He settled her snugly against his shoulder, watching the dust rise under pony hooves stomping around the edges of their corral. “At night, the sky is darkest blue, and the stars are polished silver like knifepoints cutting through. And the moon opens a path on the darkling waters that you would swear you could walk, if only you could take that first step…”
from "Turnings," one of my rare honest-to-dog love stories, from DARKLY HUMAN
It's been un-postponed. And is out today (with a gorgeous cover by Elizabeth Leggett!) And priced to be an impulse buy for yourself/stocking-stuffer gift for all your friends!
I'm particularly proud of that story, because as far as I know, I'm the only one who went outside UK/USA folk traditions for my inspiration, using a Mexican corrido instead. Shake expectations up, I say. :-)
No, seriously, I've been so crazed this week, I missed this! OUT OF TUNE 2 is out!
(including my short story based on a Mexican corrido, and, if you squint a little, set in the same world as The Devil's West...)
The music playing in the night…whispering from the shadows. Haunting melodies and old songs sung by ghostly voices.
New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry presents a brand new collection of original stories by some of today’s top authors of horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction. Each tale draws strange inspiration from classic folks songs and murder ballads from around the world.
OUT OF TUNE Volume 2 includes strange and disturbing stories by Rachel Caine, Cherie Priest, David Mack, Dan Abnett, Laura Anne Gilman, Delilah Dawson, Alison Pang, David Schow, James A. Moore, Nik Vincent-Abnett, J.C. Koch and Eric J. Guignard.Buy it here and get the digital edition free with your paper copy!
Confirmation: I have indeed sold a story ("First Dance") to Jonathan Maberry's OUT OF TUNE II.
Let the environmentally-friendly and biodegradable confetti fly!
For those paying attention, this story could, if you squint, be read as happening in the world of The Devil's West. Or it could be our own. Who can say for certain...?
(not even the author, apparently)
Likewise there exists DRAGON VIRUS, the collection/linked novella of stories set in that universe.
But I have a great many stories that fall into neither category, that are currently out of print and out of contract. So now it falls to me to determine which will go into the new collection.
So if anyone has a favorite, sing out!
(there may be a poll to pick specific stories, later, but if you don't vote now, there's no surety your fave will be on the list...)
Meanwhile, due to the downsizing of my live/work space, there is no longer a do-board.
Instead, I have a Do-Book.
It may not be as environmentally correct, but it's also a hell of a lot more portable. I'm not sure if having a record of past days (rather than wiping them out at the end of the day) is going to be a plus or a minus. I guess I'll find out....
Santa Cruz–Andy Duncan
And the Trees Were Happy—Scott Edelman
Blackthorn—B. Morris Allen
Ouroboros in Orbit—Jason Batt
Scab Land—Wendy Wagner
The Forgetting Field—Caroline Ratajski
The Town the Forest Ate—Haralambi Markov
Imperator Noster—Sonya Taaffe
The Other Shore—Rebecca Campbell
The South China Sea—Z.M. Quynh
Iron Feliks—Anatoly Belilovsky
Forest For the Trees—Steven S. Long
Drowning Again—Ken Scholes and Katie McCord
The Grudge—Thoraiya Dyer
Twilight State—Gemma Files
In the Water, Underneath—Damien Angelica Walters
The Gramadevi’s Lament—Sunil Patel
Blue & Grey and Black & Green—Alethea Kontis
Heartbeat—Laura Anne Gilman
Long Way Down—Seanan McGuire
The Snow Train—Ken Liu
The City–Vivienne Pustell
The Crooked Smile Killers—James Lowder
Threadbare Magician—Cat Rambo
Serenity Eternal–Steven Silver
Beer and Pennies—Rich Dansky
The Sleck–Keris MacDonald
The Transplant Specialist–Sarah Goslee
Anyone want to hazard a guess, here?
Second pass on this book is...different. I'm not changing actual scenes, but instead adding or subtracting lines to support other elements elsewhere in the book, and/or changing details to match on-going research. It's less a revision and more a fine-tuning... and yet, those fine-tunings are significantly revising the story. As an example of this, it took me AN HOUR to rework a passage (three short paragraphs) to my satisfaction, which created a cascading change for the next three chapters.
I haz a headache.
I also resurfaced after 5 hours of work to become very puzzled by the chatter on Twitter, as though I were having to reacquaint myself with this century all over again. Tomorrow will be more of the same, with the hope-and-the-plan being to make it to chapter thirteen (I'm currently 3/4 of the way through chapter 8).
Because on Wednesday, Travel Companion and I are packing up and heading to Kansas (well, Missouri-to-Colorado by way of Kansas) to drive the route (more or less) my characters are taking, so I can fact-check and extrapolate-with-confidence the details of their ride*.
Next person who says "oh, writing fantasy is easy, you just make stuff up?" Send them to me so I can slap the stupid out of them.
And oh yeah by the way? DEAD MAN'S HAND is on-sale tomorrow. In case you want a fix of The Devil's West (and some other fabulous stories) a little early...
*No, we are not renting an Impala. We can't afford to feed it.
First, there's "Crossroads." You can find that here, via Fantasy Magazine (there's also a podcast option there). You can also pick it up in 2012's Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, edited by Paula Guran.
Oh look, and here's an interview they did with me, somewhat about that...
For me, the lone lawman facing down outlaws at noon reminded me of the western film “High Noon.” What are your favorite westerns?
I’m actually not a huge fan of Westerns; I’d get distracted watching the horses, not the actors (this happens whenever there are horses on-screen, actually). I saw Unforgiven and Silverado a bunch of times, and does Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid count as a Western? What I love is reading nonfiction about the American West and other frontiers; the sort of mentality it took to abandon everything known and to then deal with what you found past the known, especially when it didn’t match with what you had been expecting/told to believe. Every sort of personality comes out to play, when you get beyond “civilization.” And then, to see what sort of civilization they recreate, in their own image …Second, there's "The Devil's Jack," which you'll find in DEAD MAN'S HAND, coming in May 2014.
Amazon / B&N / Indiebound / Audiobook
(note: if you buy via the Indiebound click, that kicks back a few pennies to me, that goes into the year-end food bank donation fund. Just FYI)
As per my challenge, more than ten of you contributed to the #willwrite2feedothers campaign – raising over $1,100 for food banks, so well done, us! – and therefore I am fulfilling my end of the bargain, with an original short story.
It’s…a slightly strange story that may resonate with some folk more than others, but here it is, all yours.
originally published at writer. editor. tired person.
Anyway, it's hit 3k and may have a while to go yet but I'm thinking it's Pre-Draft - that is, I know where it starts, where it ends, and have a whole bunch of stuff happening in the middle that stands up to being poked.
And it has, no lie, a 73-word sentence in it. Yes, a functional, intentional 73 word sentence. Well, it wasn't intentional that there be 73 words, but I knew it would be...extended.
Fight scenes, man. They're either brute-force short, or elegantly elongated.
So, The Million Writers Award nominations have opened for the stories (of 1,000+ words) which appeared online in 2012. The editors are limited to three nominations, but YOU can make your reader-nominations here.
For your consideration:
A young bodyguard and her charge differ on the payment required to save a kingdom.
A pirate ship, a sea-serpent, and a mid-life crisis. Nobody ever listens to the cat. (nowhere near as cracky as it sounds)
We move around destiny, around fate, around love, and never admit we don't know the steps....
Originally published at Writer. Editor. Tired Person