Tag Archives: Jamie Ibson

Rob’s Update: The Day After

Week 42 of 2021

Greetings all

I’m home! Yesterday I drove back from Coinjock, NC to Kansas City. Was a heck of a drive, made all the more enjoyable to have fellow Eldros Legacy contributors, Mark Stallings and Jamie Ibson as co-pilot and bombardier.

The House Between Worlds
The House Between Worlds

The House Between Worlds came out on Tuesday! This is the fourth in Jon R. Osborne’s excellent Milesian Accords series. Some books are challenging to edit, but this was not one of them. It was a joy to be a part of it because it’s so good.

I didn’t expect anything else, because I’ve long enjoyed Jon R. Osborne’s writing. He has a calm demeanor that comes through in his writing and sometimes you don’t realize until the end of a major action sequence just how much you’re on edge until you reach the end. And then you’re breathless as you try and catch up with the power of his prose that’s was driving you, even if you didn’t realize it.

For myself, I worked a goodly amount at FactoryCon. A bunch of it was publisher work, but I managed to write about 6000 words, including sharpening up the first four chapters into what I’d guess are basically final form. So far, no lockups wondering what I need to write next, which is what I was hoping for, though my primary lockup section is the third quarter of the book. We’ll see, but it’s promising.

And now, I’m signing off. Lots to do, including another nap after getting home. Long drives take it out of me more than they used to and that was a hike, but I’m really glad to be home with sweetie, dog, and kitties.

What I’m Listening To

Senjutsu, the new Iron Maiden album. I’m odd because I thought Book of Souls, their last album, was perhaps their best, top to bottom. I’m still just learning this album, so I’m not ready to make any grand pronouncements yet.

But I will say this, one of the things I loved about Book of Souls was that these musicians have had a lifetime to get better and they have. It shows here too.

Quote of the Week

A crew of us closed out FactoryCon by watching Dune in Elizabeth City. I really enjoyed it. It’s hard to make a definitive judgement, much like I couldn’t really make a definitive judgement of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers until after Return of the King had come out.
But I can say this. So, so good. So really good. At the very least, it has the big sweeping scale that Dune should have and it’s well worth seeing in the theater for that very reason.
This is a quote that has resonated with me for quite a while, and one that I think of quite often when making my choices.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

– Frank Herbert

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Talons & Talismans II went out to the advance readers this past week! That means we’re getting close to its release on 9 November.

Why do I include this here instead of immediately below? Because there are Eight Eldros Legacy stories in here, including one from each founder plus Elowyn Fahnestock, Jamie Ibson, and Sam Witt. Also, two future contributors, Aaron Rosenberg and Courtney Farrell provided other stories.

Basically, this is a chance for you to dip your toes in the oceans of the Eldros Legacy. Come on in, the water’s nice.

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on Quincy J. Allen’s Seeds of Dominion, the second novel in the Eldros Legacy. That will come out in January.

Of course, on December 7th, we kick of the novels with Todd’s Fahnestock’s Khyven the Unkillable.

Giveaways

Tales of the Future
Tales of the Future

This week’s giveaway is Tales of the Future, including my Nick Patara, PI urban fantasy story, Under a Midnight Clear. You can find it, and a bunch of other free stories here: https://storyoriginapp.com/bundles/109e9f7a-1d6d-11ec-b404-7f39f05b7c47?bundleLinkId=JNEXltj.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Door Into Winter (23,972)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

The House Between Worlds by Jon R. Osborne. It’s truly an amazing book and it’s an honor to be a part of it. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09K4RRMP6.

Then we have another anthology from Jamie Ibson, And Then It Got Weird. Fifteen tales of writers dreaming up oddnesses. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09JVHX4K1.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: No clue. Scale needs a new battery.

Updated Word Count: 287,091

Eldros Legacy Archives: 797 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

Rob’s Update: Looking at the Sound

Week 41 of 2021

Greetings all

I’m currently at FactoryCon looking out over Currituck Sound at the Outer Banks on a lovely evening.

Not a bad place to work. I didn’t get much done on the drive out here, but I’ve been making up the time with some great days so far. Talons & Talismans II is ready to go, plus a number of other projects with more to come.

