Meet The Immortals — Paul B. Kohler

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We’re nearing the end of the author interviews for The Immortality ChroniclesWe’ve gone through ten interviews so far and Paul B. Kohler is the final one before I share my own thoughts tomorrow. I’ve known Paul for a while now, enjoying his Linear Shift stories back during their first weeks being released into the wild. He’s full of some vivid and wonderful story ideas and we certainly get a doozy with his story in this anthology.

If you missed a previous interview, check them out with the following links: Patricia Gilliam, John Gregory Hancock, Drew Avera, Gareth Foy, D.K. Cassidy, Thomas Robins, E.E. Giorgi, Harlow C. Fallon, David Bruns & D. Robert Pease. Don’t forget, The Immortality Chronicles is just $2.99 through Launch Day (Sept. 4!).

Thankfully I was able to get Paul’s interview in and he chipped in a wonderful photo of himself with his exceptional responses. Enjoy the following (along with that photo):

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

Hmm. What can I say that I haven’t already said on the umpteen bio’s scattered around the internets? I am Paul B. Kohler. I hail from Littleton, Colorado, and I enjoy long walks on the beach… oh wait… I think I’ve used that one on another kind of website. Ok, seriously though, my name is Paul, and I am a late comer to the writer party. I’m in my mid 40’s, and only started taking my writing seriously a few years ago. I’ve always had the desire to write fiction, and have been inspired by the likes of Stephen King, but never took the leap until 2013. Maybe someday I could even call myself a full time writer, but until that magical day happens, I’ll keep my day job in architecture.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

I am writing for the Immortality Chronicles, because the entire Future Chronicles authorship is awesome, and I am beyond honored to be included in a volume. Samuel really figured things out correctly when he started putting together these fabulous anthologies. I can only hope that I get tapped on the shoulder again for another future chronicle.

11223824_10207875057263614_6072123625252704075_oWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles? 

My contribution to The Immortality Chronicles is titled Rememorations. It is a story about a man who buys into Immortality, but didn’t pay too much attention to the fine print, per se. After a certain amount of time, his mind became full of memories, and he had to have an additional “procedure” to make room for new ones. The hardest part was deciding which memories to eliminate. Once the decision is made, unknown consequences take over.

How can we find out more about you and your writing?

I write a blog… sometimes. OK, Most of the time, but only sometimes. You can find my ramblings at www.paul-kohler.net, where I try and keep an up to date progress section for anything in my writing queue.

What’s next for you?

Right now, I am mid-way through writing a 7 part serialized novel, titled The Borrowed Souls. The first part, self-titled Borrowed Souls originally published in early 2014 as a stand-alone short story. Since I wrote that piece, my mind would not stop thinking of the possibilities of that world. So, after I finished my last novel, Linear Shift, I began working on new episodes. I recently retitled the first part to The Soul Collector: Borrowed Souls: Book 1 and republished it. The second of 7 episodes is currently available on pre-order, and is titled Regretful Absolution: Borrowed Souls: Book 2. It will publish live on Tuesday, September 8th. I have the third installment ready to go as well, and is scheduled to publish on Tuesday, September 29th. Beyond that, a new episode will publish every three weeks – like clockwork.

Anything else we need to know about you and your story?

I think I’ve talked enough about myself and my stories for the moment. I would like to first thank Will for opening his blog to all the writers of the Immortality Chronicles. I’ve been following along with each of the interviews, and can only say that I am humbled to be included with such great talent. The act of writing a book is no easy task for any of us. Between the first spark of inspiration to the umpteenth rewrite along the way, hundreds of hours are involved. Some of us can do it more quickly than others, but that doesn’t at all diminish the effort involved. As I am relatively green in this exciting new world, I am most likely spending more time than the others, because I want things to be as “right” as possible. Beyond the authors involved, there is Samuel (Peralta). Even though he doesn’t have a story in this volume, I would almost guarantee he is has put in double the amount of effort than any single author involved. Please keep that in mind when you buy fiction. The small amount of money we ask is a mere pittance to the value you get. To help sweeten the pot for involved, please consider leaving a review where you purchased the book. Reviews help other potential readers decide whether or not to take a chance on an unknown title.

