The View from the Lake
In this View . . .
Announcements – Closing Down the Year, Opening up the Next
Drabble Contest 8
Bombay Sapphire update
eBooks & eStories – special announcement
New Releases and Reminders
Outposts of Beyond
Hello, and welcome back to The View from the Lake from Alban Lake Publishing. Let’s dig right in and go for the Corona Extra or a Negra Modelo and a private beach.
We’d like first to announce the addition of Karen Otto as Associate Editor. She’ll be working in FrostFire Worlds during Sylvan Baker’s hiatus in pursuit of an MFA. Her work will appear in the January 2017 Outposts of Beyond—a nice way to kick off the year.
2016 is just about gone. As is frequently the case in activities/enterprises of all sorts, we got a lot done, but a few things remained undone, and are being added to the goals for next year. Like all writers, I still have stories to do. It’s a process—moving from one tale to the next, because you never really run out of ideas and concepts, you just run out of time, and only the Fates know when to cut the string. At the outset of 2016 I wrote down a list of the writing I hoped to accomplish during the year. I’d estimate the success for this list at about 70%. The other 30% is what 2017 is for—but by January I’ll have another 100% to work on, in addition to the carry-over. Gasp pant wheeze.
A word about reading. It’s important. It’s how we receive and pass on information from one generation to the next. It’s been a tradition ever since whoever wrote The Epic of Gilgamesh started baking his pages. But less reading means less literacy, and I don’t have to tell you where that would be headed. More and more we’re seeing downward—dare I say plummeting?—trends in students’ test scores. For this, there are many causes. We at Alban Lake try to address just one: we’ve got reading [and dreaming] material.
Finally, a word about that material. We’re all about good, solid, readable works. They might not win awards [very few stories published anywhere do]—although some get nominated for them and one or two actually win—but they are worthwhile reading. We’re well worth it to try out, and our material is a lot better for you than that Jar-Jar Binks bobblehead that’s been collecting dust on the mantelpiece for the last decade. You know where our store is. Pay us a visit.
From all of us, to our readers and our writers and all surrounding points—Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Drabble Contest #8:
The 8th Great Lakes Drabble Contest is well underway; the theme is Dear Abby in the 24th Century. Guidelines are on site in the Guidelines option on our toolbar. Get those pencils cranking, and have some fun!
Bombay Sapphire update:
I’m told by the publisher, Pro Se Press, that Bombay Sapphire, Episode #3: The Babel Device, will be released in the first quarter of 2017. Teresa Tunaley is already working on the cover. Of course, it would help if you’d read the first two episodes. Here are the links to them:
eBooks & eStories
As I’m sure many of you know, Amazon is no friend of the small independent press or of self-published folks. Amazon makes sure first that they get what’s coming to them [ooo, one can only hope]. Now, in the Alban Lake store, many of our titles have eBook versions that you can ORDER DIRECTLY FROM US! The prices are much the same as Amazon charges, and sometimes even less. But what this means for those authors who are due royalties is that while they still get the same %, it’s % of more dosh. So come support your favorite authors.
Some of you may already be aware that we’re touting a new product line: single sf/f/h e-stories for 99 cents each. Come buy one. Or more.
Disturbed #15, December 2016
A dark and spooky line-up marks this issue, with reading to get you through the longest nights of the year. “The Closet” by James A. Miller will keep you in the front room with all the lights on. “I’ll Always Hear You” by Kelly McGrady will take your breath away. Andrew Knighton’s “Ghosts in the Gaslight” will [sorry] haunt you. Plus Lorraine Pinelli Brown, Kendall Evans, Sandy DeLuca, and more! Oh, and DeLuca provided some stand-alone illustrations for this issue.
Here’s the link: http://store.albanlake.com/product/disturbed-15/
Bloodbond #7, November 2016
Bloodbond enters its fourth year with a stellar and fangy lineup that includes “The Walri Project” by Kendall Evans [and mind the tusks]; “A Helping Hand” by Alison McBain, and Olga Godim’s “Tail to Treasure.” There’s also “Stealth” by Karen Heslo, and Marge Simon’s “Another Full Moon.” The multi-talented Sandy DeLuca is the featured poet. So break out the garlic, the silver bullets, and the infra-red lenses, and settle back for some Reading!
FrostFire Worlds #15, November 2016
If you want your children to read science fiction and fantasy that is kid-safe, look no further than FrostFire Worlds. The November issue features “A Small Kindness” by Beth Powers, “A Place Lost in Dreams” by Izabela Jeremus, “The Toys” by Christina Sng, and Episode 7 of the science fiction serial, The Adventures of Colo Collins & Tama Toledo in Space and Time. Good reading not just for the next generation, but for this generation as well.
