“The Apollo Containment” Accepted into Lockdown Sci-Fi #3

 

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Promotional image for the Black Hare Press anthology “Lockdown Sci-Fi #3”

Black Hare Press is producing a number of “lockdown” anthologies, all based on themes of SciFi, Horror, Fantasy, Phantom, and Paranormal Romance. My short story “The Apollo Containment” was just accepted into Lockdown Sci-Fi #3 (on that page, keep scrolling down).

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Guest Blog for Tuscany Bay Books: “The Journey To Barsoom”

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Cover art for the Mars Planetary Anthology by Tuscany Bay Books

Okay, the title is inaccurate, but that’s only because I forget to include one of my own when I crafted my missive and submitted it to Richard Paolinelli.

Tuscany Bay Books as part of the effort to raise awareness of their Planetary anthology series.

Today, I discuss my short story “The Billion Year Love,” which will appear in the anthology Mars.

I’m thrilled that my short story “The Three Billion Year Love” was accepted into the Tuscany Bay Books Planetary Anthology Mars. I wrote an earlier version of the story on my blog shortly after the death of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher (the protagonist’s wife is named after her). This was at a point in my life that, for a variety of reasons, I was wanting to be able to retreat from humanity.

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Featured on the Zombie Pirate Publishing “Meet the Author” Series

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Promotional announcement for the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology, “Raygun Retro”

As my regular readers know, my short story “Buried in the Sands of Time” is being featured in the Zombie Pirate Publishing SciFi anthology RAYGUN RETRO: A Science Fiction Anthology.

I was recently interviewed as one of the contributors to “Raygun,” and that interview has since been published on ZPP’s Facebook page. Here’s an excerpt:

– Hi, what is your name and where are you from?

James Pyles. If you mean where was I born, that would be Omaha, Nebraska, USA. If you mean, where do I live, after quite a bit of wandering, my family and I settled near Boise, Idaho.

– Tell us about your story. What inspired the idea?

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COVID-19 Log: WIP for April 23, 2020

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Image: hongkiat.com

Editing an over 28,000 word novella takes a long time. I’m actually okay with that, since I’m not (paid) working today, and we don’t have the grandchildren. My wife is going nuts since she’s far more social than I am, and she’s spent long periods of time talking by phone to our daughter and my Mom.

I thought I’d share portions of my current work in progress (WIP), which involves space travel, time travel, espionage, aliens, and real technology. I’m especially proud of the research I did on mid-1960s American spy satellites.

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been working on. Let me know what you think (and remember, this is not the polished form):

“That son of a bitch,” Smirnoff spat out as ear-splitting klaxons and flashing alarm lights on the bay’s walls announced the opening of the primary launch doors over fifty feet above their heads. “What’s he doing? Romanovich knows the first trial flight isn’t scheduled for six weeks, and Cosmonaut Dobrovolsky won’t arrive here until next Tuesday.”

Utkins could smell stale cigars and vodka on his breath. “Well, Lieutenant! Stop that ship. Don’t let it get off the ground!”

She screamed at her troops and they all rushed forward. Smirnoff ranted at nearby technicians to override the launch bay doors as they were vainly pounding keys and gibbering something about the security lockouts being disabled.

The ramp had been fully retracted by the time the Lieutenant’s complement reached the ship. She ordered them to fire their rifles, sparks flaring off the impervious skin.

To the left, from around the edge of the craft, the two men Smirnoff had ordered to check Romanovich’s quarters were accompanying a very recognizable, diminutive figure, spindly legs extending out of oversized boxers. “Fuck you, Volkov,” Smirnoff murmured with satisfaction. “I see Romanovich pulled one over you.” Then he watched as a blast of force exploded outward from the slowly rising spaceship, vaporizing the irritating Lieutenant and seven other “heroes” of the state.

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Book Review of “First Lensman”

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Cover art for the 1968 edition of “First Lensman”

I’ve been reading the legendary E.E. “Doc” Smith‘s Lensman series recently. After Triplanetary (1948 – originally published as a serial in 1934), which really wasn’t about the Lensmen, but did introduce a few key characters, came First Lensman (1950) which still gave off more of a 1930s flavor.

While readers get their first real glimpse into the lives and power of the Lensmen, the tale reveals itself as terribly dated. The “good guys” are very “North American” centric, women don’t have minds compatible with interacting with the lens, and our guys are scrupulously honest and forthright.

As with “Triplanetary,” I sometimes found it difficult to keep track of scene changes and figure out where I was in the story from one point to the next.

Along with the purely space opera aspects, there were heavy political overtones, no doubt reflecting Smith’s actual viewpoints.

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My Copy of “Spring Into SciFi 2020” Arrived Today

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© James Pyles

As my regular readers know, my short story “The Colonists” is featured in the Cloaked Press anthology Spring Into SciFi 2020. The book, including my story, was recently and favorably reviewed.

Today, my personal copy of the anthology was delivered as you can tell from the image at the top of the page.

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Official “Raygun Retro” Table of Contents

 

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Table of Contents for the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology “Raygun Retro”

RAYGUN RETRO: A Science Fiction Anthology, edited by Adam Bennett and Sam M. Phillips over at Zombie Pirate Publishing, is only about two-and-a-half weeks from publication. It’s available for pre-order now for delivery to your kindle device May 1, 2020.

Above is the official table of contents for the book, and includes my short story “Buried in the Sands of Time.”

Here’s a preview. Remember, the idea behind the anthology is to create an “old school” SciFi tale, something reminiscent of the early tales of E.E. “Doc” Smith, Asimov, or Heinlein.

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Science Fiction and OPPs (Other People’s Priorities)

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Image found at K. Tempest Bradford’s blog

I’d heard of K. Tempest Bradford before, but only tangentially. So far, she hasn’t blocked me on twitter, but I expect that to change any time now.

I came across her blog post I Challenge You to Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors for One Year thanks to a notice posted on Facebook by Louis Antonelli (I’m aware that Louis can be quite controversial, but on the other hand, he’s frequented by a favorite SciFi author of mine Neal Asher).

Among other things, Bradford has “issues” with Antonelli, particularly with his current bid for the Presidency of the SFWA board.

Here’s part of what she wrote on her blog:

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My Amazon Review of John Scalzi’s “The Collapsing Empire” Refused

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Screen capture of an email from Amazon.

I know, right?

To be fair, Amazon has the right to accept or refuse reviews posted on their site because, after all, it is their site. If I did unintentionally violate their standards, I guess that’s that.

On the other hand, if you don’t like a book that’s supposed to be popular (and I did like the book for the most part), or say anything critical of it when you shouldn’t, does Amazon tip the scales in favor of “popular” works or “popular” authors?

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Book Review of “Triplanetary,” the Beginning of the “Lensmen” Series

Image captured from Amazon

Over 50 years ago, when all the other guys in Junior High were reading E.E. “Doc” Smith‘s Lensmen series, I was reading his Skylark series, and loving it. I tried re-reading Skylark of Space, the first novel in the series, several years ago, going so far as to buy a paperback copy. It was tough to swallow because it was originally written in the 1930s (the stories were originally serialized in the ’30s and then published in novel form in the 1940s – they had a resurgence in the 1960s and became incredibly popular with teenage males), and comes across as extremely dated. I didn’t notice it when I first read the book, but then I was only 14 at the time.

I’ve owned a copy of Triplanetary, the first in the “Lensmen” series, for years, but every time I tried to read it, I never got past the first few pages. I think it was our hero and heroine enjoying a ballroom dance aboard a spaceliner that put me off. Very 1930s.

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