First of all, apologies for the delay between posts. Real life kicked several of us in the teeth this past week and we’re just now digging out. However, beginning this week, there will be at least four posts every week — God willing and the creek don’t rise.
Since my last post, we’ve published two more short stories and the Halloween collection. The first short story is Hell of a Job by Kate Paulk. It should appear on Amazon, B&N and other “store” sites in the next few days. Here’s a short excerpt:
Elizabeth Antonia Harrisfield snuggled into the cushions on the obsidian throne and sighed. Being a Dark Lord, Supreme Ruler of the Southwestern Corner of the Mappe and loyal minion of the Dread Lord of Hell Himself wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
There was the throne, for a start. Carved from a single block of flawless obsidian, massive and foreboding, emphasising the Dark Lord’s power to all who saw it, it was also hellishly uncomfortable and froze the Dark Lord’s backside. Which helped to explain the previous incumbent’s fondness for incinerating his underlings.
That latter was also partially explained by the Dread Lord’s habit of watching the Dark Lords and occasionally popping in to offer advice. Her predecessor’s predecessor had resigned after one such visit. It wasn’t that unlike board meetings back home, except that forced resignations usually didn’t involve the luckless victim devolving into a screaming lump. Elizabeth hadn’t been graced with any such visits yet, but once she’d learned they happened she’d set about finding out what they involved.
It seemed that being a Dark Lord and Loyal Minion was a high risk, high turnover position. . . .
In the next short story, Zebbie by Sarah A. Hoyt, a young cat’s antics leads his family into a dangerous world where reality and fable merge. Here’s an excerpt:
. . .Zebbie froze by my side, his paw raised like a pointer dog in an English hunting print. I looked down, surprised at this unnatural pose, then froze in my turn. My heart hammered somewhere between my mouth and my ears. Above and in front of Zebbie’s paw, floated something that looked like a giant, shimmering soap bubble. Only it wasn’t a bubble, just a shimmering of the air and a faint suggestion of rainbow color. Inside this, suspended, flew… I can only describe it as a human, if a human were about a palm long, with a golden exoskeleton and dragon-fly wings.
I don’t remember screaming. I didn’t even throw the flowers over my head, nor let go of the sharp knife. Funny how, when the impossible happens, one acts in a perfectly reasonable way. Instead, I turned my back. “Come on, Zebbie,” I said, and started walking towards the back door. Then looked back to see if he followed.
Zebbie darted me a reluctant look, then made a half-movement, as though to pounce on the thing.
“No,” I told him. “Don’t you touch that.” Just as rational as you please, as though restraining Zebbie from playing with a squirrel or a mouse.
I made it all the way to the phone, dialed Glen’s office phone and found myself telling him, “I just saw a fairy in the garden.” . . . .
Both of these stories are available for individual purchase or as part of the collection of stories we did for Halloween. The collection, Night Whispers, is available here. As with the stories, it will also be available through Amazon and other outlets within the next few days. The collection includes Jack by Dave Freer, Till Your Proud Heart Break by Sarah A. Hoyt, Gooble, Gobble, One of Us by Charles Edgar Quinn, Predator or Prey by Ellie Ferguson, Bite One, Get One Free by Robert A. Hoyt as well as Hell of a Job by Kate Paulk and Zebbie by Sarah A. Hoyt.
As far as observations go, I’m not a big TV watcher. When I do watch, it’s usually something on the History Channel, BBCA, one of the Discover Channels or an old movie. But the other day I decided to take a look at AMC’s new series, The Walking Dead. I’ll admit right now that I’ve never seen the graphic novel it’s based on. Nor am I that big of a fan of zombie movies. My opinion has been that zombie movies have gone the way of slasher flicks — after the first couple of really good ones, they’ve become nothing but parodies of themselves. But The Walking Dead changed my mind — at least so far.
Don’t get me wrong. There isn’t a lot of new material here. The sheriff waking up alone in the hospital after being in a coma reminded me a lot of Howard Keel awakening in the hospital and ripping the bandages off his eyes in Day of the Triffids. (Oh no, now I’m going to have the opening theme of Rocky Horror Picture Show playing in my head — “And I really got hot when I saw Janette Scott fight a Triffid that spits poison and kills”. Okay, it’s been one of those days. What else can I say?)
Okay, back to business here. Before getting hijacked by RHPS, I was going to say that I found myself enjoying the pilot of The Walking Dead more than I’d expected. I haven’t had a chance to see the second episode yet, but it’s on the dvr waiting for me. Maybe tonight.
I also want to let you know that we are having a few issues with our store right now. It’s nothing major — unless you happen to be one of our IT guys and they are pulling their hair out right now. For some reason, on the pages where our new short stories and novels are listed, some of the images have decided to appear one moment and then disappear the next. We aren’t having that problem on the individual product pages, nor does it impact your ability to purchase and download the items. It’s just frustrating and I’ve got a tech or two threatening to commit violence if they can’t find the problem and fix it soon.
Finally, tomorrow we’ll be publishing Darwin Garrison’s first anime/manga review. His column will appear twice a month. Beginning December, it will be the first and third Wednesday of the month. So be sure to stop by and take a look tomorrow.
Until tomorrow, I’m going to go see if I can’t calm the techies and keep them from throwing a computer across the room. They never clean up the mess when they do ;-p