Meet The Immortals — Harlow C. Fallon

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We’ve reached the halfway mark on authors featured in the upcoming anthology, The Immortality Chronicles. Today I have the privilege of introducing Harlow C. Fallon. Harlow is the anchor on this anthology, and for good reason. Her story is one that I know people will be talking (maybe even raving) about once reviews start pouring in. Her tale takes both angles — positioning her protagonist (and antagonist?) both in the past, journeying to the New World in the 1600’s, and also in the future, journeying to a distant world in a spaceship. I loved the ties to history, but the very speculative nature of the tale.

To read it for yourself, go and preorder The Immortality Chronicles for just $2.99.

And in case you missed it, previous interviews are already up with: Patricia Gilliam, John Gregory Hancock, Drew Avera, Gareth Foy, D.K. Cassidy, Thomas Robins, and E.E. Giorgi. Interviews with the rest of the roster will be coming next week. Now…on to Harlow’s interview:

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

Ah, the age-old question: Who am I? What is my purpose in this world? Okay, fine, I won’t go the philosophical route. My name is Harlow Fallon and I’m the author of the Elmwyn Journey books, All the Wild Places and the Reach of the Hand. I’m also married, the mother of five grown children, and I’ve lived in Michigan for the past fifteen years.

Why are you writing for the Immortality Chronicles?

I’ve enjoyed reading the Chronicles since they first launched, and, of course, dreamed of seeing one of my own short stories published in a Chronicles anthology. But I wasn’t published yet. Working on it…oh so close…but hadn’t pushed the publish button. So I didn’t feel qualified to be included. I had a short story I thought would be perfect for one of the Chronicles, but held back until that day I became a published author. That step gave me enough confidence to ask Samuel Peralta if he’d consider my short story for another volume, The Immortality Chronicles. Samuel was gracious enough to give my story a read, and he agreed to include it. I’m very grateful to him for giving me the chance to finally have one of my short stories published, and in such an amazing series as the Future Chronicles.

What did you write for The Immortality Chronicles?

The title of my story is “A Long Horizon,” about a young woman in 1620s London who longs for a new life in Virginia. She boards a ship headed to the New World, but her course drastically changes when she is abducted from the ship by an alien entity and kept alive for 900 years until deep space travel becomes a reality. She’s an unwilling host to the alien on a ship headed to his home planet. The story explores the themes of isolation and loneliness, and how the loyal friendship of even one person can make a difference in a life.

harlowHow can we find out more about you and your writing?

You can find me on Facebook: facebook.com/harlowcfallon (feel free to friend or follow me). I’m also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/harlowcfallon and you can check out my books and short stories on my Amazon page: www.amazon.com/author/harlowfallon. I also have a website: www.harlowcfallon.com but it’s languishing at the moment. And one more: Instagram. https://instagram.com/hcfallon. I think that’s it. Whew.

What’s next for you?

I’m very excited about a new anthology in the works curated by author Chris Pourteau, called Tails of the Apocalypse. Each apocalyptic or dystopian story has an animal which plays an important role. The anthology springs from Chris’s own very popular story, Unconditional, about a dog who searches for his boy during a zombie apocalypse. I’ll have a story in the anthology, called “The Bear’s Child.” I’m honored to be included and to be sharing the limelight with some really amazing authors.

I also have a couple of novels in the works that I hope to finish and publish in 2016.

Anything else we need to know about you and your story?

Nothing more about me. I’m a no-frills kind of person. But I do want to say thank you to Sam for all his work, and for consistently putting out an incredible series of anthologies. Also thank you to Carol Davis for all her hard work editing this volume. And I want to mention how proud I am of supporting First Book with the proceeds from the sales of The Immortality Chronicles. Thank you, Will for your part in this. First Book puts new books in the hands of children in need. It’s a wonderful organization. www.firstbook.org.