Speaking of Talons & Talismans II, we decided to push it back a week to balance the releases a bit better. The scheduling conflict that pushed The House Between Worlds to release next Tuesday, the 26th meant we’d be cramming in all that promo stuff into one week. This felt tight to me, so we’re giving that one two weeks and then three weeks before Khyven the Unkillable. I’m still sorting out the pacing with New Mythology, which surprises me not at all.

The House Between Worlds
The House Between Worlds

Oh, by the way, T-minus 5 days to The House Between Worlds by Jon R. Osborne. This is the fourth in his Milesian Accords setting. I always know a book is great when I finish my editing in about half the time I usually take. This is one of those.

I’ve been plugging away at The Door Into Winter when I can, but it’s been a challenging week to write because of the drive. After clearing the decks, starting Monday, I suspect I’ll get some major jumps in word counts as I’ve got what I want to do in my head. Will probably do another sprint tonight, in fact.

Tomorrow, FactoryCon proper starts with the goings on. Tonight, there’ll be hanging out, though. There’s already been a bunch of that, but to be honest, driving three straight days takes it out of me and the last couple of days have been work followed by enjoying playoff baseball, a rare treat for me these days.

I also get to announce today that I’m adding a new feature to my mailing list, giveaways. I’ve got my two Santa Claus, PI stories set up on a couple of promo sites to help broaden my reader list. What that means for you is that if you haven’t already downloaded these, you have another chance. I’ll be adding my next one in December, working title of Fleece Navidad.

With that, I better get to writing.

What I’m Listening To

Decided this was a week for productivity, so that means Rush. Currently listening to Clockwork Angels. I’m different in many ways, but I’m the rare Rush fan that’s been around for the long haul who thinks this is their best album ever. It’s truly majestic.

Quote of the Week

Today is Ursula K. Le Guin’s birthday. The Wizard of Earthsea was one of my foundational stories. I still read it periodically.

One of the things I fight against in my writing is trying to explain too much. A book is really a collaboration between writer and reader. My goal is to create a foundation for the reader to something awesome. Here’s a good reminder for me when I overexplain.

 As you read a book word by word and page by page, you participate in its creation, just as a cellist playing a Bach suite participates, note by note, in the creation, the coming-to-be, the existence, of the music. And, as you read and re-read, the book of course participates in the creation of you, your thoughts and feelings, the size and temper of your soul.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Talons & Talismans II has eight new Eldros Legacy stories. There’s one from each of the founders plus three more from Elowyn Fahnestock, Sam Witt, and Jamie Ibson.

We’re less than two months from Khyven the Unkillable by Todd Fahnestock and I am so excited for what’s coming.

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on Seeds of Dominion, the next Eldros Legacy novel by Quincy J. Allen. He’s a really creative guy and you’ll get to see all of his talent in this.

Giveaways

Friends are Everything Promo
Friends are Everything Promo

This week’s giveaway is the Friends are Everything Promo. You can find it here: https://storyoriginapp.com/bundles/1883c340-e768-11eb-8372-fb3b36c7c525?bundleLinkId=mdi15cP

As I mentioned, I have a couple of stories there, but go check it out for a bunch of free stuff from a host of cool authors.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Door Into Winter (19,109)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s new release is a new story in Chuck Gannon’s Murphy’s Lawless series by Griffin Barber. I’ve been a fan of his since he and Kacey Ezell did a great noir style story called Second Chance Angel and of course there’s his stuff in the 1632 series. This book is Infiltration and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09JLGBXW7.

Two releases this week! The second is another P.A. Piatt’s Abner Fortis, ISMC series. It’s called Fresh Fruit and Ammo and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09FS7QR4M.

Not yet released, but on the way, is Jon R. Osborne’s excellent The House Between Worlds. Look for links to that on Tuesday.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 334.8

Updated Word Count: 285,556

Shijuren Wiki: 797 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

Rob’s Update: Talons & Talismans I is Alive

Week 39 of 2021

Greetings all

Talons & Talismans I is alive! Maybe, with these two anthologies about beasts coming to life, I should start going by  the name Dr. Robenstein? No, probably not.

But I’m really proud of getting to be a part of these anthologies. I get to work with the best in the business while at the same time getting to push along the careers of newer, but very talented authors.

