This last weekend we launched Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns at When Words Collide in Calgary, Alberta and sold out of copies at the show.
And there were a lot of copies.
Like, a lot, a lot.
It set a new record for most number of books sold at WWC (or any single event) for me!
But, that’s not the point of this post. As much as I’d like to just dwell on that forever, life does move on and so must I… but I DO have good news.
Today is the official release day of Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns!
That means, if you pre-ordered it either it should be downloaded to your e-reader and ready to go or, if you got the paperback, it ought to be in your mailbox very soon.
Also? Reviews are starting to trickle in. Reviews like this one:
“Fire: Demons, Dragons, and Djinn is an incredibly eclectic and carefully curated collection of short stories… the entire anthology is a treasure of incendiary delights and terrors which deserves a permanent spot on your e-reader’s shelf.”
— Melanie S., Goodreads Reviewer
If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, or don’t even know what I’m talking about, all that information is below, and both B&N and Amazon have ‘Look inside’ features in case you want a little taste before you buy.
To everyone who pre-ordered already, thank you SO much for your support. If not for you I couldn’t do what I do (and I love what I do), so thank you, thank you. I hope you love the book as much as I do 🙂
The ability for people to control (to some extent at least) fire has long been held as one of the major events that contributed to human evolution, but when fire eludes or escapes our control it is also one of the most destructive forces on earth. Associated with passion, power, transformation and purification, fire is a ferocious element with an unquenchable appetite.
Discover the power of Fire and the creatures that thrive on it in these twenty-one stories, including: the true inspiration behind Jim Morrison’s songs; a special weapon used in World War II; the secret in the depths of a mortuary furnace; a fantastical card game; and a necromancer out on what may be his last job.
Featuring: Blake Jessop; Kevin Cockle; Lizbeth Ashton; Dusty Thorne; V.F. LeSann; K.T. Ivanrest; Hal J. Friesen; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Krista D. Ball; Mara Malins; Claude Lalumière; Susan MacGregor; JB Riley; Damascus Mincemeyer; Heather M. O’Connor; Gabrielle Harbowy; R. W. Hodgson; Chadwick Ginther; Wendy Nikel; Annie Neugebauer; and J.G. Formato.
I’ve been stoked (heh) about this anthology from the very beginning for all sorts of reasons. First, because it’s the first volume in what I hope will be a new and awesome series. Second, because it’s my first foray into working with Tyche Books. Third, because it’s a super fun theme with tonnes of potential. Fourth — demons, dragons and djinn. I mean, c’mon!
But despite how excited I was there’s this stage that happens with every anthology I work on where I’m absolutely, positively certain that things aren’t going to come together and I’m never going to have a table of contents and even if I do it’s not going to do the thing justice and blah blah blah blah. You know what I’m talking about, if not specifically when it comes to anthologies than about something. It’s like Imposter Syndrome and ‘It’s always shinier in my brain than it is on the page’ had a baby and that baby moved into my brain and is having a never-ending temper tantrum. Yeah. That.
It happens every time.
And every time the baby eventually grows up and moves away and I realise that, actually, I’ve put together something special.
And each anthology is special in its own way.
The Fire baby (man I’m really milking this aren’t I? LOL) moved out quite a long time ago, actually, so I’ve had lots of time to really enjoy this anthology and really appreciate the things about it that make it special.
Fire is special to me for two big reasons.
First, the quality of the stories and their diversity in regard to tone, voice, point of view, theme and style is impressive. By my count, just off the top of my head and going by memory within these twenty-one stories six have demons, six have dragons and three have djinn. Some have all three. Some have none of those. Some are pretty subtle and others couldn’t be more in your face if they tried. There are fire critters I’d never heard of, and stories went in directions I never could have guessed at, and I love that.
Second, there is a fantastic mix between authors I’ve worked with before and those I’m working with for the very first time. Working with people I’ve worked with before is always a bit easier–we’ve been down this road, we know what to expect. It’s comfortable, familiar. We know each other. We might even be friends. And working with new people is exciting, scary and new. I never know exactly how they are going to take my edits, or my sense of humour. In some cases we’ll meet for the first time at a launch, or event. It keeps me on my toes. This anthology has a great mix of comfort and fear… sort of like fire itself.
So without further ado:
Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinn
“Magnesium Bright” by Lizbeth Ashton
“Bait” by Krista D. Ball
“Strange Attractor” by Kevin Cockle
“The Midwife and the Phoenix” by J.G. Formato
“The Djinni and the Accountant” by Hal J. Friesen
“Midnight Man versus Frankie Flame” by Chadwick Ginther
“Cold Comfort” by Gabrielle Harbowy
“Aitvaras” by R.W. Hodgson
“The Hatchling” by K.T. Ivanrest
“She Alone” by Blake Jessop
“A Girl, Ablaze with Life” by Claude Lalumière
“Old Flames” by V. F. LeSann
“Light My Fire” by Susan MacGregor
“Double or Nothing” by Mara Malins
“Aladdin’s Laugh” by Damascus Mincemeyer
“Cilantro” by Annie Neugebauer
“Breath of the Caldera” by Wendy Nikel
“Phoenix Rising” by Heather M. O’Connor
“Ring of Fire” by JB Riley
“Permanence” by Dusty Thorne
“The Second Great Fire” by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinn will be launched at When Words Collide in Calgary, Alberta this August 🙂
I’m so excited I can barely speak in sentences, forget about paragraphs. So. To elaborate:
It’s an Aphanasian story featuring Bayne.
It’s my first pro-rate story.
I’m sharing a table of contents with amazing people.
It’s got that a-freaking-mazing cover.
And it’s edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Gabrielle before, and she’s awesome and I adore her. And Ed Freaking Greenwood?
