Stories wanted for a Sword and Sorcery anthology

Millhaven has another open submission.

Books of the Broken

Do you have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of Robert E. Howard (Conan/Kull), Fritz Leiber (Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser), C.L. Moore (Jirel), Lin Carter (Thongor), or Joanna Russ (Alyx)?  We are looking for four authors to compose 10,000 – 15,000 word stories for a new Heroic Sword and Sorcery anthology to come out in early 2019.  We are looking for all new worlds, all new characters, all new adventures. 

If you have a great story to tell, let us know about it. Go to Millhaven Press  for more information or send us a story proposal of 100-500 words and a sample of your finished writing (any genre is fine, we just need a sample to get a feel for your style) to using “Sword and Sorcery Proposal” in the subject line.  We have four slots open, so when they are filled they are filled…

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I was a willow last night in a dream

I was listening to Robert McCammon’s novel Boy’s Life the other day.  In the long introduction he talks about childhood and magic, and how the world is a magical place when we are children and we gradually lose our ability to see the magic as we grow older.

It’s a common sentiment, and the basis for a great many works of magical realism, Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, Lewis’ Narnia series, Barker’s The Thief Of Always, Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

But as I was listening I realized–and this has taken me a long time to understand, and longer still to admit–that I don’t buy it. In fact, after taking a good hard look at my life experience, I realized that, for me, it was exactly wrong.

That is to say, when I was a child I did not see the world as magic, I saw the world as a magic trick, which is the opposite thing.  I didn’t understand how things worked, but I was confident that they did work by mechanical and logical processes. I knew–it was an article of faith for me–that there were wires and trap doors lurking behind anything that seemed magical.  I lived in a Scooby Doo universe, and I would always be able to rip the mask off the fantastic to reveal the grumpy old man. No one was going to get away with haunting my cosmos, not so long as this pesky kid was around to stop it.

For me growing up was a process of losing, not my childlike sense of wonder, but my childlike faith in mechanical determinism.  Things that are not understood are pedestrian and boring.  You accept the things that happen because you assume that’s what is supposed to happen, and that there is a perfectly logical explanation for them happening that way and not some other way.

It’s only when you start looking for false bottom in the trick top hat and fail to find it does your faith in the ordinariness of things begin to crack. Mathematics is dull when you don’t know anything about math.  But once you begin to study number theory and see the miraculous nature of integers you begin to realize that magic is loose in the world.

To a child, electricity is sane and reasonable, a willing butler who lives inside the walls and comes when called. Working with electricity, though, you come face to face with the barely chained god of lightning and destruction.

Driving is magical. At sixteen a driver’s license is a scroll imbued with words of power to shrink the world to the size of a model train set. A checkbook is a tome of endless things, guarded by a curse that lurks to bedevil those who fail to cast its runes with sufficient skill. Having a job is a gate to undreamt authority, an identity among the elect. One’s own apartment? A demesne worthy of any necromancer.

Buying alcohol with one’s own money, using one’s own lawful identification? Faust weeps with envy. And sex? Eldritch wizardry. If the gods made anything better they kept if for themselves.

And this is the fantasy I write (I might as well call it “fantasy”, the word fits as well as any and better than most). Not the magic of a child, which is an open-mouthed gaping at stars that could be spangles hanging on strings for all that they are understood, but the magic of a young man who is learning to intone the secret incantations that drive the clockwork of the world.

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Cirsova #5 Free All This Week!


We’ve been running a promotion on twitter, where for every 100 retweets, we’ll make a back issue of Cirsova free.

We’re making #5 free first, because it contains both The First American (Schuyler Hernstrom) and Beyond the Great Divide (S.H. Mansouri), which are finalists for the Planetary Awards and the Ursa Major Awards respectively.

So, download the issue, read those stories, and go vote!

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New Magazine Magazine: Pre-orders for Issue 1, Submissions for Issue 2

Millhaven Tales –

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An Opportunity

When I was looking for short fiction markets I ran across a call for submissions for The Best American Science Fiction And Fantasy 2018.  As near as I can determine, it’s a legitimate anthology, open to SF and Fantasy stories published during 2018.  For full details on the requirements, read the link, but the short form is that they are looking for stories published in magazines or anthologies this calendar year (not self-published) by American or Canadian writers and published by American or Canadian publishers.

This means, for example, that stories published in Cirsova magazine would qualify, provided the author is American or Canadian. (Unfortunately Superversive Press is Australian, which means I can’t send “mDNA”).

It doesn’t say specifically when the submission period will end, but the implication is that it will be open all year.

This looks to me to be a chance to promote Pulp Rev/New Adventure fiction, so I urge all of the usual suspects (you know who you are) to give it a shot and send in the year’s best work.


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An Open Invitation

I did this once before (you can read an interview with Samuel West, Pale Surgeon) and I think I’ll do it again with someone from Bad Dreams & Broken Hearts–maybe Grandmother Wolf.

But it’s a cool idea for promotion and a lot of fun.

Entertaining Stories

Let’s start this post by recycling this graphic:

Lisa Burton

Long time followers know what this is all about, but I’m going to write about it for the new folks out there. I use my original character, Lisa Burton, to host an imaginary radio show on this blog. Lisa Burton Radio interviews the fictional characters from your books.

These are a bit of a collaborative effort; whereby, I get your notes and create the shtick. You fill in the blanks where your character would interact with Lisa. These post on Thursdays.

I didn’t have a guest this week, but I’m set for next week. I must have a dozen of these interviews in the mail in various stages right now, but they aren’t getting finished for whatever reason. Some folks get halfway through the process, then simply disappear.

I generally work up the shtick over the weekend and send it to you…

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As the creator of the Slagborn, I approve of this post.

“Beyond the Great Divide” by S.H. Mansouri an Ursa Major Award Finalist –

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