Saturday, October 13, 2012

Buy eFantasy and read Twisted!

So, the day has finally arrived - my first-ever short story, published! :-)


This is the awesome cover of eFantasy's October Issue - the Dark Fiction Special which features my story, Twisted - the first in a series. :-)

But that's not the only cool thing about the Dark Fiction Special - you can also read 5 other short stories:

The Seven by Benjamin Wertz
The Call of Leviathan by Christopher Hivner
Eye of Crow, Mouth of Crom by Alison Carter
The Sisters of the Serpent Christ by Daniel Gonzales
Suicide Station by Jude Lovell

and some poetry, Birth Pangs by W.C. Morrow,

as well as a review (by Angela Meadon, Managing Editor of eFantasy) of Tim Lebbon's Echo City - a book I'm looking forward to myself. :-) Angela also interviews Tim in this issue!

Please, please, please go buy you copies of this Dark Fantasy Special over at the eFantasy Store! I'm really looking forward to share Twisted with the world again, and I'd love to hear your opinions of it because I had so much fun writing it that I'll be writing more stories (a series, if all goes well) that explores the characters and the world more deeply. :-)

I have to thank four people for today - not only have to, but want to, because without these people Twisted would never have appeared, and in one case, wouldn't even have been written.

The first person is Michael Daniel Venter - Michael and I worked together at Exclusive Books a couple of years ago and one particular day he asked me to write a story about twisted fairy tales - he wanted to have a twisted-fairy-tales-themed party and thought having something for the guests to read that tied into the party would be cool. So he asked me to write a story - and Twisted was born. :-)

The next person that deserves my thanks and your support (in terms of readership) is Edward Morris - awesome guy, brilliant writer, and editor of Gorgon Press' Phantasmagorium - he gave Twisted a chance and put it up on the Weekly Offerings page, which led to one of my favourite writers, J. Robert King, reading Twisted and digging it. :-)

Stephen Zimmer also rocks, because not only is he an excellent example of a human being but he's also a great writer and champion of SFF, and I might never have heard of Angela or eFantasy if it wasn't for his introduction, so thank you, Stephen, you rock!

And last but not least, thank you to Angela Meadon herself - without her you wouldn't have the opportunity to read Twisted now. :-) And, perhaps-maybe-I-hope-it'll-be-accepted, the next part in the tale, Torn. ;-)

So, thank you! You guys all rock! :-) This is a day that I'll never forget - my career as an author has officially begun! :-)

Here's the link to purchase eFantasy's Dark Fiction Special again in case you missed it - well, of course you didn't, but maybe you want to click it again anyway to -you know- buy another copy, and then more, for your friends? ;-)


Be EPIC and Happy Reading! :-)


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flash Fiction: The Reason

This is the only piece of Flash Fiction I've ever written. :-) It was born from a challenge, you could say - I was given the beginning of a sentence and told, "Write a one-page story." and this is what appeared on the page over the course of around half an hour.

It's similar to my short stories in that it wasn't planned - short stories usually pop into my head as a fully-formed first draft, title and all (weird, I know), and I actually never found out what this piece's title was, until tonight, when I was getting it ready for this post. It is, without a doubt, one of the strangest stories I've ever written, but I'm oddly proud of it, odd little thing that it is.

Hope you enjoy it. :-)

***


Claire was looking for clues that would tell her who had killed her.

The murder scene was an abandoned parking lot. She couldn’t remember ever being here, and that was strange.

The open space, lit fitfully by standing lamps, was about thirty feet by forty feet, and dust covered every surface, lying in a sixty-year old layer on the four remaining automobiles. There had been fourteen once, a couple of decades ago, but the most interesting models had been disassembled and removed for study.

Water dripped from cracks in the ceiling in such profusion that it seemed it was raining, and Claire, 3-hours alive, felt as if she should be thankful to someone. She was experiencing rain when no-one on the surface had felt it or seen it of smelled it for sixty years.

“But I’m not the only one, aren’t I?” she asked, and the emptiness tumbled her words back at her.

Two hours later, Claire relaxed into the warm water and laid her head back against the bath-tub’s curved rim. Her skin, now only 5 hours old, tingled exquisitely.

Taking up the bar of rose-scented soap, she wondered when the voice would speak to her again. It had been there as her senses kicked into life, in the White Room. The agony of sound had made her pass out, but when she awoke, ten minutes later, it had been more bearable. “You were murdered,” it said. Its voice was calm, without inflection or emotion. “You must find the killer. If you cannot, you will not rejoin society.”

And then nothing, not even after Claire’s repeated attempts at getting it to respond. She had screamed her voice raw, and had spent another hour crying because of the pain. It didn’t take long to find the strength to stagger, and then walk, and then run. The voice helped her, told her where she was –the island of Manhattan- what she could eat, where clothes were and water. And then the lights had gone out, everywhere, and when they came on again, she was in the parking lot.

“This is where you were killed.”

Claire returned to the parking lot –she did not know how, only that she thought of it, and was then there- and saw the person lying on the dust-covered, muddy-in-places floor. It was a girl, and as Claire walked up to her, the girl’s eyes opened.

“Who are you?” the girl whispered.

“I am Claire. Who are you?”

Confusion, and then the light of understanding lit. “I am Claire.”

Claire took a step backwards, frowning. “But you – “

“– are me!” finished the girl.

“We have to die.” Claire realized this, knew it to be true. “One of us, at any rate.”

“Why?” asked the girl, eyes wide and tearful. “I’ve just woken up!”

“Because,” answered Claire, drawing out the revolver she had found, had been given, “one must die, and the other must know why.”

She pointed the gun at herself and pulled the trigger.

***

Weird, huh? :-) I welcome your thoughts!

Be EPIC!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Announcing AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers (Anthology)

Very proud and deliriously happy to be sharing this news with you - 'Angel Song', my Military-SF short story, is officially one of the stories that has been included in this ground-breaking anthology! :-) So that makes 'Angel Song' the second short story I've sold - and I couldn't be more happy or proud. :-)

AfroSF is the brainchild of Ivor W Hartmann, writer and editor, who's work you may have come across in publications such as The Apex Book of World SF 2, Saraba, Something Wicked and African Roar.




AfroSF is the first-ever anthology featuring Science Fiction writers of African descent, both on the continent and abroad, and I'm incredibly honoured to have one of my stories included in this anthology! Definitely a dream come true! :-)

Here's the final Table of Contents, which Ivor released along with the cover, on Friday just past:


‘Moom!’ Nnedi Okorafor
‘Five Sets of Hands’ Cristy Zinn
‘Home Affairs’ Sarah Lotz

‘New Mzansi’ Ashley Jacobs
'Azania’ Nick Wood

‘Notes from Gethsemane’ Tade Thompson

‘Planet X’ Sally Partridge

‘The Gift of Touch’ Chinelo Onwualu

‘The Foreigner’ Uko Bendi Udo

‘Angel Song’ Dave-Brendon de Burgh

‘The Rare Earth’ Biram Mboob

‘Terms & Conditions Apply’ Sally-Ann Murray

‘Heresy’ Mandisi Nkomo

‘Closing Time’ Liam Kruger

‘Masquerade Stories’ Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu

‘The Trial’ Joan De La Haye


‘Brandy City’ Mia Arderne 
‘Ofe!’ Rafeeat Aliyu

‘Claws and Savages’ Martin Stokes

‘To Gaze at the Sun’ Clifton Gachagua

‘Proposition 23’ (Novelette) Efe Okogu



AfroSF will be published in December 2012 in eBook format, and will follow at a later date in a print-version. :-)  I'm so, so proud to be a part of this! This is definitely an event and anthology that does and will rock and I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that we absolutely cannot wait to share our tales with you. :-)

Should any reviewers out there want an eARC once they're made available, please don't hesitate to get in contact with either Ivor or us and I'm sure we'll be able to organize a copy for you - for a review, of course. ;-)


I will, of course, keep you updated - exact release date, e-Formats, sites where you will be able to purchase AfroSF, and whatever else is linked to this very exciting anthology. :-) I am absolutely looking forward to reading my fellow-contributors' stories, and I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy them as much as you will, come Pub-Day. :-)

Until next time,
Be EPIC!