Grimdark Magazine #8 When I was a child, I passed my neighbor’s house every day while walking home from school. He would often be sitting on his front porch, tying his shoes, and would wave or say hello to me. I remember one day that was different from all the others: “Hi, Billy. I hope […]

Phase 2 Magazine I open my front door in response to the ringing doorbell. A man in a suit holds up a badge. “I’m Detective-Sergeant Joe Friday. I’d like to ask you a few questions about Phase 2 Magazine.” “Great, because I have this really elaborate story about how I-” “Just the facts, sir.” — […]

Before the place was shut down, I was a junior assistant dinosaur wrangler at Jurassic Park. They only let me deal with the really small dinosaurs: I paid attention during orientation, and I remember that if you see a dinosaur licking its chops, you should back away slowly before it eats you. Feel free to […]

To get you ready for Halloween, here’s a picture of Halloween Cat: I did a lot of my marine biology work on a small island off the coast of Catfish City. The island has a population of cats who are fed by the workers and researchers, and one group of these cats is Halloween-appropriate, as […]

Shoreline of Infinity #4 I perform a final check of my shark cage and SCUBA gear as our boat bobs up and down on a Scottish lake. The constable lies on the deck, drooling. I probably shouldn’t have darted him with enough tranquilizer to calm an angry plesiosaur, but he wouldn’t shut up about needing […]

My short story received its second rejection this week. This rejection was from Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine. My previous rejection was from a magazine with a 96% rejection rate, and I turned around and submitted to a magazine with a rejection rate of over 99%. You might be thinking “doesn’t this guy learn from […]

A bowl of cereal in one hand, a jug of milk in the other, I head to the kitchen table. There’s no room to set down my breakfast, because a two-foot-tall man in a three-piece suit is stretched out there, snoring. I use my elbow to shove him off, and he hits the floor with […]

I came home from work and discovered that faeries had built little mushroom-houses in my garden. As the faeries have built homes, I’m declaring this a level 3 infestation. The protocols for responding to a level 3 infestation are so severe that, long ago, I had them placed in a sealed envelope, then erased from […]

First, some news: I received a rejection letter for my first short story submission. I was originally going to give this post the pessimistic title of “Rejection #1”, because I’m a ‘glass is 96% empty’ kind of guy, not ‘glass is 4% full’. (According to The Grinder, 96% of stories are rejected at Analog magazine, […]

Red Sun Magazine, Issue 1 I’d have known Old Man Brady was on his deathbed even if his nurse hadn’t told me. He raises a skeletal hand and motions me closer, then removes his oxygen mask to speak. “Thank you for coming. I’m sorry my wife couldn’t be here.” I don’t have the heart to […]

I’m crossing the campus of Kakadu University to deliver my latest thesis draft to my advisor. He insisted on the topic of my doctoral research: I allow myself to be bitten or stung by Australia’s venomous creatures, and rate the pain from one to ten. Ants and wasps, centipedes and scorpions, snakes and spiders, jellyfish […]

Children of the Different     Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Fellow blogger SC Flynn gave me a copy of the audiobook version of his first self-published novel, Children of the Different. I enjoyed listening to an Australian-authored audiobook with an Australian narrator — most Aussie audiobooks I’ve run across are read […]

I’ve bitten the bullet and created a Facebook page for Planetary Defense Command. Facebook considers PDC an “artist, band, or public figure”. I’m certain I’m not a band, and I’ve never considered myself an artist, so I guess that makes me a public figure — and I didn’t even have to put on a tie! […]

If you haven’t read it already, don’t miss Vacation in Maine, Part I. Above the pragmatically-named “Sand Beach”. Most of our Maine vacation was in Bar Harbor, and most of our time there was spent hiking in Acadia National Park. Acadia is one of the most-visited national parks in the USA, so we frequently encountered […]

Most of my vacations have been outside the USA, partially because I wanted to see the rest of the world, and partially because I could travel around Asia while living in Catfish City, and around Southern Africa while living in Durban. This year, I chose Maine to show my wife another part of the US […]

Originally posted on Entertaining Stories:
Well, it’s one of the days. My newest book The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II is now available for purchase on Amazon. It’s a pre-sale, and the books will deliver on August 31st. That is the other day. I wanted to do a short pre-sale, but Lisa my…

