Swords & Sorcery Writers Are Doing It Wrong.

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2013 by tgrey468

I use Grammarly’s grammar checker online because having poor grammar is worse than serving warm beer to your future ex-father-in-law.

~~~

In this post I’m not going to trash on Fantasy as a genre or Sword & Sorcery as a sub-genre of any form of media, but rather I’m going to rant on about something which drives me crazy within the genre.

Have you ever noticed that many fantasy novels talk about legendary events in their fictional kingdom/land which happened thousands of years before the story’s present, and yet in that present,  civilization still has advanced only to a medieval state of technological development? They still have only wagons, single-blade plows, and water wheels, and books are often still hand-illuminated, not mass printed. This would make self-publishing a bitch, but that’s not my point.

I’m currently reading George R.R. Martin’s Path of the Dragon, a fun short story in 2009′s The Year’s Best Fantasy (edited by David G. Hartwell). The heroine is now looking up at the statue of a harpy killed 5000 years before. 5000 years before the story’s present they had the weapons to kill a harpy, but in the 5000 years since that great victory, their civilization has still not developed tools more advance than swords, shields, and bows, and they still sail everywhere.

In 5000 years we have gone from the first oil-burning lamps to receiving images back from the Cassini Probe circling Saturn. 5000 years ago the Sumerians were just starting to use cuneiform writing instead of pictographic signs, and now we can access the sum of all published human knowledge with a device that fits in our pocket.

Now, before the fantasists get their jodhpurs in a knot, I want to put forth a theory to explain technological advancements, and why some civilizations don’t have them, especially in fantasy literature. Before this, though, I will concede the point that most of our greatest advancements have come about from the desire to kill each other faster and more efficiently. Many of the gadgets we enjoy now were developed for one military or another. What I want to address here, though, are advancements outside of the war machines.

We are lazy. Mankind… humans… peeps. We are inherently lazy, and it is our insatiable need to save time and energy and keep from getting our hands dirty which has brought about many of the grassroots advancements. We have gone from a lever and a fulcrum and manpower to lift one item at a time, to forklifts that can lift tons at once, and then drive the load across to the shipping container which will be lift by a crane as big as many castles. We have gone from a pulley and rope system to move objects on and off a ship’s deck, to the Canadarm moving payloads on the International Space Station.

Steam Engine

The steam engine was known as the iron horse of the west.

We are lazy. Proof: Using steam power to produce mechanical motion goes back over 2000 years, and yet it wasn’t until the 1700s that steam engines became common. Why did we wait 1700 years to make use of steam as something more than entertainment? Well, steam power as we know it now, is a great labour-saving form of power and in the late 19th century was even achieving 10,000 horse power. Steam wasn’t a big deal for 1700 years because there was already a cheap, common labour-saving source of energy for most of that time… and it was slave labour. Take a look at civilizations who made use (and abuse) of slaves, and they were slow to try anything else with any seriousness. Once slavery became outlawed, devices began to pop up to save toil and sweat of the men and women who now had to be paid for their labour. As we all know, if an employer can find a way to get a job done with little or no expensive manpower, he will. Of course, some inventions caused a boom in the slave trade. The cotton gin is one such.

You’re asking what the hell any of this has to do with 5000 years of swords and bows and no advancement in a fantasy novel. Well, in some of those fantasy worlds, magic takes the place of (or supplements) slavery. Why invent a steam-powered battleship when a wizard can cast a spell and direct the winds? Why invent flying machines when dragons will do just fine? This sounds somewhat reasonable, doesn’t it?

