“We Always Will Be” Published in Faed

I’m a bit behind announcing this, but you can pick up an awesome collection full of stories about “the good neighbors, the folk under the hill, the fae,” including my little bitty flash tale, “We Always Will Be.”   Just look at this amazing cover art by the talented George Cotronis:

FaedFrontCover

And just for fun, here’s a little snippet of my story!

I forced myself to keep walking toward the light, blinking in the distance. Fog rolled out of the tangled edges of the forest around me—white hands reaching for my feet, nearly obscuring the cracked and broken pavement.

The longer I walked, stutter-stepping between the metronome flash of light ahead, the farther away the beacon seemed to be. Some part of me realized this was wrong, all wrong, but I was drawn irresistibly forward.

Be sure to check Faed out, as there’s a host of excellent authors in this project!

 

“To Bear Fruit” Published in Kasma SF

Art by José Baetas
Art by José Baetas

The moment I see it, sprawling out lazily on the bumpy, slate walls, I long to touch it.  It wafts in the slight breeze, gusting in from the cave’s entrance.  Tendrils of green, spooling out toward me, interlaced inextricably with each other–

I want it to be interlaced inextricably with me, too.

If you’re looking for a short, creepy read you should check out my latest published story–“To Bear Fruit“–now available (free to read!) from Kasma SF.   It has become a sort of ritual for me to have a story published with these awesome folks every year.  I love working with Kasma’s editor, Alex Korovessis, and seeing what José Baetas comes up with for the artwork is always a thrill.

desk2As you can see, I have Baetas’ past two illustrations from my Kasma SF stories–“Memory File #006” and “No Longer a Fragment“–framed and hung above my desk. I can’t wait to add this latest illustration to the collection.

Let me know what you think of the story if you get a chance.

Thanks for reading!

Alexis

 

“Subject Stellar” Published in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume VI (Giveaway!)

I’m a bit late announcing this one, but I’m delighted to announce that my epistolary sci-fi story–“Subject Stellar”–has been published in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume VI.

It’s like someone took the night sky and wrapped her in it.  Constellations of pin-prick stars beam from her black-abyss skin.  She’s devoid of features–no lips, no mouth, no eyes.  I could see where her eyes should have been, with only space in its infinite emptiness stretched over empty sockets.

Get a look at this amazing cover art:

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This delightful cover art was created by Goodloe Byron, who also had these inspiring words to say in the foreword:

The stories in this issue are fables.  They are lies and departures from the world.  But these lies are attempts by their authors to move the audience with an ancient literary arithmetic.

Volume VI is, as I’ve come to expect, full of excellent stories by excellent authors.  I am happy to be included in the pages of yet another volume of Spark. What’s even more exciting is that–for what I believe is the first time–I’m sharing the pages of a collection with my good friend Jeff Suwak.  I just know you’re going to love his tale in this collection, “The Familiar and his Alchemist.”

IMG_1353

I have very much enjoyed working the Brian Lewis and the excellent staff of Spark: A Creative Anthology. I hope you’ll take the time to pick up a copy of this latest volume and maybe review it if you get the chance.  But I’d like to do more than hope.

I have two extra PRINT copies of Volume VI so I’m going to host a giveaway.  Unfortunately, I can only ship to US addresses; I apologize to my international friends for this limitation.  The contest will run from March 5th at midnight until March 12th at midnight.  You can enter by clicking this link here to go right to the giveaway on my Facebook author page.  Be sure to enter if you can and best of luck to you!

 

Thanks for reading,

Alexis

 

 

 

Plasma Frequency Magazine: Anti-Apocalypse Special Issue TOC

The time has finally come to announce the table of contents for Plasma Frequency’s Anti-Apocalypse special issue.  Molly and I are so excited to bring you these fantastic stories in just two weeks!

Thanks so much to everyone who sent in stories or spread the word or cheered us on! I hope you’ll pick up a copy of the issue when it releases and let us know what you think! We’ll be revealing our cover art sometime soon via social media, so watch the official Plasma Frequency Twitter & Facebook pages for that.

Without further ado, I leave you with the Anti-Apocalypse TOC:


 

Lake Effect by William Ledbetter

After the War by Hope Erica Schultz

Selection Process by Darrel Duckworth

Et in Arcadia Ego by S.L. Harris

The Lantern by D.S. Ullery

The Greatest Prophecy of All by KJ Kabza

Venus Snow by Jeffrey A. Ballard

Bloom by Nolan Liebert

Naked I Was by Rebekah Orton

Don’t Talk to the Robots by H. L. Fullerton


Plasma Frequency Author Interview: Issue 15 — Gary Emmette Chandler

Art by Milan Jaram
Art by Milan Jaram

I’m a bit behind schedule this time, but here’s an interview with the very talented Gary Emmette Chandler, author of “When the Mountains Broke Away”–one of my favorite stories in Plasma Frequency‘s 15th Issue. The story is free-to-read and this interview may have a few spoilers, so please stop on by and read Gary’s beautiful story here before continuing.

