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 kind of become a tradition that I interview the contributors to my anthologies and share those interviews on my blog. It’s also kind of become a tradition that it takes me a very long time to get them all posted. I plan to continue the first tradition but I’m hoping to avoid the second. Just to be different.
I met today’s interviewee, Michael M. Jones, when yesterday’s featured contributor, C.S. MacCath, introduced us at the World Fantasy convention in Washington, DC. I loved Michael’s contribution to B is for Broken and his C is for Chimera story just blew me away even further. You’re gonna love it 🙂
What letter were you assigned?
I was assigned the enigmatic letter “E” which has always been one of my favorite vowels.
Did you struggle with the letter you were given?
Not really. As with my story in B is for Broken, I happened to have a story already in the works which, with a title change, was perfect for my needs. It helps to have a good vocabulary and an esoteric grasp of weird words.
What was your favourite idea for the ‘word’ to use in your title that you didn’t use?
I have so many ideas. I never throw any of them away. In this case, the story came first and the title came in a flash of brilliance. I never really considered anything else seriously, save for a few vague concepts I’ve filed away until they can be of use.
What kind of chimera is your story about?
It’s about two different things which combine to form something different. But it’s not how you’d expect.
What, other than the letter you were assigned, helped inspire your story?
This story was originally written as a class exercise. We were supposed to write from a non-human perspective, and after I stopped laughing because honestly, most of my stories are written from the viewpoint of nonhumans, I started thinking about a shadow that was alive and wanted to be a person.
Lion, goat or snake–which are you more like?
Lion. To differentiate me from all the other Michaels we know (5 or 6, including editor Mike Allen and brother-in-law and fellow author Michael Shean) I often respond to the nickname Leo. Because in the Chinese zodiac, I’m a Leo. And by the Chinese yearly cycle, I’m a Tiger. I’m just a cat any way you look at it.
If you were going to be magically transformed into a chimera composed of three different creatures, what would you want them to be?
I would be part coyote, part raccoon, part cat. This is already established. Ask my wife. It’s weird, okay?
What if it wasn’t limited to creatures? What three things would you want to be composed of?
A book, lightning, and the color blue. And if you figure out what that creates, tell me.
Unrealizable dreams have been called chimeras. Taking the ‘unrealizable’ part out of the equation, what is one of your fondest dreams/goals?
I’ll give you a hint: it’s shiny and rhymes with Yugo. Please vote for this anthology next year.
Can you share a short excerpt from your story?
I am a shadow who once was a girl.
I flit through the hallways, darting from one dark place to another, leaping from person to person as they talk and laugh in the brief moments between classes. Every now and again, someone detects my presence, shivering despite the late spring heat and ineffectual air conditioning. Even rarer, one of them stops and turns, trying to figure out what they’ve seen out of the corner of an eye.
A bubbly gaggle of girls comes out of the bathroom, giggling over some shared joke. I linger on the nearby lockers and borrow one brunette’s laugh, trying it on for size. My attempt to join in comes just as the group quiets; they look around, baffled and just a little uncomfortable.
The laugh doesn’t feel right to me and I leave it behind as I continue my journey. The girls’ group disbands as they move along to their various classes, their shadows following obediently, nothing more than patches of darkness.
Michael M. Jones lives in Southwest Virginia, with too many books, just enough cats, a plaster penguin, and a wife who knows where all the bodies are buried. His fiction has appeared in anthologies such as B is for Broken, Clockwork Phoenix 3, and A Chimerical World. He also edited Scheherazade’s Facade and the forthcoming Schoolbooks & Sorcery. Visit him at www.michaelmjones.com.
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 ~
Every year I struggle to pick which six works to nominate for the Pushcart Prize. This year my job was made marginally easier after I spoke to Bill Henderson and learned I could nominate six works from both Niteblade and Poise and Pen. Yay! Still, it was a difficult decision-making process even so but I am excited to nominate the following works for the 2016 Pushcart Prize.
B is for Broken contains 26 stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) centered on the theme of brokenness. The diversity of genres and subject matter will blow you away. We’ve got science fiction, fantasy, horror and weird fiction about broken hearts, broken space ships, broken lives, broken bones–you name it. If you like speculative fiction and short stories, this collection is one you’re going to want to check out 🙂
Interview With Michael M. Jones
What Letter Were You Assigned: O
Please share a short excerpt from your story:
The Theatre of Dreams stands alone, small and unimposing against its surroundings. It’s located on the outskirts of the Gaslight District, Puxhill’s oldest and strangest community, set back a little ways from the road itself. Save for a small sign, you’d never know what the building truly was. There is no ticket booth; you cannot call ahead or pre-order here. There are no prices listed; entrance is paid with innocence and secrets, whispers and hopes. There are no hours posted; either you know when performances are, or you do not. The Theatre is not listed in any newspapers, trade magazines, or travel guides. It does not advertise. It doesn’t need to.
It’s Friday night, and the marquee reads, “Juliet Sinclair, appearing irregularly.”
What is the thing you’ve most regretted breaking? Sadly, the statute of limitations hasn’t run out yet, and all involved are still alive. But it was so SHINY.
Have you ever broken something and not been saddened by it? Can you tell us about that? I don’t want to embarrass, shock, or scandalize anyone. But what happens in Vegas stays on the security cameras forever. Or so I’m told.
If you could break one law and get away with it consequence-free, what would it be? Do the laws of time and space count? Because if it’s the laws of man, I really don’t want to incriminate myself.
Do you have any rules for yourself, a code of some sort, which you’d never break? Oh, definitely.
Never ever? Well, I’ve learned never to say never. There are circumstances, sometimes.
Really? Isn’t there something which could make you break it? Are we talking bribes here? What’s your offer? Is it cash? Food? Dancing girls? Booze? I may be easy but I’m not cheap.
Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely? I cheated: I already had the perfect story on hand, about a young woman who was broken somewhere deep in her heart and spirit, and who yearned for a life in which she was whole. And as fortune would have it, it was easy to give it an appropriate title. “Theatre of Dreams” became “O is for Oneiroi” thanks to a hazy memory of obscure Greek mythology.
What was your favourite idea you didn’t use? There used to be a sequence where the main character—Juliet—went forth into the mundane part of the city, where she encountered another character I particularly like. That bit was cut long ago for pacing, but I still liked it.
What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story? Appropriately, this one came to me in a dream, in that space between asleep and awake, when everything is hazy. The hard part was figuring out what, exactly, it was all about. This story is important to me because the Theatre of Dreams, and its owner Polly, are touchstones and waypoints in the Gaslight District, which recurs quite often in my Puxhill stories. They formed the seeds of something larger, and it’s exciting that at long last they’ll see the light of day. But unlike dreams, they won’t fade.
Michael M. Jones is a writer, book reviewer, and editor. He lives in Southwest Virginia, with too many books, just enough cats, and a wife who translates geek into mundane. His short stories have appeared in Clockwork Phoenix 3, A Chimerical World, and at Inscription Magazine. He is the editor of Scheherazade’s Facade and the forthcoming Schoolbooks & Sorcery. Visit him at www.michaelmjones.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 ~