[New Release] Essay in Uncanny Magazine Issue 13

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I am pleased to announce that I have an essay titled We Have Always Been Here, Motherfucker in Uncanny Magazine Issue No. 13. I am joined by a fantastic list of contributors

Here’s more about this premiere issue for year three:

Space Unicorns! Uncanny Magazine Issue 13 Part 1 is LIVE! Featuring all–new short fiction by Paul Cornell, Brooke Bolander, Jennifer Marie Brissett, reprint fiction from The Starlit Wood by Amal El–Mohtar, nonfiction by Alyssa Wong, Monica Valentinelli, & Navah Wolfe, poems by Neil Gaiman & Theodora Goss, and a Jennifer Marie Brissett Interview! Plus Julie Dillon’s “Impact Crater” on the cover!

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 13A: Editors’ Introduction, Paul Cornell’s “Don’t You Worry, You Aliens” as read by Heath Miller, Brooke Bolander’s “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” as read by Erika Ensign, Theodora Goss’s poem “Rose Child” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, and Brooke Bolander interviewed by Deborah Stanish.

The entire issue is available for purchase as an eBook (PDF, EPUB, MOBI) RIGHT NOW. The second half will be released on December 6.

PLEASE SUPPORT UNCANNY! SHARE YOUR FAVORITES! Or feel free to purchase subscriptions from Weightless Books or Amazon Kindle or become a Patreon Patron!

For more about this magazine, visit www.uncannymagazine.com.

[New Release] Endless Ages Vampire: The Masquerade Anthology

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Twenty-five years of Vampire: The Masquerade

Twenty-five years of storytelling, adventure, and exploration. In celebration, we bring you eighteen authors that explore the evolution and development of the world of Vampire. From tales of wanton diablerie to the fulfilling of centuries-old religious vows, lover’s sacrifices, and searches for truth. Peel apart the layers and discover the endless ages of beauty and betrayal.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the release of a collection of stories for Vampire: The Masquerade. Edited by Jaym Gates, Endless Ages features several stories from wonderful authors covering all eras of the setting. My story is titled “Redder Than Red”, features the hunt for the Anathema, Ayisha Jocastian, and is set in the modern era. Watch for story excerpts all this week leading up to Halloween on the Onyx Path Publishing website.

Get your copy of Endless Ages today! I hope you enjoy this Vampire: The Masquerade anthology, and it allows you to fall in love with Vampire all over again. Happy 25th anniversary! And, more importantly… Happy Halloween!

A Starry Update on Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling

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Hello dear readers! I’m happy to report that Jason and I are in the process of delivering the eBooks and fulfilling digital rewards to our Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling Kickstarter backers as we speak. The street date for the anthology is December, and we are doing everything we can to put our backers first and make sure that their rewards are taken care of in a timely fashion.

As part of the process for putting together an anthology, we sent out ARCs (Advance Reading Copy) in anticipation of our launch in the book trade. I am pleased to report that Publisher’s Weekly has given the anthology a starred review! I wish to extend a hearty congratulations to my co-editor, Jaym Gates, our publisher Jason Sizemore and his staff, and all of our contributors. And a huge THANK YOU to PW for the shout-out; it is greatly appreciated.

[Guest Post] Melanie R. Meadors on Playing In Someone Else’s Sandbox

When Marc Tassin invited me to write a story for the anthology he and John Helfers were editing, Champions of Aetaltis, I was over the moon. I had always wanted to work on an RPG tie-in project, and since this had a sword and sorcery type setting, it seemed right up my alley. Some of the first fantasy novels I read as a teen were Dungeons and Dragons tie-ins, and I’ve enjoyed the Pathfinder Tales books from Paizo as well. It didn’t take me much thought at all to agree to work on this project with two editors I admired.

When I got the setting guide to the world of Aetaltis, where the stories of the anthology were to be set, I started reading it with glee. I couldn’t wait to get started, and I was sure inspiration for a story would hit me as I pored over the pages. There were two hundred pages, to be precise, with details about races and classes of characters, facts and maps about the settings, and everything I ever wanted to know about the history and gods of the world. But when it came time to actually write the story, aside from having a little struggle coming up with the proper “champion” (and you can read more about my struggle with that here) I became really worried. There was so much stuff in the world guide, so much of it was already estab-lished. What if I completely screwed something up?

