Look for “The Apollo Containment” in the Black Hare Press anthology “Anthology “Lockdown Sci-Fi #3”
Black Hare Press has been good to me, publishing both one of my SciFi and Fantasy tales. During the COVID-19 lockdown, they’ve been producing free (yes, no money involved) anthologies of all sorts. I only submitted one story to one of them, and I’m pleased they accepted it. Expect it to be digitally available sometime in August 2020. Here’s more.
“The Babel Project” to be published in the Terror Tract Anthology “Seven Deadly Sins”
I don’t have a lot of info about this one. I have no idea when it’s coming out, and don’t have a cover image. I do know that it is a horror anthology based on, well, you’ve read the title. Here’s my original announcement.
“Sorcery’s Preschool” to appear in the “Fantastic Schools” anthology
I didn’t expect this one to be well received, since “Harry Potter” stories aren’t exactly my strong suit. Then my son Michael suggested a tale of a “magical preschool” based on the idea of the character “Jack Jack” in “The Incredibles” movie series. Here’s a small sample:
Agatha Pye rushed into the schoolroom just as the auxiliary doorways to her left sparkled into existence, preparing to disgorge students and teachers back inside. What she found was the head teacher pressing Emily against her with both hands.
“Grandma!” The little girl grinned and tried to run to Agatha, only to be stopped by Siegel’s firm grip.
“No, child. Remember, she doesn’t love you like I do.” Seeing Scott and Angelique sprinting into the room, she added, “None of them do.”
“Miss Siegel,” the child wailed.
Scott tried to run to Emily, but Aggie motioned with her hand, sending him sailing backward to the open entrance.
“Don’t. You’d never survive.”
As Scott staggered to his feet, Angelique grabbed him. “No. We can’t protect her right now. Mom knows what she’s doing.”
“But Miss Siegel.”
“Emily, remember what I taught you.” Caressa glanced briefly to her right and saw each of the three teachers keeping their students from entering. “They sent you here to make you not use your magic. If they loved you, they’d let you do what you want.”
“Like you?” The girl looked up at her teacher’s face, seeing her eyes shining corpuscle red.
“That’s right. I’m the one who is teaching you to use your power.”
“Emily, love isn’t about doing everything you want…” Agatha began.
“Nonsense. Love is about being free,” the teacher cooed, with a sinister smile.
“It’s about keeping each other safe.”
“It’s about being able to spread your wings and fly.” The lights dimmed and Miss Siegel’s dress changed from a faint apricot, to red, and then a seething black.
The response to the submissions call yielded so many good stories, Jagi says she’ll have to publish two anthologies. Mine will be in the second book, which should be available around August 2020. Read my original announcement for more.
My SciFi short story “The Three Billion Year Love” has been accepted into the “Mars” Planetary Anthology
This is one of the more exciting announcements I’ve made in recent months, both because this story was one of my favorites when I first posted a version of it on this blog, and because I’ve always wanted to contribute to the Tuscany Bay Books Planetary Anthology series.
Imagine a grieving physicist/entrepreneur who, after tragically losing his wife, wants nothing more than to retreat into his work and oblivion. Then, an accidental discovery gives him a chance to get back everything he’s lost. The only catch is that he finds it on the planet Mars three billion years in the past.
The “Mars” anthology is due to be published on August 18, 2020. I’ll post more developments as they arise.
Click HERE to watch the promotional video.
“The Pleiades Dilemma” to appear in the “Sol” Planetary Anthology
On the heels of my announcement about “Mars” came the news that my science fiction short story “The Pleiades Dilemma” was accepted for publication in the Tuscany Bay Books Planetary Anthology “Sol.” This one of my earliest stories, and while I was thrilled that it was accepted so long after I submitted it, I was also horrified at how “primitive” it seemed compared to my more recent works. Fortunately, a little judicious editing saved the day.
