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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Four to buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- The Ghost of Christmas Past special double edition!

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer, it is good to stop for a moment and reflect on all that has happened and all the good things we have done during the previous year. Now some of us haven't done all that much that could be considered good, really. Not getting drunk and shooting out streetlights, or failing to borrow a hundred bucks from your brother, never intending to pay him back really don't count as good deeds. They belong more in the column of unaccomplished bad deeds, which kinda fits if you are looking for that slacker image. Not so much if you want to be considered a pHilan...a fillanthro... a good deed doer. What would really put in the "nice" column, and innoculate you from many of the most common "naughty" lists items would be to click on the link below and order a copy of The Servant Of the Manthycore, one for you, and one for that brother of yours. Then borrow the hundred from him.

Remember all those Christmases when you were kids growing up together? And you would come down Christmas morning, knowing that this time for sure you would finally get that pony? And how everyone laughed at the expression on your face when you opened the big box under the tree to find a gallon of house paint and some wool socks? Your brother got the bicycle that year, remember? Now think back at how cool it would have been if you got the bicycle first, instead of having to blackmail it away with those incrimating poloroids of him kissing Becky Walters? That's the feeling you'll get when you just take a moment and click on the link below and order a few copies of The Servant of the Manthycore.

Now that we have disposed of reason number four, let's move on to the Special Bonus: Countdown to Christmas: Reason Three to buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- The Ghost of Christmas Future!

You still have those poloroids, don't you, stuffed away in a box in the back of the closet? Now is the time to recycle them! Chances are, Becky Walters won't be all that hard to find, and chances are she has a boyfriend or husband who wouldn't be all that happy about those pictures being widely circulated. The future is now, baby! A simple threat to post them on Facebook with a spam message to 10,000 users should be able to leverage a considerable amount of angst from your brother. Now that you don't have to pay back that hundred, you can for sure afford to take a moment and click below for your very own copy of The Servant of the Manthycore. Heck, get one for Becky, too. She'll be delighted and surprised to hear from you!

Tomorrow: Reason Number Two to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- A very special Christmas Eve episode that you will never forget!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore Here!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Five to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

This episode of CtC:RN5tBTSotM was delayed by the real world. A switch wigged out and had to be replaced--- one of those computer things. The server farm is three hours away, so I was out of commission for a number of hours while I coaxed its replacement into working order. When I returned in the wee hours, I was thrilled to find yet more corespondance from readers with questions about what I was trying to do.

A reader from the far upper right of the US emailed me to complain about the tone of CtC:RN5tBTSotM. She thought that if I was a little nicer, I would sell more copies of The Servant of the Manthycore (Available by simply clicking through the link below!). She said that I would catch more flys with sugar than with vinegar. I took a few minutes to relect, and realized that she was right, and immediately regreted my return email, but of course, it was too late, so, whatever. Sugar is much better than vinegar, if what you want to catch is flies. But you, gentle readers, are not flies. Actually, I am not certain what you are, but I am certain it is not that, though it does amuse me to imagine at least one critic as a tiny buzzing creature cought in a web, squeeking out "Help me!" in its tiny little voice from its all-too-human head. Whatever you choose as a descriptor, I am assuming that you have more economic clout than any household pest, including mooching brothers-in-law, and can afford my book. (Available by simple click-work through the link below!)

Speaking of brothers-in-law, lets not waste any time and just start into Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Five to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore--- Five Golden Rings.

It starts out this way. To make this a little simpler, I want you to get a paper napkin and a pen, because you will want to make a visual aid. Take the pen, and make a small ring, or circle on the napkin. This circle represents you, and the people you know. When you buy a copy of The Servant of the Manthycore (Available by simply clicking through the link below!) you will be able to help yourself with some quality reading, and once you have read it, you will be able to buy copies for your family and friends. However, if you can find just two more people, (and here you want to draw two more circles underneath the first one, and connect them with lines to the first, which for clarity's sake we will call the "Diamond" circle) you will have greatly expanded your Servant of the Manthycore influence circles. Now I'll be honest with you, this is as far as most people get, and there is no shame in that, but you seem like a little more of a go-getter. If you can convince just one of the lower circles (we'll call them your "Downline") to add two circles of their own (and here you will draw two more circles beneath one of the bottom rings, or circles and connect them with line to it) you will be secure in the knowledge that you have done your part in promoting and selling The Servant of the Manthycore (easy to start, just click on the link below). At that point all your circles, or rings become Golden, and many benefits accrue, including being able to take near-strangers to coffee, and deducting the check as a business expense.

*Tomorrow: Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Four to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- The Ghost of Christmas Past!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore Here!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Six to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

Once again I was going to make this one simple, you know, in the spirit of things, but then I recieved more email asking me some very specific questions that needed to be answered, so lets get this out of the way before we get down to the important business of why you should buy The Servant of the Manthycore (available through the link at the bottom of the page, of course.)

A concerned person from a state that starts with a vowel wrote and asked if my books were produced in a country that supports fair labor practices. Fair enough question. While I would like to say that they come from a tropical paradise where they are rolled between the thighs of dusky ink-stained maidens, like the old cigar ads (the cigars were rolled, not the ads--- those were printed in some third-world hell-hole in appalling conditions by abused workers held in a state of near-starvation) in fact these fine books were printed here in the good old U.S. of A! So you can be proud to display your copy in the window of your Toyota, BMW, or Kia next Labor Day.

Another person wrote in to ask if maybe this whole extravagant claim thingy I was doing with the whole countdown was a little over the top, and perhaps more than a bit misleading. She was concerned that folks might be deceived into buying my book thinking it was a comedy, or perhaps even worse because they thought it really would make them more attractive to the opposite sex. Another valid question, and one I am happy to answer. Do I think someone might buy the book for the "wrong" reasons, rather than on its own merits? Holy Smoke, I sure hope so! In fact, if you match that description, please waste no more time on this and go right to the bottom of the page, where you will find the handy link to purchase The Servant of the Manthycore.

Why am I not concerned that someone might be mislead into buying my book? Ahhh, glad you asked, because that makes a nice segue into Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Six to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore--- Financial Security!

Yes, my friends, it is true. When I first thought of this program I was down to my last dime, writing on the back of matchbook covers and in the margins of old Tiger Beat magazines. But after I wrote The Servant of the Manthycore, whole new worlds opened to me! Now I am typing on this fine emachine computerish thingy, and my words are spewed out through the internets to appear right there on your screen. The only thing I can think of that would be better would be if the words I wrote were sitting right there in your hands, in tangible form, between the covers so marvelously designed by Rachel Marks. You too can share this dream of my financial security by simply doing what you know is right. Click that link, order my book, change my world.

*Tomorrow-- Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Five to Buy my Book: Five Golden Rings!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Seven to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

I was going to just jump right into this one, but I received yet more correspondence, this time from people who somehow suspected that the brief mention yesterday of "Uncle Rodney who every Christmas shows up pickled and manages to find a new hard-to-find place to barf" was somehow directed at them. I want to reassure everyone that, yes, it was aimed specifically at you, and yes, I have been reading your mail. Get over it. Dick Cheney reads your mail, too, which is why he always has that snarl on his face, and why he keeps having those surgeries which are announced as heart bypasses, but are in fact total replacements of the kryptonite, which seems to have a shorter half-life than the original scientists promised him. He replaced them too, of course, and where they are there is no mail, so count your blessings, Buster.

Someone else wrote and asked if I would be willing to autograph the four copies she bought. (You, of course, can buy any number of copies The Servant of the Manthycore by simply clicking the link below!) I was of course flattered. I am not like major league ballplayers, who have to be bribed to sign a baseball. I will sign a baseball for free. Books, of course, are different, especially when they are my books. Because she was kind enough to buy so many at once, I reduced my inscribing fee by 7%, and would likely do the same for anyone else, except she also got a special purchase price discount of 5%. She wanted more, but finally in the interests of peace I finally had to tell her, "I just can't be bothered to mess with the pricing anymore. If you want a bigger discount, you'll just have to order in bigger lots, Mom."

Which in a roundabout way brings us to today's Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Seven to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore-- P.O.E., which stands for Peace On Earth, or in some cases Purity Of Essence.

Let's go with the first one first. What does the phrase Peace on Earth mean to you? To me it is evocative of snow falling gently outside, the crackle of a log burning brightly in the fireplace, carolers and Santas ringing their bells, and the triptophan-induced food coma caused by the traditional holiday combination of turkey, mashed potatoes and Jim Beam. What better way to finish off a perfect Christmas day than to sit down by that fire, open your new copy of The Servant of the Manthycore, and read aloud the faux-ancient stories of bondage, blood, betrayal and death. It will sure beat listening to Aunt Selma's rehashing of family history, with all that bondage, blood, betrayal and death. Think of the children! And if you do it right, and I get off my carcass, and the first book sells well enough (and you can do your part, by clicking on the link below!) maybe you will have started a new family tradition, and next year you can read the sequel aloud, too.

