Revisiting the Fantastic Schools Anthologies

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Promotional materials for the Fantastic Schools series.

You may remember that my fantasy short story “Sorcery’s Preschool” was published last fall in Wisecraft Publishing’s anthology Fantastic Schools, Volume 2. It’s the tale of a four-year-old girl and the day her grandmother takes her to a very unusual pre-school, one for gifted and very young (and potentially dangerous) magicians.

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Big Announcement for Saturday the 17th

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Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”

This one has been in the works for months, and the story involved has been edited again and again. I think you’ll like the final result. It will become available Saturday. I still can’t talk about it and have no promotional materials to offer, but I can share an excerpt to whet your appetite.

Toto barked at the witch like a maniac, but mercifully, didn’t try to escape Dorothy’s grasp. The broomstick competed with Dorothy’s legs as to which could shake faster and harder. If the monkeys didn’t arrive soon, Glinda would grab Dorothy and send her back home. Dorothy could try to ride the broomstick back to Wicked’s castle, where she knew the monkeys were sure to take her if they’d ever show up. But she’d never ridden a broomstick before. What if she fell – or worse, dropped Toto?

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Spring Into SciFi 2021 Now Available for Pre-Order

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Cover art for the Cloaked Press anthology “Spring into SciFi 2021”

This is it! My short story “Wayback” is being published in the Cloaked Press anthology Spring Into SciFi 2021 Edition.

I’ve been honored to have my stories “The Recall” and “The Colonists” published in the 2019 and 2020 editions respectively. It’s a tremendous joy to me that the editing team over at “Cloaked” think so well of my writing.

However “Wayback” has another special significance. It’s the very first story representing a “steampunk” universe that has already seen the light of day in other anthologies. You can find the continuation of “Wayback” featured in my short stories “The Mechanical Dragon” (which also explains how steam-cold fusion technology is possible) in the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology Clockwork Dragons and “The Deseret War” which can be found in the Immortal Works anthology A Mighty Fortress.

But before all that, there is “Wayback.”

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Review of “Misfits” by A.C. Haskins

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Promotional image of author A.C. Haskins

If you’ve read THIS and THIS, then you know why I’ve been reviewing a small series of short stories published by Baen Books.

Today, I review the third and last tale in the 2021 freebie I downloaded called Misfits authored by A.C. Haskins. He doesn’t seem to have a blog or website, but according to his Amazon Author’s page:

A.C. Haskins is a former Armored Cavalry Officer and combat veteran, turned economist and business strategist (and occasional firearm instructor). He has a lifelong love of speculative fiction, having written his first science fiction novel as a class project in the eleventh grade. His interests include (but are not limited to) ancient and medieval history, mythology, applied violence studies, tabletop gaming, and theoretical economics. He lives in Michigan with his wife, two cats, and a dog.

You can find what books he’s contributed to by clicking the link above.

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“Fantastic Schools Vol 2” Available in Paperback

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Cover image for the anthology “Fantastic Schools, vol 2”

I just got the announcement from L. Jagi Lamplighter that Fantastic Schools Vol 2 is now available in Paperback. Previously, you could only read the book (from Amazon) by downloading it to your Kindle device.

The anthology features my short story “Sorcery’s Preschool,” which chronicles the tale of a “gifted and dangerous” four-year-old girl being enrolled in an other worldly magical pre-school. However, she’s unsure if the school is to teach her how to use her magic or to prevent her from doing so. There’s also a sinister undercurrent that the little girl’s equally powerful Grandmother realizes almost too late.

The book, so far, has 32 Amazon global ratings with 82% being four and five stars. That’s pretty good.

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Preview of my Short Story “The Haunted Detective”

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Promotional image for the Gemini Wordsmiths anthology “The Trench Coat Chronicles”

About six weeks ago, I announced that my short story “The Haunted Detective” was accepted for publication in the Gemini Wordsmiths anthology “The Trench Coat Chronicles.”

The graphic above not only includes my name among the accepted authors but relates that this book will be available sometime around the winter holidays.

If you can’t wait, here’s a small excerpt:

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My Short Story “The Haunted Detective” To Be Published!

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Screen capture from Facebook

In the last ten days or so, in pretty rapid succession, I got three rejection notices, two from the same publisher. Needless to say, I was bummed. That’s why when Ruth and Ann from Gemini Wordsmiths told me this morning that my short story The Haunted Detective was accepted into their Trench Coat Chronicles anthology, I was thrilled.

I can’t find a formal announcement on their website, but I did find one on a Facebook group, which is where the screen capture comes from.

Here’s part of the submissions call, just to give you an idea of what I had to shoot for:

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Fantastic Schools: Volume One (Fantastic Schools Anthologies) Paperback – May 26, 2020

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Cover image for “Fantastic Schools, Volume One”

Just found this out. My story “Sorcery’s Preschool” is still on track to be published in Volume Two of this series next month.

In the meantime, if digital isn’t your thing and you prefer a book you can hold in your hands, Fantastic Schools – Volume One is now out in paperback.

Buy them…

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Fantastic Schools: Volume One Now Available

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Cover image for “Fantastic Schools, Volume One”

Finally L. Jagi Lamplighter’s magic schools anthology Fantastic Schools: Volume One (Fantastic Schools Anthologies Book 1) is available on Amazon. It features short stories by Christopher G. Nuttall, Mel Lee Newman, Emily Martha Sorenson, and others.

My short story “Sorcery’s Preschool” will be appearing in Volume Two of the series, hopefully out sometime this in August 2020.

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My Copy of “A Mighty Fortress” Has Arrived

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© 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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