ramblings, rants, news, ephemera, and stuff

“Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device” Has Been Published!

Dead Jack and the Pandemonium DeviceIt’s here! My first novel, Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device, has been published.

It’s been a long journey. I wrote the first Dead Jack story way back in 2006, and immediately filed it away. It sat on my computer for six years before I submitted it for publication — and what do you know?  It got accepted on the first try. (It was also my first story acceptance.) Still, another two years went by before it saw publication in the pages of Weird Tales magazine in 2014, which is also when I began work on the first Dead Jack novel.

This summer I ran a Kickstarter for the book and eded up raising more than $5300.

Now you can finally read it! The print book looks amazing. There are three interior illustrations and other, little illustrations on every page. You really need to own this book! Here’s the book description:


Pandemonium: a twilight dimension of nightmare creatures, mythical beings, the undead, and everything in between. To Dead Jack, it’s hell sweet hell. In the first book of the series, the tortured, drug-addicted detective stumbles upon his most dangerous case yet, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Can the zombie P.I. and his associate, the homunculus Oswald, save the day? It won’t be easy. The duo must face rogue leprechauns, ghost pirates, a sex-obsessed shark woman, sycophantic ghouls, an insecure fire demon, and a goateed maniac who calls himself the Duke of Pandemonium. Good thing Jack’s getting paid in a ton of fairy dust!

Also includes the first Dead Jack story, “The Case of the Amorous Ogre,” as well as a bonus scene from the warped perspective of the homunculus Oswald.

The paperback edition features three interior illustrations by artist Ed Watson.

For more info and a look at the illustrations go to DeadJack.com

Or you can just buy the book here:

Amazon | Kobo | CreateSpace | Get a Signed Copy

“My So-Called Life in Reruns” Published in Fantasy Scroll Magazine

FSM-issue-12-coverMy story about a couch potato and Star Trek has been published in Fantasy Scroll Magazine Issue #12.

Here’s the opening to “My So-Called Life in Reruns”:

I was on the couch watching Star Trek. It was the original pilot episode with Captain Pike getting trapped on a planet called Talos IV. I’d seen it so many times it no longer felt like watching television; it felt like remembering. And like all the reruns they allowed me to watch, the episode comforted me and reminded me of home. More so than this horrible apartment, which was an exact replica of my old place in New York, right down to the water stain in the shape of South America on the living room ceiling and the cat scratches on the front door. My cat wasn’t here, though. He was gone, along with my real apartment and everyone and everything else on Earth.

You can read the entire story at Fantasy Scroll Magazine.

Here’s the full table of contents for Issue #12:

“Mother Salt and her Sisters” — James Troughton
“Apprentice” — James Van Pelt
“Prosperity’s Shadow” — Jason Hine
“The Memory of Huckleberries” — Rebecca Birch
“My So-Called Life in Reruns” — James Aquilone
“What Was Meant to Be Buried” — Carla Dash
“Beyond the Turning Orrery” — Deborah Walker
“Boo Daddy’s” — Anna Yeatts
“Skies of Sand and Steel” — Jeremy Szal
“Shamrock – Part 7 – Shadows” — Josh Brown & Alberto Hernandez

Check out Fantasy Scroll Magazine here.

“Do Stand-Up Bots Dream of Electric Hecklers? (And Other Stories)” on Amazon Kindle

My biggest collection to date, Do Stand-Up Bots Dream of Electric Hecklers? (And Other Stories), has been released on Amazon!

It contains 6 of my humorous sci-fi short stories:

  • “Head to Head”: An obnoxious telepath tortures a stranger by never shutting up.
  • “Simon Clash: The Galaxy’s Greatest Hero”: A space hero risks life and limb to save a princess on the planet Desolation, because that’s his thing.
  • “Bad Poets Society”: Kilgore Birch faces death in a world where justice is determined by poetry criticism.
  • “6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart”: A shy geek uses his boss’s inventions to woo his co-worker.
  • “The League of Lame Superheroes”: A group of superheroes with extraordinarily average powers try to get respect and save the world.
  • “Do Stand-Up Bots Dream of Electric Hecklers?”: A comedy robot makes life miserable for his no-nonsense owner.

You can buy yourself a copy on Amazon.

“So You’ve Metamorphosed Into a Giant Insect. Now What?” Published in Unidentified Funny Objects 4

Unidentified Funny Objects 4 is out! The anthology includes my story “So You’ve Metamorphosed into a Giant Insect. Now What?”

The book, which also features stories by Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin, has been getting rave reviews, with many critics calling it the best in the series.

Amazing Stories says my story is “pretty funny stuff.” And Tangent Online says, “For the good of the community, please pick up a copy of Aquilone’s thoughtful and timely guide.”