Talons and Talisman I
Talons and Talisman I

There are a bunch of fiddly bits that go into making an anthology work, more than in a novel, but it is so worth it when it gets published. There are heroic stories, tragic stories, and stories where we get to see monsters and beasts in a different light. I think you’re going to love it.

Meanwhile, I’ve been making progress in The Door Into Winter. This is my next novel. I’m about 10k in, and things are starting to take shape. Again, I’m trying a new framework idea using the Save the Cat structure. The real success of this framework will come in about a month, when I start running into challenges of too many trees to see the forest. But, so far so good.

I’m also starting to get real excited about FactoryCon. Going to be a great time. Today, I’m sitting at my car place getting the oil changed while getting my weekly update written.

What I’m Listening To

Really bad car videos that are incredibly boring. But, I’m getting work done while getting the car maintained. I can at least console myself that I’m being efficient.

Quote of the Week

Today is Neils Bohr’s birthday. Obviously a brilliant scientist, he had an underlying acceptance of the weirdness of quantum theory that allowed for a great deal of thinking outside (Schroedinger’s) box. Here’s an example.

“We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough.”
– Neils Bohr

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Here There Be Giants, 5 free stories for all those on our mailing list. You can find it here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/qabsr57lq3+.

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on getting Jon R. Osborne’s The House Between Worlds ready to publish, then we’ll have Talons & Talismans II.

Of course, the big news is the release of Talons & Talismans I.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Door Into Winter (9,541)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

I may not have mentioned it, but New Mythology Press’s fantasy anthology Talons & Talismans I is live! You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HQZDR4W.

Also this week is a new 4HU novel by Casey Moores and Jamie Ibson entitled Unshackled. Knowing these two, I daresay this will be a really fun book. Also, it will get weird at times. It is their idiom. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HGR1JCM.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 331.8

Updated Word Count: 284,476

Shijuren Wiki: 797 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

Weekly Update Archive

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: One Guy Going Boom!

Week 35 of 2021

Greetings all

Been a great week here. Talons & Talismans One is edited. I’d send it to get it into the machine today but I tend to try and give me a day to sit on things so I can remember what all I’ve forgotten.

The House Between Worlds will be back to Jon Osborne tomorrow. Really, it’s a great book, entirely fitting given the rest of the Milesian Accords series.

Not a ton of writing here as I’ve been pushing out editing content like mad. It’s been really productive, though, and I’m proud of what we’ve done. You’re going to love it.

Next week, on the 13th, I have another short story coming out. It’s entitled “Careful With That Axe, E.U. Gene,” and it’s set in Kevin Steverson’s great Salvage Title universe.

This is one of my favorite stories that I’ve ever done. I set myself a bit of a challenge. Christopher Woods and William Joseph Roberts packed their novel Smuggler’s Run, also set in the Salvage Title universe, with as many pop culture references they could insert into the prose. They even applied to Guinness World Records as the titleholder in that category.

Guinness said they couldn’t track the category well enough to actually make it a category, but I set myself the challenge of beating their record, at least in terms of references per page.

And then I gave myself an extra difficulty factor (because of course I do). Anyway, I limited myself strictly to classic and metal rock band names and song titles. I managed to stick in over two hundred references. I’ll list exactly how many on release day and I’ll send anyone who gets all of them a free e-book I’ve written of their choice.

Now, of course, today is a pre-holiday for me. It’s the ceremonial start of the NFL season and I get to watch the Cowboys play right off the bat. Don’t worry, Sunday is still a major holiday to me and I plan on watching as many games as I can.

I had my fantasy football league draft on Monday, too. Was there any doubt I’d have a team? I mean, seriously, if anyone was going to play fantasy football it’s a lifelong NFL fan who is the publisher of a fantasy imprint.

Speaking of the NFL, Ian J. Malone, Kevin Steverson, and I had a great time talking the upcoming season with Nic Gurley on the latest Dudes in Hyperspace podcast. Nic knows his stuff and we talked about the upcoming season, some challenges facing teams, players and the league itself, and we made some long-term projections for years to come.

Here’s my prediction about the Cowboys, since they’re my team. They’re going to get beat tonight. A fully healthy Bucs team at home *should* win.

But the Cowboys are relying on a bunch of young players this year. It’s usually the case that teams like that will have some challenges early in the season but round into form late in the year.

