Champions_Aetaltis-Cover900pxThis anthology--a hefty tome with 470 pages-- is now out in the wild.  Copies are going out to Kickstarter supporters now and the drop date for the general populace is April 12.  Here's the pre-order page on Amazon.com.  It woill be available as a trade paperback and ebook.

I'm very enthusiastic about the world of Aetaltis. It's a fun, old-school fantasy setting, and I think fans of Thieves World, Greyhawk, and Forgotten Realms (2nd ed) will feel right at home here. If you're considering the anthology but aren't yet sold on the idea, check out the table of contents. Some of these names are bound to be familiar.

 

Table of Contents 

  • Mother of Catastrophes by Erin M. Evans
  • My Doom May Come Soon by Ed Greenwood
  • The Bridge by Larry Correia
  • Ashes of Victory by Elizabeth A. Vaughan
  • Tower of the Golden God by Steven S. Long
  • Bellar’s Thorn by Jean Rabe
  • The Warlady’s Daughter by Lucy A. Snyder
  • Upon Reflection by Aaron Rosenberg
  • A Whole Hearted Halfling by Melanie Meadors
  • Vendetta by Richard Lee Byers
  • True Monsters by John Helfers
  • Books Are No Good by Cat Rambo
  • The Secret of the Holy Crystal by Marc Tassin
  • The Undercity Job by Dave Gross
  • A Deeper Darkness by David Farland
  • Never a Moon So Bright by Elaine Cunningham
  • The Wailing Temple by Mel Odom

Here's the first page of my story.  The last sentence, which is cut off by the page break, finishes with "...and they'll make a lot more sense to you."  This insight, which gets to the heart of my depiction of elves, came to me several years ago when I was watching a frustrated Siamese attempt to play my harp. "Damn these paws!  In ages past, my kind had slender, dexterous fingers and opposable thumbs..."

Hope you enjoy these tales!

CoAetaltis-ECunningham-p1

The Kickstarter for the updated release of Aaron Allston's STRIKE FORCE was successful, and a couple of the stretch goals have been met. The RPG will be released with full-color art and in hardcover format. Congratulations to the creative team!

However.

The next stretch goal, which would have been the anthology of short fiction, was not met. So it appears that there will be no superhero storytelling--at least, not at this point.

The first superhero RPG, Aaron Allston's STRIKE FORCE, is being rebooted for the 21st century. Here's the pitch for the Kickstarter, which launched today and is already about half funded.

One of the stretch goals is an anthology of short fiction. I'm delighted by the prospect of participating in this tribute to Aaron and the contribution he made to the fantasy genre.

Here's a link to the Kickstarter page. 

Writing short fiction is a good way to experiment with new voices, styles, even genres.
"Plot Problems" is a little hard to classify, but let's call it urban fantasy chick lit.  Very short, very frenetic, and lots of fun to write.
Plot ProblemsIt's available free on the EGM Shorts feature of Evil Girlfriend Media, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite micro-press houses.

Here's a link.

 

In celebration of the season, here's a poem that was published in Lester Smith's 2014 anthology Halloween Haiku II.

HAUNTED

Do come in, my dear. I suppose the light has faded?
Ah, well. What can't be cured must be endured.
We'll wait together.
Tea? I suppose there's some hereabouts.
No, not the kitchen!
Well, yes--that is the logical place for it.
But we don't go into that room.
At least, not at this hour.

We're not alone here, you see.

Oh, it's nothing to fret over.
Sometimes, just out of the corner of my eye,
I see these shadows--strange, shining things.
And sometimes, quite unexpectedly,
I find myself moving through a warm spot
Full of all these feelings--so busy, so loud.
So alive.

Here's an interesting article about Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken:"

The famous Robert Frost poem we've read wrong forever

I memorized this poem in 8th grade, and even back then I caught the wry, self-deprecating tone of the last two lines. My father was given to shoulda-coulda-woulda revisionism, so by an early age I'd absorbed the habit of reflecting upon mighta-beens and mentally editing my life. This was a familiar concept, and it seemed to me that Frost nailed it in a sly, sideways fashion. Also, Frost had a pitch-black sense of humor that appealed to me, and I read his poetry attuned to that vibe.

The story of the British poet, however, adds an interesting new dimension.

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Small press publishing companies are popping up all over these days. Once of my recent favorites is Evil Girlfriend Media, which has a beautifully designed website (suitably evil) and a great feature:  They publish free flash fiction several times a month. The entire archive is available on the EGM Shorts page.  If you like very short fiction and are in the mood for a quick story fix, you'll find a rather wide variety of speculative fiction.

"Maintenance" will be online this Thursday, July 9.  It's a story I wrote during my mother's battle with Alzheimer's, and it addresses the complications that come with love, memory, and aging.  Long-time readers will recognize a familiar theme in the story twist.

I'll post a link to the story when it's online.  Hope you enjoy the story!