Announcing the Anthologies “Fantastic Schools 1 and 2”

 

school

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:

Continue reading

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:

Continue reading

Review of the Zombie Pirate Publishing Fantasy Anthology “Witches vs. Wizards”

w vs w

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

“Spring Into SciFi: 2020 Edition” Available for Pre-Order Now!

© James Pyles

Just got the email update from Cloaked Press that the digital copy of “Spring Into SciFi 2020” is available for pre-order now at Amazon. The ebook will be downloaded to your kindle device on April 3, 2020.

My science fiction short story “The Colonists” appears within its pages, and I’m incredibly thrilled.

Now for an offer:

Continue reading

My Science Fiction Short Story “Buried in the Sands of Time” Accepted for Publication!

retro

Promotional announcement for the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology, “Raygun Retro”

I can finally announce this and I’m thrilled to do it. My retro science fiction short story “Buried in the Sands of Time” has been accepted for publication in the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology Raygun Retro: A Science Fiction Anthology.

Here’s the formal announcement from ZPP’s Facebook page:

Congratulations to all of the successful authors for RAYGUN RETRO: A Science Fiction Anthology. Thank you to everyone who submitted, you made it a difficult choice.

Preorder your Raygun Retro Ebook now for half price at the link above.

Available in paperback May 1, 2020.

I’m especially thrilled, because I’ve tried to submit various earlier versions of this tale under the title “Arabia Terra” for nearly two years, and it’s been repeatedly rejected. The final version is a major retooling of the concept which, in this case, is (in my humble opinion) the perfect missive for retro science fiction that pays homage to SciFi movies, TV shows, and novels from the 1950s and 60s, plus illustrates what might happen if the past collided with the future.

Here’s a brief sample. Keep in mind, the final and edited version may read slightly differently:

Continue reading

Book Review: “And Hell Followed – An Anthology”

and hell followed

Cover image for the Death’s Head Press anthology “And Hell Followed”

I don’t quite recall the original conversation I had on Facebook, but a little over a month ago, I agreed to review the Death’s Head Press anthology And Hell Followed. Jarod Barbee purchased a digital copy for me, and I downloaded it to my kindle device and started reading.

What intrigued me about this particular horror anthology, was that the theme required authors to craft tales based on the Book of Revelation. Yeah that one. The last book in the Christian Bible. The one that foretells the end of life as we know it on Earth and the second coming of Jesus Christ…

…and a whole bunch of very, very horrible sounding events.

I just finished reading it earlier today, and I must say, it didn’t disappoint. The general quality of the tome held up pretty well. Usually in anthologies, there’s some fluctuation in quality from one story to another, and while each missive was quite different from the next, all of them were engaging and entertaining.

More than a few creeped me out.

Continue reading

Infestation Anthology Now Available!

update

© James Pyles

I received an email this morning with a digital copy of this book “Infestation,” published by Terror Tract. I had previously mentioned that this anthology, featuring my SciFi/Horror short story “From Deep Within the Skin,” was available for pre-order on Amazon and would be delivered to your kindle device by March 30, 2020.

I checked again, and it’s available now!

I’m including a photo of my computer screen showing a page from the book, as well as the anthology’s Amazon page.

From the book’s Foreword:

Continue reading

More on the “Planetary Anthology Series” and Other News

pas poster copy

Promotional image for Tuscany Bay Books Planetary anthology series

I know I’ve been harping for a while on having two of my SciFi short stories accepted into the “Mars” and “Sol” anthologies in Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Series, but I was just sent a link to Amazon that displays that entire collection on a single page.

This is definitely one-stop shopping. Pre-order all eleven volumes in the series in a single action. They’re waiting for you now.

I’ve just completed my first major edit to the tale “The Pleiades Dilemma” for the “Sol” anthology, and after doing a bit more research, came up with a different, and what I think of as a more dramatic climax to my story. Really, I’m very proud of it. Hope the editor agrees.

In other news…

Continue reading

Planetary Anthologies “Mars” and “Sol” Available for Pre-Order Now!

sol

Promotional image for the Sol planetary anthology

Fantastic, and totally unanticipated news. As I’ve previously mentioned HERE and HERE, my short stories “The Three Billion Year Love” and “The Pleiades Dilemma” are being published in the Planetary Anthologies “Mars” and “Sol” respectively.

I just found out that the entire Planetary series is available for pre-order now at Amazon.

Sure, “Mars” won’t be available for download to your Kindle device until August 18, 2020, but you can reserve your very own copy by pre-ordering it from Amazon right now.

And while you won’t be able to get your (virtual) hands on a digital copy of “Sol” until November 10, 2020, you can also immediately pre-order it by clicking the link.

Continue reading