Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Starbucks holiday cup satire


How dare Starbucks depict a mermaid WITH TWO TAILS! David Jacob Knight's timely satire on the controversy.
"Starbucks, or any company for that matter, has no right to put whatever branding they want on their products if it violates my mermaid religion."
 Read the full article at davidjacobknight.com.



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wizards of Mass Destruction antho

THE MARKET

  • Antho: Wizards of Mass Destruction
  • Editor(s): Thom Brannan, Rob Pegler
  • Pay Rate: $25 per story
  • Reading Period: September 15, 2015 – March 15, 2016
  • Guidelines: http://darktomorrow.net/?page_id=742

Author D.L. Snell conducted the following interview to give writers a better idea of what the editors of this specific market are seeking. Snell does not edit these answers in any way, so that writers can get a feel for the editors in charge.


THE SCOOP

1) Tell us a little about yourself and your career as an editor. Do you write as well?
Rob Pegler: This is my first time editing for an anthology, so I guess my career as an editor is a tale yet to be written. Fortunately, Thom’s here to hold my hand.

Thom Brannan: I have co-edited three anthologies to date, the first two volumes of Permuted's Cthulhu Unbound, and Superhero Monster Hunter: The Good Fight for Emby Press, as well as several novels.

RP: As for writing, I have one werewolf novel (Coppertown Red) on the market, a follow-up (The Species Problem) in the last stages of editing, and some short stories available in Emby Press’ Legends of the Monster Hunters series.

TB: I write, as well. Three collaborative efforts and three other novels.

2) What authors do you enjoy? What about their work captivates you?
RP: Gaiman, for the versatility of his work and the way he can take something completely ordinary and mundane (a lamp post, a housecat, a cup of coffee) and wring all the beauty and ugliness in the world out of it. He also has this uncanny way of making everything he writes sound almost like a true story, or a tall tale you heard down at the local. I haven’t read nearly as much Stephen King as I should have, but I like the straightforward way he goes about creating an image in your mind (especially a horrible one). And, like Gaiman, he makes it all feel real. I like Edward Rutherfurd for the sheer audacious scope of his books; one day I want to write a big fat history-spanning novel like London or Sarum, although mine would probably have vampires and dryads and things in it. Pratchett’s an old favourite too. And if comic authors count, John Wagner and Alan Moore.

TB: Some authors in my Top Ten novel list are John Steakley, Michael Marshall Smith, William Browning Spencer, Brian P. Easton, Jason S. Hornsby. They all do different things with their words, but it boils down to the ability to tell a story what hits you when and where you least expect it. When I set about to steal from the best, these are the gentlemen from whom I purloin.

3) Describe the ideal stories for this market.
RP: I think the only essential ingredients are a) a wizard or magical practicioner of some kind, probably with some unique specialty, and working within the nebulous ranks of the Century; and b) some real-life historical event or disaster in which this wizard played a role in the execution of his or her work, deliberately or otherwise. Thom gave the Doctor Who episode "The Fires of Pompeii" as a good example of what we’re looking for; I’m more of a “classic Who” man myself, so I’d aso cite the Fifth Doctor serial "The Visitation" (in which an exploding alien weapon accidentally starts the Great Fire of London).

TB: Definitely. There is history as is taught in books and written about by worldly scholars, and then there is History, which is mostly ranted about by people standing on boxes and wearing tin foil hats. It's the latter we're excited to read about.

RP: Within those parameters, we’re hoping for a wide spectrum of stories. All of history is yours to play with, and a range of styles and genres is welcome. (You can check the updates on the Dark Tomorrow site to see which historical events have already been claimed by another author.)

4) What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
RP: There are various types that appeal to me. Villains and anti-heroes especially, as long as they’re believable. What I find really interesting is the interactions between different types of characters, especially if they’re morally or ideologically opposed but working on the same side. If you’ve ever watched the first two seasons of Blake’s 7, you’ll know what I mean.

TB: The sidekicks and students are important. Everyone knows Batman's story, but how many of the casual fans are familiar with the tragedy of Tim Drake, the second Robin? Why is Tonto so beholden to the Lone Ranger? These people are amazing, and could handily be the main attraction in their own show, but you see them next to someone else.

