Publications in 2021 and the Impending New Year

2021

© James Pyles

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

I’ve noticed other indie authors doing this sort of thing, creating a graphic representation of the books and stories that were published in the past year. Sounded like an interesting idea, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’ve already posted the graphic on social media, but thought I’d add some details for my blog readers.

Here’s a list of my publications from the beginning of 2021 to the end:

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Winter of Wonder: Superhuman: 2021 Edition Features My Story “That Which Burns”

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Cover art for the anthology “Winter of Wonder”

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My short story “That Which Burns” is now available in the Cloaked Press anthology Winter of Wonder: Superhuman: 2021 Edition.

The theme for this new anthology series this year is “superhuman.”

What does it mean to be ‘Superhuman’? Not just super powers or flashy costuming. What lies beneath the surface? What makes the psyche tick? Fourteen authors from the Cloaked Press Family explore this theme in our first Winter of Wonder anthology. Join them as they explore strange alien worlds, yet find some humanity within its monstrous inhabitants. Come along with an assassin long due for retirement, and a bounty hunter pushing his luck far beyond his competitors. Magical weapons and magical tapestries abound, while one incredible man serves a wife he didn’t choose. Meet those who chose not to blindly follow protocol and serve, be that from a teacher, a friend and former lover, or the Queen Goddess herself. Superheroes are sometimes not what they seem, and sometimes allies come from unexpected places.

My story has been around for a while but like many creations, it didn’t sell on the first try or on a few subsequent attempts.

Tyler Melody Ross is a very special young woman, but her being “special” isn’t always considered a good thing to her family, her friends, and her neighbors. We meet her as an inmate of an asylum in update New York in 1954. Normally, she’s kept heavily sedated, masked, and her hands covered in thick mittens. Then she gets a new doctor who says he wants to help her, but unbeknownst to him, that help may well bring disaster.

Here’s a small excerpt from “That Which Burns:”

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“That Which Burns” Accepted Into “Winter of Wonder”

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Cover art for Winter of Wonder 2021

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

My short story “That Which Burns” has been accepted into the Cloaked Press anthology “Winter of Wonder 2021.” Already several of my tales have been published in Cloaked Press anthologies Spring Into SciFi and Fall Into Fantasy. These anthologies come out annually (Spring and Fall) and this is the first time “Winter” has appeared. I’m so excited.

The publisher is still waiting for the last two author responses, but so far, the line up is:

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Part Two of Reviewing “Lovecraft Country”

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Letitia (Jurnee Smollett), Atticus (Jonathan Majors), and George (Courtney B Vance) in a scene from the show “Lovecraft Country”

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After my review of the first episode of Lovecraft Country Sundown, I thought I’d just keep watching and maybe review the entire first season as a whole. But after viewing three more episodes, because each show is so densely packed, I was afraid of losing a lot of the details.

So now that I’ve watched Whitey’s on the Moon, Holy Ghost, and A History of Violence, I thought I should recap them now.

In “Whitey’s on the Moon,” the creepy white guy at the door of the huge mansion in the middle of nowhere is William (Jordan Patrick Smith) and he seems to treat Tic, Leti, and George very well. They all wake up in their rooms with objects of their most cherished desires. George is hip deep in books while Leti has a closet full of wonderful clothes all exactly her size, and they couldn’t be happier.

Tic, on the other hand, remains deeply disturbed by their encounter with monsters the previous night, and finally comparing notes with the other two, realizes that they didn’t remember a thing. Even their car Woody has been restored to them. All of this is due to magic spells, but I’ll get to that.

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Review of Lovecraft Country episode “Sundown”

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Scene from the Lovecraft Country episode “Sundown”

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When I decided to review the first season of the television series Lovecraft Country, I didn’t know if it would be a single review of the series, episode by episode, or something in between.

Then I watched the first episode Sundown and was truly horrified, but not as you might imagine.

If you haven’t seen it and you care about that sort of thing, there are tons of spoilers ahead.

The show tells the tale of a young black man named Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), a veteran of the Korean War who is traveling by bus to his home in Chicago because his father has gone missing.

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“7 Deadly Sins” Reviewed at “Damaged Skull Writer” Blog

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Promotional image

I’m very happy that my fellow author Brian – James, otherwise known as “Damaged Skull Writer” reviewed the Terror Tract Publishing horror anthology 7 Deadly Sins.

It features my short story “The Babel Project” (Pride). The review states in part:

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Review of “Latuda’s Lady in White”

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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.

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A Beautiful Friendship

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Lovers by Harry Hollard, 1982

Eugene hadn’t felt the warmth of a woman’s touch in too long. The pandemic, lockdowns, and all the rest made most people reluctant to become intimate with a stranger. His life had always been dependent on a near endless string of brief, anonymous affairs. He had been starved for what he needed for what felt like an eternity.

“Come here, lover.” Brenda cooed and sighed as he took the nipple of her right breast between his lips and expertly fondled it with his tongue.

They were both nude and his penis began to stir, but the longing he felt went far beyond that. However, as he was about to strike, he was startled out of the moment.

“And now you’re mine, you poor sap.” Brenda clutched his head in both of her palms and began a ritual Eugene knew all too well.

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Olivia Comes Home

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© Sue Vincent

Olivia tiredly trudged down the steep, rocky walk toward the village. It had been a disappointing journey for the most part. She hoped this wouldn’t be another town that enforced masks. She always kept one handy, but it frequently smudged the pasty pancake makeup liberally applied on her face. Didn’t do much for her black lipstick and heavy mascara either.

She was barely an adult, not quite twenty. Yet it seemed like she had been searching forever. The scene before her was almost antithetical to both herself and her quest. It could have been a town out of her great-grandma’s favorite movie, the “Sound of Music.” High clock tower, quaint houses and buildings, a study in pastels. And she was a girl of stark blacks and whites punctuated by multiple piercings. For her, goth was not a passing fancy.

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