Heroic Fantasy Short Stories Author Copies and More!

In all the fuss of the last few weeks, my author copies for Flame Tree Publishing’s Heroic Fantasy Short Stories anthology arrived, and they are even more beautiful than I’d been led to believe. Be warned, what follows is a strip tease for book lovers everywhere.

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First the cover, with veins of gold wrapping around the front, back, spine of the book.

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Here’s another angle.

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And another. Are you feeling hot? We haven’t even peeked under the covers yet 😉

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Inside, past silky silver endpapers, we reach the lovingly detailed title page.

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What follows are stories both new and old capturing the best parts about heroic fantasy—dashing battles, brave warriors, sweeping adventures, and monsters most foul.

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My story, “Those Who Wear Their White Hair Proudly,” details a young woman’s exploits as she’s conscripted into a mysterious Order of female warriors tasked with keeping the world safe from monsters. My Pinterest board captures some of the inspiration that helped me write the story. Over at the Flame Tree Publishing blog, I talked some more about the story and my writing process.

The books are available September 29th through most online retailers, or, if you prefer, you can order them directly through the publisher’s website.

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In addition to this volume of Flame Tree Publishing’s Gothic Fantasy series, I’m happy to announce I’ll also be a contributor to their Agents & Spies short story collection. Yay! I’ll have more details about that closer to its release later this year.

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New short story “No Regrets on Fourth Street” Now Available!

I’m pleased to announce my short story “No Regrets on Fourth Street” is available in the latest issue of Perihelion Science Fiction.

It’s a story near and dear to my heart — aren’t they all? — mixing action and romance with a cyberpunk future. For a sense of what I was thinking about when writing this piece, check out my Pinterest board for the project.

So I hope you enjoy the story, and be sure to check out the rest of the issue!

“Jump Cut” in Unlikely Story #11 Now Live

I’m happy to announce my cyberpunk story “Jump Cut” is now live in Unlikely Story #11, The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography!

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“Jump Cut” includes hover cross, gambling, and a dash of film theory. To learn more about the inspiration behind the story, check out my related Pinterest board and my author interview with Unlikely Story. The story is a personal favorite of mine and holds the record in close-but-no-cigar rejections out of all my short pieces. I’m just glad that the unlikely editors of Unlikely Story loved it as much as I do!

Be sure to check out the entire issue for stories by Levi Sable, Curtis C. Chen, Barry King, Fiona Moore, and Joseph Tomaras:

you’ll find stories exploring the limits and possibilities of technology and the various ways it defines, enhances, and intersects with humanity. An unorthodox application of a 3D printer; the creation of private worlds; hacking the human brain with extreme video sequences; parents customizing ideal children through knitted code; a self-aware AI taking up the pirating life; and a cult seeking transcendence through transformation — all of these stories explore coding, hacking, cracking, and our relationship with technology in most unlikely ways. (Editor’s Note, Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, Issue 11)


In other news, there’s only a week left to get a print copy of Fat Girl in a Strange Land, the 2012 anthology from Crossed Genres Publications, featuring my story “The Tradeoff.”

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To learn more about the anthology, check out the CGP website.

Sale to Unlikely Story!

I’m thrilled to announce that my story “Jump Cut” will be published in The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, the 11th issue of Unlikely Story, available February 2015.

This story is a personal favorite of mine, so I hope you’ll keep an eye out for when it goes live. In the meantime, check out the table of contents for the other great writers that also have stories in the issue.

And for a sneak peak at what the story’s all about, you can check out my Pinterest board chock full of visual inspiration.

Needless to say this sale is a great way to close out the year. Happy writing!

The Story Behind The Story: Forge and Fledge

Yesterday, the Runaway issue of Crossed Genres Magazine went live, which includes stories by Rachael Acks, Angela Rega, and yours truly!

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If you haven’t yet, you should go read “Forge and Fledge,” a young adult science fiction story about an orphan of Titan desperate to escape life on a hydrocarbon mining rig. No worries, I’ll wait.

I’m so thankful to publishers Kay T. Holt and Bart Leib, as well as editor Kelly Jennings, for selecting my story for inclusion in the issue. Recently, Crossed Genres became a SFWA-qualifying market, and they are running a Kickstarter to keep publishing diverse stories and paying pro rates. If you love speculative fiction that bucks the norm, consider subscribing to the magazine and/or donating to the campaign.

Story spoilers follow:

A while back, I started researching Titan, a moon of Saturn, thinking it would be a great story setting. Originally, I wanted to use it for a novel, but the unique characteristics of Titan, that it’s mostly ice and covered in hydrocarbons, made it difficult to write the story I had already plotted out in my head. I eventually turned to Mars and wrote my novel, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking about Titan.

It’s considered a candidate for human colonization, but there are a lot of technical hurdles to overcome, not least of which is just getting there. Subzero temperatures, a thick atmosphere that exerts a pressure one and a half times that of Earth, and a gravity that’s slightly less that of the Moon’s. But it has plenty of water, nitrogen, and methane, so, as long as you get the engineering right, people could theoretically live there. (This is essentially the TL;DR version of the Wikipedia article: Colonization of Titan.)

And what would be the attraction to colonizing Titan? Why the hydrocarbons, of course (or perhaps the water depending on which post-apocalyptic future scenario you subscribe to). But even if it were possible, I couldn’t see people jumping up and down to live on a frozen iceball. Hence the corporate mining facility and the penal labor force in my story. And my main character Zhen wants nothing more than to get away by any means possible.

Remember the low grav and high atmospheric pressure? Well, it’s been theorized that humans could strap on wings and fly on Titan so long as they didn’t freeze to death first. In fact, this concept was recently featured on io9—propulsion is still an issue, but Zhen’s dive off the rig’s platform, where it hovers over Titan’s surface, would hopefully provide enough momentum for flight. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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Image courtesy of stans_pat_pix of Flickr

 As to submission stats, I only sent this to three markets and lucked out on the third one. I’m so happy it found a home. I hope you enjoy it as well!