Purity of Essence is a little more difficult, so hang with me here. Some of you are thinking that I have ripped off Dr. Strangelove here, as POE was the fail safe code in that wonderful movie. As you recall, General Ripper was so concerned with the possibility that the enemy was planning to sap and impurify the precious bodily fluids of the American people with fluoridated water that he started a nuclear holocaust. Now, I am certainly not claiming that failing to purchase as many copies of The Servant of the Manthycore as you are able will set off some sort of holocaust, nuclear or otherwise, but I would like to mention that the terrorists are trying to destroy our way of life, including our free-enterprise system, and would like nothing more than to have you fail to purchase The Servant of the Manthycore out of fear. Nor am I claiming that clicking on the link below will in any way help you maintain your Purity of Essence. But you can never be too careful, and at the list price $13.99 (available for as little as $6.99 plus shipping) it seems a pretty reasonable investment against those who would threaten our precious bodily fluids with impurity. And I am proud to guarantee that The Servant of the Manthcore contains not one drop of added fluoride.

*Tomorrow-- Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Six to Buy my Book: Financial Freedom!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Eight to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

So where are we? I think it is the "Three calling birds" day, right? Anyway, I wanted to let those of you who have already purchased my book, The Servant of the Manthycore (available through the link below, of course) that although your purchase is greatly appreciated, it is simply not enough. Did you go through your High School yearbook and insist that each person there buy a copy? Why not? Its not like you risk them never talking to you again. At your next reunion they will still have to read your name tag in order to pretend convincingly to be happy to see you even though they have absolutely no memory of you.

Some of you have also mentioned that my implying that my readers might still live in their mother's basement a little mean and unfair, and they are correct. It is mean and unfair, so get a job, slacker! The advantages to all will be immediate and profound. You will have a renewed self-respect, your Mom will be able to air out your old basement room and finally be able to get rid of that old gym sock and Hai Karate Aftershave odor that so disturbs her bridge club,and I will see yet another copy of my book sold, because you will finally have the coin to buy it. See? Everyone wins!

So how does this have anything to do with today's installment of Countdown to Christmas? Well today we are going to show the self-esteem and relationship-building advantages to owning a copy or two of The Servant of the Manthycore. (Available by making a few simple clicks through the link below!)

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Eight to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore: It will improve your confidence, posture and attractiveness to the opposite sex.

How can this be? Good that you ask, because the path to enlightenment begins with a single question, or something like that. Those who were surveyed found that reading The Servant of the Manthycore improved their confidence, some to the point of delusion. Because of the absolute certainty that no matter how much they messed up, they were never going to be fed to the Manthycore, unless they traveled back to bronze age Mesopotamia and annoyed a short, scarred woman with no sense of humor. Knowing that made 87% of readers less afraid of the dark, 76% less afraid around scarred women with no sense of humor (unless it was their ex-wife) and a whopping 91% less afraid of dating people of any sort that would possibly consider dating them. Strangely, it did nothing to abate the fear of clowns, the fear of red socks, or the fear of Rachel Ray, but those are for another book.

More confidence means better posture, of course. No longer having to scan the sidewalks looking for manthycore tracks means that those who have read The Servant of the Manthycore can lift their heads high in the full knowledge that even if they are hit by a bus in the next 15 minutes, they at least will not end up as the digestive end-product of a mythical beast.

And let me tell you, brothers and sisters, next to scars and just behind a Maserati GT with snakeskin upholstery, the opposite sex digs a person with confidence-- the confidence that comes from knowing you purchased The Servant of the Manthycore, read and enjoyed it, and went out and bought copies for your entire family, even Uncle Rodney who every Christmas shows up pickled and manages to find a new hard-to-find place to barf. Because that is just the sort of person you are!

*Tomorrow-- Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Seven to Buy my Book: Peace on Earth, Baby!

Buy The Servant of the Manthycore!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Reason Number Nine to Buy The Servant of the Manthycore

Okay, several of you have written to me saying that you really did have legitimate fiduciary conflicts preventing a purchase of my book, The Servant of the Manthycore. Two things--if you can use "Fiduciary conflict" with a straight face, then you are clearly a poseur covering up your inadequacies with a slacker façade. Go get a job, slacker. Someday you’ll thank me, and so will your mother. She will need that basement space you are living in to store the fabric she will be able to afford when you finally move out and stop sponging off of her. And secondly, the joker who sent me the picture of his Mom in the iron lung? Cute, but your Photoshop skills need honing a little. And unless your Mom is Barbara Billingsley, I ain’t buying it. I mean, really, who wears pearls in an iron lung?

If this edition of Countdown to Christmas: Ten Reasons to Buy my Book seems a little Mom heavy, it is because reason number nine will compare The Servant of the Manthycore (available by simply clicking the handy link below) to that favorite of Moms everywhere, the classic love novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Countdown to Christmas: Ten Reasons to Buy my Book, Reason Number 9: Servant of the Manthycore is a lot like Wuthering Heights, only with more swords and monsters and human sacrifice and stuff.

Let’s run through the similarities first. Wuthering Heights is famous for its circular structure and innovating plotting. So is Servant of the Manthycore—its first story uses a circular timeline, and as an episodic novel the plotting covers important events in the timeline without dragging the reader through bridging exposition.

Wuthering Heights is a story of timeless love, told through the eyes of several of the stories characters, which creates a rich tapestry of history and narrative. The Servant of the Manthycore also is a story of timeless love, spread over 800 years as the Servant takes people out into the deserts and feeds them to the monster, in order to preserve her love held captive by the Beast, and is also told through the viewpoint of several of the stories characters, creating a similar rich tapestry of history and narrative.

And the most important similarity between Wuthering Heights and The Servant of the Manthycore? You haven’t read either one, you mook! This is easily fixed by clicking on the link below, because if you don't buy it, you can't read it! (I’m sure you can find a nice copy of Bronte there, too.)

Okay, now let's look at some of the reasons why Servant of the Manthycore might be better than Wuthering Heights. Both have supernatural aspect--Bronte uses the device of ghosts and their warnings as both a plot-driver and as a way of maintaining a gothic feel to the story, but she totally punks out. Not one of her several ghosts ever rips someone's head off, or offers them immortality in return for their eternal service as hit-woman for an ancient Syrian Death Goddess. In fact, The Servant of the Manthycore rocks pretty hard when it comes to supernatural beings and body count, and the whole immortality for service is a conceptual backbone of the story.

Wuthering Heights uses an exotic and mysterious setting to create a mood of melancholy, deep history and brooding. The name of the novel itself refers to the stormy and wind-lashed cliffs and moors of Yorkshire. The Servant of the Manthycore uses the exotic mysterious setting of bronze-age Mesopotamia to create a setting of deep history, but where Bronte completely drops the ball and doesn't even include one human sacrifice by ancient Druids or some other cult, The Servant of the Manthycore is full of ancient cults and sacrifice including at least one (don’t want to spoil it) ichor-dripping ziggurat in a city of the dead. Advantage: Manthycore!

Finally, while I have to admit that Wuthering Heights has some of the most vivid and well-drawn characters in the history of English letters, and the relationships between the various narrators and characters are complex, rich and vital, not one of them is an 800 year-old sword babe. Cathy, though a strong character, is too indecisive and a whole bunch of her problems would be simplified by taking a few folks out into the moors and returning alone. But she doesn't, which is the final nail in the coffin of Wuthering Heights.

So if your mom or some other family member or friend simply adored Wuthering Heights, you won't go far wrong by surprising them with a copy of The Servant of the Manthycore. And while you are at it, pick up one for yourself, by simply clicking that little link below. You know you want to!

*Tomorrow, Countdown to Christmas: Ten Reasons to Buy my Book (CtC:TRtBmB) Reason Number 8: Lose weight, feel better, and improve your attraction to the opposite sex!

Buy Servant of the Manthycore!

Counting down to Christmas: 10 reasons to buy my book

Lets give this a try. It has come to my attention that there are several of you out there who haven't bought my book yet, The Servant of the Manthycore, available to the right of the page, just a few simple clicks away. Maybe you haven't gotten around to it, or maybe you are thinking "I should wait until payday; there is the rent, after all."

I am here to show you the error of your ways. First off, your flimsy excuses won't wash. I mentioned just a few sentences ago that it was just a few clicks away, so get around to it, Buddy! Even I'm not that lazy. And the whole, "rent or Michael's book" thing is pretty lame, too. If your rent is 13.99, available as low as 6.99 plus shipping, then you are clearly living in some sort of rat hole, and you need to move. Trust me, the money is better spent on the book.