So I think they’ll lose tonight, but win the NFC East in the end of it all and I expect them to do some damage in the playoffs.

I’m so ready for some football!

What I’m Listening To

Dog & Butterfly by Heart. I can pinpoint exactly when I first heard this song. Some kid (I don’t remember who) brought it into our 4th grade music class. I was captivated then, and I still think that’s Heart’s best album ever.

Quote of the Week

I miss John Madden as a commentator. It’s true that we have some amazing commentators now like Tony Romo, but it’s hard to remember just how revolutionary he was. His personality combined with his knowledge of the game was something we’d never seen before.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
John Madden

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Talons & Talismans Too is almost ready to go to the editor. Why do I mention that here? Well, because all of the first ten (yes, ten) novel authors in the Eldros Legacy contributed to the anthology, including a bunch of Eldros Legacy stories.

Call it a prequel of sorts.

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on The House Between Worlds. The two Talons & Talismans are getting close (One is 99.9% done). Then after that I turn to Steven G. Johnson’s two novels that finish his Forge and Sword trilogy.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Door Into Winter (1,043)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • SOTI (7,948) (Formerly MON)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Jamie Ibson gives us a whole new future merc series, Myrmidons, Inc. The first in the series is Myrmidons Inc: Urbicide. “Genie” assassins, mercs, and a lot to remind you of Shadowrun and Blade Runner. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09F6QRGBZ/.

And if you’re interested in the Peacemakers from 4HU like I am, you can get the start of that part of the 4HU series for less than a dollar. It’s Peacemaker by the great Kevin Ikenberry who will be guest of honor at FenCon next weekend. Sale lasts only another day or so, so check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0752J8M3K.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 334.0

Updated Word Count: 272,426 (It jumped because I went back and looked at all the stories I’d edited and submitted in the past couple of months).

Shijuren Wiki: 789 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

Weekly Update Archive

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Plugging Away

Week 21 of 2021

Greetings all

It’s been a great week. Lots of stuff getting done, including a number of things I’m really proud of. I look forward to talk about them, but for now, just know I’m excited.

In many ways, that’s this week in a nutshell. Lots of work done, but the kind of foundational work that won’t show up for a bit, but without which, nothing ever gets done. Simply plugging away.

Right now, I’m focused on a number of short story projects. I’ve got several short stories in progress right now. Also, I’ve started going through the stories for Talons & Talismans, and it’s going to be amazing.

In general, things are starting to ramp up with New Mythology Press. I’m excited with the reception that Responsibility of the Crown has gotten. Scott Huggins wrote a great book and I’m honored to be a part of it.

My convention schedule is also starting to pick up. We’ve added a really fun con, FactoryCon, which is essentially Chris Kennedy Publishing’s yearly party. However, it’s expanded into something really cool. It’ll be October 22-24 in Coinjock, NC.

My next novel will be a new Shijuren novel, starting a new series. There’ll be some returning characters you’ll remember and it’s going to be something pretty cool. I get to expand into some of the story ideas that I’ve hidden in the first six novels.

Also, there’s another Dudes in Hyperspace podcast up. You can find it here: https://www.sharkflight.com/dudes/.

However,for now, I better get back to editing.

What I’m Listening To

Peyton’s Places is a truly amazing show. Basically, it’s Peyton Manning talking about football with various people involved in the NFL somehow. It’s incredibly charming and light-hearted. Plus it’s really interesting for someone interested in history.

For example. Did you know no one actually knows where the first Lombardi Trophy actually is right now? Carroll Rosenbloom had it, but it disappeared at some point in the 80s. Probably in California somewhere.

How fascinating is that?

Quote of the Week

Today is Chuck Barris’s birthday. Here’s banging a gong in his honor. He actually gave us a great quote about the challenge of creating stuff. I think every author, artist, musician, and all the rest can identify with this quote.

“If you stick in the business of being creative, you get hurt. And creative disappointment seems so much harder to take than any other kind. But if you’re not prepared to get hurt like that, life can be pretty boring. I think I’m going to keep on going.”

― Chuck Barris

Bonus quote from Peyton Manning in his show that goes out  to Conrad: “You do a lot with your middle finger. You’d be a good Eagles fan.”