Now on to the fun part!


 

Gary Emmette Chandler
Gary Emmette Chandler

Gary Emmette Chandler works from his apartment in Portland as a copywriter and web developer, mostly in pajamas, with a cat nibbling at his leg. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Bastion, Pantheon, and Daily Science Fiction, among others. You can follow his hungover ramblings on Twitter @TheWearyLuddite, if you like.


 

Alexis A. Hunter (AAH): What inspired you to write “When the Mountains Broke Away”? Tell me how this story began to take shape.

 

Gary Emmette Chandler (GEC): When people ask where I grew up, I tell them “the middle of nowhere.” The middle of California is a bit more accurate, perhaps, but it definitely felt like nowhere as a kid, when the nearest major city was almost an hour away. To keep me occupied during those long drives, my mother would point out various makeshift landmarks, like “Dinosaur Rock” or “Dragon Tree.” I lived in the valley, and beyond the flat, endless stretches of farm land, there were these strange outcroppings of rock along the hills. That’s probably where the image first took shape: staring out at the foothills in the distance, and imagining that they were the spine of some great slumbering beast. I’m not sure why it took ten or twenty years to end up on the page, but it did.

 

AAH: Early on in the story, the grandmother mentions the importance of sharing the story with her grandchildren so that they can pass it on. I didn’t get the sense that they had ways to record stories—or at least not easily—so how do you think the tale will be affected by being passed down verbally from one generation to the next?

 

GEC: It may change, and grow in size, becoming more myth than history. I’m awful at telling a story from memory, but I like to think that oral storytelling is the sort of tradition that will persist along with humanity, regardless of what sort of technology we have access to. My earliest memories are of my mother reading books like The Hobbit aloud. I think there’s something powerful and resonant in the spoken word, which doesn’t always come through on the page alone, so I like the idea of this story being passed down – at least at first – verbally, alone.

 

AAH: Of the two children, Jamie seems much more interested in the tale. He knows how it starts, he always asks one thoughtful question at the end, while his sister fell asleep at some point. I couldn’t help but notice that Nadia also seemed less interest in the tale than she was in busying herself with practical things. Were the differences between these characters’ reactions to the story intentional? What, if anything, do you think it says about their personalities?

 

GEC: I suppose I saw Briana (who’s only seven at the time of the story), as taking closely after her mother, Nadia. As the head of the household, Nadia’s more concerned – like you said – with practical matters. She’s also heard the story countless times; first as a child herself, and then as her mother tells it to her own children, again and again. As for Briana falling asleep during the story, it felt natural for her age, and I liked the image it conveyed of how close the siblings were. For Jamie, I suppose it’s similar to how obsessed I was with dinosaurs as a kid: these enormous, awe-inspiring creatures from the past, that he wishes he could have seen.

 

AAH: There’s a bit of lovely description about Jamie, about his eagerness being so like to his father’s. It’s mentioned briefly that his father is dead. And the grandmother worries—briefly and not in a spotlight-stealing way—that Jamie may be too “vibrant and eager.” As you were writing, did you have an idea of how Jamie’s father died? And how that might connect to the grandmother’s worrying for her grandson?

 

GEC: I have seeds of it in my head: an accident where he was reckless, overconfident while working or scavenging. There might be a frozen lake somewhere in there. Mostly, though, it was there to convey the grandmother’s concern for the boy, and to provide a bit of suggestion, without going too far off course, while also paving the way for Nadia’s role as sole provider for the family.

 

AAH: One thing that struck me the first time I read this story was how strong the women in the story are. Was that intentional or do you often find yourself writing these types of women into stories?

 

GEC: Writing strong roles for women is definitely something I aim for in my fiction. I grew up surrounded by some incredible role models: my grandmother, who supported her family through truly difficult times, including the death of a child; my mother, who is an amazingly accomplished artist, and one of my closest friends; my sister, who owns the business that I work for, and continues to impress me all the time with her ability to juggle five billion things at once. Still, I’m sure there will be (and have been) times where I could do better in writing strong, believable women into my stories, and it’s an aspect that I hope to always keep improving.

 

AAH: For a somewhat apocalyptic story, this piece certainly has a lighter, more hopeful tone. Do you feel the story has any sort of special theme or meaning? If so, did you write that theme/meaning intentionally or did it sort of come about naturally?

 

GEC: I write post-apocalyptic fiction far too often. I think half of my published stories at this point have a post-apocalyptic setting – and most of them are bummers, even when I try to include a bit of light at the end. This story definitely had hope at its core as a theme. I have a tendency to focus on the darker things in life, and I think that sometimes comes through a bit too heavily in my stories. This was one of my attempts to shine a somewhat brighter light within my fiction – even if it still includes a partially destroyed earth.