Meet The Immortals — D.K. Cassidy

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Thanks for visiting another entry in the author introductions for The Immortality ChroniclesWe’ve got quite a collection of Immortality-themed stories for you in the next edition of The Future Chronicles (on sale during preorder right now for just $2.99). Today we’re going to hear from Immortal author (not really immortal….I think?) D.K. Cassidy.

To read the previous author interviews, click on the names listed below:

Patricia Gilliam

John Gregory Hancock

Drew Avera

Gareth Foy

Like I mentioned already, today’s guest is D.K. Cassidy. She definitely paid homage to British sci-fi master Douglas Adams with her story Room 42. I loved the themes she addressed and how she portrayed the events in her story. By the end, I was left with some answers, but a lot more questions; in the end, that’s a welcome factor for a quality short story. She is a welcome addition to The Immortality Chronicles, so without anymore from me, here is her interview:

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

My pen name is D.K. Cassidy. Books and writing have been a major part of my life since I was a small girl. I spent a lot of time in the public library, exploring the world and the universe one aisle at a time. I began to scribble my own stories in a notebook, never showing them to anyone. The stories were for me. Once I became an adult I realized I wanted to share my writing.

I enjoy writing in various genres including Magical Realism, Urban Gothic, Science Fiction and Literary Fiction. My goal? Messing with your mind by transforming the voices in my head into odd stories.

I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband Mark, twin sons Aidan and Jared, and three cats.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

The proceeds of this anthology benefit First Book. To quote the website http://www.firstbook.org, their mission is “Putting new books in the hands of the children who need them most.

The Future Chronicles is an epic series of anthologies. When I had the opportunity to write for one, I cleared my schedule and dove in!

11938237_10207627063217233_880679122_nWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles?

My story is Room 42. It explores the subject of unintended immortality and its consequences. Not everyone wants to live forever.

How can we find out more about you and your writing?

Visit my website: www.dkcassidy.com

Sign up for my newsletter: www.dkcassidy.com/newsletter

Follow me on Amazon: D.K. Cassidy, Amazon Author Page

What’s next for you?

I’m currently building a world based on my short story collection, Spilt Milk. It’s been fun taking characters that were briefly introduced to the reader and fleshing out their backstory. A few of the characters intersect and affect each other’s lives, sometimes unknowingly. The genre of this collection is Dark Literary Fiction, and Magical Realism. The writing style is will remind you of The Twilight Zone, Shirley Jackson (author of the story, The Lottery), Neil Gaiman, and Edgar Allen Poe.

Anything else we need to know about you and your story?

The number 42 appears throughout my story. It’s a nod to Douglas Adams, the brilliant author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Meet The Immortals — Gareth Foy

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Another day, another interview with one of the writers for The Immortality Chronicles due out Friday, Sept. 4.

Interviews so far:

Sunday: Patricia Gilliam

Monday: John Gregory Hancock

Tuesday: Drew Avera

Today: Gareth Foy

Gareth is a brand new writer. Seriously. I dare you to try to find anything he’s professionally written before now. In spite of the newness, Mr. Foy comes out of the gate swinging with his epic story here in The Immortality Chronicles. I really enjoyed the concepts he dealt with and the mind-bending possibilities from the potential truth he laid out for readers. I hope Gareth keeps up writing; he’s got a bright future after getting a start here in the latest edition of The Future Chronicles.

The Immortality Chronicles is on sale in preorder for just $2.99. On Launch Day, the price goes up to $5.99 so get your copy today!

Enough about my thoughts on Gareth. Here is my interview with the man:

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

I’m Gareth Foy, married to Melanie with two kids and living in Scotland.

