All Aboard for a Train Ride Through Eternity!

Ladies and gentlemen! All aboard for a train ride through eternity with your tour guides Daniel Patrick Corcoran, Michael Critzer, Phil Giunta, Melissa Carta Miller, Susanna Reilly, Stuart Roth, April Nikita Welles, Steven H. Wilson, and Lance Woods.

The cover to our new speculative fiction anthology, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, is finished and copies of the book will be available at Shore Leave 38 in July! Soon after, it will be available as a trade paperback and ebook from  Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble’s website, and a myriad of other online booksellers. Deepest thanks to Michael Riehl for his fantastic artwork and to Chris Winner for brilliant layout!

Publisher: Firebringer Press

Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Book Review: Lester Del Rey’s NERVES

Old Doc Ferrell can’t even spend a day off with his wife and son. The National Atomics nuclear facility in Kimberly, Missouri is scheduled to undergo a government inspection and the plant manager, Allan Palmer, needs his chief physician present to handle the suits.

Worse, inspections make the men nervous and nervous men make mistakes.

There was already a bill under review in Congress to move the entire facility to a remote location, away from the dense civilian population that is currently enjoying the inexpensive power generated as a by-product of the plant’s operations. Palmer wants nothing more than to prove the safety of nuclear power. As such, he wants his best people present.

Giving up his day off, Ferrell enters the plant to find minor injuries already in progress, adroitly handled by the nursing staff. However, during the inspection, an accident occurs that leaves one man badly burned.

To make matters worse, a routine testing of one of the converter chambers by chief scientist Mal Jorgenson uncovers the presence of highly volatile and deadly “Isotope R”, otherwise known as Mahler’s Isotope. Jorgenson sounds the alarm, but not before becoming trapped inside the converter chamber, his armored Tomlin suit his only protection against the fatal radiation.

Palmer orders a rescue mission to retrieve Jorgenson, the only man in the plant who knows the best method to stop Mahler’s Isotope from destroying not only everything in a fifty-mile radius, but perhaps the entire eastern United States!

After a massive and dangerous effort by several of the plant’s crew (aka “atomjacks”), Jorgenson is pulled from the wreckage of the converter chamber and brought to the Infirmary where a heart massage is the only way to keep him from certain death, but when his heart fails to respond, Doc Ferrell and his team must turn to an unorthodox—and untested—solution.

Stories from the golden and transitional ages of speculative and science fiction have always been my absolute favorites. Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Ellison, Heinlein, Niven, the list goes on. Over the past two years or more, I’ve made a deliberate effort to expand my knowledge by including such writers as Philip José Farmer, Joe Haldeman, and Lester Del Rey, founder of Del Rey Publishing.

While I enjoyed The Best of Lester Del Rey anthology, I think it’s fair to say that NERVES is not one of his best works. Fortunately, it’s a short novel at only 153 pages. Sentence structure was occasionally awkward, character development non-existent, and I’m not entirely confident that Del Rey had a full grasp of the true nature of radiation exposure and its effects on the human body, although I will give him credit for an engaging description of the rescue and cleanup work after the accidents. I was a bit perplexed that there was only one expert on Mahler’s Isotope in the entire facility. I suppose having another would have invalidated the entire plot.

Overall, I’d recommend skipping this one, but I will absolutely read more from Lester Del Rey.

Lester Del Rey Nerves Book Cover

Time Shadows: A Doctor Who Anthology for Charity

Congratulations to longtime writer pal, Stuart Roth, who has a story in the upcoming Doctor Who anthology, Time Shadows by Pseudoscope Publishing. Stuart has also contributed to both volumes of the Middle of Eternity anthologies that I created and edited for Firebringer Press.

Time Shadows Cover
Doctor Who anthology
Time Shadows is a new, unofficial, unauthorized Doctor Who short-story anthology for charity from Pseudoscope Publishing. All sales proceeds will be donated to the Enable Community Foundation.
 ‌
Click here to read more about Time Shadows on the publisher’s blog!
 ‌
Synopsis
 ‌
“A great man is a torch in the darkness, a beacon in superstition’s night, an inspiration and a prophecy.”
— Robert G. Ingersoll, “Voltaire”
 ‌
Tipped off by a mysterious raven man, the Twelfth Doctor and Clara travel to Refuge, home of the last vestiges of life near the end of the universe. There, they discover an ancient, powerful Time Lord relic. No sooner does it activate, than new thoughts, new memories form in the Doctor’s mind: new adventures of all his past selves.
 ‌
Someone or something is tampering with time, changing the destination of the TARDIS, and altering the Doctor’s past. He and Clara must travel into danger, into darkness to set things right.
 ‌
Edited by Matt Grady with Samuel Gibb. Foreword by Gary Russell.
 ‌
Featuring stories by Violet Addison, John Anderson, David Black, Andrew Blair, Simon Blake, Christopher Colley, John Davies, Abel Diaz, R.P. Fox, Stephen Hatcher, Chris Heffernan, Ian Howden, Pete Kempshall, J.R. Loflin, Kevin Mason, Roger McCoy, David McLain, Christopher Olsen, John Peel, Stuart Roth, Dale Smith, David N. Smith, and Nick Walters.
 ‌
About the Enable Community Foundation
 ‌
The Enable Community Foundation advances and extends e-NABLE, a fast-growing global network of digital humanitarians using technology to design, fabricate, and disseminate free prosthetic-like hands and arms to those who need them.
 ‌
 ‌
Thank you for your support! Allons-y!
Time Shadows Full Cover

Phil Giunta Regenerates Limbs, Releases Warlocks, and Builds Androids in the Middle of Eternity

Our Kickstarter campaign to bring you volume two of our Middle of Eternity anthology series has managed to raise approximately $2,200. However, we have only 3 days left to raise  the remaining $300 to meet our goal. Otherwise, the project will not be funded at all. If you’re considering whether to back our project, please click here to check out the various donation levels and the rewards we’re offering on Kickstarter.  We deeply appreciate your support!

Although I occasionally talk to myself, I didn’t see much value in interviewing myself since I know all of the answers to any questions I would ask.

As with our first installment, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, I’m excited to return to the series not only as its creator and editor, but also to once again contribute a hat trick of stories. Our second volume, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, is due out in a just few short weeks and will launch at Shore Leave 38 SF convention in Hunt Valley, MD!

In lieu of an interview, permit me to offer you synopses of my three contributions:

In “Life and Limb”, we travel to Galway, Ireland to meet Michael Whalen, surgeon-turned-biomechanical engineer, who comes into possession of an ancient prosthetic arm that might have once belonged to the legendary King Nuada of Celtic mythology. Michael doesn’t believe in folklore—until an amputee’s arm begins to grow back after exposure to the artifact!

In “Working the System”, a reluctant Lt. Cameron Glazier is ordered to slaughter a team of military androids after the government, known as The System, abruptly bans the use of all artificial intelligence.  As a result, android creator Doctor Oliver Michaud goes into hiding—and sets into motion a plan of revenge against Glazier and all those he holds responsible for the obliteration of his life’s work.

Years after an attack left him disfigured, Simon Ramirez finds himself living on the streets of Philadelphia—until he unwittingly releases a warlock from an antique decanter. In return, the warlock sends Simon back to the comfortable life and marriage he once enjoyed, but will Simon squander his second chance and end up even worse off than before? We’ll find out in “My New Shiny”.

This concludes our interview series of the creative minds who have come together to produce yet another exciting anthology. Thank you so much for your support and I hope you will jump on board and join us for another wild ride through the Middle of Eternity!

A Pennsylvania resident, Phil Giunta graduated frProfile3om Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and continues to work in the IT industry, although he would love nothing more than to escape corporate America and open his own bait and tackle shop, or explore outer space in a starship, which might allow him to open a bait and tackle shop on another planet. At least he has a plan, but we digress…

Phil’s first novel, a paranormal mystery called Testing the Prisoner, debuted in 2010 from Firebringer Press. His second novel in the same genre, By Your Side, was released in 2013. His short stories appear in such anthologies as ReDeus: Divine Tales, ReDeus: Beyond Borders, and Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, which he also edited. The second installment, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, is slated for release in July 2016.  Phil’s paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters, is due out later in the year.

 

EIME Title Page

 

Steven H. Wilson Marches from War-Torn Europe to a Dystopian Future in the Middle of Eternity

Our Kickstarter campaign to bring you volume two of our Middle of Eternity anthology series has managed to raise approximately $1,580. However, we have only 5 days left to raise  the remaining $920 to meet our goal. Otherwise, the project will not be funded at all. If you’re considering whether to back our project, please click here to check out the various donation levels and the rewards we’re offering on Kickstarter.  We deeply appreciate your support!