Except that it’s not! In thirty years of reading fantasy, I have never read a single novel or short story where every man woman and child had enough magical ability that they didn’t need to lift anything heavy or carry anything on their backs or travel for miles by horseback or on foot. If everyone had magic, then I can understand why a society would stay at a medieval level of plow and broadsword for 5000 years. Maybe. But in almost every story I’ve read, magical ability is limited to the powerful few or the condemned few, and what that means is that if Johan down river has no cheap/easy access to magic, he’s going to look for easier and easier ways to move his goods up river to the market. He might start with a few good men on oars, then maybe a draft horse pulling from the shore. After a while he might think about a flat-bottomed boat with wheel of paddles on the back, doing the pushing and powered by men pulling on ropes or a draft horse walking on a turntable in the hull. Whatever he comes up with, as soon as his neighbour, Andre, sees the device, he’s going to try and do it one better. Then Johan sees Andre’s and makes modifications to improve on Andre’s already modified design. And so on and so on. The race is on and there is no end in sight…because Andre and Johan can’t afford slaves and they don’t have magic, and because they’re both lazy, greedy sons of bitches who need to feed their families and expand their businesses. From one mule to two. From two mules to six men. From six men to one horse and pulleys. From a horse to steam power. From a low-pressure, always exploding steam engine to a cast iron tank, greater pressure and more power. Then from two gears to three and then three to six, with sizes varying and then the torque multiplying tenfold. Like I said, no end in sight.

Some of you will argue that I’m ragging on fantasy novels and by their very definition as fantasy stories they can bend or break the usual rules. Of course they can. I hope they will. But for a reader

Dragon blue moon

Dragon across a blue moon.

to suspend their disbelief and trust that magic exists in the story, the world still has to have certain conventions adhered to. If you go over the top with the fantastic creations, the story is lost within the imaginings. If you have talking dragons, horses with opposable thumbs, civilizations at the same level of social and technical development for 10,000 years, and everyone knowing everything instantaneously, the story about the half-deaf, half-elf, siamese twins in love with different girls, could get lost.

Wait! You say. There are numerous real civilizations/races/cultures who haven’t advanced!  Yes there are. There are primitive cultures even now who only have the more-than-a-bone-knife tools they were given, having developed very little on their own. They hunt, they fish, they farm a little, and they are primitive. They haven’t walked themselves over the threshold and into the world of metal working and the printed word and agricultural needs to feed growing masses. Until we fucked with them, they were peoples of killing only for food, oral traditions, and healthy lifestyles. But when was the last time you read a true fantasy novel in which the world was a primitive one? Not just one part of it, but the entire world? If there are any such novels, they are few and far between. Most English-language fantasy novels fall out of the same European medieval mold, and they get it wrong.

That’s all I’m really trying to say. These writers are being lazy and not letting their imagined world evolve and advance as it should. Am I nitpicking? Of course. It’s what I do. Will I change how people create their fantasy worlds? Not bloody likely. I’ll incorporate some of it myself, but the masses will follow along the same, unenlightened path, because that’s what the publishers and readers expect.

But what do I know? I drive a bus for a living. ;)

That’s it, that’s all.

Ciao for now.

T-Bone.

Tesseracts Seventeen

The cover of Tesseracts Seventeen, from Edge Publishing.

P.S. TESSERACTS SEVENTEEN is now available from Edge Publishing and it contains my absolutely marvellous short story, “Why Pete?”, which makes full use of technological advances as mankind tries to colonize the stars.

Does University/College Frosh Week have any value?

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2013 by tgrey468

Does Frosh Week still have value?

Currently two Canadian universities are making headlines because of inappropriate behaviour encouraged during their Frosh/Orientation Weeks.

The article I link to at the end of my rant asks if Frosh Week still has value. This is my answer:

If Frosh Week (the week of orientation mostly for students living in residence) hasn’t seen many changes from my day (1979), then it has no value, in my opinion.

On our first night we were offered great quantities of alcohol, paraded around campus en masse (the boys), and pressured to sing odd and sometimes crass chants outside the various female residences while dropping our pants and exposing ourselves. The ladies were then encouraged to dance in their windows and bare what they would. Some did, some didn’t. Many were so drunk that they just danced like hookers in the brothel doorways in Amsterdam.

