Category Archives for Science Fiction

Paragons – An Anthology of Superheroes

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Look – up in the sky!

They awe us. They fill us with wonder. But most of all, they inspire us – to be stronger, faster, and smarter. Superheroes teach us how to aspire to the best versions of ourselves. Enjoy this master collection of collection of 13 tales of all-new, all-original superheroes from today’s up and coming science fiction and fantasy masters!

When the police fail to take down the super powered mobs a rogue vigilante steps up to the plate in Nightstick by Kai Wai Cheah. Peek in on a superhero marriage proposal via Blackout by Morgon Newquist. When a young nuclear engineer gains superpowers, the Soviet government wants to control her for the sake of the motherland in Stalina by Sam Kepfield.

Enjoy these tales and more by Alt-Hero novelist Jon Del Arroz, Dragon Award and Hugo Award nominee Kai Wai Cheah, Dragon Award nominee Declan Finn, and others

Paragons – An Anthology of Superheroes will be available for only $0.99 through Saturday, November 3rd – so get yours now on Amazon.com!

Lyonesse Volume 1

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Psychics, time travel, gods, and sci-fi battle angels.

A woman with the power to raise the dead. A man stranded on another world, fighting all alone for a lost cause. Zombies invading New York. Alien artifacts. Sci-Fi battle angels. Samurais fighting demons. Interplanetary detectives and lost unicorns.

Read all these and more in this amazing first volume, collecting works from the paradigm shifting short fiction service Lyonesse.

Featuring Dragon Award nominees Declan Finn, Kai Wai Cheah, and L. Jagi Lamplighter

Includes the following 16 short stories:

    • Four Weddings and a Funeral by L. Jagi Lamplighter
    • The Dreaming Wounds by Anya Ow
    • The Dragon’s Teeth by David Hallquist
    • Zombie Jamboree by Declan Finn
    • The Artifact by Dean Abbott
    • We Bury Our Own by Kai Wai Cheah
    • Number 43 by Jonathan Ward
    • The Last Winter by A.R. Aston
    • Shini Tai by C.L. Werner
    • The Case of the Unicorn by Nora M. Mulligan
    • The Harsh Mistress by Mike Murphy
    • St. Lucian’s Star by Dawn Witzke
    • A Day Without the Horned Goddess by Kieran McKiel
    • In Another Life by Morgon Newquist
    • Moonset by S.D. McPhail
    • Mile High Murder by Declan Finn

Get Lyonesse Volume 1 today or tomorrow for only $0.99, before it jumps to full price. Or subscribe to Lyonesse directly and get access to our entire back catalog (including these stories and more), plus an entire year’s worth of new stories (1 each week!) for only $6.99!

A Place Called Hope – BOOK REVIEW

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I absolutely loved A Place Outside The Wild, Daniel Humphreys‘ Dragon Award nominated debut novel, even though I don’t normally go for zombies. So when Mr. Humphreys offered me an early preview copy of the sequel, A Place Called Hope, I absolutely jumped at the chance.

This story picks up very closely where the first book left off, and it hits the ground running. The primary story concerns Pete, the amputee Marine, and Charlie as they set off on a new mission to bring some real Hope into their world. The stakes are high and compelling, and the characters are just as fun as ever.

The story focuses more heavily on the Marines this time out. On the one hand, that was really fun. On the other, it leads to my two actual complaints about the book. First, the title is excellent and a wonderful followup given the ending of the first book. But despite the title, very little of the book actually takes place in Hope. Second, I really missed Miles.

I strongly suspect the sequel will deal with both of those issues, however – especially given some of the revelations at the end of this book. And boy, are there some doozies!

If you loved the first book, this worthy sequel won’t let you down. I give it five out of five stars, and I can’t wait to see what Humphreys has coming next!

The Gravity of the Game – BOOK REVIEW

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My friend Jon Del Arroz has a new novella out this week. The Gravity of the Game fits into a rather unusual niche: science fiction sports stories. Attention all, we’ve found a unicorn! I know – two great tastes that go great together. Like ice cream and kale, strawberries and Pine Sol, or ribeye and motor oil. I strongly suspect that the sports guys and the scifi guys will interpret those metaphors very differently.

But they’ll both agree that unlike each of those combinations, Jon’s novella is actually really good. Whether you’re a sports guy or a scifi guy, you’ll enjoy this story. In a future of near-Earth space travel, the World Baseball League is coping with a sharp decline in attendance and viewership. Commissioner Hideki Ichiro thinks he knows the answer: baseball on the moon!

First of all, that’s actually kind of a cool idea. I’m not a sports guy, and I’m definitely not a baseball guy. To me, it’s one of the slowest and dullest sports out there – long periods of boredom punctuated by a few moments when something almost interesting happens. But come on – you put “on the moon” after anything and it becomes cool. But that’s not what makes the story work. That just makes an interesting hook.

The story works because of Commissioner Ichiro. This is a man who loves baseball so much that he almost makes me love the sport. And though I don’t share his love of baseball, I definitely identify with and respect his passion.

Somewhat like baseball itself, this is a dramatic piece with no actual “action” in it. But the drama and the characters will keep you interested. I give The Gravity of the Game five stars out of five, and dare you not to find Commissioner Ichiro just as captivating as I did.

Congratulations 2017 Silver Empire Dragon Award Finalists!

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Three Silver Empire and Lyonesse authors managed to score an impressive four Dragon Award nominations between them. How’d they pull off this feet? Our own Declan Finn managed to score two all by himself!

Silver Empire authors who received nominations this year include:

Ms. Lamplighter also served as editor for my own upcoming novel, War Demons.

In addition, two future Silver Empire authors also received nominations this year.

Congratulations to all of these fine authors for their well-deserved nominations!

I’d also like to say congratulations to my personal friends and friends of Silver Empire who also received nominations this year: Richard Paolinelli, Brian Niemeier, Vox Day, and John C. Wright.

A Place Outside the Wild – BOOK REVIEW

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"A Place Outside the Wild" by Daniel Humphreys

“A Place Outside the Wild” by Daniel Humphreys

When I made my Dragon Award nominations last week I promised a forthcoming book review for A Place Outside the Wild by Daniel Humphreys. Here that review is. As I’ve noted recently, I have not had the chance to read much fiction this year. I’m trying to catch up on that, and I’ve finally made some progress. I have several reviews forthcoming over the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out.

Full disclosure: Dan and I “attended” the same online writing class from Larry Correia, and we’ve participated in the same closed Facebook group that resulted from that class. He’s also provided an excellent blurb for my upcoming novel, Post Traumatic Stress. With that said, these are my honest opinions on the book.

Let me also say this at the outset: this is a zombie book, and I’m not a particularly huge zombie fan. I like them OK. Sometimes. I’m definitely not big into the zombie craze that seems to have hit over the last decade or so. I love Shaun of the Dead. I kinda sorta enjoyed the “28 Days” movies. I’ve watched exactly one episode of The Walking Dead. It didn’t do anything for me.

I don’t particularly have anything against zombies. I just generally find them boring.

Also, I strongly dislike “science” zombies. I could write an entire post about this topic, but it largely boils down to the fact that most zombie writers aren’t scientists and they get it all wrong.

This book is about science zombies.

With all of that said, I didn’t like this book. I loved it. Dan had a steep hill to climb. He charged up it like a platoon of Marines, killed the defenders at the top, planted his flag, and did a little dance. I recommended this book for the Dragon Award in horror, and for good reason.

Dan has a humorous writing style that caught me from the beginning. The actual story, however, took just a little bit to warm up. But once it did, I didn’t want to put the book down. I really enjoyed all of the characters, and reading about their struggles trying to cope with the new world around them. In particular, I enjoyed Pete the amputee sniper and Larry, the protagonist’s father-in-law. And I enjoyed the way he wrote the children, which are difficult to get correct as a writer.

Another nice thing for a zombie book: this isn’t actually an action story. There is action in it, and it’s great. But it’s actually more of a drama – a really good drama.

I may, however, have sweated just a tad from my eyeballs when the Marines showed up to save the day playing Guns N’ Roses. But we’ll never speak of that again.

Last, but not least, Dan provides an explanation for the science zombies that I can actually get behind. As I noted before, most zombie writers aren’t scientists. Well, Dan isn’t, either… but he’s an IT guy. And I’ll just say that that does give him the right background to understand what he’s talking about here – at least enough to get me over the suspension of disbelief. Well done, Mr. Humphreys.

A Place Outside the Wild is a first novel, and it does show a bit of roughness from that. But the strengths of the story easily outweigh that. It’s an easy five out of five stars, and I’m very much looking forward to reading both the forthcoming sequel and his current new release, Fade. If you like Zombies, check this one out. Hell, even if you don’t like zombies, check this one out. It’s that good.


In case you were wondering, this is what he had to say about Post Traumatic Stress:

Post Traumatic Stress is a roller coaster thrill ride. It hooks you, clicks up to the peak, then sends you screaming all the way down. Masterfully done.

Post Traumatic Stress will be available on August 1. You can pre-order your copy now from Silver Empire.

2017 Dragon Award Nominations

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The nomination period for the 2017 Dragon Awards closes very soon. I waited until almost the last minute this year, but I do have a handful of recommendations.

