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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: