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.
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.
Cover image for the Cloaked Press anthology “Fall into Fantasy 2019”
I was going over various Amazon reviews of anthologies where my stories have been featured and came across one for Fall Into Fantasy: 2019. My tale “The Demon in the Mask” appeared within the pages of this Cloaked Press publication.
Even when such anthologies do well in the reviews, my stories are pretty much never mentioned (I look anyway). Lo and behold, this time something happened.
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:
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:
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…
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:
The 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.
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: