Category Archives: Upcoming Projects

Farpoint 2017 After-Action Report

We’re home from yet another fantastic Farpoint where I finally had the honor of meeting someone I consider an inspiration as a writer and storyteller—Nicholas Meyer. Mr. Meyer’s directing and/or screenwriting credits include Time After Time, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered CountryThe Day After (TV movie), and much more including the new CBS series, Star Trek: Discovery. He also wrote the Sherlock Holmes novel and screenplay, The Seven-Percent Solution.

I wanna be THAT guy when I grow up! 😀

After a thoroughly enjoyable dinner at La Tolteca with Aaron Rosenberg, David Mack, Chris Kennedy, Glenn Hauman, and Eric Bakutis, it was time for the Friday night book fair, where I would have the opportunity to meet Nick Meyer.

Earlier in the day, I had purchased a replacement copy of The Seven-Percent Solution from a dealer. From my personal collection, I brought copies of the scripts for the aforementioned Star Trek movies while my wife, Evon, brought her hardback copy of A View from the Bridge, Mr. Meyer’s memoir of his time working on the Star Trek films.

As Mr. Meyer signed my items, I told him that he was one of my writing heroes, which actually brought him to a complete stop. He became momentarily verklempt, as did I.  He thanked me as he continued signing. Before having our photo taken together, I presented him with a copy of By Your Side, one of my paranormal mystery novels. He seemed genuinely grateful.

Phil with Nicholas Meyer

After that, I returned to my table where shenanigans ensued as Bob Greenberger began swapping name placards amongst nearby writers including myself, Aaron Rosenberg, Kelly Meding, Steve Wilson, and Lance Woods. Cameras, bottles, cans, even Steve Wilson’s  flask were not spared from the hide-and-seek hilarity. This added even more magic to the evening. You just can’t find a group of silly scribes like this anywhere else!

Phil and Evon at Farpoint 2017 Lance Woods and Steve Wilson at Farpoint 2017 Kelly Meding, Bob Greenberger, and Aaron Rosenberg Kelly Meding at Farpoint 2017 Bob Greenberger and Aaron Rosenberg at Farpoint 2017

My table was part of the Firebringer Press row that included Steven H. Wilson, Lance Woods, and debut author Diane Lee Baron with her novel, Gal WonderClick here for more info on Diane’s book!  By the end of the night, I sold a few books and signed one that a reader bought elsewhere (which is always a good feeling).

Gal Wonder by Diane Lee Baron

Saturday morning began with my wife and I taking our Star Trek II posters to Nicholas Meyer for yet more autographs and photo ops.

Evon with Nicholas Meyer Phil with Nicholas Meyer

My first panel of the day was Firebringer Press Presents at 11AM.  Diane Lee Baron chatted up Gal Wonder, which had a “soft” launch at Farpoint’s book fair, but will have a full premiere at Shore Leave in July along with the mass-market paperback collection of Steve Wilson’s Arbiter Chronicles SF novellas.

Firebringer Press Presents

I spoke about Like Mother, Like Daughters, my paranormal novella slated for release in October, as well as my second-place winning Rehoboth Beach contest story, “Tower Sixteen,” which was recently submitted (with its original ending) to a paranormal anthology slated for next year. If accepted, it would be my first story to be published in two different anthologies and with two different endings!

Firebringer Press Presents discussion panel

Michael Critzer chatted briefly about his upcoming non-fiction book, Heroic Inspirations, debuting this summer. Michael has taught courses on the mythology of superheroes and this book will represent a extension of that.

Afterward, Steve Wilson and I made our way to our scheduled readings at noon. Our audience consisted of Michael Critzer and my wife. Writer David Mack then arrived to finish the hour with his reading, but with such a small gathering, we simply yammered instead.

I was then free until 3PM when I shared a table with Peter David for our autograph hour. It was wonderful to spend time talking with him about his own work as well as the legendary Harlan Ellison, another writer who inspired me and has been close friends with Peter for decades. With no sales, and with Nick Meyer speaking at 4PM on the main stage, I packed up my books early, dropped them off in my room, and joined my wife who was saving a seat for me in the ballroom.

Mr. Meyer regaled an appreciative audience with stories of his first meeting with producer Harve Bennett about writing Star Trek II. A few drafts of the script (each a completely different story) had been written, from which Bennett and Meyer created a list of the best parts. From that list, Meyer wrote an entirely new script, but waived credit for it. This was after he had already signed on to direct.

Nick Meyer at Farpoint 2017 Nick Meyer at Farpoint 2017 Nick Meyer at Farpoint 2017

He also spoke about working with Ricardo Montalban (whose much-debated chest was actually his own, not a prosthetic), his vituperative relationship with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (who balked at the story for Wrath of Khan), and touched on the film adaptation for The Seven-Percent Solution.

Mr. Meyer’s presentation ended with a skit in which linguist and Farpoint regular, Marc Okrand—who developed the Klingon language for the Star Trek movies—read a “communique” from the Klingon Empire, translated into English by Nick Meyer,  honoring Gene Roddenberry and all of the main Star Trek actors that we’ve lost over the past 25+ years including DeForest Kelley, Mark Lenard, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, James Doohan, Leonard Nimoy,  and Grace Lee Whitney.