5) Describe a few stories you’ve published previously and what made them stand out to you.
RP: Again, this is my first time working as an editor, but what always makes a story stand out for me is a strong opening that sets up the world and lets me know exactly what I’m in for.

TB: Good follow-through is also key. Don't give me a kick-ass opening and then fall apart. Recently, a story made it into the superhero monster hunter book, and it hit all the high notes. "Cat Got Your Tongue?" gave you the set-up and kept on burning at both ends until the story was told. Short fiction has to carry itself as it's the only time in the world you'll get to hear this story. In novels you have time to flesh things out, to give your characters room to stretch and grow. If you can accomplish the same in eight thousand words or less, I'm keen to have you on board.

6) Any last advice for submitters? Any critical dos and don’ts?
RP: The best advice is to read couple of Thom’s stories to get a feel for the sandbox you’ll be playing in. And then stake out your own corner of the sandbox, and bring your own toys.

TB: Be unafraid to alter the fabric of the world as you know it. That's what this anthology is all about, right? Change every damn thing for those with eyes to see. But, to borrow from the guidelines of another shared-world sandbox, don't destroy Chicago. Someone else is going to need it... unless you're doing it with the Great Fire, then by all means. Because that actually happened. HISTORY. Hah.


D.L. SNELL is an acclaimed novelist from the Pacific Northwest. His bestselling Pavlov’s Dogs series, co-authored with Thom Brannan, is available through Permuted Press. Snell also has had great success writing under the pen name David Jacob Knight

To reprint this article, please contact D.L. Snell.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Third Flatiron Anthologies


THE MARKET
  • Antho: Third Flatiron Anthologies (Summer 2015 will be "Only Disconnect")
  • Editor(s): Juliana Rew
  • Pay Rate: 3 cents/word, 6 cents/word for lead story
  • Deadline: March 31, 2015. (We do a new theme each quarter)
  • Guidelines: http://www.thirdflatiron.com/liveSite/pages/submissions

Author D.L.Snell conducted the following interview to give writers a better idea of what the editors of this specific market are seeking. Snell does not edit these answers in any way, so that writers can get a feel for the editors in charge.

THE SCOOP
1) Tell us a little about yourself and your career as an editor. Do you write as well?
Juliana Rew is a former science and technical writer for the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Geological Society of America, with experience writing and editing scientific books, journal articles, newsletters, annual reports, and computer user documentation. She has won over a dozen technical writing competitions, and is a software engineer by training. She also writes a little fiction.

2) What authors do you enjoy? What about their work captivates you?
Ann Leckie, Charles Stross, David Brin, Connie Willis, Julian May, and countless others going all the way back to Lord Dunsany.

3) Describe the ideal stories for this market.
The upcoming anthology will have the theme, "Only Disconnect." Here's the prompt for authors: "Presentism" as a theme: the pitfalls of distraction, overstimulation, attention thieves. Too much to do, too little time, headlong into the singularity. Advantages of being bored or being "in the present."  Connecting with the Earth rather than Bluetooth (gardeners, here's your chance).

4) What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
One of my favorites was the genetically altered and completely transparent human, Oar, in "Ascending" by James Alan Gardner. She was one of a kind.

5) Describe a few stories you’ve published previously and what made them stand out to you.
I'd put plugs in for "On a Train with a Coyote Ghost" by Robin Wyatt Dunn (in our "Abbreviated Epics" anthology), "The League of Lame Superheroes" by James Aquilone (in our "Astronomical Odds" anthology), and "A Rock in the Air" by Neil James Hudson (in our upcoming "The Time It Happened…" anthology).

6) Any last advice for submitters? Any critical dos or don’ts?
Try to follow the guidelines, keep it short, and knock our socks off.



D.L. SNELL is an acclaimed novelist from the Pacific Northwest. His bestselling Pavlov’s Dogs series, co-authored with Thom Brannan, is available through Permuted Press. Snell also has had great success writing under the pen name David Jacob Knight.

To reprint this article, please contact D.L. Snell.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Zombies Love Italian


According to a dietary study conducted by Ivan Pavlov of ZED Institute, eight in every ten zombies prefer Italian over other human, uh, cuisine. In light of these findings, Thom Brannan and I would like to introduce our bestselling book Pavlov’s Dogs in Italian.

Thanks to Dunwich Edizioni for the translation and the awesome cover.

