The Devil Has His Due

Sorry to bore you guys with this, but sometimes I get yelled at if I don’t mention these things, so this is just to point out that I have a new mini-collection out on the Kindle today, The Devil Has His Due. It contains a group of four stories about our least favorite place, a sort I sometimes do for fun because there’s no real market for them outside rolling your own, attested to by the fact that, of the four, three are original to the volume. There will be a Nook version too, it just takes longer.

When we try to be good, that’s plan A, but that route is harder than it looks. And when virtue just isn’t working for you, there’s always plan B—like it or not. The Devil Has His Due contains four stories about dealing with the consequences when plan A doesn’t quite come together.

“Closing Time” – Maybe the worst part of Hell isn’t being there. It’s remembering why.

“One Blissful Night at the Inferno Lounge” – The night life in Hell. Care to dance?

“Boiling the Frog” – Appearances can deceive, the Devil does deceive, but neither as well as we can do ourselves.

“Subversion Clause” – Down through the ages there have been mortals who thought they could beat the Devil at his own game. So. Doesn’t the Law of Averages suggest that at least one of them might be right?

Four stories for $.99, it just doesn’t get any better than that. At least, not when I’m doing it.

Edited to add: The Nook version is now live.

In Passing

I wasn’t going to mention this here, but it occurred to me that some people out there might be annoyed with me if I didn’t, so here goes. I have a new Kindle single in Amazon’s new KDP Select program, which means in this case that the download is free through Sunday, and free to “borrow” from Amazon for the next 90 days after the free download promotion is over.

A Hint of Evil-US

A Hint of Evil-UK

It’s the first story in a projected series, “Tales of the Divinity Recruitment Taskforce,” and concerns what happens on earth when the War in Heaven “accidentally” spills over into the mortal realm, and I don’t mean spiritually:

“The world is a very changed place. When the Archangel Michael accidentally chased an archdemon onto the physical plane, the War in Heaven spilled over into the human world in a direct and tangible way. Now most nations on earth are ruled by an Ecumenical Council, and Anti-Demon Taskforce agents such as Samuel Donovan fight a guerilla war against demonic incursions. Yet Sam Donovan is far from convinced that the alleged “War in Heaven” is what it seems to be, even as he and his fellow agents struggle to keep humanity from becoming “collateral damage” to the schemes of greater powers.

Matters go from bad to worse when Sam discovers that the Adversary is recruiting earth’s non-aligned spiritual beings, ancient and forgotten gods and goddesses, monsters and immortals, to fight against humanity. The situation then goes from worse to terrible when the Advocate and the Ecumenical Council discover that Sam has the natural gift of detecting evil. Now he and the Angel Deneba are partnered in the newly formed “Divinity Recruitment Taskforce” to track down, assess, and if possible, convince other non-aligned powers to join the war on humanity’s side.

To complicate Sam’s life even further, it turns out that Deneba has a sister, a fallen angel named Aereis, who has also taken an interest in Sam’s gift. Especially after Sam gets his first good look at this fallen angel—and sees no evil in her. Sam still has a job to do, but it’s getting harder and harder to pretend that he knows beyond all doubt that he’s on the right side.”

I will try to keep these to a minimum, I promise.

SF vs Fantasy, or “Do I Really Care How Many Angels Can Dance on a Bar?”

 Every so often, you know it’s going to happen. Like a dormant virus, it waits until conditions are right and then there’s the sudden outbreak, often triggered by a particular novel or story—“Is Deadbeat Downbelow really sf? I mean, its tone is very sfnal, but where’s the speculation?” or “Magic Wind Fairies reads like sf, I mean, everything’s very logical and thought out.” I follow the conversations with interest (it’s nearly always interesting when intelligent people discuss matters near and dear to them) but I don’t really have much to contribute. Maybe there really is a line, maybe there isn’t. Yet even those who agree that you can draw a line and say, “This side fantasy, this side sf” are never going to agree on where that line is going to be drawn. Continue reading

It Ain’t Official Yet, But It’s Real

Did You Really Think You Were Done?“When a man carelessly steps in front of a speeding garbage truck, that’s usually the end of his story. For Jake Hallman, that’s just the beginning. He awakens on a metaphorical stretch of the Afterlife called the Golden Road, where the angel Brendan comes to escort him to Heaven. But Jake isn’t having any:

“Heaven sounds like a good thing in theory, but what is it really? What will I do there? Can I leave if I don’t like it? Under what circumstances? Can you force me to go?”

Brendan scratched his head. “I don’t think this has come up before.” Continue reading