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Monday, November 30, 2009

Saturday

Saturday with a trip to the waterfront Mariott for their famous breakfast buffet --the breakfast chef has been making waffles and omelets there for 29 years! I consumed far more than was good for me, then zipped back to the con hotel (zipped in a waddling, pleasantly bloated fashion) to my first panel, pros at cons. As sometimes happens, no one showed, so after a suitable time, Bob "RadCon" Brown called us canceled, so Joan Gaustad, Andrew Nisbet, Suzanne Tompkins and after a bit some other folks who wandered in just chatted about cons past until the next panel showed up to displace us.
Next was a flash fiction panel with Ayne Blythe, Ray Vukcevich, and Edward Morris, with fantastic help from the audience from KC Ball, Mr. Green and others. Being on a panel with Ray will earn me huge cool parent points with my oldest soon, who is major fan. The panel itself was one of those near-perfect things, fast-paced, inforrmative, and great audience participation.
My final panel of the day was one that is always a favorite, Ask Dr. Genius. Panelists included Guy Letourneau, Jordin Kare, Dr. Anne Prather, Amy Thomson, and Janet Freeman. This time we were very engineer heavy, so the puns were rapid-fire and thick upon the ground. The *lies* explanations on these panels tend to congeal around themes, this time many references to lost socks in the dryer. The room was packed, and many of us had done various iterations of this panel before in some combination or another, so it was like one of those all-star band concerts, with everyone taking a turn at *promoting a pack of lies* a solo, then jumping back into the resultant chaos.
We sat in a fun and informative panel on Christian SF and fantasy, spent some time wandering the halls, and then to a very cool ultra techno decor Chinese restaurant, then to the room for a quick post-prandial coma before returning to the con to visit parties and the dance. Saw Brenda Cooper in the hallway but didn't get to chat, caught up with Bruce Taylor at the same transitory venue, exchanged hugs with Mary Rosenblum in passing. Many of our long-time con friends we only got to wave at, but at least we got to visit a few minutes with the lovely Judith Hermann at the dance. We gave Nisi Shawl a lift to where she was staying, and made it an early night.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday's Con Report

We got up early Friday and arrived in plenty of time in Portland. In fact, we were early enough that our room wasn't ready, so we scooted over to the con where we discovered... registration wasn't ready either. So we killed a little time, got checked in and registered, played phone tag with my daughter, finally made a connection, and while I was dazzling folks in my first panel, Shaharazahd and my daughter got to spend a pleasant hour over some killer ribs in the restaurant.
The first panel was Masked Vigilantes, with Lou Anders and Carl Cook, both properly unserious and great panelists. Lou in particular had some great anecdotes. After, I slid back over to the restaurant and saved my loved ones from over-consumption of pork products by bravely leaping into the fray and gobbling down the remaining ribs. Yeah meat!
Hugs and goodbyes, and another panel, this one on Alternate History and Fantasy, admirably hosted by Mary Hobson, who as always was well-organized, thoughtful, and fun. Cats to be herded other than myself included Alma Alexander, Robin Hobb, and John Alexander. After Robin and I agreed that it was funny that we live 5 miles apart, but can only get together at a con 100 miles away. KC Ball was in the audience, and came up after to say hi, and then we were swept helplessly into the orbit of Camille Alexis, who lodged us in the bar for a couple of hours of wonderfully hilarious conversation, with a steasily rotating cast of interseting people. Dinner was at der Rhinelander, a Portland landmark, where we enjoyed jagerschnitzel and german beer. We made a quick sweep of the parties, and made it an early night, but not before stopping back at the dance to spend a few minutes with Nisi Shawl.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Join Me At OryCon!

Fri Nov 27 1:00:pm Fri Nov 27 2:00:pm Exploring the mystique of costumed vigilantes
Hawthorne Exploring the mystique of Batman, The Phantom, Daredevil and other costumed vigilantes from the golden age of comics and how they have evolved through the passage of time.
Lou Anders, Carl Cook, Michael Ehart

Fri Nov 27 3:00:pm Fri Nov 27 4:00:pm Alternate History Fantasy?
Multnomah Fantasy is often written in a pseudo-medieval society. Some authors bring freshness to the setting by traveling the world, while others go backward, or forward, in time or just adopt technology or lack thereof on a secondary world. Lace and blade, prehistoric, and other choices in fantasy, and how magic fits in, if it even has to at all.
M.K. Hobson, Alma Alexander, Michael Ehart, Robin Hobb, John P. Alexander

Sat Nov 28 12:00:pm Sat Nov 28 1:00:pm Pros At Cons
Morrison How accommodating and accessible should pros be when attending cons? Public relations, marketing, and what conventions and the membership should or shouldn't expect from pros.
Bob Brown, Joan Gaustad, Andrew Nisbet III, Suzanne Tompkins, Michael Ehart

Sat Nov 28 2:00:pm Sat Nov 28 3:00:pm Fiction in a Flash
Alaska Short fiction for a world of compressed time--flash and tweetable micro-fiction. Common pitfalls, quirks, problems and teh awesome inherent in the very short form.
Michael Ehart, Blythe Ayne, Ray Vukcevich, Edward Morris

Sat Nov 28 3:00:pm Sat Nov 28 4:00:pm Ask Dr. Genius: Ad-Lib Answers to Audience Questions
Ross Island No, really, they're real scientists, honest. Bring your science questions, and if they don't have an answer they'll make something up, and it might even be sort of right.
Guy Letourneau, Jordin Kare, Dr. Anne Prather, Michael Ehart, Amy Thomson, Janet Freeman

Sun Nov 29 1:00:pm Sun Nov 29 2:00:pm Comics to the big screen
Weidler The Dark Knight was so awesome. Or was it? Watchmen, Iron Man, Transformers, Wolverine ... has the big screen made them bigger or are the creators and fans gnashing their teeth and tearing their hair?
Sean Wells, Carl Cook, Paul Guinan, Michael Ehart

Sun Nov 29 2:00:pm Sun Nov 29 3:00:pm First Novels: Paths to the Editor Desk
Weidler An author can struggle for months or years before achieving their first success, but even after writing their opus, they can be tripped up by a process which is both entirely new to them and yet critical to their success. This panel describes what an author may experience as they revel in their first success.
M.K. Hobson, Phoebe Kitanidis, Michael Ehart, Elton Elliott


Bold is the moderator, so as you can see, I'll be doing a lot of the ol' okie-doke :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Counting down to book release

February 14th is not just a day for lovers next year --- it is time for Fantasy lovers, too! No, not that kind of fantasy! That is the date that The Tears of Ishtar releases, and every day is simultaneously a lifetime and too little time.
Just got a great blurb from Mary Rosenblum, which I will post here soon, and one from Steven Barnes, too.
It is wonderful when your favorite writers say nice things!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Here is some excellent linkage

Abandon Towers magazine, which is a)online, so convenient, b)free, so the price is right, and c)chock full of fantasy and sf goodness, so you know you want to go there, is asking folks to share the link to their site.
Here it is:
http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/AbandonedTowers

I know next chance I have, I'll be adding this one to my blogroll.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Two World Fantasy Nominations for Nisi Shawl!

Congratulations Nisi! Nominated for Best Novella, for "Good Boy" (one of my favorite stories) and for Best Collection for Filter House.
Nisi is a tremendous writer and a stand-up kinda woman. If you don't have Filter House already, what in the world are you waiting for?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Some amazing examples of ancient craftsmanship


From the Bagdad Museum --- this is part of a series of hundreds of slides, without any text. I am guessing from other reading and context that it is a documentation of the artifacts that museum staff hid during the war. This crown is exquisite, but by far not the only item.

If you go through the slideshow, the first few dozen show them opening the vault under heavy guard, and opening the crates. As they unpack them, the wonders grow increasingly eye-popping.

