Links will not be blamed for nothing [links]

LinksWork on the Untitled Mad Science Novel continues apace, though not as quickly as I would like. I’m on chapter 5 now (17k words); when I get done with chapter 7, about 11k in verbiage from now, I’ll switch tracks and get to revising The Morpheist. I want to get that one in the hands of some beta readers–or possibly a freelance editor–before year’s end. For months after I finished the first draft, I was content to leave it in a dark folder on the hard drive, with only vague intentions to deal with its problems… but now it’s talking to me again. (A’course, the problem with this is that UMSN won’t shut up. I’m having a blast with it.)

My friend Bryan Thomas Schmidt has a Kickstarter going to fund a science fiction anthology titled Beyond the Stars, with some big headliner names attached. I like me some meat-and-potatoes SF sometimes, and this is all that with some tasty, tasty gravy, so I’m supporting it. Take a look, and consider doing so too!

If your world domination plan revolves around the use of remote-controlled cyborg cockroaches, the way mine does, this is some good news.

3D printers are proving to have many uses here, but they have even more uses–some critical and potentially revolutionary–in third world countries.

Here’s an article on cellulose nanocrystals, and their potential uses as Building Materials of the Future. The future will be weirder than you or I can imagine (and believe me, I’m pushing at it when I work on The Morpheist…).

Would you plug your brain into the Internet? Yes. Next question?

Finally, here’s some news that makes me fear for the safety of Canada’s borders: Canadian cheese-smuggling ring busted. The cheese cartels in Wisconsin and Minnesota will have their vengeance, I assure you.

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Photo: 3poD/Bigstock.com.

Maybe thaaaaaaangs will be better… in Chicago… [personal | pictures]

Chicago from Navy Pier

Last weekend Kristyn and I went to Chicago for our wedding anniversary. We had a good deal of fun, making it to a Blue Man Group performance, to the Museum of Science and Industry, and, (as you may be able to tell from the above photo), Navy Pier. I always like visiting Chicago, in spite of how pricey it sometimes seems.

This time around, we went via Amtrak–me for the first time. I understand that Amtrak pales compared to rail travel in other countries, but I rather liked it. It was maybe a little bit more expensive than driving (or less, given how much I would have been driving around during the weekend), but it was also a lot less stressful. Instead of watching the road all the time, I could plug in my phone and read or catch up on social media stuff. I didn’t get my junk scanned or fondled by the TSA, and could move about more easily than on an aircraft. (Wonder how long that’s gonna last…) I think that, whenever I need to travel within the U.S. (excluding Alaska and/or Hawaii) and I don’t have a pressing need to get there lickety split, trains are how I’m gonna go.

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Photo: Gary W. Olson.

Fading Light News Roundup Part Deux [fading light]

Fading LightIt’s been about two weeks now since Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous (which includes my short story “Goldilocks Zone”) dropped on readers like Godzilla on Tokyo, and it seems to be doing pretty well in sales so far. There was an issue with the manufacture of the print version of the books (e-books were not affected) due to some snafu by CreateSpace (the print was riddled with boxes with x’s in them). So if you got this print version via Amazon, you can either return it to Amazon for a refund, or return it to Amazon and get a corrected copy back. In addition, by way of apology (even though the fault was not on their end) Angelic Knight Press will gift you any two books from their library of titles (print or e-book).

There’s a giveaway of a couple of those (corrected) paperback copies going on over on Goodreads. Enter by October 1st for your chance to win one!

Reviews have been coming in for FL, by and large very positive. The Horror Fiction Review gave FL a very good review. Another good one popped up on Fantasy Book Critic. Plus more reader reviews have been coming in for the main volume and the companion on Amazon. Also, Goodreads.

Editor Tim Marquitz was interviewed by Lee Mather on his Livejournal about FL, his upcoming publications from Genius Book Publishing, what’s next in the Blood War trilogy, and more.

On Fantasy Book Review, contributor Gef Fox talks about where the idea for his story, “Where Coyotes Fear to Tread” came from. He also talks about the anthology in general on his own site.

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Fading Light cover by Jessy Lucero.

All we are are links in the wind [links]

LinksHappy Friday, folks. Hope those of you in the U.S. had a great Labor day weekend. I didn’t end up doing a whole lot, but managed to get in one more BBQ night, and saw a couple of movies. The Apparition was ‘meh,’ through and through, but The Possession was a pretty solid and gripping possession/exorcism chiller–not really groundbreaking in terms of plot, but well executed.

As far as writing goes, it’s been a bit slow. Well, not really, but instead of foraging ahead to new and exciting word counts, I’ve been revisiting past chapters of my Untitled Mad Science Novel and doing some large-scale revision, to bring events and characters and backstories in line with fixes I’ve come up with for things that weren’t working. Next week I should get to chug on along with new verbiage.

In the meantime, here are some random interesting links and things. (I’ve also got some Fading Light-specific stuff, but I’ll save that for a separate post.)

Here’s an article on some of the new ethical and political issues that are arising and will be arising from coming biotech advances. Biopolitics cuts across current ideological classifications, it turns out, and makes for some strange bedfellows. Interesting to me both on the face of it, and as a source for story ideas.

