Sometimes, no matter how great a writer’s talent, a story deflates through emotional turbidity. It wintles short of being elemental. Of being deemed necessary reading by our creative peers.
Yet there is something to be celebrated about Steven J. Dine’s novella: ‘The Harder it Gets the Softer We Sing’, published in Black Static, Issue 63. There is a quiet energy that draws you. Above all the action and alluring mystique we find tend to find in pulp fiction, it enthralls through its use of symbolism and ‘second story.’ Reading it through twice, the words audibly wrangle, signaling to readers that they’re mere guiding marks to the raw crux of the tale being told: a story filled with pain and self abandonment...
For this interview, I reached out to Internationally acclaimed author, Kevin J. Anderson, to talk about his short fiction, how he got started publishing professionally and how he tames the writing monster.
Besides an impressive career, which includes writing in the expansive worlds of the Star Wars EU, X Files and the Dune Series, KJA has helped create many other fictional worlds . He's published around 150 short stories, has worked on comics, graphic novels and anthologies, and has produced his own novel-sized adventures such as his sequel space opera trilogy, The Saga of the Seven Suns.
To discover more, scroll down to read the interview and 'The Dark Between the Stars' Feature. For more fantastic fiction by Kevin J Anderson, you can follow him on Twitter @TheKJA, like the official Facebook Page, Kevin J. Anderson, or contact him through his publishing website wordfire.com
Published by Tor Books; Cover art by Stephen Youll
Art has the ability to influence our perception of story settings, heroes, heroines and villains. Done with earnest passion and creative insight, they often leave a stamp on our minds which we sometimes recall far more vividly than anything else.
John Coulthart is an award-winning fantasy artist who was recently nominated for the Gemmell Award for his work on Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng. His art has appeared in many publications including Barnes & Noble, Tor Books, and Angry Robot. Aspiring artists and writers alike can find out more about his impressive contributions by reading the written interview-feature below on Scribr. Or alternatively, click the featured cover art to find out more information about the books.
From the very beginning of Moonshine, we are plunged into an alternate timeline of America’s roaring twenties. Ashland’s Soot City is wreathed in the otherworldly. The atmosphere is all volcanic smog and watercoloured nights. Gas lit alleyways shine light on the clientele spilling out of disreputable establishments at twilight. Jalopies race through the streets. Spells are cast. It’s a veritable breeding ground for cloak and dagger and morbid crimes done in the dark.
What is most impressive about Jasmine Gower’s debut fantasy romance is the magic weaved into every sentence. The imagery lingers and character’s motives keep readers guessing. To read more about this spellbinding novel set in a warped version of Chicago, check out the full interview and feature below.
Jennette Ng's descriptive powers helped to build the mist-wreathed, mysterious land of Arcadia. There are times when the 'real' crosses over into delightful absurdism that reminds readers of the work of Lewis Carol or Hayao Miyazaki. But above all one of the most captivating elements of this book is its novel and alluring premise: Victorian missonairies travel to the Faelands to convert the fae folk to Christianity.
Under the Pendulum Sun is a newly-released Victorian Gothic fantasy, published by Angry Robot. The story follows Catherine Helstone who travels from Yorkshire to Arcadia to find out what happened to her brother, the resident Reverend of Gethsemane castle. Scroll below to read the full author interview and discover more about this unusual tale in the feature article.
Clockwork ghosts and the patterns of departed souls comprise a techno-synergetic society. A microcosm of human habitation flies across the vast loneliness of space. Generations aboard it live and die. So long have the people travelled that to them time and history and people of Earth recede into phantom remembrances. Memories collect in the Library of the Dead – so many. Thousands. Until even the oldest among them fade and are kept alive in a second life – memories of memories.
Immortal creatures have forever lurked in the darkness. These undead were once considered myths. Old legend said they called crypts and tombs their resting places. They were said to possess terrible strength and incredible regenerative powers. Their living presence has transmuted from folklore to some of the most popular writing of the 20th century. In some of the world's greatest stories, such as Anne Rice’s contemporary classic, Interview with the Vampire, Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot, and the cult film, Blade, staring Wesley Snipes as the Daywalker, the vampire archetype has continued to be re-imagined in new ways. Now there emerges a new story that rebrands these creatures as 'eternals.' Several hundred years from now, they hold complete dominion over the Earth. It is up to the human transient spies to infiltrate the biter factions of the NExUS government and gather reconnaissance information that is vital to their survival and will ultimately be used as a weapon against their enemy. To find out more, read the interview and feature below.
Our curiosity knows fathomless depths when exploring other worlds. Great stories can manifest with an Earth setting. But take the culture of that planet and use it as a narrative device when communicating with alien species with their own customs, and it makes an incredible story on its own. Films like Arrival and Stargate have touched on this theme, where humans and extraterrestrials build an understanding of the other by learning each other’s language and ways. In Michael Reid’s short story, ‘The Transmuted Child,’ which appears in Issue 268 of Interzone, he makes his own indelible mark on this by prompting the question: what happens when thousands of Earth people accept a gift from an alien culture that modifies their children beyond recognition? See the full review at: https://www.sffworld.com/2017/11/short-story-review-the-transmuted-child-by-michael-reid/
What do travellers like to do? 'Real' travellers? Explore. They willingly enter into worlds unknown with their hearts in their hands. They don’t know if they’re going to get lost, waylaid or subdued by the encroaching sprawl of city and its people. Some might say that’s horrible. Others yet again would say its part and parcel of the experience. Writer's lead us to explore unknown worlds. Their tales can tear us up, leave us cold, take us to new heights and blow our minds. The writing of which I speak is the cross-genre work of author, Jeffrey Thomas.
Recently, I invited the author to talk about his work and promote his latest collection of fantastically weird fiction, Haunted Worlds. You can read the full interview and feature below.
Publisher: Hippocampus Press. Cover art by Kim Bo Yung
Edward M. Lerner introduces us to a tale that at once is reminiscent of the stark ever winter world of the Yukon in Jack London’s White Fang or the bitter cold existence of Jeremiah Johnston in the film, starring Robert Redford, that bares his namesake. In Paradise Regained, Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Analog Magazine, we are ushered into a world trapped in cold and snow. A post-frontier future plight of a lone weary soul battling against time, elements and death to do as all living things do: survive. Check out the full review: www.sffworld.com/2017/09/paradise-regained-by-edward-m-lerner-a-short-story-review/