I was on vacation in Maine last week. I logged in here, posted a pre-written article, and responded to a few comments, but otherwise stayed away from email and blogs. I’ll write up a full travelogue of my trip this weekend or next week, including a few photos. The alien rover has already broadcast one […]

I’ve read a lot of short stories. There are some I’ve completely forgotten, and others that I’d recall only if I started to read them again. There’s a smaller group I might remember if I heard the title or something about the plot. There are very few stories that I read years ago, but still […]

Fantasy Scroll Magazine This can’t be the place. I’m looking across a dirty, crowded train station at a magazine stand. My sources tell me this is where I should look for my next magazine, but I’m thinking about looking for new sources instead. I decide not to approach right away, in case it’s a trap. I walk to […]

In the future… My granddaughter hops onto my lap, and once again I say a silent prayer of thanks for the medical technology which let me live long enough to know her. I pick up a paperback book from the table beside my chair. “Would you like to see something from back when Grandpa was […]

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 5 I didn’t enjoy this volume as much as Volume 3 or Volume 4. The Wall by Howard Graham (1934) — A scientist puts a super-special lacquer on a square of material, causing a 200 mile long force field to bisect Manhattan. He and another scientist spend the rest of the […]

I step onto the back porch and spot an old Chinese man in my yard. I yell at him, “This is private property. Shove off.” The old man gives me a snaggle-toothed smile, raises his fist in my direction, and flicks his thumb up. The thumb is dyed black. I raise my fist and flick […]

If you’ve been following this blog lately, you know about my original magazine quest. I’m reading at least one issue from 24 (up from the original 12) different science-fiction magazines, and picking which one(s) I’ll subscribe to. I’ve only posted 14 magazine reviews so far, but I promise I’ll write up the others over the […]

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 4 This collection is at least as good as volume 3, probably even better. WARNING: SPOILER DRAGONS AHEAD WE CAN SPOIL SEVENTY-YEAR-OLD STORIES The Dwindling Sphere by Willard Hawkins (1940) — A scientist develops a process which converts matter to other elements, with a 95% loss in mass. (The extra mass […]

Nebula Rift I’m not writing a silly intro story for this review, because I want to talk about the magazine’s business model. (OK, enough booing, settle down.) Most science fiction magazines pay a per-word rate to their authors. For “pro” magazines, this is six cents or more per word. For “semi-pro” magazines, it is typically one […]

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 3 I enjoyed this collection far more than Volume 2, even though both collections are from roughly the same time period, and each has a story about insects and a story about the Sun. WARNING: SPOILER DRAGONS AHEAD WE CAN EVEN SPOIL SEVENTY-YEAR-OLD STORIES N Day by Philip Latham (1946) — […]

Cirsova’s second issue now has a page at kickstarter. If you haven’t heard of Cirsova, you can read my interview with the magazine’s founder, or my review of Cirsova #1.

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 2 I picked up several of these Classic Science Fiction collections at Audible when they were on sale. Since I’m very busy this month, I thought it would be a good time for some short listens and short reviews.  Each of the collections I purchased consists of three short stories: Proof […]

Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine Issue #1 My magazine quest has gotten expensive, so I’m driving an 18-wheeler to make some money. I speak into my voice recorder.  “Trucker’s log. Date: 6-6, midnight. Weather conditions: clear, but no moonlight. Cargo: timber products. Many rigs headed same direction.” The chimpanzee in the passenger’s seat […]

It’s been two weeks since my last post, but some time in the next 7 days, I hope to resume my magazine quest, this time with a review of Cirsova (I’ll include a silly intro story as usual). If you missed it earlier this year, it’s time for you to check out my interview with […]

The Awakening One dung Beetle (1 out of 4 rating) Abducted humans wake up aboard an alien spaceship. The aliens have been collecting apex predators from various planets, but for some reason the predators are waking up and running loose on the ship. Plus, an automated defense system is trying to kill all life on […]

The winners have been announced in the 2015 Planetary Awards. The winner for best short story was “Something in the Water” by C. S. Boyack. I wrote a little about the story when I nominated it, and I also reviewed the collection which contains the story. I ‘ve read the winner for best novel, Torchship, […]

Followers of this blog should be familiar with C. S. Boyack. I’ve interviewed him, reviewed his experimental notebook, and posted an excerpt from his latest novel, The Playground. For just a couple of days, his first novel, Wild Concept, is on sale for 99 cents at Amazon. I’ve picked up a copy — get one […]

