Forsaken (The Exiled Crown #1)

the-1If you’re a fan of short fiction, be it fantasy short stories or episodic fiction, I am excited to say that my new story Forsaken is available today on Amazon. Forsaken is the first tale in The Exiled Crown series, a short fiction series I have several future stories planned for. I hope you’ll give Forsaken a try and I look forward to seeing how this format is recieved. Forsaken comes in at just over 2,100 words and it’s my first attempt at selling my short fiction independantly rather than through the usual short fiction venues. Forsaken is available at the following links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VW91RGJ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06VW91RGJ

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06VW91RGJ

 

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You Are Not George RR Martin: how to get published in the grimdark era of fantasy

A pretty good overview of the work it takes to get published in today’s market.

Ed McDonald

Before last year, I used to want to hear what authors had to say about how they managed to get published, and when I attended events or asked them online, they generally didn’t have much to tell me. To some authors, it seems that getting a publishing deal almost happens by chance – or at least that’s what they’d like you to think. The truth is much different.

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Publishing Update

I have a few publishing announcements to share:

  • My science fiction short story Starlight will appear in Digital Fiction Pub‘s forthcoming QuickFic Anthology #3. This story will also be reprinted in Szortal, a Polish speculative fiction magazine.
  • I have sold a science fiction flash story called The Shadows of Self to the British science fiction and fantasy magazine The Singularity . The story will appear in the forthcoming 5th issue. I discovered this magazine through one of their issues. The issue had a few top tier short fiction authors and some really great stories in their magazine. I am honored to be a part of it.
  • My science fiction flash story called Breakfast Alone will appear in the new speculative fiction quarterly magazine Empyreome. I was excited to discover this magazine on Kickstarter, and I like the vision the editor portrays. I’m interested to see this magazine grow. The story will appear in the magazine’s weekly flash series.

Overall, I am very pleased with where these stories have landed. I will continue to update the Bibliography page with current links and publication info if you want to give any of the stories a read.

I have a few more stories already written and I am working on refining them. I can feel my writing improve with each and every story and I’m excited to see where the next stories will find a home.

Thank you for keeping up with my efforts.

-ESF

The Best Spec-Fic Anthology/Collection Purchases I’ve Made this Year (2016)

With limited time on my hands, I’ve started to read a lot more short fiction anthologies. In the work week, it’s so much easier to squeeze in a short story or flash piece here or there and I’ve found a lot of really strong stories that have resonated deeply with me. Reading short fiction has become more than just ‘research’ for developing my own short fiction craft. I’ve actually really grown fond of the things. These are the best anthologies I’ve read this year and in turn, the ones I recommend you check out for yourselves.

6. Rogues Edited by George R.R. Martin

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There’s an amazing lineup of Fantasy authors here. The stories are a bit of a mixed bunch based on taste, but all of them are well written and polished and based around the same theme of Roguish characters. I have found quite a few favorites in this one. Plus, writing short Fantasy can be incredibly difficult so it was a lot of fun to read it done well.

5. Road Brothers by Mark Lawrence

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Mark Lawrence has been writing short stories for various characters which appear in his Broken Empire series for some time now. Some of them have made appearances elsewhere in other venues while others he has been hinting about for some time. Finally, he has collected them all in one place and if you’ve read the Broken Empire trilogy this is a nice one stop shop for getting a little extra depth on Prince Jorg’s band of brothers.

4. Blackguards Edited by J.M. Martin

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Similarly to Rogues, Blackguards boasts an amazing cast of fantasy authors all coming together on the theme of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues. I found a lot more stories here that I enjoyed than Rogues and each story was well polished in a wonderful collection of fantasy literature that I’m sure I will come back to again and again.

3. Way of the Dead Edited by Marc Gascoigne and Christian Dunn

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I’ve not really been a Warhammer fan in any respect. However, after seeing a story in here by C.L. Werner I decided to give the anthology it hailed from a shot. These stories are dark and very violent. But the writing is on point and the stories very well polished. I’ve started to get a feel for Warhammer and I think I’ll probably give more of it a shot.

