“The Pleiades Dilemma” Now Available for Pre-Order in the Planetary Anthology “Sol”

sol

Promotional cover image for the Sol planetary anthology

One of my oldest science fiction tales, “The Pleiades Dilemma” is featured in the Tuscany Bay Press Planetary Anthology Sol.

It’s now available for pre-order on Amazon for delivery to your Kindle device on November 10th.

And now, another excerpt:

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Preview of my Short Story “The Haunted Detective”

trench

Promotional image for the Gemini Wordsmiths anthology “The Trench Coat Chronicles”

About six weeks ago, I announced that my short story “The Haunted Detective” was accepted for publication in the Gemini Wordsmiths anthology “The Trench Coat Chronicles.”

The graphic above not only includes my name among the accepted authors but relates that this book will be available sometime around the winter holidays.

If you can’t wait, here’s a small excerpt:

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Work in Progress Excerpt 8-28-2020

poker

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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My Short Story “The Tenth Second” Has Been Accepted for Publication in the “Tick Tock” Anthology

james pyles

Promotional image for the Black Hare Press anthology “Tick Tock” featuring me and my short story “The Tenth Second”

My short story “The Tenth Second” has been accepted for the Black Hare Press time travel anthology Tick Tock. The tales were to be 500 words long, which isn’t a lot of room to tell a full story, and they accepted multiple submissions. My other submission “The Weapon” wasn’t accepted, but you can’t win them all.

Just signed the contract online.

Here’s a sample:

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Warrior’s Prize

oceanThe amber sands of the Elysian beach and the expanse of the ocean beyond called to the triumphant Erik Reeves, but not as much as she did. Leona, as young, as brilliantly beautiful as she had been before the war, stood waiting, the sea at her back. She had shed the ruffled skirt and cotton smock, naked toes clutching at sparse greenery beneath her feet.

He said nothing, consumed with concupiscence, his mind still filled with the lust of battle, and now he would conquer her as well, his prize, the spoils of victory. He doffed his own shorts and t-shirt and then advanced.

She smiled, pale blue eyes contrast against skin the color of coconut shell. He raised a paw toward her bare, heavy breasts, but she took a hasty step backward.

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My Short Story “The Haunted Detective” To Be Published!

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Screen capture from Facebook

In the last ten days or so, in pretty rapid succession, I got three rejection notices, two from the same publisher. Needless to say, I was bummed. That’s why when Ruth and Ann from Gemini Wordsmiths told me this morning that my short story The Haunted Detective was accepted into their Trench Coat Chronicles anthology, I was thrilled.

I can’t find a formal announcement on their website, but I did find one on a Facebook group, which is where the screen capture comes from.

Here’s part of the submissions call, just to give you an idea of what I had to shoot for:

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Kathleen Morales and the Bandit Carolinas

oasis

Oasis in the Libyan part of the Sahara – Credit to Sfivat and licensed under Public Domain.

The open sky stretched from sand to horizon and the riders advanced on the oasis. Kathleen Morales led her band of rebel outlaws, two dozen strong, toward the wide, limpid pool surrounded by long grass waving in the torrid breeze under the shade of the broad palm branches. But when they finally arrived at this rare shelter amid a vast wasteland of the east, they discovered they weren’t alone.

The desert bandit swung a leg over her saddle and dismounted, heavy boots making their mark on the damp soil. Her hair, a tangle of magenta, azure, and her natural brown, flew up as she landed, and the gold and silver of her nose and ear piercings sparkled in the filtered sunlight. She marched up to the tiny collection of refugees and declared, “Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my oasis?”

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My Copy of “A Mighty Fortress” Has Arrived

mormon

© James Pyles

Some time ago, I announced that my short story “The Deseret War” had been published in the Immortal Works anthology A Mighty Fortress: A Mormon Steampunk Anthology Book 4 edited by Holli Anderson.

There was some sort of snafu with the mailing, and I never got my copy of the book…

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E.E. Durbin and the Haunt of Idaho City

Boise train depot circa 1920. Found at napcommissions.org

The wind was a howling wolf. Emma Elizabeth Durbin knifed her hatpin like a sabre through both her short-brimmed, kid skin hat, and mounds of luxuriant auburn hair as she exited the train’s passenger car. Scuffed shoe leather met fresh boardwalk. Her long dress and matching short jacket were oppressively warm. It was only 10:15 in the morning, and hot for June in Boise.

Checking the weight of her satchel by jiggling it in her right hand, she longed for a comfortable bath and a filling meal. Neither of them were in her near future as she clip clopped forward, desperately avoiding semi-intimate collisions with fellow passengers and locals on the platform, as she navigated through the terminal hordes.

The rest of her belongings would be delivered to her hotel, but she had someplace else to be. Assuming the information on the telegram nestled in her dark jacket pocket was accurate, and he was on time like he said he’d be, she’d be sitting across a table from the Sheriff of Idaho City in half an hour.

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