So, having dealt with some of the lamer excuses (I'm not even going to dignify the "I need money for my widowed mother's iron lung" thing with an answer) let's move on to some of the reasons why you want to get my book (available, as I have no doubt mentioned, by just making a few clicks on the handy links to the right of the page) before Christmas. I'll post one each day as a sort of count down, and by the end I'm hoping that at least some of you will wake up Christmas morning to peace on earth, goodwill toward men, and a copy of The Servant of the Manthycore tied to the saddle of your new pony.

So, here is reason #10 to buy The Servant of the Manthycore before Christmas
Michael Moorcock likes it. A lot. So much he wrote a foreword for it.
How much is that? Here's an excerpt:

Michael Ehart’s story of dark bloodshed, torment and betrayal invokes the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia, of Ur and Babylon, set against landscapes we all now know so well from our nightly news bulletins. These are the places where our oldest mythologies began and where our youngest ones are now being created. He provides us with telling images as well as some tremendous descriptions, none more so than the terrifying monster of the title.

This is a grim and gripping tale appealing to all of us who grew up fascinated by our Indo-European heritage, by Fraser’s Golden Bough or Graves’s White Goddess, by Zoroaster and the Epic of Gilgamesh or tales of the Minotaur, even Beowulf and The Green Knight.

This book is a thoroughly engaging page-turner. It’s a very long time since I read a fantastic tale as good as this. Michael Ehart is an impressive talent.
--Michael Moorcock

So why are you arguing with Michael Moorcock? Does that seem safe? Go buy the book, already!

*Tomorrow, Reason #9 "Everyone loves a good love story, especially one with man-eating mythical monsters, Death Goddesses, zombies and human sacrifice."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cool site and nice mini-review

A nice mini-review of Flashing Swords on Quasar Dragon:

"Stand, Stand, Shall They Cry" by Michael Ehart.

A wondrous tale of ancient Assyria.

"Yes, child, but not by choice. And look at how they are armed. I have only my sword. Against determined spearmen with secured flanks I would have no chance. They have positioned themselves well. On the bridge where they stand there is no way around them, and in the middle they are out of bow range, even if we still had our bows."

This site has some very nice retro skiffy and fantasy art, both new and classic, and lots of mini-reviews like the one above.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

International audience? Flashing Swords reviewed in French.

From La Premiere Tribu Fantasy!

Flashing swords 8
La sword and sorcery est un sous genre mal aimé de la fantasy. Le webzine Flashing Swords essaie depuis 2005 de lui donner ses lettres de noblesse. Et après un hiatus de presque un an dû à un changement d'équipe éditoriale il nous revient.
Et ce numéro ! met l'accent sur les héros torturé par le hasard de son sommaire. Dermanassian, l'elfe du désert créé par SC Bryce a vu son peuple exterminé par la folie d'un dieu et se lance sur le chemin de sa vengeance. Calthus, le héros de Steve Gobble a été ressucité par des prètre 700 ans après sa mort et ne connaît plus le monde dans lequel il est contraint d'évoluer. Dans cette nouvelle aventure il rencontre l'équipage d'un navire et un sorcier détenteur d'un terrible secret. La servante de la Mathycore de Michael Ehart est contrainte de servir une créature sanguinaire. Dans le texte proposé ici elle doit s'échapper de la cité de Ninive après avoir dérobé les Larmes d'Ishtar.
Mais la manière Howardienne n'est pas oublié et Michael D Turner nous propose un récit se déroulant dans un univers à l'ambiance proche des mille et une nuits où un mendiants entraine un jeune courtisan dans une chasse au trésor. Le texte de TW Williams me convainc déjà moins : un gladiateur aide une femme à se débarasser des guerriers qui la rackette.
Mais Flashing Swords c'est aussi deux poèmes de Michael D Turner et Jason M Waltz. Des interviews et des articles.
Pour tous ceux qui lisent l'anglais et qui aiment la sword and sorcery c'est un vrai bonheur.

English courtesy of Babel Fish:

The sword and sorcery is under badly liked kind of the fantasy. The webzine Flashing Swords tries since 2005 to give him its letters of nobility. And after a hiatus of almost a year due to a change of leading team it returns to us. And this number! the accent puts on the heroes tortured by the chance of its synopsis. Dermanassian, the elf of the desert created by SC Bryce saw its people exterminated by the madness of a god and launches out on the way of its revenge. Calthus, the hero of Steve Gobble was ressucity by prètre 700 years after its death and does not know any more the world in which it is constrained to evolve/move. In this new adventure it meets the crew of a ship and a wizard holder of a terrible secrecy. The maidservant of Mathycore of Michael Ehart is forced to serve a sanguinary creature. In the text proposed here it must escape from the city of Ninive after having concealed the Tears of Ishtar.
But the Howardienne manner is not forgotten and Michael D Turner proposes an account being held in a universe with environment close to to us Thousand and One Nights when beggars entraine a young courtier in a hunting for the treasure. The text of TW Williams convinces me already less: a gladiator helps a woman with débarasser warriors who it rackette. But Flashing Swords they is also two poems of Michael D Turner and Jason Mr. Waltz. Interviews and articles. For all those which read English and who likes the sword and sorcery it is a true happiness.

A true happiness indeed!

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Please check out the latest Residential Aliens-- Lyn was kind enough to do an interview of me, and it is right there, on the front page, for everyone to see! Some great art, there too, as well as their usual fine line-up of fiction and more.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New "Servant" story to appear in Return of the Sword anthology

I'm pleased to anounce that my "Servant" story "To Destroy All Flesh" will be in next year's Sword and Sorcery anthology "The Return of the Sword". The line-up is terrific. Here is the official presser:

OK, here's a little taste of what The Return of the Sword will bring your way next spring:

* Remember the classic tale Pitch-Black included in each of its anthologies?
~ That has returned - with a familiar author, introduced by a familiar name.

* Remember the terrific advisory articles for new authors or authors simply new to S&S as well?
~ Again, that has returned - from an established name, introduced by a friend.

* Remember the clangor of war, the adrenaline rush of battle, the searing slice of --
~ well, perhaps not, but these names should be enough to prove you will!

* Remember the . . . well, I can't really be telling you everything that's coming now, can I?

After reading this anthology, there won't be a reader among you who will not be drenched in the sweat of fear and battle lust, breathing heavy in the aftermath of survival, exhausted from the endless slinging of steel, flushed with the triumph of victory! You will swear you survived mortal combat, while all the time you but sat in your easy chair and read of other men's adventures!

These are the authors and artists with signed contracts in hand thus far. There are several more with contracts in the mail and some I am still working with - I'll reveal more names as they happen. Needless to say, I believe you'll see why I do not fear guaranteeing this anthology will be a smashing success!

~ Bruce Durham
~ Bill Ward
~ Philip Emery
~ David Pitchford
~ Ty Johnston
~ Robert Rhodes
~ Allen B. Lloyd
~ William Clunie
~ Thomas MacKay
~ Steve Goble
~ Mike Jackson
~ Jeff Stewart
~ Stacey Berg
~ Nathan Meyer
~ Angeline Hawkes
~ Michael Ehart

For those who follow the time-line closely, this story takes place about 4 years after the events of "Weaving Spiders" and is a part of the "Tears of Ishtar" story arc.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Best picture...

From the book launch. Taken by my sister Karen. Click to enlarge...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Launch party makes the news

Here is a cut from the Portland Tribune piece on OryCon by Anne Marie DiStefano:

Ghosts live, and Elvis, too
I follow my friends upstairs to a party in honor of a newly released book called "Servant of the Manthycore." A third-floor hallway of the hotel is choked with pirates and wenches.

A giant poster of a manticore (a mythical creature with a lion's body and human head) points the way. We enter a small, crowded room. It's almost totally dark inside, but lazer-bright pinpricks of green light are spinning on the ceiling, and behind a makeshift bar, a woman is handing out bottles of Henry's beer.

Inadvertently, I stand in front of the projector, and someone points out my shadow on the ceiling, calling it the constellation of the girl with the beer. "Look," I say, "this only happens once every 10,000 years," and I tip back the bottle.

"Is that the Big Sipper or the Little Sipper?" someone else calls out.

Then the lights come on.

The author of "Servant of the Manthycore" is Michael Ehart, a one-time journalist and resident of University Place, Wash.

Writing for a newspaper was good training for the kind of genre work he does now, Ehart tells me. He learned to write straight through to the end and then let it go, he says.

We all head over to a small conference room for Ehart's midnight reading of his new short story, "Six Zombies Doing That Mick Jagger Strut." It's a fast-paced, witty tale about a down-on-his-luck ghostbuster and the spirit of Elvis Presley.

Pop culture has invaded the supernatural realm just as thoroughly as fictional beings have invaded the Marriott.

The entire article is here.

The story mentioned is available in the Damned in Dixie anthology here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

OryCon report!

Some things only happen once in your life: a first kiss, the birth of a first child, a first Steven Chow movie. And for some of us, a first book release. For me, it was the release of The Servant of the Manthycore last weekend at OryCon, the Oregon Science Fiction and fantasy Convention in Portland, Or.

