ramblings, rants, news, ephemera, and stuff

“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

Poetry:

  • 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

“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.

“Bad Poets Society” Is on Cast of Wonders!

Cast of Wonders has done an amazing reading of my story “Bad Poets Society” on its podcast.

Check it out here.

SHORT STORY SALE: “The League of Lame Superheroes” to Third Flatiron

Superheroes are what probably got me into speculative fiction. I pretty much only read comic books until I was 12, with the occasional Choose Your Own Adventure thrown in there.

So I’m stoked to be having a superhero story (my first of hopefully many) in Third Flatiron‘s spring 2014 anthology. The theme is “Astronomical Odds.”

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?

The anthology should be out on March 15.

Link-O-Rama

I’ve been a busy, busy boy as of late. Here are links to some of the things I’ve done online in the past few weeks:

And the Winner Is…Me!

My story “The Zombie Who Had a Name” was among the winners of Bards and Sages Quarterly’s 2013 Readers Choice Awards!

The story appearned in the October 2013 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly and will be reprinted, along with the other winning stories, in next year’s Bardic Tales and Sage Advice anthology.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Bards and Sages’ 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards

Voting is now open for Bards and Sages’ 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. My story, “The Zombie Who Had a Name,” was in the October issue.

You don’t have to vote for me, of course. There are a bunch of great stories in the October issue as well as the other issues from 2013.

If you want to vote responsibly — follow the links below to get a copy of the October issue, and, you know, read the stories.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Smashwords (EPUB, PDF, MOBI, LRF, PDB)

VOTE HERE: Readers’ Choice Awards

“The Zombie Who Had a Name” in Bards and Sages Quarterly

Bards and Sages Quarterly (October 2013) — which includes my story “The Zombie Who Had a Name” — is out.

You can pick up the issue at these fine retailers:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Smashwords (EPUB, PDF, MOBI, LRF, PDB)

“The Baseball Gods” Is Live on Every Day Fiction

My dark fantasy story “The Baseball Gods” is up at Every Day Fiction.

Don’t forget to rate it!

SHORT STORY SALE: “The Baseball Gods” to Every Day Fiction

As a kid I had two loves: fantasy and baseball. (Not to be confused with fantasy baseball.) These days I’m probably more into the world of magic and mystery than balls and strikes, but I did manage to wed the two — and you can read it at Every Day Fiction on June 26.

This story took me about a week to write, which is damn quick for me, and is also a turn from my more whimsical and humorous stories (though there are a few jokes in there) that I had been writing last year.

This is my fourth sale overall and second in the last two months. (Could I be on a roll?)

(Here’s a link to the other stories coming out in June on EDF.)

SHORT STORY SALE: “The Zombie Who Had a Name” to Bards & Sages Quarterly

What’s with me and zombies? It probably began when I was four or five, scared out of my mind, hiding under the dining room table as “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things” played on the TV in the next room. (It was most likely playing on WPIX’s Chiller Theatre. Remember that?) That final scene when the undead get on a boat and head for the bright lights of the big city haunted me for a long time. Of all the movie monsters, zombies have probably disturbed me the most. They’ve also been pretty good for my burgeoning fiction-writing career.

Bards & Sages Quarterly just bought my short story “The Zombie Who Had a Name,” which follows a recently animated corpse as it travels through the apocalypse. It should be out in October, just in time for Halloween. The funny part? This is my third short story sale–and in each there’s a zombie (though they’re more of the sympathetic variety than the scary kind).

So here’s my dilemma: Do I continue writing about the walking dead or bury (heh-heh-heh) the zombies for the time being?

The Last Man on Earth Sat Alone in a Room…What Else Was He Supposed to Do?

Today One Forty Fiction published my microfiction tale “Who’s There? Who Cares?”

Stories don’t open much better than Fredric Brown’s 1948 short story “Knock.” (“The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.”) It’s so good an opening that the rest of the story is often forgotten. One day I started riffing on those 17 words, and couldn’t stop. Go read “Who’s There? Who Cares?” and then check out my other six variations. Feel free to join the fun with your own microfiction.

1. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. He didn’t hear it. He was wearing headphones.

2. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. It was just the wind. He went to bed.

3. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. “Great! I didn’t miss the last man on Earth con,” said the stranger as he entered.

4. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. It was the last woman on Earth. She looked pissed.

5. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. He didn’t answer it. He liked being the last man on Earth.

6. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. Fucking Avon Lady, he grumbled.

At Year’s End: Holiday SFF Stories Is Here!

At Year's End: Holiday SFF StoriesI’ve been published! The flash fiction anthology “At Year’s End: Holiday SFF Stories,” which includes my story “They Will Be Home for Christmas,” came out today. Though it was my second story to be accepted this year, it’s my first to be published. So, it’s a pretty historic book. Buy it. All the holiday-themed stories are 500 words or less — some are poignant, some are funny, some are dark, and others, like mine, are dark and funny.

Table of Contents:
“Foreword” by L. Lambert Lawson
“A Unicorn for Christmas” by Beth Cato
“When Friends Come to Call” by Zach Shephard
“Autumn Waits” by Ken MacGregor
“Nuclear Family” by Alex Shvartsman
“The Christmas Zombie” by James S. Dorr
“Mission Log, Day 67” by Lance Schonberg
“Resolution” by Amanda M. Hayes
“The Conjurer” by Alicia Cole
“Nativity” by Brandon Alspaugh
“History Lessons” by Sandra McDonald
“Gifted” by Dan Hart
“Mistletoe” by Casey Peterson
“New Year’s Revolution” by Katherine Sparrow
“They Will Be Home for Christmas” by James Aquilone
“In the Bleak Midwinter” by Michael H. Payne
“The Greatest Tiger Lantern of All” by J. Deery Wray
“A Visit, A Gift” by Matthew Johnson
“Electric Hatsuyume” by Deborah Walker
“A Reason to Linger” Alexis A. Hunter

Buy “At Year’s End: SFF Holiday Stories” for Kindle or Nook.