The crown looks to me to be Assyrian. The flowers are lovely, and the angels are recognizable by their four wings, not anything like a modern representation. Are the angels there to protect the wearer, as a symbol of his authority, or just because they are cool?

You can start with the crown and some of the details here: http://www.baghdadmuseum.org/secret/pages/409.htm
or check the whole thing out from the beginning here: http://www.baghdadmuseum.org/secret/pages/000.htm

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Clarion West Write-a-thon update

Extra props to Judith Herman for her generous pledge of 50.00! With her Microsoft match this is a contribution of $100.00 to the Clarion West program.

The West African story is really rocking! We are about 3/4 of the way through, and it is filled with action, magic, and a flavor that will have you racing to the end. I saw Nisi this weekend, and both of us are amazed at how much difference there is between our individual voices and what we are ending up with in collaboration.

There are only two weeks to go, so if you haven't already, go to http://clarionwest.org/events/writeathon/Michael+Ehart and make your pledge today!

Thanks!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A good writing week

Or a good week as a writer, more accurately. The week started off with money in the mail, from a couple of different sources. I always like it when I'm paid to write, because the checks come so slowly in this business that the pain of actually haven written anything is long forgotten by the time the money arrives.

Then, there was this: The Lure of a strong first sentance, at Flash Fiction Chronicles. A story of mine used as an example of how to start a story! How cool is that? I am used to being held up as an example, but usually in a more... cautionary form.

This was my first week as a write-a-thon participant for Clarion West, and my word count came fairly easily. If you haven't already pledged, it is only 10 bucks, and you can do it here.

This weekend looks pretty good for finally buttoning up The Tears of Ishtar, and getting it off to the publisher. It will be good to have a little time freed up!

And finally, this: Five New Novelists Every Fantasy Fan Should Know About Nice words indeed!


If you like your fantasy literature with lots of sword fights and godlike beings vying against monsters during an epic age, The Servant of the Manthycoreis for you. The main character is a bold warrior woman. She has grit, spunk and honor, and she could easily hang with the toughest fantasy swordsmen, including Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian. This novel even comes with an introduction by Michael Moorcock, the creator of Elric of Melnibone.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Help me out with the Clarion West Write-A-Thon!

Yes, I have agreed to participate. My pledge is to collaborate with Nisi Shawl (yes, that Nisi Shawl, Tiptree Award, Publisher's Weekly Ten Best of 2008!) on a story set in West Africa. We have set for our goal a 6k word story, done during the six weeks of Clarion West.

How can you help? Easy! I have agreed to try to get 10 people to pledge 10 dollars each in support of Clarion West. All you gotta do is go here and sign up, and lay the tenner on them. Ten bucks? You know you can afford that! Only 10 dollars, 20 halfs, 2 fivers, 40 Quarters, the tenth part of a Benjamin Franklin.

Whattaya waitin' for?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tears of Ishtar almost finished

I'm at 91k words, with about 5-10k left to write. As always that last ten per cent is the hardest.
But the more I write, the more excited I get. This really is going to be the definitive "Servant" book, with all the things that folks have come to expect from Ninshi and her travels.
And then, on to other things. I will miss them, of course, but it will be good to get away from the bronze age for a little while. So many things have backed up while making this work.
Joe denfar has a new adventure to be written, Yardi seems to want to be a novel, and for way too long I have put aside my strings novel. Much to do, and by the time some of it is beaten into submission I will be ready to revisit ancient Mesopotamia.

My pal Cindy Pon's first book...

Silver Phoenix : Beyond the Kingdom of Xia
was named one of the top ten sf/fantasy reads for youth
in 2009! along with Gaiman's graveyard book and
Pratchett's nation by the American Library Association's booklist.

Congratulations Cindy!

Friday, June 05, 2009

All at once...

I seem to be on the school board.

This was filing week for all the local races, and Szahd was keeping an eagle eye on who was stepping up to the plate. Until Friday afternoon she had no opponent for her desired position on the city council. By Wednesday she knew all the gossip, which incumbents weren't going to file, which would only if no one else did, etc.

