“No Place Like Home” featured in “Magicks & Enchantments”

m and e

Promotional image for Magicks & Enchantments

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

This is a little later than I’d hoped, but my short story “No Place Like Home” is finally available in the Blackbird Publishing anthology Magicks & Enchantments (also available HERE and HERE).

What would have happened if Dorothy hadn’t made it back to Kansas from Oz? What would have happened if she didn’t want to go? What would have it been like if the “good witch” Glinda had craved the ruby slippers for her own, and after a few minutes, hours, or days, what would the transformed Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion really have been like with their new attributes?

To find out, buy a copy of this anthology and read “No Place Like Home.” I promise, you’ll never think of Dorothy the same way again.

Continue reading

G. Scott Huggins Wins 2021 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest

baen

Baen books logo.

Just wanted to say a quick congratulations to G. Scott Huggins for being named the 2021 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest Winner. A few years back, I somehow started following him on Facebook and more recently twitter, so I’ve known about this for a few days.

The really cool thing according to Baen is:

In an interesting turn, Huggins was the winner of the 2020 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, another short story contest sponsored by Baen Books. Both contests are judged anonymously.

He’s definitely on a roll.

Continue reading

Review of “Latuda’s Lady in White”

cunning

Cover art for the novel “The Cunning Man”

If you read my review of the short story Appleseed: A Founder Effect Legend, you know this is my opening effort in taking a closer look at the literary products of Baen Books.

I’ve written enough (more than enough) about the Baen’s Bar kerfuffle, but I’m convinced that the worst Baen editor Toni Weisskopf is guilty of is neglect. I’m also, if not convinced, at least deeply concerned, that this entire mess was orchestrated (with the original “catalyst” either deliberately crafting the hit piece, or unwittingly serving the purposes of others) to muffle or even mute a publisher who is politically agnostic as far as selecting authors and books (apparently this can be a bad thing if you want to promote an industry serving only a single perspective, excluding all others).

I’m writing these reviews, in part, because I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog, and having been bullied as a kid, I don’t like the adult bullies, either.

Continue reading

Black Friday Sale of “Fantastic Schools Vol 2”

2

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

As you might remember, last October, I announced that my story story Sorcery’s Preschool is featured in the Kindle version of L. Jagi Lamplighter’s magical school anthology Fantastic Schools, Vol 2.

While the paperback won’t be out until sometime in mid-December, there’s a Black Friday sale on the Kindle book. That’s right. For this weekend only you can purchase this book for a mere price of 99 cents on Amazon.

But that’s not all.

Continue reading

“The Demon in the Mask:” A Favorite

fall into fantasy

Cover image for the Cloaked Press anthology “Fall into Fantasy 2019”

I was going over various Amazon reviews of anthologies where my stories have been featured and came across one for Fall Into Fantasy: 2019. My tale “The Demon in the Mask” appeared within the pages of this Cloaked Press publication.

Even when such anthologies do well in the reviews, my stories are pretty much never mentioned (I look anyway). Lo and behold, this time something happened.

Continue reading

Fantastic Schools: Volume Two Now Available

2

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

Okay, it’s only partly available. The Kindle version can be purchased and downloaded now, but the hard copy edition is still being worked on. Still, finally, finally “Sorcery’s Preschool” has seen the light of day.

I have cover credit and I’m listed with some of the other authors at the top of the page, but according to L. Jagi Lamplighter, Amazon only allows up to ten authors to be listed, so for the paperback, my name won’t be up top.

Continue reading

Edited Means Moving Forward

Screenshot from my computer.

Yes, it’s a bland image to be sure, but writing fiction isn’t all fun, games, and glory. Once a story is accepted, or in this case two, it doesn’t mean what you’ve submitted to the publisher is perfect. It just means that it’s a good story (well, I hope that’s what it means).

It also means that someone is going to go over your story with the proverbial fine-toothed comb, pointing out issues, everything from word usage to punctuation.

Continue reading

Work in Progress Excerpt 8-28-2020

poker

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

Finally got some mojo back and am doing a bit of writing, but I’d better hurry, because the deadline for this one is just a week away and I’m still halfway through my first draft. Here’s an excerpt. Tell me what you think of it.

“A wise man once said, it ain’t over til it’s over. I got lucky enough to get a seat at the highest stakes poker game in the west coast underworld with who, a drug kingpin, a racketeer…” he winked at Harris as the butt suspending her three-hundred pound frame shifted, threatening to turn the ancient wood chair into kindling. “…an assassin…,” he nodded at Elias Swan, who looked more the part of a balding, frail accountant. He only spoke from behind his surgical mask when the game necessitated it, “…and the man who runs the unions and the docks from here to San Diego. Tell us why do they call you Daddy?”

Miller knew he was pushing them all, especially Cooke, but that had always his point. Still grinning like an all too visible Cheshire cat, he slapped his hand on the peeling varnish of the pine tabletop. “Read ‘em and weep. Straight flush in diamonds, six through ten.”

“I’m impressed Miller, but not impressed enough. Still can’t beat a…”

Cooke had just enough time to start tipping his hand downward revealing a royal flush in spades when Al Miller exploded out of his seat, violently shoving the table into the other three to his left. As if by magic, a Colt M1911 appeared in his right hand. He lunged at Daddy, whose…

Continue reading

Lovecraft Country, Tarzan of the Apes, and What is and isn’t Racism?

lovecraft

Promotional image for the HBO series “Lovecraft Country”

Every once in a while, I visit Mike Glyer’s File 770 SciFi fanzine. I used to follow them and get email updates of new posts, but either due to an accidental technical glitch or me being deliberately booted off for being an “undesirable,” those notices stopped.

Anyway, I was scrolling through Pixel Scroll 8/15/20 To Clickfinity And Beyond! and came across a link to HBO’s ‘Lovecraft Country’ Brings Viewers To A World Of Monsters, Magic and Racism.

I didn’t learn about famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s racism until this last round of Hugos when he was denounced along with a lot of other dead white men.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Lovecraft’s monsters and his racism have both been twisted into a show set in the 1950s which features both:

Continue reading

Tolerance, Intolerance, and the World of the “Stale, Pale Male Crowd”

card

Image of the cover of Orson Scott Card’s book “How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy”

On the heels of my blog posts Looks Like the 2020 Hugo Awards Once Again Sucked, Loving and Fearing SF/F Fandom, and the currently highly popular Is SciFi Author/Editor Robert Silverberg Really Racist and Sexist (or has the internet once again lost its mind)?, a library book I just finished and am about to return caught my attention.

Written by Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead) the small book How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy was my choice to re-read in the hopes of dragging myself out of my current writing slump.

Published in 2001, all of the advice about how to publish, market, and, of course, win awards (Card won two Hugos, a Nebula, a Lotus, and in 1978, the John W. Campbell [now renamed Astounding] Award for Best New Writer) are outdated and useless.

But his lessons on how to write remain pretty much timeless, especially when you are actually learning the craft rather than trying to promote a social position, attitude, or bias (I say that knowing that all stories contain the biases of their authors, but lately, it’s gotten so much more obvious and even blatant).

Continue reading