I’ve been a massive SF/Fanatsy fan since I read the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in fifth grade. My first memory of writing because I wanted to be a writer was in 10th grade. My friend and I announced it to our English teacher, who was very supportive, and I poured out a few thousand words about a robot war before hitting the wall of doubt for the first time.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

I go over this moment time and again because I still can’t believe it. Writing was on hold after we bought a house in need of a lot of TLC and when the kids were born. After discovering this amazing community of SF Indie authors following Wool, I was more in awe than anything, but time and again I came across detailed tips for how you change from writing a few thousand words and shelving it to being someone that completes stories. So I set myself some targets to learn all of it, in small steps, and complete things.

At that point The Future Chronicles was and still is an amazing set of books full of authors I can’t get enough of. Then I was sitting during a break reading FB when Samuel announced The Immortality Chronicles. It didn’t say a word about previous publication or success. In fact, it seemed to be encouraging new authors. Plus, it was for a great charity I have no idea where the courage came from, but I sent Samuel told Samuel about an idea I had been working on, fully expecting to be turned down. I am forever grateful that the opposite happened and from that moment the support in the Indie community has been completely unbelievable.

garethWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles?

My story is called The Essence of Jamie’s Father. I grew up on Asimov and my joint favorite story of his is called The Last Question. It is a grandiose theme of future history and human discovery. I have been watching a lot TV made by a CERN physicist Prof Brian Cox lately and he seems to need to point out that although the universe may have many gazillion years left, eventually due to entropy, the last star will stop shining one day. So, I decided he is wrong, Asimov was right and the story boiled right down to a son and his immortal father.

How can we find out more about you and your writing?

It’s a work in progress but I’m trying to keep my website www.garethfoy.uk up to date and this has links to everywhere else I might put information.

What’s next for you?

I’m completing a follow up story in the “Essence” universe. Hanna Elizabeth has completed great covers for this story and the Jamie story for when I self-publish it. I hope to publish the sequel soon after The Immortality Chronicles is published.

I started a novel last NaNoWriMo. I love it and am also dying to get back to it. I had intended to wait until it was finished to publish, but, I’m seriously thinking of serializing it as well.

Anything else we need to know about you and your story?

As far as my writing and this story goes, I seem to want to be optimistic about the future of humanity and I like societies who take care of their most vulnerable. Human beings are amazing but we are still capable of great evil as well as great good. I like to think of a future, as difficult as it may be, where the balance may shift away from the great evil.

Book Review – Dark Beyond The Stars

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A couple weeks ago, I finished a wonderful new science fiction anthology. Dark Beyond The Stars is a star-studded and potentially ground-breaking collection of stories all set in space in one form or another. The authors and piublishers haven’t made a big deal out of it, but I believe the fact that women make up the entire line-up from cover to cover is significant. When I’m looking for role models for my daughter, I can positively look to these authors as bold, confident women who aren’t afraid to write science fiction in a field where their gender can sometimes be controversial in itself.

I already wrote a fairly comprehensive review of the anthology on Amazon and I’ll share that here. The book is officially out on Kindle today and for a couple more weeks, they are selling the Kindle version for 99 cents, so if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, now is the time.


darkAmazon Review:

For the past year and a half, I’ve fallen back in love with short stories. It was seeing the anthology From The Indie Side, edited by David Gatewood, that brought it all back. It reminded me of the collections of science fiction short stories and novellas I devoured as a teenager. I didn’t always love all the stories, but each one resonated in some way the more I read them, and I slowly learned that huge ideas can be vacuum-packed into a smaller word count.

So I eagerly leapt at a chance to read the latest anthology edited by David Gatewood, Dark Beyond The Stars. Again, I can’t say I fell in love with every story, but the collection featured story after story that reached something deep inside and pulled me along until the page count finally ran out. Dark Beyond The Stars takes readers on an epic journey through space, rewarding them with tales guaranteed to entertain as well as elicit tears.

I also don’t think I can address the quality of the book without mentioning a unique fact about the anthology — each and every writer is a woman. I hope to someday live in a world where this note is unnecessary, but that day is not today. There are some out there who will refuse to read a collection that features only women writers. There are some who may cling to the out-dated belief that science fiction is a men’s game. There are those who wouldn’t even give a each of the writers a chance based on their misogynistic thinking.