So she convinced me to file for school board. And no one else did for that position, which I'm told created a minor stir at the auditor's office, where I am well known for working on other people's campaigns and on Szahd's, and for vehemently insisting I would never run for anything.

Received a number of congratulatory emails this evening, so I guess it is real. Now I really have to learn how to behave like a grown-up. Like Mark Twain said, 'In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards." I have also seen that quote with the idiots replaced with jackasses, which seems to add to the melodiousness. Either way, I now am one of them.

Actually, our University Place School District is one of the finest in the state, and it will be a real honor to serve alongside some of the folks who have made it that way.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rules for Time Travellers

Makes sense to me. But then, I'm a doctor, not a physicist.

From Discover...

With the new Star Trek out, it’s long past time (as it were) that we laid out the rules for would-be fictional time-travelers. (Spoiler: Spock travels to the past and gets a sex change and becomes Kirk’s... lover.*) Not that we expect these rules to be obeyed; the dramatic demands of a work of fiction will always trump the desire to get things scientifically accurate, and Star Trek all by itself has foisted half a dozen mutually-inconsistent theories of time travel on us. But time travel isn’t magic; it may or may not be allowed by the laws of physics — we don’t know them well enough to be sure — but we do know enough to say that if time travel were possible, certain rules would have to be obeyed. And sometimes it’s more interesting to play by the rules. So if you wanted to create a fictional world involving travel through time, here are 10+1 rules by which you should try to play.


You can read the rest here:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Writing Short

Gay Degani over at Flash Fiction Chronicles has been kind enough to ask me to write a few words about writing flash fiction. Always happy to blather on a bit!

As always, the story is the thing. The best flash carries with it all the things that make any other story work, a beginning, middle and end, a protagonist who changes or makes their surrounding change in a meaningful way, strong dialog, vivid description, and some sort of payoff for the reader. It can be difficult to shoe-horn all of these elements into such a small word-count, but good flash fiction stories generally do.


You'll be able to read the rest in acouple of days here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Longridge Writers

I have the great honor of being the guest writer and smart-aleck at the Longridge Writers site. You can get a small taste of how obnoxiuos I am at conventions by checking he Q&A's at the Post a Note Section, here.
Please drop by, as there is a ton of stuff to be learned there. There are some great writers coming out of that program, and with Mary Rosenblum as a teacher you just can't go wrong.
I'll be there through the end of the week. Try your waitress, and be sure and tip the veal.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tiptree Award

Nisi Shawl, with whom I have the very excellent taste to share a live crit group, has just been named the winner of the James Tiptree award for her collection Filter House.
Seriously guys, nobody writes like Nisi. Her stuff is deep, and often profoundly disturbing.
More info about the award here: http://www.tiptree.org/?see=front_page

Monday, April 20, 2009

This makes things so clear!


Wish I had this to show to my high school guidance councilor back in 1972. It would have changed everything.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sneak Peek at Killer Cover Art!


Here is the cover art for The Tears of Ishtar, by the master cover artist Johnney Perkins.

We'll have a date soon for release, and all I can say is, I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Oh, yeah, this blog is about writing

Link to an interview with me: here!

"If there was the possibility of becoming any speculative fiction character ever created (except your own), would you? Who? Why?

I’m pretty happy with who I am. When I was a kid I wanted to be Doc Savage, but you can see how that turned out. It might be cool to become John Carter, if for no other reason than to watch the death match between Dejah Thoris and my wife. Second thought, that has a lot of ways of ending in tears, and after Mrs. Ehart finished with that Martian heifer, I would probably be next."


And of course more smart-aleckey goodness on the other side of the link above.

The Worst Homemade Star Wars Costumes

here.

And while I was there, this was the picture of the day:

http://www.holytaco.com/white-castle-weddings-always-make-me-cry

Monday, March 30, 2009

ShamWow? No, SlamWow! Vince goes to jail

But apparently not until he got his groove-thing on. Seems he had an altercation with a prostitute that escalated into an indulgence in physical violence. Cops were called, big mess. But at least the cleanup was easy.

