Winter of Wonder: Superhuman: 2021 Edition Features My Story “That Which Burns”

winter

Cover art for the anthology “Winter of Wonder”

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My short story “That Which Burns” is now available in the Cloaked Press anthology Winter of Wonder: Superhuman: 2021 Edition.

The theme for this new anthology series this year is “superhuman.”

What does it mean to be ‘Superhuman’? Not just super powers or flashy costuming. What lies beneath the surface? What makes the psyche tick? Fourteen authors from the Cloaked Press Family explore this theme in our first Winter of Wonder anthology. Join them as they explore strange alien worlds, yet find some humanity within its monstrous inhabitants. Come along with an assassin long due for retirement, and a bounty hunter pushing his luck far beyond his competitors. Magical weapons and magical tapestries abound, while one incredible man serves a wife he didn’t choose. Meet those who chose not to blindly follow protocol and serve, be that from a teacher, a friend and former lover, or the Queen Goddess herself. Superheroes are sometimes not what they seem, and sometimes allies come from unexpected places.

My story has been around for a while but like many creations, it didn’t sell on the first try or on a few subsequent attempts.

Tyler Melody Ross is a very special young woman, but her being “special” isn’t always considered a good thing to her family, her friends, and her neighbors. We meet her as an inmate of an asylum in update New York in 1954. Normally, she’s kept heavily sedated, masked, and her hands covered in thick mittens. Then she gets a new doctor who says he wants to help her, but unbeknownst to him, that help may well bring disaster.

Here’s a small excerpt from “That Which Burns:”

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“Ice” is Available to Download for Free through Christmas

iceStarting midnight Pacific Time on December 21 through Christmas, my SciFi/Fantasy novella Ice will be free to download onto your kindle device. That’s right, just in time for the holidays, give yourself the gift of this unique tale of adventure on the high seas, of magic, science, and dinosaurs, or make it a present for a friend.

I first announced the release of this book at the beginning of the month and published an excerpt just a few days ago.

All that, plus I was interviewed on a podcast about “Ice”, Time’s Abyss, my two short stories published in the Meteor Fall anthology and other projects soon to come.

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Excerpt from My Novella “Ice”

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As I’m sure my regular readers know by now, my self-published novella “Ice” has been available for nearly two weeks now. Since I’m the publisher as well as the author, I’m doing all of the marketing for the book myself. While I’ve written summaries and discussed the book on one podcast so far, I still plan to promote the daylights out of it.

To that end, I’m putting up an excerpt of the story. It’s adventure and mutiny on the high seas, but these seas and the ships that sail upon them exist at the farthest reaches of human history where magic and science co-exist. The state of things on the merchant vessel “The Star of Jindo” have gone from bad to worse following a devastating storm that has crippled the ship and killed most of the crew. Captain Ki-Moon Yong has lost control of his command of his vessel for the first time in his career. Here’s what follows:

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Book Review of “Upright Women Wanted”

upright

Cover art for “Upright Women Wanted”

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Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey isn’t the sort of book that I’d usually read. It’s not the sort of book I’d even be slightly interested in buying. But, like books I’ve read before, it was a free download (until Dec 17th) from Tor.com.

I thought I’d given up reading Tor books if, for no other reason, that all the ones I’ve taken a look at seem to have been written for other audiences, written by people who would hate my guts if they knew me, or both.

But the description was interesting enough:

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“The Fallen Shall Rise” To Appear in the 224-Verse

Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy captured with a Celestron cpc1100 from the Israeli Desert by Deddy Dayag 9 July 2019

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I now have permission to discuss a small novella that has recently been accepted by Starry Eyed Press for their 224-Verse series.

First, a little background from their 224-Verse page:

What is the 224-Verse?

The 224-Verse is an interconnected fictional universe set within the sprawling starscape of Galaxy NGC 224 – Andromeda.

In terms of sheer size, Andromeda is 220,000 lightyears across and is home to a trillion stars and roughly four-trillion planets.

So the “verse” is a shared set of stories set in the Andromeda galaxy, potentially over hundreds of thousands of years of time and 220,000 lightyears of space. But that’s not it.

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Interviewed by Superversive Livestream

iceIf you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

As I’m sure my regular readers know, I’ve been actively promoting some of my latest work, which includes my first self-published novella Ice as well as Time’s Abyss, a novella published by Black Hare Press.

To that end, I reached out to some folks I know and Ben and Anthony at Sunday Superversive Livestream agreed to interview me last night.

Here’s the direct link to the interview on YouTube.

Frankly, I have no idea what the image is, but I did have a lot of fun chatting with Ben and Anthony for about an hour. Of course, I mentioned my novellas, but also the Cloaked Press published anthology Meteor Fall: An Anthology of The Collective. I have two stories in that one. Oh, “Cloaked” also accepted my short story “That Which Burns” in their upcoming anthology Winter of Wonder.

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Still Good Award Winning SciFi in the World

hyperion

Cover art for Dan Simmons’ novel Hyperion.

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It’s been almost three years since I wrote Hugo Award Winning Novels I Have Read. I authored the blog post mainly in response to the idea that these awards have really changed over the years. At the time, I was reading for review N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season in an attempt to understand how I remembered Hugo award winning novels being so outstanding in “the old days” vs. how I perceived the more modern tomes.

If you click the first link, you’ll see a list of the winning and nominated novels I’d consumed in my youth, their awards issued between 1953 and 1988. I read most of them.

I was posting something similar in a Facebook group earlier today and started wondering if, by now, I’d read any more recent Hugo recipients. I have:

  • 1990 Hyperon by Dan Simmons (winner).
  • 1993 Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (nominated).
  • 2013 Redshirts by John Scalzi (winner).
  • 2021 Network Effect by Martha Wells (nominated).

I read and reviewed Hyperion mainly because it was a Hugo winner AND Simmons was being trashed on an online fanzine (which shall not be named) by modern SciFi fans because of his politics. I hear that after all these years, it’s going to become a movie. Simmons is still with us and I wish him success.

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Jeb’s Guests

houses

Photo Credit: One Big Photo

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Jeb Blackbird was walking next to the workhorse pulling the buffalo carcass laden wagon when he saw the stranger by his house. Only Sioux should be allowed on this land for 400 miles in every direction, but this man was obviously one of the hated colonizers. To his credit, the white haired (white skinned) colonizer was waiting respectfully some twenty feet from the front door of the big house. Although the Dakota plains in autumn got damn cold, and the intruder was only in a shirt and rough trousers, he didn’t seem to mind.

The sun was setting behind the three houses, the big house for his wife and three children, middle for meat curing, storage, and whatever else he could think of, and the small house for the sweat lodge. Jeb reached over to the horse (he never bothered to give it a name) and pulled his Winchester rifle from the long holster mounted on the bridle.

“Speak your piece.” He made his voice as gruff as he could, though when he sang, his wife Ella said he sounded like the sweetest spirits. He pointed the barrel at the ground. This man’s kind had been a terrible trouble before they’d been stopped. His closest neighbor, Stewart Bluefeather said he had friends among them, and that not all white people were cruel, but for Jeb, trust was hard earned.

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“Ice” by James Pyles is Now Available

ice
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Admittedly, I’ve tried to sell this story in various forms for quite some time without any luck. I even asked a friend for help, thinking maybe he could suggest the proper venue. However, it didn’t take.

So I thought of self-publishing it. Here it is: Ice by James Pyles. No anthologies, no indie publishers, this one is all mine.

Good thing, too. When I went over my submitted story, I found horrible errors I never saw before. I took weeks just reading and re-reading “Ice” until I finally got it to the point where I thought it was ready (I’ll write a separate blog post about my first experience with Kindle Digital Publishing (KDP) by the by).

Here’s the synopsis I wrote for Amazon:

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Two of My Short Stories Published in “Meteor Fall: An Anthology of The Collective”

meteor
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The Collective has long kept secret the strange things that happen after a meteor shower. While the world Oohs and Aahs over the pretty streaks of light, field agents quietly gather up the people and objects changed by this cosmic phenomenon.

With a global event unlike anything the world has ever seen on the horizon, the Collective knows it’s only a matter of time before the world discovers what really happens when objects fall from the sky.

Can they continue to maintain their secrecy and protect humanity from the dangers of Meteor Fall?

This one is really interesting. I have two short stories published in Meteor Fall: An Anthology of The Collective.

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