Aurealis #87 The guards drag me up the stairs and shove me onto the stage. The audience jeers at me, but most of the insults are colloquialisms that I don’t understand. I do understand that the entire population of an Australian writers’ commune showed up to deal with me, and that I don’t have a […]

David Drake isn’t in prison (as far as I know) – I’m referring to free David Drake ebooks at Amazon. I don’t know if these are permanently free or short-term promotions, so grab them now if you want them. Several of the books are also available as audiobooks at audible; once you have the ebook […]

Some of you may doubt my commitment to fighting the talking chicken menace. These videos, taken by bystanders during my fights with a talking chicken, should change your mind: This one has several sci-fi twists: There are about half a dozen of these things on youtube if you search something like ‘family guy chicken fight’. […]

There was panic yesterday among residents in Makurdi, Benue state after news of a ‘talking’ chicken went viral Apparently the said chicken was said to being taken to the market to be sold when suddenly it started speaking in Arabic. The incident was reported to have occurred at about 12 noon around the Wadata central…

Sci Phi Journal #8 The orderly hands me a paper cup holding a pill — the pill that will make me forget about Talking Chicken. It’s one of those long, capsule-style horse pills. The doctors didn’t take the time to read my medical history; I have a narrow esophagus. I rotate the pill with my […]

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:
Here is the promised update on the progress of Honest Fibs, my third collection of short stories, written in my trademark combination of speculative and science fiction: it’s alive! Sorry, I mean, it’s live. And you can buy it for the preorder price of $0.99 on Amazon until next week,…

MarzAat recently nominated me for a Liebster award. If you’re not familiar with Liebster: basically you answer ten questions, then forward ten questions to ten bloggers who impress you. I’m not going to forward the questions on, as some bloggers have grown tired of awards. Reference this graphic from Entertaining Stories: However, if you would […]

Heirs of Empire I found Heirs of Empire when I was searching for a novel to nominate for The Planetary Awards. The book has a reasonably interesting plot: a military coup knocks out most of a ruling dynasty, the youngest members of the dynasty escape, and the dynasty’s allies lay a foundation for its return […]

Clovis is a character from C. S. Boyack‘s new novel, The Playground. (If I’m not mistaken, Clovis is on the short-list to receive a Nobel Peace Prize this year.) Here is an excerpt from The Playground which introduces him: The tweaker rushed around the corner behind the bushes, tried to slam the gate shut, and […]

Freqent PDC visitor C. S. Boyack will release “The Playground” soon (pre-orders now being taken at Amazon). I’ve previously interviewed him on this blog, and also reviewed his short story collection, The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. Watch for the book’s release by following Boyack’s author page on Amazon, on Goodreads, or, if you […]

The kindle version of issue #1 of Cirsova magazine is free at Amazon through Saturday, March 19th. I recently interviewed P. Alexander, Cirsova’s founder/editor, and I plan to review issue #1 in a couple of weeks. Get your free copy so we can compare opinions of the stories!

Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, issue 47 The department took away my canine partner, my badge, and my gun, but I’m still going to take down Talking Chicken. I leave my car by the highway and walk, baseball bat over my shoulder. I ignore the signs saying “Rainbow Farms employees only”. The huge metal […]

Apex Magazine Issue 77 I down the last of my Red Bull and crush the can, tossing it into the passenger footwell with the others. The pile of cans will reach onto the seat and mingle with the empty fritos bags soon. I rummage through the bags, but come up empty. I haven’t showered or […]

Originally posted on Entertaining Stories:
I’m bringing a new feature to this blog. I don’t often pander for social media shares and re-blogs, but tomorrow is the day. Not this post, tomorrow’s post. Do what you will with this one, it’s just the announcement. The best way to explain it is by telling you how…

Originally posted on Amid The Imaginary:
The Kiss of High Treason Chosen writing prompt: Knight To this day, words still whispered of the dark place concealed in the enchanted forest and the ancient secrets contained inside. Ariella had spent hours penetrating the thicket of oaks and silver birches hoping to uncover her one true desire.…

Over the weekend, the Nebula Awards nominees for 2015 were announced. You’ll notice that there is no overlap between those books and the nominees for the 2015 Planetary Awards. I’ve been brainstorming possible reasons: 1) Either the authors who vote in the Nebula Awards or the bloggers who vote in the Planetary Awards have crawled […]

