It’s Time for a “Second Round”

Second Round: A Return to the Ur-Bar

My latest short story, “The Whispering Voice,” is being published in Second Round: A Return to the Ur-Bar, edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray. It’s about a mother, a deadly problem and a forgotten god (I was trying to channel a little bit of Neil Gaiman).

The new anthology is currently available for pre-order and will start shipping on June 15th. It’s the second in a series, about a magic bar that appears in different times and places (the first volume was called After Hours).

Here’s the official description of the new anthology:

For thousands of years the immortal Gilgamesh has presided over the legendary Ur-Bar, witnessing history unfold from within its walls. Some days it is a rural tavern, others a fashionable wine shop. It may appear as a hidden speakeasy or take on the form of your neighborhood local. For most patrons it is simply a place to quench their thirst, but for a rare few the Ur-Bar is where they will meet their destiny.

Join David Keener, R.K. Nickel, Rachel Atwood, Kari Sperring, Jean Marie Ward, Gini Koch, Jacey Bedford, William Leisner, Garth Nix, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Mike Marcus, Kristine Smith, Aaron M. Roth, and Juliet E. McKenna as they recount all new tales from the Ur-Bar. From humor to horror, from the Roman Empire to Martian Colonies, there’s something to please everyone. Just remember to beware when the mysterious bartender offers you the house special…

Here are the relevant links for purchasing the book and related items:

   Trade Paperback
   Kindle
   Nook
   Kickstarter Edition (Limited)
   Cover Art Print (very nice, BTW, check it out)

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Second Round: Cover Art Reveal

Second Round: Cover Art

This is the cover art for the upcoming anthology, Second Round: A Return to the Ur-Bar. This fabulous picture was created by Justin Adams of Varia Studios.

The anthology features stories set in a mystical bar that appears at different times and places throughout history, with Gilgamesh cursed to be its eternal bartender. My story, “The Whispering Voice,” will appear in this book, since editors Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray were kind enough to accept my story.

The anthology will be published in August by Zombies Need Brains. Preorders can be purchased here.

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Look What Just Arrived…

Book Delivery: Fantastic Defenders

Hey, look what just arrived. It’s my latest delivery of Fantastic Defenders from CreateSpace. Another box of selling stock, 20 copies. As it turns out, just about every copy is already spoken for, so I actually need to order another box.

This is, well, not a new edition, but I did take the opportunity to fine-tune the cover a little bit. And, ahem, a few typos that crept through the copyediting process have also been corrected.

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Hourlings at Work: A Dynamic Writing Group

Hourlings At WorkIn 2014, I became a charter member of the Loudoun Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers, a spin-off from a more general-focused writing group. With weekly meetings every Sunday morning, the group has been like bootcamp for the SF/Fantasy writers associated with the group, including myself.

Participating on Meetup as the Loudoun Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers, the group is more informally known as “The Hourlings.” This is the name under which the organization has published two anthologies, with a third on the way. The name is a bit of a takeoff on the “Inklings,” a legendary writing group in England that included J.R.R Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and others.

To demonstrate how the group has progressed, I’ve compiled a list of all the publications that the members have made available for sale on Amazon since 2013. I’m pleased to add that I am amongst that writers who have begun releasing work to the public.

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Three Hoarsemen Interview

The Three Hoarsemen Podcast Donna Royston, Martin Wilsey and I were interviewed a week ago for Episode 44 of the Three Hoarsemen podcast. We got to discuss our anthology, Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders, in our various roles as editors or, in Marty’s case, as the publisher (Tannhauser Press) of the volume.

Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders We had a lot of fun being interviewed. We got to talk about the anthology, our other works, Tannhauser Press and a few other subjects. The podcast is an hour and forty-two minutes long. If you want to skip forward to our interview, we’re at the 1:07:48 mark.

I especially liked their name for the episode. Since they also discussed the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, earlier in the podcast, the title they chose was: “Fantastic Defenders of the Guardians of the Galaxy.”

I think that has a nice ring to it.

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Selected as Ebook Deal by SF Signal

SF Signal: Ebook Deal Hey, this is awesome! My new anthology, Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders, has been selected and publicized as an SF Signal Ebook Deal. How cool is that?

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Fantastic Defenders Released

Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders Fantastic Defenders is the first volume of a new SF/Fantasy anthology called Worlds Enough, co-edited by myself and Donna Royston. The book was released today, just in time for next week’s planned launch at Balticon.

Here’s the back cover blurb for the anthology…

Across astounding and magical worlds, five heroes step forward to defend against magical threats:

  • A sorceress in a besieged city faces a malignant force even more dangerous than the city’s would-be conquerors.

  • An unassuming bureaucrat stumbles upon a threat to a vast empire and deals with it in his own inimitable fashion.

  • A resourceful bodyguard for an infant princess, trapped and surrounded by merciless assassins, finds a unique way to hold them at bay.

  • A mage press-ganged into the Royal Navy finds himself volunteered for a dangerous secret mission on foreign soil.

  • A disgraced royal guardian who failed in protecting his king hunts down those who cost him his honor.

These are the…FANTASTIC DEFENDERS!

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Zombie Anthology

Whispers of the ApocI’ve been invited to participate in a new zombie anthology called Whispers of the Apoc, edited by Martin Wilsey. I’m even consulting on the bible for the anthology, because one of Marty’s goals is for the anthology to share a common, consistent background.

For more details on the anthology, check out the notice on Marty’s blog. The book is being published through Tannhauser Press.

For me, well, that short-circuited my (crazy) plan to publish a zombie story in installments on my web site (see Manhattan Zombies, which I’m renaming as SkyriZe). Getting paid trumps free installments on my blog. Um, sorry.

So, bring on the zombie apocalypse!

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Coming Soon: Tranquility and Other Myths

Tranquility and Other Myths, Full Cover

My (very) short story, “Winter Roses,” will be appearing in the upcoming anthology, Tranquility and Other Myths.” The anthology will be published in April, 2017. Here’s hoping you get a kick out of the full cover above, which was put together by John Dwight (including the back cover verbiage).

Seventeen stories of light, night and the writhing shadows. Indeed.

Note: (4/30/17) This just came out. Available on Amazon in print-only.

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The Shortest Fight

This is easily the shortest fight scene I’ve ever written in one of my stories. It’s from “The Rooftop Game,” a 16K word novelette of mine that will be appearing in May in the anthology, “Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders.”

The basic premise is “Die Hard, on the roof of a castle tower.” While the King is away, the castle the royal family is staying in is overrun. Unable to escape, Lydio Malik, the Royal Bodyguard for the infant Princess Analisa, takes refuge on the roof of a tower where his enemies will have trouble getting to him.

This is the scene:

   The Kashmal fighter heaved himself over the edge of the roof, lunged to a standing position, drew his sword and took a step towards Malik.
   The fighter’s forward boot slipped on the wet tile where Malik had urinated only a few moments before. He fell forward, audibly cracking his chin as he landed face first on the orange roof tiles. Stunned, he dropped his sword, which slid off the roof, followed almost immediately by the screaming rebel warrior.
   A few seconds later, there was a thud and clatter as the fighter hit the ground below.
   Malik couldn’t help grinning. All of his fights should be that easy.

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