 

AAH: What upcoming stories or projects are you most excited about at the moment? Where can our readers find more of your work?

 

GEC: December and January were actually pretty awesome months for me in terms of publication, with – I think – five stories out, altogether? For now, I’ll just mention two, as they’re sort of companion pieces, in terms of where they came from internally: “The Waters of My Mind” in the Winter issue of One Throne Magazine, and “This Life Without Wings” in the January issue of Pantheon. I have a few more stories accepted for publication right now, including one in Daily Science Fiction, but I don’t think those stories have dates scheduled just yet.


 

And that’s the end of our January/February interview.  This segment of my blog should resume in March with Issue 16–our special Anti-Apocalypse issue!–of Plasma Frequency. 

Be sure to check out the current whole issue if you get a chance.  If you enjoy the stories, maybe consider throwing a buck or two our way–either through Patreon or Kickstarter–as we are determined to one day pay our authors the rates they deserve.
Thanks for stopping by!
Alexis

February: Full of Win

Only three days into the month and February already rocks.  I have a lot of writing related news to share today, so I thought I’d post it all together to avoid spamming people with multiple short posts.  So here we go!


Win #1–

“Be Not Unequally Yoked”–published in Shimmer #23 in January–is now free to read on their website!  They’ve also got a brief interview up, if you’re interested in learning a bit more about this story’s conception.  Here’s an excerpt of my story, in case you haven’t yet had a chance to read it…

Things used to be pure inside me. Separated. When I was a boy, I was wholly a boy. When I was a horse, I was wholly a horse.

Things used to be simple inside me. I was all one thing or I was all another. And the two only got close when the change was happening.

But things aren’t so simple anymore. The lines inside me feel blurry, more and more every day. And as I sit here across from that pretty Beiler girl, all I can think about is how she smells like dew-damp clover. She’s got eyes as bright as bluebells, a smile like sunshine and I know that should make me feel something, but all I can think of is that smell.

I’ve heard some pretty great reactions from those who’ve read the story today and it has really made my day.  To all of you who took the time to read this story and those who let me know what you thought–a thousand thank yous.  I write for myself, but the joy of having others read and respond positively to my work is…sometimes beyond words.


Win #2–

Charles Payseur of Quick Sip Reviews posted a review today of Flash Fiction Online’s February issue.  He had some incredibly kind things to say about my puzzle of a flash piece–“Gold Dress, No Eyes.”

Emotional and gut-punchy, this story lingers on all the small details that make the emotions real…

You can read the full review here.  Many thanks to Charles for the review and the kind words!


Win #3–

A little flash piece of mine–“We Always Will Be”–was published in Faed, an anthology from the excellent folks over at A Murder of Storytellers.  You can pick up a digital copy of this anthology on Smashwords or Amazon, and it’s also available in print here.

I forced myself to keep walking toward the light, blinking in the distance. Fog rolled out of the tangled edges of the forest around me—white hands reaching for my feet, nearly obscuring the cracked and broken pavement.

The longer I walked, stutter-stepping between the metronome flash of light ahead, the farther away the beacon seemed to be. Some part of me realized this was wrong, all wrong, but I was drawn irresistibly forward.


Win #4–

Not quite in February, but my Shimmer story (“Be Not Unequally Yoked”) was reviewed by Lois Tilton.  This was a scary moment for me as I hastily scrolled down to find her reaction to my tale.  Lois can be, from what reviews of hers I’ve read, a bit of a tough critic–I was quite happy when she didn’t seem to have anything outright negative to say about my story.


So there you have it–February is looking to be a month of wins.  We shall see how the rest of the month goes of course, but even if I don’t make another sale or have another story published this month, I’m quite content–ecstatic even–with February 2015.

~Alexis

“Gold Dress, No Eyes” Published in Flash Fiction Online

A Dance in Silence
The girl in gold drifts, her hands outstretched. Her body floats amid shards of fine china, pressed white napkins, and the passengers — now corpses — of the U.C.S.G Luxitor. The chandeliers cast flickering light over the girl’s silent dance.
She moves without a partner.

I really enjoy nontraditional narrative stories.  List stories like A. Merc Rustad’s “How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps” are particularly inspiring to me.

Gold Dress, No Eyes“–published today in Flash Fiction Online–is definitely a nontraditional narrative.  It’s a puzzle of a story.  FFO’s Editor-in-Chief, Suzanne Vincent, called it “a chilling but lovely science fiction story” and described it better than I could:

This is a story told in the aftermath, in the flotsam and jetsam of deep space.  A woman in a gold dress, an open purse, a luxury cruise ship, the Titanic of the stars.

So I hope you’ll take a look at the story.  Let me know what you think if you do!

~Alexis