New Mythology Works in Progress

I’ll be changing this up a bit. I have started to post on chriskennedypublishing.com/blog. This is where I’ll do all of New Mythology’s announcements going forward.

My plan is to link to these announcements on that blog, as must as anything to make sure this email (which is long already), doesn’t get too long. The current items are two anthology calls.

This gives me space to say things about other projects. Benjamin Tyler Smith is working on a Necrolopolis novel, which will be the first novel, and follows a bunch of great short stories. This is around October.

Then Jon Osborne is getting me another Milesian Accord novel in the fall.

Also coming in the fall will be Released, the third in the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.

Stay tuned, more is coming.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • TINT (9,950)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

The first new release is We Shall Rise. This is an anthology in the Black Tide Rising universe from John Ringo originally published by Baen. Why am I mentioning it? Well, Baen does a lot for us, which we appreciate. John Ringo’s been a great guy to deal with at cons. Most of all, though, it’s got a bunch of friends of mine in it. Jamie Ibson, Kacey Ezell, Jason Cordova, just to name a few. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1982125586.

I already talked about Shadows by Bill Webb, a Murphy’s Lawless novel in the Caine Riordan universe. However, it’s worth another plug, so here you go. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095W2BCJF.

However, I want to also add the Four Horsemen RPG Kickstarter. It’s funded already, so if you back this project, you can be sure you’re going to get product. We’re now working on stretch goals, which is good for all of us. You can find it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/4hu-savage-worlds/four-horsemen-universe-rpg-savage-worlds-edition.

Today’s Weight: 335.2

Updated Word Count: 157,354

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Songs of Valor

Songs of Valor came out on Friday, and boy, do we have a bunch of readers to thank. We hit number one new release in a couple of categories and were top ten overall in some categories as well. A worthy start to a great book.

As part of the lead-in to release date, I did some story sketches, along with some fun nicknames for our authors. I thought it’d be cool to gather those sketches together. Plus, I didn’t do the nicknames for the initial three authors, because it sort of happened in that post and then a number of people enjoyed them.

So here we go:

The first story is by the Grand Admiral, David Weber, and is called The Dragon and the Drunkard. Such an honor to work with David, and this was one of his first stories ever. It’s perfect for a release this week, as this story involves a leprechaun, a dragon, the Rainbow Bridge, and an interesting legal situation. And scotch. Lots of scotch. I like scotch, by the way.

Next is the Beerzerker, Jon Osborne. This story, Smoke and Shadow. is another from his really cool urban fantasy Milesian Accords series. In general, I love stories that mix mythologies and look at them in new ways. This is something Jon does really well. Also, spoiler alert, buy some jellybeans. You’ll find out just how important they can be in this story.

Third is Benjamin Tyler Smith‘s On a Wing and a Train. Side note here, one possible name is the Shirker, because he clearly planned for their baby to be born on the same day as Songs of Valor just so he didn’t have to help promote everything. Clearly. Some people will do anything to get out of promo work.

Anyway, Benjamin’s real nickname is Speaker to Dead Things because I love his fantastic Necrolopolis series, and this is another story in that series. The elevator pitch: The mean streets of the City of the Dead are no place for an honest necromancer, even if he is drinking buddies with the God of Death. Especially when he has a partner who really puts the fatale into femme fatale. By the way, this is the first of five stories in the anthology that are winners of the FantaSci short story contest. Also, he says he’s got a Necrolopolis novel on the way, and I’m really excited to see it.

Next comes from the Big Boss, Chris Kennedy himself. This is a great coming of age story called The One You’d Least Expect. I love stories where someone grows into the challenge. This is one of those, and it’s especially interesting because of the nature of those in question. Also, just saying, this is an *origin* story, so maybe one day I can nag him into a full-length novel. Or series. Because he’s not busy doing other things, of course.

Next, the Bright Newbie, Melissa Moroney Olthoff. I call her the bright one because she’s so cheerful and enthusiastic. Even so, Oathbreakeris a tough, gritty story of love, strength, and courage. It will leave you wanting more, as it did for me. This was the second of the winners of the FantaSci short story contest.

Who else could the Crusty Old Sergeant be but Kevin Steverson? Changes is a story in his Balance of Kerr universe, and I really like it because it gives him a chance to expand that world and add some really cool characters with his normal fast-paced sort of adventure. It will come as no surprise to those who gamed with me in the RPGA back in the 90s that Londar is my favorite character.

