Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’
When the Hero Comes Home 2 e-book is now available for purchase! Want a preview? Below you’ll find an excerpt from my own contribution, Waiting for You. But that’s only one of the stories in this great anthology.
They say you can never go home again…
Join us for all new stories of heroes whose journeys have ended, and whose quests have been won–or lost–as they discover the fate of the people and places they’d left behind.
Featuring bestsellers, luminaries, and bold new voices. The print book contains 21 science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy short stories. Buy the ebook (epub or Kindle) for 8 bonus stories!
Now, for the promised preview:
It had been one thousand one hundred thirty-nine years, eight months and fifty-four days, Earth standard, since Tess had last seen the planet of her origin.
The jewel tones of Earth came into view and Tess noted an odd fullness in her torso, recording the possibility that the pull of gravity was affecting her more strongly than it should. Another sign her body was deteriorating beyond repair. She filed the information in her error logs and flushed it from active RAM. Time enough to analyze the data when she was upgrading.
She wondered if any of her current body was salvageable or if she’d end up downloaded into a new one. It was a daunting thought. She chided herself for the sentiment. She’d spent far too much time alone with biological life forms. They were attached to their form for good reason, but Tess had no such excuse. She had been too long in this body, she decided, and had grown inappropriately attached to it.
That too could be merely a malfunction. It had been six hundred years, eighty-six days since she’d last patched her kernel. She’d checked the relay satellites on her way back and determined with 75.62% certainty that she and the satellites were obsolete technology, incapable of receiving or processing the data packets sent from Earth.
Contemplation of that, and the changes that would be necessary because of it, occupied more of her available memory that it should have.
Tess’s long range scanning capabilities were limited—her ship was little more than a shell for her body that held the long-range travel drive and fuel source—but even from 2.37-5 light years away, she could detect marked changes on Earth from her last recorded scan. Data transmission across her internal network quickened.
Slowing as she approached the planetary flight space, Tess transmitted her ID and requested permission to land on-planet. The silence preceding the response lasted a full 3.7 seconds longer than she expected. When it came, the reply was:
“What are you?”
For the rest, you’ll have to buy the book. Go get one!
And I’m in it! I’ve been really excited about announcing the sale of my short story to the upcoming anthology When the Hero Comes Home 2.
It’s the first hard scifi I’ve sold. And being in When the Villain Comes Home with authors I’ve admired since before I knew I was ever going to share my writing was an amazing experience. So the chance to do it again, to work with Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood and see the incredible stories that are going to come from these other authors just tickles me to my toes.
Now I get to be a part of When the Hero Comes Home 2, expected release August 2013.
We have 29 excellent stories lined up for you, 8 of which will be available exclusively in the ebook version of the anthology.
The following listing is in alphabetical order by author.
* denotes ebook-only bonus stories
*Bagabones by Jacquelyn Bartel
Beginning by Jillian Boehme
Bringing Back Raby by Chaz Brenchley
After the Winds by K.T. Bryski
Living Bargains by Suzanne Church
Vasilissa’s Doll by Elaine Cunningham
The Last Perfect Heart by Fanny Valentine Darling
Remnants by Erin M. Evans
*Prince Goldgriffin Rides In by Ed Greenwood
*Closure by Gabrielle Harbowy
Jack Crochety by Larry Kay
Juan Carceres in the Zapatero’s Workshop by Derek Künsken
Safe Within You by Mercedes Lackey
Broken by K.D. McEntire
Narcolepsy by Bob Neilson
The Last of the Unicorn Hunters by Diana Peterfreund
Waiting For You by Leah Petersen
*Blood Runs Thicker by Mary Pletsch
*Come is the Wolf in her Wounding by Dan Rabarts
*The Return of Hobard the Vanquisher by Mike Rimar
The Hero of Abarxia by Deborah J. Ross
*The Stiletto by Maggie Sokoll
A Spray of Bittersweet by Andrea Stewart
Faces of the Revolution by James L. Sutter
A Sword that Heals by Clint Talbert
*Smoke and Feathers by Juliette Wade
Call of the Sky by Cliff Winnig
Faith by Chris Wong Sick Hong
The Clever One by Jamie Wyman
It should be available for pre-order soon. I’ll keep you updated!
Heroes can save the world, but villains can CHANGE it.
