Richard Lee Byers is the author of over thirty fantasy and horror novels, including a number set in the Forgotten Realms universe. A resident of the Tampa Bay area, the setting for many of his horror stories, he spends much of his free time fencing and playing poker. His newest work is a story written for Blackguards, a kickstarter anthology of assassins, mercenaries, and rogues. Friend him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter as @RLeeByers, and read his blog on Livejournal.
I started reading fantasy as a teenager, and from the start, I was drawn to its rogues and antiheroes. Which is not to say that I didn’t appreciate Tolkien’s Frodo and Burroughs’s John Carter. I did. But not as much as I dug Leiber’s Gray Mouser and Fafhrd, Brackett’s Eric John Stark, Howard’s Conan, or Wagner’s Kane. I think there are several reasons why, some relating to the characters themselves and some to their creators’ styles of storytelling and world building.
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Phoenix Pick has a new pay-what-you-want eBook special ready to go: Future Perfect: Six Stories of Genetic Engineering by Nancy Kress!
About the book:
Nancy Kress is unrivaled in her treatment of genetic engineering. In 1991 she wrote the ground-breaking classic novella Beggars in Spain (Hugo/Nebula) and since then has only enhanced her outstanding reputation of telling stories set in the near-future and dealing with genetics.
This collection brings together six of these stories written between 1984 and 2008, including “The Flowers of Aulit Prison” which won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short story.
Readers may download this book for free or for a nominal price of their choice from September 2 – September 30. So grab it now!
Instructions and download links can be found on Phoenix Pick’s catalogue page.
Here’s our monthly roundup of (most of) the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror books that are hitting bookstore shelves this month.
Tell us in the comments which ones you are looking forward to the most!
- World War Kaiju by Josh Finney (01 Publishing)
- A.B.C. Warriors: 02 (Mek Files) by Pat Mills & Kev Walker (2000 AD Graphic Novels)
- The Prophecy Con (Rogues of the Republic Book 2) by Patrick Weekes (47North)
On My Radar: BROKEN MONSTERS by Lauren Beukes, THE STEAMPUNK USER’S MANUAL by Jeff VanderMeer and Desirina Boskovich, TIME TRAVEL: RECENT TRIPS Edited by Paula Guran
Call me silly, but books excite me. Here are a few examples of upcoming books that I’m looking forward to reading.
Here is the table of contents for the new issue of Flash Fiction Online:
- “The Cell I’m In” by Eli Hastings
- “Honeybee” by Caroline M. Yoachim
- “The Vitruvian Farmer” by Marcelina Vizcarra
This issue was edited by Suzanne Vincent and features cover art by Rick W Ware.
Single ebooks and subscriptions are available via Weightless Books.
Support Flash Fiction Online via Patreon.
And we’re back, after a nice August vacation.
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What’s Special About Today’s Free Fiction?
- Beneath Ceaseless Skies #153 - August 07, 2014
- @OpenBook Publishers: “A Time Travel Dialogue” by John W. Carroll, Et Al.
- @Mythic Delirium: “The Djinn” by Saira Ali
The eBook for The Shore of Women by Pamela Sargent is on sale for $1.99!
This classic work of feminist science fiction finds the world reordered. Following a nuclear holocaust, women have used advanced technology to expel men from their cities, bringing them back only for purposes of loveless reproduction under the guise of powerful goddesses. When one young woman, Birana, questions her society’s deception, she finds herself exiled amongst the very men she has been taught to scorn. As Birana and her reluctant male protector Arvil grow closer, their feelings for each other just might mend their fractured world—if they somehow manage to survive.
This deal is available to today only, so if you want it, pick it up while you can.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: An anthology of 24 military science fiction stories.
PROS: Excellent stories with highlights by Karin Lowachee, Linda Nagata, and Yoon Ha lee; beautiful Galen Dara Cover art.
CONS: As always with an anthology, some stories stronger than others; story order imperfect.
BOTTOM LINE: An essential set of stories for readers interested in military science fiction.
Almost ten years ago now, I picked up a copy of Stanislaw Lem’s novel Solaris and was struck at how different it was compared to a number of the other books I was reading at the time. It was an interesting and probing novel, one that I don’t think I fully understood at the time. (I still don’t).
Lem is an author who is truly uninhibited by genre convention. Last column, I looked a Ursula K. Le Guin, and have been thinking quite a bit about how science fiction authors began to put themselves into a box midway through the century when it came to ‘hard’ science fiction. Limiting a story in some regards requires one to limit one’s own imagination: after all, we’re talking about fiction, where authors can make up whatever they choose. Lem was one of the authors who could make up a considerable story and then deliver it.
Go read Stanislaw Lem and His Push For Deeper Thinking over at the Kirkus Reviews blog.
Kameron Hurley is the author of The Mirror Empire, as well as the award-winning God’s War Trilogy, comprising the books God’s War, Infidel, and Rapture. She has won the Hugo Award, Kitschy Award, and Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer. Hurley has also been a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Nebula Award, the Locus Award, BFS Award, and the BSFA Award for Best Novel. Her short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Year’s Best SF, EscapePod, The Lowest Heaven, and the upcoming Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women.
I get a lot of questions about what genre my books are. I mean, what do you call a book with space ships and magicians and shape shifters and aliens? (oh my!) How about a book with organic energy swords, satellites, empresses, orphaned scullery girls, blood magic and parallel worlds, like my latest book, The Mirror Empire?
In truth, I didn’t think too much about the genre of these books while I was writing them. With my God’s War Trilogy I chose to market it as the thing it was most like – science fiction. Maybe science fiction noir, like Blade Runner. And with The Mirror Empire, I did the same – it’s most like epic fantasy.
But for all intents and purposes, the genre of my work doesn’t really matter, especially while I’m writing it. If you asked me, honestly, what genre I wrote, I’d say it’s science-fantasy. It’s Thundercats. It’s Wonder Woman riding a kangaroo through space. I mean, what genre is that, really?
Here’s five things I learned when I stopped worrying about genre and just wrote the fricking stuff I love to write.
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