Category Archives: Adventure

Everything went wrong after Cairo

I should have known the adventure was coming when I ended up in Cairo unexpectedly.

But let me back up a bit.

I spent this weekend at a martial arts seminar just outside Kansas City, Missouri. The seminar itself was great. The travel around it was an absolute adventure – and I mean that in the best possible sense. I spent fourteen hours on Friday making a nine and a half hour drive. Because it was that kind of day.

The first part of the trip passed rather uneventfully, if slowly. I found myself growing even more bored than I usually do when driving long distances by myself. Spotify did little to dull the tedium.

But my trip was not to stay boring!

Somewhere around Paducah, Kentucky, Google Maps informed me that I-57 north had become completely closed due to an accident. For those who care to check a map, this would’ve been between the intersection with I-24 at Pulley’s Mill and the intersection with I-64 at Mount Vernon, both in southern Illinois. By this point, the road closure would’ve been about an hour away – so likely to still be closed by the time I got there.

In its helpful wisdom, Google suggested an alternate route, basically running some lesser highways and a couple of back roads through southern Illinois over to I-55 north, instead.

I should’ve seen the folly of this plan when I ended up in Cairo. That’s KAY-roh, Illinois, not KY-roh, Egypt, for those who have never been there. I’ve been through several times. And let me just say this… if you’ve read the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman, then his description is pretty much spot on. The place is weird. Weird enough to end up in a Gaiman novel.

But my adventures only began in Cairo. Nothing of actual consequence this time actually happened there. Things didn’t get interesting until Thebes, just down the river (I am not making this up; this entire area is actually sometimes referred to as “Little Egypt.”)

At this point I was driving along Illinois 3. Google Maps wanted me to get to the bridge on Illinois 146 so that I could cross the Mississippi River.

What Google didn’t know, apparently, is that there’s been a lot of recent flooding of the Mississippi river. The bridge was fine. But the stretch of Illinois 3 Google insisted that I follow to get to the bridge…

Was closed.

Yes, I had been rerouted to avoid a closed road, only to run into a closed road. Irony. Lovely.

I tried several times to move far enough away from the closure for Google to route me around it. The problem was… Little Egypt is kind of, well, Bum F– Egypt (BFE). Go figure.

The very nice Sheriff guarding the closed road finally had to give me directions. I literally drove down one-and-a-half lane gravel farm roads, 10 miles out of the the way, dodging tractors bailing hay on the road, oncoming traffic (also people trying to route around the road closure, but in the other direction), and irate stares from the local farmers. Also, the car in front of me kicked up so much dust that I couldn’t see a thing – including the car in front of me.

Good times!

Actually, it really was good times. I had a blast. Sometimes life is more fun when it doesn’t go according to plan.

Tomorrow: details of the seminar itself, which was also great.

Paragons – An Anthology of Superheroes

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

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!

Silver Empire Submissions Update

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.