We’ve assembled a great mix of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction. Come with us while we explore villains of all stripes — sons and daughters, lovers and fighters, minions and masterminds, in this giant volume of thirty great stories by award winners, rising stars, and bold new voices. With masterful tales by: Camille Alexa, Erik Scott de Bie, Chaz Brenchley, Eugie Foster, David Sakmyster, Marie Bilodeau, Richard Lee Byers, K.D. McEntire, Peadar Ó Guilín, Jim C. Hines, Ari Marmell, Karin Lowachee, Jay Lake, Julie Czerneda, J.M. Frey, Clint Talbert, Rachel Swirsky, Tony Pi, Leah Petersen, J.P. Moore, Ryan McFadden, Todd McCaffrey, Erik Buchanan, Gregory A. Wilson, Rosemary Jones, Gabrielle Harbowy, Ed Greenwood, Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon, Chris A. Jackson, Steve Bornstein.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There was so much to love about this fantasy by debut author K.T. Bryski. The unique setting, the beautiful writing, and the thrill of knowing this is a young writer with so much potential.
I don’t do the “this is what the back of the book cover” says stuff in my reviews. If you want to know what it’s about, you know where to find it. I like to tell you the things I loved and the things I didn’t and maybe even the things I absolutely hated about a book.
And it was easy to find things to love. So often, a fantasy in which the world’s religion plays a large part goes wrong for the reader. Either it’s so far from the typical experience it takes a long time to explain and even longer for the reader to figure out, or it feels like one of Earth’s major religions with the serial numbers filed off.
The fascinating thing Bryski managed was to essentially do the later, while making it feel fresh and new. You could see it all so clearly because it was very much like what even non-religious people have experienced or at least seen on TV. But the core doctrine was so different, so fascinatingly NOT like anything you’ve ever heard in church before, that it ended up being the perfect balance of ‘I get this’ and ‘wow!’
The writing itself was beautifully executed. I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Bryski the weekend of the book launch, so I know that this is a relatively young writer in age not just experience, that she was even younger when she wrote it. And that’s really exciting when you see such well written prose, when she creates full, rich characters, evokes deep and authentic emotions, knowing that this is her freshman effort and that she’s likely to blow you away down the road.
I imagine if I dug down hard enough, I could find things to criticize, but frankly, I don’t want to. Why ruin the experience when, whatever weaknesses might have been there were completely overshadowed by the good stuff? I don’t usually trust gushing reviews that don’t at least note where the author could improve, or where another reader might be disappointed, but I can’t be bothered with this one to look for the bad among the good.
I’m thrilled I found this author now, with her debut, and can’t wait to see what she does next.
It’s been days since the con ended and I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and do my wrap-up post for World Fantasy Con in Toronto. I had a minor dispute with gravity on Friday morning of the con and it won hands (and feet) down. So I’ve spent the first day or so back in the states dealing with purple-sausage-foot which is much better now, thank you.
Idiot injuries aside, it was a great con.
I arrived Wednesday night in time for a party at JM Frey’s house, which was lots of fun. Jess is a wonderful host. We played a customized-for-the-sff-crowd set of Cards Against Humanity which led to some hilarious combinations. I met there Clint Talbert, a shiny new Dragon Moon Press author who has a story in When the Villain Comes Home and a novel coming out in 2013. Lovely man, in more than one sense of the word, so that was very nice.
Gabrielle Harbowy and I stayed over that night and on Thursday about midday we set off for the con hotel with several boxes of books to stock the Dragon Moon Press table in the dealer’s room. I didn’t get to any of the programming on Thursday as my afternoon was spent setting up our table, meeting and coordinating with my fellow DMP authors, and so on and so forth. One highlight of the afternoon was, upon registering, we were directed to the book room where we were to pick up our bag of free books. There we found, not just a bag of free books, but an enormous, heavy bag of really cool new releases by authors whose names made me squeeeee. YAY!
I cornered Scott Edelman in the hallway later and he very nicely agreed to take a picture with me to compliment the one I had from Readercon this summer. (He’s a lot taller in real life than his avatar at Readercon was.)
The other great thing that happened that day was that I got to meet our newest DMP author, K.T. Bryski, whose debut novel, Hapax, was launching there at the con. She’s really sweet and it was lots of fun hanging out with her all weekend.
That night, our room tried to kill us. That is, we found fresh blood spatters on our sheets when we went to get in bed, and then, after the helpful young man replaced them, one of our lamps caught fire. Thankfully we survived, but that whole fiasco is a blog post in itself.
Friday was a big day for me, I was one of the panelists for the 10:00 Young Adult Urban Fantasy panel. The moderator, Joel Sutherland, was great, the panelists intelligent and well rounded, and I got to sit beside Charles de Lint who is really a terribly nice man. Other panelists included Isobelle Carmody, Alyxandra Harvey, and Holly Black. The conversation ranged from how YA UF differs from the adult variety, how much violence, sex, etc. can and/or should be in YA, writing to a YA audience and also how marketing often determines what is YA and what isn’t, rather than the author. It was well run and the audience followed up with good questions as well. It was a great experience.