Those people would be wrong. These women prove that science fiction is a poorer field without them in it. Dark Beyond The Stars is a rich and full universe of stories that, I believe, benefit from a woman’s perspective and voice.

Now, as I analyze the volume, I’m not going to go into detail on each and every story — other reviews have taken care of this and readers can find those details in those reviews — but I’ll highlight a few of the pinnacles of the book for me.

First off, the choice of Susan Kaye Quinn to start the anthology with her story “Containment” is a sure-fire winner. While Quinn sets the story firmly within the universe she’s established in her latest novel “The Legacy Human,” the story stands securely on its own. As with many of the stories in the collection, the point doesn’t become what happens, but really what does it all mean? In this case, we meet an artificial intelligence who works as the manager of mining on Thebe. As the story slowly develops, we peel back layers of the onion to discover our A.I. is more than what he is allowed to be. The themes of A.I., wealth inequality, and slavery are prevalent throughout the story and make it one to remember.

Another story I loved was Ann Christy’s “Lulu Ad Infinitum” and consequences of a horrific accident on a colony ship headed into space. One of the passengers, Lulu, is left alive, and is confronted with the fact that the only way to continue is with help, and the only way to get help is by cloning. As the mind wanders over decades and generations, what does the ship look like and who is Lulu after all this time?

In the same themes of a colony ship, Theresa Kay’s “Protocol A235,” takes the view of disaster happening in space to the extreme. In contrast to Christy’s Lulu, however, Theresa Kay pulls a slow burn as the first-person protagonist slowly finds out what’s happened, and the life that she has in front of her. The horror of the situation seems a little more apparent to the reader, but watching it play out makes her story one of the gems of this collection.

And the heartbreaker of the bunch had to be Jennifer Foehner Wells “Carindi.” Those familiar with Wells’ “Fluency” know the intricacies of the alien ships, operated by octopi-like beings, but commanded by a different species entirely. Ei’Pio is one of the former, resigned to a fate where she cannot move after a plague wiped out the population of her ship. She discovers a lifeform in the aftermath, one confined to a stasis suit who will be her companion for years. The story plays out until a decision must be made and they must leave their area of space or die. Just as I loved “Fluency,” “Carindi” adds a greater depth and history to Wells’ universe.

Ultimately, David Gatewood succeeds in editing another premier anthology, but he is merely the pilot ship for an armada of warships made up of supremely talented writers. I loved Dark Beyond the Stars and hope that there is more to come from this group.

Meet The Immortals — John Gregory Hancock

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The Immortality Chronicles is officially released on Friday, September 4. In preparation for the launch, I’m conducting interviews with my fellow authors from the anthology.

Yesterday, I interviewed Patricia Gilliam. You can find that HERE.

Today, my subject is John Gregory Hancock. And yes, I’m sure he gets tons of grief about his name and perhaps even his signature. I’ve known John for a few years and I’m thrilled for him to get a chance to showcase his best work in this collection (and yes, I believe his Immortality short story is a great piece of fiction). I previously had a chance to read his novel ROOF and the man has an imagination worthy of inclusion in this edition of The Future Chronicles.

The Immortality Chronicles is on sale for just $2.99 until Launch Day.

Without further ado, John Gregory Hancock:

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

My full (and real) name is John Gregory Hancock. When I was a kid, there was no internet. There was barely television. But there were books. My hometown library allowed you to only check out 10 books or so for two weeks. I think. Whatever the limit was, that’s exactly how many books I put in the basket between the handlebars of my bike. For two weeks, I’d travel the cosmos, fight the dragons, live 20,000 leagues under the sea, solve mysteries with Watson, and ask if androids dream of electric sheep.

I grew up in the sixties, with access to the golden age of science fiction. I was always told to go outside and play, stop reading so much. As if!

I work as a graphic designer and illustrator for the last 30 years and counting, More than that really, but let’s just be done talking about how old I am. Enough with my life story, already.

What I am now is an indie author that has published eclectic anthologies of my own, a couple of novels (novellas perhaps) and have illustrated each of them.