So, now people are making their own satellites to put into orbit. DIY science rocks.

IO9 reveals all you wanted to know about dinosaur cosplay in the 1930s. Because that was a thing then. Yes.

Driverless cars will be legal in California in a few years. The future, we are in you.

DMCA: An Author’s Best Friend. This links to a guide for writers on how to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to get bogus copies of books on pirate sites taken down.

Here’s a car that runs on compressed air. Not really the speed and range I’d need, but cool nonetheless.

Science has determined that gibbons on helium sing like opera stars. I can only imagine what that grant proposal must have read like.

Great SF authors share their biggest writing setbacks – and how they triumphed. This should be of interest to any writer, not just SF writers.

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Photo: 3poD/Bigstock.com.

Fading Light Release Day! [fading light]

Fading LightThe day, she has arrived! Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, edited by Tim Marquitz, published by Angelic Knight Press, and including my short story “Goldilocks Zone”, is now out and about for your reading pleasure!

Fading Light, for those just tuning in, is an anthology of thirty tales of monsters making their moves on the world of the living. The writing prompt was this:

“The light has failed: the era of man is at its end.

“Born of darkness, the creatures of myth, legend, and nightmare have long called the shadows home. Now, with the cruel touch of the sun fading into memory, they’ve returned to claim their rightful place amidst humanity: as its masters.”

From that came an impressive set of stories, diverse in style, tone, genre, and monstrous vision. I read the early review copy a few months ago, and was thrilled to be included with such talented writers and strong tales. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy them as well.

Fading Light is available today in print and for the Kindle from Amazon, and in a variety of e-book formats (.mobi, .pdf, .epub, etc.) from Smashwords. And don’t forget the 99-cent e-book only companion volume, collecting five more monstrous tales (again, from Amazon and Smashwords).

FL already has a couple of good reviews, right here and here.

While I’m here, let me just also throw in some links to additional FL publicity that’s come out in the past week:

The fourth multi-author interview was on the Fantasy Book Critic site: part one and part two.

Contributor Peter Welmerink wrote a guest blog for Fantasy Book Review on writing longform fiction vs. writing short stories.

Contributor Adam Millard wrote a guest blog for This Is Horror on reasons for reading at least one H.P. Lovecraft story.

Contributor Edward M. Erdelac wrote a guest blog for Fantasy Book Review hailing H.P. Lovecraft’s recently passed birthday.

Aaaand… that’s it for now, I think. Hope you enjoy reading the stories in Fading Light as much as the lot of us did writing them!

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Cover of Fading Light by Jessy Lucero.

Short Reviews: August 2012 [reviews]

Short ReviewsThe Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

What happens after the ‘happily ever after’? In the case of the Princess Danielle (aka Cinderella), it involves learning to live with getting what she thought she wanted… and rescuing her prince when he ends up being the one in jeopardy. Hines’ take on the fairy tale worlds of Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty mixes the darker nuances of the early versions of the tales with humor–not the ‘wokka wokka’ kind, but the more trenchant and wise kind that relies on fully-realized and nuanced characters and their observations and decisions. I enjoyed this first book in the ‘Princess Series,’ and look forward to the next.

Afterlife by Naomi Clark

Yasmin Stoker, a ghost tour guide who also happens to be a 600-year old wraith who feeds on the souls of revenants, sees a man get pulled into the netherworld by a ghost. Soon, she’s both investigating the incident and trying to deflect someone else in their investigation, while the complications pile up. Afterlife serves up a potent urban fantasy story that weaves plots and subplots without ever getting tangled up. P.I. Ethan Banning, a secondary character in this one, steals just about every scene he’s in. Shoregrave, the fictional setting of the novel, had a subtly dangerous feel that crept in and lingered.

Four in the Morning by Malon Edwards, Edward M. Erdelac, Lincoln Crisler, and Tim Marquitz

Four in the Morning is an unusual anthology, in that instead of collecting a lot of short stories, it is made up of four novellas, loosely based on different stages of life (youth, early adulthood, middle age, and old age). The genres and styles of these dark tales vary as well, from steampunk (“Half Dark” by Malon Edwards) to urban fantasy (“Gully Gods” by Edward M. Erdelac) to science fiction (“Queen” by Lincoln Crisler) to horror (“Cenotaph” by Tim Marquitz). I enjoyed all four offerings, though it took me a bit to warm up to “Gully Gods”. Malon Edwards’ “Half Dark” was my favorite of the quartet, though, by turns dark, strange, charming, and memorable–qualities I only sometimes find in steampunk stories.

The Noctuary by Greg Chapman

In The Noctuary, a dark fiction writer is given a tempting offer–the ability to make his words become reality, if he becomes a scribe for underworld creatures known as the Dark Muses. He can write things out of existence, and rewrite the tragic elements of his past… but at a price. This novella is the kind of horror that appeals to me most–the slippery, chaotic kind where the fear comes from seeing how thin and easily torn reality could be, and being forced to face what is left–if anything–when all that defines us to ourselves is stripped away. Which isn’t to say it’s not gruesome and bloody–it certainly is. It’s also a lot more than that, and worth a look for supernatural horror fans.

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Photo: silver-john/Bigstock.com.