Fantastic Schools: Volume Two Reviewed by Upstream Reviews

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

Back in 2020, my fantasy short story Sorcery’s Preschool was published (kindle version) in Fantastic Schools Volume Two edited by L. Jagi Lamplighter. A few months later, the paperback edition came out.

In brief, my short story involved probably the only magical pre-school in fiction (I can’t confirm that, but it does seem unlikely anyone else came up with the idea).

Two years is a lot of metaphorical water under the bridge and I’ve moved on to newer tales.

This evening (as I write this), Jagi emailed the Vol 2 authors letting us know that the book had been reviewed by Upstream Reviews. On their main substack page, they advertise themselves as “Reviewing only the best in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, & Thrillers.”

It’s quite a complement that we were reviewed. The page also says they were launched 8 months ago, meaning they’re quite new.

You can click this link to read the full review (I recommend it) but here’s what they said about my contribution:

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Ken in a Barbie World

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PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

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Okay, fine. I’m a “Ken” in a Barbie world. How did that happen? Darn Rochelle and her writing prompts, anyway.

“It’s not Rochelle, Grandpa. It’s me.”

“Dani, have you flipped? You can’t leave me like this.”

“I turn Grandpa into a Ken doll.”

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Fantastic Schools Vol 6 Available Now!

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

Fantastic Schools Volume Six, featuring my short story “The Price” is now available through this story bundle. See it as a “Bonus” book in the second row of the image by clicking on the link.

As soon as the bundle expires (in about three weeks as of this writing), it will go on to Pubshare and Amazon. At that time, we will get a paper version up, too.

Here’s a summary of the anthology:

Have you ever wanted to go to magic school? To cast spells and brew potions and fly on broomsticks and—perhaps—battle threats both common and supernatural? Come with us into worlds of magic, where students become magicians and teachers do everything in their power to ensure the kids survive long enough to graduate. Welcome to … Fantastic Schools.

Meet a student who discovers the hard way what happens when he is transformed into a monster, another who mixes magic and music to remarkable effect, a student who wants to trigger a magical industrial revolution, an assassin posing as a tutor with a mission he cannot deny, two students who have to learn to work together – or else – and a student who starts her school newspaper and discovers a conspiracy that strikes at the heart of a proud institution …

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Review of “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (2021)

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© James Pyles

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I finally managed to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) when I found the Blu-ray at my local public library. Actually, like the blurb says on the Blu-ray cover, it is “perfect.”

Not absolutely, but it was an amazing experience, especially for a film that is so different from the original (I still haven’t seen the 2016 gender-flipped reboot and we will speak no more about it here).

First of all, McKenna Grace totally nailed it as Igon’s nerdy granddaughter Phoebe. I was a little dubious about a bunch of kids trying to be Ghostbusters, but I really loved how the film pulled it off.

It’s such an unlikely setting, a rural town and former mining community in the-middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma, but it worked.

Callie (Carrie Coon), Igon Spengler’s (the late Harold Ramis) daughter and her two kids Phoebe and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) are evicted from the apartment somewhere (the location is never disclosed), and go to the only place left to them. A year ago, Igon died and Callie hopes to sell his farm to recoup her losses. No such luck.

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What Are People Saying About “Ice?”

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Cover art for my fantasy novelette “Ice”

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Now that my week long promotion of “Ice” is over, what’s the final tally of reviews and ratings?

On Amazon, there are a total of four “ratings” which in this case is three reviews and one rating. The latest review was a four star, which is totally terrific. On Amazon, “Ice” has 100% 4 and 5 star reviews. Pretty cool.

On goodreads, it’s a tad confusing. The page says three ratings and two reviews, but I only find one review and two ratings. They’re all four star, so again, no complaints.

I have gotten a few messages from others saying they’ve downloaded “Ice” and will get to reading it soon. I know the feeling. I do the same thing since my reading list is long. Hopefully, in the future, this will spawn more attention for my wee indie novelette.

Now I know free stuff is cool. However “Ice” is currently available for a mere $2.99, so the price is still very reasonable. Here are a few of the descriptions:

Anita said:

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New Four-Star Review of “Ice” on goodreads!

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Cover art for my fantasy novelette “Ice”

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People are downloading and hopefully reading my fantasy novelette Ice from Amazon on their kindles. No new Amazon reviews yet, but there was a terrific one on goodreads I want to share. There are also a number of folks who have marked that they are reading “Ice” or it’s on their to-read list.

But first, the review:

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Starting Today and through August 9th, download and read “Ice” for FREE!

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Cover art for my fantasy novelette “Ice”

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

This is it!!!

Read my fantasy novelette Ice for absolutely FREE starting today, August 5th. From today through the 9th, it’s a free ebook download from Amazon to your kindle device.

Here’s a “blurb”

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Review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Ep8, “The Elysian Kingdom”

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Scene from Star Trek Strange New Worlds ep8 The Elysian Kingdom

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What can I say? Episode 8 The Elysian Kingdom of Star Trek Strange New Worlds is my absolute favorite. I loved that everyone got to play different, and quite frankly, far more interesting characters than they normally do on the show.

Actually Ortegas (Melissa Navia) played pretty much the same character as the warrior fiercely loyal to the King (M’Benga). Pike as the foppish Chamberlain was perfect and I loved that his hair was different. He was a coward and a traitor or, more or less, as ineffectual as Pike is as a Captain most of the time.

Uhura as the evil queen was delicious as was Spock as her Wizard.

It was implied that Ortegas’ character and Number One as the Druid archer were lesbian lovers, but that was momentary and played for comedy.

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Book Review of Denton Salle’s “Sworn to the Light”

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Cover art for “Sworn to the Light”

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Yes, I’ve been remiss in reviewing my (online) friend Denton Salle’s novelette Sworn to the Light: The Avatar Wizard – Book 1 (of four).

However, I did download it onto my Kindle Fire last month and last night I finished it.

Excellent work. A very compelling YA Fantasy work that I think my grandson would enjoy (although he prefers audio books).

A lot of Denton’s works are based on Slavonic wonder tales he learned from his grandfather, so you need to know that going in. The local is rather “Russian” in its architecture at least.

Eleven-year-old Jeremy visits his father’s homeland with his parents, in part because Jeremy has a problem. He spontaneously turns into a panda bear cub. He can’t control the change and he can’t control the bear once he’s transformed.

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Book Review of “Jack of Shadows”

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After my last two books and especially Nnedi Okorafor’s missive and it’s aftermath, I decided to “play it safe” and revisit some old ground.

I remember reading Roger Zelazny’s Jack of Shadows soon after it was originally published in the early 1970s and recalled enjoying it.

After so many years, that’s all I recalled, but apparently this Hugo and Locus Award nominee had gone out of print for some years. Nor could I find a copy in my local library system. Finally, it was republished as part of the “Recovered Classics Book Series number 23”. I downloaded it from Amazon to my Kindle Fire and there it waited for me.

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