We decided early on that we would have a launch party. Because we had a lot of time to plan, and because Portland is driving distance from where we live, we didn't have to rely on the hotel to put it together, which let us have a much nicer party than we would have had otherwise. We hucked down beer, wine, soda, and a cd player, CostCo veggies and odds and ends. When we got to the con my wife and I circulated to the Friday night parties, schmoozing and dropping flyers.

The next day started out with a panel on non-western fantasy, with Nisi Shawl and Steven Barnes. I was moderator, and the subject allowed for plenty of book-plugging. I had copies of the new Flashing Swords magazine as a give-away, which may have contributed to the gradual snowball of fans who came to later panels, because there were a few who had their greedy eye on a copy.

In between panels my sister Karen and my daughter Gennie arrived from eastern Oregon. They had made the trip just for the party, and brought with them t-shirts of the book-cover. By the end of the day if someone there didn't know there was a book named Servant of the Manthycore, then they were on a different plane of existence. (Okay, it was a con--- many people were on a different plane!)

While I finished up with my reading, slyly scheduled just before the party, my wife put the finishing touches on the room. She had charmed a bell clerk into removing the bed, even though it was against the rules, so our party had far more room than the others, which in the end just meant we could cram more people inside. Several writerly friends showed up early on and through the night, including Nisi Shawl, Bruce Taylor, Stoney Compton, Michael Pierce, John Burridge and many others, and I finally got to meet my old sfreader pal Nathan Meyer and his charming wife, as well as Camille from the same board, who brought with her a reporter from the Portland Journal. And late in the evening my son Mike arrived to raise the energy level even higher.

Those who are con-goers here in the northwest know that we have a woman who does a letter-perfect Xena. She actually lives in the same small town that we do, and she was kind enough to hang out at the door to the party beside the five-foot tall banner of the book-cover with the bronze sword from the book and pose for pictures with fans. Part way through the party, one of the vendors brought in a laser star show, and if anything the room became even more packed. By the time I had to leave for the midnight horror readings we had sold over 20 books, just at the party!

Morning came too soon, and a final panel, “Ask Dr. Science” where the audience amused the panelists with questions and we made up answers. My favorite was "Why does the Comma get its own Sutra, and are the other punctuation marks jealous?" We riffed on different Sutras for at least five minutes.

In the end, between the party, hallway and panels, and dealers sales we sold all three dozen books we had, kicked the book out of the nest in a suitable style, and had a great time. Next con for us is RustyCon at SeaTac in January, where my buddy Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (she calls me the little brother she never wished she had) will be Guest of Honor, and RadCon in Pasco, Washington in February. I hope to see some of you there!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I get by with a little help from my friends...

This week is going to be happy chaos. Besides the distraction(!) of my wife's narrow lead in her bid for city council (57 votes as of this morning) there is the little thing of the launch of Servant of the Manthycore next Saturday at OryCon. Many, many people are helping me with this, including big-time help from my wife, help from my adult children, many of my writer friends and lots of help from people who will do things I may not ever see or even realize they did. If I miss thanking you, please be assured that I do appreciate all the help!

Some folks who are kind enough to provide some valuable front page space on their blogs or magazines are:

Von Darkmoor's Thoughts
Jason Waltz

Twigs and Brambles
Daniel Ausema

Writerly Wackiness
Barbara A. "Bad Attitude" Barnett

My Own Personal Grey
Kat Richardson

Without Even Trying
Jordan Lapp

Flashing Swords Magazine

And Jeff Draper's interview at Scriptorious Rex

If you have done something similar and I have missed you, please let me know and I will add you to the list, if you wish.

Writing may be a solitary vice, but y'all are showing me that it doesn't have to be a lonely one!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Press release for Servant of the Manthycore


New novel, The Servant of the Manthycore, evokes classic heroic fantasy

In the tradition of the larger-than life fantasy stories of the golden age, comes a new novel of swordplay, sorcery, betrayal and death, The Servant of the Manthycore, by Michael Ehart. Released November 17th, 2007 by Double-Edged Publishing, it includes the five previously published stories in the bronze-age adventure saga, reworked with a wealth of new tales into an episodic novel of rare power and excitement. "I am thrilled by the look and feel of this new book," says Michael Ehart. "Both the existing fans of the stories and new readers will enjoy what they find." Ehart has made over a dozen appearances this year with short stories in fantasy, science fiction and horror magazines and anthologies, but The Servant of the Manthycore is his first solo book.

The Servant of the Manthycore takes place over an 800 year period in a fantasy bronze-age Mesopotamia. Seeking treasure, a young couple become enslaved by a mythical beast, the Manthycore. In order to preserve her captive lover’s life, the young woman must lure the Manthycore’s human victims into the desert to be slain. Preserved by the power of the foul beast, centuries pass, and she becomes a nearly undefeatable warrior. Always she seeks for a warrior greater than herself, who can defeat her and so free her lover, and always her skill and ferocity prove her hopes to be vain.

In his foreword legendary fantasy author Michael Moorcock, creator of Elric, says this about The Servant of the Manthycore: "Michael Ehart has given us an outstanding story of the ancient world… It resonates with the authenticity of genuine myth, bringing a deep, true sense of the past; a conviction which does not borrow from genre but mines our profoundest dreams and memories; the kind which give birth to myths." And Vera Nazarian, author of Dreams of the Compass Rose and Lords of the Rainbow says "From Michael Ehart's fierce imagination comes an unforgettable gritty heroine, both human and goddess, and yet something much more.... Gilgamesh, Elric, and Conan have finally met their female match!"

The Servant of the Manthycore is enhanced by seven stunning interior illustrations by artist Rachel Marks. "Rachel has captured the essence of both the characters and the times," says Ehart. "She has that rare ability to capture in pen and ink the visual sense of the words on the page." Marks also did the cover art.

Double-Edged Publishing is the publisher of magazines like Dragons, Knights and Angels, Ray Gun Revival, The Sword Review, Fear and Trembling, Teen Age and Haruah, as well as books in the fantasy, science-fiction and inspirational genres. The Servant of the Manthycore joins their fantasy line, and is available for pre-order at and at

Michael Ehart can be contacted for information or interviews at

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Orycon panels

Sat Nov 17 10:00:am Sat Nov 17 11:00:am Escaping from the West: Asian, Native American, and African Influences
Steven Barnes Mitchell Christopher Hatton Michael Ehart

Sat Nov 17 12:00:pm Sat Nov 17 1:00:pm Protecting the internet from censorship
Salon E Table 2
Michael Ehart Michael Pearce

Sat Nov 17 1:00:pm Sat Nov 17 2:00:pm Building a balanced mythos
Salon E Table 2
Michael Ehart John Burridge

Sat Nov 17 6:30 PM Reading

Sun Nov 18 3:00:pm Sun Nov 18 4:00:pm Ask Dr. Genius: Ad-Lib Answers to Audience Questions
Salon A
Michael Ehart David Lohkamp Todd McCaffrey Ctein Louise

Plus somewhere in there is a midnight horror reading, and of course, Saturday night we will be having The Servant of the Manthycore launch party.

See you there!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Scriptoriuos Rex interview

If you have ever wondered what Michael Ehart is really like, check out Jeff Draper's interview of me at his blog Scriptorious Rex. He will be doing installments all week... be sure to tip your waitress, and I recommend the veal piccata-- its to die for!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Stand, Stand, Shall They Cry

I am thrilled to have a new "Servant of the Manthycore" story as the featured story at the new, revived Flashing Swords magazine! Check out the killer cover!
You can see it online, or get your print copy here:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Manthycore now available for pre-order!


Scarlet Colored Beast up at Sword Review

The final Servant story is now up at the Sword Review.

She is wounded and alone in a burning city. Betrayed by the priests who promised to help her, and hunted by a fiery beast they have unleashed, the Servant of the Manthycore must return to the temple of betrayal and face an even greater foe--herself. The thrilling conclusion to The Servant of the Manthcore" series.

Check it out!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New exclusive Servant story in Flashing Swords

In coordination with the release of The Servant of the Manthycore, the new revived Flashing Swords Magazine will be featuring a brand new "Servant" story of betrayal, adventure, blood and death.

"Stand, Stand, Shall They Cry"

In ancient Ninevah, the Servant of the Manthycore searches for one of the fabled rubies known as the Tears of Ishtar. It is not her first visit to the great and wicked city-- and this time they are waiting for her with sorcery and death!

Coming in November!

Monday, October 08, 2007

"Darkling" now up at Fear and Trembling

My story about Death being outsourced is up at Fear and Trembling. Check it out!
I love the layout of their magazine--- changable, but thematically consistant.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Unparalleled Journeys II Available for Pre-order

Edward Knight and David M. Fitzpatrick's anthology of golden-age SF is now available for pre-order from their site, here.

