Pel's Crusade
alexshvartsman

The July issue of Golden Visions Magazine is now live and it includes "Pel's Crusade" - a very short humorous flash fiction piece of mine. You can read it by clicking over here.

In other news, The Drabbler will be publishing my 100-word super-short "Chill" in their change-themed issue due out in August.

July issue of Bards & Sages Quarterly now available
alexshvartsman


The July issue of BSQ is out. It contains my flash fantasy story "Superior Firepower." This is the first published story of mine that can't be read for free on the web - you have to actually buy the issue, which you can do over here on Amazon.com, or get a much less expensive eBook version over here at Smashwords. And while I'm sure you will gladly fork over a few bucks to read "Superior Firepower" there are plenty of other cool stories to make this issue worth buying, including fiction by my fellow W1S1 writers James Milo Fowler and Samuel "Izz" Mae.

Speaking of Sam Mae, he recently launched his own speculative fiction magazine called Comets and Criminals. The first issue isn't due out till January 2012, but Sam is now reading submissions and I encourage fellow spec fic authors to send him your work.

In a few days another short story of mine called "Pel's Crusade" will be published in the July issue of Golden Visions magazine. I'll post a link when that happens.

In Situ Cover
alexshvartsman
Dagan Books unveiled the cover for its "In Situ" anthology today, and it looks amazing:

In Situ Cover

Visit daganbooks.com to check out a hi-res image. This anthology should be released in the next month or two.

On The Last Afternoon
alexshvartsman


This story was published at Every Day Fiction today. It's linked here.

There are a lot of "end of the world" stories out there. Some concentrate on the heroics of averting the disaster last minute, while others work overtime to wring every ounce of emotional sap from readers/viewers (think "2012"). Precious few are about regular people - folks who have no major role to play in what's coming. How would they cope with the situation? Might it cause them to make some rash, foolish decisions the way my protagonist does? That's the story I wanted to tell.

I also enjoyed writing a story set in my home town. Authors are often advised to "write what they know." For a speculative fiction writer, it can be difficult to apply this recommendation to stories set in a wizard's tower or outer space. Setting a scene on the Verrazano Bridge, which I cross fairly often, was a refreshing change of pace. I've since written a much longer story that is set in Brooklyn and plan on several more.

Minor Updates
alexshvartsman
Dagan Books has been posting bios and interviews with all the authors included in the forthcoming "In Situ" anthology. This week it's my turn. You can read the interview (and a very short excerpt from The Field Trip) here.

Also, Every Day Fiction announced their table of contents for April, and "On The Last Afternoon" is slated for an April 13 release. Mark your calendars!

New sale, and a new page
alexshvartsman


Huzzah - Every Day Fiction picked up another one of my stories. They will be publishing "On The Last Afternoon" sometime in the coming months (date to be determined).

I've also been playing around with a shiny new toy that is Google Sites. I used it to create a comprehensive list of all of my published (and soon to be published) fiction. Everything that's out so far is available to read for free, though you will have to shell out some cash if you want to read The Field Trip (buy the anthology) or Superior Firepower (buy the magazine issue). Totally worth it, of course.

Pel's Crusade sold to Golden Visions Magazine
alexshvartsman
Two bits of news today. Pel's Crusade, a fantasy flash story was picked up by Golden Visions magazine and will appear in their summer issue. GVM publishes both online and in-print, with different content appearing in both. This story will be available online (which is my preference
anyway, so that more people get to read it).



Also, Part II of "The Candidate" was posted at ascensiongame.com today. Read it here.

"The Candidate" published by Gary Games
alexshvartsman
"The Candidate" is the only sword and sorcery fantasy I've written so far. It is also the only story that is set in the world I did not imagine on my own. Instead I was working with the background created by Justin Gary and other fine folks over at Gary Games for their excellent board game "Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer."



I was given a set of mythology/events they developed for the game, plus whatever hints I could pick up from artwork and flavor text printed on the game's cards. However, I also had plenty of creative freedom. Kaer and his people were entirely my addition (though Ahrans already existed in the world of Ascension). All individual non-deity characters in the story I got to make up on my own. Justin and Co. even took some of my advice in changing parts of the fundamental mythology of Ascension in the process.

In writing this story, my goal was to introduce Ascension fans to the fundamentals of the imaginary world in which they are playing. For those who haven't played it yet (and you should!), Ascension is a deck building game in which players race to collect the most powerful assortment of weapons and spells while defeating monsters on the board. Players are never in direct conflict with each other as they would be in a game like Risk. They are all working toward the common goal - defeating an evil god. However, there can be only one winner, so the game mechanics allow players to occasionally make moves that temporarily set back their opponents (much like moving a Robber in Settlers of Catan, or placing a tile to mess up a competitor's city in Carcassonne).

In the end, there can be only one Godslayer - but there are many Candidates (players) in the game. What motivates them? Some are obviously in it for the Big Prize (this will be covered in the story, but the game's title in itself is a pretty big hint). Others... not so much.

The end result was a rather long (5000+ words) story which will be published in four installments on the Gary Games web site. Today you can read the first part here. Stay tuned to the official Ascension web site, or to this blog, for the next chapter.

Good News About "Good Advice"
alexshvartsman
"Good Advice," originally published by Every Day Fiction, caught the eye of folks at the NJ Board of Education. They contacted EDF (and through them, me) in order to ask for reprint rights to include this story in the ASK (Assessment of Skills & Knowledge) reading comprehension test next year.

I am a little concerned for the schoolchildren who might be involuntarily subjected to my ramblings (the words Cruel, Unusual and Punishment come to mind), but otherwise find the idea to be very, very cool.

You can read Good Advice here, if you haven't already.

Superior FIrepower Finds a Home
alexshvartsman
This week I sold "Superior Firepower," a fantasy/humor flash story, to Bards & Sages Quarterly.

I love this story and am really glad it found a home. It will appear in the July issue.



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