Black Friday Sale of “Fantastic Schools Vol 2”

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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.

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“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.

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Fantastic Schools: Volume Two Now Available

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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.

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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.

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Work in Progress Excerpt 8-28-2020

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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…

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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:

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

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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).

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Loving and Fearing SF/F Fandom

EDIT: I picked up some additional material on the twitter stream and thus the content. Any changes I’ve made in this blog post are bolded.

I started following fantasy author Jeannette Ng on twitter after she gave a rather “unusual” acceptance speech upon receiving what used to be called a “Campbell Award.” I recorded my reactions HERE.

I follow her, not because I’m likely to read anything she’s written, or even that we agree on much (if anything), but to understand differing points of view. Most of the time, I don’t give her much thought, but today, I saw a thread on twitter that caught my attention. I only read part of it since, due to the nature of twitter, threads get nested in interesting ways requiring a lot of clicking and time to open them and read.

So I took a screenshot (several actually, and I edited them together) to capture what I thought were the most representative points. Apparently, the discussion was about what got various people interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy (SF/F).  However it was also a debate regarding progressive vs. traditionalist voices in SF/F, and if it were possible to speak to the positives of what an author crafted while setting aside the more “difficult” aspects of their life (More text beyond the screenshot).

Update: Someone I know on twitter captured a much more straightforward vision of this thread Here. Since people sometimes delete their material, I redid the screenshots and updated the image below. Oh, and Ms. Ng, if you ever get around to reading this… “Stale, pale, male crowd.” Cute.

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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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Dastaan World Magazine Has Accepted “The Unreal Man” for Publication

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Would it be too much to say that I’ve been waiting all my life for this story to see the light of day?

Well, maybe not all my life, but Jonathan Cypher has been part of me in one incarnation or another for over forty years.

Mark at Dastaan Magazine just accepted “The Unreal Man” for the “Quantum” themed issue of that periodical. He accepted the 5,000 word tale as opposed to the 10,000 expanded tome I originally submitted, but at least Jonathan’s name will be out there.

Here’s a couple of excerpts:

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