F is for Fairy, the sixth installment in the Alphabet Anthologies series, has got a cover! Yay!
As always with this series, the cover was designed by Jonathan C. Parrish.
“Anyone who believes that faeries are wee, golden-haired creatures with dragon-fly wings and sweet intentions has never met a real faerie.” –Suzanne Willis, “A Silver Thread Between Worlds”
Retellings of familiar favourites from new perspectives, and brand new stories share the pages of this fairy-themed collection. Within these offerings you’ll find fairy music and food, contracts (making and breaking them), changelings, circles and curses–these stories deliver all the things you already love about fairies and a few new tricks as well.
A dusting of dragons, shapeshifters and ogres accompany these tales which include feminist fairies overcoming trauma, Norse fairies breaking the rules to interfere in human affairs, intergalactic fairies hitching a ride to a new home, political satire featuring an idiot king and talking animals, a new Robin Archer story, fairy run nightclubs and so, so much more.
Altogether this anthology includes twenty-six brand new tales–one for each letter of the alphabet–from contributors Pete Aldin, Steve Bornstein, Andrew Bourelle, Stephanie A. Cain, Beth Cato, Sara Cleto, Cory Cone, Danielle Davis, Megan Engelhardt, Michael Fosburg, Joseph Halden, Lynn Hardaker, L.S. Johnson, Michael M. Jones, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, C.S. MacCath, Jonathan C. Parrish, Alexandra Seidel, Michael B. Tager, Rachel M. Thompson, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Brittany Warman, Lilah Wild, Suzanne J. Willis and BD Wilson.
Though it’s not going to be available until May 7th, F is for Fairy is currently available for pre-order:
E is for Evil contains twenty-six individual stories which each shine a different light on the multi-faceted idea that is evil. Running the gamut from lyrical fantasy to gritty horror in these stories possessed toys, hellish bureaucrats, scientists with questionable morals, abusive partners and even lingerie sellers all take their turn in the spotlight.
Featuring fresh new stories from Michael Fosburg, Lynn Hardaker, Stephanie A. Cain, Andrew Bourelle, Suzanne J. Willis, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, Hal J. Friesen, C.S. MacCath, Michael B. Tager, Jonathan C. Parrish, Amanda C. Davis, Lilah Wild, Sara Cleto, Alexandra Seidel, Mary Alexander Agner, Cory Cone, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Beth Cato, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Megan Engelhardt, Danielle Davis, Brittany Warman, BD Wilson, L.S. Johnson, Pete Aldin and Michael M. Jones.
I wanted this cover to represent ‘evil’ without relying on any one specific religion or mythology (satan & pentagrams, for example), which was tricky. To further complicate things I also wanted it to be black and white and grey. That made it difficult not only to find the right image (we went with a play on ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’) but also to get the contrast right. It took a lot of finessing but in the end I think Jo nailed it. I can’t wait to see this one on physical books 🙂
If you’re going to pick up a copy of this please consider pre-ordering your copy here:
I’m excited to announce the theme for the next volume in my Alphabet Anthologies series will be:
Oh man, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this one. The contributors to this anthology series never cease to amaze me with their clever and diverse interpretations of a theme and this one… well, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a doozie!
Speaking of those contributors. For this volume the contributing authors, in random order, are Michael Fosburg, Lynn Hardaker, KV Taylor, Andrew Bourelle, Suzanne J. Willis, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, Hal J. Friesen, C.S. MacCath, Michael B. Tager, Jonathan C. Parrish, Amanda C. Davis, Lilah Wild, Sara Cleto, Alexandra Seidel, Mary Alexandra Agner, Cory Cone, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Beth Cato, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Megan Engelhardt, Gary B. Phillips, Brittany Warman, BD Wilson, L.S. Johnson, Pete Aldin and Michael M. Jones.
E is for Evil will be hitting shelves spring of next year, so we’ll all need to be patient while we wait for it, but people had been asking what the next letter was going to be and I was getting tired of saying it was a secret 🙂
For the fourth installment of Rhonda Parrish’s Alphabet Anthologies, contributors were challenged to write about dinosaurs. The resulting twenty-six stories contain widely different interpretations of the dinosaur theme and span the spectrum from literal to metaphoric.
