Story Time: Golden Bell, Seven, and the Marquis of Zeng

I’m late again. There are reasons, but I won’t bore you with them. I’m late, that’s all, and to somewhat atone, today’s Story Time is a novelette, “Golden Bell, Seven, and the Marquis of Zeng. It was originally published in the debut issue of Black Gate back in 2000.

The character Golden Bell, literally, came to me in a dream, and this is what she said “I have a fever of poetry that consumes me, a malady of song that wears me down.” I had no idea what that was about, so I basically wrote the story to find out. I did the hard part. If you want to know, all you have to do is read it.

Assuming I’m not late again, “Golden Bell, Seven, and the Marquis of Zeng” will stay online until next Wednesday, September 5th.

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Story Time: A Mother’s Love

Late again. My only defense is that it has been a very busy day. I had a story due and I barely made that in time, in addition to trying to get a handle on a project affecting almost all of my books, and a writer’s group meeting. On the plus side, Scott Andrews over at Beneath Ceaseless Skies has picked up “In Memory of Jianhong, Snake Devil” for the next “Best of” yearly compilation of the magazine. That’s always a boost to the day.

Regardless, and just under the wire, today’s Story Time is an original piece of flash fiction, “A Mother’s Love.” Enjoy. And if you can’t, at least you didn’t pay a lot for it.

 

“A Mother’s Love” will remain online until next  Wednesday. You know the  drill by now.

An Overdue Update

I just got back from the Little Falls Library (Literally, like half an hour ago) where I recorded five flash fiction pieces for a local podcast series. It appears to be a very cool project with a lot of talented people and I’ll post specifics for availability and whatnot once everything is sorted. It should be available next month.

Next, a very surprising but pleasing bit of news from David Stokes at Guardbridge Books. My story from Tales of the Sunrise Lands: Anthology of Fantasy Japan, “The Cat of Five Virtues,” is a finalist for the Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award. It is always an honor just to be nominated, and thus I am honored. The winner will be announce at Capclave next month.  Here’s the full list of finalists:

“A Vague Inclination to Please,” by Brandon Daubs in All Hail Our Robot Conquerers, ed. by Patricia Bray & Joshua Palmatier, published by Zombies Need Brains LLC, (September 2017);

“The Cat of Five Virtues,” by Richard Parks in Tales of the Sunrise Lands: Anthology of Fantasy Japan, ed. by David Stokes, published by Guardbridge Books (July 2017);

“Floaters Can’t Float,” by Pip Coen, published in Compelling Science Fiction, ed. by Joe Stech, (April 2017);

“Oba Oyinbo,” by Jonathan Edelstein, published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, ed. by Scott Roberts, (October 2017);

“The Oracle and the Warlord,” by Karina Sumner-Smith in The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound, ed. by Lucas K. Law & Susan Forest, published by Laksa Media, (September 2017);

“Probably Still the Chosen One,” by Kelly Barnhill, published in Lightspeed Magazine, ed. by John Joseph Adams, (February 2017);

“The Secret Life of Bots,” by Suzanne Palmer, published in Clarkesworld Magazine, ed. by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace, (September 2017);

“Through Milkweed and Gloom,” by Wendy Nikel in Submerged, ed. by S.C. Butler & Joshua Palmatier, published by Zombies Need Brains LLC, (September 2017).

You can read more about the award (and the organization) at  WSFA.

Story Time: A Garden in Hell

I probably should have mentioned that there wasn’t going to be a Story Time last week on account of the July 4th holiday, which felt more like a day of mourning to me anyway, so and regardless, there wasn’t one. This week’s entry is “A Garden in Hell,” originally published in Fantasy Magazine #5, in December 2006. The story was a meditation based on my reading of Buddhist philosophy, which eventually culminated in one my favorite novels,  All the Gates of Hell.

And yes, according to some texts, Guan Shi Yin really does have a demon form she uses in situations as appropriate. I would think “A Garden in Hell” certainly qualifies.

Standard Reminder: “A Garden in Hell” will stay online until next Wednesday, July 18th, when another story gets its turn.

Story Time: Conversation in the Tomb of an Unknown King

Today’s Story Time is “Conversation in the Tomb of an Unknown King,” which first appeared in Weird Tales #341, August/September 2006. Mostly what I remember about writing it was I was meditating, as one does, on the nature of wights, and specifically tomb wights. You think “ogre” or “ghoul” and a specific image is likely to pop up. Wights were always a little harder to pin down. According to Katharine Briggs (my go-to for information on such things), wight is from old Germanic meaning “being” or “creature.” Vague, much? Truth told I still don’t claim to have much of a handle on them, but I had fun playing.

As always, “Conversation in the Tomb of an Unknown King” will stay online until next Wednesday, July 4th. Then, something else. That’s the deal.