Having finally made up my mind as to what form my first collections would take (big or small, fat or thin, frail or stout… you get the idea) I spent the last few weeks going through my short stories with a jeweler’s glass and pair of tweezers to make sure every comma was true and every em-dash beautiful. Needless to say this caused an excess of swearing and drinking on my part but, in the end, the process also birthed five ‘mini-collections’ of around thirty thousand words or so (or ninety pages, if you’re into pages).
So, since I will absolutely never, ever be saying this again I thought I’d say it now — I just published five books.
Interestingly my short story backlist sort of naturally fell into 30k-ish sized chunks of themed stories. There are two collections that are mostly heroic fantasy, sword & sorcery, or dark fantasy, those being ‘The Last of His Kind and Other Stories’ and ‘Mightier Than the Sword and Other Stories.’ ‘Heartless Gao Walks Number Nine Hell and Other Stories’ collects mostly ‘mythic’ type pieces, stories that are written in a style more akin to fables or legends. I also had enough for two science fiction collections, divided roughly into ‘naughty’ and ‘nice.’ On the naughty side we have ‘Named in Blood and Other Stories’ which is darker, grimmer stuff; ’20,000 Light Years to Lilliput and Other Stories’ is a funnier collection, less serious, and a bit more all over the place genre-wise.
I’m really pleased with how they turned out, and the covers especially are a big step forward from my first designs. Maybe I’ll blog on that sometime in the future, though I doubt I’d explain the process with Powerpoint any better than William King already did.
The three fantasy books I’ve just put out also feature the debut of a sword & sorcery duo that I started writing years ago, Shan & Bao. Set in a Chinese inspired fantasy world, Shan ‘Spirit-Slayer’ and his companion the Banner General Bao do battle with the forces of Hell and various other strange spirits and mo guai freaks. Seems strange to remark that these stories are only now having their debut, as I’ve sold nearly all of the S&B stuff I’ve written over the last four years… it’s just that the anthologies I sold them to never materialized. So, here they are — expect more of these two soon.
Currently these books are only up for Amazon kindle, but I’ll be working on print versions and looking into getting them in other stores over the next few months. Since they are enrolled in Kindle’s KDP Select program, they are exclusive to kindle for 90 days at least (and also available in the Kindle lending library).
Also debuting is the Genre Hound Press colophon which, like the snarling Kerebus of this blog’s mast head, was created by the estimable and only slightly mad Mike Riley.
Each book will get its own post, since that makes for good google juice, with Table of Contents and some samples.