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After a successful run as part of a story bundle and as I previously mentioned, L. Jagi Lamplighter’s “Fantastic Schools. Volume Six” is now available on Amazon in kindle format.
The anthology features my “magic middle school” story “The Price”. For this one, I developed a very specific system of magic, that performing any occult act requires blood or the life force of a person or people. The bigger the feat, the more life force. Evil sorcerers, being evil, will simply sacrifice the lives of the innocent because, after all, they’re evil.
But what of the good? What of the wizards and mages running magic schools, training the next generation of magicians. How does it work for them? My story explores the startling answer and how one thirteen-year-old boy holds the keys to saving his entire school. But as I said, all great acts require a great sacrifice.
If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.
Fantastic Schools Volume Six, featuring my short story “The Price” is now available through this story bundle. See it as a “Bonus” book in the second row of the image by clicking on the link.
As soon as the bundle expires (in about three weeks as of this writing), it will go on to Pubshare and Amazon. At that time, we will get a paper version up, too.
Here’s a summary of the anthology:
Have you ever wanted to go to magic school? To cast spells and brew potions and fly on broomsticks and—perhaps—battle threats both common and supernatural? Come with us into worlds of magic, where students become magicians and teachers do everything in their power to ensure the kids survive long enough to graduate. Welcome to … Fantastic Schools.
Meet a student who discovers the hard way what happens when he is transformed into a monster, another who mixes magic and music to remarkable effect, a student who wants to trigger a magical industrial revolution, an assassin posing as a tutor with a mission he cannot deny, two students who have to learn to work together – or else – and a student who starts her school newspaper and discovers a conspiracy that strikes at the heart of a proud institution …
Image is of concept art from King Arthur II, a NeocoreGames video game. This work is free and may be used by anyone for any purpose. -Wikimedia Foundation
Her lips and fingernails were chiseled rose quartz and her eyes were irresistible. Standing on the railway platform clouded with steam from the monolith locomotive, she waited in the darkness of an indeterminate night.
The full-length gown beneath her loosely draped overcoat was ashes of roses. To gaze into her jade eyes was to dive into the aortistic. To even briefly brush against her fingertips was to chance ecstasy.
People went to and fro on the concrete, passing like specters in the fog. Only she and the locomotive to her left remained motionless. She was not only waiting, but fixated on the other, as a spider might be captivated by a victim in her web.
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.
Cover image for the anthology “Fantastic Schools, vol 2”
As I mentioned before, my short story “Sorcery’s Preschool” was accepted into Volume 2 of the Fantastic Schools anthologies (I’m told there will be a volume 3 as well). Today, I found out my name made the cover, as you can see above.
That’s pretty thrilling. Not sure yet exactly when the book will be available for pre-order, but here’s an advance taste:
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.
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:
Casworon stood at the summit, his booted feet planted on the flagstone, his back, torn crimson cape over tarnished and broken chain mail, pressed against the ancient wall. The battle had been won, but at a terrible cost. The field below was littered with the dead of his foe, Jusveer, King of Zedrov, but so was it with his own dead, except for Arabel. His beloved Queen and wife had been taken during the conflict, by agents of Asluitania who were supposedly neutral.
Now that he had won the right to Jusveer’s lands and retained possession of his own, they would likely hold Arabel to random. No, Asluitania would not be interested in ruling these lands, but they would demand a yearly tribute in gold, oil, and spices. Casworon would have to sign a binding decree to pay annually after his Queen’s return. Plus, even if they had mistreated her, he could seek no vengeance against their ruler, Erembour, the sinister Shadowmaster, such was the nature of agreements with evil.
The Warrior King gazed out over the vastness of the western ocean, pining for his love as the distant barge, just at the horizon, carried her away to dark lands.