Monday, April 28, 2008

Very, very short fiction sold

My story "The Note" has been accepted by Every Day Fiction.

I'm quite proud of this one because it is only 54 words.

Yes, that's right. 54 words.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

No. 10 - Beyond Band of Brothers

by Major Dick Winters

Started: April 26
Finished: May 5

Notes: If you have not watched the HBO series "Band of Brothers" about Easy Company in World War II, I suggest you run right out and rent the series on DVD, or record it the next time it is on. It is, in my opinion, one of the most accurate and best captures of warfare on the screen. This book from Major Dick Winters, one of Easy Company's top officers, tells many of the tales from his point of view.

Mini review: As expected, an excellent book. Major Winters has a nice style of writing, almost folksy, as if you are listening to your grandfather telling old war tales. I got the impression that if you weren't familiar with the people and story, you might be a bit lost early on, but fortunately I'm familiar enough with the history here. I recommend this to anyone interested in not only military and World War II history, but to anyone interested in studying leadership and character.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"The Death of Lester Williams" accepted

My dark Appalachian story "The Death of Lester Williams" is finding a home at Crimson Highway.

This piece isn't quite traditional horror, but it still has quite a dark edge to it. The tale is scheduled to appear June 1, 2008.

No. 9 - The Last Secret of Fatima

by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

Started: April 22
Finished: April 26

Notes: In 1917, three children in Portugal began having visions of the Virgin Mary, and Mary passed on three secret messages to the children. For years the Vatican kept these messages from the rest of the world, fueling speculation that these secrets were about the end of days. Over the years, one by one, these secrets have been revealed. The last secret, the third, was revealed just a few years ago. This book is about those secrets, but mostly about the last one.

Mini review: There's nothing here that will convince the skeptical, but there is a solid base for the faithful or the seeker. The secrets revealed deal with what is now history, at least according to official church authorities. What I found most interesting about this book were a few new ways it made me look at the ideas of faith, especially in the old faith versus reason debate. Specifically, it made me wonder if the mindset of children is not closer to the natural state of mankind, at least spiritually speaking.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kron Darkbow's fav mix tape

Not necessarily my favorite tunes, but ones Kron would love. He'd listen to this stuff before charging out on his horse.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Zombie story published

My first zombie sale!

My short story "Zombie Tears" is now up at Tales of the Zombie War.

Just a word of warning: Though my story is not dripping with gore, it isn't for those who don't like such fiction. There are some strong elements in this writing.

Monday, April 07, 2008

No. 8 - The Postman

by David Brin

Started: April 6
Finished: April 10

Notes: Despite the bashing it got from critics and somewhat from the public, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for The Postman movie. I have also heard great things about Brin's book, which the movie is based upon, so I've been wanting to read this one for a while now.

Mini review: Wow. Just ... wow. This is a fantastic book. Much, much better than the movie. It's so good, I'm not even sure really how to describe it without giving too much away.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Great review for The Return of the Sword

Reviewer Richard Marcus lets us know what he thinks about "The Return of the Sword" right here.

I think it's a great review, and bodes well for the anthology. Check out the review, and let Richard know what you think of it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My first (mostly) negative review

So, they're to be expected ... negative reviews. I got my first one this week for my short story "Deep in the Land of the Ice and Snow" over here at the I Dream of Dragons blog. It's not completely negative, but the reviewer admits right up front he didn't care for the story.

My initial reaction was anger, but not at the reviewer, more at myself. I thought to myself, "Alright, I'm going to go write the bloodiest, battlingest S&S short story anyone has ever seen!"

Then I started chuckling at myself.

A writer is not going to please everyone who sees his or her work, and that's the case here. It's also likely not every single piece a writer puts out there is going to be his or her best work. I think "Deep inthe Land of the Ice and Snow" is a pretty good story, but I'll admit it might not be the best short story I've ever written. And it is (or was) the best and most appropriate story at the time for "The Return of the Sword" anthology. I'm glad the editor liked it.

So, I don't feel good about receiving a not-so-great review, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

Heck, I had three short story sales last week, so I've got to be doing something right.

No. 7 - The Return of the Sword

edited by Jason Waltz

Started: March 29
Finished: April 26

Notes: Been meaning to add this one to the list for a few days now, even though I'm not finished yet with my last book. This one is a collection of short stories from Flashing Swords Press. My story, "Deep in the Land of the Ice and Snow," appears in it.

Mini review: This is, hands down, the best collection of Sword and Sorcery stories I have read in more than twenty years, probably since the fourth or so of the Thieves' World books. My favorite story is Paul Emery's "The Scream of Carnage," mostly because it had that hardcore S&S feel to it. There were a couple of stories that I wasn't crazy about, but there was nothing awful here and the editor did a good job compiling a mix of stories and talent.