The View from the Lake
In this View . . .
A Few Words
New Lovecraft Anthology: City in the Ice
The Alban Lake Publishing catalog
The 10th Great Lake Drabble Contest
Sales Sales Sales!!!
Spaceports & Spidersilk
eBooks & eStories – special announcement
Odds & Ends
New Releases and Reminders
Outposts of Beyond
We at Alban Lake Publishing hope you had a good 2017 and will have an even better 2018. To those who have been here before, we welcome you back. You may find a few changes in how we present the View. For those who have not been here before, welcome, settle in, and enjoy what we have to say and offer.
Some folks who visit here are looking to see what’s new with us—our new releases, our plans for the near future, and so on. We have those, and much more, as you’ll see further below.
Some of our visitors are writers—not “aspiring” writers, not “trying to be a” writer. The moment you put words to paper or monitor with the intention of saying something to someone else, be it a story or an essay and so forth, you become a writer. Manifestly, to become a published writer, you must submit your work somewhere. To become a published and paid writer, you must submit your work to a paying market. But if someone should ask, simply say you’re a writer. Nobody need know that your work has yet to see publication. If you stay with it, you’ll be published. If you stay with it.
We are here to help, as best we can. We cannot write your story for you. But we can give you some good advice. But let’s be clear about a writing career. Only about 4-5% of those who write and get paid for it are able to quit their day jobs. The rest of us punch a time clock—or are (ahem) retired. Yes, you should have aspirations. But temper them with common sense. Have a Plan B.
On to the advice. Here are some tidbits.
A good way to avoid writer’s block is to be working on more than one piece. There is nothing in the rule book that says you must finish a piece before moving on to the next. If you have several pieces going, and one of them leaves you temporarily stymied, go to the other pieces and see if something snaps into place. And if that fails, start something new and fresh.
Most writers do not start and finish a piece in one day [yeah, some do…but]. I’ll use myself as an example—see if this works for you. I’ll select a piece I want to work on. Maybe it’s a short story, currently at 1K words. Before I start adding to it, I’ll go over what I’ve already written. I might change a word here and there, or insert better phrasing. I might realize that a piece of dialogue does not fit the way a particular character would talk, so I’ll make an adjustment. By the time I get to where I left off, I have refreshed my memory of the story so far, the plot so far, the characters and characterization so far, and I can simply start writing from that point.
Think of it this way: in baseball, a pitcher does not simply walk out to the mound and start pitching. Instead, he warms up in the bullpen, gradually bringing his arm up to speed. He works on his pitches. Fastball, slider, curve, whatever. Minutes later, when he has assumed command of his pitching, then he goes to the mound to pitch.
That’s what I do when I read over what I’ve written on a piece before I write more. In effect, I warm up. I recommend it.
City in the Ice:
A new Lovecraftian anthology is now open! It’s called City in the Ice. It’s inspired by work by Edgar Allan Poe, William Clark Russell, and of course H. P. Lovecraft. Think “At the Mountains of Madness” and “The White Ship.” Please do read and heed the guidelines! They are posted on our site, in the Guidelines option.
Reviews of three of our publications have been posted.
The Salt Man by Keith Rogers Gordon, has been reviewed by Eamonn Murphy of sfcrowsnest, and it can be found here: http://sfcrowsnest.info/the-salt-man-by-keith-rogers-gordon-ebook-review/
Tommy Hancock of the illustrious publisher of pulp fiction and of the Bombay Sapphire series, has gifted us with his review of The Idolaters of Cthulhu, edited by H. David Blalock. That review is here: https://bookinthebag.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/book-review-the-idolaters-of-cthulhu-edited-by-h-david-blalock/
JD DeHart has reviewed my poetry collection, “A Danger to Self and Others,” and has posted it at http://dehartreadingandlitresources.blogspot.com/2…
A word of caution: I don’t know how long these postings will remain in place, so I’d recommend going to read them asap.
The Alban Lake Publishing Catalog: Yes, you read that right. We now have a catalog of our publications available. It’s free; it’s on a pdf format. It’s updated every three months. It contains a couple of indexes—by title, by author. Each title contains a write-up and a specific ordering link, which works when you click on it in the pdf. We’ve already begun to distribute this via e-mail, as an attachment. If you would like a copy of this catalog, please e-mail us at albanlake at yahoo dot com.
The 10th Great Lake Drabble Contest:
We’re still open. We’ve extended the contest another month. The guidelines are posted in our Guidelines option on the tool bar on the main page. The theme is Shapeshifter Brothel. Have fun!
Special Store Sale
We’re in the process of phasing out all back copies of Aoife’s Kiss [sf/f, some h] and Beyond Centauri [sf/f for younger readers]. All issues are now $1.00 each in our store, plus a modest S&H. You’ll have to browse for them. This sale will last until copies are exhausted, or until 31 January 2018. It’s good sf/f for experienced readers and for younger ones.
