My story, Dilemma with Omnivore, is coming out in the new “Paradoxical Pets” anthology from Word Balloon Books.
What do you do when your pet eats anything inanimate?
(This story first appeared in Little Blue Marble in 2019.)
James and Cheryl Maxey, who run World Balloon Books, have a kickstarter for this anthology. They’re hoping that a good response will let them publish more great speculative fiction anthologies for kids. The cover art (by Kelsie Brumet) is fantastic. Just look at that!
“Ghost dogs are friendly, but space cats are smarter…
You can read about both if you fund our Kickstarter!
“Awesome science fiction and fantasy stories for readers 8 and up are found in Paradoxical Pets! Dinosaurs, dragons, dodos, and kraken join cats, dogs, hamsters and rats in these tales of weird and wonderful animal companions! Be among the first people to get your copy by supporting our Kickstarter today!”
My contributor copy of Alternative Holidays arrived! Much sooner than expected! And it has my story, Midsummer with Vampire Romeo and Zombie Juliet in it. It’s always a thrill to see one of my works in print.
Here’s the Midjourney.ai art I made for this story. I’ve just started reading the other stories and poems. They’re excellent!
My little 500-word story, “Bidaai ki Chicken Curry” is out on the Worlds of Possibility website run by Julia Rios. And not just the story! There’s a podcast, where I read the story, and then there’s an interview with Julia. I’m so thrilled with how it’s turned out.
My short story, “Midsummer with Vampire Romeo and Zombie Juliet” has been published in Alternative Holidays Anthology from B Cubed Press. I did my first experiment with the Midjourney.ai (an artificial intelligence that creates pictures in response to prompts) to illustrate the title of my story.
I really liked the result (though I thought Juliet looks midway between a vampire and a zombie!) and I used it for posts on all my social media.
ALTERNATIVE HOLIDAYS FROM B CUBED PRESS.
The story is in a great anthology, with a nice mix of humor, horror, and warmth. And look at this cover!
The back cover is great, too: It has quotes from the characters in the anthology.
And here’s a list of the stories and authors.
Dreidel of Dread: The Very Cthulhu Chanukah – Alex Shvartsman
Candy Canes and Brimstone – Alicia Hilton
The Santa Trap – Nina Kiriki Hoffman writing as Robin Aurelian
Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology – J.C.G. Goelz
Lucy in the Sky with Helen-Sheri White
12 Zombie Days of Christmas-Gregg Chamberlain
Moderno Inferno-Richard Lau
The Last Reindeer-Katharina Gerlach
Santa’s Dog- Kevin McCarty
Christmas Fare- Kelly Piner
Paradise Misplaced-Samuel Marzioli
A Visit at Saint Nick’s-Gregg Chamberlain
The Effect of Place on Love and Death-Gerri Leen
The Stockings of Santa River-Daniel Ausema
He’s Coming-Louis Evans
Lancelot Wednesday-Judy Lunsford
MOJO DAY-Marie Noorani
Quicksilver’s Last Job-Simon Kewin
Merry Chrithmuth-Kevin McCarty
Midsummer with Vampire Romeo and Zombie Juliet-Keyan Bowes
We All Have to Pitch In-David Powell
The Reaper of Trees-Emily Martha Sorensen
Ten Songs of Halloween-Larry Hodges
Four Spirits of Christmas – Julia LaFond
Late at Night, In the Bathtub, A Snowman Panics-Mark Teppo
Crop Circles-Carter Lappin
Krampus at the Craft Fair-Sarina Dorie
The Tannenbombers-James Edward O’Brien
Chinese New Year’s Resolution-Robert Jeschonek
The Afterthought-Jenna Hanchey
Scream Stream-Gordon Linzner
Ne’er Day-Andrew L. Roberts
Soul For It-Mir Rainbird
Twelve Silver Candles-Emily Munro
Something Wicked-Evan Davies
Silent Night-Liam Hogan
The Apocalypse Was Glorious, My Darlings-Paula Hammond
Last Mission-Alex J. Smith
Cupid’s Confession-Alicia Hilton
I’ve been dipping into it, and really looking forward to reading the whole thing.
