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.
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.
© 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.
Promotional image from Terror Tract Press
Yesterday, I published a bit of a tease, but have since been given permission to make a more complete announcement.
My short story “The Babel Project” has been accepted into the Terror Tract horror anthology “7 Deadly Sins”. Not including the Sweetycat Press contest winner and the Reedsy publication, that’s nine stories accepted into anthologies and periodicals so far for 2020.
You may recall that my short story From Deep Within the Skin has been published by the same press in the anthology Infestation.
Both horror stories are presented in a science fiction context, but where the former included both homegrown and alien creepy crawlies, this one, like so many other stories these days, focuses on a global pandemic threatening to wipe out all human life.
That’s all I have to say for now…
…oh, except for the opening quote:
Promotional image for Eleanor Merry’s anthology “Dark Solstice”
The submission call was for up to five short stories, each between 100 and 500 words long. I submitted two and one was accepted.
Here’s an excerpt. Warning: it’s a bit “spicy”:
Cover image for the Death’s Head Press anthology “And Hell Followed”
I don’t quite recall the original conversation I had on Facebook, but a little over a month ago, I agreed to review the Death’s Head Press anthology And Hell Followed. Jarod Barbee purchased a digital copy for me, and I downloaded it to my kindle device and started reading.
What intrigued me about this particular horror anthology, was that the theme required authors to craft tales based on the Book of Revelation. Yeah that one. The last book in the Christian Bible. The one that foretells the end of life as we know it on Earth and the second coming of Jesus Christ…
…and a whole bunch of very, very horrible sounding events.
I just finished reading it earlier today, and I must say, it didn’t disappoint. The general quality of the tome held up pretty well. Usually in anthologies, there’s some fluctuation in quality from one story to another, and while each missive was quite different from the next, all of them were engaging and entertaining.
More than a few creeped me out.
© James Pyles
I received an email this morning with a digital copy of this book “Infestation,” published by Terror Tract. I had previously mentioned that this anthology, featuring my SciFi/Horror short story “From Deep Within the Skin,” was available for pre-order on Amazon and would be delivered to your kindle device by March 30, 2020.
I checked again, and it’s available now!
I’m including a photo of my computer screen showing a page from the book, as well as the anthology’s Amazon page.
From the book’s Foreword:
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):
Promotional art for the anthology “Infestation.”
This makes the fourth short story of mine accepted into an anthology so far in 2020.
My wee tale “From Deep Within the Skin” was accepted into Infestation: A Horror Anthology by Terror Tract Publishing. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon, for download to your Kindle device on March 30, 2020.
Imagine that as climate change continually heats the globe and hundreds of species a year become extinct, at least one evolves, grows, and thrives. However, as this corporate entity further encounters mankind, it develops a wider agenda, human conquest by bodily infestation.