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 at for “Spring Into SciFi 2020”
Spring Into SciFi: 2020 Edition just got its first review, but not on Amazon. Cheyanne A. Lepka reviewed the anthology on her personal blog five days ago (as I write this), giving it a four out of five star (which is pretty good).
Read the full review HERE.
The review calls out four of the contributing authors: Gary Wosk, Charles Venable, Elizabeth Houseman, and James Pyles (me).
She also included links to all the author bios on the “Cloaked Press” website. Here’s what mine looks like.
Finished cover art for the Cloaked Press anthology “Spring Into SciFi 2020”
I just found out that not only is the Cloaked Press anthology “Spring Into SciFi 2020” available on Amazon for pre-order, but it will be delivered to your kindle device on April 3, 2020. That’s this coming Friday, folks.
The book features my science fiction short story “The Colonists,” which I’m absolutely thrilled about. This is a concept and a universe I’ve wanted to get out to readers for quite some time now, and I’m hoping SciFi fans will really enjoy it.
Previously, I mentioned that I would make free advanced digital (epub or MOBI) copies of the anthology available to anyone who requested one, as long as they agreed to write an Amazon review. So far, I’ve had no takers (which is surprising because, hey, free book).
The offer still stands. Contact me if you are interested. I’m extending the offer for another week, until Sunday, April 5, 2020 (which also happens to be First Contact Day), two days after the book becomes available for direct sale.
Here’s an excerpt I haven’t put online before:
© James Pyles
Just got the email update from Cloaked Press that the digital copy of “Spring Into SciFi 2020” is available for pre-order now at Amazon. The ebook will be downloaded to your kindle device on April 3, 2020.
My science fiction short story “The Colonists” appears within its pages, and I’m incredibly thrilled.
Now for an offer:
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.”
Screen capture of the Cloaked Press website
You may recall that my short story “The Recall” was previously accepted for publication in the Cloaked Press anthology Spring Into SciFi 2019. This was followed by my fantasy tale “The Demon in the Mask” being featured in this publisher’s anthology Fall Into Fantasy 2019.
I am proud to announce that my science fiction short story “The Colonists” has been accepted for publication in the Cloaked Press anthology “Spring Into SciFi 2020”.
Fresh round of rejections came in yesterday and my SciFi short story “Sharing Destiny” was among them. I’ve submitted this story to various publishers a number of times and so far, no one has found it worthy of seeing the light of day. It actually began life as one of those song/lyrics challenges. It’s a love story with a strange twist. Here’s a scene near the tale’s climax. Let me know what you think.
She stared down at him. Isaac was sitting on the floor on his legs, face buried in his hands, weeping like a hysterical child, and over what? The fact that she would save the human race from extinction? He had engineered his betrayal of her, and of the Earth, for decades. It was all a lie. Every “I love you,” every night in bed together, their wedding vows; they were all lies.
He had almost destroyed her and the planet, but she still couldn’t begin to understand why.
“You cold-blooded bastard.”
He didn’t bother to correct her, to say that Saurians were warm-blooded like mammals, not like the reptiles people assumed they were. Then again, that’s probably not what she’d meant.
Cover art for Venus Planetary Anthology
I’m delighted to be the first person (on Amazon) to review the Planetary Anthology: Venus. I’ve been aware of the Superversive SF movement and their publications for a few years now, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to review any of their works apart from God, Robot.
Each anthology in the series takes the theme of a particular planet or other major body in our solar system and asks contributors to create a short story on that theme. In this case, it can be about the planet Venus, but it can also be about the mythological goddess, or even on the wider topic of love and romance (with or without the SciFi/Fantasy elements).
One of the motivations for reading an anthology is to become exposed to a wider variety of authors (twenty in the case of “Venus”) and then decide which ones you like well enough to read more of their works.
I downloaded “Venus” onto my Kindle Fire and spent a few weeks of lunch hours reading stories and taking notes.
Found at Cracked.com
“I think it’s so sweet…how you let your friends encourage you to try and talk to me…”
“Go on, Halley. Go over and talk to him.”
“Shut up, Judy. He’ll hear.”
Oh, what are you afraid of?”
“I told you, Diane. I’ll talk to him when I feel like it.”
They didn’t know Isaac could actually can hear them. They thought he was just talking to John and Robert during lunch period and that he couldn’t tell what was happening just a few feet away.
He thought to himself, “God, I hate high school. I wish this wasn’t necessary.”
“Fine, Halley. If you’re too chicken, I’ll go over and tell him you want him to ask you out.”
“No! Wait, Diane.” As her girlfriend started to walk forward (a bluff probably), Halley grabbed her arm and pulled her back.
“Anyway, see you later, guys.”
“Stay cool, Isaac.” Robert made a salute with his fist.
“Later, brother.” John just nodded. They both saw Halley finally start walking toward him and knew he’d need his space.
Artist’s concept of a Venus cloud city — a possible future outcome of the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) plan.
Credit: Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center
“Don’t look for what you don’t want to find…”
“So this is it; this is what I wished for; just isn’t how I envisioned it…”
— Eminem, from “Careful What You Wish For.”
Genaro tried to remember what happened. He’d been sleeping a lot lately but it wasn’t a natural sleep. They were trying to keep him quiet so he wouldn’t be a bother. Why couldn’t he see? Why were his arms and legs so heavy?
He tried to stand but although he could find the floor, he couldn’t find his feet. Something at the end of his leg was touching something below and to the side of him, but it wasn’t a foot. It was…was… What was it? What had happened? He realized now he couldn’t move his fingers. What was at the end of his arms? Why was it so hard to breathe?
He opened his mouth but couldn’t scream. He felt like he was suffocating. His head, yes he still had a head, was aching. The pain spiked and then there was nothingness.