"I love it when a plan comes together!"
~ JOHN "HANNIBAL" SMITHThis past Saturday saw the release of the steampunk anthology, Den of Antiquity, a project it gives me great pride to be associated with. The brainchild of Bryce Raffle, a Canadian author of thrilling tales, and a true mover and shaker in the Scribblers' Den group at Steampunk Empire. This is the Den's second anthology, which has become a traditional anniversary celebration for the group. Bryce announced an open call for stories, I don't remember, almost six months ago, a time frame that even I could meet. The theme was to be a den. Fitting somehow, eh? Well, according to my trusty Funk & Wagnalls, a den can be a private room for relaxation or study, the cave or retreat of a wild animal, or a term for a place, such as a den of thieves. As long as the story worked a den into the narrative, it was a go. There were eleven stories collected for inclusion, and a glance at the table of contents should prove instructive:
Brass and Coal by Jack Tyler
An Evening at the Marlon Club by Kate Philbrick
Dragon's Breath by E. C. Jarvis
The Reluctant Vampire by Neale Green
The Complications of Avery Vane by Bryce Raffle
The Jackalope Bandit by David Lee Summers
After the Catastrophe: The Lady of Castle Rock by Steve Moore
When the Tomb Breaks by William J. Jackson
All that Glitters by Karen J. Carlisle
Yggdrasil's Triumphant Return by Alice E. Keyes
After the Crash by B.A. Sinclair
Information on all the authors can be found at Scribblers' Den, and there is a gallery of pictures and links to their Steampunk Empire pages, and from there back to their author sites, so a few mouse clicks will open up a wealth of information on a group of fine independent authors who offer tales from the cutting edge, with no publishing house prodding them to recapture the Last Big Thing. If you are a steampunk die-hard looking for some voices that you might not yet be familiar with, or a curious newbie wanting to try out the genre, here is a list of links where the book can be obtained:
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On the writing front, I have finally finished the line edit of Beyond the Rails III, and have begun the process of evaluating the suggestions made by my talented alpha-readers. I can't say enough about these guys. They read my unedited first-drafts with all their warts and running sores, and say things like, "Wouldn't this line read better as..." or, "This scene might be more effective if they used a frannistat rather than a gunkulator." (Isn't steampunk wonderful?) I would still rather be writing Stingaree than rewriting Beyond the Rails, but the worst part is behind me, and it paid some handsome dividends in the process. Of course, I could publish what I have right now and be done with it, but the discipline to not do that is what keeps my ratings at 4 and up, and my reviews, as a rule, glowing. Well, that, and those aforementioned alpha-readers. So if I can hold to this pace over the holidays, Beyond the Rails III should be on track (no pun intended) for a January release, at which time I can throw myself whole-heartedly into Stingaree. That's also the time that I will start to toy with ideas for the next project, and next week, I'll be soliciting opinions about that, so be sure to stop in Sunday, and we can have some real fun!
And that's 30 for this issue. Play nice, look out for one another, and above all else, get out there and live life like you mean it!