To celebrate, the first novella in the Dog Years series, prequel to Pavlov’s Dogs, is free on Amazon.



Sunday, January 4, 2015

Terraform zine



THE MARKET



Author D.L. Snell conducted the following interview to give writers a better idea of what the editors of this specific market are seeking. Snell does not proofread these answers in any way, so that writers can get a feel for the editors in charge.


THE SCOOP

1) Tell us a little about yourself and your career as an editor. Do you write as well?
We are both writers as well as editors; we both write fiction, do journalism, and edit a little of everything.


2) What authors do you enjoy? What about their work captivates you?
Lots. Gibson, Le Guin, Dick, Pynchon, Atwood, Asimov, Bester, Robinson—the list could go on. We admire any author that skillfully invokes the future to credibly reflect truths about the present.


3) Describe the ideal stories for this market.
Future-pointed stories that feel like they could be ripped from the blogroll of our technology-addled present; stories about the further future that extrapolate today's trends; dystopias, utopias, allegories, satire.


4) What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
Well-drawn ones. We hope to represent the full spectrum of humanity here.


5) Describe a few stories you’ve published previously and what made them stand out to you.
Easy enough to check out our roll of stories here, and see for yourself. Other than that, it's good writing above all, and smart renderings of plausible futures.


6) Any last advice for submitters? Any critical dos or don’ts?
The usual stuff: Read the stories we've published, include your bona fides, and follow the submission guidelines!




D.L. SNELL is an acclaimed novelist from the Pacific Northwest. His bestselling Pavlov’s Dogs series, co-authored with Thom Brannan, is available through Permuted Press. Snell also has had great success writing under the pen name David Jacob Knight.

To reprint this article, please contact D.L. Snell.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Warner Bros. hacked, data held for ransom

Warner Bros. Entertainment was hacked this morning in retaliation to the depiction of Smaug in its new blockbuster film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.



When WB employees arrived this morning for work, they noticed a poorly written warning on their computer screens. The warning depicted what at first appeared to be a skull with long skeletal fingers, but upon closer examination turned out to be Smeagol, another character from the film. “This is just a beginning,” the warning states. “We continue till our request be met.” The poor grammar and other digital clues point to Orcs as the likely attackers.

Using backdoor malware, a time-bomb virus, and Ghash (an Orc word for “fire”), the hackers stole private emails, employee information, and Bilbo Baggins’ home address in the Shire. The hacker team, which calls itself #SMOWG, threatens to release WB’s sensitive data unless Warner Bros. mothballs The Hobbit trilogy and Peter Jackson issues a public apology to Smaug, pledging absolute allegiance to Sauron. Mr. Jackson must also return the ring of power, or else.

Smaug, a fearsome fire-breathing dragon (a little on the heavy side), conquered the Dwarf kingdom of Erebor 150 years ago for its treasure. In the Peter Jackson film, the dragon is depicted as a “most specially greedy, strong, and wicked worm” who suspects everything as being edible. Smaug, incensed by this portrayal, revealed to Stephen Colbert that he blames “typical liberal Hollywood bias” for a dragon being cast as the villain in the film. Also, the camera adds ten tons. Everyone knows that.



Furthering the insult, Smaug, in Peter Jackson’s depiction, has only one weak spot in his armor, a missing scale that broke off during his attack on Dale. This, Smaug contends, is not true to his real-life weak spot, which is actually a gap in the gems and gold embedded in his belly (although gold, being heavy and malleable, makes for terrible armor; a missing scale makes way more sense as a sole weak spot).

President Obama cautions WB not to give in to the hackers’ demands. “I have yet to see The Hobbit. If we as a nation allow despots such as Smaug to dictate what we can and cannot watch, how am I supposed to know what happens to poor Bilbo Baggins?”

If the trilogy remains available, the hackers threaten Helm’s Deep-style attacks on theaters that are still showing the film. Anyone watching a bootlegged copy of the movie will become visible to the eye of Sauron, and Ringwraiths will be dispatched to their location.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is playing now in a theater near you.

Friday, November 28, 2014

New Thriller - The Phone Company

Today, we announced the release of David Jacob Knight's newest thriller, The Phone Company. The book will be 99 cents on Amazon today. We're also hosting a giveaway for a signed copy on Goodreads.

Thanks to everyone who made the release a great success!