The Cloaked Press science fiction anthology Spring Into SciFi 2019 is now available on Amazon. It features my short story “The Recall” and the foreword to the book is by SciFi author Ian Hugh McAllister. Be the first on your block to get a copy, and don’t forget to write an Amazon review.
Apparently there was some delay getting approval for Cloaked Press to be listed as a publisher in the Library of Congress’ new system, but things are moving forward. I was beginning to think the anthology title “Spring into SciFi” would have to be changed into “Summer into SciFi.”
The book also has to be approved for distribution by Amazon, so another speed bump however, Jonas’s cover looks fabulous.
More info soon.
Warning: Spoiler Alert
I was unprepared for how Avengers: Endgame (2019) hit me emotionally. I knew all the spoilers (or most of them) ahead of time, both from talking with my son Michael who had already seen the film, and from subsequently reading them online. I knew Natasha/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) would die, I knew everything.
Yet, near the end of the movie, when we were at Tony’s memorial service, I didn’t just tear up, I actually cried. I don’t think my son and grandson noticed, but it was an intensely emotional sequence in the film. I’d recovered by the time Clint/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Wanda/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) were talking about the loved ones they’d never get back, and when Steve/Captain America (Chris Evans), aged over 100 after he went back to 1945 and stayed in the past, gave his shield to Sam/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) with Bucky’s (Sebastian Stan) approval so he could become the new Cap.
I lost it again during the credits when the core Avengers actors literally signed off, which is something I haven’t seen since the end of the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) nearly thirty years ago. I realized I was saying one last goodbye to my friends and my heroes, not just their film incarnations, but the Avengers I had grown up reading about in the comic books back in the 1960s. My childhood ended all over again.
Last night, I got an email saying that another one of my short stories has been accepted for publication in an anthology. I can’t give out details yet, but I just went through their insertions, deletions, and comments and sent them back my updated short story (basically “English 101” corrections). This makes the seventh tale of mine this year that will see the light of day. Twelve more are still in the queue.
On other fronts, my son, grandson, and I will finally be seeing “Avengers: Endgame” this afternoon. Look for my review later.
As of today, I still have six stories accepted with four in print. Haven’t heard back again from Cloaked Press about the status of their 2019 edition of the SciFi anthology “Spring into SciFi” which features my short story “The Recall.” However, the Impossible Hope anthology which accepted my tale “The Switchman’s Lantern” is going through final edits.
Now for the more distressing news. As of a few days ago, my rejection list grew to 11. Actually, it’s more like 14 since a publication that accepts multiple submissions rejected all 4 of the stories I sent them.
As of last night, the number of stories I’ve submitted that are still pending is up to 13, although I think a few of the magazines are struggling with deadlines and are (temporarily) in limbo.
I’m toggling between working on my novel and writing short stories to keep my focus from getting bogged down. The continued lack of a day job also preys on my mind, since unemployment insurance is meager and won’t last forever.
All I can do on all fronts is to keep plugging away and to trust in providence, which up until now, has never let me down.
World War Four, a science fiction anthology published by Zombie Pirate Publishing, features my short story “Joey” as well as a novelette by best-selling author Neal Asher. For the next four days, the ebook is 40% off its regular price at Amazon. This is a great time to download it to your kindle device and enjoy twenty outstanding SciFi tales of the war after World War Three.
Fresh round of rejections came in yesterday and my SciFi short story “Sharing Destiny” was among them. I’ve submitted this story to various publishers a number of times and so far, no one has found it worthy of seeing the light of day. It actually began life as one of those song/lyrics challenges. It’s a love story with a strange twist. Here’s a scene near the tale’s climax. Let me know what you think.
She stared down at him. Isaac was sitting on the floor on his legs, face buried in his hands, weeping like a hysterical child, and over what? The fact that she would save the human race from extinction? He had engineered his betrayal of her, and of the Earth, for decades. It was all a lie. Every “I love you,” every night in bed together, their wedding vows; they were all lies.
He had almost destroyed her and the planet, but she still couldn’t begin to understand why.
“You cold-blooded bastard.”
He didn’t bother to correct her, to say that Saurians were warm-blooded like mammals, not like the reptiles people assumed they were. Then again, that’s probably not what she’d meant.
I’ve been doing a lot of marketing, progress updates, and reviews lately but not so much fiction writing on this blog. The reason is that I’m scrambling between writing the second draft of my first novel and writing and submitting short stories, hopefully faster than they are rejected.
Yes, I’m human, so having one of my tales not make the cut stings a bit, even though it’s totally anticipated and “normal.”
I still don’t like it.
So I decided to regularly (not sure how regularly yet) post a passage from one of my rejected missives that is temporarily out of play for your enjoyment and consideration. Naturally, the excerpt isn’t the story, but maybe it will be enough of a hint to tell you if anything is a bit “off” about it or if you can suggest improvements.
Therefore, without further ado, this short preview from my short story “Ice.”
“You mean to do this, then?” Afternoon of the next day, both the Captain and his First Mate stood on the dock listening to Eralia shout orders from the Star’s main deck, and watching longshoremen bring crates, barrels, and nets of supplies on palates and mule-drawn wagons, loading them aboard and down into the holds.
“In all of our days together, you’ve always followed where I’ve led. Why question me now?” Yong turned to Andrada who was still looking at the ship, the bustle of the crew, the same men and women doing the same work they’ve always done, but for the Mindanao native, it was as if this would be their last voyage.
“A man, a seasoned sailor, killed himself just because he knew we were coming to see him. It bothers me.”
I’m continuing my slow review of the stories in the Zombie Pirate Publishing SciFi anthology World War Four (which also features my short story “Joey,” but right now, that’s beside the point). Today, I highlight Rich Rurshell’s tale “Subject: Galilee.”
Much of the symbolism echoes Christian themes, but Rurshell’s story takes place in the far future. A war is raging between two corporate factions, Liberty West which uses robotic warriors called “Romans,” and Zhang Industries’ human combatants. In between them and a village of peaceful people as well as defected soldiers, is the mysterious armored and cloaked being known as Galilee. He came out of no where, possesses enormous, almost god-like abilities, reprogramming the Roman machines to serve him, his armor all but invulnerable, and seems to be the savior that the world needs, that is until both corporations decide to make him a target.
For a variety of reasons, I’m giving the trial version of Amazon Prime a whirl. Since it offers a streaming service, I took a look at their film offerings to see if anything piqued my interest. Except for a few small gems, everything seemed either uninteresting or it was material I’d previously viewed and had no interest in seeing again.
One exception was a 2017 UK production of The Invisible Man, a modern retelling of the H.G. Wells classic.