Thankfully, I’m not a shy person and went straight to Marc with my fears. Not that I asked him to hold my hand or anything, but I pitched my story idea to him as specifically as I could, and asked him to please verify that the world stuff that was involved with my story seemed accurate. I told him straight out, “Hey, I’m new at this shared world stuff. I just need your OK that I’m going in the right direction.” Sure enough, I was fine. I wrote the story and submitted it to him by the deadline.

Then things started to get really cool.

I hadn’t thought much beyond needing to get my story written and then taking care of edits when they arrived. To me, my characters existed in Aetaltis, and there were creatures and mention of other places in the story, but that was it. It was self-contained in my mind. But of course, to the world developer, this one story was a piece to a much bigger puzzle. My story’s characters and the events in it would become the stuff of leg-end in Aetlatis. And possibly most awesome of all was finding connections between stories in the anthology, things that were completely unplanned but just coincided. Two stories, for example, that had a staff in them. When Marc emailed me one day and asked if I could fiddle with the description of a device in my story to make it match one in another story, which would actually be a legendary weapon, I realized for the first time just how cool writing in a shared world really was. My story was more than just a story, it would become a bit of the mythos of the world. People could read my story and create a game out of it, just like the Aetaltis role playing game world was the basis for my fiction story.

The same goes for pretty much any tie-in. When you write a story based in the world of a video game, RPG, or movie franchise, your story becomes part of that world’s cultural literacy. Something small in the world might have inspired your story, but something small in your story might inspire someone to write another story, or game, or even movie. Your work becomes part of something bigger than it would have been if it was just a stand-alone tale.

A simple story becomes legend.

The World of Aetaltis, a new classic heroic fantasy RPG setting for use with Fifth Edition, is now on Kickstarter. Books, accessories, maps, & more for your 5E roleplaying game!

About the Author

Melanie R. Meadors is the author of fantasy and science fiction stories where heroes don’t always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. She’s been known to befriend wandering garden gnomes, do battle with metal-eating squirrels, and has been called a superhero on more than one occasion. Her work has been published in Circle Magazine, The Wheel, and Prick of the Spindle, and she was a finalist in the 2014 Jim Baen Memorial Science Fiction Contest. Melanie is also a freelance author publicist and publicity/marketing coordinator for both Ragnarok Publications and Mechanical Muse. She blogs regularly for GeekMom and The Once and Future Podcast. Her short story “A Whole-Hearted Halfling” is in the anthology Champions of Aetaltis, available on Amazon.

[New Release] Drawing Destiny eBook Now Available

Drawing Destiny Cover

THE TAROT HAS AWAKENED…
…And nothing will ever be the same again.

The Tarot, a mystical divination deck of cards, has appeared in the Sixth World as a powerful artifact. It works its will on anyone who finds one of its magical cards, from runners surviving on the street to corp executives battling in the boardroom. And not just people’s lives will be changed, for the Awakened Tarot deck is more than just a formidable magic item, it has an agenda all its own, and will seek to use those it comes in contact with to set its plans in motion…

Drawing Destiny is the latest original Shadowrun anthology, featuring twenty-three original stories about this brand-new artifact introduced into the game universe. Featuring stories from Michael A. Stackpole, Jennifer Brozek, Chris A. Jackson, Lucy A. Snyder, Aaron Rosenberg, R.L. King, Russell Zimmerman, Monica Valentinelli, Josh Vogt, and Jason M. Hardy, and 14 more authors, these stories reveal how the Awakened Tarot will impact the Sixth World for better, and sometimes, for much worse… The cover was designed by Echo Chernik, who also designed the Sixth World tarot deck.

In addition to the tarot theme, the collection highlights different characters and their place in the Sixth World, and includes the Italian Federation which I used as the basis for “My Enemy, Mi Amici”. You can read my design notes on the Catalyst Game Labs Tumblr account, and you can now pick up a copy of the eBook on DriveThruFiction.com or Amazon. I hope you enjoy the collection!

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