I like to say I’m a storyteller because I want to tell the story and stay out of its way. If the story is good enough, no one notices the storyteller, they’re looking at the tale as it is created behind their eyes. That is the sweet spot. That’s where I want to live.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

I cannot come up with a single reason why I wouldn’t want to. Really, why anyone wouldn’t want to. Have you read any of the other chronicles? If not, stop reading this right now, go out and buy The Dragon Chronicles (as an example) read it, and come back to me and try to convince me why I wouldn’t want to be part of this amazing set of books.

Good luck. You couldn’t do it. And, you wouldn’t want to.

11145234_886128228139578_2995516610234344992_oWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles? 

I wrote the story The Antares Cigar Shoppe.

I knew the topic of immortality was well-traveled. So I set about to create a story that spanned millions of years, not just decades or centuries. I wanted to write about what that kind of immortality would actually mean. And, I wanted to compress the impact of a great expanse of time into a single, seemingly mundane day on the planet Curie Prime. That was the challenge I set for myself.

How can we find out more about you and your writing?

Mostly, you can go to my author site: http://www.johngregoryhancock.com which will have links to all sorts of thing about me, or my amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/John-Gregory-Hancock/e/B00B8ECQMW

What’s next for you?

I’m in the weird place of multiple simultaneous projects. Some I can talk about. I’m retooling a short gothic horror piece into an illustrated novella that will be titled The Mortuary Arts. I’m working with another author to produce what we plan to be a comedic thriller. I’ve started a sequel to ROOF, called ROOF WORLD: Nike’s Choice. I have outlined a sideways sequel to Crawlspace that will be titled Banyan’s Law, the origins of Jack and Marisol Banyan. I have outlined a science fiction drama entitled Return to Me, My Beloved.

I have a notebook with over 30 short story ideas, and adding more all the time.

Because I rely on my lucid dreams for plot ideas, every time I go to sleep I could harvest another one.

Anything else we need to know about you and your story?

These are things not included in the story itself, but in my notes and intent before writing it:

In case you’re wondering, the name of the planet Curie Prime refers to Madame Curie. Because she’s a French scientist. The character names and some of the words are French. My device there is that a certain pivotal character grew up in ancient France on Earth.

Antares and Antares B do exist in reality as a supergiant and blue companion star.

There is no Badeaux cigar, harvested at the precise peak of maturity, the leaves delicately aged over steam produced from slowly roasting silkworms. But there ought to be.

Why is it set in a cigar shoppe? Why NOT a cigar shoppe? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Or is it? Until we open the wrapper, do we really know?

Hmmm. Schroedinger’s cigar. excuse me, I have another idea.

Book Review – The A.I. Chronicles

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aiThere’s just something about science fiction that causes the reader to look, not just towards the future, but also to our past and our present. I found myself thinking about a lot while I read the latest Future Chronicles installment – The A.I. Chronicles.

Throughout humanity’s existence on earth, we’ve continuously defined what it means to be a person. Men (especially white men in the Western hemisphere in the past 2,000 years) have long since had the power over everyone else, determining a person’s humanity by their gender, their skin color, their age, even the amount of property they owned.

Along with the growth of science and technology, mankind has evolved to the point where nearly all of those disputes are in our past. The next wave of humanity may deal with a similar issue, but it will be of our own making. What is intelligence? Does intelligence equal humanity? Do those with “artificial” intelligence deserve the same rights as those born naturally?

Those are tough questions for sure, and many of the stories in The A.I. Chronicles tackle those issues head-on. I thoroughly enjoyed each of the thirteen stories put together in this collection and know I will go back in the future and re-read them again and again.

There were more than a few that caught my attention, starting first and foremost with “Vendetta” by Chrystalla Thoma. The story tells about a future war between humanity and the A.I., long since fought and nearly forgotten about. Humanity has moved on, keeping technology in their lives, but not at the center. As a reader, I really enjoyed this story which kept me asking questions about who the protagonists were and their place in this futuristic society.