I read nine novels in my search for planetary awards nominees, so I thought I’d give you a rundown of them before I resume my magazine quest.  I’ll also lay out my plans for reading other bloggers’ nominees. Traditionally-published, from best to worst: #1) Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia was my nominee. […]

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
If you’re a book blogger, podcaster, or booktuber, then it’s time to vote for the best stories of 2015. You are allowed one vote per category, chosen from the nominated works listed below: Short Story / Novella: Something in the Water by C.S. Boyack, in The Experimental Notebook of C. S.…

Son of the Black Sword I’ve made my short story and self-published novel nominations for the Planetary Awards, and now I’m nominating Son of the Black Sword for best traditionally-published novel of 2015. This post will discuss the book, but won’t really be a review. I’m going to talk about the author’s previous work, my […]

In the year 532, Emperor Justinian I of the Byzantine Empire and his wife Theodora were in trouble. Rioters had rampaged through the capital for days, leaving burning neighborhoods behind them, and now they’d proclaimed a rival emperor, turning the riots into a full-blown revolt. Justinian and his advisors prepared to flee the city, preferring […]

I’m in the back of a speeding van, loading a light machine gun. “How’d they find us so fast?” Cara looks over her shoulder from the driver’s seat. “Yeah, how did they spot four heavily-armed, ethnically-diverse strangers in a small town, driving a van with your logo on the side?” “Shut up, fool!” I kick […]

Armada Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) I read Armada as part of my search for a 2015-published novel worthy of a Planetary Awards nomination. I place it third out of the five traditionally-published novels I read. If Armada had been indie-published, I also would have placed it squarely in the middle of […]

Lightspeed Magazine Issue 65 We got a call about a disturbance at the old Ferguson place. The house had been some rich guy’s mansion, then a nursing home, and most recently a failed bed and breakfast. We knew that empty places attract trouble (teenagers, meth cooks, and uglier things the people of the community pretend […]

If I’m at my computer without a specific task to perform, I’m likely to create strange things. Today, it was these maps. I decided to upload them in case they might spark a story idea in an author or roleplaying gamer. For those of you who’ve wondered what the world would be like with eight […]

Galaxy’s Edge Magazine – Issue 15 I’m shuffling through snowdrifts towards a Himalayan mountaintop temple. Why does it always have to be a mountaintop temple? Why can’t it be the ‘temple next to the burger king’? The wind dies down for a moment, giving me a glimpse of my goal through the blowing snow. Or […]

Originally posted on Cirsova:
The Kickstarter for Cirsova Issue 1 is a go!  Issue # 1 is done and paid for.  We’re just taking orders and raising money for the future so I can start work on Issue #2 right away! Basic pledge rates are as follows: Individual Copies $2 – PDF $10 + Shipping…

Last week, I posted my nomination for the Planetary Awards in the short story category. In that post, I mentioned that I found a couple of surprise gems in my December novel-reading binge. The best of these was Rath’s Deception by Piers Platt. I wasn’t familiar with the author, and the polished writing and page-turning quality […]

I keep my eyes on the rearview mirror as I speed across the Australian outback. Most of the pursuing vehicles are burning wreckage fading into the distance, but two are still on my tail. If I gunned the V-8 interceptor’s engine I’d lose them, but my fuel gauge is hovering just above ‘E’, so I’m […]

The 2015 Planetary Awards have three categories open for nominations: shorter story (including novelettes and novellas), traditionally published novel, and self-published / small press novel. It wasn’t too hard for me to find a short story nominee. I’ve read a dozen 2015 science fiction magazines as part of my magazine quest, and I’ve also read […]

Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 110 The Sri Lankan mountainside is steep, and the ground is slick with mud and algae-covered tree roots, but I’m not even breathing hard as I ascend — I’m riding in a palanquin carried by a gang of jungle squid. They wrap their tentacles around upslope trees and pull, repeating the process […]

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
It’s time for book bloggers, podcasters, and booktubers to nominate their favorite science fiction and fantasy books and short stories published in 2015. There are three categories for the 2015 awards: 1) Shorter story (under 40,000 words/160 paperback pages) 2) Traditionally published novel 3) Small press / self-published novel Nominations…

Asimov’s Science Fiction, December 2015 I follow the priests into the Temple of Asimov. Hooded grey robes hide their faces and bodies; I can’t tell what sex they are, or whether they’re actually human. They lead me to a reading room and motion for me to sit at an antique writing desk. One of them, […]