Special Clearance Sale
Instead of browsing through the store for Aoife’s Kiss or Beyond Centauri, we have a special offer: 10 different issues of either magazine, at random, for $9.00 plus $6.00 S&H [which would be pretty much the actual shipping. To take advantage of this offer, please contact Karen Otto at evilbookworm at yahoo dot com, or myself at albanlake at yahoo dot com. Supplies are limited. No, seriously, they are.
A note regarding Spaceports & Spidersilk:
At Alban Lake we assume that those of you who have children would like them to read science fiction and fantasy now and then. The problem—as you might see it—is that there is scarcely any material for readers of ages, say, 6 through 96. And you’re right—such material is rare. But Alban Lake publishes several kid-safe pieces just for younger readers. FrostFire Worlds comes out quarterly. In our store you’ll find coloring books, novellas, novels . . . In addition, Nomadic Delirium Press, another excellent small indie, publishes a quarterly eBook magazine called Spaceports & Spidersilk that also has kid-safe sf/f. Here’s the link: http://nomadicdeliriumpress.com/spaceports.htm/ Try it out. Each recent issue is $1.00, as are most of the back issues, so order a few downloads. That number once again is: nomadicdeliriumpress.com/spaceports.htm
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.
As we mentioned earlier, Ecotastrophe II, edited by J Alan Erwine, is now out and available from Nomadic Delirium Press! Great stories in it, including two of mine! Woo hoo! Love the cover! Oh, and here’s the link: http://www.nomadicdeliriumpress.com/ecotastropheii.htm
Some Odds & Ends
FrostFire Worlds, under the direction of Karen Otto, is looking into the idea of presenting what might be called “samplers.” As the process has just begun, we’re still a little sketchy on firm details. However, I can tell you that we’re putting a collection together of some of Debby Feo’s work—including, but not limited to, interstitial stories based on her historical vampire series for younger readers. The events of these stories fall between the five novels—i.e., what happened in the interims. Also included are other stories, and a few poems. We are also working on samplers of two other writers, and hope to add more. Each sampler will be released through the auspices of FrostFire Worlds—sort of a reading companion, if you will. More details later.
We’re looking into bookmarks, featuring our cover art. We should have more details next month.
We now have an eBay store. Look for albanlake.
We’re going to run a few contests this year. This is still in the planning stage. At the moment, however, we do want to run a contest for stories, with the theme and the resultant anthology titled “Sounds of the Night.” Barking dogs, ghostly chains clanking, maybe an ecstatic moan or two, and whatever else you can think of. Original stories only. We’ll post guidelines next month, but you can oil up your keyboards now.
So…more on developments as they, er, develop.
At the time of this posting, a couple of the new titles are not yet listed in our store. They should be listed presently, and when they are, we will post the ordering links immediately. We apologize for any inconvenience.
OUTPOSTS OF BEYOND #19, JANUARY 2018
Starting the year off! “The Library of Ice” by Mike Morgan will gather you in, and Maureen Bowden’s “Savant” will keep you there. Also included are book reviews by Eamonn Murphy and Jim Lee, plus a bit of off-beat laboratory SF—“I Do Have Half of an Octopus, I Believe It Is” by Tim McDaniel. All in all it’s kick-off time.
ONLY THE LONELY, Tyree Campbell, ed.
Loneliness is both an emotion and a condition. It can last for a few moments, or for a lifetime. Either way, it leads to a theme that we explore in this anthology. All the main characters you will meet in here experience loneliness in one form or another. And do not mistake loneliness for a solitary condition. A person can be lonely in a crowd if he or she is or feels different from the others.
Someone can also choose to be alone, for a variety of reasons. And sometimes solitude is thrust upon an individual. How they cope, or fail to cope . . . well, that’s what this anthology is all about.
Featuring stories by Teri Santitoro, Christa Carmen, Jay Caselberg, Lisa Timpf, Brianna Fenty, and Tyree Campbell, and delicately seasoned with a few themed poems, this is one anthology you don’t want to miss.
ILLUMEN #30, WINTER 2018
“Ching Shih’s Pirate Ship Descends into a Maelstrom” by Kendall Evans is the featured epic poem. There are also articles by Jennifer Crow—“Told Around the Fire”—and Evans—The Difference between Poetry and Prose. Interior illustrations by Sandy DeLuca and Fariel Shafee. And as always, voices familiar and new. What’s not to like? You’re not afraid of a little poetry . . . are you?
THE GIRL ON THE DUMP by Tyree Campbell
She’s an amnesiac young woman who looks like a princess, but with a dark side to her. He’s a mage and a former tutor, defrocked because of a relationship with a student. He seeks atonement; she seeks herself. And a murderous black mage is seeking both of them.
