My Copy of “A Mighty Fortress” Has Arrived

mormon

© James Pyles

Some time ago, I announced that my short story “The Deseret War” had been published in the Immortal Works anthology A Mighty Fortress: A Mormon Steampunk Anthology Book 4 edited by Holli Anderson.

There was some sort of snafu with the mailing, and I never got my copy of the book…

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“The Babel Project” Has Been Accepted Into the Terror Tract Anthology “7 Deadly Sins”

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Promotional image from Terror Tract Press

Yesterday, I published a bit of a tease, but have since been given permission to make a more complete announcement.

My short story “The Babel Project” has been accepted into the Terror Tract horror anthology “7 Deadly Sins”. Not including the Sweetycat Press contest winner and the Reedsy publication, that’s nine stories accepted into anthologies and periodicals so far for 2020.

You may recall that my short story From Deep Within the Skin has been published by the same press in the anthology Infestation.

Both horror stories are presented in a science fiction context, but where the former included both homegrown and alien creepy crawlies, this one, like so many other stories these days, focuses on a global pandemic threatening to wipe out all human life.

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Pesky Editing and Contracts

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Found at superversivesf.com. No image credit given

So the usual pattern for me and short stories is that I see a submissions call from (usually) an indie publisher, I read the particulars, look at the submissions deadline, and say to myself something like, “I can do that.”

Then as the deadline approaches, and I’ve met all (or most) of the other submissions deadlines I’ve set for myself, I try to come up with an idea for a story that fits the bill.

I prepare a Shunn formatted document, since that’s, more or less, the industry standard, for use as my manuscript pages. Then I copy the submissions requirements into a plain text document, and using other plain text files, create a plot sheet, a character sheet, and any other resources (in a long or complicated story, usually a bunch of URLs leading to research pages) necessary to create the background for my tale. And then I start writing.

I’ll skip over a lot of angst, and let’s say I have finished the first draft, edited it within an inch of its proverbial life, and then finally submitted it, using the method required by the publisher.

And then I wait.

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Download “Clockwork Dragons” Anthology FREE for the Next Five Days!

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Announcement graphic from Zombie Pirate Press

You don’t want to miss this promotion. Zombie Pirate Publishing is offering the kindle edition of their anthology CLOCKWORK DRAGONS: A Fantasypunk Anthology as an absolutely free download from Amazon for the next five days.

You can’t beat the price.

Features my steam/fantasypunk short story The Mechanical Dragon:

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Official “Raygun Retro” Table of Contents

 

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Table of Contents for the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology “Raygun Retro”

RAYGUN RETRO: A Science Fiction Anthology, edited by Adam Bennett and Sam M. Phillips over at Zombie Pirate Publishing, is only about two-and-a-half weeks from publication. It’s available for pre-order now for delivery to your kindle device May 1, 2020.

Above is the official table of contents for the book, and includes my short story “Buried in the Sands of Time.”

Here’s a preview. Remember, the idea behind the anthology is to create an “old school” SciFi tale, something reminiscent of the early tales of E.E. “Doc” Smith, Asimov, or Heinlein.

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Announcing the Anthologies “Fantastic Schools 1 and 2”

 

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Found at superversivesf.com. No image credit given

L. Jagi Lamplighter has just announced at the magic schools page for Superversive SF, the upcoming publications of Fantastic Schools 1 and 2.

One of the two volumes, I don’t know which one yet, will feature my fantasy short story “Sorcery’s Preschool”. I very, very loosely based the main child character on my four-and-a-half year old granddaughter, which was a lot of fun. However, she won’t really appreciate the story until she gets a bit older.

According to Jagi, volume one will come out this spring, but as I said, I have no idea if my tale will be in the first or second tome. I guess she received so many great stories that she decided to spread them out.

This is the first official announcement and it’s pretty general. In part, it states:

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

forgotten

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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