Continuing our interview series leading up to the release of Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, please welcome Steven H. Wilson. Steve not only has two stories in our collection, but is also our publisher at Firebringer Press.

Steven H. Wilson

Steve created the Mark Time and Parsec Award-winning podcast series The Arbiter Chronicles, as well as authoring Taken Liberty and several other novels and novellas set in the Arbiters universe. His other works include the novel Peace Lord of the Red Planet, short stories for Crazy 8 Press’s ReDeus series, and contributions to Sequart Press’s Star Wars essay collections. He has written for DC Comics and Starlog, and is publisher for Firebringer Press, whose seventh and latest book, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, collects tales of science fiction, fantasy and the paranormal by Mid-Atlantic authors.

We’re thrilled and grateful that you’ve decided to publish another volume of the Middle of Eternity series through Firebringer Press. Additionally, you contributed a pair of fantastic tales, “Making Tracks” and “The Golem and the Gypsy Girl”. What inspired each of these?

“Making Tracks” grew out of my love of railroad stories. Not sure where that came from, but I’ve always loved stories set on and around trains. Perhaps it’s because my Grandfather worked the railroads starting when he was about 12 years old. He saw the first tracks laid in our little town in North Carolina, and he saw them pulled back up fifty years later. Our time is a time of ever-changing technology, and I think it’s good for our fiction to examine that.

I love the story of the golem. I’ve always loved robots, and they have their origin in this tale of a created man who carried his own spark of the divine and came to save the Jews of Prague. The Roma culture has long fascinated me, going back to the Universal horror films of the 30s and 40s. These two characters, so steeped in the folklore of their particular cultures, just sort of popped into my head one day, and I decided to use them to create a story reminiscent of those wonderful Frankenstein and Wolfman films of long ago. With a smart female protagonist, for a change. I like Mura because she knows what she wants from life, and she goes after it. She’s told at a way-too-young age that it’s time to be an adult; so she decides to be one, but on her terms, not her family’s or her tribe’s.

Since our last interview, you also created a new paranormal audio series called The Cattail Country Store that can be heard at Prometheus Radio Theatre. How did this idea come about? We will see these stories in print someday?

I spent many weeks of my growing up years in the community of Pensacola, NC. That’s where the aforementioned railroad used to run. And, back in those days, there were a lot of country stores by the roadsides. People even used to just put up shacks in their front yards to run a store and make extra cash. By the time I came along, most of those stores were abandoned, their signs still up, reminding us what used to be. I loved to imagine what those stores were like when they were open; and, it being Appalachia, where we love ghost stories, I naturally imagined there were ghosts. When I decided I wanted to play with paranormal stories, I pretty quickly decided that there were lots of possibilities in the idea of one of those ghost-stores coming to life whenever somebody needed it to. It’s a strong anthology format, and it lets the authors come up with solid stories about people and their problems. Stuart S. Roth created a wonderfully atmospheric tale, ”Spanish Moss,” for the series. Several other writers are working on contributions, including Danielle Ackley-McPhail and a guy named Phil Giunta. When we have ten or twelve stories, I plan to publish a print anthology.

Your original SF series, The Arbiter Chronicles, began as an award-winning audio drama on your podcast site, Prometheus Radio Theatre. This has spawned two excellent novels (Taken Liberty and Unfriendly Persuasion). You also adapted the first four episodes of the audio drama into eNovellas. Now, I understand a third novel is ready for publication. What can you tell us about it?

“Ready for publication” is a bit of a stretch, but the first draft is complete. [Note: Steve answered these questions in February so as of now, his next novel is in final editing] I’ll be re-writing for the next couple of months, and launching a crowd funding campaign. The book and accompanying full-cast audiobook should be released in July. The title is Sacrifice Play, and it’s about a technology so dangerous that its creators are being killed. One Naval Officer decides that, since his ship is carrying this literally viral technology, he has no choice but to destroy the ship and kill everyone aboard. And, well, the Arbiters just happen to be hitching a ride with him. They get sort of annoyed when someone tries to blow them up, so they’ll be going after this fanatic.

Where can we find you online (website, blog, social media)?

www.stevenhwilson.com

https://www.facebook.com/steven.h.wilson

https://twitter.com/StevenHWilson

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SteveWilsonAuthor/posts

What does Steve Wilson do when he isn’t writing?