Captain Mohawk is, of course, Quincy J Allen and he wrote another Rellen story entitled What the Eye Sees. This is high end swords and sorcery stuff, with a hint of noir. Spoiler alert. I foresee huge things for Rellen in 2022. Huge with a capital huge.

Next is Songbird by the Mountie, who is obviously Jamie Ibson. Now he wrote this story while he was still living in British Columbia and hadn’t yet leveled up to New Brunswick in Atlantic Canada. Even so, this is a great origin story of a guy finding his magic, and more importantly, his purpose. The third winner in the FantaSci contest.

Following that is Backup by the Renaissance Man. Dave Butler is annoying talented. Reads like 80 languages. Is a musician. Has a law degree. Is now a teacher. And he writes stuff. Great stuff, in fact. This is another Indrajit and Fix story, and I think these are modern versions of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, which are, not surprisingly, some of my favorite characters ever.

Side note: I almost chose the Mustachioed Loomer for Dave, but I figured that was too obvious.

Dama Quixote,  Sarah A. Hoyt, gave us One More Flight, a story  about old soldiers trying to make their way after their service time should be done. But sometimes, old soldiers have to get back in the saddle, and stand up to mighty foes.

Next is the Evil Eyebrow. On second thought, maybe I should have called Casey Moores the EEEEVIL Eyebrow. If you’ve seen him, you know what I mean. Anyway, his story A Quaint Pastime is also about an old soldier. This one is trying to find his place in the next war. With a twist. Lots of aerial action and dogfighting in this one, and this is the fourth winner of the FantaSci contest.

Next is a story by J.P. Chandler, the Legal Beagle. The third of three in a row about old soldiers, this story is about a warrior who has fought and fought and fought and he’s done. He’s got a last stand left in him, though. And it turns out there are others ready for that stand. This is the fifth of the stories that the FantaSci crew are going to have to pick from.

Chandler’s story hit me in *all* the feels. I cried when I read it the first time, the second time, the third… well, you get the idea.

Next comes the Arrogant Editor. Let’s just say today’s launch success didn’t make me any less arrogant. My story in this, Magnum Opus, let me delve into Katarina, one of my favorite characters in the Edward series. What happens when evil has to be the good guy?

Then is the Ancient Master. Glen Cook‘s not really ancient but he sure he is a master. I’ve loved his stuff for years and was very happy to have a Black Company story here. Cranky Bitch has all the cynicism and War weariness you’ve come to expect from that series.

And finally, the Accountant of DOOOMMMM. Larry Correia‘s The Dregs is fantastic, full of action, and with a cool twist at the end.

What a great lineup that was, and they gave me fun stories. I was honored to get to edit all this.

I’m also proud at being a part of the FantaSci short story contest. They are going to have a heck of a time selecting from the stories from the winners.

Thanks to all involved in what turned out to be an awesome project.

Rob’s Update: New Mythology Press

Week 2 of 2021

Greetings all

Well, this has been a wonderful and eventful week for me. On Wednesday, Chris Kennedy gave me the opportunity to become lead dog on New Mythology Press, his fantasy imprint. This means I’ll be taking submissions and guiding the accepted books through the process of publication.

This is incredibly exciting and I look forward to bringing you all a bunch of great stuff to read.

I’ll be adjusting some things related to my weekly email as part of this. I’m going to start sending them out Thursday to better flow with Tuesday releases for New Mythology Press. I’ve added a New Mythology Works in Progress section where I’ll discuss what’s going on there. There will be more changes as I adapt to this amazing new opportunity.

Thanks again to Chris.

By the way, if you’re interested in submitting a novel to New Mythology Press here are the basics:

New Mythology Press Novel Submission Guidelines

  • Novels of 80 to 120k words
  • In .doc or .docx file format
  • Times New Roman, 12pt
  • 1.5 spaced
  • Can be fantasy of any type, epic, urban, high, whatever. Needs to have heroes doing heroic things, just like you’ve come to expect from all the books from CKP.

However, this does not mean I’ll stop writing. Not at all. I actually had a great week of progress on The Ravening of Wolves, getting about 6k done despite not writing at all yesterday because it was my sweetie’s birthday. It’s good to get back into the groove.

