Cover at for “Spring Into SciFi 2020”
As promised the Cloaked Press science fiction anthology Spring Into SciFi: 2020 Edition is now available for purchase on Amazon. As I’ve been mentioning (a lot) lately, it contains my short story The Colonists which was recently reviewed.
I know these are difficult times, when fact and real life seems stranger than fiction. Believe me, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing any number of stories that address life under COVID-19. I actually did write and submit two (so far) that directly address the “lockdown” and a population held hostage by a virus.
We all want this to go away quickly, but must be prepared to hang in there for the long haul. Anxiety is high as is uncertainty, and we all need do to things that make us feel even a little bit normal.
Cover art for the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology “Witches vs. Wizards”
I just finished Zombie Pirate Publishing‘s 2018 anthology WITCHES VS WIZARDS: A Fantasy Anthology, and I must say I was exceptionally impressed. Typically, indie anthologies are a mix of terrific, good, and okay stories, with one or two stinkers, but this one surprised me.
I can’t say I found a story I didn’t like. A few of them were on themes I don’t naturally resonate with, but in each and every case, the writing was solid, and they all had an interesting, if not always unique take on the world of magic.
Derek Paterson’s “The House of Magus” was a compelling tale that could have come out of the pages of a Robert E. Howard “Conan” short story, although with more thought and a bit less bashing.
Adam Bennett’s “The Apprentice” was somewhat predictable, at least at the end, but getting there was half the fun. I had hoped for a happier ending for the hapless protagonist, but sometimes that’s not how magic and quest to slay witches works out.
Cover image for Aditya Deshmukh’s short story “Plastic Nightmare”
Aditya Deshmukh’s short story Plastic Nightmare reads more like a prelude to a novel than anything else. It certainly ended on a cliffhanger, and Deshmukh even states that there will be a sequel.
I really felt like the author didn’t give himself enough room to develop the situation or the characters.
Five years ago, police officer Razia lost her brother. To the rest of the world, it was a tragic accident, but accidents don’t happen in their future utopia. The result is that she has increasingly become obsessed with his disappearance, letting her career begin a long, downward spiral.
Her main foil seems to be her lover and her boss on the police force (not a good combination), and when what appears to be a serial murder impossibly occurs in a world with practically no crime, Razia starts making connections between the so-called “Scarlet Killer” and her brother’s vanishing.
© 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:
Found at superversivesf.com. No image credit given
I wasn’t sure about submitting to this one since “magic schools” and “Harry Potter” aren’t my usual fare. On the other hand, I like a challenge, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I still couldn’t get a handle on it until my son Michael suggested something along the lines of “Jack Jack” from “The Incredibles” movies. How about a magic pre-school for gifted toddlers?
Authors Christopher G. Nuttall and L. Jagi Lamplighter are the ones co-editing the Fantastic Schools anthology. They asked for:
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 image for Tuscany Bay Books Planetary anthology series
Once upon a time, there was an indie publisher called Superversive Press. It was based on the quaint idea that science fiction, fantasy, and even horror didn’t have to present an unending stream of tales rooted in subversiveness, nihilism, and fatalism. This downward spiral was certainly the direction science fiction began taking in the 1960s, and then became firmly cemented in by the 1970s (and since I’m an old school fan and have been reading SciFi since that period AND am currently reading a history of science fiction from the 1960s through the 1990s, I should know).
I’ve become acquainted (online) with a number of “superversive” authors and editors for the past several years, and since my initial decision to begin writing fiction, have always wanted to be published by and with them.
Promotional image for the Immortal Works anthology “A Mighty Fortress”
It’s here! A Mighty Fortress (A Mormon Steampunk Anthology Book 4) from Immortal Works and is now available for immediate download to your Kindle device. Read for free using KindleUnlimited, or purchase at the modest price of $1.99 USD. At Amazon UK, that’s £1.51.
Here’s the official announcement on Facebook.
Features my short story “The Deseret War.” Here’s a summary:
Once Stephen Isaac Eddington converted to Mormonism in his native London and realized the severe persecution the Church was enduring in the United States, he knew he had to use his unique skills to help defend the faith. But to do that, he would have to steal an incredible invention devised by his scientist mentor who had recently perished, and the greedy and corrupt tycoon who had financed the venture. Eddington and his ill-gotten technology arrived in Utah well ahead of the U.S. Army troops who the President commissioned to remove Brigham Young from power and establish a new Governor over the Utah territory.
Artist’s interpretation of interstellar asteroid 1I/’Oumuamua. [M. Kornmesser/ESO]
I got a “blast from the past” email last night that I didn’t expect in my wildest dreams. I’ve just signed the contract and submitted it, but don’t have permission to discuss the details yet. The image at the top is supposed to be sort of a clue, but there’s no way anyone (except those few in the know) could correctly interpret it.
However, it does mean my “mystery story” is the second short story acceptance for 2020, which, of course, thrills me to no end.
Proposed cover art for the Cloaked Press anthology “Spring Into SciFi 2020”
As you know, I recently announced that my short story “The Colonists” was accepted for publication in the Cloaked Press science fiction anthology “Spring Into SciFi 2020.”