Happy Father’s Day!

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As promised, in honor of Father’s Day, To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity is live. If you pre-ordered, your eBook is available for download now.

Whether you like science fiction, fantasy, military sci-fi, historical, or contemporary, adventure, humor, interesting characters, or even thought pieces, this anthology has a story for you.

My story, “Cooper” is a tribute to Jeff Cooper, one of the iconic, real-life figures associated with the M1911 and the 45ACP. This story was inspired not just by the idea of a sentient/sapient gun. I also found inspiration in The Wizard of Oz, in the fact that the Tin Man had in him, what he was so desperately seeking–a heart. Like the Tin Man, my protagonist is in search of something he thinks he’s lost.

Scott Bell‘s gritty cop story, “Earning It” explores the meaning of valor and honor. A writer with a unique voice, Scott balances out the grittiness with his trademark humor.

J Trevor Robinson‘s “Let the Chips Fall Where They May” doesn’t give us the “gentlemen thieves” of the typical pop-culture casino heist story. Inspired by his own father, it is instead the story of a commander, a role model, and a father responsible for the lives of so many others.

William C. Burns answers the question “So, what are wizards doing in the 21st century?” in his fantasy, “The Heaven Beasts.”

Karina L. Fabian serves up a noir-style detective story complete with dragons and fae. If you’re a fan of the movie, Bright, this one is definitely for you.

Michael W. Herbert, a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, wrote two stories for this anthology, both based on real life events–one about dealing with rape, and another about defending a gay shipmate. I’m particularly fond of the way he handled both of these controversial subjects. As Michael says, “A mature man does not always know what to do, but he will do what he can to help.”

Richard Paolinelli gives us a dystopian story, “The Last Hunt.” Unlike so many other zombie stories, this one is about one man’s devotion to his duty and his country.

If you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan, I think you’ll really enjoy Ann Margaret Lewis‘s “The Affair of Miss Finney.” Holmes pursued many dark crimes, but Doyle never addressed the crime of rape. So, how would Holmes deal with the worst crime a woman can suffer?

In “For Man or Beast,” award-winning science fiction author Brad R. Torgersen, plunges us into a story about a future, untamed frontier where we discover that it is about being men and women that makes us essential not just to each other, but to civilization.

“Street Fox” by C. J. Brightley is set in her Erdemen Honor universe. Children need to believe in heroes. And not just in this fantasy, but in the real world.

In “Bring the Pain,” veteran and writer T. L. “Tom” Knighton, delights and entertains us with a story about a guy who is, quite literally, a tank.

In “The Messenger” Lloyd Behm II makes us cheer for an aging green beret who keeps his oaths, even in a post-apocalyptic world where the US no longer exists.

Marina Fontaine‘s “Picture Imperfect” is set in the near-future dystopia of her Chasing Freedom novel. Her hero is forced to choose between protecting his family and complying with a system that provides him with comfort and power.

Jon Del Arroz‘s military sci-fi adventure, “Compassion,” shows us that we must continue to fight the good fight, to fight for what is right.

Newcomer Jamie Ibson‘s story, “Priorities” takes us into the world of the school resource officer, the cops that investigate offenses involving students and schools.

No speculative fiction anthology would be complete a werewolf story, right? Julie Frost‘s “Man-Made Hell” mixes science-fiction and the supernatural, giving us a character who embodies virtus (the manly virtues) no matter his form.

 

A great essay by Kacey Ezell on writing and success

So I read Cedar Sanderson’s lovely piece entitled “To Thine Own Self Be True”, and I found that I agreed with much of what she had to say. I, too, have zero tolerance for those who would sexually abuse others, particularly children. Actions like that are intolerable, and have no place in society, any society.

Furthermore, I join her in rejecting the idea that you have to be part of some clique or club in order to be successful in science fiction and/or fantasy.  I think success is largely a matter for self-definition.  Success for one author may mean winning a Hugo.  For another it may mean buying a mountain.  For a third, it may mean finally publishing the story they’ve had rattling around in their head for twenty years.  Success is personal, and it’s honestly none of my business.  But I do know that unless you decide that being feted at WorldCon or any other con is your definition of success… it’s not.

That all being said, I did disagree with two of her major points.  Attending a con may not be necessary to your success, but if your definition of success includes networking with others in the industry and perhaps signing with a publisher, then attendance at cons can certainly be very helpful.

Read the rest here.

Two more days to go…

On November 8th, the first anniversary of Trump’s election, MAGA 2020 & Beyond will go live. Pre-order the Kindle version now. Print versions will be available on the day of release.

Two of my short stories are included:

  • Dolus Magnus: The Great Hoax

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  • Equality

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Edited by Jason Rennie, the anthology includes an intro by Milo Yiannopoulos, essays by John C. Wright, Ivan Throne, Dawn Witzke, and Alfred Genneson, as well as fiction by Scott Bell, Jon Del Arroz, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Marina Fontaine, Brad Torgersen, Arlan Andrews Sr., Alfred Genneson, Chris Donahue, Christine Chase, David Harr, Daniel Humphreys, Dawn Witzke, Elaine Arias, Justin Robinson, Molly Pitcher, P.A. Piatt, Richard B. Atkinson, Tamara Wilhite, and Sandor Novak. I also wrote the afterword.