This site hasn’t seen any activity in a while. Sorry about that. It’s been a weird few years. But I’m back and chugging along. Be sure to visit my new home, since this one is now inactive:
Speculative Realms: Where there’s a will, there’s a way is now for sale! The book contains my dragon tale “Of Bones and Blades” and costs $15.95 at Lulu.com.
Check it out!
I’m posting this a few days late, but that’s the way it goes with a work schedule like mine these days.
Anyway, I received an acceptance the other day from Abominations for “For the Good of the Flock.” This is a werewolf tale — which can be a hard sale in and of itself. This one is a guilt-ridden priest facing temptation. I originally wrote it for The Beast Within, but sent it to Shroud Magazine’s anthology when it was rejected. I wouldn’t mind if this was a sign of things to come, since the other story TBW rejected is now at Clarkesworld, which has a much higher pay rate.
The table of contents (author names, anyway) for the Help anthology has been announced. Even the dense blockhead that I am, I recognize some of the bigger names on this list. Kind of cool to be in the same company:
Douglas E. Wright
Stephen Mark Rainey
Michael R. Colangelo
J. Travis Grundon
Jimmy Gillentine & Donnete Smith
Monica J Orourke
Michael A. Beoudry
Catherine J. Gardner
Marcie Lynn Choff
Guy Anthony De Marco
William Blake Vogel III
Karen L Newman
G. George Taylor
A J Brown
Jill Elaine Hughes
Terrie Leigh Relf
Kevin L Obrien
Natalie L. Sin
Peadar O Guilan
Mark Leslie Lefebvre
R. Scott McCoy
There are all kinds of fantasy. You’ve got Tolkein’s overshadowed, sweeping vistas. There’s Robert Jordan’s cyclical world, Terry Goodkind’s magic-filled lands and Tad Williams’ world where the magic is much more subdued and subtle.
And then, of course, there’s sword and sorcery. This subgenre comes and goes in popularity, but never really dies. You can beat it with a six-foot-five barbarian, set it ablaze with a fireball and run it through with a sword, but still it remains. And for that I’m grateful. It’s a fun, exciting genre that deserves its place in the literary world. I just wish there were more markets for it.
Flashing Swords is one of the places keeping this writing alive. I’ve made a couple of recent sales there myself, and plan to try for more once they re-open to submissions.
In the meantime, however, they’ve got a whole book filled with all the swords and sorcery you could want.
Return of the Sword is a brand new anthology of blood-pounding, spine-tingling stories by some of fantasy’s most critically acclaimed Sword and Sorcery authors.
Stacey Berg, Bill Ward, Phil Emery, Jeff Draper, Nicholas Ian Hawkins, David Pitchford, Ty Johnston, Jeff Stewart, Angeline Hawkes, Robert Rhodes, E.E. Knight, James Enge, Michael Ehart, Thomas M. MacKay, Christopher Heath, Nathan Meyer, S.C. Bryce, Allen B. Lloyd, William Clunie, Steve Goble, Bruce Durham, and Harold Lamb present you with enough fast paced adventure to keep you reading for hours.
A hand painted, wrap around cover by fantasy artist Johnney Perkins ensures that Return of the Sword will not only be enjoyable to read, but also look good on your coffee table or bookshelf.
Too long have the halls of fantasy been dominated by packs of weak-kneed elves hunting goblins and doughty dwarves mining for gold. Return now to the days of true adventure. Unsheath your sword and enter if you dare!
For purchase info click here: http://cyberwizardproductions.googlepages.com/returnofthesword
Below is but a sample of the action to be found in Return of the Sword. This excerpt is from “The Red Worm’s Way: A Tale of Morlock Ambrosius” by James Enge:
Morlock’s interest in gold was slight indeed; he made it by the boxful whenever he needed some, which was not often. But, as a maker of things, he had once had some interest in coins. He glanced instinctively at the discs in her hands.