Here is the blurb:

Twelve Unparalleled Tales of Science Fiction with a Golden Age Flare. TW Williams--The Man with the X-Ray Nose Robert Orme--Time in a Capsule David J. Luker--Coming in from the Outfield Terofil Alexander Gizelback--Blended Isolation Wesley Lambert--Sub-zero Stewart C.C. Blake--Finger of Allah Brian C. Petrozillo--Build-a-Verse Michael Ehart--Stars by Law Forbidden Paul E. Holt--Shawn Butterlfy; The Hun Alexander Zelenyj--The Potato Thief Beneath Indifferent Stars Donnie Clemons--Jupiter's Way David M. Fitzpatrick--Andriods Take Over the World

Yup, that's me there in the middle :)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Damned in Dixie now available!

Ron Shiflet's anthology of Southern Horror is finally available here.
Good news for Joe Denfar fans, as this fun collection of stories includes "Six Zombies Doing that Mick Jagger Strut" which takes Joe to Memphis on the trail of a zombie master.
Here's the blurb:

Way down yonder in the land of cotton are many dark secrets best forgotten. But don't look away! Travel instead below the Mason-Dixon Line for some Southern fried horror brought to you by such talented authors as D.J. Barber, Lawrence Barker, Edward DeGeorge, Mark E. Deloy, Michael Ehart, Loretta Giacoletto, Kenneth Goldman, Mark Allan Gunnells, John Hubbard, Mark W. Johnson, William B. Kaliher, Anna M. Lowther, Josh Reynolds, Trent Roman, Rob Rosen, Ron Shiflet, A.C. Wise and Lee Clark Zumpe.

And it has a snappy cover, too!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Advance Praise for The Servant of the Manthycore!

Advance Praise for The Servant of the Manthycore!

"Reminiscent of the classic sword and sorcery tales by Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, Ehart's yarn of servitude and choice is finely crafted. A vivid setting, a strong, intelligent heroine, a moody atmosphere… The ending is wickedly fun."
--Paul Abbamondi, Tangent Online

"Behold a warrior woman as ruthless, bloody, and honorable as the ancient world in which she walks, spanning more than forty lifetimes, while Ur and Babylon seethe with a thousand gods.... What we have here is no less than a bright new epic, written with the bold spirit of the 21st century, yet spanning back into the mists of time. From Michael Ehart's fierce imagination comes an unforgettable gritty heroine, both human and goddess, and yet something much more.... Gilgamesh, Elric, and Conan have finally met their female match!"

"Michael Ehart's 'Servant' stories are thrilling, involving, surprising, and complex. The smell, touch, and taste of Bronze Age life come through sharply, clearly, with the tang of authenticity and the gritty detail of thorough research not just thought through but felt through. His sword-wielding heroine scythes down opponents like they were bad ideas, moving from episode to episode as gracefully and inevitably as death itself.
Also, these stories are just plain fun to read."
-- Nisi Shawl, co-author of WRITING THE OTHER

"Fast-paced, richly detailed, good, clean bloodthirsty fun."
-- Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

"Michael Ehart transports the readers of The Servant of the Manthycore back to a fantasy Bronze Age Mesopotamia. In this world, the Manthycore is a sorcerous Beast who feeds on human flesh. For centuries, the servant has served the Manthycore "in bitter unwillingness," until she has forgotten her own name and become an immortal legend in her own right: the Betrayer. Long ago, she fought to free her captive lover, but now, after so many centuries, she has come to seek death as the only way to be free of her curse. If she can only find a warrior skilled enough to defeat her - and the Manthycore.
…even the gods hate and fear the Manthycore."
--Lois Tilton, Author of WRITTEN IN VENOM

"Instead of the Tolkien emulation, so beloved even now by many authors, Ehart instead takes a far calmer, historical approach to his world. There are no guilds here, no huge kingdoms, just people trying to make their way and leave their mark. It's a stylistic move that reminded me a lot of David Gemmell's work; there's the same gritty, personal feel to the story that Gemmell brings to his work."
--Alasdair Stuart, Tangent Online

Monday, October 01, 2007


Awaiting final approval, so I probably shouldn't, but here is the cover by Rachel Marks!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My long-promised jetpack is finally here!

Now all I am waiting for is my flying car!

Widgery plans to release the T73 Turbine by the end of the year; it's a $200,000 model that will burn jet fuel, allowing it to stay airborne for 19 minutes.>1=10416

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pulpy Goodness!

Here is something I have been marginally involved in and am quite excited to see launch:

Dial P For Pulp is a podcast for anyone interested in any aspect of
the pulps.

Show No.1 features a book review (Hardboiled Cthulhu), an interview
with illustrator Tom Roberts about his work on Doc Savage: The Lost
Radio Scripts of Lester Dent and also a reading of the first part of
Red Shadows a Solomon Kane story by Robert E. Howard.

The first show is available for download at:-

or you can subscribe to the RSS feed at:-

Please give it a listen and let me know what you think!

David Drage

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rachel Marks

I have mentioned the amazing artwork that is going to be a part of The Servant of the Manthycore but I have neglected to mention that you can see the artist's other work at her blog. Go check out her work here.

Just for Writers

G.W. Thomas has a new blog up called Just for Writers--- check it out, looks to be an interesting project. Gary has a regular feature, "GW's Pick of the Day" on a forum I frequent. He is amazingly knowedgable about the pulps, and his grasp of classic horror is encyclopedic. I can report, having met him last year at VCon, he is every bit as entertaining and pleasant in person as he is in writing and online.
Lots of sites for writers recently; this one looks to be a good one.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Publication date set for Servant of the Manthycore!

You heard it here, first! Our official pub date is November 17th. I'll have much more later!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Asphodel #1

My pal Celina Summer's book The Reckoning of Asphodel JUST WENT TO NUMBER ONE on the Fictionwise Fantasy bestseller list.
You can get your copy by clicking here.

*psst! Did I mention she is my pal?

"Who Comes for the Mother's Fruit"

Just heard from Jordan Lapp:

"We are pleased to tell you that we have decided to publish your story,
"Who Comes for the Mother's Fruit" in Every Day Fiction."

This Manthycore flash will run on the release date of The Servant of the Manthycore --- I had a lot of fun writing it, and I hope you will enjoy reading it. If you haven't already, slide on over to Every Day Fiction and sign up. It is easy, free, and will reduce your cavities at your next check-up by an average of 22%.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Portrait of the artist as a (very) young man

Ann Scarborough thinks I will sell more books if my picture on the back looks like this :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scriptorious Rex

Welcome vistors from Jeff Draper's blog, Scriptorius Rex!
We have a special introductory offer for you! For those who came here from there, all free content on this site is now half price! :)

...and boy are my arms tired.

Back from Vegas. We had lots of fun, attended some pretty good seminars, got to meet Howard Dean, slept too little, ate too much.
The mysterious hum story will have to wait--- Joe Denfar's next case will be in Vegas at a casino that is about to be torn down. It is roughed in my mind pretty clearly, and if there is a place in the world that would make poor Joe twitch at its overdone poor taste, where ever came in second would be a far distant to LV. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A "Servant" flash

"Who Comes for the Mother's Fruit" went out today to Every Day Fiction. I promised Jordan Lapp I would send him a story first opportunity. A cool idea presented itself, and I ran with it. Hope he likes it!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Strange moment

There are some experiences that words simply cannot capture. I just had one of those.
A few moments ago, Rachel Marks sent me one of the first preliminary sketches for the interior illustrations for The Servant of the Manthycore.
I wrote the first draft of "Voice of the Spoiler" over 12 years ago. The character has haunted me, in more ways than one, ever since. Now that the book will be out soon, I have more than ever been living with her as a constant, though surly, companion.
Opening that file was seeing her face for the very first time. Rachel was concerned that she get it right-- judging by the butterflies doing gymnastics in my mid-section right now, I'd say she did.
You are really going to like the interiors of this book!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Servant's sword

The good folks at Albion Swords made this quite wonderful bronze sword, which is close to the description in the stories. It is unfinished, but I will be doing some work, hilting and maybe engraving.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The new novella for the middle of "The Servant of the Manthycore" book is finished--- I typed the last word around 2:30 AM. It finished up at a little less than 14k words, which means the book total will be well over 40k-- short by contemprary novel standards, but novel-length nontheless. The folks who buy this book will certainly get their money's worth, with the interior illustrations by Rachel Marks, the beautiful cover, and an introduction by Sword and Sorcery legend...
No, not yet! There is a BIG surprise attached to this project. By September, when everything is in place, you won't be able to get me to shut up about it, but for now, shhhhhhhh.
In the meantime, I can tell you this. The new story takes place immediately after the events of "Weaving Spiders Come Not Here," which is up right now at The Sword Review, and is part of the new adopted daughter arc. It has mystery, ancient ruins, monsters, a Biblical Patriarch, a Babylonian goddess, murder, betrayal and death--- you know, a love story.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Would you believe...

