Tag Archives: fantasy

War Journal 74: Two to View

I meant to do this last week, but life got in the way… this time in the form of my nephew who came to visit.  He’s 18 now, and because of my former life as a military servicemember and deployed defense contractor, I hadn’t seen him in years.  So I spent a while talking to him about the Air Force (which he plans to join!), investing and life in general.  Also, I spent a good minute aggressively trying to not get my ass whipped on my own PlayStation games.  It was brutal, y’all.  Meanwhile this is the stuff that happened in publishing last week.

yousinheaven-cover

Counting back from the most recent first, my story Yours in Heaven debuted in Sci Phi Journal.  It’s the story of a sociopathic arms dealer who goes from being a captive in an interstellar zoo to Commander-in-Chief of an alien army.  I wrote this awhile back and I’ve always loved it because of the voice and style.  Unlike a good many of my stories, I think Yours in Heaven is uniquely appropriate for Sci Phi Journal, as they include the philosophical talking points which gives the reader much more to consider beyond what’s just going on at the surface.

apexmag92

Then earlier in the week, along my road to (hopefully!) J.K. Rowling fortune and glory, I accomplished one of my writing career side quests.  My story Soliloquy in a Cheap Diner Off Route 66 debuted in Apex Magazine.  These guys have, bar none, the BEST submission guidelines in the business.  My story is about Lolonyo, a man with strange and awesome abilities, who is trying to brute force his will over the seemingly immutable laws of the universe.  Not only was my story published, but Andrea Johnson over at Apex interviewed me, and it was a really awesome interview.  Granted, I’ve only done a handful of interviews in my career as a writer, but Andrea had some really dope questions.  Read the story, which is free on site, and then check out the interview.

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War Journal 72: F&SF

What up small yet loyal fanbase and random passersby!  I’ve been behind-the-scenesing it, subbing my stuff, fine tuning other stuff, playing PlayStation VR to increase my pedigree for otherworldly accuracy, and a bunch of ad nauseums y’all probably don’t care about or can look in the mirror and see yourself doing.  We caught up?  Let’s get to the news!

Cat ate my name in headlines

Cat ate my name in headlines

I’m in the current issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction.  My story “The Rhythm Man” is about a bluesman, a train, mojo spirit juju, pitching woo and a horn that needs tuning, all set to a beat.  You’ll see what I mean  when you read it.  So go ahead and cop the issue.  You don’t have a subscription to F&SF, you say?  Try it free for 30 days I retort!

Although that’s my biggest news because it’s a brand new story you guys couldn’t have possibly read yet, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a reprint that recently got rereleased.  What am I saying?  I’m already remiss… this thing’s been out for like two months now!  Any of you remember “A Lack of Charity”, a story about this demon powered, vengeance hungry, buick driving badass that got published with Triangulation?  If that all sounds foreign, you can check it out in the rerelease with Mysterion: Rediscovering the Mysteries of the Christian Faith.  The did a great job editing, and I think the Mysterion version reads a bit tighter and tauter.  Excuse me while I insert a tantalizing pic.

Gate guardian ate my name in headlines

Gate guardian ate my name in headlines

That’s about all I got. F&SF is a personal milestone in terms of sidequests… I’ve always wanted to get published with these cats. I aim to do it again because I had a blast working with their editor, C.C. Finlay.  Again, check it out (no reason not to for at least a month) and let me know how you dug it.

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War Journal 65: Return of the Light Crusader

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m some sort of perpetually running engine.  Get up in the morning and exercise, go to work and work, come home and eat dinner, do some home improvement projects on days off, rinse, repeat.  Here and there I’ll find time to squeeze out a short story and I’ve actually managed to write like four stories since I last blogged.  One got picked up by Baen for an upcoming anthology, the other three I’m peddling.  I’ve been trying to get back to finish the novel, wrap up the trilogy, you know?  It’s been a crawl and will continue to be so until I get some of my home improvement projects done.

I was starting to get tunnel vision, a very “veteran in the trenches” type feel, where you’re doing the writing almost on autopilot.  The why’s don’t matter.  The where do they go once I finish don’t matter.  Plot, character and satisfying reading experience are the only things that matter.  Will the story even sell?  You know what, doesn’t matter.

Today I opened my inbox to find someone had commented on one of my older posts, dated November 25, 2013.  The post was about my story “Light Crusader’s Dark Dessert” debuting on Intergalactic Medicine Show.  I’m going to reprint the comment here in it’s entirety and add a link to the sampler described below:

This short story was featured in the Not-A-Hugo-Sampler Sampler Issue this year, and I read through all of the short stories (minus the audio one). I thoroughly enjoyed your short story, as did my husband after I insisted he read it. I would have to say it was my favorite of the collection. The way you mixed very different genres together was masterfully done. Most attempts to do this would come off as very jarring, but you blended them together into a very cohesive story. The “Moses” analogies were hilarious, and the interlude with Terra was beautiful. Jake and Alex were both well-developed, with your supporting cast as 3D as any reader could desire. My husband especially would like to know if you’ve written anything more in this setting, or with Jake Tamerlane (is that a reference to Poe? To the Persian king?). It appears that most of your work is short fiction – I know we, at least, would be interested in purchasing any novels you were to write in this world.

I don’t get praise often, much less praise like this.  It reminded me why I’m in the trenches… why I write.  A story I wrote two years ago found its way to a reader through the sampler issue and impressed her enough to highly recommend it to someone else, who in turn also enjoyed it.  Oftentimes I forget I’m not just doing it because I like my own stories… even though I swear sometimes it feels that way.  Every now and again you guys like my stories too, and you find a way to tell me so.

Awesome.

Original artwork for Light Crusdader

Original artwork for Light Crusdader

For those of you who have yet to check out “Light Crusader’s Dark Dessert”, go to Intergalactic  Medicine Show and pick up the sampler issue.  It’s FREE!  For those of you who have read the story and wonder some of the same things these readers wonder, I actually do plan to revisit this setting and Jake Tamerlane (a reference to the Persian-Mongol conqueror).  There are so many more flavors of the Apocalypse that he’s aching to have a go at.  It’ll be a novel I’m sure.  While I can’t say for sure if it’ll be my next novel, it definitely inspires me that someone’s looking for it on the horizon.

We’ll see…

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A Double Dose of Beamon!

September was slow for a striving writer.  I got a couple of really good rejection letters, which is something only a writer can say seriously.  I mean, I almost made the cut over at Tor.com, which is phenomenal considering their volume and the fact that I don’t have a book deal with them.

But October is a different month!  I’ve got two stories out right now.  First is my historical fiction story “The Two Kingdoms Woman,” which is a new, serious piece from me, debuting at Intergalactic Medicine Show.

twokingdoms

The second story is a reprint of one of my favorite funny stories, “Orc Legal,” currently up on Fantasy Scroll Magazine.   Those of you familiar with Unidentified Funny Objects 2 will recall the lawyer orc/dirty convict Anglewood.  Well this is his origin story, finally free to view.

And like always, drop me a line, either here or at the sites hosting my stories and let me know what you think.

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