Stonemaul – A. S. Warwick

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Stonemaul is a collection of eight of my heroic fantasy short stories and novelettes.  Six have previously been published, but there are two brand new ones.  All are part of the Chronicles of the White Bull, the story of Nhaqosa the minotaur, with the two new stories recounting the end – and the beginning – of his journey.

All up it comes to around 65000 words in total between the eight stories, and is available at Smashwords and Amazon.

 

Worth the Risk: The Calen Natari Saga – Alain Gomez

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Genre and Length:

Science Fiction Short Story

Blurb:

The assassin profession is proving to be more difficult than Calen anticipated. Not exactly overwhelmed with job requests, Calen is forced to land on a nearby planet to hunt for food and find supplies.

A stranger she runs into at the local cantina may be the solution to her problems. He lost his honor but is rich enough to pay Calen to help him regain it. All she has to do is risk her life…

How did the story come about?

Calen Natari is actually one of the main characters in a serial science fiction blog that I write called Muzik Chronicles. She’s a young hunter from a desert planet and she recently discovered that her shooting skills are a hot commodity. All of the stories on that particular blog are flash fiction style (1,000 words or less). But I really enjoy Calen’s character. She has a certain youthful naiveté but at the same time she’s ambitious and skilled. So I decided to make a sort of extended adventure featuring her and publish it as a standalone ebook.

Do you prefer writing short fiction over novels, and if so, why?

Novels and I do not get along. At all. I have made several good attempts at starting a novel; all failed. I will write novellas though. 25-30,000 words seems to be my cap.

I struggled with the novel thing for a long time. I have always loved writing but I had to come to grips with the fact that my brain does not think in novel-sized stories. I like details but I also like efficiency. I can’t stand it when people waste my time and that seems to come out in my writing. I love trying to come up with ways to create an environment in as few words as possible.

I enjoy the story possibilities that short form unlocks. I have the freedom to explore all sorts of genres. I also like being able to tell a larger story arc using smaller pieces. Each little tidbit adds a tiny bit more to the universe I’ve created.

Which short fiction writers have most influenced you?

Lots. Edgar Allen Poe is one of my absolute favorites; I love his twisted endings. Charles Dickens and his ability to write a long story using installments. Edgar Rice Burroughs taught me to tap into the child within. Louis L’Amour and his short westerns. PG Wodehouse with his brilliant Jeeves and Wooster characters.

Too many to name!

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

The Girl in Brown – Byron Gordon

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Genre and Length:

Science fiction novelette

Blurb:

An amoral scientist trying to regain control of his experiments. A deceptively innocent woman fleeing dangerous people. And a random vigilante pursuing unknown horizons. It all adds up to deadly intrigue and weird danger for Gunner Long, one-time bounty hunter, full-time cynic.

This 2nd Edition copy features new cover art and a short vignette “Thrown To The Wolves”. This vignette details the meeting of Gunner Long and his adopted daughter prior to his retirement from bounty hunting. The vignette is approximately 3000 words long

How did the story come about?

This is actually two stories. “Thrown To The Wolves” is actually my first short story, an introduction to the lead character of both of these, Gunner Long. I enjoy a lot of detective-like fiction and wanted to do something similar. I had the concept of my lead character floating around in my head for a while, and this story gave me the chance to get Gunner solidly on paper for future reference. “The Girl In Brown” is an introductory tale of Gunner’s pursuits following “Thrown To The Wolves”. I wrote it because I was bored. Once I was finished, the character was so firmly planted in my mind that I’ve written several more shorts about him and now my first (finished) novel is featuring him and his acquaintances exclusively..

Do you prefer writing short fiction over novels, and if so, why?

I have only started two novels, the second one WILL be finished by the end of the summer, and I’ve written over a dozen short stories. I like writing shorts, as they fit well with the time and attention span I have to give them. However, a novel gives characters a lot more room to grow, and it has been fun to see that happen in my current project. Once I finish the novel, I might know for sure, but right now I’d have to say I prefer shorts.

