly, as of this morning, seven of my submitted stories this year have been rejected. The most recent rejection stung a bit more than most because it’s Biblical SciFi, which doesn’t have much of a market in mainstream publishing (if you’re interested in finding out more, ping me).

However, I just found out about a few new opportunities and in fact, they need your help.

Superversive Press (yes, you read that right) is a small publisher dedicated to featuring Fantasy and Science Fiction short stories and novels that are uplifting and positive, as opposed to the general trend of “subversive” and dystopian tales typically found in mainstream SF/F. Continue reading

Signal Boost for “Magical Reality”

i can haz

Created at the imgflip meme generator

The fine folks at Superversive SF have honored me with a Signal Boost of the Pixie Forest Publishing anthology Magical Reality which features my short story “The Dragon’s Family.” According to Urban Dictionary, a Signal Boost is:

Posting to a community forum (mailing list, social networking site, discussion board) in hopes of getting more attention for an event or cause. This is not the primary or first announcement, but rather one of many auxiliary posts or cross-posts to communities with individuals who are likely to take interest.

This will hopefully be the first of many since no one can read your stories unless they know where to find them.

Click the LINK and please pass it along.

Oh and yes, L. Jagi Lamplight Wright, who wrote the signal boost, was the teacher of the online writing class I took last November.

The Reviews of My Anthologies are in

1929

From cover image for “1929: A Zimbell House Anthology”

I didn’t think this would happen so soon, but the three anthologies I’ve been published in so far this year have started to get a bit of buzz.

Pixie Forest Publishing’s “Magical Reality” featuring my short story “The Dragon’s Family” has three 5-star reviews (and ratings on goodreads) on Amazon and goodreads.

Zombie Pirate Publishing’s “World War Four” containing my short story “Joey” has a total of 29 goodreads‘s ratings (no reviews so far) with a total score of 4.93 (out of a possible 5.00).

And even though it only became available for purchase yesterday, Zimbell House Publishing’s “1929” received a single 5-star rating on goodreads, although to be fair, the rating was from the publisher.

1929: A Zimbell House Anthology is Now Available

1929: A Zimbell House Anthology

1929

Promotional image for Zimbell House Publishing’s anthology “1929”

My short story “The Devil’s Dilemma” is featured in the Zimbell House Publishing anthology 1929, which includes six tales in multiple genres, all set in the year 1929.

Sixteen-year-old Timothy Quinn grew up in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, working as a “printer’s devil,” an apprentice in a newspaper print shop since age twelve. One day, the teen and would-be boxer starts hearing strange news announcements on the radio that seem to come from the future. Then he learns that in the next seven weeks, a ten-year-old girl will be kidnapped and murdered by a notorious serial killer. No one believes his wild tale, so he sets out to confront the killer himself, but will he succeed in saving the life of an innocent child only to sacrifice his own?

“1929: A Zimbell House Anthology” is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

back

Back cover of the Zimbell House Anthology 1929

Zombie Pirate Publishing – World War Four Press Release

World War Four got a nice “shout out” at CK Fiction. Have a look.

CK Fiction

In the continued interest of bringing publicity to all corners of the writing community, I’d like to share a press release I received this morning from the other side of the globe! Coming all the way from Australia is Zombie Pirate Publishing with their latest anthology, World War Four. I’ll have an upcoming feature with more about them in the near future, but for now we’ll start with this:

WORLD WAR FOUR: A Science Fiction Anthology is available now from Zombie Pirate Publishing.

Einstein said: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

Turns out he was wrong…

WORLD WAR FOUR features twenty explosive short stories from authors all around the galaxy.

Plus a brand new, exclusive novelette from internationally acclaimed sci fi author NEAL ASHER!

Earth law has come to Godrun, a backwater…

View original post 109 more words

“The Great Escape” (1963): Why This Film Couldn’t Be Made Today

escape

Promotional poster for the 1963 film “The Great Escape”

This movie is firmly listed under “films we couldn’t make today” or “films we couldn’t make today unless we included a lot more diversity.”

The Great Escape (1963) is one of my all time favorite films. It features an all-star cast which includes Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, among many, many others. The film is based on a 1950 non-fiction book written by Paul Brickhill chronicling a firsthand account of the mass escape by British Commonwealth prisoners of war from German POW camp Stalag Luft III in Sagan (now Żagań, Poland).

The film is a highly fictionalized version of those events and made numerous compromises which departed from fact, including the addition of three Americans to the cast (McQueen, Garner, and Judson Taylor) to accommodate U.S. audiences.

Here’s the plot summary from imdb:

Continue reading

“Magical Reality” In My Hand

mr1

© James Pyles

Yes, it arrived in the mail yesterday. I’ve been out of town with my wife visiting my Mom about an eight-hour drive away. Even though we got back a day early, we were occupied all day yesterday and into the evening with grandchildren/family, so I haven’t been online much. It was a real pleasure to finally see a story of mine in physical print. I’ve been a published author of information technology textbooks and self-study guides for about fifteen years, but this is the first fiction story I’ve been able to see and touch. Hope this is just the beginning.

mr2

© James Pyles

mr3

© James Pyles

mr4

© James Pyles

The Back Door Out of the Wizard’s Saloon

sign

© Sue Vincent

Long centuries ago, when “The Wizard’s Saloon” had first been established, the population of its visitors, many but not all from Britain and the European nations on Earth, were illiterate, or read and spoke languages not native to the proprietor. The sign, a conical wizard’s hat mounted in a frame atop the roof, communicated very well across cultures and species just what sort of proprietorship was within its gray stone walls, and behind the large, oaken door, and stained glass windows.

Kyle Logan, a refugee from the realm of Nightmare, and a minor vassal of Dormammu before that, cautiously gripped the tarnished brass handle and pushed in. He looked human enough, just shy of six-foot tall, tangled brown hair draped over his forehead and ears, sharp green eyes scanning left and right looking for any hint of trouble, dressed in mismatched jacket and trousers (gray and brown didn’t go well together) over a wrinkled black t-shirt. His Air Jordan 13 Retro shoes were the only thing that was new, but only because he had stolen those last, having gotten lucky enough to materialize momentarily in a 1984 Los Angeles shoe store.

“Greetings, stranger.” The figure behind the bar at the other end of the room was almost a head taller than Kyle, but also three times as wide as the skinny youth. Amazingly, the body-length apron over the long-sleeved gingham shirt (because of the bar, Logan couldn’t see below his waist) managed to obscure the man’s abundant girth. “Welcome to the Wizard’s Saloon. Come for lodging or just a drink?”

Continue reading