My story, Happily Ever After in Twelve Stained Glass Panels, is in the Mosaics anthology that’s going to the moon, as part of the Lunar Codex!
“The #LunarCodex welcomes the editors, illustrators, and authors of the MOSAICS books – inducting them into the Polaris time capsule to be archived for the future via the 2023 SpaceX / Astrobotic Griffin / NASA VIPER rover mission to the Lunar South Pole
“Curated by Kim Wells and Pavarti K Tyler, with editors Crystal Watanabe and Jessica West, the volumes collect writing from independent feminist authors. Including short and flash fiction , stories, poetry, essays, and art, Mosaics is a multi-faceted look at the history and culture surrounding femininity.”
I’d been away for a couple of weeks, and when I got back I found this wonderful thing waiting for me: Contributor copies of the Dark Cheer – Cryptids Emerging (Volume Silver). . I am so thrilled to have my story “Chicken Monster Motel” republished in this anthology.
There’s one hardcover and one paperback. The table of contents looks exciting. I’m looking forward to reading this!
The review totally got to the heart of the poem. “A nice and rather wicked piece that speaks to me of roles and of consequence.”
I love Charles’s reviews. They’re kind and insightful, and I usually end up reading several of the stories – or poems – reviewed. There’s also a new “Scales of Relative Grimness” to establish how dark the content and tone of the reviewed stories are. Which I find very valuable, and hope to see become more widespread.
And the table of contents looks really intriguing, as does the book description from the Improbable Press website:
For the lovers of things that go bump in the night
Here be stories of South African grootslang and bayou grundylow, tales of elementals, jackalopes, and flying motels.
Within you’ll find tiny leviathans and rock whales, cambion and kelpie, a girl between time, and a man who saves a gun’s life.
These are stories of cryptids who sing or swim or save us, living side-by-side so often unseen…and then seen.
So very much seen.
If we look.
With more than 35 stories, and 320+ pages, Volume Silver includes tales by:
• Ali Habashi: Landlocked
• Amy Lynwander: Pg At The Park
• Angel Whelan: Healer’s Song
• Alison Mcbain: The Development
• Brian Trent: Love Song Of The Wendigo
• Carman Curton: Various
• Carter Lappin: Road Trip
• Dominick Cancilla: Mysterious Travelers
• Elizabeth Walker: Pics Or It Didn’t Happen
• Eric Shlayfer: The Kyivan Song
• Euan Lim: The Beauty In The Unexpected
• Evadare Volney: New Song For The Old Canary
• Evan Baughfman: Life And Limb
• Frances Pauli: Original Activist
• George Ivanoff: The Heart Of Gervascio
• G.V. Pearce: Falling For Her
• Jeff Davis: Old Friend
• Julie Ann Rees: The Grundylow
• Keyan Bowes: Chicken Monster Motel
• Louis Evans: Baba Yaga’s Apprentice
• Madeline Pine: Loud Came The Rain
• Marlaina Cockcroft: Leviathan
• Marshall Moore: Lakers
• Merinda Brayfield: From The Ashes
• Mikal Trimm: Huffenpuff
• Neethu Krishnan: Fireflies And Thieves
• Nora Bailey: The Beast In The Deep
• Parker Foye: Grim Up North
• Rick Hodges: The Goat-Boy Paradigm
• Rl Meza: Enfield
• Robert Bagnell: The Hundred Dollar Fortune
• Robert Pipkin: The Jackalope
• Sarina Dorie: A Guide For The Lover Of Jorogumo
• Shawna Borman: The Water Horse
• Simon Kewin: The Monster
• Tom Velterop: Nights Without Dreams
• Yvette Lisa Ndlovu: When Death Comes To Find You
PREORDERS ARE AVAILABLE
The books are available for preorder on the website: $7.95 for an electronic version, $21.95 for the paperback, and $29.95 for the hardcover. If you buy both Dark Cheer volumes in hardback or paperback, you receive an automatic 20% discount.
Back in January 2019, Mysterion reprinted my story, “Lepers.” (This may be my most-reprinted story by now!)
Anyway, Donald Crankshaw and Kristen Janz, the editors of Mysterion, have brought out a beautiful paperback anthology collecting the stories they published in 2018-19. “Lepers” is in it.