They were of a type new to him. Each design was different, and some were horrible – he could see headless corpses and hanged men on a few of the gold cartwheels she held out to him. The coins might be solid and perhaps they were gold, but he doubted they were good in any generally accepted meaning of the word. They stank of evil magic.
He was about to say as much when one of the coins, showing what appeared to be a crow or raven wearing a crown, winked at him. It could have been a trick of the light, but he didn’t think so.
“What will you take for that one?” he asked, pointing at the crow-coin.
Guile entered the eyes of the grieving woman. “That is an especially valuable one, sir. They say the Crow King will do any service for the person who holds this coin.”
Morlock grunted skeptically and said, “How much for it?”
“I am not selling these coins, sir. I’m offering them to pay for a service. You cannot buy this coin; you may earn it.”
“By keeping the Strigae from chewing up your husband’s corpse tonight.”
“Please do not speak so disrespectfully of the Sisters of the Red Worm (I summon them not!). But that is the general idea.”
Morlock thought idly about knocking her down, taking the coin and running away with it. But his conversation with the woman had drawn a crowd of interested listeners; he doubted he would get away clean. Besides, stealing magical gold often had unintended consequences. On the other hand, he could just say, “No,” and walk away. But it occurred to him that he wasn’t going to do that.
“All right,” he said. “Keep the others; I just want that coin with the crow.”
“I will give it to you tomorrow morning.”
“If I keep your husband’s corpse intact.”
“Oh no. Not at all. If you stay on watch through the night I will give you the coin, even if the Unnamed Ones violate poor Thelyphron. But . . .”
“Our law says that whatever parts are missing from a dead body after a vigil must be made up by the watcher.”
“So if poor Thelyphron’s nose is missing in the morning, he will be buried with mine? Likewise liver or testicles?”
“Yes. That is only fair, wouldn’t you say?”
Morlock considered the question briefly. “No. Where do I stand, or sit, this wake?”
Just got word that my story “The Final Quarter” has been accepted for the anthology Help, an anthology being put together and sold to help Predators and Editors in the lawsuit filed by PublishAmerica (PA apparently didn’t like the fact that P&E warns writers against the fee-charging publisher and includes several examples of problems writers have had with them). The story is the basis for my novel of the same name (and largely the first chapter).
Got a notice that a zombie flash I wrote for Bits of the Dead has been passed on for the second round of reading. I should hear sometime in May whether they’ve accepted “After, Life.”
Will be in Strange Worlds of Lunacy, The Galaxy’s Silliest Anthology for a flash piece called “A Royal Pain.” It’s a cute little story based on some dealings with my son Ian when he was going through an “I want to dress up like my sister” phase.
This picture is done by Richard Svensson, who also designed the anthology’s cover. I’ve got to say I’m in love with this drawing. I think it captures the story’s light hearted and cute nature perfectly.
I submitted a story over to The Age of Blood & Snow last night. I got a hold request this morning. These guys are fast. “Tricksters” is a Vikings vs. Indians tale set in Oklahoma that was inspired by the Heavener Runestone. I saw the thing once when I was a kid, and it’s always stuck with me.
Now a hold request isn’t an acceptance, I know, and I’ve had my share of rejected holds, but the news seems to be pretty good:
I am seriously considering “Tricksters” for the anthology. I will let you know in June.
To my knowledge, only one story has been accepted so far…a “conte cruel” that apparently is of exceptional quality.
I have to say, editor Skadi meic Beorh has been very nice to work with so far. He’s open to queries and before I started writing, I sent him my basic idea and got a couple of pointers on what they did/didn’t want to see.
Had two responses this weekend. The first was from Weird Tales rejecting “Old Nag.” It was a nice enough rejection, one of those “not quite what I’m looking for but feel free to send us more” notes – probably form, but still something you like to hear. 🙂
The other was an acceptance of sorts. This was for the AnthologyBuilder site with “First Night in Jennings Grove.” In case you haven’t heard of it, this is an interesting project that allows visitors to create their own story collections from a database. So the acceptance doesn’t necessarily guarentee publication, but it’s still someone saying “Yeah, I’ll take it!”