You can now preorder Devilish and Divine — the forthcoming anthology of stories about angels and demons edited by John L. French & Danielle Ackley-McPhail, and which will include a story by me — from any number of online sources:
Mighty Michael Jan Friedman has created a wonderful new shared world: Phenomenons: Every Human Creature. He’s funding it on Kickstarter, and it includes a bunch of great authors getting together to do a great new take on superheroes:
The University Book Store in Seattle hosted a three-night event on the charity anthology Turning the Tied, benefiting the World Literacy Organization and featuring stories by top tie-in scribes featuring various public domain characters.
The first part, which featured me, is now up on the Tube of You. In it, moderator Robert Greenberger leads a discussion that features David Boop, Jennifer Brozek, Steven Paul Leiva, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, and, yes, me discussing our stories featuring Kit Carson, Allan Quatermain, the cats of Ulthar, Cyrano de Bergerac, Baron Munchausen, Frida Kahlo, Octobriana, and She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Last year, eSpec Books did a big-ass Kickstarter that included three novels and a short-story anthology. The latter was originally called Horns & Halos, and is now called Devilish & Divine, featuring stories about angels and demons. The anthology, which is edited by John L. French & Danielle Ackley-McPhail, now has a cover and back cover copy!
My story is one of the ones featuring angels, specifically Muslim ones, the hafazhah, a Yolanda Rodriguez story called “Unguarded.”
Here’s the back-cover copy:
Hell Bound or Heaven Sent?
Some of us will never know until it’s too late.
From an infernal fiend reduced to baking cookies to comfort a small child, to a pastor’s kid rescued from a fall from grace by an unlikely pair, and every iteration in between, Devilish & Divine explores the spectrum of mankind’s encounters with beings of power beyond our comprehension.
Are you ready to explore otherworldly hosts—both heavenly and otherwise?
With stories by
James Chambers John L. French Robert E. Waters Jenifer Purcell Rosenberg Christopher J. Burke Michelle D. Sonnier Danielle Ackley-McPhail Keith R.A. DeCandido Russ Colchamiro Michael A. Black Patrick Thomas Hildy Silverman
Now, obviously, All-The-Way House is not your first published book. Are there any writers, or specific stories, that you think of as having a big influence on All-The-Way House but not on anything else you’ve written?
Probably the biggest literary influence for this particular novella would be Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell books and stories. A big chunk of All-The-Way House takes place in the past, in the early 20th century and the mid-18th century, and it’s a real challenge to re-create a past time period well. King is better than almost anyone at immersing you in a particular time and place, and she’s done a particularly superlative job of it in the Russell tales, which take place between 1915 and 1925 in various locales around the world.
It’s the official on-sale date for All-the-Way House, my contribution to the Systema Paradoxa series about cryptids from the NeoParadoxa imprint of eSpec Books! On Prime Day, no less!
This story provides the secret origin of the legendary Jersey Devil, and takes place in the same milieu as the Bram Gold Adventures novels and the Yolanda Rodriguez short stories.
Here’s the cover copy:
There are creatures lurking in our world. Obscure creatures long relegated to myth and legend. They have been sighted by a lucky–or unlucky–few, some have even been photographed, but their existence remains unproven and unrecognized by the scientific community.
These creatures, long thought gone, have somehow survived; creatures from our nightmares haunting the dark places. They swim in our lakes and bays, they soar the night skies, they hunt in the woods. Some are from our past, and some from other worlds, and others that have always been with us-watching us, fearing us, hunting us.
These are the cryptids, and Systema Paradoxa tells their tales.
When there are talks of a monster sighted in the waves off the Atlantic City boardwalk, Coursers Valentina Perrone and Sarah el-Guindi–supernatural hunters-for-hire–are called in by the local Boss to… handle it. But echoes of the past send them into the heart of the Pine Barrens, where more than one secret hides, along with their answers.
Will history repeat itself? Or will the monsters find safe haven?
Either way, in the end, they discover there is always more than one way to deal with a problem.
In just five days, NeoParadoxa will release the fourth book in the Systema Paradoxa series of standalone novellas about cryptids: my own All-the-Way House, which is the secret origin of the Jersey Devil (and features a bunch of other cryptids as well). The story takes place in 2020, 1909, and 1735, and is available for preorder:
Speaking of crowdfunds, I’m finally working on the second of the two stories I crowdfunded on Indie GoGo ages ago, “Ragnarok and a Hard Place,” which will also be the title of the second collection containing tales of Cassie Zukav, weirdness magnet.
Also on the docket this week is to finish a bible for a series of science fiction stories I’ll be doing as a sort-of game tie-in — more on this when it’s announced — and revisions on Pigman, my second collaboration with Dr. Munish K. Batra, which is a medical thriller not related to Animal. Plus there’s the rewatch of Voyager‘s “Spirit Folk,” an episode that is, um, not good.
There’s also medical stuff this week. Yesterday, I had a long overdue appointment with an orthopedist. My knees have sucked since — well, since forever. They were especially bad in my mid-thirties, but then I started doing karate, and they got better, but they were never good, exactly, and lately it’s been worse. X-rays showed no bone damage, so it isn’t that. The ortho told me that the next step would be either physical therapy — which seemed pointless, given that I do karate several times a week, so it probably won’t help much — or an MRI to see what that tells us.
I obviously chose the MRI. It’s my first, and everyone’s telling me that it’s loud and claustrophobic and full of clanking, so there’s that to look forward to……
Friday I get to see a urologist, a direct result of being a male in his 50s. Happy joy.
Wrenn and I have been rewatching Stargate Atlantis, watching a wonderful New Zealand cop show The Brokenwood Mysteries (it’s pretty much a Kiwi Columbo), enjoying the new half-season of Lucifer, and last night we watched the delightful film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play In the Heights. I plan to review Brokenwood, Lucifer, and In the Heights on Patreon this month.
From brand-spanking-new very-small-press publisher Whysper Wude (run by Keith R.A. DeCandido and Wrenn Simms) comes The Four ???? of the Apocalypse. An anthology of biblical proportions, this is more than two dozen alternate takes on the apocalyptic quartet of yore.
The Four Lunch Ladies of the Apocalypse! The Four Lawyers of the Apocalypse! The Four PTA Moms of the Apocalypse! The Four Cats of the Apocalypse! And a whole bunch more!