The Writerly Raven

Yawning with Old Ones: Strange Horizons, February 17, 2020

Hello, my darklings!

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to actually encounter an Old One? You know, those tentacled, madness-inducing horrors that writhe between the pages of nearly everything Lovecraft wrote?


A Bleak Peek into the Future: Neon Leviathan (Grimdark, February 2020)

Hello, my darklings!

I hope this latest post finds you all well. Things are ramping up in the world with this new virus and I sincerely wish you all the best health.

This week, I’ve just finished reading a new collection soon to be published by Grimdark Magazine and written by T.R. Napper called Neon Leviathan. If you’ve ready my reviews here on this site before, you’ll notice that the review below is a bit different than my usual format. As with some of my other reviews, I originally wrote this review for Tangent Online (you can see the original here).


Deicide and Sacrifice: Grimdark #21, January 2020

Hello, my darklings!

Well, it’s officially a new year. It’s hard to believe we’re already in 2020 and January is mostly gone but I’m back with my latest review of Grimdark Magazine #21.

Where in the name of all the gods does time actually go? I swear it was just Halloween last week…

The last time I posted an actual review was a little over two months ago on November 5, 2019. That’s wholly unacceptable, I know, but I have been writing, I promise. In fact, there are several that need to be uploaded here to the site and I will get to that this weekend. I’ll be back-dating them so that they reflect the dates they were actually published on Tangent Online, so here on my site, they’re going to appear before this Grimdark #21 review.


Three and a Half Minutes by Tara Grímravn

As originally published on Wattpad

Hey!

It’s me! Jimmy!

How’s it going, pal? Let me ask you something. You ever wonder how long it takes for someone to die? Three and a half minutes. That’s how long it took for me, anyway. When you say it out loud, it really doesn’t seem like very long, does it?

Well, trust me.

It is.


How to Become a Gargoyle in Two Easy Steps: Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, October 2019

Illustration by Fran Eisemann as it was created for CRES for Stemple’s “Still Life” using public domain and creative commons images.

Happy belated Halloween, my darklings!

Hands down and without any doubt whatsoever, this is my absolute favorite time of year. The cooling weather, the scent of fall hanging in the air, the rustling of dried leaves in the breeze, and the marathon of both good and terrible horror films on every platform are just some of the small signs that several days of awesomeness are on their way. Both the Celtic Samhain, Norse Álfablót, and the Día de los Muertos celebrations start on October 31 and run through November 2, leaving me in shadowy bliss for three whole days.


Oh, the Things that Dead Mages Say: Tales from the Magician’s Skull #3

Hello, my darklings!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the best-laid plans, eh?

Forgive me if I heave a massive sigh but, with all that’s been going on in my personal life lately, it’s becoming clear that I need to do a few things on easy mode for a bit instead of giving myself more work than I have hours in the day to complete. It’s terrible to have all these great ideas and intentions (at least, they’re great to me) and not enough time to get them done! During the week, I work at my usual day job and, on weekends, I work a second job as a painting instructor. I also review regularly for Tangent Online (TO) and I have my own trilogy that I’m trying to finish, as you can see on the upcoming works page.

Although, I must admit that things have changed since I first announced the release of Beneath a Red Hunter’s Moon. At that point, I was still on track for telling this story in a single novel but as I continue to write, the story continues to grow. It’s becoming clear that one book isn’t going to be enough. Not unless you’re into books that are 1,500 pages long, that is, which I’m guessing most of you aren’t, since it’s not a popular option in the publishing world. I’ll update that page here in a bit.


A Wish, Some Grish, & Fiery Fish: Cirsova, Winter 2019

Cirsova Winter 2019Hello, my darklings!

Sigh…

The best-laid plans, eh? I had wanted to have this particular review finished and posted by September 7 but that (obviously) did not happen. Suffice it to say that I’m a bit late getting this up and, for that, I sincerely apologize.

Still, it’s a good day here in Texas. I’m sitting here in the living room with my laptop, cup of coffee in hand (yes, I know it’s the middle of the afternoon…don’t judge me), while a beautiful storm rages outside. There’s just something incredibly satisfying about reading (or, in this case, writing about) fantasy and science fiction while lightning arcs across the sky just beyond the window glass.

On the downside, the dogs don’t share my enthusiasm for the storm. The thunder has all four of them packed around me and my lap desk like sardines right now. Then again, it’s three Chihuahuas and a Miniature Pinscher and they don’t take up much room.


Folklore & Theses: Beneath Ceaseless Skies #279 Review

BCS coverHello, my darklings!

Sigh….

I’m just going to say it right now. I have been very lax. Between finishing my thesis novel for my MFA, other coursework and my day job, I’ve not had much time to work on the website here.

But that’s all changing…I graduated!

Yes, I have completed the MFA in Creative Writing and can finally take a few desperately needed breaths. I’m still going to be working on the novel that has been my thesis for these last two years but I at least am not as crunched for time. And, if all goes well, I’ll still be on for a release date of late November. I mean, the feedback I received from my graduate panel was good and very constructive but, based on their suggestions, I clearly still have work to do before it’s ready for a proper edit with a good editor.


Going Native & Other Stories

Going Native Cover of man and woman melting into each otherHello, my darklings!

I must confess; I have fallen behind. Life has held me captive in her iron grip these last several weeks. Of course, that’s not to say that I haven’t been writing reviews. Quite the contrary, actually! I just haven’t had a chance to get them posted here.

It’s time to remedy that! So, without further ado…

Early in June 2018, I had the opportunity to review the 8th issue of Cirsova Magazine. If you’re not familiar with Cirsova, they tend to run fantasy and science fiction stories that are a bit outside the norm, which is one of the reasons I really like them. Among the nine stories presented in that issue, one happened to be “Going Native” by J. Manfred Weichsel. It was a tale that I found particularly enjoyable. When Mr. Weichsel contacted me to review his newly published collection of stories Going Native & Other Stories, which includes the titular “Going Native,” I was thrilled to do so.

Also, I meant to have this review up much earlier than this but, well, things didn’t quite work out that way.


Feel the Love: Fiction River #31

Magazine cover with title and black heartHello, my darklings!

A bit of news, then the review!

First, in the coming weeks, I’m going to take the advice of a colleague of mine and turn these short posts announcing the Tangent Online reviews into a supplementary review here as well. So you’ll see that happening, soon. I’m also going to be writing more “craft of fiction” articles over the next few months, ideally one per week right now. I’ve got one ready to go now that just needs a touch more editing before I post it. But it’s coming!

Anywho…

The 31st issue of Fiction River is out! This particular anthology, edited by Mark Leslie, is focused on love in all it many forms. Most of the stories were absolutely fantastic, others not so much. Still, I really enjoyed reading it.

For specifics, please see my full review over at Tangent Online.  You can click the link below and it’ll open the review in a new tab directly on TO’s website.

Fiction River #31: Feel the Love Review, published on TangentOnline.com on April 16, 2019.