Which short fiction writers have most influenced you?

This is an easy one. Rudyard Kipling. The man can spin a yarn that pulls me in like a black hole. I like action and adventure in my fiction, which he sometimes supplies, but he’s the writer who opened me to the intrigues of literary fiction, where those aspects are not heavily weighted, if they are even present. Not to mention, he writes exceptional dialogue. I enjoy writing dialogue and hope some day to be close to his level. Someday.

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and in paperback form.

Free Offer

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Over at Smashwords they are running a July Summer/Winter Sale promotion wherein you can add your works to go on the promotion list.

I have added two of mine – Deeds in Dark Places and Deeds of Valour. Until July 31, both can be got for free with the coupon SSWIN. Yup, free. That is seven works of short heroic fantasy fiction, totalling some 48,000 words between them going for free.

Enjoy.

Charred Earth – TJ Hudson

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Genre and Length:

Science fiction novelette

Blurb:

A person wakes up (yes yes, I know, but we have to start somewhere). They don’t know where or who they are, and to top it all off the house they woke up in starts talking to them.

A Novelette of 14,200 words, this is a speculative science fiction story with a hint of adventure and high technology.

The first book in the Charred Earth series.

This book is written in British English.

How did the story come about?

The story came from my speculation about a future, post resource, Earth. I wondered what a society would look like once all the fossil fuels had been used, minerals mined but still having access to technology. I also did not want the setting to be post apocalyptic.

Do you prefer writing short fiction over novels, and if so, why?

I prefer writing short fiction at the moment so I can hone my talents. I plan on writing longer novels, but will never abandon the short story format.

Which short fiction writers have most influenced you?

I like and was inspired by the short story collections of Iain M. Banks and Neil Gaiman.

Available on Amazon, Amazon UK and Smashwords

Hammer of the Pygmies

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Going through some old files I found a 10,000 word story I had completed some time back and forgotten about. So I cleaned it up, gave it a cover and have uploaded it on Smashwords where it is now available for free. The story, Hammer of the Pygmies, is an Alternate Earth Steampunk Fantasy adventure, starring Sir Richard Hammerman, gentleman-adventurer, his loyal manservant Obadiah Crabb, and the inventor Doctor Hamilton Gooding.

I had planned for it to be part of a bundle of 3-4 novelettes, but I thought that given the others weren’t started yet I should at least publish this one to see what people thought of it.

52 Shades of Short Stories

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52 Shades of Short Stories is a challenge I recently came across to write a short story a week for 52 weeks – ie a whole year. The concept behind it is to see whether it is possible to make a living just through short stories, and if it is possible to write that many short stories in a year.

Now that I have finished off the last project I was working on, I am going to give it a go. Right now I have around six stories ideas to work on, so that should, hopefully, get me started.

Progress Report

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Its taken a while, unfortunately, but I’ve almost finished off the next group of short stories. Three are complete and one is over half way through the final rewrite. All that will remain then is to tidy them up, group them and find a cover for them.

This collection is the second in the Peregrine and Blade series of heroic fantasy. One of them I’m especially happy with, even though it involves no fighting, no treasure and only four people in it. For me it is an unusual story, but one I enjoyed writing.

I hope to have it all up and ready to go very soon, barring emergencies cropping up. And they do like cropping up…

Getting Back In The Saddle

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As you may have noticed I’ve been kind of absent for a while. After a long, long time not being one, I’ve gone back to being a student (studying a course in Library and Museum Technology). Trying to settle back into that again has sort of taken up my time and I haven’t done a whole lot of writing or working on the blog.

But I think I’ve settled down enough now. Over the last few days I’ve even got some writing done, finally finishing off the rewrite of a 8,000 word novelette in the Peregrine and Blade series. Just need to finish off the next two so I can release them at some stage. And I have to finish off the submissions people have sent in as well.