I also loved Patrice Fitzgerald’s “Piece of Cake.” As someone who is overweight, and struggles with those issues, I see stories in the news about the government taxing additional calories, prohibiting super-size drinks and snacks, and imposing restrictions on meals for kids in school. It is troubling to see the government legislate those things, and Fitzgerald takes that and advances the idea to include a 1984-type society complete with the food police around every turn, thanks to an A.I. who monitors food intake and weight. Fascinating and scary, with the trademark Fitzgerald humor attached.

I could talk about each and every story and some reviews may do so, but I’ll leave it at this — you won’t regret buying this collection.

The short story is a wonderful form, especially in science fiction where so much unmined ground can be found. I am constantly amazed by each and every story I find in the Future Chronicles anthologies and eagerly anticipate each to come.


 

(Reviewer Note: I received an Advance Reviewer Copy in exchange for an honest review. In the interest of full disclosure, my story “Uncle Allen” was previously published in The Alien Chronicles and I am slated to appear in the upcoming anthology The Z Chronicles.)

Buy My Books! (If you want to, that is…)

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I’m a terrible promoter. There are a lot of indie authors out there who have no shame in sticking their books in your face and daring you to buy their books or unfriend them. I hope I’m not one of those people — I really try hard not to be. But, I’ll put out the plea here for a few days — buy my books!

I’ve put each of my eligible books up for a Kindle Countdown Deal, meaning their normal price above $2.99 will be 99 cents for the next week. You can pick up Dead SleepDead Sight, and Baking With Swords all for just 99 cents each — combined you can get them for less than the price of a Coke at the movie theatre.


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DEAD SLEEP (Dead Sleep #1)

What would you do if you could see your future?
For smalltown newspaper reporter Jackson Ellis, the answer is: nothing. Jackson wants to chart his own course – not allow his visions to influence his life. That all changes when he “meets” Kristina Walsh. He sees a future with her – a love that’s destined to be.
The trouble is, she’s lying in a casket in the local funeral home.
Dead?
That’s what it looks like to the world, but Kristina’s got a secret.
Kristina has a troubled and complicated past of her own. For over a decade, a shadowy organization called The Company has controlled her, and once they discover she’s alive and out of their grasp, they’ll stop at nothing to get her back.
In this debut novel from the best-selling author of the Silo Saga story “The Veil,” Jack and Kristina wage a desperate battle for her freedom – a journey of self-discovery, love and what it means to be human.


Dead Sight ebook

DEAD SIGHT (Dead Sleep #2)

Darkness has overtaken the path…
Once, Jack could see the future. Using that amazing ability, he saved the woman he never knew he loved from a fate she didn’t deserve.
Now, that sight has vanished. He and Kristina are flying blind. The only option? To reach South Dakota and search out the last living link to Jack’s past and discover their shared destiny. They won’t rely on Jack’s vision, but instead will put their faith in a man dead for over 70 years.
Together, they’ll find that even in their weakest moments, they’ve never been stronger. They’ll discover that the secrets they uncovered in Dead Sleep are not the end of the story.
The second book in the Dead Sleep trilogy reunites the reader with Jack and Kristina, propelling them upon a perilous journey even deeper into the stunning world created by Will Swardstrom.
Bonds will be tested. Love will be lost. When faced with an impossible choice, what will Jack choose?


Concept 3BAKING WITH SWORDS: A Short Story Collection

Three stories from two brothers and a sister: Will Swardstrom, Paul K. Swardstrom, and Betsy Baker. Each story with its own unique perspective and genre. The only thread connecting them being family ties between the three authors.

The Price of Greatness by Paul K. Swardstrom
What drives a man? Is it simply being a good person, being a family man, or that single dream of greatness that runs through us all? What if we could have the chance to go back? What is the price of greatness?

Flutter by Betsy Baker
Treasure these moments…children change so fast. What would one mother do when the changes her daughter is going through aren’t so…normal?