2. A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories by Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury is my favorite short fiction author. I’ve read a lot of his stuff online and his stories have been one of the major inspirations for my pursuit of writing short fiction. Bradbury has written so many stories in his life (more than 400) and I’ve not read the majority of them. I decided to start collecting his works and I’ve never been disappointed in a story here. If you’ve not read Bradbury and you like Science Fiction, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

1. Nature Futures 2 Edited by Henry Gee and Colin Sullivan

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I love Nature’s Science fiction imprint. I would go so far to say that it is one of my favorite places to get my science fiction fix. When I learned there were two anthologies I both felt like and idiot for not knowing and quickly purchased. It is an anthology of stories that have appeared on the site, yet there are so many great stories under 1,000 words here that it would make anyone believe in the value of flash fiction.

Slush Update

So here’s a little update on my current writing projects.

  • I have one sci-fi short story out in the slush pool right now. It’s an odd story, and I have my sights set on a couple of small presses whose work I enjoy. I think it will be a good fit at one of those.
  • This week I wrote two sci-fi micro-flash stories, each is just less than 300 words. They are both pretty well contained, and I’m working on editing them until I’m happy and sending them out to appropriate markets. I’ve been enjoying micro fiction lately, and it’s been both hard and enjoyable to write the little tales.
  • I’m working on a fantasy short story now that I hope will turn out. Unlike a lot of the other stories I’ve been working on, this one lands solidly in the short story length. I like the concept, but it is a challenging sort of story, so there is a lot of work ahead.
  • I’ve got quite a few other ideas in various phases. Since I’ve been pushing myself to work on at least one story a week, it’s resulted in me getting a lot done on multiple stories. I’ll continue to write these, edit and send them out.

I’m pleased with my current output. The more I write, the tighter the stories get. I plan to write update posts like this every few weeks as my project focuses change. I’ll also update if/when I place a story.

Thanks for following along!

-ESF

Red Sister: The Beta Reading! (Spoiler-free)

Some early thoughts on Red Sister, a new novel from my favorite author Mark Lawrence, over on Mitriel Faywood’s blog.

Mitriel Faywood

I’m primarily writing this blog post for those people who either on Facebook or on Reddit indicated that they would like to hear a few spoiler-free thoughts on Mark Lawrence’s The Book of the Ancestor trilogy which starts with Red Sister. But I’m also writing this blog post for me. Being involved in the creation of these books was a wonderful experience and this poor blog of mine had been neglected for too long as I tend to spend most of my time and energy on That Thorn Guy. Which I love doing, so it’s really not a complaint, more just an observation.

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I started beta-reading for Mark Lawrence over two years ago, when one day he said to me: ‘I’ve written a short story (I foolishly agreed to write 3 for various things) – I’m not sure it works … maybe it does … dunno ……

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Children of the Different by S. C. Flynn

On September 10th of last month, S. C. Flynn’s novel Children of the Different was released on Kindle, the paperback is now also available. I was given an advance reader’s copy of the novel in exchange for sharing my opinions with you.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon.com: Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and emerge either with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals.

In the great forest of South West Western Australia, thirteen-year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead.

After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia…if they can reach it before time runs out.

Children of the Different is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set among the varied landscapes and wildlife of Western Australia.

After blazing through the novel in just a couple sittings I have to strongly recommend you check it out for yourself. I’m rather picky in the types of speculative fiction I read these days and in all honesty Children of the Different’s premise didn’t strike a chord with my usual choice in a science fiction novel. I tend to steer away from anything that involves world-wide disease/post-apocalyptic in the genre because genre cliches bother me from being able to get through them. However, Children of the Different was a breath of fresh air.

One of the things I liked most about this book was author S. C. Flynn takes his idea and really runs with it. The storytelling is very action based without getting bogged down in long treks of worldbuilding exposition or overwhelming the reader with psycho-analyzing the character’s emotions. Flynn lays the groundwork quickly and effectively spins a solid story that kept ahold of me to the end.

The good pacing and storytelling is coupled with very good writing. S. C. Flynn is an independently published author with a clear voice that exemplifies that good fiction can come out of self-publication. His writing is tight, clean, well-edited, and drove the story forward. I was very pleased with the way he told his tale and I look forward to reading and hearing more from S. C. Flynn in the future. Be sure to not to miss Flynn’s Children of the Different.

-ESF
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