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.
Found at superversivesf.com. No image credit given
I wasn’t sure about submitting to this one since “magic schools” and “Harry Potter” aren’t my usual fare. On the other hand, I like a challenge, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I still couldn’t get a handle on it until my son Michael suggested something along the lines of “Jack Jack” from “The Incredibles” movies. How about a magic pre-school for gifted toddlers?
Authors Christopher G. Nuttall and L. Jagi Lamplighter are the ones co-editing the Fantastic Schools anthology. They asked for:
Promotional image for “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers” by Steve Carr
Steve Carr recently created Sweetycat Press (sorry, it’s a private Facebook group, so you won’t see most of the content) to showcase and promote emerging writers. To that end, their first book is “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers”, which will become available May 1, 2020. Here’s the official press release (I don’t think I’ve been in a press release before):
Image of “The Tower” Tarot card found at biddytarot.com/
Sir Edward, the Black Prince, was startled to stupefaction at discovering himself suddenly removed from the cries, blood, and gore of the Battle of Crécy. Father had left the field intentionally, gambling on his son’s ability to win the day. Now sorcery had stolen victory from him and placed him where?
Her hideous screams followed her all the way down from the top of the tower as she fell, their last echo dying as she struck the earth and stone with a sickening “thump.” She bounced once, which almost made him laugh to his horror, then she ceased to move at all.
The night, for it was night here, was illuminated by flashes of lightning, rolling thunder causing him to tremble. His sturdy mount, white mane and noble stature, struggled against the bit and reins, trying to escape the macabre scene, but he was in control…barely.
Cloaked Press LLC logo
As my regular readers know, two of my short stories were published in Cloaked Press anthologies. “The Recall” was featured in Spring Into SciFi: 2019 Edition, and “The Demon in the Mask” appeared in Fall Into Fantasy, 2019 Edition.
I have another submission into them that I hope will make it into their 2020 science fiction edition, but something else is going on. I just got this email:
I’d just like to say thank you again for being part of the Cloaked Press Family, and if I could ask a small favor, that would be wonderful. I’d like to take Cloaked Press to the next level and begin taking on single author novels, novellas, and collections. To do this, I started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a large bath of ISBNs (100 to start is the goal), as well as purchase cover designs and some marketing ads with Amazon, Facebook, etc. If anyone would be willing to reach out to their followers to see about getting us a boost, that would be wonderful.
So here I am giving a boost.
© James Pyles
It was a hard day, in a hard week, in a hard nine months or more.
After dinner, while heating water for tea, I walked into my granddaughter’s bedroom. We’ve reserved one of our two spare bedrooms for her, mainly because when she was smaller and stayed with us, she’d take afternoon naps. It still has her bed, a lot of her toys, plus the walls are decorated with her drawings and paintings.
She’s four-and-a-half, and as I was wandering around, I remembered something about her I’ll tell you about in a bit.
My grandson is almost eleven. Ever since he was about five or six, we have played “the game.” It started out in a really primitive form. He made up some situation and what his character was going to do to my character, but being an adult, I’d always find a way to top him.
As he got older, the stories became more sophisticated. For about two-and-a-half years, I turned some of those role playing games into an ongoing story for him published on this blog. I adapted the very first story I wrote for him, and it became one of my early published short stories in the Magical Reality fantasy anthology from Pixie Forest Publishing.
Promotional image for the Zombie Pirates Publishing anthology “Clockwork Dragons”
Today’s the day. My short story “The Mechanical Dragon” is featured in this Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology.
I have a hard time not offending anyone. When I write horror, some of my friends are unhappy with me, and while I consider my “Dragon” story to be pretty benign, I know that anything to do with magic and dragons rubs some folks the wrong way.
Just thought I’d throw this one in. Remember, CLOCKWORK DRAGONS: A Fantasypunk Anthology is available now for pre-order to be delivered to your Kindle device on January 15, 2020.
Promotional image for “Clockwork Dragons”
Zombie Pirate Publishing is running a promotion on Patreon. Sign up for as little as one US dollar, and gain exclusive access to their soon-to-be published CLOCKWORK DRAGONS: A Fantasypunk Anthology.
Promotional image for “Clockwork Dragons”
Featuring my short story “The Mechanical Dragon.” Find it here. Available January 15, 2020.