Back then it was seen as every Soph’s (second year students on the orientation committee) duty to keep the Froshes humble. Our end-of-the-week Kangaroo Court involved mostly sober public humiliation in the light of day for anyone who had dared to overstep the Frosh/Soph boundaries in the previous 7 days.

Because WE dared to stand up to the Sophs and mock the head Soph in a skit during talent night (we held a mock-trial of our own, charging him with having sex with two different freshettes, including a re-enactment using a stuffed beaver and no nudity. Yes, we also used an absolutely crass chant.), our punishment was to be lined up, honey poured down the front of our pants, peanut butter smeared on our faces, and forced to bow face-first into a bowl of flour, apologizing for our transgression out loud, to the Soph and the crowd (but not to the two ladies, whom we never named).

We were the lucky ones. One musclebound frosh was ‘coerced’ into stripping to his tighty-whiteys, stand on a table, and flex during the remainder of the proceedings.

Almost every chant/song we had was sexual in nature, though nothing as crass as St. Mary’s University’s nasty under-age rape/no-consent one. Our school symbol was the beaver, so it lent itself to a lot of rudeness. The men’s ball hockey teams had names like The Penetrators and The Cunning Linguists. I made a few good friends in my three years in residence there, but at times (especially during the first year) it was hellish. 

College Residence Life

We pranked a friend by stuffing his room with crumpled-up newspaper while he was out on a first date. He came home after the disastrous date, saw the paper and wordlessly shoved it out into the hallway. Here we are trying to find it a new home. I’m the one with my arms in the air.

Now, in all fairness to the school, the college administrators knew very little about what was happening. Also, in my first year I was roommates with the wildest member of seventeen guys in our residence from the same graduating class from a certain Toronto private school. Life that year was a zoo, and some day I’ll tell you some of the really dark stories about drunk driving, abusive practical jokes, breaking into a female residence, putting a car in the chapel foyer (one of the fun incidents I instigate), and the writing of The Beaver Cookbook, my first self-published tome.

Nope, Frosh Week was pretty much a waste of time, and only slightly better than a fraternity hazing. Although I didn’t exactly live in fear, I did have to look over my shoulder much of the time, and that’s no way to get an education. 

Ciao for now,

T-Bone.

The article which inspired my response: 

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/does-rape-chant-furor-tell-us-value-university-200532833.html

 

 

 

“Why Pete?”: The Making of a Story

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it, Short Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2013 by tgrey468

Last summer I got word from L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest that my short story, “Why Pete?” had been awarded an Honourable Mention in the second quarter of their quarterly international short story contest. I was ecstatic. I had an Honourable Mention from their Illustrators of the Future Contest from the early 90s, and this latest one completed the set.

Honourable Mention for "Why Pete?"

Writers of the Future Honourable Mention, 2nd Quarter 2012, for “Why Pete?” by Tim Reynolds.

“Why Pete?” is a pure science fiction piece written during a year of writing horror, fantasy, vampyre, zombie, and steampunk short stories. It tells the tale of Space Ark Commander Lily Rayn when she awakens from cryosleep near the end of her journey to a new star system with a load of colonists.

The Honourable Mention is a terrific honour and all, but there was no cash prize and the story didn’t get published, unlike the first-place winners. With stories, publication is what it’s all about, with hopefully a little cash thrown my way as a symbolic gesture.

So I submitted “Why Pete?” to Lightspeed Magazine. It was rejected. Next there was another competition at Arc. Nope. Then it was off to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (a perfect fit, or what?!). They liked it, but it wasn’t for them. Then the story made its way to Clarkesworld and it was rejected so fast it almost bounced. That’s fine, though. Rejection is okay.

Story rejections happen for a number of reasons. Here are a few, in no particular order.

