“Far Worlds” – Promotions Day

Far WorldsFar Worlds is about a month from release.

I can say without a doubt, that Far Worlds is our most ambitious anthology yet. Packed with 13 original short stories, additional flash fiction and illustrations, the anthology is one impressive feat of literature in the wide realm of speculative science fiction and epic fantasy, and yet all tying together.

Here’s a listing of what is featured:

“Rainer” by Heidi Ruby Miller.
“Anomaly” by Jonathan Ward.
“Alone” by Alex Helm.
“Shard of Heaven” by Damir Salkovic.
“Endaris” by Michael J. Hollows.
“The Lost and Found” by Kerri Fitzgerald.
“Helzenthrax” by A.R. Aston.
“Bequeathal” by K. Ceres Wright.
“City Blue” by Edward Smith.
“The War Room” by Michael Seese.
“A Pelnodan Bounty” by James Fadeley.
“Golden Planet” by Evan Purcell.
“Salvation Comes” by Simon Farrow.

And there’s more to come. We have a few other goodies and surprises in store.

Anthology Publishing Theory

An idea came to me during the day. My friend sent some flash fiction to edit, which was intended to go between the stories of a new anthology we’re working on.

The flash was great, but diverse. Some were happier endings, some comical. Some were darker. They hit a wide range of emotions in anywhere from a paragraph to a page in length.

As I finished, a thought occurred to me. In my opinion, the grand problem with anthologies is that their nature doesn’t permit them to be page-turners quite like novels can. A story comes to an end, and you say goodbye to the characters, the setting, the events and plot. You have to start something new.

Every tale has an emotional impact associated with it. So when it ends, I suspect that most people shut the book and set it aside to digest the ending. We’ve made some effort in the past to be careful with the order of our tales, trying to keep similar stories apart.

But as I thought about it, what’s the job of a DJ? To come up with a playlist of songs to keep people dancing, to maintain a kind of energy high so people don’t want to leave the dance floor. If the music doesn’t keep up the pace, people start to hit the bar. (And if the music is bad, people leave.)

A flash vignette is tempting however. If the reader sees that there’s a short passage just after a short story has ended, I suspect that they’d want to read it just because it’s so simple and brief. So could there be a way to balance it? If the short story ends on an evil note, could a hopeful and uplifting flash fiction piece help the audience carry onto the next story more readily?

More initial instincts say that the emotions should contrast to find balance. If something is sad, make it happy. If something is depressing, give them hope. If a tale ends with the bad guys winning, have the next piece contain an outlet for the reader’s anger.

Will have to try it…

“The Black Wind’s Whispers” Out Now!

The Black Wind's Whispers, by the Bolthole.

The Black Wind’s Whispers, by the Bolthole.

After months of work, it’s finally here… The Black Wind’s Whispers. Available now on Amazon. (Also in England.)

Included within are nine tales of  horror, featuring new twists on classic monsters, managed by yours truly, James “He2etic” Fadeley. Edited by CS Barlow and Andrew Aston, it features tales by Alec McQuay, Simon Howers, Jeremy Daw, Johnathan Ward, Robbie McNiven and Keanu Ross-Cabrera. Cover art by the amazing Manuel Mesones!

But best of all, it includes a tale from special guest author and veteran horror writer, CL Werner!

Get your copy today from Amazon! Smashwords version coming soon!