The View from the Lake
In this View . . .
New Managing Editor
Reviews: Idolaters of Cthulhu; FrostFire Worlds Feb 2017
The Alban Lake Publishing catalog
Drabble Contest Winners!
Sales Sales Sales!!!
Lovecraft anthology update
Lonely anthology update
Spaceports & Spidersilk
eBooks & eStories – special announcement
New Releases and Reminders
Outposts of Beyond
Hello, and welcome to the September 2017 View from the Lake from Alban Lake Publishing. Let’s get started.
First, and finally, there is a succession in the royal house. Karen Otto is assuming the mantle of Managing Editor, having survived several training ordeals, including a beheading that was called off at the last moment due to the fact that we couldn’t locate the axe man, and Jimmy Page wasn’t available. Karen is a published genre writer—a prerequisite for any position in Alban Lake Publishing—and has genre editorial experience. Her duties for now consist of editing Bloodbond and FrostFire Worlds; doing layout for same, including arranging for cover art and design; handling our Twitter account at @albanlake; setting up tables and selling books at various book fests and conventions [often with her husband Bill, whose specialty is RPG][that’s Role Playing Games, not Rocket Propelled Grenades].
Karen also brings some fresh blood to the organization, in that as a thirty-something she has a bit of a different perspective than, say, a balding septuagenarian with a game leg. Already she is developing several useful ideas for promotion. At her final sales exam at the Kansas Book Fest in Topeka this past weekend, she passed with flying colors and a slight sunburn. She likes to color her hair—I kid her that her sapphire roots are starting to show—and I believe I’ve seen her with black lipstick, although it may have been just a targeting problem with the licorice.
Welcome aboard, Karen.
As for me, I’m moving up to Editor-in-Chief. This is primarily a gratuitous position designed to allow me to work on my shell and mineral displays. I’ll still have the ultimate final say-so when necessary, but as I’ve only had to invoke that about half a dozen times in sixteen years, I think I’ll be able to cope with the stress. Actually, I still have four publications to edit, plus editing the novels, novellas, and collections, so I’ll be around here and there…and doing more writing, and attending a few conventions now and then.
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
Reviews of two of our publications have been posted. 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/
Eamonn Murphy, reviewer for sfcrowsnest, has posted a review of the February 2017 FrostFire Worlds, and it can be found here: http://sfcrowsnest.org.uk/frostfire-worlds-edited-by-tyree-campbell-book-review/
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 9th Great Lake Drabble Contest Winners:
The theme: Adventures in Plumbing
First Place: Every Galaxy Needs a Journeyman by Francis W. Alexander
Second Place: How the War Between Terra and Haikan Began by Steven Wittenberg Gordon
Honorable Mentions: Marcia A. Borell, Lauren McBride, John Reinhart
Special Drabble Contest Theme: Alien Bedtime Stories
First Place: Creation, Starting with the Void by John Reinhart
Second Place: The Reef of No Return by Steven Wittenberg Gordon
Honorable Mentions: Marcia A. Borell, Francis W. Alexander
Publication: Drabble Harvest #9 and the Special Issue of Drabble Harvest will be released on 1 October, with contribs mailed out about ten days later.
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 on a date to be determined. 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.
The Mad Visions of al-Hazred Update
It looks like we have everything to begin—cover art, stories, contrib addresses—so we’ll get started. There’s a chance we could get this out on 1 October; otherwise, 1 November. Stay tuned.
Only the Lonely
We’re still looking for a few more stories that deal in some way with loneliness or solitude. Science fiction or fantasy please; dark material is okay, but not horror. If you have something, send it to me at albanlake at yahoo dot com. RTF attachments, please. 3K-9K word count.
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.
DISTURBED DIGEST #18, SEPTEMBER 2017
Another stellar lineup of disturbing stories, including “Beware the Ravens” by Sandy DeLuca; A. C. Spahn’s “Refuge;” and Jill Hand’s “Nor Yet a Foreign Skipper.” If you like your dark fiction to be spooky, this publication will raise the hair on the back of your neck. Just check out the cover, and you’ll see what I mean.
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.
FROSTFIRE WORLDS #17, AUGUST 2017
Starting our fifth year, with Karen Otto at the helm. For your reading pleasure she has selected, among other pieces, Dawn Vogel’s “Bringing Light to the World,” “The Fox and the Troll” by Joey Willis, and “The New Math” by Thomas Canfield. Debby Feo is the featured poet. Guy Belleranti’s “The Thing in My Closet” will make night-lights de rigueur. Here’s where you go to get a copy:
SCIFAIKUEST #57, AUGUST 2017
Celebrating our 14th year! The Featured Poet is Joshua Gage. There’s art and haiga [haiga combines art with haiku]; there are reviews of L.A. Story’s novels, “Criers” and “The Gifted.” And there’s “The Scifaiku Suite,” an article by Herb Kauderer. This ish is definitely a gottahavit! Here’s where you get it: http://store.albanlake.com/product/scifaikuest-57/
TRYSTS OF FATE #8, AUGUST 2017
Ending its fourth and last year, Tryst of Fate nevertheless bows out with a great issue. Stories are as follows:
Blame It on the Trees by Vonnie Winslow Crist
Beneath the Atlantic by Sandy DeLuca
Rail by Kevin Singer
Un-A-Were by Kristi Bradley
But a Shadow by Ian DiFabio
Any one of these is worth the price of admission. Come get a copy—you can do that here: http://store.albanlake.com/product/trysts-of-fate-issue-8/
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, EPISODE 3: THE BABEL DEVICE BY TYREE CAMPBELL
She’s back, and hotter than ever. Nakushi, a woman of the streets who was empowered by Agni, the god of storms, to become Bombay Sapphire, now finds herself overwhelmed with tasks. Her friend have been taken prisoner by the demon Kazeem, who provides the muscle for the gang known as the Deccan Dholes. Nakushi’s sister, Savitra, wants her dead. A rural village is in danger of flooding, and a bridge is out, preventing a large truck from delivering supplies to the village. A house fire threatens to kill a little girl. Finally, Kallia, another demon working for the Dholes, has invented a device that will prevent Nakushi from becoming Bombay Sapphire.
The shadows of Kazeem and the Dholes continue to fall hard on Bombay Sapphire. She must find a way to defeat the demon, who cannot be killed. Even if she succeeds, will that be enough to save her friends and her sister?
Published by Pro Se Press, but you can get a copy from our bookstore. Just go here: http://store.albanlake.com/product/bombay-sapphire-episode-3-the-babel-device/
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.
Monarch of Lightning by Danith McPherson. Clan conflicts drive a fantasy 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. October.
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
Sylvia and the Duckbutts by S. E. Shellcliffe. You got duckbutts, kids, and an accidental space-time rift. What could go wrong? Planning on 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 January 2018.
Art by Sandy DeLuca. A collection of the artist’s work, including side notes about each piece. No release date set as yet.
A Danger to Self and Others by Tyree Campbell. His first, and probably last and only, poetry collection. Includes the 3rd place Rhysling from 2003, “Not One of Us.” Autumn.
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.
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 October, if not sooner.