Yup, it’s a novella. It’ll take an evening or two to read it. It’ll stay with you for a lifetime.
PYRA AND THE TEKTITES: THE UNICORN STONE by Tyree Campbell
Pyra is back! And in trouble as always. She continues to elude the pirates, but can she and her new friend, Chlorine Collingsworth, avoid being recaptured by Ichthia and sold to the highest bidder? Can Flanagan negotiate his way to freedom by delivering a Unicorn Stone to the Tektites? And what of the morrikaru, the creatures that live in the ocean under the surface of Europa?
Pyra acquires skills she could never learn in school—such as piloting a shuttle in space, and how to identify minerals. But these skills also get her into more trouble, such as when she accidentally steals the shuttle. Oops.
This one is for readers ages 8 to 88.
DISTURBED DIGEST #19, DECEMBER 2017
Dark fiction abounds in this year’s last issue. Dark, but not bloody—we don’t do gore, remember? This issue features “Her” by Nohan Meza; “Alger’s Dimension” by Mandie Hines; “Fighter and the Phantom” by Jason Lairamore; “Flightless Bird” by Beverly A. Black, plus lots more! Come and get it!
THE MAD VISIONS OF AL-HAZRED, H. DAVID BLALOCK, ED.
The best-known bit of the Cthulhu Mythos, besides the name of the Old God itself, is a book supposedly penned by a mad Arab of the 8th Century, detailing the truth behind the Old Gods and how to deal with them, good or ill. Titled Kitab al-Azif by its author, the book became better known by its modern name The Necronomicon.
In this volume, we look at that author, known to us by the name Abdul al-Hazred. In these stories, based on Lovecraft’s mythos, we explore the facets of who he really was, his real name, his calling, and his eventual doom. We also discover how the entities spoken of in the al-Azif continue to exist and exert their onerous hold on humanity’s consciousness.
DRABBLE HARVEST #9
The theme for this one is Adventures in Plumbing. Sound familiar? Wait till you read what the writers came up with!
SPECIAL DRABBLE HARVEST #1
What stories do beings on other worlds tell their children? Find out in our Special Drabble Harvest #1, where the theme is “Alien Bedtime Stories.” In your face, Grimm Bros!
MONARCH OF LIGHTNING BY DANITH MCPHERSON
Clan conflicts drive a novel of broken alliances, assassination, tales of a secret place told to a little girl, a desperate flight to find safety, and the descendants of renegade Earth scientists marooned on a storm-ravaged planet as volatile as its politics.
Her husband murdered, the pregnant Janvian seeks refuge in the Wilde. The power-mad mystic, Sage, has driven her there, in order that the lightning-charged air will turn her baby into a mystic and, eventually, a hereditary monarch. Sage plans to kill her and take the baby to raise for his own purposes. Janvian, who has temporarily abdicated her position as monarch, must reclaim her position within a year, or lose it forever. And her only hope for assistance lies with the Mirage Clan—which might not even exist!
A DANGER TO SELF AND OTHERS BY TYREE CAMPBELL
What is the difference between ordinary poetry and science fiction poetry? The answer to this question can be found in Tyree Campbell’s poetry collection, A Danger to Self and Others. Science fiction poetry, when it’s serious, has the entire cosmos to consider. And when it’s playful, it has the entire universe to play with. On the serious side, take a look at Campbell’s poem “Evolution,” which opens the collection. Or you want playful? Read his poem titled “How the Solar System Really Lost its Tenth Planet,” or “Garden Party.” And did I mention it has dragons? – from the Introduction by Kendall Evans.
INTO DARKNESS PEERING, TYREE CAMPBELL, ED.
The title comes from a line in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” Stories include “Resurrection Casserole” by Sarina Dorie; “Madame Astrofiammante’s Curiosity Shop” by Richard H. Durisen; “The Sound of Wood Burning” by Kendall Evans. Also featured are Bruce Boston, G. O. Clark, Jennifer Crow, Russell Hemmell, and many more. Should be read on 1 November 2017 for best effect…
THE BRIGSTOWE DRAGONS –DRAGON EGGS BY EAMONN MURPHY
In old Brigstowe, capital of Wessex, King Tobrytan has fallen under the influence of the evil sorcerer Kemshah and no one is safe. Rich and poor alike suffer heavy taxation and anyone who protests is a traitor. The dragons who protect the city are helpless because Kemshah has stolen their eggs and they dare not defy him.
Kenric is a telepath who works in the dragon caves. His father Alden, once a friend of the king, has been arrested on trumped up charges of treason and will be executed in three days. The young Kenric must somehow save his father and free Brigstowe from the tyrant’s yoke. His only hope lies with a band of outlaws and a stranger from a strange land.
