Up and Coming: free stories!  Download while you can

Up and ComingSo, I am a bit late on writing a this-is-some-stuff-I-wrote-that’s-eligible-for-awards post, but that was on purpose: I was waiting for Up And Coming: Works by the 2016 Campbell-Eligible Authors to be available.  And it is, now. For FREE. You can download it until March 31.

By the way, if you just want to read a huge collection of short stories and don’t care about awards, this is the anthology for you.  There are more than 200 stories in it, written by writers who are in either their first or second year of eligibility for Campbell Award for Best New Writer, which is typically awarded at the same time as the Hugo Awards, though it’s not technically one  of the Hugo Awards. Up and Coming is one million words of prose in a single book. That’s like 10 doorstopper-length fantasy or sci-fi epics right there. And it’s free, to make it easier for potential Campbell voters track down work by eligible writers.
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They Don’t Stand For That: Symbols, Vampires, and Faith

fright-night-1985-w-roddy-mcdowall-and-william-ragsdaleI have a guest post up at the Tesseracts 18 blog on the story seed for my vampire story “The Harsh Light of Morning” in Tesseracts 18: Wrestling With Gods — here’s a brief excerpt. The whole post can be seen here.

It’s funny how an idea can get stuck in your mind and stay there.

For me, the concept of what a symbol is wasn’t something I bothered thinking about until two separate times in my life. One, watching Fright Night in high school. Two, trying to understand what a theatre prof in university meant when he went on a tangent about the difference between a metaphor and a symbol.

But first: some backstory.

Vampires have always creeped me out. I do enjoy the fun recent incarnations (hello Angel, Blade, et. al.) but when you get right down to it, at their core they speak to a certain dread — usually, that people are prey.

But there is always hope — folklore gives us tools to strike back at the monster. The sign of the cross is one of them. A powerful symbol of Christ, and therefore, of good; it can drive back the vampire, an incarnation of evil if there ever was one.

Full post here.

Guest post on writing conflict at The Fictorians

I was invited by Mary Pletsch (with whom I have the honour of sharing a table of contents with in Kneeling in the Silver Light and Wrestling With Gods) to write a guest post at The Fictorians, on the subject of writing conflict in fiction.

Here’s a little bit of what I had to say:

Don’t say what you mean: writing conflict through dialogue

There are a lot of ways to express conflict through dialogue in a scene, but it can be very effective – and a lot of fun – if it isn’t done openly.

People (and characters) hate conflict. They usually do everything they can to avoid it, unless they’re devoid of empathy. But readers… they love conflict. It makes for great dialogue, exciting scenes, and a plot that keeps moving.
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Wrestling With Gods on sale Feb. 2, TOC reveal

If you like speculative fiction that grapples with faith, religion and spirituality, and want to get it for a steal, there’s a sale on right now for Tesseracts 18: Wrestling With Gods. On Feb. 2 on Amazon, you can get it for 99 cents for the Kindle edition, readable on a Kindle or through the Kindle app.

Tesseracts 18 event

Feb. 2 is also the date of the online table of contents reveal via Facebook. Janice Shoults from EDGE Publishing explains: “This is a very informal event where you can drop by and post a question, and learn more about the stories that are in this anthology. Authors will be there on and off during the day to take your questions about their stories, and about faith in science fiction. Everyone who posts will be entered into a draw.”
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Wrestling With Gods early release and cover reveal

Although Tesseracts Eighteen: Wresting with Gods won’t be officially released in print until March 2015, you can buy it for your Kindle on Amazon as of today.

T-18-Cover-110x170-100dpi-C8If your thoughts are taking on a spiritual bent at this time of year — or if they do as a matter of course, anyway — take a look at this anthology of speculative fiction that explores belief, faith and religion.

The beautiful cover was also revealed today. Fantastic stuff.

There will be more to come on the Tesseracts Eighteen: Wrestling With Gods anthology in the new year, with interviews and more. Stay tuned for more details. But if you can’t wait to read the stories and (unlike me) have a Kindle , you’re in luck.