So, today I get to tell you about something cool that happened to me. A couple of years back, I came across a request for submissions for an anthology. Edge Publishing, a sci-fi and fantasy house, was putting together a collection of stories that took place on or around trains. As I read through the extensive list of thematic elements they desired, my blood began to tingle.
I had a story for them.
It doesn’t happen to me often, but every now and then a story wanders in, pulls up a chair, and refuses to leave until I write it down. This one happened to be about one of my favorite characters, Reddeth the Orc. He’s a freelance bad guy in a fantasy world during a time of change. The old ways — the ones he’s used to and indeed most suited for — are dying. Free trade is replacing raiding. Most of the evil wizards bent on world domination have been defeated. Even the Orc Empire has settled down, content to do business with industry and laws, rather than muscle and steel.
All of which leaves guys like Reddeth out in the cold.
Anyhow, I wrote a story, The Cake Run, about this orc taking a job as a security guard on a dwarf train and the horrible things that happened to them one day on the run to Karith Dundol. It seemed to fit with Edge’s guidelines, so I went ahead and submitted it. To my delight, they accepted it.
It was my first big sale. I didn’t stop smiling for a week.
And now, it’s finally going to be in print. The ebook comes out in September, although it’s up for pre-order now. The official book launch comes out in November. If this sounds like your cup of tea, I hope you pick up a copy and that you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.
Here are the details from the publisher’s site:
(An Anthology of Phantasmagorical Engines and Rail Riders)
Book your ticket now for a trip to the future, the past, and the timeslips in between.
Through the eloquent prose and imaginings of eighteen tellers of tales, we are pleased to present to you a collection of stories-on-a-train that will transport you to tantalizing worlds that you simply cannot imagine.
Perhaps no other anthology in-living-memory encapsulates such wholehearted, ill fated, poignant, and even hallucinogenic stories with such grace and balance as those contained in this volume.
These stories span the genres of literary fiction, steampunk, space opera, futurism, tragedy, magical realism, slipstream, horror, comedy, urban fantasy and more.
In all, a sizzling collection, curated by Neil Enock (who is a train aficionado, podcaster, screenwriter and filmmaker), presenting high-voltage, off-the-rail entertainments that are feature rich with characters who are: schemers, dreamers, adventurers, lovers, detectives, rogues, and more; and whose human weaknesses always seem to get the better of them.
DO NOT DELAY. DO NOT BE LEFT BEHIND. THIS TRAIN LEAVES PROMPTLY ON TIME.
Showcased in this single collection are eighteen trail blazers tasked to escort you on your inimitable journey:
Jason Lane, David Worsick, Liam Hogan, Christine Hanolsy, Gavin Bradley, Michael Johnstone, Dwain Campbell, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Peter Hargraves, Melodie Leclerc, Rachel Leidenfrost , Nick Svolos, Maurice Forrester, Kendall Eifler, Samuel Marzioli, Neil Enock, Laurie Stewart, Kim Solem.
The stories offered will delight you with such surprising humor and stinging tragedy, you will be compelled to read them all in one sitting.