This is a really good anthology. Its values are humane (not necessarily religious), its characters intriguing. In most anthologies, I like perhaps half the stories. In this one, I liked them all. (I also love that atmospheric cover art!)
The other day, I found in my in-box a letter from World Fantasy Con, asking if I’d like to submit a digital signature. Busy with other things, I put it in my mental file labeled Things to Get Around To. But today, it came with a reminder that the deadline was Sept 24 2020.
They had linked a signature maker, but I wasn’t happy with the results. So I thought I’d cobble something together in MSPaint, my favorite emergency illustration software. My first try was just a signature using one of the included fonts. It was okay, though impersonal.
I thought I’d design my own – something that would work for fantasy and for science fiction, vaguely contemporary and playful. And which I could complete in about 30 minutes, because I was running out of time.
This is the result. I’m quite happy with it, at least for now.
Look what arrived in the mail while I was away in India!
It’s the paperback anthology of 2019 stories from The Little Blue Marble magazine. It includes my story, Dilemma, With Omnivore… which features a very omnivorous little monster. This is a very nicely-produced publication, and I’m really proud to have my story in it.
It’s that time of the year, and I thought I’d list the new stories I’ve had published. The score for this year may be my best ever, with four new stories published and four edifying reprints.
A Scent of Roses in Constellary Tales, February 2019. In a deeply traditional world, a newborn child isn’t allowed to survive.
Octonet in Escape Pod, March 2019. This is my Octopuses get Smartphones short story. It’s also a sweet love story in around 5K words.
In Dreams Awake in Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter, August 2019. Virtual Reality for a small child as the world ends. It’s flash fiction, about 1000 words.
Dilemma, with Omnivore in Little Blue Marble, September 2019. A light-hearted Litttle Green Monster story, with a darker environmental subtext. Also a flash short story, about 1000 words.
I was delighted when Escape Pod republished my story, Light and Death on the Indian Battle Station, and did a fabulous podcast of it. And I was thrilled that Working Futures anthology chose to republish my story Genetic Changelings. And when the Two Hour Transport anthology republished my story, Nor Yet Feed the Swine. Finally, Mysterion republished my story Lepers, which might now be my most-republished story.
Escape Pod has just republished my story, Light and Death on the Indian Battle Station just in time for Diwali, the Festival of lights (which falls on October 27th in 2019). The story is read by Farah Naz Rishi. But it’s more than just reading, she’s had experience as a voice actor, and that’s what she brings to this production. The result is a simply lovely reading. Some bits almost moved me to tears. And it’s hosted by SB Divya, who also talks about Diwali, the Festival of Lights, and the resonance with the story. I am soooo thrilled! Here’s the LINK.
The story was first published last year in Fireside, illustrated (perfectly!) by Saleha Chowdhury. That’s the picture above.
My story, Genetic Changelings, has been published (again) in Working Futures. (A slightly shorter version of this story was published by Flame Tree Press in its Science Fiction Anthology.) This anthology focuses on how work and lives will change with technological change. Genetic Changelings is about designer kids in a world where gene modification is easy – though expensive – and the social pressures developing around it. Excerpt:
““Randall, no! Get your tail off Imran’s neck right now!”
Two dozen squealing preschoolers are scampering around the rubber-matted playground, making infant mischief. They’re all Dezzies, designer kids, and they’re a handful.
“No wrapping your tail round anyone’s neck,” I say, crouching down to the boys’ level. “I don’t care if Imran raised his crest at you. Look guys, you’re both too smart to keep getting in trouble.”
Randall’s impish face, curly red hair and freckles somehow match his prehensile monkey-tail. Imran is darkly handsome, with a crest lying flat along his head and back. It’s mostly hidden under his weatherproof jacket, but he raises the red bit on top of his head to show me.
It’s bittersweet for me, being around small children – even these cute lovable not-quite-humans.”
My story, Dilemma, with Omnivore, is out in Little Blue Marble!
The first part of this story was written long years ago, when I was a teenager. It reflects the feeling of magic I’d get at the marvelous little Tibetan shops in Janpath in New Delhi. One day, I ran across the old piece, typed it into my computer, and started to revise it.
All these years later, it’s a new story and it’s come out today. Click HERE to read the story.