With that, I better get working. I’ve already got submissions to read. Exciting stuff!

What I’m Listening To

Rush, all of it. Neil died a year ago Thursday and I’m not over it.

Quote of the Week

I’ve probably used this quote before, but it’s too powerful not to use again. It comes from the last song on the last album by Rush. Neil nurtured one hell of a garden.

“The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned
In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect”

– Neil Peart (1952 – 2020), “The Garden” from Clockwork Angels

New Mythology Works in Progress

Songs of Valor is basically complete. It goes to the editor this weekend. I’m really proud of how this turned out and you’ll want to get it when it comes out in March. Here’s the list of fantastic stories and ridiculously good author list, along with a note if they’re part of an existing series:

  • The Dragon and the Drunkard by David Weber
  • Smoke and Shadow by Jon Osborne (Milesian Accords series)
  • On a Wing and a Train by Benjamin Tyler Smith (Necrolopolis series)
  • The One You’d Least Expect by Chris Kennedy
  • Oathbreaker by Melissa Olthoff
  • Changes by Kevin Steverson (Balance of Kerr series)
  • What the Eye Sees by Quincy J. Allen (Rellen series)
  • Songbird by Jamie Ibson
  • One More Flight by Sarah Hoyt
  • A Quaint Pastime by Casey Moores
  • Backup by D.J. Butler (Indrajit and Fix series)
  • The Hill to Die On by J.P. Chandler
  • Magnum Opus by Rob Howell (Shijuren series)
  • Cranky Bitch by Glen Cook (Black Company series)
  • The Dregs by Larry Correia

I’m still amazed by this collection of talent. Truly an honor to be a part of it.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (35,384)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Working on other things this week

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s spotlight is on Christopher Woods and William Joseph Roberts, who put out their own take on the Salvage Title universe with Smuggler’s Run. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08S71RJP5.

Today’s Weight: 345.8

Updated Word Count: 2,396

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: To Such A Deep Delight

Week 48 of 2020

Greetings all

Really busy week going through short stories for Songs of Valor, the FantaSci anthology.

The five winners were:
Benjamin Tyler Smith
Casey Moores
Melissa Olthoff
Jamie Ibson
James Chandler

But they weren’t the only good stories. We got 37 all told and it was truly a deep delight to go through all of them.

This is going to be a great anthology. The five winners will be joined by David Weber, Glen Cook, Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Jon Osborne, and more.

It’s also the first full week since None Call Me Mother came out. Wow, thanks to all of you who bought it. If you haven’t already, it’s here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08NYDC6ZL.

And if you want to start the series from the beginning, I Am a Wondrous Thing is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HHKZJVA.

Alright, time to get back to editing. Have a great week everyone.

What I’m Listening To

Rush’s Xanadu. Such a great song. It was the song that really got me into the depth of Rush because I already loved the poem.

Quote of the Week

Might as well do a quote from Xanadu, by Coleridge. Let’s do one of the deeper portions. I love Coleridge’s sense of rhythm and word choice.

“A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me”
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Xanadu

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (32,068)
  • UAMC (4,785)
  • MO (9,971)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s spotlight is on Charles Gannon and a collection of rogues, who released Murphy’s Lawless, an anthology of stories in his Terran Republic universe. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PG4N2FS.

Today’s Weight: 354.0

Updated Word Count: 261,189

Shijuren Wiki: 678 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Death-Pale Were They All

Week 44 of 2020

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love watching people get creative with costume ideas and decorations. There are so many times where I’m just in awe of their awesome ideas. Of course, there are many times I’m just in awe of their awful ideas. Ah, well, trick or treat, of a sort.

I’ve spent the bulk of this week removing crutch words out of None Call Me Mother, which is coming out on 24 November. My  crutch words are usually things like shrug, chuckle, laugh, and that sort of thing. I also do too many things with peoples eyes.

Much of the time, the best solution is to get rid of them. They’re often stage direction that’s really not needed. From a first full draft of 148k, I think I’ll end up at 125k of stronger faster prose.

