My Own Copy of “Meteor Fall”

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© James Pyles

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It’s in my hands.

I’ve now got my own personal copy of the Cloaked Press anthology Meteor Fall: An Anthology of The Collective. It features two of my short stories, “Eden and the Starcat” and “The Sins of the Fathers and the Sons”

Here’s a brief description:

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Jeb’s Guests

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Photo Credit: One Big Photo

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Jeb Blackbird was walking next to the workhorse pulling the buffalo carcass laden wagon when he saw the stranger by his house. Only Sioux should be allowed on this land for 400 miles in every direction, but this man was obviously one of the hated colonizers. To his credit, the white haired (white skinned) colonizer was waiting respectfully some twenty feet from the front door of the big house. Although the Dakota plains in autumn got damn cold, and the intruder was only in a shirt and rough trousers, he didn’t seem to mind.

The sun was setting behind the three houses, the big house for his wife and three children, middle for meat curing, storage, and whatever else he could think of, and the small house for the sweat lodge. Jeb reached over to the horse (he never bothered to give it a name) and pulled his Winchester rifle from the long holster mounted on the bridle.

“Speak your piece.” He made his voice as gruff as he could, though when he sang, his wife Ella said he sounded like the sweetest spirits. He pointed the barrel at the ground. This man’s kind had been a terrible trouble before they’d been stopped. His closest neighbor, Stewart Bluefeather said he had friends among them, and that not all white people were cruel, but for Jeb, trust was hard earned.

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Two of My Short Stories Published in “Meteor Fall: An Anthology of The Collective”

meteor
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The Collective has long kept secret the strange things that happen after a meteor shower. While the world Oohs and Aahs over the pretty streaks of light, field agents quietly gather up the people and objects changed by this cosmic phenomenon.

With a global event unlike anything the world has ever seen on the horizon, the Collective knows it’s only a matter of time before the world discovers what really happens when objects fall from the sky.

Can they continue to maintain their secrecy and protect humanity from the dangers of Meteor Fall?

This one is really interesting. I have two short stories published in Meteor Fall: An Anthology of The Collective.

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My Short Story “The Unreal Man” Now Appearing in Discordia


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My short story The Unreal Man, really one of my oldest concepts, is finally being featured in Discordia: Stories of A World In Chaos, published by Dastaan World, whose website isn’t particularly current, but whose Facebook page is a tad more kept up.

What is Dastaan World?

In Central Asia, a ‘dastaan’ – Persian for ‘story’ – is oral history told in the form of an ornate story. Dastaan World is a platform through which you can achieve visibility, credibility, and success. Each month, we feature short stories, poetry, art, photography, and more – helping creators showcase their talent to the world. It is our sincerest hope that we can help create opportunities for success for everyone who submits their work to us. So reach out, tell us what you do or can do, and let us together explore new avenues.

Admittedly, I haven’t heard from the publisher for months. I did find out that one of the things holding up “Discordia” was the cover art. I’m pleased that “The Unreal Man” is in print at last, but I just wish the journey was a bit more “typical” of my experiences with the publishing industry.

Who is the Unreal Man?

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Rejection and Feedback

typing

Found at typinglounge.com – No image credit given

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Random stuff.

I haven’t been writing much lately. Okay, I haven’t been writing anything new at all. I do technical writing for my day job of course, and I just finished yet another freelance job updating/refreshing test questions at the back a technology book (it’s actually more interesting than it sounds, pays pretty well, and has a quick turnaround).

What I have  been doing is submitting previously rejected short stories to different publishers, actually trying for more “mainstream” periodicals.

This is where the rejection part comes in. One story is basically urban fantasy/crime story (I’ve just submitted it yet again, so we’ll see) and the other is a sort of “pirates in space” tale, complete with oppressive colonizers, revenge, and swashbuckling. I even included a fictionalized version of a famous author.

The vast, vast majority of time when you get those rejection emails, they’re pretty standard fare and offer no feedback good, bad, or indifferent. This last one did:

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Revisiting the Fantastic Schools Anthologies

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Promotional materials for the Fantastic Schools series.

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You may remember that my fantasy short story “Sorcery’s Preschool” was published last fall in Wisecraft Publishing’s anthology Fantastic Schools, Volume 2. It’s the tale of a four-year-old girl and the day her grandmother takes her to a very unusual pre-school, one for gifted and very young (and potentially dangerous) magicians.

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“No Place Like Home” featured in “Magicks & Enchantments”

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Promotional image for Magicks & Enchantments

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This is a little later than I’d hoped, but my short story “No Place Like Home” is finally available in the Blackbird Publishing anthology Magicks & Enchantments (also available HERE and HERE).

What would have happened if Dorothy hadn’t made it back to Kansas from Oz? What would have happened if she didn’t want to go? What would have it been like if the “good witch” Glinda had craved the ruby slippers for her own, and after a few minutes, hours, or days, what would the transformed Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion really have been like with their new attributes?

To find out, buy a copy of this anthology and read “No Place Like Home.” I promise, you’ll never think of Dorothy the same way again.

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Big Announcement for Saturday the 17th

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Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”

This one has been in the works for months, and the story involved has been edited again and again. I think you’ll like the final result. It will become available Saturday. I still can’t talk about it and have no promotional materials to offer, but I can share an excerpt to whet your appetite.

Toto barked at the witch like a maniac, but mercifully, didn’t try to escape Dorothy’s grasp. The broomstick competed with Dorothy’s legs as to which could shake faster and harder. If the monkeys didn’t arrive soon, Glinda would grab Dorothy and send her back home. Dorothy could try to ride the broomstick back to Wicked’s castle, where she knew the monkeys were sure to take her if they’d ever show up. But she’d never ridden a broomstick before. What if she fell – or worse, dropped Toto?

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Review of “Misfits” by A.C. Haskins

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Promotional image of author A.C. Haskins

If you’ve read THIS and THIS, then you know why I’ve been reviewing a small series of short stories published by Baen Books.

Today, I review the third and last tale in the 2021 freebie I downloaded called Misfits authored by A.C. Haskins. He doesn’t seem to have a blog or website, but according to his Amazon Author’s page:

A.C. Haskins is a former Armored Cavalry Officer and combat veteran, turned economist and business strategist (and occasional firearm instructor). He has a lifelong love of speculative fiction, having written his first science fiction novel as a class project in the eleventh grade. His interests include (but are not limited to) ancient and medieval history, mythology, applied violence studies, tabletop gaming, and theoretical economics. He lives in Michigan with his wife, two cats, and a dog.

You can find what books he’s contributed to by clicking the link above.

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