I'm always a little sad when a role-model like this takes a fall. Sheesh, who ever would have thought that a guy like Vince would have anger management problems? After all, he wasn't even able to get through a taped commercial without snapping at the crew. "You getting this, camera guy?"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Television

I used to hate TV. I would watch old movies, and sometimes the news, but episodic TV left me cold. For nearly 30 years, I could count the number of series I enjoyed on my fingers. Even then, I might watch a few episodes of something different, like "Miami Vice" (which for all of its problems introduced a number of concepts, like fast cutting and had great music and a very distinctive look)and then just stop watching, my interest dissapated by poor writing or hackneyed plots.
So what in the world changed? I now watch a couple of hours a night, and at least half is episodic. Favorites include Eleventh Hour, The Closer, Numbers, Bones, Terminator, Batman brave and Bold, Burn Notice, and I flicker in out out of love with Reaper, Psych, Monk, and the sadly canceled Life on Mars. Weird, because at the same time as I have less time than ever in my life, I am pausing everything to watch a couple of hours of the tube each night.
Two things, I think. For one, even though there is a lot of copy catting and far too many CSI types of shows on, the overall quality is much much higher. Complex, mutilayerd plots from show like Heroes and Lost have shown that viewers don't always have to be spoon fed. Production values are infinitly higher than they were in my childhood, and some of the best film directors have no problem helming TV projects. Actors move much more comfortably between big screen and small. TV is just better done now, in general.
The other thing is technology. LCD makes everything look better, but the big thing is tivo. Being able to watch whatever I like when I have time makes the TV my servant, rather than the other way around. I can also deal with one of my pet peeves, the two part episode, by tivoing both and watching them together.
Finding that 3AM History Channel documentary on the Hittites and watching it right after dinner is pretty cool, too.

New Stooges? Say it ain't so!

Sean Penn as Larry? Jim Carrey as Curly? Benicio Del Toro as Moe?

Aaaaaaag!

The best gag in one of the funniest movies ever, It's a Mad, Mad World, was the airplane in distress, piloted by a passenger after the pilot (Jim Bakus) dies of a heart attack. The tower is notified, the emergency truck rolls out, and just as the plane is landing, they pan past the emergency crew. It is the stooges, ready for action, still, iconic, poised for mayhem.

Their body of work had created so much audince anticipation that nothing more was needed. You knew, that whatever chaos had occured before, it was nothing like would happen after the plane was on the ground.

How can anyone, ever reproduce this?

The Farrelly Brothers are out of their minds.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NorWesCon

Norwescon 32 Itinerary For: Michael Ehart

Thursday

Opening Ceremonies 7:00 pm Evergreen 1 & 2
What are the "Things That Time Forgot"? Come find out, and meet our Guests of Honor.


Art Show Reception 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm Grand Ballroom 1
Please join our artists for a sneak peek at the Norwescon 32 Art Show.


Reading: Michael Ehart 8:30 PM Cascade 3
The Tears of Ishtar – Fantasy – Rated PG
Michael Ehart



Small Press Party 9:00 pm to Midnight Presidential Suite
Cap off the evening with the Small Press


Friday

Rejectomancy Noon Cascade 6
Our panelists will help you divine the meaning of different rejection letters and ways to deal with rejection.
Jennifer Brozek, L.J. Bothell, Lisa Mantchev, Jeff Carlson, Michael Ehart


Adventure Stories 1:00 PM Cascade 7
Swashbucklers, pirates, oh my? What makes an adventure story different from other science fiction and fantasy stories? And do most adventure stories get the action right?
Michael Ehart, MH ("Maggie") Bonham



Fantasy as Social Commentary 3:00 PM Cascade 4
Fantasy and Sci Fi have long provided "safe" ways for authors to discuss the real world they lived and struggled in. Examine fantasy realms and lift the thin veil to look at social critique on racism, sexism, religion, politics and more.
Michael Ehart, Cat Rambo, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Spencer Ellsworth

The Use and Misuse of Violence in SF and Fantasy 10:00 PM Cascade 4
Lawrence Block once noted that sex and violence in fiction are the best ways to get people's attention. But on the flip side, there's a point at which such things become gratuitous. When is violence absolutely necessary in a story? When does it become gratuitous, or simply in the story for its own sake? And how much is too much?
Carol Berg, Jena Pittman, Josh Palmatier, Michael Ehart


Norwescon 32 Pro Party 9:00 pm to Midnight Presidential Suite
Cap off the evening with your fellow panelists.

Saturday

Tradeoffs between Freedom, Security and Privacy 9:00 AM Cascade 9
Is she free? Is he secure? Should we know? It seems that to get more of one thing, you have to give up something else. Since different people want different levels of freedom, security and privacy, how can we reach a societal consensus on the tradeoffs? What happens when smart dust watches everything we do, scanning technologies monitor what we think and microbots will take action? Where is all this going? Where should it go? What can we do? Is Big Brother coming at last, just a bit behind schedule?
David Nassett, Michael Ehart, Mary Rosenblum



Autograph Session 1 11:00 AM Evergreen 1 & 2
Grab your books! Our Guests of Honor and many of our pros will be available for autographs.
R.A. Salvatore, Geno Salvatore, Todd Lockwood, Richard Baker, John P. Alexander, MH (“Maggie”) Bonham, L.J. Bothell, Ted Butler, Jeff Carlson, Greg Cox, Darrin Drader, Michael Ehart, Elton Elliott, Spencer Ellsworth, Roberta Gregory, Jeff Grubb, Warren Hammond, Paul Melko, G.David Nordley, Sean Reynolds, Kat Richardson, Ken Scholes, Jeff Sturgeon, Tiffany Trent



The Evolving Superhero 4:00 PM Evergreen 2
The Superhero Genre has changed, due to a shrinking readership and the increasing age of the average reader. In other words, the superhero is now aimed at a niche market rather than mass and the average reader is now 28 (or so) instead of 12 and this has all radically altered the material.
Michaela Eaves, Andrew Dolbeck, Michael Ehart



Wizards of the Coast Party 9:00 pm to Midnight Presidential Suite
A chance to party with Spotlight Publisher Wizards of the Coast.


Sunday

Closing Ceremonies 5:00 pm Evergreen 3 & 4
The time and place where we wrap it all up. Come say goodbye to our Guests of Honor, and bid farewell to Norwescon for one more year.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coming This Summer!

"They were late, but it didn’t matter. The caravan was in disarray, with camels yet unloaded and a factor standing toe-to toe with the caravan master, both shouting with red faces and gesticulating arms. Humri was a great ox of a man, his shaven head puckered and scarred. His face was marked by a deep furrow that ran from his forehead to his jaw, emphasized by the missing teeth on that side...

The factor was almost as tall, but slender and quick. His thick hair was oiled and braided in the Hurrian fashion, and he mostly shouted in that language, too. It appeared that both men had run out of curses in their native tongues, and had moved on to others.

The factor was just as angry as Humri, and seemed to be fluent in more than a dozen tongues, but Humri had an amazing gift. His familial denigrations were poetic and pungent. His anatomical suggestions were inspired. But his rapid-fire, multi-lingual descriptions of the generational curses to be visited on the factor, his never-to-be-begotten offspring, his cousins, nephews, uncles and their descendants was dazzling. Deeply profane, it was the stuff of which great epic poems were wrought, and after a while even the factor noticed, and stopped in mid-curse, first in puzzlement and then in amazement as Humri carefully and lovingly cursed the factor for seven generations in each direction.

At last, each jackal-descended third cousin cataloged, fated and dismissed, Humri paused for a breath.

“Forty-five, then,” conceded the factor, his voice hoarse, his posture resigned.