FrostFire Worlds 1yr
FrostFire Worlds 2yr
Scifaikuest #54, November 2016
The marvelous Christina Sng is the featured poet in this issue of Scifaikuest. You know her material, but here’s some new stuff. Sandy DeLuca rocks this killer cover. And Herb Kauderer talks about Zappai versus Haiku, which is not a UFC match . And btw, Scifaikuest is a good read for the whole family.
A Wolf to Guard the Door by Tyree Campbell.
It’s an apocalyptic novel with a few aspects that started coming true shortly after the manuscript was completed. Unlike other apocalyptic tales, this one doesn’t include war and violence. It’s a struggle of average folks for survival—and hope for the future. It could have begun yesterday…or tomorrow. Almost there…
Abra Cadaver by Aurelio Rico Lopez III
For those who have not yet been introduced to the beyond-the-left-field-fence humor and serious side of Thirdy Lopez, this ku-llection is for you. We’ll keep this simple:
sore and exhausted
pillow swallows me whole
stones rain from heaven
real nightmare begins
when rocks sprout teeth
dead hamster twitches
witch doctor in training
There’s lots more inside . . .
Potters Field 6, edited by Robert J. Krog
From the editor’s introduction:
The stories in this volume were selected to entertain, but also to have some quality of edifying those who choose to read them all. Many of them deal with murder and will bring up in the minds of the reader questions perhaps of injustice and justice. Others may bring up matters of hope and despair or of the supernatural and the beyond. This volume does not seek to answer all of those questions, only to entertain and perhaps edify with some inkling of hope that may gleam through the horrors the stories within may unfold. Many of the stories are quite fantastic, some are quite mundane, if horrifying, in their details, and some despite the necessary and true to life horror, yet bear a message of hope. With the reading of them all, the reader may come to see some of the depth and breadth involved in the singular thing that is an unmarked grave. It may bring the reader to wonder about the unknown buried in their own cities and counties and perhaps even to seek to know them in what ways may be available or, if nothing else, to pray for them as some faiths do encourage or require.
Miskatonic Dreams, edited by H. David Blalock
Miskatonic Nightmares, edited by Herika R. Raymer
In Arkham, Massachusetts, stands a university steeped in mystery and legend. After its human students have left for their dormitories, its haunted halls often host phantasms of things unspeakable. Its classrooms are never truly empty. Its auditorium reverberates to ghosts of words chanted in other planes. Its library guards tomes not written by human hand.
Find out about those times when no human foot strides the halls of nighted Miskatonic University. The truth behind the unexplained sounds from the science wing, the murmuring from the rooms dedicated to music and art is revealed. Learn the meaning of those words drawn in blood there in the basement. Discover actual workings of the late night denizens who brave those passageways.
Not just for fans of Lovecraft. All y’all are welcome to come thrill and chill.
The Salt Man by Keith Gordon
Mister Salt has fallen on hard times. Business is bad. His scams are sour. His best days are long behind him, but at least he still has his pride. As far as he’s concerned, he’s still worth his salt. But all that changes when Nephram Taine, a lost-long friend, yanks him from the bottom of a bottle and sets him on a collision course with his buried past. Taine has no other choice—there’s no one else in the Free Isles who can help him, no one else who can unlock the secrets of an impossibly ancient artifact with a trail of death cluttering its wake.
Petrolea by Daniel M. Bensen
Victor Toledo went to Titan for its oil reserves. Doctor Feroza Merchant has made it her mission to stop him. The wild robots of the petroleum jungle want to strip the flesh from their bones.
Stranded in the mechanical jungle, the engineer and the biologist must cooperate not only to survive, but to understand the alien ecosystem around them. Where did these self-replicating robots come from? Who created their ancestors, and why? What they discover could open space to humanity, or it could destroy our civilization.
The Night Café, edited by Tyree Campbell & Sylvan Bree Baker
Van Gogh thought of “The Night Café” in this manner: “I have tried to express the idea that the café is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad, or commit a crime.” We treated “The Night Café” not only as a depiction of Van Gogh’s mood, but also as an allegory and a metaphor. For this reason, you will find some work in here that does not occur, or only briefly occurs, in a café. Don’t let that stop you from reading . . . and feeling . . . and “seeing” what Vincent Van Gogh “saw.”
Among the stories in The Night Café you’ll find “Vincent and Paul in the Yellow House” by Alan
Ira Gordon; “After Midnight at the Night Café” by Kendall Evans; “Cravings” by Priya Sridhar; “In Your Absence” by Rhonda Eikamp; a novelette, “The Starlight Club” by Christian Auger. Plus interior atmospheric and mood art by Marge Simon, and “Circus Troupe” by noted English writer Claire Smith.
Come spend a few nights in The Night Café.
Drabble Harvest #7: When the Monitor Stares Back . . .
So you’re a writer. For hours you stare at the monitor, devoid of ideas. You got nuthin’. What you don’t know is that the monitor is staring back at you—malevolent and insane. Ooo!
Blame Teresa Tunaley of the Canary Islands for the cover, btw.
2017 Alban Lake Calendars!
This is the Alban Lake Fantasy Calendar for 2017, with art by renowned fantasy artist Lorraine Pinelli Brown. As always, the ALP Calendars feature far more than the usual holidays. You’ll find dates of significance to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Asimov’s first story; the Moon landing; Lovecraft’s birthday; Marge Simon’s birthday; Goddard’s first rocket; pagan and other holidays; and publication dates of our magazines.
This is the Alban Lake Science Fiction Calendar for 2017, with art by award-winning artist Mitchell Davidson Bentley. As always, the ALP Calendars feature far more than the usual holidays. You’ll find dates of significance to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Asimov’s first story; the Moon landing; Lovecraft’s birthday; Marge Simon’s birthday; Goddard’s first rocket; pagan and other holidays; and publication dates of our magazines.
Polyxena, Princess of Troy by Ailsa Zheng
Nine years into the Trojan War, fifteen-year-old Polyxena catches the attention of Achilles when he kills the brother standing next to her, Hector.
They meet three times in secret. A romance begins to bloom, but Polyxena is cautious. She despises her brother Paris for starting the war by choosing love over his family, and wants to be nothing like him.
Eventually, Polyxena finds out her brother Paris has laid out a trap. Armed with a secret that can bring Achilles down, Polyxena must choose a side who will live: the brother she does not love, or the enemy she does.
OUTPOSTS OF BEYOND
We still continue to need more GOOD science fiction, including Space Opera. Check out our guidelines, and write something already. Capisce?
Broken Bottle of Time by John Reinhart. The Wild One takes off in this collection of pith and poetry. 1 February release, cover art permitting.
The Caves of Titan by Debby Feo. Back to the Saturnalia School for more scenes and adventures, as humans become aware there are others besides them in the area. Ooo. February or March.
Astropoetry by Christina Sng. She’s at the top of her game in this collection, and that’s sayin’ something. If you haven’t read her before [hard to believe, but . . .], this is a good place to start. Scheduled release 1 January 2017.
The Scream by K. S. Hardy. It’s a collection of Bradbury-esque dark fiction, highly recommended and disturbingly entertaining. Release date firmed at 1 January 2017.
Built to Serve: Robot Poems by G. O. Clark. Budubudubeep! Danger, Will Robinson, Danger. Yes, Gary Clark is back with another round of nerve-grinding, laughter-pealing, mind-tickling poetry that will knock your socks off even when you’re barefoot. Scheduled release date 1 January 2017.
State of the Art by Lorraine Pinelli Brown. It’s a novelette in which we see that a little imagination can be a dangerous thing, especially when augmented by modern technology. 1 January 2017.
At the present time we publish seven print magazines. Four are quarterlies, three of which publish short stories, poems, articles, and art. Outposts of Beyond features science fiction and fantasy. FrostFire Worlds presents science fiction and fantasy for younger readers. Disturbed, or Disturbed Digest, caters to the darker side with dark fantasy and horror, as well as paranormal. Scifaikuest, also quarterly, publishes scifaiku [haiku with a science fiction or fantasy, sometimes horror or humor, twist] and other minimalist poetry forms. Bloodbond is a semi-annual magazine of stories, poems, art, and articles about vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters; a science fiction twist to the material is preferred, but not mandatory. Illumen is a quarterly digest of science fiction and fantasy poetry, including articles and art. Lastly–so far–Trysts of Fate is a semi-annual digest of paranormal romance.
A word here about horror and dark fiction in general. We’re not into gore, splatter, gouts, gushes, fountains, and so forth. It’s not really scary, just icky. Our horror is spooky. We’d rather rattle your nerves than make you retch. That’s about enough said on that topic.
So, let’s see some submissions and some subscriptions!
And please be sure to stop back in January, if not sooner.