Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’
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!
The short story Gabrielle Harbowy and I have been writing together, “Skin Deep” has been accepted to the anthology called Carbide Tipped Pens, edited by Eric Choi and Ben Bova, to be published by Tor next year.
Check out the anthology’s Facebook Page to see who else will be in it and keep up with all the news.
The collaboration was my first time co-writing and I was a bit nervous about how it would work out. But it was the perfect team effort, she was strong where I wasn’t, and vice versa. She’s been my editor for two books now and two short stories and it made for a smooth blend of our voices, so that the story has its own unique voice, rather than sounding like two authors’ work cobbled together.
We’re both excited to be a part of Eric and Ben’s anthology. I’ll keep you updated!
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.
OK, pardon me for just a moment but: Isn’t It Beautiful???
I’m sorry, but I’m completely in love with that cover. I’ve been wanting to show it off since I first got a sneak peek months ago. And now it’s HERE! Following last year’s incredible, When the Hero Comes Home, coming August 10, 2012, is When the Villain Comes Home!
Heroes can save the world, but villains can CHANGE it. Dragon Moon Press and the editors of the award-nominated When the Hero Comes Home invite you to come along with us while we explore villains of all stripes — sons and daughters, lovers and fighters, minions and masterminds. Introducing thirty great science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction stories by bestsellers and award winners, rising stars, and bold new voices.
Camille Alexa – Pinktastic and the End of the World
Erik Scott de Bie – Hunger of the Blood Reaver
Chaz Brenchley – Villainelle
Eugie Foster – Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me
David Sakmyster – Prometheus Found
Marie Bilodeau – Happily Ever After
Richard Lee Byers – Little Things
K.D. McEntire – Heels
Peadar Ó Guilín – The Sunshine Baron
Jim C. Hines – Daddy’s Little Girl
Ari Marmell – Than to Serve in Heaven
Karin Lowachee – The Bleach
Jay Lake – The Woman Who Shattered the Moon
Julie Czerneda – Charity
J.M. Frey – Maddening Science
Clint Talbert – Birthright
Rachel Swirsky – Broken Clouds
Tony Pi – The Miscible Imp
Leah Petersen – Manmade
J.P. Moore – Lord of the Southern Sky
Ryan McFadden – Back in the Day
Todd McCaffrey – Robin Redbreast
Erik Buchanan – Cycle of Revenge
Gregory A. Wilson – The Presuil’s Call
Rosemary Jones – The Man With Looking-Glass Eyes
Gabrielle Harbowy – Starkeep
Ed Greenwood – A Lot of Sly Work Ahead
Mercedes Lackey / Larry Dixon – Heir Apparent
Chris A. Jackson – Home Again, Home Again
Steve Bornstein – The Best Laid Plans
So, want a sneak peak of Villain? Here’s a bit from my story, Manmade:
The castle called to him. Lord Andrew Rorin rode on through the creeping grey mist of dusk. He was determined to spend the night within the castle walls. In a sack tied to his saddle, the head of a king bumped a pleasant tattoo against the horse’s flank. Rorin smiled and urged the horse faster toward home.
The siren song of the keep danced together with visions of meats roasting over the fire, fat sizzling and popping on the coals below, of spiced mulled wine to warm his bones, and a wench or two to warm everything else.
The gates came into view and Rorin’s pulse quickened. He was eager to show off his latest trophy. He loved the expressions on their pretty little faces as they looked at, while trying not to see, the grisly proof of his latest conquests. That this was the head of a man only sweetened the victory.
For Lord Rorin’s intolerance for other men was legendary. He allowed no man in his presence save the heads of those he had killed, carefully bound with spells so that their last expression of fear or pain or the sweetness of surprise was forever preserved.
The lights in the windows were a cheery glow and the bustle of activity in the courtyard was proof that the castle had rallied its inhabitants to welcome their lord home. Rorin galloped through the gates and reined his horse to a stop in front of the great doors where, turned out to serve their lord and master…were a dozen men. Tall, hairy things like a grove of blight oaks planted in his yard.
Rorin flew off his horse, trembling with rage.
He stumbled to a stop in front of a thick, furry one. The words rushed to his lips, power gathering in his cupped hand.
Something massive darted in his peripheral vision, slamming into his side. Rorin fell. A moment before he hit the cobblestones he was snatched up by the very blur that had knocked him down.
“Don’t, my lord.”
The deep, resonant voice sent red fury racing through Rorin’s veins. He rounded on the speaker. The man was tall and beefy, with hands that looked capable of snapping small trees in half.
“What is the meaning of this? Get out of my sight! Where are my servants? Charlotte!”
“Here, my lord,” the same man answered.
Rorin stared at him.
“They call me Charles, now,” he amended after a long pause.
It was so absurd Rorin sputtered, a spray of astonishment and rage.
Charlotte, his current favorite, was thin at waist and wrist, plump where it mattered—breast, hips, lips. Her hair was the color of new wheat, eyes the strange, enigmatic dusky color of moss in the dry season. She was the loveliest of the ladies he had acquired in the forty years since he’d claimed the keep.
This thing, this man, couldn’t have been more different. Although the hair that brushed his powerful shoulders and shadowed a strong jaw was the color of new wheat. And under thick, knitted brows his eyes were the enigmatic, dusky color of dry moss.
“Don’t you ever, ever touch me,” Rorin hissed, clenching his teeth against the involuntary shiver the man’s touch had excited.
He wouldn’t have time to craft a spell with the man’s eyes on him. “Don’t even speak to me you lying, disgusting, monstrous—”
Snatching his belt knife, he thrust it two-handed at the man’s neck. The man’s hands flashed up and snatched at his wrists, a painful, crushing grip. Rorin gasped in a breath but before he could do anything with it, a beefy fist slammed into his temple. As darkness descended he heard a faraway, “Forgive me, my lord.”
You can read the rest of it on August 10, in When the Villain Comes Home!