Archive

Posts Tagged ‘short story’

The Twelve Books of Christmas, Part Nine

December 21, 2018 8 comments

My ninth book of Christmas is another multi-author compilation. Tales of the Frozen City is a small collection of stories written to support the popular Osprey Games title, Frostgrave. My contribution, “Mind Over Matter,” tells of a magical duel between an enchanter and an illusionist, to prove whose magic was superior.

The collection includes eleven tales, an introduction to the world of the game, and an introduction by the game’s designer, Joseph A. McCullough. Frostgrave is Opsrey Games’ most popular title, and if you like skirmish games with themed warbands, like the old Games Workshop title Mordheim, it is worth looking at.

Here is what a couple of reviewers said:

“Great short stories for a great game.”
– Goodreads

A very pleasant surprise. The stories are short, accessible, and grounded in the concepts of the game. Enjoyable plot twists, believable characters, and a frozen city alive with suspense.
– Amazon

…and here’s a link to the book’s page on Osprey’s web site. It is available in paperback, ePub, and PDF formats.

Tomorrow, and every day until Christmas, I will be covering another title. If you’re not done with your Christmas shopping, or if you are expecting to receive some gift tokens, take a look: you might find something you like. Links to online retailers selling this and many of my other books can be found on the My Books page.

Click here for Part One: Colonial Horrors.

Click here for Part Two: Nazi Moonbase.

Click here for Part Three: Werewolves – A Hunter’s Guide.

Click here for Part Four: Theseus and the Minotaur.

Click here for Part Five: The New Hero, vol. 1.

Click here for Part Six: Knights Templar – A Secret History.

Click here for Part Seven: The Lion and the Aardvark.

Click here for Part Eight: Thor – Viking God of Thunder.

Click here for Part Ten: Blood and Honor.

Click here for Part Eleven: The Dirge of Reason.

Click here for Part Twelve: More Deadly than the Male.

 

The Twelve Books of Christmas: Part Five

December 17, 2018 11 comments

Continuing to showcase some books from the My Books page in the run-up to Christmas , here is an excellent but overlooked anthology to which I contributed a few years back: The New Hero, volume 1 from Stone Skin Press.

NewHeroCoverBLOGSIZE

If you haven’t heard of Stone Skin Press, allow me to recommend them. Their anthologies of fantasy, science fiction, and general adventure stories are intriguingly concepted, well-written, and lovingly curated. Creatively, they are yet another feather in the cap of gaming and fiction luminary Robin D. Laws; commercially, they deserve much, much better exposure than they have achieved so far.

In addition to the two volumes of The New Hero, Stone Skin Press has published Swords vs. Cthulhu; Shotguns vs. Cthulhu; The New Gothic; Gods, Memes, and Monsters; and most recently, #Feminism. Their web site can be found here.

The concept of The New Hero is the iconic hero, a trope that has received little love in recent years. Hollywood prefers the dramatic hero, whose journey can form the storyline of a movie – which is why so many superhero movies were origin stories, until Marvel got into the game – while the iconic hero takes the stage fully-formed, and instead of being changed by the world, remains true to him (or her) self and strives to change the world for the better. This is the hero of the pulps, of noir, and of comics: Batman rather than Luke Skywalker, and Conan rather than Frodo.

Since I am so well known for fantasy and horror, the offer of a spot in The New Hero offered me the chance to spread my wings a little – both figuratively and literarily (see what I did there?). As an airline brat and a lifelong vintage aviation geek, I have always loved the air adventures of the inter-war pulps, as well as earlier air adventures like Jules Verne’s Robur novels.

Eschewing magic and super-science – but allowing myself a dose of dieselpunk and a slightly loose hand with historical technology – I created a straight-ahead airpulp yarn called “Against the Air Pirates,” in which two-fisted aviator Mike Finnegan takes on a rogue German zeppelin in the Pacific of the mid-20s. I pitched it as “Disney’s Tale Spin written by Robert E. Howard.” It was a lot of fun channeling the spirit of old movies like Only Angels Have Wings and Flying Tigers, and I hope to write some more of Finnegan’s adventures someday.

Beside my modest contribution, the two volumes of The New Hero include the work of twenty-six other authors. Some names will be familiar to fans of modern fantasy and horror; more, like mine, will be familiar to tabletop gamers.

The covers, by Gene Ha, deserve a special mention. The cover for volume 1 is drawn in the style of Attic red-figure pottery from Classical Greece, which often included heroic scenes from mythology; the cover for volume 2 is reminiscent of a Japanese story scroll. Both feature vignettes showing the heroes from every single story in the book: if you look at the image above, you will find Mike Finnegan right above the word “Hero,” engaged in a desperate duel against the zeppelin’s captain.  Every time you read a story, you’ll find yourself searching for its hero on the cover.

Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

“This isn’t just a collection of short stories, it is a thoughtful analysis of what it means to be a hero, what a hero actually is. … Read these tales. They’ll give you more than the mere entertainment of well-crafted stories, they’ll give you something to think about.”

– RPGNow.com

…and the book’s page on the Stone Skin Press web site is here. Links to various online retailers can be found on the My Books page.

Tomorrow, and every day until Christmas, I will be covering another title. If you’re not done with your Christmas shopping, or if you are expecting to receive some gift tokens, take a look: you might find something you like.

Click here for Part One: Colonial Horrors.

Click here for Part Two: Nazi Moonbase.

Click here for Part Three: Werewolves – A Hunter’s Guide.

Click here for Part Four: Theseus and the Minotaur.

Click here for Part Six: Knights Templar – A Secret History.

Click here for Part Seven: The Lion and the Aardvark.

Click here for Part Eight: Thor – Viking God of Thunder.

Click here for Part Nine: Tales of the Frozen City.

Click here for Part Ten: Blood and Honor.

Click here for Part Eleven: The Dirge of Reason.

Click here for Part Twelve: More Deadly than the Male.