Guys. C’mon. That’s just freaking nuts.
Playing D&D in the Forgotten Realms setting has consumed years of my life and Ed Freaking Greenwood read and liked my story.
I could just die.
In the meantime, while I flail and squee you should pop over to the Kickstarter, take a look at the perks and see if there’s anything there that tickles your fancy because I’m 1000% sure this anthology is gonna kick ass.
For the next several weeks I’ve decided to call Fridays ‘Fractured Friday’ and use them to share news, contributor interviews and excerpts from B is for Broken.
B is for Broken is the second title in the Alphabet Anthologies series. It follows A is for Apocalypse and will in turn be followed by C is for Chimera. Each story in the series is associated with a letter of the alphabet and is titled in the letter is for word format. What’s more, just to keep things nice and complicated, the story’s title isn’t shared at the beginning but at the end so that you can guess at what it might be while you read.
On that note, even though the story titles could be considered spoilers because of how the book is formatted, for the sake of simplicity if the author has chosen to post their title publicly somewhere else (their blog, Facebook, wherever) I am going to include it in my posts. If they haven’t revealed that information, though, I’ll list the story titles as Letter is for…
I called this Fractured Friday entry ‘Fragments’ because instead of one long excerpt and interview I’m going to share two of the shorter B is for Broken contributor interviews and also a bit of good news.
“This doesn’t happen very often when I read anthologies, but I enjoyed every single selection in this book.”
“I’d recommend B Is For Broken to anyone who loves contemporary science fiction as much as I do. There is a lot of great material to explore in this collection!”
The reviewer also specifically called out Sara Cleto and Gary B. Phillips’ stories for praise. You can read the full review here.
And now, a pair of short contributor interviews. The first is from Damien Angelica Walters, followed by Gabrielle Harbowy’s. Enjoy!
Interview with Damien Angelica Walters
What letter were you assigned? S
Please share a short excerpt from your story:
Here is the bridge where we first met. Do you remember? The clouds were heavy in the sky and we were both in a hurry to beat the rain and our shoulders bumped and we went spinning in opposite directions. The book in your hand dropped nearest to me so I picked it up and spun myself back to you.
Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely? I sat with my notebook and pen one night and started jotting down a list of words that began with S. I wrote about a dozen before I added the word that became part of the title. From there, it was a quick mental trip to the story concept as a whole, which, incidentally, revolved around another word beginning with S.
What was your favourite idea you didn’t use? One of the words on my list was salamander, but before I could come up with an idea, my brain had already taken the other and run with it.
What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story? Without giving anything away, I’d wanted to write a story in a certain format for a while, but the right idea hadn’t presented itself. That format fit perfectly with this story.
Damien Angelica Walters’ short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Year’s Best Weird Fiction Volume One, The Best of Electric Velocipede, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, Lightspeed, Shimmer, and Apex. “The Floating Girls: A Documentary,” originally published in Jamais Vu, is on the 2014 Bram Stoker Award ballot for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction.
Sing Me Your Scars, a collection of her short fiction, is out now from Apex Publications, and Paper Tigers, a novel, is forthcoming from Dark House Press. You can find her on Twitter @DamienAWalters or online at http://damienangelicawalters.com.
Interview with Gabrielle Harbowy
What letter were you assigned? X
Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely? There were TOO many ideas! I knew I didn’t want to do something obvious, so I went to the Scrabble dictionary and browsed through, writing down any X-words that looked interesting. When I had a list of ten or so, I sat down with them and tried to come up with story hooks for each.
What was your favourite idea you didn’t use? Xerosis, a dermatological disease that causes cracking of the skin. I went for breaking multiple trees instead of one person, so that the story could have a larger scope.
What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken objects with gold. No matter which letter I got, I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my story.
Gabrielle Harbowy has edited for publishers such as Pyr, Lambda Literary, and Circlet Press. She is the managing editor at Dragon Moon Press and a submissions editor at the Hugo-nominated Apex Magazine. With Ed Greenwood, she co-edited the award-nominated When the Hero Comes Home anthology series. Her short fiction can be found in anthologies, including Carbide Tipped Pens from Tor, and her first novel is forthcoming from Paizo. Check out Gabrielle’s personal site: www.gabrielle-edits.com.
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.”
It is with an extreme amount of pride and pleasure that I’m announcing the theme and contributors to the third in the alphabet anthology series. I hope you’ll be as excited as I am about… dun dun DUN:
C is for Chimera
In case you’re thinking, “Uh, a whole anthology of lion/goat/serpent creatures?” that is not the only definition of the word 🙂 I’ve got my fingers crossed for at least one lion/goat/serpent creature in the anthology, but check out this definition and then tell me you can’t see the potential for a hugely diverse collection of stories:
1: a capitalized: a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail
b: an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts
2: an illusion or fabrication of the mind; especially : an unrealizable dream <a fancy, a chimera in my brain, troubles me in my prayer — John Donne>
3: an individual, organ, or part consisting of tissues of diverse genetic constitution
Our contributing authors are also diverse and write in a wide variety of styles and genres within the broader categories of science fiction, fantasy and horror. You’ll notice some familiar names from the first two books in this series (A is for Apocalypse and B is for Broken) as well as a few new additions. Anthology contributors (in no particular order) are:
~ BD Wilson ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Pete Aldin ~ Beth Cato ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Marge Simon ~ Simon Kewin ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ KV Taylor ~ Sara Cleto ~ Michael M. Jones ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Milo James Fowler ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Megan Arkenberg ~ Michael B. Tager ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Steve Bornstein ~ Lilah Wild ~ Amanda C. Davis ~ Megan Engelhardt ~ Michael Kellar ~ Brittany Warman ~
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 🙂