Merry Christmas everybody! We’re having a warm and rainy Christmas this year, but here’s a family photo from last year with some snow: If you’re bored tonight, you can check out last year’s post about Christmas Science Fiction, but if you want to actually look at any of the books, you’ll have to type the […]

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2015 I’m in the space station’s control room, watching two progress bars on a computer monitor. One is labeled “Analog magazine download”. The other is labeled “Space station auto-destruct”. The two appear to be perfectly synchronized. — Novelette: A Case of Identity by Edward Lerner. An AI private detective […]

I plan to resume my magazine quest with a new post tonight or tomorrow, but I thought I’d post something short this morning since I’ve been away from the blog for a while. I recently read a flash fiction story at CS Boyack’s site, a few lines of which reminded me of a microfiction I’d […]

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction September/October 2015 I wipe the dragon’s blood from my axe as I enter its lair. Everyone in the business of dragon-slaying knows that killing a dragon is the easy part; the real work is searching through its disorganized treasure hoard. I expect an open cavern, but the lair […]

After I make a blog post, I always check what other people are posting under the tags and categories I’ve used. My own post appears at or near the top of the feed, except when I use the tag “fantasy”, under which my posts never appear. It’s like there’s a WordPress Fantasy Wizard who’s decided […]

Interzone #260 Sep-Oct 2015 My quest isn’t off to an auspicious start. I’ve spent eight weeks in London, trying to get into the archives of the Ministry of Science Fiction. Every morning, I arrive at the ministry to find a person I haven’t seen before sitting at the front desk. I show them yesterday’s approval […]

Happy Thanksgiving (a day late) to all my readers in the USA. My aunt and uncle drove 12 hours to visit us, and we ate the traditional huge meal. I didn’t take a photo of the huge meal, but here’s some Indian corn I grew in my garden: In an ear of corn, each kernel […]

Originally posted on Storyville:
I found this little story on the reader using the tag micro fiction. https://planetarydefensecommand.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/microfiction-county-road/ I really like it and the twist at the end is interesting so I thought I’d right a follow up piece. He got up from his spot in the dirt and looked out in direction the Sheriff…

Nicholas Rossis‘ book, Pearseus, Rise of the Prince, is free at Amazon from November 17th to the 20th. Nicholas is in Europe, and I’m not sure if the 20th cutoff applies to his time or to your local time, so don’t wait until the last minute to pick up your copy!

The Sheriff slid his patrol car to a stop on the gravel shoulder of county road 555.  He got out, looked at the setting sun for a moment, then opened the trunk and pulled out a rifle. He worked the rifle’s lever action, loading a round into the chamber as he walked towards a campfire.  Homeless […]

When I was a marine biologist, I frequently interacted with sea creatures.  I did so again for Halloween.  (Is it weird to dress up in costume as something that you actually are?  A surgeon wearing scrubs?  An imperial stormtrooper trick-or-treating in his armor?)  

I’m setting off on a quest.  I won’t be sailing after the Golden Fleece, or throwing jewelry into a volcano. Instead, I’m searching for a science fiction / fantasy magazine worthy of my subscription dollars. I haven’t read a magazine in quite a while. For many years, my reading time was entirely devoted to scientific […]

Originally posted on North of Andover:
Yeah, I kinda figured that would get your attention… 🙂 Who doesn’t like free books? This Saturday through Wednesday (October 24-28), you can get a free digital edition of The Remnant on Amazon. (Of course, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow it anytime, but this way you can…

The Lies of Locke Lamora Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) The good news: this novel has a great story. The bad news: most of that story is in the last third of the book. MINOR SPOILERS BELOW – ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK The book gets off to a promising start, as […]

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
We’ve announced a new science fiction / fantasy award, discussed who should be eligible to vote and when we should vote. Now, we tackle the issue of award categories. Should different genres get their own awards, such as one set of awards for science fiction, one for high/epic fantasy, and…

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
This post continues the thread announcing a new science fiction / fantasy award, and discussing who should be eligible to vote. The next question is: when to vote? If a book is released on December 31st, it’s unlikely many potential voters will have read it by January 1st. So, how…

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
The winners of our new science fiction and fantasy awards will be chosen by book bloggers, podcasters, and booktubers. That seems simple enough, but how do we decide if a person is one of those? Is one book review some time in the distant past good enough? One book review…

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
I’m asking my fellow book bloggers, along with podcasters and booktubers, to join me in creating a new set of awards for science fiction and fantasy stories. Why invent another award? In addition to numerous regional and sub-genre awards, there are currently two broad awards: The Nebula and the Hugo.…

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack Four Royal Crowns (4 out of 4 rating) I had trouble reviewing this collection of 12 short stories. Deciding on a rating was easy — I enjoy short-format stories, and was totally immersed in 9 of the 12. My problem was what to write about each of them– […]

I’ve agreed to be one of three judges in a writing contest. The contest is for those who have already self-published something, as first prize is a promotion package from a book tweeting service. Stories must be 1,500 words or less, and based on one of four “writing prompt” images, but can fall under any […]

I’ve created a mailing list (through MailChimp) to notify Planetary Defense Command readers of special events. I expect the number of emails sent out to be very low, possibly even zero, so don’t worry that I’ll fill up your inbox. I only envision three two scenarios where I would send out a message: One of […]

Las Calles Rojas Of course I won the contract to provide animals for the “Running of the Bulls” this year – my bid was well below any reasonable cost. The problem with bulls is that, like most large herbivores, their instincts tell them to run for open space, or at best to turn from threat […]

There’s still no sign of Paul Spence – author, archaeologist, and twin brother of editor Thomas Weaver. Swatting at the mosquitos covering my bare legs, I cross the jungle clearing to a stone temple. I walk along its walls, looking at carvings of fishermen using spears to catch some kind of cephalopod. I used to […]

Anela has asked me to look at the first draft of a blurb for her upcoming work, “A Ransom of Flames”. A deadly blight. A crownless queen. A journey to the edge of the world. A mysterious blight is destroying the world of Aeden. At the return of each full moon the Vehlek, immortal men […]

C. S. Boyack is a long-time follower of this blog, and the second author I’ve interviewed. He has written novels in several science fiction and fantasy subgenres, and now he’s releasing a short story collection: The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. The collection is available for pre-order now, and will be released September 15th. […]

Last week, I was bouncing around the internet, and ran across some articles about writing better blog posts. The first thing I saw was an idea generator for blog posts. This made me think “if you don’t have an opinion or experience to share, why are you blogging in the first place?” Next, I found […]

Earlier this year, Nicholas Rossis insinuated that my newfound interest in gardening might be an attempt to conquer the world using pod people. First, I’d like to deflect suspicion by pointing out this post on Nicholas’ site. Look at his pictures and decide for yourself who might be involved in the pod people conspiracy. Second, […]

When I was a kid, I loved the James Bond films. They gave me action, exotic locations, and fantastic villains (I may have been too young for “bond girls”). I probably watched the first films on TV, adjusting the rabbit ears to make the picture less fuzzy. Later, the films were agreeable to family members […]

Until next Thursday (August 13th), Misha Burnett‘s Book of Lost Doors Series is on sale. There is a post on Misha’s site which links to the books on Amazon. Long-time followers of this blog will remember that I’ve reviewed Catskinner’s Book, Cannibal Hearts, and The Worms of Heaven. I’ve also interviewed Misha. If you’ve been […]

Leyfarers and Wayfarers is a collection of 16 stories (in a variety of genres) by G L Francis. As usual for my bookends series of posts, I read the first and last stories, then made a decision whether to continue. First Story: Tools of the Trade In this steampunk tale, Russian water spirits are killing […]

Last week, I read a message board post by a moderately-popular science fiction / fantasy author, in which he claimed that he typically writes a 120,000 word novel in 100 hours. That’s 1,200 words per hour, or 20 words per minute. That doesn’t seem possible to me, so I’m hoping those of you who are […]

It’s midnight, and I’m standing in a snow-covered field, waiting for C. S. Boyack. Something howls in the distance. The light of the full moon reflecting off the snow is almost as bright as daylight. Almost. A man approaches, and I spot fur sticking out from the top of his jacket. This guy has definitely […]

Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) The recent 4th of July holiday here in the USA brought this book to my mind. The story isn’t set during the Revolutionary War, but in the audiobook, Emperor Mollusk has a British accent, and he fights against The Sinister Brain, […]

Happy 4th of July to my US readers (and condolences to my British readers). I recently shared a microfiction story I wrote that was rejected by 101fiction.com, and now I’d like to share one that was accepted (with revisions). In case you’re not familiar with 101 fiction: a 100 word story with a one word title is […]