Tag Archives: fantasy fiction

The Map Maker of Morgenfeld

The Map Maker of Morgenfeld thumb

I have a new novel out, and this one has a bunch of intriguing things about it. Intriguing to me, anyway.

First, it’s a fantasy, which I don’t often write. That said, there are no wizards or magic or dragons, no vast armies of conquest, no hero smiting demons with a terrible swift sword. This novel grows out of my younger self’s love of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast series (I even shamelessly bastardized the name).
My style is very different from Peake’s. Well, of course, writing has changed over the years, and while Peake wrote some wonderful books, they are a product of their period. I like to think I’ve captured something of their essence in my own world.

Secondly, I wrote the novel while traveling. In April and May of 2017 we had a fabulous voyage to Santiago, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert, Quito and the Galapagos Islands. Almost six weeks away.

I wrote every day. Usually stolen moments in the evenings, at kitchen tables, or in dining rooms. Once or twice in noisy cafes.

The trip was awesome. But it was cool to maintain that writing momentum throughout. Especially with the focus on a project. I suppose elements of South American culture and lifestyle may well be wrapped up somewhere in the book.
Thirdly, or perhaps this should be my first item, I wrote the novel on a phone. We traveled light. Carry-on luggage only. Taking a laptop, with a bulky charger, would have been a nuisance. I discovered the cool little Rapoo bluetooth keyboard. I bought the Docs2go app, which allowed me to format the document nicely as I went, and also to track my word count.

I designed and 3D-printed a stand for the phone. I bought a travel wallet, one intended for money and cards and documents, and used that to create a neat little package for the keyboard, stand and phone so they could all just drop into my backpack easily.

All of those elements make The Map Maker of Morgenfeld perhaps my most unusual novel so far. I’m sure that traveling influenced the writing. I’m sure that the restriction of the phone influenced the writing.

I hope it all worked out into a readable, enjoyable book.
The cover illustration is near-perfect for me anyway. By Grandfailure | Dreamstime. It really shows the clutter and maze of Morgenfeld better than I’d pictured it.

Available all over, in print ($12.99), and as an ebook ($5.99), KindleSmashwords, and so on.

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The Bubbcat in Cirsova

cirsova-4My short story “The Bubbcat” appears in the Fall issue of Cirsova magazine. Cirsova has now reached its fourth issue and goes from strength to strength. I’m pleased to have my story here.

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Dolci D.’s job should be simple. Retrieve and protect the Bubbcat. Easy. It turns out, the device can just about take care of itself. And when people start bombing subway stations, Dolci D. needs every bit of help the Bubbcat can give

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A great collection of stories here, running the whole gamut. I’m pleased to be in such great company. Lots to enjoy.

 

Imaginary Maid Forgets She is Late for a Banquet – new ebook short story

I have a new story out through Smashwords. Imaginary Maid Forgets She is Late for a Banquet is a magicpunk, or magic realism. The story was first published in the Static Movement anthology Alternate Dimensions.

The amazing cover art is by Ateliersommerland and sourced through Dreamstime. The waif has the perfect expression to suit Bianca’s character.

My little description at Smashwords goes like this: “Bianca’s had about enough of Paulette, the school bully. But when she calls up magic to help out, both girls are in for more than they bargained for. Much more.”

And though you can read the first 20% free anyway, I do like to put the opening paragraphs here for a teaser too:

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Bianca sulked. She’d pushed herself into a corner of the kitchen, crouched and squeezed herself right under one of the benches.
“Bianca,” Paulette called. “Come out.” She paused, giggled a little. “Come out, come out.”
“Wherever you are,” Bianca whispered.
“I’ll teach you, you little snipe. I will teach you a lesson you’ll never forget.”
Bianca looked around the corners of the tiny dark space. She needed magic.
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Year’s best fantasy, 9

A last minute post here before I’m off. TOR books, a science fiction imprint which has been around for ages, is making The Year’s Best Fantasy 9 available in chunks for free from their website. You have to be a registered user, but as with many sites now, that only takes a moment. I discovered that a story by one of my favourites, Kim Wilkins “The Forest”, was in there. Nice to be able to read some fantasy again from her (oh, I haven’t read it yet, just registered, downloaded and printed – I’ll add it to the pile of reading for the week away).