  1. The story really does suck. (This was not a problem with “Why Pete?” because the judges at WOTF are very picky.)
  2. The story is of a type which doesn’t appeal to the editor. (He/she hates space operas, or whatever.)
  3. The story is not a good fit for the publication. (The story is science fiction, the publication is Homes & Gardens.)
  4. The publisher has recently purchased and/or published a similar story. (Just bad timing.)

And then came the much-anticipated call for submissions from Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing’s Tesseracts Seventeen. Tesseracts is THE Canadian annual speculative fiction anthology. There is often a theme and the only requirement is that the author(s) must be Canadian, in one form or another. Authors whose works have appeared in past editions include Margaret Atwood and Robert J. Sawyer. I have quite a few friends who have had their terrific stories grace the pages of one or more editions of Tesseracts, so I was eager to join their esteemed company. Also, one of my all-time favourite short stories (of mine) was rejected by Tesseracts Sixteen last year, and I was ready for the wind to change.

So I submitted, with fingers and toes crossed. I love all of the stories I write, at least once they’re finished, but “Why Pete?” has a special place in my heart because Lily isn’t based on me whatsoever and yet she came alive for me like few other characters have. I read the story now and I still smile at the way she handles the situation. Yes, I wrote the situation and her reaction, but when a story is written really well, it can separate itself from the author and become its own entity. “Why Pete?” has done that, for me, at least.

“Why Pete?” came about because I wanted to write about fear.  I wanted to write a dark story that made readers shiver, but I wanted to do it without a single monster or creature. I needed a phobia. My own fears aren’t of a phobia level so I stole one from my wife, Sue. She has a fear of being buried alive. Ooh! A good one! I suppose I do, too, once I think about it. Anyone who doesn’t, is crazy as far as I’m concerned.

I’d found my story’s fear factor. Now I just needed to find an original way to tell it. Well, there are no original ideas, just different voices telling the same stories. I wanted something set in space, to become part of a larger literary canvas I’m weaving with a series of novels, and this might just be the right fit. How could I bury someone alive in space? Well, aren’t spaceships just like submarines and simply sealed coffins waiting to be cracked open at the end of a journey? You betcha!

Now for my hero, Pete. Yes, Pete was the original hero during the concept stage. The problem is that I know so many strong women that I thought that it was time I gave them a hero of their own. Enter Lily. Lily Bianca Rayn. Lily (White) Rayn. It has such a cool sound to it. ‘Rayn’ is rain… a purification. Lily and Bianca/White are symbols of innocence. I wanted a character whose very name screamed “innocence and rebirth!!” The story is really about starting fresh, with a blank slate, and that’s what Lily ends up doing.

The science of the story wasn’t too difficult to research. I allowed for the fantasy of cryosleep for a year and travel through a worm hole and then based all of the remaining science on submarines and various previous and existing space missions. By the way, the International Space Ark Mayhew is not named after Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies, but rather after my own ancestor, Thomas Mayhew, Governor of Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket & the Queen Elizabeth Islands in the mid-to-late 17th century. Many-Greats Grandpa Tom was an explorer and colonizer in his own right (and had the longest continuous Christian missionary effort in history).

The planet I sent Lily and the ark to is actually one in the Exoplanet Database, and is one of possibly habitable planets discovered by the Kepler telescope.

Because I’m all about using humour to break or bend tension, the Pete in the story became the personality overlay of the artificial intelligence that keeps Lily company during her ordeal. The original Pete who was the basis for the personality overlay, was Lily’s husband at the time of the AI’s programming. To say any more will give away some of the fun of the story, so I won’t. I’ll just add that the although I often start a story with the title, this one didn’t come to me until after the first draft was written and the original title, “One Hand Clapping” just didn’t fit the finished story.

Tesseracts Seventeen

The cover of Tesseracts Seventeen, from Edge Publishing.

I suppose I should tie this post up by adding that “Why Pete?” was selected by editors Colleen Anderson and Steve Vernon for TESSERACTS Seventeen: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast. It’s due out in October and is available now for pre-order from Amazon.com. For anthologies containing any of my other published stories, here’s my Amazon Author’s page.

Like so many of my short stories, I have an idea where the story starts and some of the things I need to have happen, but quite often I just let the characters and narrative voice start talking and plotting and acting and see where it takes the tale. Sometimes a character will make a simple statement (“I hate dogs.”) and that will lead the story to a place where dogs become important. Maybe she’ll even become a werewolf. Ooo! I like that! ‘Scuse me while I jot that idea down… a cat person becoming a werewolf!

Anyway, without dropping any spoilers, that’s how “Why Pete?” came to be written, awarded, and eventually sold. Next up for the story will be an option by Sony for a Hollywood film starring Mrs. Pitt or  some other tough-as-nails, tender-as-a-kitten woman. Yah. Right.

That’s it, that’s all.

Ciao for now,

T-Bone.

Simple Digital Art: A Specific How-To

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it, Photography How to... with tags , , , , , , , on July 6, 2013 by tgrey468

Good evening.

It’s a dark, windy, rainy night here and I have just finished a piece of art-as-a-gift I thought I’d share with you. Not only will I share the finished piece, but because it was all done with photographs and Photoshop, I thought it might be fun to share the process, to show how simple it can all be.

Here’s the finished, yet untitled piece. It is for my guitar-playing nephew, for his birthday.

Rock and roll!

Rock and Roll, the heavy way.

This finished piece is actually a compilation of multiple, manipulated photos taken in my basement within the space of ten minutes. Canon EOS 60D on a tripod. No flash. Electronic remote control.

The first shot taken was the headshot. This is simply me making an angry face while wearing my wife’s steampunk wig.

It's the hair, man!

Heavy Metal Timmy!

Next came the skull. Much easier than you think, because in my vast collection of shit and paraphernalia, I have a skull or two. This one is actually an aquarium prop from Walmart and cost less than $20. I made sure to take the skull at the same angle and in the same light as the face shot. I also had to blacken in a hole in the back of the skull where it looks like a large calibre bullet passed through. Yes, it’s one of my favourite props. :)

Aquarium prop skull

Aquarium skull

Since I wanted the face in the image had to be younger than my 53 and have a full, black goatee (and not just my greying red Beatnik chin fuzz), this had to be added. I knew that fine detail would be lost in the final piece, so rather than spend months getting each strand of hair perfect like the animators at Pixar would, I went for the quick and easy fill-it-in solution.

Angry rocker with beard

Making the beard black and full.

This next part is my favourite part because whenever I do it the images freak out my friends and family. The effect is very cool. I copied the image of the skull and superimposed it over the angry, bearded face. A few easy adjustments were necessary to find the right scale and placement and by playing with the opacity, I was able to find just the right mix of skull and face to let both come through. I then used the digital eraser to carve back the skull to look like the hair draped over it.

skull overlay on face

Skull overlay on the face

Since my nephew plays guitar, I needed to incorporate an axe in the image. Since my own guitar is a hollow-body jazz guitar, it wouldn’t have worked, so I used one of the miniatures in my collection. Yah, I know, you want to know where I got this cool little prop. Unfortunately, the only place to get them is from an Ontario merchant at the Calgary Stampede or the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. He does not have a website so it’s in-person shopping only. It’s a pain in the ass.

Clapton Miniature

A miniature of one of Clapton’s guitars

First I had to erase my hand, and whiten the background. Once that was done, the skull/face were added and the parts not overlapping with the guitar were erased. Also, because I wanted the rocker to look much more gaunt than my own chubbiness, I drew some hair in to make his face look thinner.

Compilation of the images

Combing the guitar and the rocker

It looks kind cool and haunting here, but I wanted the final piece to look like it was hand sketched in black ink, like a band member had done it on the road, lounging in the bus between gigs. I used the sketch filter of Photoshop to find just the right brush length and contrast. Once I found that balance I signed it, textured the signature, and was done.

The end result.

The finished piece.

Not exactly wild and exciting, but it has taken me longer to write this blog than it did to create the artwork, once I knew what I wanted.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Ciao for now.

T-Bone.

UPDATE: After an editor asked for something with a bit more to it, I created these two for her to choose between, using parts from the other piece plus an image I took years ago of Tyler from the Barenaked Ladies…

Rock is Death, Baby!

Rock is Death, Baby!

DEath MEtal MAsk

Putting the Black back in Sabbath.

A Brief, Unpopular Opinion

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it with tags , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2013 by tgrey468

Ask yourself why bars have “Ladies Nights”.

If a business offers a consumable product for a lower price, they want to bring you in and get you to consume more.

If you consume too much alcohol, you get drunk, possibly suffer lapses in judgement.

Men don’t get discounts at most bars on Ladies’ Nights, so the reason they go is to meet women. But the bar has been encouraging the women to drink more and maybe get a little (or a lot) drunk, which means that men go to bars on Ladies Nights to meet drunk women.

Why do the women have to be drunk? Maybe so that their judgement is impaired and it’s harder for them to say ‘no’.

Following this wobbly logic, I wonder if Ladies Nights are simply Unofficially Sanctioned Date Rape Events, which offends me deeply. If you doubt this logic, spend some time in a bar on a few ladies nights and watch the behaviours. Especially campus bars.

I’m not just tossing out an opinion here. I used to be a bartender, a shift manager. I was also a drunken male college student, and then a drunken resort staff member. I know the business practices of bars as well as the motivations behind drinking, especially for the shy and awkward.

I first posted the above rant on Facebook and received much support and some “you’re exaggerating” responses. Someone even said that people need to take responsibility for their own behaviours and not put themselves in risky situations. You know, I agree completely. I believe that victims sometime demonstrate a complete lack of common sense, which in part leads to them becoming victims. Stupid is as stupid does, they say. But a lady has a right to drink as much as she wants without fear of someone taking advantage of her condition. Maybe that’s why they go to the bathroom in groups when they’re out…they don’t trust us men.

Some even say that a woman shouldn’t “dress and behave like a slut” if she doesn’t want the wrong kind of attention. Really? Then maybe a man who doesn’t want to be dragged out back of a bar and have the shit kicked out of them because he said something inappropriate to a woman should keep their mouths shut. But men should have the right to use words of their choice without fear of being pummelled and women should have the right to wear clothes of their choice, drink drinks of their choice, dance the dances of their choice, without becoming victims of someone else’s desire to overpower and hurt someone.

A man’s  natural state should be ‘gentleman’, not ‘douchebag’. I’ve not always been a gentleman, but I’ve never been a douchebag, and  I always understood that ‘No’ meant ‘No’.

That’s my long-weekend-Saturday-night-waiting-for-the-pizza-to-cook rant. If you own a bar and you have a Ladies Night when the specials are only for the ladies… stop.

That’s it, that’s all.

Ciao for now.

T-Bone.

Siblings Celebrate Siblings!

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it with tags , , , , , , on June 20, 2013 by tgrey468

51 years ago today, my parents felt it necessary to give me a baby sister. I already had a dog so I have no idea why they thought I needed a sister. It’s okay, because she turned out to be fine. They named her Katharine. It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I was only two and I had a dog named Martini, so what did I know about naming?

Three years later, my parents felt that it was absolutely necessary to give oddly-named-Katharine and me-the-Timmy a sister. This was my second one for those of you who lost count, but Katharine’s first (and last).

Since Mom and Dad completely lacked the imagination necessary for picking one of the other 364 days of the year, they gave us a Nancy on Katharine’s birthday. Bad move. Not recommended.

So, yes, my two sisters share the same birthday, three years apart. I’m sure if you asked either one nicely they will tell you with smiles and laughter and giggles how much fun they had sharing a birthday with the OTHER daughter, and how much joy there was in not even getting a day all to themselves.

Regardless of whether they loved sharing the day or not, I love my sisters and wish them both a Happy Birthday today. No, I’m not going to put in a note for each of them. They share a day, so they can share a fucking blog message.

