My story "Astra, the Falling Star," a surreal sci-fi about two astronauts whose ship is destroyed while in orbit around an alien planet, has been published online by KasmaSF Magazine. KasmaSF publishes a new story each month, and I have the privilege of being their February author. They were nice enough to publish my apocalyptic Cassandra retelling "As Dust Rolls Toward the Mountains" a few years ago, and I'm thrilled they liked "Astra" as well. KasmaSF commissions original artwork by José Baetas for each story, which makes publication there extra special.
Here's the story's opening paragraph, and below that, the wonderful artwork José created after reading it.
I freefall, plummeting through an alien sky. Clouds obscure my vision. Tears and mucus smear across my helmet to obscure it even more. I shut my eyes—such fickle and sensitive sensory organs—and imagine the equations of the forces acting on my body. I try to rearrange their values: my version of praying, I suppose. But the laws of physics will not bend just to save my life.
Speaking of artwork, I've recently joined Pinterest, and created a few boards that represent imagery from some of my forthcoming stories. I hope the images below will pique your interest enough to give the story a read. You can do that by clicking here. It's a short one, only about 3,000 words. And with luck, maybe I'll have a few more boards and a few more stories to share soon.
See the whole Pinterest Board by clicking here: "Astra, the Falling Star"
Usually, I prefer to promote books on my blog that fall into the (broad) category of speculative fiction—it's what I write, it's what my company publishes, and it's what most (though certainly not all) of my writerly friends write. Mary Ann Marlowe's debut novel Some Kind of Magic is going to sit squarely on the "Contemporary Romance" or "Romantic Comedy" shelves, but I'm going to argue it's got a speculative slant to it. There's a bit of a "Love Potion #9" theme going on here, and a "what if?" question about just how powerful synthetic pheromones could be. And no matter whether I can call it speculative or not, I'm still going to pick up a copy, because it sounds freaking adorable.
Here's the description:
In this sparkling debut novel, Mary Ann Marlowe introduces a hapless scientist who's swept off her feet by a rock star—but is it love or just a chemical reaction?...
Super cute, right?
Mary Ann Marlowe is part of the PitchWars 2014 cohort that I have been lucky enough to tag along with as so many of them grow and get published and continue to be absolutely amazing, supportive people.
Some Kind of Magic is out now in paperback and Kindle from Kensington Books. Happy Book Birthday!
Find Your Copy of Some Kind of Magic:
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
About the Author
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Some Kind of Magic is Mary Ann Marlowe’s first novel. When not writing, she works by day as a computer programmer/DBA. She spent ten years as a university-level French professor, and her resume includes stints as an au pair in Calais, a hotel intern in Paris, a German tutor, a college radio disc jockey, and a webmaster for several online musician fandoms, plus she has a second-degree black belt. She has lived in twelve states and three countries and loves to travel. She now lives in central Virginia where she is hard at work on her second novel. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.maryannmarlowe.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
Last weekend was MileHiCon, one of my favorite local SFF conventions. I was on a couple of panels this year, but the real highlight of the convention was the release party and reading for ADVENTURES IN ZOOKEEPING, an anthology that includes my story "The Fourth Lemur." This is the second of the charity anthologies (all proceeds go back to MileHiCon) put together by Sam Knight that I was lucky enough to be included in. In fact, last year after releasing SIDEKICKS, Sam Knight asked for suggestions for the next anthology, and I was the one who suggested the title/theme "Adventures in Zookeeping."
On Saturday, we gathered in the ConSuite for a dual release party along with the contributors of another anthology, DOMESTICATED VELOCIRAPTORS, and then we ventured downstairs to one of the panel rooms where we had the chance to read our stories to the room. For many of the authors, this was their first time doing a public reading, but everyone did a fantastic job. I tried to break the tension a little bit by standing up on my chair to read, rather than going up to the front like everyone else.
Ever wonder how much fun it would be to be a zoo keeper if your wards included the strange, the supernatural, the not-of-this-earth? This collection of speculative fiction ranges from were-lemurs to a breeding program for a Lovecraftian horror. Edited by Sam Knight. This anthology evolved from a panel at MileHiCon in Denver, Colorado, titled "So You Want To Be in an Anthology?" The stories contained within were contributed by attendees of that panel. All net proceeds are donated to support MileHiCon.
So those "were-lemurs" mentioned in the book description? Yeah, that's my story. Except, maybe it's not that simple. Maybe there's more to that weird, somewhat human-looking lemur that shows up in the zoo, maybe that bite the zookeeper got isn't doing exactly what she fears it's doing.
Next week I plan to interview some of the other authors from this fun anthology, so please stop by to learn more about their stories, and pick up a copy of ADVENTURES IN ZOOKEEPING when you have the chance. It has some very fun stories in it, and it helps support an excellent science fiction and fantasy convention that has always made me feel at home.
Many thanks to Scott Woodward and Clint Collins of Black Mirror Press for including my story "Breath Across the Mouth of a Bottle" in their debut anthology, SNOWPOCALYPSE: TALES OF THE END OF THE WORLD. It's available now from Amazon in both ebook and paperback.
The full table of contents:
"White" by Eddie Newton
"The Last Winter Buck" by Matthew Shoen
"The Wind Whispers, 'Witiko'" by Jennifer Loring
"Dead England" by DJ Tyrer
"The Snowman" by Llanwyre Laish
"Snoe" by Mark Lynch
"The Snow Woman" by Susan McCauley
"All These Things We Didn’t Believe" by John Palisano
"Thaw" by David Sakmyster
"Locusts in the Snow" by Richard Barber
"Breath Across the Mouth of a Bottle" by Sarena Ulibarri
"Snow and Ashes" by Zoe McAuley
"Let There Be Light" by Walt Socha
"The Snow" by Cheryl Pearson
"St. Michael’s Parish" by Nicole Shelton
"A Chill Subterfuge" by Barry Rosenberg
"Snow Day!" by Clint Mesle
I look forward to seeing how other writers interpreted the theme of this anthology. Here's a brief excerpt of my story, "Breath Across the Mouth of a Bottle," which is part Weird Horror, part Science Fiction.
My dad and my cousin Brooke were fighting about the thermostat just before the power went out. Rather than weather the blizzard alone, I had abandoned my apartment and come to my dad’s house, and had convinced Brooke to do the same.
And look! Black Mirror Press made this awesome creepy book trailer. Check it out:
The anthology STARWARD TALES is now available, featuring my science fiction Cassandra retelling, "As Dust Rolls Toward the Mountains." STARWARD TALES is a collection of short stories, poems, and visual art retelling legends, myths, and fairy tales as science fiction, published by Manawaker Studio.
Below is an excerpt of my story, "As Dust Rolls Toward the Mountains." This story was originally published in Kasma SF Magazine in April 2014, and I'm thrilled that editor CB Droege thought it was a good fit to reprint in STARWARD TALES. It will be a real treat to receive the physical copy of this book (though of course, it's also available in ebook). Apparently there will also be an audiobook version? I'll post about that when more details are available.
Cassie went blind the day before the asteroid struck. There had been no warnings from NASA or the White House, just as Cassie's loss of sight had not been foreshadowed by blurriness or headaches. Once blind, though, Cassie warned our mountain town about the asteroid. No one believed her, of course.
If you pick up a copy of STARWARD TALES, please leave an honest review! Books without reviews tend to sink into Amazon's black holes. Help keep this one sailing through space?