Monday, June 30, 2014

More on Dark Urban Tales


Image: taptoe
In between battling neighbors over noise issues and loading up my schedule with medical appointments, I managed to wedge in a little writing over the last few weeks. I am having a delightful time crafting new short stories for Dark Urban Tales.

Three previously published shorts will be included:

"Death Honk"
"Fresh Ideas"
"Bummed Out"

In addition, there will be narratives about:

The fate of a dietary zealot in a cineplex inhabited by strange,
junk-food loving creatures.

An actor pursuing romance as his play collapses around him.

The Office meets Locked Up: Raw in a company where the most
vital rules are not written in the corporate manual.

A job applicant at a daycare center must outwit amoral
children steeped in Machiavelli.

Young urban professionals discover you
can't militarize the police without a little collateral
damage.

As mentioned, this will be my first softcover book, in addition to eBook formats on Amazon and Smashwords. For all the labor, the excitement hasn't dimmed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned Showcases Solid Writing

Everything Ravaged, Everything BurnedEverything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nine short stories of relationships, status, and control are characterized by sharp writing and a good eye for metaphor. Tower's tales often involve change and a character's need to adjust as in "Executors of Important Energies" where a son must deal with a father's fading memory as well as the unexpected addition of a stranger to the relationship.

Other stories involve the consequences of infidelity, antagonistic brothers seeking common ground in the killing of a moose, and jaded Vikings hoping to find serenity in raiding one more island. A funny, dark, hopeful collection of well-crafted yarns.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Kaiju Apocalypse Cuts Corners

Kaiju ApocalypseKaiju Apocalypse by Eric S. Brown
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Action for action's sake marks this eBook that draws heavily on story elements from films such as Pacific Rim and Starship Troopers. Rising seas have broken the Earth up into island nations. But Kaiju, big monsters, are destroying Mankind's redoubts one by one. With only a single refuge left, the military launch a final, desperate mission with humanities' survival at stake.

Stock characters leave you no one to root for. Contrived story elements can pop up at any time. Cliched prose included such ancient phrases as "frayed nerves," "swarmed like locusts," and something exploding "like an overripe melon."

If you don't read widely, you might not mind the various flaws. But it seemed like the book was rushed into print without benefit of copy editing or proof reading. Good cover art, but the authors might consider building a tale worthy of the image.

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Dark Urban Anthology Coming Up Soon

Image: Free Wallpaper
 Maybe even next on the publishing calender. Last week was a grind, as I wrote out a second draft on a short story that billowed out to over 6,000 words. As of today there will be eight stories in the projected anthology, including three previously published and five original. The theme is dark urban fiction. Not horror, but psychologically disturbing—much like my neighbors and certain members of  state government.

My H.P. Lovecraft comedy-horror tale simmers now on draft six. I'm giving it another week, then I'll see if I'm motivated to continue. It will be a full-length book released in soft cover and eBook formats sometime later this year. And that's the state of that for now.