August must be the book month. I know it is hard to believe, but I am claiming yet another friend with a book. Elizabeth Ann Scarborough was the first guest at our new house a couple of months ago, where I treated her to burnt chicken and overdone burgers. Here is the latest installment of her collaberation with Anne McCaffrey, Acorna's Children, Third Watch. You know you want to buy it. You know you do!


*UPDATE* Welcome readers who got here by mistake, by clicking on that wonderful image above! While you are here why not visit the latest posts, or even take a chance and check out my book, The Servant of the Manthycore. For reviews and info at Amazon click here!

And my other good friend Kat Richardson (I know, hard to believe I'd have two!) has a new book, too. This is the second in her Harper Blaine Greywalker series, and from early reviews it is even better than the first one.

Check out this book!

My good friend Celina has a great new book, The Reckoning of Asphodel, full of magic and wry observation as only she can concoct. Check it out!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Canfield speaks, you listen

An awesome rant from Mike Canfield about... well about just about everything that is wrong with our genre.

As I say, it's mostly the non-Hero's non-journey of no Plan with a capital Pee for me. I like to read working-stiff fantasy. You can keep your Frodos, your Bilbos: significant Hobbits of Destiny. Give me Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser any day and every day of the week: a couple of guys trying to make a dishonest buck, and hoping to avoid getting turned into turtles by the local Wizard-King. Sure, Fritz Leiber is known only to approximately one one-millionth of Tolkien or Lucas fans: but that is their loss, the loss of the millions, the multitudes loss. Not mine.

Absolutely hilarious

--This is the funniest thing I have seen all week. It runs as a series of .gifs--

Monday, August 06, 2007

Weaving Spiders Come Not Here

The latest "Servant of the Manthycore" story is up right now at The Sword Review. This story starts a story arc that I think you will enjoy, with new characters, challenges great and small, and a new source of hope for the poor immortal swordswoman. Check it out!
Next month The Sword Review will feature "Nothing but Our Tears", and in October the series will wrap up with "The Scarlet Colored Beast".

"Servant" project update

The plan as it stands right now for the "Servant" book is that it will have enough new stuff in it to make it appealing to everyone, including the fans who have read the short stories. To this end there will be one longish new short story that my beta readers have unamimously declared the best so far, and a novella length story that I think is turning out to be even better. "Novella" means at least 17,500 words, which is okay because I am guessing the final count on this story to be 18,000-20,000. I have co-opted the premise and the title from the started-on novel--- "The Tears of Ishtar" are the McGuffin here as well as the title. Bill Snodgrass made a couple of suggestions that really started the juices flowing, and now I am typing just as fast as I can to get it all out.
The word count stands at bedtime tonight at a little over 5700, which puts me nearly a third of the way done, which is the place I am at story-wise as well. If this rate continues the story may be ready for beta readers as soon as the end of next weekend.
I am really having fun with this, by the way. The new direction has really opened the floodgates, and I am writing stuff that seems quite vibrant and alive to me, almost like I was watching an old movie that somehow perfectly captured the end of the bronze age in rich and interesting detail. It is a good feeling!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Book news

Had a very busy and exciting week in discussion with the publisher and the artist for the "Servant" book. Wow, I am stoked!
Beautiful artwork, both for the cover and the commissioned interior illustrations... yes I did say interior illustrations, done by Rachel Marks, who is one of my favorites--- planned at this point as 7 full page charcoal drawings. This will be a book that will be nice to hold, and beautiful to read. Hopefully the readers enjoy the words as much as the package!
No official time-line yet, other than "soon". I have a few thousand works of "filling out" to finish. One thing I can promise is that the book will take the Servant to places the reader may never have expected, and she will meet with even more exciting and terrifying adventures!
For those of you who have been following her saga, The Sword Review has reprinted the first two stories in June and July, and will have three more in the following months. The book will have two more previously unpublished stories of pretty substantial length, bringing the tale together and making it an episodic novel rather than a collection of short stories. There will be lots to love!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Speculative Fiction Authors Considered As High School Students

Very amusing little post on Live Grenades with a mention of my freind and crit group mentor Nisi Shawl.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Every Day Fiction

Are you an aspiring writer? Looking maybe for your first few publication credits? Or perhaps you are a more established scribbler, and would like a venue to drive traffic to your site. Either way, Jordan Lapp has just announced the beginning of a new flash fiction magazine that may be just what you have been looking for! Every Day Fiction promises to deliver what its name implies-- fresh fiction every day. In return they pay one entire dollar, some fleeting fame, and a link to whatever project you are pushing. Some outstanding writers have lined up to provide 1000 word or less fiction, and in the first week they have over 100 subscribers, so the exposure looks to be substantial.
And if you like your fiction in bite-sized pieces, delivered hot and fresh daily, you might want to subscribe.
Give em' a look!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Cover art

Just received cover art for Unparalleled Journeys II; Ed was nice enough to let us see it. Very cool looking, a couple of spaceships tearing across a blue background. You'll like it.
And Ron Shiflet sent us final proofs for Damned in Dixie. It looks great, too. It should be ready for your purchasing pleasure within a couple of weeks. I will most certainly keep you posted!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

First Joe Denfar story in print? Maybe!

Just got an email from James Van Pelt, who says that the first Joe Denfar story, "An Exorcism Straight, Hold the Elvis" has made the first cut for the Hardboiled Horror anthology. We won't know until after the submission period ends in September, but I am pretty stoked. This looks like a great anthology, one I would be thrilled to be a part of.
As always, I'll keep you posted!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Meta stuff

Just added a new column to the right "Read me in 2007!" which lists everything out this year, and did some less visible or obvious tweaking otherwise.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Night of Shadows, Night of Knives

Just heard from William and Rob at Ricasso Press-- they will be using my story "Night of Shadows, Night of Knives" for the Magic and Mechanica anthology.
I am thrilled to be part of this project! The concept is tres cool, and the anthology looks to be something quite spectacular. I think it will be out in October.
I'll keep you posted!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Servant of the Manthycore

The second Servant story is up at The Sword Review. The next three will follow one a month there. If you haven't read it, go take a look!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

New Joe Story

My new Joe Denfar story, "Lon Chaney Playing Poker, on Velvet" was sent today to Aberrant Dreams. While they have yet to buy anything from me, in the past they have offered decent feedback. Cross fingers, this time it will be what they are looking for--- I would love to be in their magazine.
Also, sent out "A God by a River in Egypt" to Ficticious Force, and "Can We Truly Know Why the Junkie Pixie Sings" to Worlds of Wonder, both fine magazines I have had my eye on.
This leaves me with everything under submission or sold. My inventory is getting pretty light--- I either have to hurry up and finish a novel or two, or take an occasional break to write a short.

Monday, July 02, 2007

re: "Stars by Law Forbidden"

That's what I'm talkin' about!


Just a note to say we have decided to accept this story for publication in our anthology UJII. I will be forwarding a contract to you soon, probably via snail mail.



Unparalleled Journeys II looks to be a good anthology. I'm excited to be a part of it!
More as I know more.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


I have been lax, I know, but here we go: "Love is the Slayer" a Servant of the Manthycore to A New Century of Sword and Sorcery, "The Death of Number 23" to Cross-genre Cthulhu, "Night of Shadows, Night of Knives" to Magic and Mechanica, "The Stars by Law Forbidden" to Unparalleled Journeys II, all anthologies, and "The Amityville Sensimilla Growers Guide to Bigger, Healthier Plants" to Chizine.
Recently rejected and being re-worked: "Can We Truly Know Why the Junkie Pixie Sings", and "A God by a River in Egypt", tweaking on both should not take much as they are both fairly strong. "Lon Chaney Playing Poker, on Velvet" a Joe Denfar story, is finished and waiting for me to decide where I want him to appear next.
And "The Beast of the Bridge" is pending as part of the Orphans of the Gods anthology put together by my online crit group.
In print is the first of five Servant of the Manthycore stories, "Voice of the Spoiler" first printed in The Sword Review Oct 2005, reprinted by them, followed by "Servant of the Manthycore" in July, "Weaving Spiders Come Not Here" in August, "Nothing But Our Tears" in September, and "The Scarlet-Colored Beast" in October, which finishes out that story arc and provides a little closure for the poor gal.
Any day now we are expecting to see "Six Zombies Doing that Mick Jagger Strut" (A Joe Denfar story) in the Damned in Dixie anthology, and "Darkling I Listen; and for Many a Time" will most likely be in either this month's Fear and Trembling Magazine, or next month's.
In progress is "Warner Ducked" a space opera shoot-em up, the only short on my list right now, and The Tears of Ishtar, a Servant novel. Also I am hoping to get some time for Dancing with the Cannibal King, a muti-universe novel.
Busy guy!