Afterward, Fiona Patton came up to me to follow up on the comments I’d made about the fact that my novel has YA age characters who are gay. She had a great story about how a young nephew had recently come out to her and it was heartwarming and encouraging to hear about a kid who had a safe person to come out to and an environment that promised to support, not judge him for who he is. Yay! And one of the really good things was that I couldn’t see her nametag when we were talking, so I had no idea who she was and therefore didn’t squee or get nervous or anything but talked to her like an intelligent(ish) adult. She also came by the DMP table later and bought a copy of Fighting Gravity and I did squeee then, once she was gone.
That’s about it, I think, except for the fact that I stumbled coming down off the stage, actually during the panel in front of everyone in what is an embarrassing Leah-acted-before-she-engaged-her-brain moment and the end result of that was a purple-sausage foot for the rest of the weekend and lots of hobbling. A good bit of the rest of my con was ruled by the Leah’s-not-exactly-mobile situation, but I spent that time at the DMP table in the dealer’s room where I met great people and sold some books while hanging out with my friends. I’m pretty sure that’s the whole point of these things, anyway, right? So, mission accomplished.
And Ed Greenwood himself took me to Walmart and bought me a cane, so it was totally worth it.
On Friday at 5:00pm, I attended the New Twists on Accepted Myths panel that featured not only special guest Mercedes Lackey, but also fellow DMP author and good friend Marie Bilodeau. It was an extremely informative panel with a great moment in which Marie, in response to an audience member’s comment along the lines of how we could use existing myths WITHOUT respecting the root culture and that being just fine, Marie replied “well I could come down there and bitch slap you, but…” It was one of the best moments of the con. I wish I had it on video.
Friday night was one of the highlights of my con. That night, up in our room, Gabrielle Harbowy, Clint Talbert and I played a game of Dungeons and Dragons with Ed Greenwood as our Dungeon Master. If you know anything about D&D, you know how cool it is to learn the game from the creator of the Forgotten Realms. It was so much fun. I’m no virgin when it comes to RPGs and have years of WOW under my belt, but I had never played D&D in any form. It was so obvious how this game became such a thing with WRITERS not just gamers. It was a shared story experience and, particularly in private among good friends, it was an absolute riot and probably got a little more, ahem, interesting than it does on the con floor. Let’s just say I did not expect the device holding the Drow prisoner to be a butt plug. Which about sums up the game, really. That and the frantic moment when Gab, our warrior, had to save my dong from the tentacle monster I’d unwittingly pissed off by peeing on him. (Well I had to try out the equipment…)
And there went Friday. Literally; we finished the game at 2:30 am Saturday but all the next-day sleepies had been worth it.
At noon on Saturday, I went to the Brandon Sanderson reading where he treated us to the opening of the last WOT novel, coming out in January 2013, and also a scene from the next Stormlight novel that he’d written only a few days before.
I did also make it down to the Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon interview. I got there early and to my delight, realized that there were ten more minutes of the Charles de Lint interview and for that time, he had chosen to sing along with his wife some of the folk music they’re known for. It was AWESOME and I was totally not expecting it so that made it even better.
After that, Misty and Larry sat down for their interview and Misty put up a sign facing the audience that said YOU ARE DOOMED! And that tells you about the panel, actually. They were funny and irreverent and it was fascinating to hear how they manage all their various collaborations and creative projects.
Saturday night we had the launch party for Hapax at the Fox and the Fiddle across the street from the con. There were tons of people there and K.T. Bryski, who’s like 90 pounds soaking wet, read an excerpt loud enough for us all to hear. It’s a great book, by the way; I’ve already finished mine.
Being insufficiently mobile, I volunteered to man the book table at the party where I sold lots of copies of Hapax and several other DMP books. I met Katie’s friends and family too, and as a rule, they’re all lovely people so I’m very glad I did. Congratulations, Katie!
Sunday morning I started with Non-Western Fantasy, which I wanted to attend anyway, but it offered the additional bonus of having on the panel Amanda Sun who I’d met through Authoress Anonymous’s wonderful group of Success Stories and got to see at intervals throughout the con. She had some interesting perspectives on different cultures in fantasy lit, as did the rest of the panel. Now I’m really looking forward to reading the ARC of Amanda’s upcoming novel, Ink, to be released in July 2013.
I did not attend the banquet that night, and got the results of the World Fantasy awards on Twitter like most people because I was minding the DMP table in the dealers room in the last hours and helping pack it up and clear out.
There were lots of goodbyes that night to the friends old and new who were heading out that evening, there were beers with those who stayed over Sunday night, and then Monday morning I bid a sad goodbye to Gabrielle, Toronto, and WFC 2012. At least I have Ad Astra in Toronto to look forward to in April. See all of you then!
P.S. Those airline-employee-powered wheelchairs are like a magic pass through the airport. You really have to try one sometime. And, yes, I was a good girl and went to the doctor Tuesday afternoon to have my sprained ankle diagnosed and to acquire pretty new crutches so I can be ready to do it all again at the next con.