NEO-MECHA MAYHEM BY PRIYA SRIDHAR
When a serial killer murders his own daughter, Corsair Heir Neil is determined to find the girl’s twin sister before she suffers the same fate. To do so, he must enter Neo-Mecca, an American military base disguised as a Japanese city of the future, and warn teenage Kaori before her father kills her. He finds himself unable to tell Kaori, however, wracked with guilt and trauma. Kaori, kind and oblivious, refuses to believe she’s in danger. Corsairs steal possessions and people to protect them from harm, but Neil is new to the Heir job with his elder brother murdered in the line of duty. He doesn’t want to steal anyone. Things only get worse, however, when Neil’s sister Nia barges in, determined to keep Neil safe by any means possible and to keep Kaori in the dark. The future has never looked more glittery, or deadly.
Neo-Mecca Mayhem is a cyberpunk dystopia adventure inspired by film director Satoshi Kon.
Here’s where you get a copy: http://store.albanlake.com/product/neo-mecha-mayhem/
CAN YOU SEE ME BY M. R. WILLIAMSON
After falling ill from a fever, Susan’s parents put her in their car to go to the doctor. Along the way, a blowout causes the car to crash, killing the parents, who are unaware that their daughter had already died back at the house.
Every morning after the accident, Susan awakens in her upstairs bedroom to await the return of her parents. Time passes, and the house gains a spooky reputation that makes it almost impossible to sell. Prospective clients have been unable to cope with the mysterious goings-on . . . until now.
Find out what happens: http://store.albanlake.com/product/can-you-see-me/
JOURNEY TO TALAZIA BY SANDY DELUCA
Alicia is familiar with the supernatural. A ghost girl named Glenda, is her best friend. And she was raised by her enigmatic grandmother, Antonietta. The woman taught her magic—instructing her to keep Aloe and Foxglove tucked in her socks, Devil’s Bit in a locket—to utilize powerful spells when in danger.
When Alicia’s grandmother dies, she journeys to Antonietta’s second home on Talbot’s Bay—a mysterious city. By chance, she meets Mrs. Davini, an odd old woman who communicates with cats, and tells fortunes. The lady introduces Alicia to Bernard Danser, a numinous person who draws her into the realm of The Mysticals and a bizarre world—Talazia—a place that craves her magic.
Will Antonietta’s olden spells set Alicia free from darkness? Or will become a prisoner within an alternate world–forever?
SARROW BY TYREE CAMPBELL
The long-awaited companion story to Cloudburst is finally here!
The oceans have evaporated as the Earth warmed. It is a time of desolation as the remnants of humanity live in small settlements scattered on what once was the ocean floor. Men are paramount, women are breeders. People do what they can to get by.
One breeder dares to say “No!” to all this: Sarrow. Refusing to breed, and more skilled and resourceful than most men, she sets off to seek her identity and her destiny. Along the way she encounters Karthan, a kindred spirit. Like her, he searches for himself. They are equals.
But the elements conspire against them: earthquakes, salt storms, volcanos, flash floods. And there are raiding parties who seek to capture and sell slaves. Where are Sarrow and Karthan to go?
Up, says Sarrow. I believe in you, says Karthan. Thus the perilous journey back to the land begins.
And we expect to be adding more each month.
Sisterhood of the Blood Moon by Terrie Leigh Relf. In this science fiction/fantasy novel, Miri sees a past she doesn’t recognize and a future she might, if she could just make sense of the present. And “The Offering” isn’t helping…yet. January 2018
Galaxy Jump by S. E. Shellcliffe. You got a kid named Sylvia and some critters known as the duckbutts, and an accidental space-time rift. What could go wrong? Planning on mid-January.
Time Off by John Shoberg. A science fiction novel with all the good stuff: conspiracy, crime, bad guys, a plot [always a critical item], and a quality of writing that takes you right into each scene. Looking at February 2018.
Come Dream with Me by Sandy DeLuca. A collection of the artist’s work, including side notes about each piece. Looking at March 2018.
Candle and Pins by Jacqueline West. The subtitle is Poems on Superstitions. Be sure to carry some salt with you to throw over your shoulders at the black cat. And mind those ladders! February or March 2018.
The Brigstowe Dragons 2: Return of the Black Magician, by Eamonn Murphy. Hey, it’s dragons. What’s not to like? April 2018.
The Comfort of Screams by G. O. Clark. Poetry from a master of the unusual, the perspective not taken. March or April 2018.
The Fantabulous Adventures of Ella and Pemingo by J. Jardine, It’s a fantasy tale for younger readers, with lots of color illustrations. No date set yet, but we’re looking at April 2018.
At the present time we publish six print magazines. Five 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.
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 February, if not sooner.