Humri closed his mouth, drilled the factor with his one good eye, and apparently discerning no duplicity, nodded. “Forty-five, and done,” he said, his booming voice not a hair quieter.

Both men spat on their palms, and clasped hands. The factor turned to a small man behind him, who was standing ready with a wet tablet and a stylus, and muttered a few instructions. The factor made his mark, and the tablet was slipped into a small leather bag. The scribe trotted off with it, most likely to the master trader the factor worked for.

Humri bellowed out orders, and in a few heartbeats the chaos was banished, and from it arose the order and bustle of a caravan." (c) 2009 Michael Ehart


Coming this summer!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"As from His Lair, the Wild Beast"


Another Servant tale will see publication later this year in Rage of the Behemoth from RBE, the folks that brought us last year's Return of the Sword. Some pretty great folks are part of the lineup, including one of my favoriet persons to share a panel with, Mary Rosenblum, and Lois Tilton's out of retirement story, to which I will get to write the introduction as well.

Cool idea, with several stories each set in a different environment, like Scalding Sands or Ageless Mountains. There will be special editions with each of the differnt environments own cover, as well.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Magic and Mechanica



It is finally here!

Enter a world of piston-driven fantasy, where magic smashes headlong into the down-to-earth reality of technology and machines. From the all out war of dragon-riding sorcerers against an army of self-replicating, clockwork robots in Christopher M. Cevasco's "Gambit," to the discovery of an alien submersible by pirates in Christopher Heath's Azieran tale "Savior in a Flask," further still to Nicholas Ian Hawkins' collision of a wizardly scholar and the newly-invented printing press that will ruin his career in "Knowledge and Dust," you will certainly be amazed at the breathtaking imaginations of fifteen authors. Dragons, steam-powered tanks, Aztec warriors, angry gods, assassins both large and small...Magic & Mechanica is unlike any collection of fantasy you've ever seen.


This anthology includes my story "Night of Shadows, Night of Knives" which probalby has the longest path to publication of any of my stories, ever. I first conceived of the beginning nearly 20 years ago. The first drafts are long lost, but about 4 years ago I discovered a version that had been adapted for Wizards of the Coast in the late 90's. They had an editorial change, and then lost it, eventually returning it to me rejected after nearly two years.

I re-wrote it for this anthology, they liked it, and here it is, finally, in print.

It is a very streamlined story, set in a vaguely middle-eastern city. A crit partner called the style "Castle Noir" which I like, and fits it as well as any other description.

Lots of good stuff in this anthology, from some pretty good writers.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Servant review by Rich Horton

Kind words from Rich Horton!

Michael Ehart's The Servant of the Manthycore is a short novel that appeared in 2007 from a small outfit called Double-Edged Publishing. I confess I started reading with minimal hopes. But I was quite pleasantly surprised. The title character and heroine is a Bronze Age woman who with her lover was tricked into an encounter with the Manthycore, a monster that requires a human servant to kill other people for him to eat. The Manthycore has imprisoned the lover in a sort of stasis, as a hostage, while the woman, later named Ninshi, travels around, almost invincible, killing people. By the time of the main action she was for generations been trying to find a way to escape this service. In this book she rescues a young slave girl, kills some bad people, and finds a hint at a secret that may allow her to compel the Manthycore to release her, only to again be betrayed. Besides some fine action and some nicely plotted episodes, and sturdy writing, I enjoyed the hints seeded through the book of some familiar characters. The main weakness is that the novel, assembled from several short stories, is a bit loosely structured. To be marketable to a major publisher it would probably have to be twice its length (and I think it could bear that expansion) and the plot would have to be tightened considerably. But as it stands it's enjoyable work.


Okay now!

link here: The Elephant Forgets - http://ecbatan.livejournal.com/

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tomb of the Amazon Queen


A new "Servant" story. Dark Worlds is a "pulp descended" magazine, so I gave this one my pulpiest title ever. In this story, Ninshi and Miri travel with a band of women warriors to recover an ancient treasure. I'll let you know when it comes out!