SFReader Webring

SFReader is a place I hang out alot, instead of writing. So when Howard Von Darkmoor (might that be an alias?) a regular poster on that site sent me an email titled "An offer you can't refuse" with an invitation to join the SFReader Webring, what could I do? It said I couldn't refuse, right there in the subject line! So I did, and in a couple of days you will be able to go to the bottom of this page and click into another page by one of the excellent writers, editors, readers, and general posters at one of my favorite sites!

Update: Wow, that was fast! Looks like we are already live. Check out some of the other sites!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"Darkling I Listen"

My flash horror piece "Darkling I Listen, and for Many A Time" sold today to Fear and Trembling, a new horror magazine. Their first issue was out not long ago, and I must say, true to the norm of other DEP publications, the cover was a joy. I am looking forward to being in the sharp-looking magazine!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fear this!

"Servant" novel

So I started it. The word has been that now would be a good time to write a "Servant" novel, as in the last half of the year there will be at least 5, maybe 6 stories in the series in print.
Working title is The Tears of Ishtar, which is both the McGuffin and evokes some classic pulp titles for me, including the quite wonderful (but now unreadable as an adult) classic Ship of Isthar by A.A. Merritt.
For those of you who are interested in the process, I will keep you posted!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Lon Chaney Playing Poker, On Velvet

Just finished the latest "Joe Denfar" short-- I like this one best of all, so far. Out to crit, and then to find a home.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Servant Series started at Sword Review

Check it out:

"High pay, great danger, long journey, bad company."

How could you not be tempted by an offer like that? In the days of the ancient near-east, a story of love, betrayal, murder, magic and a fell beast.

"Voice of the Spoiler" is revived from our archives to lead off a five-part serial from Michael Ehart. This story appeard in The Sword Review October 9, 2005. Next month, we reprise "Servant of the Manthacore" and follow after that with three never before published stories that complete the tale.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Baby Got Back - Gilbert and Sullivan Style

This has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with cat-vacuuming.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Moved and moving into high gear

Finished our move, which had a major disruptive effect on my writing, but now I have a lovely new space and plenty of privacy for writing. This weekend I nearly finished the new Joe Denfar story. I also had a chance to revisit my rejections---- my ghost rat story got yet another glowing rejection--- everybody loves it, nobody buys it. The submarine story was rejected, too, just as well because I really like the magazine I sent it to, and it has already killed two other magazines. It gets bought, and then the magazine dies.
And I am still waiting on the "Servant" story that I sent to the invited anthology. I have high hopes, as I feel that this is the best one in the series, and I would really like to be a part of the project I sent it to.
Time will tell!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Check out this blog

I've been moving, so there has been very little here lately. To tide you over, go here: and check out new writer Jordan Lapp's diary of his journey to bestsellerhood. Entertaining, educational, with a slight dash of lemon-lime.
I met Jordan at Norwescon a couple of weeks ago. He is quite serious about this whole writing thing. Give him a try!

Monday, April 09, 2007

NorWesCon report

Checked into the con Thursday night, 'cause I know the lines are huge on Friday, even for pros. We live less than 30 miles away, so get to sleep in our own beds, always seems like a good idea until the middle of the drive home, early Saturday morning, with AM panels just a couple hours away :)

Old friends in the greenroom, but my scedule was so agressive that there was only time for a couple of quick hugs and a couple of Laurel and Hardy handshakes and then it was off to work.
My first panel was
"Why Ain't It Happened Next? What with writers of horror, science fiction, and speculative military fiction coming up with all these nifty ideas for terrorists, how come there ain't been any in the US since 9/11. Is Bush right and we're getting them all in Iraq. Is our Homeland Security that good? Are the terrorists spread that thin?"
Christopher C. Konker (M) Mike Brennan Michael Ehart Mike Shepherd Moscoe
Panel was a great start--- packed room, lots of lively debate, strong panelists. Weirdly, after all these years of hanging with Mike Moscoe at cons, this was the first time we were on a panel together. Worth the wait. There were a few familiar faces in the mix, including an old friend from the real world I see too seldom, lately mostly at cons, John Kono, a fellow IT geek and history fanatic. John has an encyclopedic knowledge of Middle Kingdom Egypt, and is a generally great guy to boot.

Next was my reading--- book board in place, I flew through "Six Zombies Doing that Mick jagger Strut." Well recieved, though I was stopped by more than one fan in the hall outside before asking if I were going to read a "Servant" story again this year. Apparently last year after the reading of "Servant of the Manthycore" a number of ancient Syrian Death Goddesses made D&D appearances in the gaming room :) I am starting to see familiar faces at readings, which I take to be a good sign.

"My favorite science fiction book If you had to recommend just one science fiction book from the last thirty years, which would that, be?
Kathy Watts (M) L. Timmel Duchamp Michael Ehart Judith Herman" ---This was much livelier than you might expect. Instead of a dull list there was a ton of interaction. Everyone was good on this panel, too, but this was my first of a long con with Judith Herman, who was simply delightful, full of sly, dry and very rich wit and wonderfully amusing anecdotes.
After I hung for a bit with a former student, Jonathon, and managed to spill my dreadful green room coffee on Kat Richardson, with whom, by the way I was on my next panel, and is one of my favorite (unindited) co-conspirators.
And then it was time for lunch. My wife, who was able to attend only sparsely, came and got me and we went home for Bob's Barbeque ribs and links, and her mom's quite excellent collard and mustard greens with bacon. A too short nap, and then we flew back to the con for--

"Bounty Hunter, PI, Cop--Mystery Protagonists in Fantasy/Horror/SF It's not new, but it is popular. Cross-genre authors discuss melding the traditional characters and structures of Mystery with Fantasy/Horror/SF.
Kat Richardson (M) Michael Ehart Kaitlin Kittredge Pat MacEwen Cynthia Ward" Of course, I will always love a panel with Kat, but I think that this one may have been one of my favorites--- Kaitlin was adorable, Pat had some nice grim CSI stories, and Cynthia co-wrote "Writing the Other" with my crit-mate Nisi Shawl. It also kicked off a thought process that followed through most of my writerly panels concerning noir elemnts in just about every aspect of my writing.

This segued nicely into my next panel "Noir vs Dark/Horror vs Fantasy Where does the darkness of Fantasy become Horror? What's the difference between "Dark" Fantasy and "Noir" Fantasy? What's this darned "noir" thing anyhow? Is any Fantasy with a monster in it "Dark?" Get the skinny at this discussion.
Michael Ehart (M) Kaitlin Kitteredge Gordon Van Gelder" My second in a row with the adorable Kaitlin, who has an interesting series coming soon from St. Martin's, coincidently the house where Gordon used to labor before he bought F&SF. Gordon was incisive and sharp, in that "Columbo" style he uses.
I hung a little at the penthouse pro party, had a nice chat with Gordon and met a few new folks. BTW, the pate was dreadful, as evidenced by the very small amount of it consumed by a group of writers, whom as you must know would most likely eat library paste on a cracker if it was free :)

My wife was able to make it back in time for the Midnight Horror Readings. Donna Barr raced in, read a very short Nazi buracracy story. I read my ghost rat story "The Amnityville Sinsemilla Growers' Guide to Better, Healthier Plants." Joe Cooke read a wonderfully titled and memorable story-"The Late Early Guest" and Pat gave us a cannibal tale. We baled after that, as our fatigue level had reached critical mass.

Saturday started with one of the panels I have done at several cons---
"No, Really, That Makes Sense Our distinguished panel of experts explains why certain widely- seen SF and fantasy elements that seem absurd actually have legitimate explanations. Come hear why it makes sense for barbarian sword babes to wear chain-mail bikinis, why computers on starships never crash or lock up with indecipherable error messages, and why male scientists in SF are always really good looking guys who are irresistible to brilliant, beautiful women."
Michael Ehart (M) Amy Thomson Kat Richardson Lori Edwards --- This was a very funny bunch--- Amy in particular has a very sick sense of humor, and is extrodinarily quick with a pun. Kat and I wandered over to the autograph session and sat together with plenty of time to admire the very long line for the artist GOH and its contrast to the length of the line autograph seekers in front of us:)

Next was another political panel, "Mercenaries-The Eclipse of the Citizen Soldier From the Dendari, onward, how have they been handled in the genre? In Iraq, we have 140,000 (as of this writing) soldiers in country ... and 100,000 contractors. Is the citizen soldier going the way of the hoplite? Why does America seem to want a vigilante superhero rather than an Everyman with his finger on the trigger?
Alan Paulsen (M) Donna Barr Michael Ehart Stoney Compton" Lively again, with an audience memeber who actually was a Blackwater employee, and several amusingly "Soldier of Fortune" types lurking in the back of the room, menacing in thier wrap-around shades, but otherwise non-contributing. Donna is an old friend, and her wired craziness added a very nice edge of instability to the discussion. This panel sparked some of the best hallway discussion, too.