At 6PM, I had the honor of moderating (somewhat nervously and perhaps ineptly) a discussion panel called “Avoiding Cliches in Your Writing” with panelists Lauren Harris, Peter David, and the reason for my jitters…Nicholas Meyer. However, the panel was entertaining and informative, but not without each of us veering off into tangents once in a while. Yet even as moderator, I would never have the temerity to interrupt Nicholas Meyer!

Avoiding Cliche in Your Writing discussion panel Avoiding Cliche in Your Writing discussion panel

My wife and I ended our evening with dinner at the Silver Spring Mining Company (love that place!) before calling it a night. Normally,  I would have stayed up late and joined my fellow con attendees at the Ten-Forward Dance Party in the atrium, but I was exhausted and wanted to get a few things done online.

Of course, in between the book fair, discussion panels, and autograph sessions, my wife and I caught up with old friends that we only see at the cons. This is an important reason why many of us attend. In fact, for some it is the only reason.

Since I was not scheduled for anything on Sunday, my wife and I departed by 9AM and made it home before noon to enjoy our first taste of spring weather. Sunshine and 65F degrees!

It should be noted that there was still a full day of programming on Sunday at Farpoint including a 2PM showing of Time After Time hosted by Nick Meyer.

OK, Now What Am I Working On?

Amidst all of the turmoil, chaos, and uncertainty that continues to be 2016, I must admit that it was not a bad year for me as a writer. I always wish I’d done more, of course, but I’m grateful to have four stories and an essay published across three anthologies, one of which was a second place contest entry that earned me $250. Click on each cover below for more information about the books.
Write Here Write Now Cover Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity Beach Nights
 
Last month, I had a short vignette accepted for the 2017 anthology of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. That book will be titled the Write Connections and is slated for a March release.
 
I also finished my first of what I hope will be three stories for Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, the third volume in the Middle of Eternity speculative fiction series (no release date yet) and I’m working through a gods and monsters tale that is due in six weeks. YIKES!
 
Most importantly, I wrote the first four chapters of an SF novel that has been in development since 2012. It’s one of those projects that, at first, I simply tinkered with between other stories, but I finished the outline in 2015 and wrote four chapters over winter before being pulled away onto other projects. I intend to switch my focus back to this novel and complete the first draft in 2017, even if that means postponing or turning away some other projects. Only so many hours in the day and while I love writing short stories and editing anthologies, it’s been over three years since my last novel was published, so I’m overdue! 
Shout out if you’re working on any cool projects!

Second Place in Rehoboth Beach Short Story Contest!

Well, I haven’t seen the official word posted yet today, but I also wasn’t told to refrain from making an announcement. So, I suppose now it can be told…
 
I received a phone call from Nancy Sakaduski, editor at Cat and Mouse Press, and organizer of the annual Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story contest. In May, I submitted a story that focused on a WWII veteran, his granddaughter, and the fire control towers built by the US Army along the Delaware Coast during WWII to protect the bay from German incursion.
 
Nancy called to tell me that my story, “Tower 16”, took SECOND PLACE, which earns me $250 in addition to publication in their 2016 anthology, Beach Nights (see cover below)! Thank you so much, Nancy!
 
According to the info on the Cat and Mouse Press website, the official list of winners (20+ stories to be published, of which the top three collect cash prizes) have been, or are in the process of being, contacted and I imagine there will be an official announcement on their website and Facebook page soon.
 
This was wonderful news in and of itself, but for me personally it also provides one more connection to a town that I’ve come to consider my second home. My wife and I were married in Rehoboth Beach, we’ve vacationed there for the past several summers with wonderful friends, and some of my books are on the shelves at Browseabout Books, Rehoboth’s most popular indie bookshop.
 ‌
Special thanks to writer and editor pal Ramona DeFelice Long for reminding me about the contest at the Write Stuff conference in April. I had wanted to submit something for the past two years, but was always busy. You know what they say, everything happens when it’s supposed to!
 
Stay tuned for more news on this!
Beach Nights

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

 

The Middle of Eternity, Illustrated by Mike Riehl

The good news is that our Kickstarter campaign to bring you volume two of our Middle of Eternity anthology series has managed to raise approximately $1,210! However, we have only 10 days left to raise  the remaining $1,290 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!

Over the past two weeks on this blog, I’ve posted samples of two out of the 14 stories from our upcoming anthology, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

I’ve also posted interviews with five of our nine authors, which will resume in a few days. For now, I hope you’ll indulge me as I proudly show off the stunning artwork of Michael Riehl.

Mike’s amazing talents, whether on the canvas or on hand-painted ornaments, has brought him immense popularity at Christmas shows as well as SF and horror conventions such as Shore Leave, Chiller Theatre, and Monster Mania.

Our Kickstarter video includes some images of Mike’s work from our first volume, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity. We’re excited to have him back to provide visuals for Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.  As a preview, below are four of the 14 interior illustrations that Mike has created for the new volume.  Enjoy!

Tree of Love Illustration

Making Tracks Illustration

Terror in Agradeb Illustration

Hard Place Illustration

 

EIME Title Page