  • Best Science Fiction Novel – I’m going to have to go with The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier. Its predecessor proved worthy of last year’s Dragon Award, and the third book in the series only ratchets everything up further. Solid book. Read my review of it here.
  • Best Fantasy Novel – Hands down, A Sea of Skulls by Vox Day. I’ll have a review of this one up soonish, but this series continues to beat the pants off of A Song of Ice and Fire.
  • Best Young Adult NovelRachel and the Many Splendored Dreamland by L. Jagi Lamplighter. This book actually turned a 13 year old girl (horrible creatures!) into a lovable character, and deserves the award for that alone. But it’s a fantastic book on top of that. See my review for more details.
  • Best Military SF or Fantasy Novel – I’ve been too busy and haven’t read any this year. 🙁
  • Best Alternate History Novel – I’m biased because I published it, but Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key by S.D. McPhail is the clear winner here.
  • Best Apocalyptic Novel – No contest. A Place Outside the Wild by Dan Humphreys. Expect another review on this one in the near future.
  • Best Horror Novel – Silver Empire author Declan Finn’s Live and Let Bite is the winner here. Thankfully, Brian Niemeier’s “The Secret Kings” is very clearly in SciFi this year and not horror, so I don’t have to choose between friends – or two fantastic books.
  • Best Comic Book – Haven’t read any worth noting this year.
  • Best Graphic Novel – Ditto.
  • Best SciFi or Fantasy TV Series – All the ones I love went to crap this year. I’ve got nothing.
  • Best SciFi or Fantasy Movie – I’m sadly going to have to go with Doctor Strange, but that’s a disappointing answer. I wouldn’t normally nominate it, but nothing else in the nomination period is really better. I hear Logan is good, but I haven’t seen it yet.
  • Best SciFi or Fantasy PC or Console Game – Who has time for gaming anymore? Ditto for the rest of the gaming categories.

I put in my nominations earlier today. Have you done yours yet? Nominate here!

Silver Empire Submissions Update

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Submissions for our upcoming superheroes anthology are now closed. We’re still combing through all of the submissions we’ve received. If you’ve submitted a story and haven’t heard back from us yet, please be patient! We’re targeting a September release date for this project, and everything is looking good to make that happen.

We’re still accepting submissions for our upcoming Stairs in the Woods anthology, and will be until August 31. The target release date is October. We lined up a few authors ahead of time who should be turning in some very interesting stories! This anthology has very specific requirements, so please make sure you read them thoroughly before submitting.

We’re also accepting submissions for a space science fiction novel. Specifically, we’d really like to have either a pulpy space opera, a hard science fiction novel, or a military scifi novel. Submissions should be part of a series – bonus points if you have the second novel written or partly written already! Again, please be sure to see the submission guidelines.

And last, but certainly not least, we always need more short stories for Lyonesse. We’re looking for tales of wondrous, heroic adventure in the science fiction and fantasy realms. We run a new story every single week, so we burn through works rather quickly.

The Secret Kings – BOOK REVIEW

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I need to begin this review by offering my friend Brian Niemeier a sincere apology. I promised him this review a long time ago. [Full disclosure: I received a review copy free of charge.] In my defense: The Secret Kings is the first non-Silver Empire fiction book that I’ve read in 2017. Yes – that’s for the last five months. Thankfully, I’ve had some time to catch up a bit. I’m I lucky, I might clear my backlog before Monster Hunter Siege comes out.

I should have made The Secret Kings a bigger priority, and not just because I promised Brian. This is a heck of a read. The story is crazy – and I mean that in the best possible way. Old friends return – beaten, battered, and bruised, and then thrown into the fire one more time. This tale will take you from one end of the galaxy to another – and it revisits the premise that started the series. Once more, the space pirates return to hell. Only this time everything is different, and the stakes are even higher.

This stunning space opera carries you all over the known universe – and outside of it. The intriguing characters will stick in your thoughts long after you’ve finished the book, leaving you thirsty for more. Furthermore, this book ties together books one and two a bit more clearly, pulling the whole thing into a cohesive whole.

If you loved Nethereal and Souldancer, you’ll love the latest five out of five star entry in the series. And if you didn’t, you should check them out now.

Lyonesse is LIVE!

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Lyonesse is now LIVE! Kickstarter backers should have already received their login information via e-mail. If you haven’t gotten yours, check your spam folder.

We have 23 stories live in our back catalog at the moment, all available in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF format – or readable for subscribers straight from the web site itself. Our first new story, The Dreaming Wounds by Anya Ow, will go out later this afternoon.

Base subscriptions start at only $6.99 per year, so don’t wait – get yours today!

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