I’m Chief Technology Officer for Howard County Fire & Rescue. I also do some IT Consulting. Other than that I read a lot.

 

EIME Title Page

Lance Woods Brings Undying Fear to the Middle of Eternity

Our Kickstarter campaign to bring you volume two of our Middle of Eternity anthology series has managed to raise approximately $1,435. However, we have only 6 days left to raise  the remaining $1,065 to meet our goal. Otherwise, the project will not be funded at all. If you’re considering whether to back our project, please click here to check out the various donation levels and the rewards we’re offering on Kickstarter.  We deeply appreciate your support!

Our next victim, uh, I mean author to be interviewed during our countdown to Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity is Lance Woods.

Lance began his writing “career” in 1967 by penning a one-page episode of the Batman TV series at age 5. His published works by Firebringer Press include the short stories “The Gravest Show Unearthed” in the anthology Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity (2016); “Dead Air” in the anthology Somewhere in the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMiddle of Eternity (2014); and Heroic Park: A SuperHuman Times Novel (2012). He also performs with Prometheus Radio Theatre; is a founding member of both the Cheap Treks comedy troupe and The Boogie Knights filk group; and has had two comedy-mysteries – Breeding Will Tell and Murder Case – produced by the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. In the real world, he has worked for more than 25 years writing in the comic-book industry, but if he told you what he did, he’d have to bore you.

We’re excited to have you join us for another excursion into the Middle of Eternity. What inspired your latest story, “The Gravest Show Unearthed”?

It began as an idea for a historical novel I thought about writing a very long time ago, one in which a self-promoting entrepreneur (no, not Donald Trump) accidentally unleashes an unspeakable horror (see last parenthetical) on the world and then has to take him down. I can’t say much more because it would ruin the ending.

I can say that I’m overjoyed to return to Eternity to finally be able to tell it.

Your first novel, Heroic Park, is a direct spin-off of your SuperHuman Times audio drama series as heard on Prometheus Radio Theatre. What is the SuperHuman Times series all about and what’s coming next in that universe?

For those who came in late, SuperHuman Times is an anthology that explores the ordinary lives of extraordinary people – superhumans, and their interactions with humans. It’s a world where they have jobs other than heroes or villains, and the stories include action, romance, comedy or anything else I can come up with.

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of SuperHuman Times’ debut on Prometheus. That said, I have suspended the writing of new scripts, or a follow-up to the SuperHuman Times novel Heroic Park, until further notice. We have a backlog of scripts waiting to be produced for a variety of completely legitimate reasons, so there are no big celebration activities or specials planned, and I have no intention on writing any new Times stories until more of the dormant ones are produced. Anything new would just add to the clog.

That doesn’t mean I’m not trying to work up something special on my own to mark the occasion. Whether or not I can pull it off is anyone’s guess. Check SuperHumanTimes.com on November 3, 2016 and we’ll all find out.

In addition to acting in audio dramas for podcasts, you also read your prose aloud at conventions and join fellow voice actors from Prometheus Radio Theatre for live performances at Farpoint, an annual SF convention in Maryland. What advice would you give to new authors to help them overcome trepidation about reading their work to the public?

It sounds self-centered, but I always try to tune out the audience and pretend that I’m recording an audiobook instead of giving a live reading. I try to let the scenes and characters I’ve written take me back to the place where I first got excited about writing them. If I’m lucky, I’ve written something that’s good enough to accomplish that, and the audience comes along for the ride.

Where can we find you online (website, blog, social media)?

There’s SuperHumanTimes.com, which offers links to all of the existing podcasts and gets updated on the rare occasions there’s something new (like in November, if I can get my act together). I also have a Facebook page for SuperHuman Times, which gets updated on the same basis. I do not Tweet, Pin or Instagram. Being ignored on the platforms I use now is enough.

What does Lance Woods do when he isn’t writing?

This March, I marked 25 years of working full-time as a copywriter/editor in the comic book industry. My job’s in the marketing and distribution end of the business, so I don’t get to write the cool stories. It’s not the kind of writing I’d rather do full-time, but people actually give me money for my words on a regular basis, which keeps a roof over my family’s collective head and allows me to call myself a working writer. So, I guess when I’m not writing, I’m writing, and I’m lucky.
EIME Title Page