Within these pages stories set in alternate histories, far-flung futures and times just around the corner, dinosaurs whimper and waste away, or roar and rage. People can be dinosaurs, as can ideas, fictions and flesh. Knitted dinosaurs share space with ghostly, genetically engineered and even narcotic ones.
Teenagers must embrace their inner dinosaurs in order to find peace and belonging, a dying woman duels a God in a far future city that echoes aspects of our past, an abused wife accompanies her husband on a hunt for an ancient power and finds more than she could ever have imagined and a girl with wonderful magical powers stumbles across the bones of a giant long-dead lizard. And so much more!
Features stories by Alexandra Seidel, Pete Aldin, Beth Cato, Michael Kellar, Cory Cone, Simon Kewin, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, C.S. MacCath, KV Taylor, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Michael B. Tager, Gary B. Phillips, Michael M. Jones, L.S. Johnson, Brittany Warman, Hal J. Friesen, Megan Engelhardt, BD Wilson, Michael Fosburg, Jonathan C. Parrish, Suzanne J. Willis, Lynn Hardaker, Amanda C. Davis, Andrew Bourelle, Sara Cleto and Jeanne Kramer-Smyth.
This cover was designed by Jonathan C. Parrish using original artwork by Janice Blaine.
D is for Dinosaur will be available in February 2017. In the meantime, don’t forget to add it to your ‘Want to read’ shelf on Goodreads and LibraryThing!
It’s time to announce the theme for the next Alphabet Anthology. I am really stoked about this one. Like, really, really stoked. I’ve been looking forward to the D anthology since I first decided to do this anthology series–in fact, more than once Jo has had to talk me out of releasing books out of alphabetical order because I was impatient to get to D.
So what is the theme?
Well, Demons seemed like a good fit–a collection of dark and diverse stories would be a lot of fun but not quite as fun as–
Dragons. Dragons seem the obvious choice, right? I mean, I love dragons. I used to collect them, I even have a dragon tattoo. And there’s no doubt that dragon stories could be diverse in theme, voice and tone… but dragons were actually kind of too obvious. Plus I have a vaguely dragony anthology in the works and I don’t want to duplicate efforts. Much. Still gargantuan reptilian creatures are pretty amazing and so I am excited to announce that–
–because c’mon! How cool is that?
The dinosaur theme will be interpreted in a wide variety of ways for this anthology but my authors assure me that there will, indeed, be at least a handful of prehistoric critters within its pages. I’m super stoked!
Speaking of those authors, contributors to this anthology include some veterans to the series and some new faces too. In no particular order, story contributors to D is for Dinosaur are:
~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Pete Aldin ~ Beth Cato ~ Michael Kellar ~ Cory Cone ~ Simon Kewin ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ C.S. MacCath ~ KV Taylor ~ Laura VanArendonk Baugh ~ Michael B. Tager ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Michael M. Jones ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Brittany Warman ~ Hal J. Friesen ~ Megan Engelhardt ~ BD Wilson ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Suzanne J. Willis ~ Lynn Hardaker ~ Amanda C. Davis ~ Andrew Bourell ~ Sara Cleto ~ Jeanne Kramer-Smyth ~
Broken people, broken promises, broken dreams and broken objects are just some of the ways these 26 fantastic stories interpret the theme of ‘Broken’. From science fiction to fantasy, horror to superheroes the stories within these pages cover a vast swath of the genres under the speculative fiction umbrella.
Featuring original fiction by:
~ Brittany Warman ~ Milo James Fowler ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Sara Cleto ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Megan Arkenberg ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Simon Kewin ~ Beth Cato ~ Cory Cone ~ Cindy James ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Michael M. Jones ~ Steve Bornstein ~ BD Wilson ~ Michael Kellar ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ Marge Simon ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Pete Aldin ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Lilah Wild ~ KV Taylor ~
After months of hard work I’m incredibly excited to announce that B is for Broken is live and available for purchase! This anthology is the second in the Alphabet Anthologies series and because the theme was broader than the first (A is for Apocalypse) the stories are even more diverse in regard to genre, style, voice and theme than before. We’ve got retold fairy tales, robots and spaceships, superheros, minotaurs, second world fantasy and so, so, SO much more. The story length ranges from flash fiction to an incredible fantasy novelette from C.S. MacCath (trust me, you don’t want to miss this one).
Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing contributor interviews, excerpts and even (once it’s complete) a ‘Broken Story‘ to try and tempt you into picking up a copy but if you enjoy speculative fiction I don’t think you can go wrong with this anthology. I’m biased but it really is packed full of awesome.
“This collection is a massive and magnificent assortment of truly enjoyable stories. There is simply no way to read this book and not find a story you can connect with or love. This is the book to have in your travel bag. In it you are sure to find a tale to fit any mood. Each time you open it, a new adventure begins.”
I didn’t know what picture to put in this blog, so I went with this dude. These are photographs I took a few weeks ago of a ghost magpie. They aren’t great but in my defense the magpie didn’t stick around long enough for me to get any awesome angles LoL Though these leucistic magpies have been spotted all over, Edmonton seems to have the largest concentration of them, and some people call it the “capital of the world” for ghost magpies. I love them. I love corvids of all types, of course, but these imperfect albino magpies are so beautiful… Also, because they are much more rare than their ‘normal’ brethren, it always, always, always makes me incredibly happy to see one. You feel… privileged. It’s almost like rarity adds value or something 😉
Anyway, I love them so much that I’ve been stalking them with my camera for a couple years now (and only have these two photographs to show for it so far — they seem a bit camera shy), and I even wrote one into the YA horror novel I’m working on, Hollow. And *that* is the connection between these photographs and this blog post, because this blog post is about three things I write and three things I don’t 🙂
Anyway, Cory tagged me in this hop so I’m supposed to talk about three things I do write, and three things I don’t.
Three Things I Don’t Write:
I’m struggling with this one. I really am. I write a lot of things across all sorts of genres and styles… I was going to say ‘I don’t write mysteries’ but I do, I just wrap them up in a fantasy setting first. Or ‘I don’t write MG’ but I used to… and still do on occasion to give as gifts to nieces and nephews… Tricky!
I don’t write… oh my gawd. This is really *hard*!
I was going to say I don’t write 2nd person point of view, but then I remembered the website I made on Geocities way back when that was a choose your own adventure page “You find yourself in a giant library…” and so I couldn’t go with that. Then I was going to talk about how I don’t write the kind of fiction my daughter likes to read but even though it wasn’t meant to, that just sounded all self-pitying… so… what don’t I write?
Uh… I’m going to come back to this.
Three Things I Write:
I write poetry.
I write a fair amount of poetry, actually. And I’ve been paid more for and received far more recognition for my poetry than I have my prose, and yet I still don’t have the confidence to call myself a poet or to talk about my poetry in the same way as I do my prose. It’s because poetry is intimidating, dudes (I wrote a guest column about that a couple years ago). It’s scary. Scary in a way prose just isn’t. I don’t write super deep poems, and maybe that’s part of it, and (don’t tell anyone but) sometimes when I read poetry that other people love, it totally goes over my head. So maybe that’s the thing, it’s so much more subjective than prose? I don’t know…
And that has turned into a bit of a ramble, but the point is, I write poems. I’ve had a lot of them published (I think my zombie poems might be the most popular ones) and even had two nominated for awards. So there’s that.
I’ll even share one here. I submitted this one to one market and they said they’d publish it… except that they were closing their doors >_< Sadly, I haven’t been able to find another suitable place to send it, so I’ll post it here instead 🙂
She enjoys her petty power
clings to it tooth and claw,
terrified of what she’d be without it.
A wall of pride protects
her soft heart, deep insecurities,
camouflages her unique flavour of crazy.
My cat. Myself.
I Write Fantasy (Mostly Dark)
This covers the bulk of what I write. Even most of my poems fall into the fantasy genre. Usually my work is on the dark side of the spectrum, but still fantasy. It’s tough, sometimes, to figure out where the line between dark fantasy and horror is and I suspect some of my stuff straddles that line while other stories stomp on it. I seem to especially love giving sentience to things that usually lack it. Fun!
I Write Horror (Including Zombies)
I don’t seem to write the sort of straight-up horror I grew up on (I wrote a book report on Stephen King’s book Christine when I was in grade three. Have I mentioned that my mother never censored what I read? LOL) but as I said above, a lot of my work falls on the dark side of the speculative spectrum (heh, spec spec) and some slips over the line between fantasy and horror. It’s not goretastic horror though. I enjoy reading that from time to time, but I don’t seem to write it much. Even when I’m dealing with zombies there isn’t very many entrails spilling from guts like slippery eels or blood spurting fountain-like from severed limbs. Sometimes… but not much.
