The market roundup and Novella plans

My head is spinning from all the stories zipping in and out. My computer feels like a literary transit lounge.

So here’s the latest lowdown on stories that have returned to their master…

Kraken came back today, knocked back after the second round of readings at ASIM. I took most of the reader comments with good grace (i.e. the implausability of such a large monster etc.), however, two comment’s stuck in my craw. The first was my use of the word crustacean. Sure, I am aware giant squid belong to the mollusc family, in the cephalopod family (sheesh! I DID do SOME research), however, I threw the word ‘crustacean’ in as artistic licence in describing it’s armoured shell. Geez, talk about getting pedantic. Anyhoo, my Kraken ISNT A GIANT SQUID. It’s a hybrid squid/crab monster. As one VERY astute reader commented – ‘The kraken appears to turn into a crab halfway through.’ Sorry, lovie, that was the Kraken revealing its true, chimaera-like nature. *sigh*

The second comment has lingered with me. Someone decided to label my writing a ‘curate’s egg’ – bad with good parts. Given the fact I chose to write the story as a PULP ADVENTURE, I think perchance that some pulpy prejudice may have snuck in. But hey.

Now Kraken sits in virtual pergatory for awhile as I decide its fate – do I make those huge trims and resend it to Daikaiju? Do I try elsewhere? Not sure yet.

Okay, onto my favourite rant story – The Black Door. I received a very encouraging rejection from Flesh & Blood magazine, including: This is a decent tale, very well written…. So this cursed story continues to do the rounds. Now, I still insist it’s an excellent story, but it’s history now includes rejections from:

Fear of the Unknown anthology (not within their theme)

Ideomancer (supernatural horror tends to benefit from precise details. Huh?)

Dark Elation anthology (not quite right)

Darkness Rising anthology (not quite what they’re looking for)

Encounters anthology [CSFG] (shows promise, not quite what they want)

Flesh & Blood (almost – felt ‘incomplete’)

The last comment from F&B has made me pause for consideration. Indeed, the story does finish with a resolution of sorts, but leaves a ponderous question unanswered. In the back of my mind, I considered The Black Door the nucleus for a demented, Alice in Wonderland type novella, when I wrote it. Perhaps that shows through. Either way, I will submit it elsewhere (somewhere?), but the seed of the novella idea lingers.

In fact, I have tentative plans to expand The Black Door into Beyond the Black Door as just one potential novella. Others include Firewall v1.1, Firewall v2.0 & Technomancer (latter two forthcoming) into a novella entitled Firewall. I also have tentative plans for a See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil trilogy, as well as a series based around my Dark Fleet mythos (originally an idea for a role-playing game setting), starting with the grim Achilles Forsaken. Other titles in the series may include (but are not limited to) Prometheus Untamed and Hades Unleashed.

Some very cool plans that should be lotsa fun. Just have to get Harbinger over the final few hurdles first.