A Whimper by Will Swardstrom
At a certain point, human evolution and technology merge, but at what cost? How far will we go before the end is the inevitable conclusion?

EACH of these titles is just 99 cents through next Wednesday. Pick up your copies and tell your friends. And I’ll try not to shove them in your face from here on out. 

Anthology Awesomeness!

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Whoa…time got away from me and I forgot to update you guys over here. In the span of one week in the beginning of 2015, I have two stories in two separate anthologies to tell you about. Let’s start with The Powers That Be.

Cover3Back in early 2014, I was privileged to be in my first anthology — WOOL Gathering. All the stories were centered around Hugh Howey’s WOOL Universe and were penned by authors who had all previously written WOOL stories. It was a fantastic collection that I will forever be proud of. One of the best parts is that all the proceeds will go towards the National Novel Writing Month Young Authors program.

So, the authors of LOOW (the League of Original Woolwriters or perhaps the Loofah of Obstinate Wetness) have brought forth another charity anthology — The Powers That Be. It’s already been for sale for a few days and been holding steady on the Kindle Science Fiction Anthology sales charts. Nine stories, all centered around superpowers. Authors are: Ann Christy, WJ Davies, Samuel Peralta, Logan Thomas Snyder, Carol Davis, Thomas Robins, David Adams, Paul K. Swardstrom, and myself. And, I was able to cajole Ernie Lindsey into penning a wonderful Foreword to the book. All great stories, confirmed by the outstanding reviews we’ve received so far.

My story is called “To Sacrifice A King,” and deals with the oft-overlooked role of superhero sidekick. A touch of humor, a smattering of pop culture superhero references, and a question: do powers really make a hero?

For a limited time, just 99 cents and all proceeds for this book will go towards the Sickle Cell Clinic at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana. The price will go up soon, so get your copy before it’s too late.

alien chrThe next book to tell you about is The Alien Chronicles. Throughout the back half of 2014, I watched a few independent anthologies get published — From the Indie Side, Synchronic, The Robot Chronicles & The Telepath Chronicles. After reading the first three and absolutely loving The Robot Chronicles (enough for it to make my top 18 list of 2014), I approached Samuel Peralta about joining in a future installment. He looked over my meager qualifications and invited me to join The Alien Chronicles.

To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. But I was also incredibly nervous. These anthologies are showcasing some amazing independent publishing talent and I was going to put my stuff up against theirs and say it’s on the same level. I worked hard to put out the best story I could — ultimately drawing back to my roots visiting my grandmother’s farm growing up. My story is called “Uncle Allen,” and has about the same vibe of my short story Ant Apocalypse.

But check out the list of authors joining me: Hugh Freakin’ Howey, B.V. Larson, Jennifer Foehner Wells (her Fluency was on my Top 18 List, too!), Daniel Arenson, Blair Babylon, Annie Bellet, Peter Cawdron (I love that dude), my good friend and writer WJ Davies, Patrice Fitzgerald, Autumn Kalquist, Moira Katson, Samuel Peralta, Geoffrey Wakeling, and Nicholas Wilson. Foreword by my pal Stefan Bolz. Holy Smokes. Edited by the incredible David Gatewood with a cover by the incomparable Jason Gurley and you have about a perfect package. People are going to love this book.

It’s up for pre-order right now and will officially be for sale on Friday, so pick up your copy and get to reading. Between these two books, you can read 24 stories for less than the cost of a Value Meal at McDonald’s. Amazing value for some amazing stories.

Free Book Today – Baking With Swords

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The short story collection I published a few months ago with my brother Paul and my sister Betsy is now available for free for a very limited time (just one more day!).
You can pick it up at no cost and enjoy three separate and different short stories. Paul’s story, The Price of Greatness, is about man’s eternal search rivaling the ordinary of daily life. Betsy’s tale, Flutter, tells about a mother and her daughter, who is undergoing inexplicable changes. My story, A Whimper, is an end-of-the world tale through the lens of one person and society’s dependence on technology.
To get it, just click on the large cover image above!