You can pick up the anthology via Amazon or Kobo.

Here’s the full table of contents:

  • “We Can Get Them for You Wholesale” by Neil Gaiman
  • “The Time-Traveling Ghost Machine of Professor Jaime Peligrosa” by Andrew Kaye
  • “Please Approve the Dissertation Research of Angtor” by Caroline M. Yoachim
  • “Match Game” by Esther Friesner
  • “The Transformation of Prince Humphrey” by Brent C. Smith
  • “In the End, You Get Clarity” by Laura Pearlman
  • “Project Disaster” by Tim Pratt
  • “Hello Hotel” by Piers Anthony
  • “Bob’s No Kill Monster Shelter” by Ian Creasey
  • “Board Meeting Minutes” by Oliver Buckram
  • “Armed for You” by Anaea Lay
  • “The Unfortunate Problem of Grandma’s Head” by Karen Haber
  • “My Mother Loves Her Robot More than Me and I Feel Bad” by Eric Kaplan
  • “The Worm that Turned” by Jody Lynn Nye
  • “Department of Death Predictions, Final Notice” by Tina Gower
  • “Champions of Breakfast” by Zach Shephard
  • “Keeping Ahead” by Mike Resnick
  • “So You’ve Metamorphosed into a Giant Insect. Now What?” by James Aquilone
  • “Confessions of an Interplanetary Art Fraud” by Michael J. Martinez
  • “Texts from My Mother about an Alien Invasion” by Tina Connolly
  • “Support Your Local Alien” by Gini Koch
  • “Topics to Avoid on a First Date with Yourself” by Jonathan Ems
  • “The Monkey Treatment” by George R. R. Martin

“The Grimlorn Under the Mountain” Published in Weirdbook #31

After a 20-year hiatus, the legendary horror magazine Weirdbook has returned — and the first issue features one of my short stories, “The Grimlorn Under the Mountain”!

The revived magazine is being edited by Douglas Draa and published by Wildside Press.

The nearly 200-page first issue boasts a bunch of great authors. Here’s the full table of contents:

  • “Chivaine” by John R. Fultz
  • “Give Me the Daggers” by Adrian Cole
  • “The Music of Bleak Entrainment” by Gary A. Braunbeck
  • “Into the Mountains With Mother Old Growth” by Christian Riley
  • “The Grimlorn Under the Mountain” by James Aquilone
  • “Dolls” by Paul Dale Anderson
  • “Gut Punch” by Jason A. Wyckoff
  • “Educational Upgrade” by Bret McCormick
  • “Boxes of Dead Children” by Darrell Schweitzer
  • “The Forgotten” by D.C. Lozar
  • “Coffee With Dad’s Ghost” by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
  • “Missed It by That Much” by Gregg Chamberlain
  • “A Clockwork Muse” by Erica Ruppert
  • “The Rookery” by Kurt Newton
  • “Wolf of Hunger Wolf of Shame” by J. T. Glover
  • “Zucchini Season” by Janet Harriett
  • “The Jewels That Were Their Eyes” by Llanwyre Laish
  • “The Twins” by Kevin Strange
  • “Princess or Warrior?” by S.W. Lauden

The issue is available via Amazon and Wildside Press.

“A Day to End All Days” Published in Ain’t Superstitious

My humorous horror tale “A Day to End All Days” has been published in Third Flatiron’s Ain’t Superstitious anthology.

Here’s the book’s description:

Let your imagination run away with you for a change.

Since the Age of Enlightenment, it’s become the norm to reject belief in miracles, revelation, magic, or the supernatural. But it’s only human to feel that delicious frisson of fear when things get a little strange. Third Flatiron Anthologies proudly presents “Ain’t Superstitious,” a double issue packed with 26 stories of the weird, wild, and magical.

You can pick up Ain’t Superstitious through Amazon and Smashwords.

Here’s the table of contents:

“Salt and Bone” by Amy Aderman
“Coffee Lake” by Spencer Carvalho
“Confrontation on the Big One Three” by Maureen Bowden
“The Plague Well” by Dennis Mombauer
“Across the Styx of Norway” by Jacob M. Lambert
“The Necromancer” by John Hegenberger
“Pandora’s Pinata” by E. E. King
“A Day to End All Days” by James Aquilone
“Upon a Pale Horse” by Bruce Golden
“Wind Chimes” by Sean O’Dea
“James and the Prince of Darkness” by Kevin Lauderdale
“Spellcasting” by Gerri Leen
“What Is Sacred to Dogs” by A. P. Sessler
“The Apple Falls Upward” by Andrew Kozma
“Sam, Sam, and the Demoness” by K. T. Katzmann
“Ambrose’s Eight-plus-Oneth” by Judith Field
“The Annual Scarecrow Festival” by John Paul Davies
“Nine Ways to Communicate with the Living” by Sarina Dorie
“Schrodinger’s Schrodinger” by Benjamin Jacobson
“A Little Mischief” by Ken Altabef
“Gualicho Days” by Gustavo Bondoni
“Wolf Call” by Adele Gardner
“The Candlestick” by Will Morton
“Dead Men’s Drinks” by Christina Bates
“Pantomimus” by Lyn Godfrey
“O Shades, My Woe” by Eric J. Guignard

“No Place for a Hero” on Amazon Kindle

I self-pubbed! I self-pubbed!

