ramblings, rants, news, ephemera, and stuff

“Head to Head” Published in Triptych Tales

Triptych Tales

My story about a redneck telepath has been published by Triptych Tales.

Here’s the opening to “Head to Head”:

The voice of God spoke inside Walter’s head. He had his doubts, of course, but eight years of Catholic school are hard to shake off. So he played along — you know, just in case.

He had confessed to five of the seven deadly sins before finally calling the voice’s bluff. “I don’t think God would say ‘Dang’!”

You can read the entire story at http://triptychtales.net/head_to_head.html


“No Place for a Hero” Published in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine

Galaxy's Edge Magazine #11 CoverMy story about a superhero named Bernie has been published in Galaxy’s Edge, edited by Mike Resnick.

Here’s the opening to “No Place for a Hero”:

Bernard Kowalski destroyed the Verrazano Bridge during the Friday rush.

But there are three important things to keep in mind: It was unintentional, no one died, and he caught the bank robbers he was chasing. It was a classic superhero feat. They should have given him a ticker-tape parade.

Instead he got thirty years in prison.

You can read the entire story on the Galaxy’s Edge website for free (for a limited time). Go here: http://www.galaxysedge.com/n3.htm

I’m in good company. The issue also features stories by Robert Silverberg, Maureen McHugh, Alex Shvartsman, and Jack McDevitt, among others.

You can buy copies through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Subscriptions are available here.


“The Zombie Who Had a Name” Published in Bardic Tales and Sage Advice (Volume VI)

My short story “The Zombie Who Had a Name” has been reprinted in Bardic Tales and Sage Advice (Volume VI). This is my first reprint.

The story was among the winners of Bards and Sages Quarterly’s 2013 Readers Choice Awards.

I’ll be talking about the story and whatever other questions people have for me at the eFestival of Words Virtual Book Fair this Saturday (August 23rd) at 3:30 pm ET.

Buy Bardic Tales and Sage Advice (Volume VI) at Amazon

“6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart” Published at Flash Fiction Online

My short short story “6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart” has been published at Flash Fiction Online.

I wrote this story for the Weekend Warrior contest at the Codex Writers’ Group. In the contest, you’re given a prompt on Friday night and have until Sunday to submit a 750-word (or less) story. I never thought I’d be able to finish a story in that time, but I did and I sold it to a pro market!

Read it here.

Weird Tales #362 Cover & Table of Contents Revealed

Weird Tales #362 Weird Tales has announced the table of contents for issue #362, which contains my story “From the Casebook of Dead Jack, Zombie P.I.: The Amorous Ogre.” They’ve also released the amazing cover, which was designed by Jeff Wong with an image from Danielle Tunstall. The issue should be out soon.

Undead Theme:

  • #rising by Cynthia Ward
  • Ink by Bob Fingerman
  • Happy Hunting Ground by Andrew J. Wilson
  • Until I come Again by Justin Gustainis
  • The Waves from Afar by Kurt Fawver
  • Darkling I Listen by Keris McDonald
  • Therapeutic by Tim McDaniel
  • The Bride of the Vampire by Ron Goulart
  • One Day at a Time by Charles Black
  • From the Casebook of Dead Jack, Zombie P.I.: The Amorous Ogre by James Aquilone

Unthemed Fiction:

  • Letting Go by Jamie Lackey
  • Coven House by David C. Smith
  • Thinking of You by Nicholas Knight
  • The Game of Bear by M.R. James & Helen Grant
  • Formidable Terrain by Elizabeth Bear
  • The Impression by Ramsey Campbell


  • Severity by Arinn Dembo
  • Occult Warning by Karl Würf & Darrell Schweitzer
  • City Out of Time by Brian Lumley
  • MoonRise by Jill Bauman
  • Flash Fiction Horror Show by Jane Yolen

Interview with Joyce Carol Oates by Danel Olson

90th Anniversary Fiction – Slaughter House by Carole Bugge

One Author for the Rest of Your Life


Imagine, if you will, being allowed to read only one author for the rest of you natural life. Who would you choose? What criteria would you use to make the best choice?

This was the very question I posed to a group of speculative fiction writers for SF Signal’s latest Mind Meld feature. Interestingly, not one of them chose the same author. For the record, I’d take Stephen King.

You can check it out the Mind Meld here.

So who would be your forever author…?


Where's his junk?

Fact: Chewbacca is seven and a half feet tall. Fact: Chewbacca doesn’t wear any clothes.

So, how come no one’s ever seen any Wookiee twigs and berries?

He’s hairy but not that hairy.

Are Wookiee’s not anatomically correct? Could this account for their short tempers? I need to know!

“Hart House” Is Live on Horror D’oeuvres!

Horror d'oeuvres

“Hart House” was my first attempt at a haunted house story. It was also the first story that gave me the creeps while I was writing it. It probably didn’t help that I was writing late at night in the basement, and if you read the story you’ll see that bad things happen in the Harts’ basement. Several times I had to throw on the lights and check for house monsters. This is one of the occupational hazards to being a horror writer. The other is that most people who hear you’re a horror writer think you’re a complete sicko. Which is not a problem for me, because people thought that about me well before I became a horror writer.

You’ll need a subscription to read the entire story on the Horror d’oeuvres site. (Kindle subscriptions are available for only 99 cents a month. You get about four flash stories a month. Or you can pay $29.99 and get a lifetime subscription to the site. A pretty good deal, if you ask me.)

If you don’t have a subscription you can check out a preview of my story here.

“The League of Lame Superheroes” Published in Third Flatiron’s Spring Anthology!

My short story “The League of Lame Superheroes” has been published in Third Flatiron’s Spring anthology “Astronomical Odds.”

This is my first published superhero story. But I have a feeling there are many more to come :)

Here’s the synopsis: The beleaguered League of Superheroes has failed to save the world 17 times in the past year alone. But when Professor Edison destroys the All-Star Champions of the Multiverse, the League is the world’s only hope. Will they overcome the odds and defeat the supervillain or will they prove to everyone that they truly are lame?

Here’s the Table of Contents for “Astronomical Odds”:

“In the Blood” by Ken Altabef
“Garden of Fog and Monsters” by Michelle Ann King
“From Here to the Northern Line” by Edoardo Albert
“Mother of All” by John A. McColley
“The Shamrock Award” by Jennifer R. Povey
“The League of Lame Superheroes” by James Aquilone
“Casualties” by Martin Clark
“Good Odds for Murder” by Iain Ishbel
“A Clone Called Slick” by Garry McNulty
“Time’s Elastic String” by Nick Slosser
“Lost in the Mail” by Benjamin T. Smith
“Birth Lottery” by Susan Nance Carhart
“The Olinauts” by Adele Gardner

Full ebook price: $2.99 USD. Print paperback available soon.

Download from Smashwords

Download from Amazon

Available soon from iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and other online distributors.


If you can't trust John Kennedy with your secret identity, who can you trust?Why the hell do superheroes need secret identities?

Supposedly, the secret identities protect the superheroes’ loved ones. Because, god forbid, if Lex Luthor knew that Lois Lane is really married to Superman, then she’d be in terrible danger. Oh, wait, Lois Lane is in danger in every freakin’ Superman story.

Name a superhero movie in which the superhero’s significant other wasn’t kipnapped or threatened by the villain. In “Spider-Man 2″ even poor Aunt May was almost killed by Doc Ock. So, let’s can the secret identities already.

Flash Gordon never needed a damn secret identity.