Which, I suppose, I ought to have put under
Three Things I Don’t Write:
I Don’t Write A Lot Of Gore
Now, I may have to re-read my shelved zombie novel, Deadmonton (set, you guessed it, in Edmonton. Because I’m just that clever :-p) to be sure I’m not lying here… but I don’t write a whole lot of gore. I’m not averse to reading or watching it but it’s not something that makes its way into my work very often. It’s not a conscious decision, it’s just kind of how things have worked out.
I Don’t Write Science Fiction
I often feel like this is a bit of a waste, really. After all, I’m married to a freaking scientist, but I don’t write science fiction. What’s up with that? Somewhat like the poetry thing, I think I find writing science fiction intimidating. The details are SO important, and if you’re going to use real science there’s no real room for error. It’s kinda scary… So that’s probably the biggest reason I don’t write it… though I also doing think I have many sci-fi ideas, really. If I did have a fantastic story to tell that could best be told as science fiction I’d like to think I’d be brave enough to give it a shot, but so far that situation hasn’t come up.
I Don’t Write Book Reviews
I know, this one is a bit of a cop-out, but I’m going with it anyway. I don’t write book reviews. Not really. I’ve tried in the past and it’s just not a skill I have. On the surface it’s like, “C’mon, how hard can it be? You say what the book is about and then what you thought of it.” but really it’s much more complex than that. I’m not very good at it. So though on Goodreads I will occasionally give my opinion of a book I’ve just finished, I wouldn’t ever really call myself a book reviewer. Because I’m not.
Yay! I found three things I don’t write and I managed to refrain from posting more than three things that I do. I’m going to call that a victory 🙂
Now, to end this blog hop I get to tag some more people to participate. All my tagees (which should totally be a word) volunteered for this when I put a call out on Twitter 🙂
First up is Doug Blakeslee who wasn’t sure exactly what he was getting himself into, but was a good enough sport to volunteer anyway 😉
The lovely Ms. Alexis A. Hunter also said she’d participate. I met Alexis through Niteblade as well, when she sent us a great apocalyptic story. Later she came on staff as a slush reader (and a great one at that!) and we became friends through that and social media.
I met Warren C. Bennett on Twitter, where he has shown himself to be clever, friendly and a huge fan of tacos. What more could you possibly want?
Last, but certainly not least (and possibly ironically since she was the first to volunteer), Stephanie Faris has offered to participate in this blog hop. I met Stephanie during this years Blogging From A to Z Challenge and found her to be one of the most amazing people and bloggers. She’s the kind of blogger who even though she gets dozens of comments on every one of her posts still finds time to visit her commenter’s blogs and leave intelligent, insightful comments. My hat’s off…
Do be sure to check out their blogs over the coming weeks as they’ll each be writing about Three Things They Write and Three Things They Don’t. (Why did I capitalize those words? And perhaps more importantly, why am I writing this out rather than just going back and un-capitalizing them? #ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmm )
I’m giving my blog over to the zombies this month to celebrate the release of my book, Waste Not (And Other Funny Zombie Stories). As part of that I’ve invited some friends to pop over and share their thoughts about zombies. One of the people who took me up on the offer was Cory Cone. Cory is the author of the fantastic zombie story Compassion, During and After the Fall which I had the pleasure of publishing in Niteblade. It was largely on the strength of that story that I invited him to contribute to A is for Apocalypse (which also, oddly enough, has zombies in it LoL)
Today, Cory is writing a bit of non-fiction for me to share with you here today. Specifically, he’s going to talk about the zombtastic works for Joe R. Lansdale. Confession time… I haven’t read any of Joe’s work, but after these glowing recommendations I intend to change that.
A Few Zombie Stories by Joe R. Lansdale
(a guest post by Cory Cone)
Whenever I’m asked to recommend a book, I suggest Edge of Dark Water by Champion Mojo Storyteller, Joe R. Lansdale. It is a depression era novel set in East Texas, the setting of most of Lansdale’s stories, and is among my favorite of his books. But honestly, making only one suggestion from his gargantuan bibliography of novels and short stories is near impossible. Lansdale is constantly inventive, funny, terrifying, and insightful in his fiction. His collections include Bleeding Shadows, Bumper Crop, High Cotton, among others. He is also the author of several novels, including the Hap and Leonard series, The Bottoms, A Thin Dark Line, The Thicket, and Cold in July, recently released as a film.