Gosh, it’s fun creating ebooks.

After much fussing, “No Place for a Hero” went live on Amazon this week. The story was originally published last year in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine and later reprinted in The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2013-2014 and podcasted at StarShipSofa.

Also included is my short short story “6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart.”

Yes, all this can be yours for the low, low price of 99 cents.

All you have to do is click over to Amazon.

How about that cover too?

What’s Been Going On?

I haven’t posted in a while and there hasn’t been much by the way of publications in the past few months, but that’s about to change. A bunch of stories are coming out in the next few weeks.

“A Day to End All Days” will be published in Third Flatiron’s fall anthology “Ain’t Superstitious” on September 1. There’s already a pre-order page up on Amazon.

I’m very excited about this: “So You’ve Metamorphosed Into a Giant Insect. Now What?” will be in the Unidentified Funny Objects 4 anthology, edited by Alex Shvartsman. What’s so exciting — beyond being in the kick-ass UFO series — is that I’ll be sharing a table of contents with George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman! In fact, there are only four stories between me and GRRM! The book should be out in either September or October. Check back for more details.

“The Grimlorn Under the Mountain,” which is one of my few (so far) non-funny stories, will be in the first issue of the revived Weirdbook Magazine, edited by Douglas Draa. That should be out in October.

“The Great Work” — I hope — will be published in the eight volume of Spark: A Creative Anthology. No confirmation on a publication date yet. This, too, is a straight-up horror story.

In other publishing news, I’m putting the finishing touches on my first self-published reprint. That should be out this week. I’ll have an update on that soon.

“Simon Clash: The Galaxy’s Greatest Hero” Published in Nature’s Futures

Nature's FuturesMy space opera tale about a hero and his robot sidekick who specialize in saving princesses has been published in Nature’s Futures.

Here’s the opening to “Simon Clash: The Galaxy’s Greatest Hero”:

A brzzt-brzzt-brzzt came stuttering through the air as we sped over the black sands of Desolation. Something hit the repulsor-cycle’s rear fin, sending it into a vicious spin. Ja-bot was immediately thrown. I fought to regain control, and had nearly stopped the ever-widening gyre, but the cycle caught the edge of a dune and pitched me into the burning sand.

You can read the entire story at the Futures website.

You can read about what inspired the story here.

“No Place for a Hero” on StarShipSofa Podcast

StarShipSofaThe fine folks at StarShipSofa featured my superhero story “No Place for a Hero” on their podcast last month.

You can listen to it here.

The story was originally published in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine and reprinted in “The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2013-2014” anthology.

“Do Stand-Up Bots Dream of Electric Hecklers?” Published in Perihelion SF

perihelion_logoMy story about a stand-up comedian robot has been published in Perihelion Science Fiction.

Here’s the opening to “Do Stand-Up Bots Dream of Electric Hecklers?”:

Harold was sitting toilet, reading the holo-paper, when the stand-up bot began an impromptu set. Harold had come to hate the metallic hack with the ferocity he usually reserved for people who dog-eared old print books or got those ridiculous data-streaming bionic eyes.

You can read the entire story at Perihelion SF.

“6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart” & “No Place for a Hero” Reprinted

I love me reprints.

Getting paid once for a story is nice, but getting paid twice? Now that’s sweet!

I had two big reprints in the past few months.

The first was “No Place for a Hero,” which was originally published in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine in November 2014. In December it made its way into “The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2013-2014 ” anthology, along with stories by Larry Niven, Mercedes Lackey, and Ken Liu.

You can pick it up at Amazon as a paperback or ebook.

If reading isn’t your thing, “No Place for a Hero” will be podcast on StarShipSofa on February 18th. So look for that too. This little story sure has been making the rounds since it was published only a few months ago!

In January “6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart” was reprinted in the “Flash Fiction Online 2014 Anthology,” the publication’s first annual anthology. It was originally published in Flash Fiction Online in August 2014. The anthology also includes stories by Caroline M. Yoachim, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, and Stewart C. Baker.

It’s available at Amazon as an ebook.

“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 Triptych Tales


“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