Sunday, May 06, 2007

Swords of Talera

My blolleague Charles Gramlich has a new book out. Swords of Talera was previously published in serial form in an SF magazine a number of years ago. Since then he's written two sequels to it, creating his Talera Cycle series. Borgo Press picked up the series for publication and has just released the first book, Swords of Talera, which is now available via Amazon. Since Charles and I have been in the same weekly writers' group for six years now, I've been lucky enough to hear bits and pieces from Nos. 2 (Wings Over Talera) and 3 (Witch of Talera) as he was working on them. Charles has a lyrical writing style and the imagination of a born storyteller whose early influences were Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard. (The Taleran books are of the "sword and planet" genre, a la Burroughs' John Carter of Mars books.)

For more info about the book, see Charles' blog and the Amazon page. If you loved the great swashbuckling fantasy novels of yore, you'll be thrilled by Charles' books. And if you've never read the great swashbuckling fantasy novels of yore, try Charles' book for an exciting introduction to the genre.

Friday, May 04, 2007

"New Orleans Betrayed Again"

After going 10 days without posting, I'm suddenly bubbling over with things I want to post about, but I don't have time to develop the ideas. Here's a quickie that requires no work from me:

Visit my friend Shauna Roberts' blog and read her April 30th entry, "New Orleans Betrayed Again." Here's an excerpt: "Today we learned that foreign countries offered $800,000,000 in desperately needed aid—medical teams, body bags, bottled water, food, rescue dogs, ships to house people left homeless, and more—and our federal government turned almost all of those offers down. What kind of government do we have, to allow such incompetence?"

Ironic, that our government helps its own citizens less than it helps those in other nations, yet at the same time it rejects or ignores offers of help from other nations. Grrrr.

2007 Derringer Award Nominees

Alas, I realized today that it's been 10 days since I last posted here. I've had several topics in mind to write about, but have been tied up taking care of matters in Daily Life. Rather than let my blog go empty another day, I'm posting an entry, which I started several weeks ago and hadn't quite finished. (I can't remember now what else I planned to add, so I hedged by adding a final sentence or two.)

Some of my writing friends bemoan the fact that short fiction has lost so much popularity and is hard to sell nowadays
. Fortunately, there still is a market for short fiction in the mystery genre. Below is the list of nominees for the 2007 Derringer Award, presented by the Short Mystery Fiction Society:


(For Stories Published in 2006)


"Matched Set" by Jan Christensen (Winter 2006, Long Story Short)

"Vigilante" by Barry Ergang (Summer 2006, Mysterical-E)

"Snowflake Therapy" by Michelle Mach (June 2006, Thereby Hangs a Tale)

"Flight School" by Jill Maser (August 28, 2006, Flashshots)

"Home Entertainment" by Sandra Seamans (July/August 2006, A Cruel World)


"Even Steven" by Gail Farrelly (Winter 2006,Mouth Full of Bullets)

"Four For Dinner" by John M. Floyd (Seven by Seven)

"Interview" by Justin Gustainis (October 2006, Cape Fear Crime Festival)

"Elena Speaks of the City, Under Siege" by Steven Torres (September/October 2006, Crimespree Magazine)

"The Worst Door" by Frank Zafiro (January 2006, Dispatch)


"Eden's Bodyguard" by David Bareford (September 2006, Thuglit)

"Shadow People" by Rex Burns (June 2006,Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)

"Cranked" by Bill Crider (Damn Near Dead: An Anthology of Geezer Noir)

"Uncle Blinky's Corner of the World" by Robert S. Levinson (March/April 2006, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

"Shanks on the Prowl" by Robert Lopresti (May 2006, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)


"Signature in Blood" by Annette Dashofy (Winter 2006, Mysterical-E)

"Strictly Business" by Julie Hyzy (These Guns for Hire)

"Daphne MacAndrews and the Smack-Head Junkies" by Stuart MacBride (Damn Near Dead: An Anthology of Geezer Noir)

"See Also Murder" by Larry Sweazy (December 11, 2006, Amazon Shorts)

"The Valley of Angustias" by Steven Torres (October 2006, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine)

The SMFS website does not indicate when the winners for 2007 will be announced. The website also lists past winners, beginning from the first year of the contest in 1998.