50 years after the mysterious Oumuamua object entered our Solar System and then vanished forever back into interstellar space, another supposed asteroid makes a similar visit, but this one is slowing down as it heads toward the Sun. A small group of astronauts are launched on a mission to rendezvous with the intruder, and to discover if it means to contact humanity or destroy it.
Look for “The Pleiades Dilemma” on Nov. 10, 2020 when “Sol” becomes available from your favorite online bookseller.
Click HERE to watch the promotional video.
“Dark Solstice Holiday Horror Collection” features my short story “Betrayal”
Once again, Eleanor Merry has accepted one of my small tales, this one based on a pagan celebration of the summer solstice called “Betrayal.” It’s only around 500 words long, and hopefully, I successfully communicated the intent of the title in those few words.
“Buried in the Sands of Time,” my SciFi short story, is featured in the “Raygun Retro” Anthology
My retro science fiction short story “Buried in the Sands of Time” is now available in the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology Raygun Retro: A Science Fiction Anthology.
Here’s an excerpt. Remember, this is “old school” SciFi:
“Lisa!” Artie spotted one of the aliens emerging from a side chamber armed with a dart gun. It had Horn in its sights when Fleming fired his laser, melting it’s chest. The arrow flew wild, slicing the reporter’s shoulder, as another Mars man came from behind.
“You bastard.” A bright ruby beam shot out at the speed of light from Lisa’s pistol, incinerating the creature’s face.
“Come on.” Lisa helped Artie down the tunnel, clumsily wielding her laser at threats.
The alien swarm had been significantly thinned by the robot, but the machine was slowing. Smoke from his power assembly was filling the cave, making it hard to breathe.
“Robot’s not going to make it. Let’s go.”
Lisa and Artie obeyed Kip as they caught up with Terry and Roland.
The Captain, scientist, and reporter dashed past them, while Chang and Sparks kept shooting.
“Move your ass, Sparks. We’ve got to get back to the Rover.”
“Robot’s out. Just a few more…” Terry was only two steps behind Roland when several bolts hit his friend’s chest.
“No! Screw you.” Screaming, he took the other laser from Roland’s lifeless fingers and used both to cut down four of their pursuers. He was trembling, vision blurred by tears, scampering backward.
“Get out of there. That’s an order.” The lump in Amanda’s throat almost choked her.
“Coming, Commander.” He tripped but managed to keep upright. Then he passed Nichols and Moore.
“We’re right behind you,” she called.
“Just one more shot to bring down the house.” Henry fired his rifle, scorching the rocky overhang a few meters inside. Stony debris rained down, burying the remaining synthetic men.
“Let’s go, Commander. You’ve got some explaining to do.”
They started to run toward the light, neither seeing the torso of one synthetic man emerging, gravely wounded, from the rocks. With its dying effort, it aimed and shot.
My Short Story “The Colonists” Available in Spring Into SciFi 2020
Genaro woke up in a panic, or was he still having the nightmare, the one where they had turned him into a monster? He’d been sleeping a lot lately. Had he been drugged? They were keeping him sedated in a dark place. They had done something to him, something horrible, but he couldn’t remember what. Why was it so hard to think? “Why can’t I breathe?”
He tried to stand but then found he was floating. “Some kind of liquid, but not water.” His voice sounded strange. Genaro found the floor with something that wasn’t a foot at the end of an impossibly long leg. What had happened? When he tried to move his fingers, at first, they weren’t there, and then they seemed to extend out from his hand like tentacles. “Is someone there?” He couldn’t hear anyone, but felt like there should be others.
He inhaled something that didn’t smell like air, and tried to breathlessly scream. Finally, he detected a dim light. Yes, his head was clearing, but it felt like there was a sharp metal spike jammed into the base of his skull. “Where am I?” This time, when he muttered the question, it came out as squeals and moans. The light made everything look orange and yellow. The walls, ceiling, they were all too close, wrapping in around his body. He couldn’t look down to see himself. “Oh God, I’m dead.”
“From Deep Within the Skin” is featured in the anthology Infestation
“It won’t take long. I promise.” His voice was preternaturally calm. He might as well have been reading a poem by Frost, or singing a lullaby. “You weren’t the first I took after I was brought into the fold. A flight attendant, three local climate scientists I stayed with in Lima, a police officer, a dozen others, they’re all joining us.”
She started screaming but his hand smothered her face.
“Now you’ll be next.”
She felt it on his back first. The holes. Hundreds, thousands of lumps the size of marbles were squirming and writhing under his skin. Then the flaps opened up in his back, his face. He was a mask of bursting pustules. No blood, no ooze, just them, the bugs, the spiders. They crawled on wire thin legs, all over him, out of him by the disgusting score, and then all over her, biting, boring, infesting every orifice, her ears, she clenched her eyelids shut.
Click the link above to order the anthology right now!
A Mighty Fortress: Mormon Steampunk
My short story “The Deseret War” is featured in Immortal Works publishing for their anthology “A Mighty Fortress: Mormon Steampunk”. This is the fourth volume in this annually released series of tales merging the themes of the LDS church and steampunk. Here’s a short summary of my tale:
Once Stephen Isaac Eddington converted to Mormonism in his native London and realized the severe persecution the Church was enduring in the United States, he knew he had to use his unique skills to help defend the faith. But to do that, he would have to steal an incredible invention devised by his scientist mentor who had recently perished, and the greedy and corrupt tycoon who had financed the venture. Eddington and his ill-gotten technology arrived in Utah well ahead of the U.S. Army troops who the President commissioned to remove Brigham Young from power and establish a new Governor over the Utah territory. Now, instead of the Church being a mere pawn at the hands of the government, he provided them with mighty weapons that would not only protect the Church, but establish a brand new nation. However, even Eddington couldn’t anticipate the heavy consequences of his actions.
The anthology, which contains 17 stories, including mine, is available NOW at Amazon.
Eleanor Merry Presents: Dark Valentine
Three of my short stories, each between 100 and 500 words long, have been accepted into this holiday horror anthology. These are not your typical tales of romance, but rather of darkest bonding. They are “Reaper,” “Playtime,” and “New Heart.” Not for the timid. It’s here in time to be a Valentine’s Day 2020 gift. Available for Order from Amazon now.
Treasure Chest: Selected Short Stories features my wee missive “Joey”
Founded in 2017, Adam Bennett and Sam Phillips have produced a plethora of anthologies, giving indie authors like me, the opportunity to have our tales see the light of day and become available to readers.
My short story Joey, originally published in the SciFi anthology World War Four (please readers, post more reviews), is featured in the “Treasure Chest.” It’s one of my strongest missives emotionally, and I’m glad it was selected.
This anthology is available now at Amazon.
My Short Story “The Mechanical Dragon” is now available in “Clockwork Dragons: A Fantasypunk Anthology”
After struggling to come up with anything I thought was worthy of this Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology, I finally hit on an idea when I crafted a 150 word tale based on this prompt from What Pegman Saw. After that, the rest just fell into place.
I’m doubly excited because this story is the second one to be published that takes place in the same steampunk universe I’ve created. The other is The Deseret War which will be out in the anthology “A Mighty Fortress: Mormon Steampunk Vol IV” to be published sometime in February 2020.
Buy “Clockwork Dragons: A Fantasypunk Anthology” now on Amazon!
Stop Me From Falling Published in “The Devil’s Doorbell”
Jonny was young, successful, and engaged to a wonderful woman. He thought he had everything a man could want. Then he met the mysterious Dolengen in a club called “Delirium,” a place that had never existed. They spent one glorious, horrible night together. He thought it was a one-night stand, a last fling before marrying Lucy. But now Jonny is being inexorably drawn into Dolengen’s world, a world of nightmares and blood. Will he fall in forever or can there be an impossible salvation?
Read “Stop Me From Falling” in the Hellbound Book’s anthology The Devil’s Doorbell: An Anthology of Darkest Romance.
Two of My Tales Published in “Dark X-Mas Drabbles Anthology”
Not one but two of my drabbles are available in the Eleanor Merry Presents Christmas Horror anthology “Dark X-Mas”. Here’s a blurb for each one to be featured in Dark X-Mas Drabbles Anthology:
For centuries, the innocent belief of children breathed life into Santa Claus, bringing him into the homes of millions every December 24th, laden with gifts for precious cherubs. But the world changed and children changed, and finally there was too little faith left to keep the old elf going and he expired.
But this year, Santa’s chief servant Alabaster found ten wee ones he could spirit away from their cozy beds at the stroke of midnight in order to supplicate themselves at the grave of St. Nicholas. These children desperately want Santa back, but what horrible sacrifice will they be expected to make to resurrect a very different Santa from what the world has ever known?
The Ghost of Christmas Past
A year ago this Christmas, Bill’s six-year-old daughter Emily died under tragic but mysterious circumstances. Bill’s wife suspected the worst and left him, taking everything. This Christmas Eve, he sits in grief and remorse in front of a Christmas tree bereft of gifts. He is alone, with colored, twinkling lights his only illumination. A terrible secret weighs heavily upon him, and in a moment of supreme sadness, he wishes everything he had done could be made undone.
The first moment he sees Emily’s specter next to the tree, he thinks his dearest wish as come true. But in the next, he horrifically realizes that it is not reunion his daughter seeks, but macabre vengeance. What is Bill’s hidden crime and how will Emily make him pay for it?
Dark X-Mas Drabbles Anthology is available at Amazon.
UNRAVEL: A Crime Microfiction Anthology (Dark Drabbles Book 5)
My “drabble” or exactly 100 word short tale “Death Visits Mexico” was just published by Black Hare Press and is available in Unravel: A Crime Microfiction Anthology on Amazon. The theme for the “Unravel” anthology was dark, criminal mysteries, and so I took a tale I’d crafted a few years back and re-edited it to meet the publishing requirements. It’s historical fiction set in 1947 where Jewish private detective Moshe Katz is about to deliver justice to a war criminal in a particularly dramatic way. Find out more including the daunting list of authors right here.
Fall into Fantasy 2019 Anthology
I’m thrilled to announce that this fantasy love and horror story is available on Amazon now!
“Fall into Fantasy 2019” published by Cloaked Press also published my short missive “The Recall” which is featured in the Cloaked Press science fiction anthology Spring into SciFi 2019. “The Demon In The Mask” makes its debut in their latest fantasy anthology.
I crafted a much different version of this story in response to a “Song Lyric Sunday” writing challenge almost two years ago for Marquessa Matthews. She has long since moved on to other endeavors, but I do have to thank her for making “Demon” go from my imagination, to a very simple concept, to finally a complex and published story.
This tale also has the distinction of having been rejected twice before, which means that for many stories, it’s more a matter of finding the right home for them, than whether you must receive rejection as meaning what you wrote is universally unacceptable.
Tales of the Southwest
My short story “The Strangers” for the anthology Tales of the Southwest is pretty unusual. I wrote it for a completely different submissions call that wanted an “aliens vs. cowboys” encounter in the old west. They rejected it, but a chance encounter on Facebook led me to John Green and a completely different call for a book he was publishing at this indie outlet. If you want to read both classic and otherworldly western tales, the anthology can be found at Lulu.com.
In 1887, the small mining town of Cedar City, Utah experienced an extraordinary event, a strange object from space crashing in the nearby foothills. What happened next would not only change the lives of every single inhabitant, but would send ripples forward in time for half a century and beyond.
The Toilet Zone
My short story “Retired” can be found in the Hellbound Books horror anthology The Toilet Zone. In this case, the title refers to the average amount of time a person sits on the “facility” while reading something. The 32 stories for the anthology had to be just that long.