I’ve also been hammering at rebuilding the wiki. By the 24th, it has to include all the characters and what not from the Kreisens trilogy. This isn’t just to have reference for readers if they need it, but more importantly it gives me a chance to double-check things. I’ve found a number of mistakes/inconsistencies that I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t double-checked with the wiki. In a world of already something like 700k published words (as of 24 November), there will be issues, but a detailed bible is so useful to help prevent them.

Anyway, I’m also almost done with my short story for the next Libri Valoris. I’m setting up a character to have to make a choice. This is my norm, of course, however, the consequences for this character are just a tad different, but then, so is she.

I hope everyone gets a chance to wear something silly, eat candy, and admire the pole dancing skeleton display on the internet.

What I’m Listening To

Langt Nord I Trollebotten is a song by a band called Lumsk you’ve never heard of. They’re a Norwegian folk metal band and this is one of my all time favorite songs. It seems like every folk metal band has at least one truly amazing instrumental song. Pellonpekko for Korpiklaani for example, or Wolf Ritual by  Tengger Cavalry. This is Lumsk’s and it’s amazing. I can’t listen to any of these three songs just once. I always hit rewind for a few more listens before moving on.

Quote of the Week

Since it’s Halloween, here’s a creepy quote from Keats. It’s the last 3 stanzas of La Belle Dame sans Merci, which you can read in its entirety here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44475/la-belle-dame-sans-merci-a-ballad. I actually learned this poem because Robert B. Parker named a Spenser book, Pale Kings and Princes. Just another reason I loved reading his stuff.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
       Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
       Thee hath in thrall!’
I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
       With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
       On the cold hill’s side.
And this is why I sojourn here,
       Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
       And no birds sing.

– John Keats, La Belle Dame sans Merci

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (32,068)
  • KAT (4,982)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Too many wiki additions to list.

New Releases

This week’s spotlight is Jamie Ibson, who just released another novel in Christopher Woods’ Fallen World setting. Ibson’s is called Pacific Shogun. You might recognize Jamie as the editor of the We Dare books, but this is him on his own. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08M418TXV.

Also out this week is Chris Kennedy’s Indie Publishing for Profit: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Into the Stores. It’s the second of his Author Fundamentals books and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08LR3G1FD.

Today’s Weight: 356.4

Updated Word Count: 240,925

Shijuren Wiki: 230 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Nor War’s Quick Fire

Week 17 of 2020

Greetings all

I finished re-writing and editing my story for Semper Paratus. This is an anthology from Jamie Ibson, who also edited We Dare. My story is a prequel to “The Chaos of Well-Seeming Forms” with was in the first anthology.

This one is entitled “Nor War’s Quick Fire” and we see the two feuding families meet. The time they meet is not a good one, though, and things don’t go where anyone expects, including, I suspect, the readers.

The story took a little longer. I can usually tell when a story works and the first version didn’t. In the end, I realized it tried to do too much. This is becoming a fairly standard thing. I try to put certain things in a story, and they may very well be great elements, but this particular story doesn’t work with them included.

Sometimes, this requires help from other eyes. I got great help from Jamie and also Yvonne Jacobs focusing the story down.

This is part of the be prepared to kill your baby part of writing. It’s not easy, but if you can do it, it results in much better stories and quite often, future story ideas.

This weekend, I’m basically taking it off except for projects around the house. Next week, I’ll be doing a couple of small writing projects, starting a new short story, and working on None Call Me Mother.

Have a great week.

What I’m Listening To

Still watching Burn Notice. Again. Love this show.

Quote of the Week

Sir Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, was born today in 1757. Who is he? He was a very successful admiral in the Napoleonic Wars. You can find his details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Pellew,_1st_Viscount_Exmouth.

More importantly for me, he was Mr. Midshipman Hornblower’s captain on the Indefatigueable. Anytime I get a chance to reference Hornblower, I’m going to take it.

“You have fought your duel. That is well. Never fight another. That is better.”
– Edward Pellew, in the Duel, from the Hornblower movies.

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (Approx. 115,000)
  • CB (8,418)
  • HM (6,374)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Added a few more products on the website and focused on the wiki this week.

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is still on my new webstore at www.aescandthorn.com/store. I have my new books, old science fiction and fantasy magazines, and will add a bunch of used books.

Today’s Weight: 396.4

Updated Word Count: 65,098

Shijuren Wiki: working on it

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org