If you have never read anything by this author and are curious about some of his non-zombie short fiction, allow me to recommend the collection The Best of Joe R. Lansdale. It contains some of his best work, including one of my all-time favorite short stories, Night They Missed the Horror Show. But be warned: it’s a story that haunts long after the final sentence. Last year, Apex Magazine reprinted one of his most famous short stories, Tight Little Stitches In a Dead Man’s Back, and it’s available for free online. In addition, Lansdale frequently posts his stories for free on his website.
But it’s the month of zombie, so if you’re looking to kick back and read some outstanding zombie fiction, you can’t go wrong with the following three stories:
Christmas with the Dead
Calvin, surviving alone in a zombified world, isn’t going to let the walking dead stop him from decorating his house for Christmas. This story remains among my favorite from Lansdale. It’s silly, it’s funny, it’s full of the perfectly articulated imagery one comes to expect from a Lansdale story (“The way their teeth bit into her, how the skin stretched, it looked as if they were trying to pull old bubble gum loose from the sidewalk.”). In the mix you’ll find moments so moving you can’t quite believe a story like this is getting to you, especially the absolutely fantastic ending, which I’d be a fool to ruin here. You can find it in Bleeding Shadows. It was also made into a film by his son, Keith, which you can buy on DVD.
A Visit with Friends
This story can also be found in Bleeding Shadows. A very different tale from Christmas with the Dead, A Visit with Friends is told in first person and is mostly a single scene of dialogue between the narrator and his wife. They’ve secured their houses, adapted, and feel fairly confident they will survive. Here, though, it’s more than just the main character(s) making due—it’s the entire city. In many of Lansdale’s zombie stories, he gives his characters a lot of credit and shows just how much ingenuity humans could potentially have in such situations. That said, this particular story, as well as the next one I’ll be mentioning, takes a much darker look at the world than Christmas with the Dead. It deals with nastier human impulses and asks the question: Who, in this zombie world, are the real monsters?
The Hunt: Before, and the Aftermath
This is another first person story, which is always a treat. Joe R. Lansdale’s characters have such distinct, relatable, and enjoyable voices that it is always a pleasure to get inside their heads. This story was collected in an out of print book, Trapped in the Saturday Matinee, and in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 24, edited by Stephen Jones. Once more, Lansdale uses the zombie apocalypse as a backdrop for disturbing human experiences. This story is about love, the temptations one must battle when married, and ultimately, forgiveness. Oh, and zombies!
There you have it. Dig in and eat up some great zombie fiction.
It is my pleasure to announce the next title in the series of anthologies which begins with A is for Apocalypse.
B is for Broken
Featuring original fiction by:
~ Beth Cato ~ Cory Cone ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ Marge Simon and Michael Fosburg ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Michael Kellar ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Sara Cleto ~ Pete Aldin ~ Milo James Fowler ~ Gary Phillips ~ Lilah Wild ~ Jonathan Parrish ~ BD Wilson ~ KV Taylor ~ Simon Kewin ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Steve Bornstein ~ Brittany Warman ~ Cindy James ~ Brenda Stokes Barron ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Megan Arkenberg ~
While I got to pick the theme I have no control over how the contributors handle it, so as you can imagine I’m as excited as you to see the results! Nothing is set in stone just yet, but I’m aiming for a Spring 2015 release 🙂
What do you get when you take 26 amazing writers, assign them a letter of the alphabet and give them complete artistic freedom within a theme? In 2014 we’ll find out with the release of the first of a series of anthologies:
A is for Apocalypse
A is for Apocalypse is going to be filled with 26 apocalyptic stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) by incredibly talented writers whose diverse styles and preferred themes leave no doubt that this collection will have something for everyone. The writers who are contributing to this collection are:
~ Brenda Stokes Barron ~ Marge Simon / Michael Fosburg ~ Milo James Fowler ~ Beth Cato ~ Simon Kewin ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Sara Cleto ~ Kenneth Schneyer ~ KV Taylor ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ BD Wilson ~ Ennis Drake ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Michael Kellar ~ Cindy James ~ Brittany Warman ~ K.L. Young ~ Pete Aldin ~ Cory Cone ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Lilah Wild ~ Jonathan Parrish ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Steve Bornstein ~