Happy birthday Kath! Check your voicemail!

Happy birthday Nance! It was nice talking to you and I’m sorry I told my nephew about the time I almost cut my junk off with a hatchet at summer camp. Just remember that “uncle” is just French for “Traumatize the kids, asshole!”

My sisters are fantastic, successful, wonderful mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, people.

That’s it, that’s all.

Ciao for now.

T-Bone.

Way Down the Bucket List

Posted in Books Books Books, Short Fiction, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on June 12, 2013 by tgrey468

Howdy howdy howdy.

As a Canadian writer of stories of a speculative nature, including science fiction, fantasy, and horror, it has been one of my goals/dreams to have a story appear in Tesseracts, the annual Canadian Spec Fic collection.

Over the years, the list of contributing authors to Tesseracts appears like a Who’s Who of Canadian speculative writing, including Margaret Atwood and Robert J. Sawyer. Come this fall, I will be counted as one of the lesser Whos in this literary Whoville with my science fiction story “Why Pete?”.

Of course, there are many other dreams for Canadian SF writers, including (but not restricted to) winning an Aurora Award, being published in On Spec Magazine, and, more recently, having a piece selected for ChiZine/Tightrope’s IMAGINARIUM, the new annual collection of Canada’s Best Speculative Writing. IMAGINARIUM’s innaugural issue was in 2012 and included one of my first published stories, so although it wasn’t yet on my Bucket List, it was checked off retroactively. Of course now my list includes making it into IMAGINARIUM 2013, especially since I had so many fun, eligible stories published last year.

Here now is the Official Table of Contents for TESSERACTS 17, being edited by Colleen Anderson and Steve Vernon and published by EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing:

TESSERACTS 17: SPECULATING CANADA FROM COAST TO COAST TO COAST

  • Introduction: What is a Tesseract? Colleen Anderson
  • Vermilion Wine: Claude Lalumiere
  • Night Journey: West Coast: Eileen Kernaghan
  • The Wall: Rhea Rose
  • 2020 Vision: Lisa Smedman
  • Why Pete?: Timothy Reynolds (the harrowing tale of a space ark captain who awakens from hypersleep to find herself locked in her sleep pod and the only survivor of a freak catastrophe. It wouldn’t be so bad if the computer wasn’t programmed with her ex-husband’s voice).
  • Bird Bones: Megan Fennell
  • Bedtime Story: Rhonda Parrish
  • Graveyard Shift: Holly Schofield
  • Path of Souls: Edward Willett
  • Sin A Squay: David Jón Fuller
  • Hereinafter Referred to as the Ghost: Mark Leslie
  • Anywhere: Alyxandra Harvey
  • Secret Recipes: Costi Gurgu
  • Star Severer: Ben Godby
  • The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife: Dave Beynon
  • Graffiti Borealis: Lisa Poh
  • My Child Has Winter in His Bones: Dominik Parisien
  • Team Leader 2040: Catherine Austen
  • Sand Hill: Elise Moser
  • The Ripping: Vincent Grant Perkins
  • Unwilling to Turn Around: J.J. Steinfield
  • Pique Assiette: Catherine MacLeod
  • Leaving Cape Roseway: John Bell
  • Everybody Wins: Rachel Cooper
  • In the Bubble: William Meikle
  • Hermione and Me: Dwain Campbell
  • Blizzard Warning: Jason Barrett
  • M.E.L.: Dianne Homan
  • The Calligrapher’s Daughter: Patricia Robertson
  • Afterword: Editing Anthologies Made Easy: Steve Vernon

So, that’s it, that’s all. Yah, yah, I know… I don’t write a damned thing for months and then I treat you to a fricking table of contents. Sorry. Just be thankful I wrote anything at all. I’ve been languishing in the doldrums now for a month or two. This latest news, though, might just snap me out of it. Keep your fingers crossed.

Ciao for now.

T-Bone.

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