What would happen if you woke up one morning with two sets of memories, one belonging to you, and the other from the brain of a serial killer? That’s the premise of my tale.
Go to Amazon to purchase the book, and please write a review.
Impossible Hope Anthology
The Superversive Press anthology “Impossible Hope” is now available, but not at Amazon or any other well-known retailer.
28-year-old Bonnie Oliver was diagnosed with Complex Chiari Malformation, Craniocervical and Atlanto-axial Instability and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome type three in 2018. It has been a long and wearisome road to these answers, and her family has watched her health decline for over a decade, with a marked downturn over the past six years. She can’t leave her home without help from a walker and preferably one or two helping hands, and even with that level of support she cannot be out for long.
In order to help Bonnie and raise funds for research into these terrible disorder, A.M. Freeman organized the “Impossible Hope” project. She asked any author who was willing to donate a short story to the anthology which would be sold to raise such funds. That’s why you can’t find this book on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel. You can only get it by donating on Bonnie’s GoFundMe. Donate to help us reach the goal of $110,000 for her surgery, and then download a digital copy of the book. Couldn’t be simpler.
I’m actually pretty honored. My first introduction to the idea that it might actually be possible to be published was through Superversive Press (though this is the first of their books in which a story of mine is featured). Now I finally get to share a table of contents with my teacher L. Jagi Lamplighter and her husband John C. Wright. Others with whom I’m acquainted who have donated of their talents are Dave Higgins, Frank B. Luke, Ben Wheeler, Denton Salle, and particularly Sam M. Phillips from Zombie Pirate Publishing (one of the two indie publishers which first published one of my works).
Click the link, donate, download the book, read it, including my short story “The Switchman’s Lantern,” and don’t forget to write a review on your blog or social media. It’s for a worthy and human cause.
Spring Into SciFi 2019
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.
In 1977 a strange radio signal from space gives the strongest indication humanity has ever had that there is intelligent life beyond the Earth, but it lasted only 72 seconds and has never been repeated…until now.
Flash Fiction Addiction
My flash fiction piece “Growing Flowers” is the “Flash Fiction Addiction” anthology from Zombie Pirate Publishing. They received nearly 300 submissions and accepted exactly 101, including mine.
Unlike my two previous stories, this one was inspired by a “writing challenge” on Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. As I recall, the fine folks there posted a collage and I used the images and the quote as the inspiration to craft an earlier version of “Flowers.” When I submit a story for publication that has appeared on my blog, I revise it, sometimes drastically, and remove the blog post with the original story. The latter is because publishers typically ask for six months exclusive use of the story before it appears elsewhere. So what you’ll read when FFA comes out won’t be quite what I had first crafted lo those many months ago.
It is available on Amazon now.
1929: A Zimbell House Anthology
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?
A modern fantasy anthology from Pixie Forest Publishing featuring thirteen fantasy-related tales set in the modern world includes my short story “The Dragon’s Family.”
Aging retiree James Monroe finds a small, injured dragon in a vacant field behind his house, and taking the creature home, discovers that the grief and loss he, his son, and grandchildren are suffering from is mirrored in the existence of the mythical being. Together they learn how to demonstrate great sacrifice, healing, and love, but only after confronting a monstrous evil.
World War Four
This science fiction anthology from Zombie Pirate Publishing features twenty post-apocalyptic tales set in a world that has survived World War Three but that now faces the unimaginable; a fourth world war, has accepted my short story “Joey.”
Ten years after the end of the third world war, on an Earth recovering from nuclear winter, an alien species invades and wipes out all but a handful of the human race. A man and his young grandson make a hazardous journey though the Northwest wilderness, running from hunter machines and hoping to join the remaining resistance fighters, but sixty-year-old Andy Hanson has a terrible secret.
“World War Four,” edited by Adam Bennett and Sam M. Phillips, and features the exclusive novelette “Monitor Logan” written by internationally bestselling SciFi writer Neal Asher.