"Plots That Fly And Plots That Die! Every story needs one. Some get away with two or three. Where do they come from? How to you entangle and tighten them? Other plots just seem to lay there and do nothing for the book. How to make your plot earn its pay!
LJ Bothell (M) Michael Ehart Kay Kenyon Richard Wadholm James Cobb" was the most "grown-up" panel I was on, and it was very well attended. Some good info for both the pros and the folks in the folding chairs.

"Computer misconceptions in science fiction literature and film Viruses that take out alien computers, text that flows across the screen, code written in a few keystrokes to do complex tasks. How does the presentation of computers in literature and media affect the expectations of the public?
Michael Ehart (M) Judith Herman Craig Figley" Judith again, who was tech consultant on a number of films, including "War Games" and just as funny again this go-around. "Swordfish" got an especially good going-over (ahem).

"Die Laughing Horror's not funny! Or is it? How do authors like Christopher Moore make things that ought to gross you out give you the giggles? What's the trick to making Horror hilarious?--come and find out.
Michael Ehart (M) Lorelei Shannon Kij Johnson M.K. Hobson Leon West" Another lively panel, full of laughter, as we worked our way through a number of examples. Leon was incredibly funny. By the way, Jordan Lapp made it to this panel--- unfortunately his time was very limited, so we only got to chat for a few minutes--- I had hoped to have a drink with him. Nice guy!

Speaking of nice guys, Joshua Palmatier was on my next, and day's final panel "Creating Emotion-Driven SF/F Speculative fiction is often called the fiction of ideas, but wonderful ideas will never see print unless they create an emotional impact. Learn to begin with emotion and then wrap the story around character to affect the reader.
Mary Rosenblum (M) Michael Ehart Joshua Palmatier Richard Wadholm" Mary is one of my favorite panel mods, and this was a very good panel. Too bad it was so late, but the attendance was still good, and there were a lot of really good insights on the subject. A short trip to the VIP lounge, a hall wander to a couple of parties with a crowd including my wife, Kat and her husband and others. Such old fogies, we toddled off early.

Sunday started with "How the web is changing the face of politics. Web pages, YouTube ads, email, the internet has allowed even minor candidates to get their message across. How will the internet continue to change to the political process?
Michael Ehart (M) and others---" I arranged for two of the leading techno-political operatives in the state to join us for this one panel, Noemie Maxwell and Ray Minchew, and they did not disapoint. Lively, and substansive, and clearly a success measured by the amount of hallway discussion after.

Kat bailed me out on this panel "Too Many Women Are there too many female characters in Fantasy/Horror? Do girls rule or are is it an illusion? Does gender matter to readers? sales? writers? Does fantasy need more men (like Mars Needs Women)?
Michael Ehart (M) Joshua Palmatier" as Joshua had a flight change and couldn't make it. It was a hoot, very well attended, and we weere able to persuade a number of male readers to try some of the fantastic female writers out there.

The on to-- "We've Broken Their Code, Sir!" Encryption is often an important part of many stories, as well as modern security systems, but often times they leave the reader scratching his head. One author has codes broken in days by an expert who knows the system in use, another declares that messages using some strange code are absolutely unreadable without the key, not just for computers today, but for computers in use a billion years from now. Who is right? Come join us while we discuss where encryption started, where it is now, and where it is going.
Michael Ehart (M) Judith Herman JT Traub"--- my last panel with judith, who continued to amuse. Part techie and part show-biz, this was a hugely attended panel, and geeky as all get-out. had a great conversation with Judith in the green room after.
Then finally!!!!
"Strangest story ever read We've all had the experience of finishing a science fiction or fantasy novel/story, sat back and said "huh?". Come prepared to talk about the strangest story or novel you've read in these past thirty years.
C.A. Scott (M) Michael Ehart Stoney Compton" Wow, did we come up with some weird stuff! C.A. Scott was unable to attend, so Stoney and I swapped moderator duties. Everyone was suffering from con fatigue, so there as a bit of con-rumminess that was entirely appropriate. Good ending to a great con!

Overall, it seemed better attended than last year. As always there was a huge number of wonderful costumes. sadly I was so heavily booked that I only was able to attend the panels I was on, but the variety of those was delightful. Lots of old friends there, Jay Lake, Bruce Taylor, a hall nod to Greg Bear and a glimpse of Astrid, and a dash past their daughter Alexandra who was sitting in a hallway, many others unmentioned (and some unmentionable!) great art everywhere, and much laughter.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Servant Sword

Folks send me pictures of swords from time to time, asking if they are like the sword carried by the Servant of the Manthycore. This one, though Mycenaean
and from slightly later, is the closest so far:

Here is another view:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Which SF writer are you?

I seem to be RAH

I am:
Robert A. Heinlein
Beginning with technological action stories and progressing to epics with religious overtones, this take-no-prisoners writer racked up some huge sales numbers.

Which science fiction writer are you?

How about you?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Grinding away

Actually, rather than a grind it was an explosion. This weekend I was able to squeeze out a little time, and blazed through (well, perhaps "blaze" is a little strong) the first "Servant" story of the new story arc. Off to crit, and then to one of the anthologies I have been invited to sub to. Lots of blood, betrayal, and despair as always.
You know---- a love story.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Damned in Dixie

The cover is up and the Table of Contents. Note the inclusion of a familiar name right at the end:

Emancipation by John Hubbard
Bury Me Deep by Josh Reynolds
Beating Josephat by Lawrence Barker
A Little Nest Egg by Kenneth Goldman
Hearken Not to the Zurry Bird's Cry by Edward DeGeorge
A Cold Day in Hell by Ron Shiflet
Miss Magnolia by Anna M. Lowther
Hell Hath No Fury by Rob Rosen
The Skeleton by William B. Kaliher
Hours With the Dead by Lee Clark Zumpe
The Best Ghost Tour in Savannah by Mark Allan Gunnells
The Big Shot by Loretta Giacoletto
The Tooth by Mark E. Deloy
Such a Sweet Girl by Mark W. Johnson
Sleeping in the Kisatchie by A.C. Wise
Ghosts of the Bayou by Trent Roman
Six Zombies Doing that Mick Jagger Strut by Michael Ehart

Yes, for those who have asked, it is a Joe Denfar story! The anthology should be out next month.

Take a look!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The View From the Shotglass Floor

Just heard from Ray Gun Revival that they will be using my story "The View from the Shotglass Floor" in their magazine. I am stoked! I love their covers, and have really enjoyed the content over the last year or so they have been in business. I'll keep you posted on dates and such when I know more.
In the meantime, give them a visit:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

RadCon 4C, Pasco WA

Itinerary for Michael Ehart

Sun Feb 18 11:00:am Sun Feb 18 12:00:pm Eragon and Star Wars
Citrine Looking at the parallels, are there any new stories to be told
Michael Ehart John Redeye Knight Irene Radford Darragh Metzger

Sat Feb 17 5:00:pm Sat Feb 17 6:00:pm Why the Leather Bikini
Harvest Room Hear these folks explain away the whys and wherefors of all that is quirky in F&SF
Christine Morgan Michael Ehart Deby Fredericks Eve Gross

Sat Feb 17 2:00:pm Sat Feb 17 3:00:pm Leaving it to the Reader
Sage Readers have imaginations; use them! To much, too little? Fining the baby bear approach to getting it just right.
John Pitts ElizaBeth Gilligan M. J. Engh Michael Ehart Michael Hiebert

Fri Feb 16 4:00:pm Fri Feb 16 5:00:pm Star Trek
Sage RCW 4813.6.1(c) states: No science fiction convention shall be liscened to do business in the State of Washington without 1 (one) period of time, not less than 50 minutes, dedicated to Star Trek. This period of time must be scheduled and a copy of that schedule provided to attendees of said convention.
Michael Ehart J. Steven York Dean Wesley Smith John Hudgens Vickie Mitchell

Fri Feb 16 3:00:pm Fri Feb 16 4:00:pm To Outline or Not to Outline
Harvest Room Some folks swear by the outline, others swear at it. Both sides make their point.
Renee Stern Darragh Metzger Christine Morgan Michael Ehart

See you there!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Damned in Dixie

He's baaack! For those of you who have been jonesing for a Joe Denfar fix, good news! I just heard from editor and writer Ron Shiflet that the latest Joe story "Six Zombies Doing that Mick Jagger Strut" will be in the "Damned in Dixie" anthology coming in March. It will be a collection of "dark fantasy/horror tales set in any of the 13 states that comprised the Confederate States of America."
More details as I get 'em!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In first place!

For nearly 12 hours. It might not last, but it sure feels good. Go vote if you haven't!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Please vote for me!

My story "Servant of the Manthycore" has been nominated for the Preditors and Editors poll for best Fantasy/SF Short Story of 2006. Pleeeease vote for me! he whined.
Poll here:

Story here, for those of you who haven't read it yet: