Two More Stories Now on Sale: Alien Wyrms Seek Immortality & a Pest Control Call Gets Wildly Out of Hand

The last few weeks have been a blur of stories coming out. It all feels a bit surreal. The last few days alone have seen two more hit the shelves. What with the US elections, working, supervising the kids’ virtual schooling, and trying to write new stories, my blog post is now a couple of days late – which means that the first of the books I was going to mention is now sold out!

Yup, Upon a Once Time, an anthology of fairy tale mash-ups from The Air and Nothingness Press, featuring my tale The Waters at the End of the Worlds, is all gone. Don’t worry, the publisher has already ordered a second print run, allowing a wider audience to enjoy the stories contained therein.

My own entry concerns alien wyrms intent on discovering immortality, combining two fairy tales with science fiction, with a few jokes along the way. For more information about this story and the book, follow this link. I hope you’ll consider buying the anthology – it really is very good. You can pre-order a copy from the second printing of this wonderful collection from the publisher here.


Also out now is Insurgence: A Fae Rebellion from Corrugated Sky Press, which includes my story Pest Control. Arkwright’s Pest Control Service is about to have a really bad day – they’ve been called out to an infestation of a type they’ve never seen before. Generally, the creatures they are asked to exterminate aren’t armed…

You can read more about this story here.

To entice you a little more, here’s the back-page blurb of the book:

Stories of the fae are wild and varied. From mischief-makers to baby takers, their supernatural abilities enthrall us.

But what if they were real, waiting and calculating a time to take back the world that was once theirs? Would they do it peacefully, or take over violently? Would humans even notice?

Dive into this anthology and explore the myriad possibilities of what a fae insurgence just might be like.

The book can be purchased from Amazon here.


I think things are going to slow down for the next few weeks, with only a story coming out in December’s Mythaxis and a novella being prepped for publication. On the charity fundraising front, a second Time Scope collection of Doctor Who stories is being put together for Christmas as well, and I am hopeful I will have an entry in that. As of right now, that may well be it.

But, if anything else happens, I’ll be sure to post about it. As always, thank you for reading (and reviewing) my stories. I do appreciate it.

Peace, and stay safe.

Mike

“Every Hat Is a Crown” To Be Printed in December’s Mythaxis Magazine

Visit Mythaxis’s website here

I am happy to say that another of my short fantasy stories in my Age of Asmodeus series will see the light of day in Mythaxis Magazine in December. Every Hat Is a Crown, like all the stories in the series, is standalone and requires no prior knowledge of its setting or characters.

In this story, sixteen-year-old Walleg and his pet raptor, William, find themselves in hot water with the king. In fact, if the king doesn’t get what he wants, not all the king’s dinosaurs, warlocks, and feudal lords will be able to put Walleg back together again. All this because Walleg wanted to kiss the daughter of a witch.

I’ll be certain to post when the December issue of Mythaxis comes out. Until then, there are a few other things to keep us occupied.

Out Soon

Next week (well, Halloween, technically) sees the release of two more of my stories. The Waters at the End of the Worlds is included in Air and Nothingness Press’s collection Upon a Once Time. This anthology of fairy tale mash-ups will go on general sale on their website in just a couple of days. They only have a small number of copies left from the first print run but they’re printing more! More details to come when the book is available for general purchase.

Corrugated Skies are also releasing a collection on Halloween. This one is about fairies rather than fairy tales, though. Insurgence: A Fae Rebellion will include my story Pest Control. This story is, you guessed it, also part of Age of Asmodeus. Never fear, it too is standalone. I’ll also be putting out full details of the book when it goes on sale.

Released Recently

The good folks at UFO Publishing wanted me to let you know about all the places where you can buy their lovely (and very funny) anthology, Unidentified Funny Objects 8. This book includes my story, Fifteen Minutes. I hope you’ll check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

UFO Publishing – eBook
UFO Publishing – Paperback
Amazon (eBook and Paperback)
Kobo (eBook)
Apple (eBook)

You can read a review of this great collection here.

I think that’s all for right now. There are some other things coming up in the next few months, but it’s better that I announce them closer to their release dates (I am very excited about them, though).

In the meantime, I hope everyone’s staying safe and healthy. If you’re in the US, remember to drop those votes off in person now!

Peace,

Mike

Two Stories Out This Week: A Helpful AI Causes Mischief in Japan & Humanity Has Fifteen Minutes to Stop an Alien Invasion!

October is off to a great start with two of my short stories available in new publications. Online magazine Penumbric features a reprint of my story of a very naughty AI in Japan, Something to Watch Over Us, and the latest (and eighth) entry in the world renowned anthology book series Unidentified Funny Objects includes my tale Fifteen Minutes.

Fifteen Minutes is set in the bustling metropolis of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, the epicentre of a terrifying alien invasion that could threaten all life in, er, Telford, and maybe a bit of Much Wenlock. Possibly Herefordshire? Oh, those English towns, they’re always getting invaded.

For Colin Hamble, life suddenly got very complicated. He not only has to stop this invasion he has to do it in the next fifteen minutes!

Unidentified Funny Objects 8 can be purchased here via Amazon. I would; it’s a terrific anthology full of great stories.

Click image to learn more

The eighth volume of the popular series Unidentified Funny Objects features my story Fifteen Minutes

As if it wasn’t enough for me to be part of such an amazing book, my science fiction story of AIs, Japan, bad karaoke, climate change, and octopus balls, Something to Watch Over Us, has been reprinted in the latest issue of online ‘zine Penumbric, now available.

Click here to access the Penumbric website where you can view the magazine.

For additional information about Something to Watch Over Us, including where it was first printed, check out its dedicated story page.

There’s more stuff on the horizon, but I think I’ve bored you all enough for the moment. Hope you’re all staying safe, and – if you live in the USA – remember to vote!

Peace,

Mike

“Where the Monsters Are” Novella To Be Released by Hiraeth Publishing

Image: PA (via The Mirror)

It’s not easy selling novellas. That’s why I’m always nervous when I start writing a story and find along the way the word count is creeping up and up… and up. The normal solution is to cut as much as possible out of that early draft, and then to cut some more. Sometimes, though, the story needs to be a certain length. (Sometimes, if you cut everything fun and exciting out of a story purely so you can get it under 5,000 words what’s left isn’t worth reading, but that’s a rant for another day.)

Where the Monsters Are was such a tale; long but lean, with no darlings in sight to bump off, it refused to shrink in length, no matter how much I trimmed. By the end, I was left with a single depressing thought: “Damn, it’s a novella. No one will ever buy it. No one will ever get to read it.”

In despair, I submitted it anyway. And the wonderful Tyree Campbell at Hiraeth Publishing snapped it up. Just shows what I know, right?

So, what did Hiraeth purchase, exactly? Well, our tale of the sixteenth year of the Age of Asmodeus begins on the side of Loch Ness, with the fabled Nessie emerging from the frigid waters… What occurs after that features witches, a banshee, an internet-meme-made-flesh, a fairy, vampires in Edinburgh, more magic than you can shake a wand at, and a gunfight under the center of London. And more, because in a world where magic runs rampant, there’s chaos around every corner.

For Tensor, the leader of a death squad tasked with eliminating his fellow ‘monsters,’ life is going to be turned upside down. He’s going to find out precisely what’s going on, whether he likes it or not.

Where the Monsters Are will be published later this year.

Out This Week

LampLight Magazine Vol 9 Issue 1 features my science fiction story The Weight of Infinity

Previously announced as an acceptance here, my science fiction short story of immortality, aliens, and full body printing – The Weight of Infinity – is now out in the September issue of LampLight Magazine. You can buy it here on Amazon.

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe and, if you live in the US, remember to vote.

Peace,

Mike

Forever Has Never Felt So Short: “The Weight of Infinity” Accepted for LampLight Magazine

The good news on the writing front keeps pouring in! The wonderful Jacob Haddon at LampLight Magazine has accepted my short science fiction story The Weight of Infinity for the magazine’s September issue.

Many centuries from now, the human race and human society are transformed – humanity has discovered immortality.

People can print new bodies for themselves, in any legally permitted pattern; they can literally become anyone they want. For the genderfluid, non-binary Tallyn, a crewperson aboard an interstellar merchant ship, this technology is a blessing. He was born female, but he prefers to spend most of his time as male; not that it’s anyone else’s business. With body printing, he can live the way he wants – nothing could be easier.

More than that, infinitely extended lifespans allow a host of other solutions to become possible. In Tallyn’s time, FTL drives remain outside of humanity’s reach. No problem – craft can travel at sublight speeds. So what if a mission to another world takes decades or centuries? The crew will barely notice the duration.

With immortality, the galaxy is suddenly within the human race’s grasp.

Of course, no one said the human race was ready to experience infinity. As for Tallyn, he’s about to find out that forever isn’t anywhere near as long as he expected it was going to be.

The September issue of LampLight is expected out next weekend. I’ll be sure to pass on more information as soon as I have it!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re all staying safe in these strange times.

Peace,

Mike

Two New Stories Available: A Dutch “Monster” Cursed with Bad Luck & Colonists Left to Die Above the Clouds of Venus

September is already shaping up to be a busy month. For a start, it saw two of my stories being released.

Luck of the Dead Out Now in New Fantasy Anthology

Luck of the Dead is included in the brand new anthology Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales from JayHenge Publishing, edited by Jessica Augustsson. This story is part of my Age of Asmodeus series.

Jalen is Dutch, bisexual, and – most importantly – a year ago, she was transformed into a supernatural entity against her will. Now, Jalen returns to her childhood home of Hattem, a small town in the Netherlands, for a much-needed holiday. Instead of relaxation, she finds she’s the victim of a sustained magical assault of bad luck. As disasters turn into catastrophes, Jalen begins to wonder whether she can survive long enough to identify her attacker. Further complicating the situation – the attacker doesn’t know that Jalen has powers of her own.

This book can be purchased from Amazon here, and for more information about this book, including a list of contributors, click here.

It Hungers Below Out in September’s The Martian Wave

That’s not all, Hiraeth Publishing printed It Hungers Below in the September 2020 issue of their science fiction anthology magazine The Martian Wave. This issue was edited by Tyree Campbell.

The story is set in the skies of Venus, with colonists in floating townships attempting to cope with the effects of unimaginable disaster back on Earth. That’s only the beginning of their troubles – something horrific is stirring below them, hidden from sight beneath Venus’s eternal shroud of poisonous cloud. Ferry pilot Aybeth is determined to pierce those clouds and discover the truth. There are other secrets, though, closer to home, that swirl just as much, all about her, and Aybeth may not be as good at figuring out the truth as she thinks…

This story is a standalone sci-fi tale set in the same fictional universe as The Unobservable Universe and For All These Worlds, a Messiah.

To purchase a print copy of this magazine direct from the publisher, click here. It is also available for purchase as an ePub file here. You can also purchase it from Amazon here. As always, you can read more about this magazine and the story by clicking here.

But Wait, There’s More

I’ve also had good news in the form of another short story sale. I’ll wait until contracts are signed and I know more, but you can expect another blog post before too long!

Of course, as you’ll know from earlier posts, there are also a number of other books due to be released soon that will include other stories of mine. I’ve already read galley proofs for Upon a Once Time (which will feature The Waters at the End of the Worlds) and Unidentified Funny Objects 8 (which will feature Fifteen Minutes), both of which will be out before the year end. On top of that, Something to Watch Over Us will be reprinted in an online magazine soon, and Pest Control (another story in my Age of Asmodeus series) is due to be included in an upcoming anthology.

Not to toot my horn too much, but British comic FutureQuake also accepted a comic script of mine a while back and the art on that should (as far as I know) be proceeding toward completion. I’m always ecstatic when a comic script is brought to life and I can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

I think that covers enough for now! I hope you’re all keeping healthy and staying safe. And thank you for reading.

Peace,

Mike

“The Waters at the End of the Worlds” Accepted for Air and Nothingness Press’s Fairy Tale Mash-Up Anthology

Upon A Once Time Kickstarter

The world is full of terrible crises and a small hurricane called a derecho just rolled over my house, but at least I have good news on the writing front. My short story The Waters at the End of the Worlds has been accepted for the Upon a Once Time anthology from the wonderful people at the Air and Nothingness Press. And yes, you read that book title correctly – it’s scrambled into an unusual arrangement deliberately, just like the stories it contains.

To read more about this unique and entertaining upcoming collection, and to support it, please go to the publisher’s Kickstarter page here. The more money they raise the more additional writers they can pay and the larger the book can be. Although my story is slated for inclusion already, it would be nice for as many other writers as possible to share that opportunity.

The book has a great idea at its heart: take two fairy tales, put them together and tell the tale using the tropes of a particular genre. That writing brief appealed to me in spades – there was so much scope for creating exciting and different stories!

The Waters at the End of the Worlds fulfills these fun instructions by combining the Anglo-Scottish/Irish fairy tale “The Well at the World’s End” with the German fairy tale “The Water of Life” and then telling the story through the lens of science fiction. The result? A fast-paced tale of mayhem, sieves, and an emperor who wants to live forever.

Waters

Image: Photographer unknown

The editor and director at the AaN Press, Todd Sanders, estimates a release for the anthology in May of next year. I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I have more information. In the meantime, feel free to also visit the press’s Facebook page or their website to learn more about them. Their social media contacts are:

Twitter – @aanpress
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aanpress/
Web – http://www.aanpress.com

Not to belabor the point, but I hope you will consider supporting this project on Kickstarter. How can this not be an awesome book? Honestly, go look at their fundraising page if only to see all the beautiful exterior artwork by Serena Malyon (as well as wonderful interior art by John Anster Fitzgerald). That alone is enough to make the anthology a must-buy.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

Peace,

 

Mike

“Pest Control” To Be Included in Corrugated Sky’s Anthology of Rebellious Fae

Dark Elf Concept from God of War #illustration #artwork #gaming #videogames  #gamer | Alieno, Demoni, Insetti

Image: Creativeuncut.com; artist unknown

A pleasant surprise this weekend – Corrugated Sky Publishing have accepted my story Pest Control for their upcoming anthology about rebellious Fae. The book, provisionally titled Insurgence: A Fae Rebellion, is scheduled for an October release. Pest Control is a Day One type of story in my Age of Asmodeus series of standalone stories (no knowledge of previous stories required).

Arkwright’s Pest Control Services in the sleepy town of Godalming, England receive a very strange call for help. There’s an infestation, but the caller is reluctant to say what, exactly, has invaded his home… Our hungover hero, Harriet Pendleton, answers this desperate plea, and finds herself face-to-spearpoint with armed, ravenous fairies. These creatures know how to fight, and they’re not scared of humans. To Harriet’s horror, she finds the fairies are out for blood, and they’re going to get it.

I hope everyone likes this story – it was certainly a lot of fun to write about vicious fairies.

Other News

I also have to announce that Branching Realities have postponed this year’s edition of FrostFire Worlds to 2021. At this time, my understanding is that the 2021 issue will be a double-sized edition, and it will still include my story What You Don’t Know. That’s all I know about the delay right now. Disappointing news, of course, but things happen in publishing sometimes.

Taking into account this change, the next few months of 2020 (up to October) should still see the release of the following stories in addition to Pest Control:

Recent Releases

If you’ll forgive the shameless self-promotion, I’ll mention a couple of recent publications as well, which you can pick up now:

  • Once You Start (Reprinted in Best of British Science Fiction 2019)
  • Working from TARDIS (a brand-new Doctor Who story included in the charity collection Time Scope)

 

I hope everyone’s keeping well and will stay that way. As always, thanks for reading.

Peace,

 

Mike

“Something To Watch Over Us” To Be Reprinted in Penumbric Magazine This October

Penumbric Logo

I’m pleased to announce that Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine has accepted my story Something To Watch Over Us as a reprint in their October 2020 issue (which will be issue #3).

This story was originally printed five years ago in the anthology Futuristica. You can read more here about this tale of bad karaoke, love hotels, climate change, fried octopus balls, and AI run amok in Japan. I’ve always had a soft spot for this story, as much of it is based on things I saw and did when I lived in Japan (not the science fiction parts, obviously), and I’m very happy it’s found a second home.

You might also want to check out Penumbric’s website here. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror fans can find lots to interest them in issue #2, currently available.

 

Before I let you go, I hope you don’t mind if I remind you that my story Once You Start is also being reprinted in the Best of British Science Fiction 2019, due out on July 14th. You can buy it (or pre-order it) via Amazon here.

 

I hope everyone is staying safe and well in these uncertain times.

Thanks for reading!

Peace,

 

Mike

“Working from TARDIS” Included in New Doctor Who Charity Anthology, “Time Scope”

TimeScope

I am happy to announce a new Doctor Who charity anthology has been released featuring one of my short stories. The anthology is Time Scope and my story is Working from TARDIS. The story covers the fourth, fifth, and sixth incarnations of the Doctor and his interactions with… the TARDIS cleaning lady???

Here’s a description of the book along with ordering instructions. You can also find details about the book on editor Matthew Rimmer’s website here.

Time Scope is a charity anthology e-book.

Doctor Who fans from around the world have joined forces to raise funds for Scope, the disability equality charity in England and Wales. This unofficial and unauthorised anthology of 50 short stories, interspersed with poetry and artwork, weaves its way through time and space visiting the Doctors and their friends. Along the way, cast and crew share their memories of working on the show and projects from the wider Whoniverse.

Compiled entirely in lockdown in 2020, all 114 contributors have given their work freely in order to support Scope at a time when the charity’s income has fallen dramatically owing to the necessity of having to close charity shops and cancel
fundraising events during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

100% of the money raised by this book will be forwarded to Scope.

Pay £6.99 and once your payment has been received, you will be emailed the e-book in PDF form as soon as possible.*

*PLEASE NOTE: As this is a manual process, this will be as soon as the Editor has seen the order has gone through and is able to send the email out. The aim will be to have the e-book to you within 24 hours.

Please e-mail timescope2020@gmail.com if you have any problems with your purchase.

Contributors to this book are a veritable Who’s Who of the Doctor Who world, including (but not limited to) luminaries such as James Goss (author of many excellent books), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Jon Culshaw, and on and on.

This is an amazing collection and I hope all Doctor Who fans are able to buy a copy.

Thanks for reading.

Peace, and stay safe,

 

Mike