All Worlds Wayfarer: Issue II

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Hey all! Normally I’d post a flash fiction or short story on the 4th monday of the month, but since the second issue of All Worlds Wayfarer launched today with 12 free-to-read short stories and flash fictions, why not check out these talented authors and fantastic stories, instead:

All Worlds Wayfarer: Issue II (Autumnal Equinox 2019)

All Worlds Wayfarer specializes in character-driven and theme-focused speculative fiction. My co-editor and I search for stories that not only whisk you away on adventure, but also stir your emotions and spark new ideas. We hope you enjoy them!

Introducing All Worlds Wayfarer Literary Magazine

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Submit your story for a chance at publication!

Launching today, All Worlds Wayfarer is a new literary magazine for speculative fiction focused on strong characters and themes. We pay writers and promote each published story. This magazine is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and I’m excited that my co-editor and I have finally made it happen! I hope you all will enjoy taking tours through the fantastic once our first issue launches this summer.

In the meantime, if you write fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or otherwise speculative short stories of any sort, I would love to read your work and consider it for inclusion.

Submission Guidelines

If you’re interested in reading our upcoming issues when they’re ready to share with the world, or if you’d rather submit to a later submissions call (we publish quarterly on every equinox and solstice), then sign up for the All Worlds Wayfarer newsletter and I’ll keep you updated.

Find Out More

Happy travels through whatever fictional destinations you choose to create or explore. 📚 ✨

Monday Blues: Sunless Skies

(“Monday” Blues: On every first Monday of the month, I’ll recommend a new world – a book, a game, a podcast, etc – to escape into. Or at least to look forward to after a hard day’s work.)

Sunless Skies

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A Game by Failbetter Games

What It Is: A gothic fantasy RPG that mixes rogue-like exploration with interactive fiction.

Why You Should Play It: Sunless Skies combines two seemingly disparate genres – survival-focused exploration and prose-based interactive fiction – into a cohesive whole. Much of the game is spent piloting a flying train through the stars, making careful use of resources to avoid starving to death or running out of fuel. There are locations to find with only vague directions, hostile rivals to shoot down, and crew members to manage. The rest of the game is spent navigating branching stories through a slick menu interface. In doing so, you make choices about how to make money, where your allegiances lie, and what just what sort of captain – and person – you are. The way these two separate modes affect each other ties them together.

The atmosphere accomplishes a similar aim, communicated equally well through the different elements: the narrative with its sparkling prose and strenuous choices; the aesthetics through the stars shining below and the lonely, #wonderdark soundtrack; the mechanics through the struggle to stay alive among the solitude and silence of space.

As someone who loves both story-driven games and those with complex, challenging mechanics, I’ve enjoyed sinking my teeth into this deep virtual world. I’d recommend it highly to others who love gothic, immerse games, or who love stories combined with strategy.

New Short Stories

It’s been an exciting day as a writer.

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It was announced today that The Puppet Beast, a dark fantasy short story, placed within the top three in the summer writing contest from Short Fiction Break magazine and The Write Practice. Check it out on Short Fiction Break.

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Another of my shorts – a scary microfiction story called Night Sentinel – was published today in 101words magazine. Give it a read online.

I’d love to know what you think about either of them.

(Also, apologies for the recent radio silence here. August has kept me busy. I’m aiming to sink back into the schedule in September.)

Paragon Preview

(Friday Updates: I’ll post updates from my projects every other Friday).

Well, school is over for the summer, but with over 5 books in various stages of (near) completion and 3 indie games in the works, I’ll be staying busy.

I’d like to share an excerpt from Paragon, a dark fantasy thriller and my favorite child longest standing novel project, for the first time.


CW: violence, blood, death

End of Summer

“Tell me, what is it like to die?” the woman hissed, so close that the man tasted the heat of her words. “I’ve always wondered.”

The man couldn’t breathe. Pain pulsed up through his spine and tied knots around his lungs. He lay on his stomach, wet grass cooling his dry tongue.

Every instinct told him to pull out the chakram embedded in his back, but he couldn’t. His body simply wouldn’t work anymore. The wound itself wasn’t particularly deep, but it burned. It burned like he’d been gouged by fire instead of a blade. It burned, and then it was cold. Cold like there was nothing left of his tingling skin at all. He shuddered, fresh blood trickling down his sides with each tiny movement.

Memories from the last few moments flickered in and out through black haze. Even as his fellow soldiers had fled, he hadn’t. He’d charged that woman – the one who’d sliced his brother nearly in half – out of anger. Blind, desperate, stupid anger.

Her circular blade had blocked his dagger. She’d stopped him, sent him stumbling, and thrown the chakram after him. His armor had already worn away through the hours of combat, and the weapon had buried itself into him without mercy.

What a childish mistake. A Lyrum should never confront a Human, not physically. He should have guarded his distance and relied on his Translation instead, if only the long struggle hadn’t exhausted his strength to summon it. He’d let his rage take hold of him. He was a fool.

The Human approached the Lyrum soldier, fallen leaves crunching beneath her boots and signaling the end of summer. Her paced movements belied the chaos of just minutes earlier. It seemed the conflict was nearing its end.

“I suppose it’s foolish to ask you about something so frightful as death when you don’t feel fear in the same way Humans do,” the soldier’s voice was as calm and dissonant as her body. “You’re lucky, really, even if that makes my job less satisfying.”

She yanked the weapon from his back, spurting blood splattering her stained armor.

The Lyrum snarled, “you’re the one who feels nothing! I don’t know what kind of soul you have that lets you do this, but it’s one that has much more to fear from death than mine.”

The Human laughed, “why would I be afraid when I have nothing to lose?”

Her boot slammed into his skull.

The Lyrum’s teeth clamped shut on his tongue with a screech.

“Tell me,” the Human ordered, “what are you and your kind after? This whole mess was futile from the start. Surely you’re at least intelligent enough to realize that. What were you trying to do?”

The Lyrum glowered up at her, the embers of his hatred smoldering in his eyes.

“Tell me!” she snarled. “Tell me, and I’ll end this quickly. Otherwise, I’ll hear you beg.” Her nostrils flared. “I know how to make you suffer.”

The Lyrum remained silent.

The Human’s fingers clenched around her chakram. “You -”

“Johanne, that’s enough!” a voice ordered from somewhere behind her. “There’s no need for this.”

A Human general strode towards them, a scowl on his face. The gold accents on his armor gave his title away, shimmering under an afternoon sun as beautiful as any other during the first days of autumn.

The woman didn’t look at him. “For creatures that live on instinct, Lyrum make so little sense. It should have fled with the others.” Her dull face lit up, “still, this gives us quite the opportunity.”

She rammed her heel into the Lyrum’s skull a second time, and he rewarded her with a series of sputtered coughs.

“Stop!” the general spat. “Shakaya Johanne, I order you to stop. It’s not going to talk. They never do.”

Shakaya hesitated, but her narrowed eyes never left the Lyrum.

The general’s face hardened, “have at least a little honor. Put the poor thing out of its misery and call it done. I believe it’s the last of them.”

The Lyrum stared at the mud, no longer able to move. It seemed he’d be heading out for Heaven early. He thought one last time of his family in Riksharre, assuring himself they’d be just fine without him. Just fine…

Shakaya glanced up at her general with the gaze of a scolded child. Something flickered behind her blue eyes – something cold – but it faded just as quickly. A smirk took its place, “with pleasure.”

The Lyrum smiled. The second squad should have arrived at the Academy by now. If his comrades succeeded…if they succeeded, then everything would be worth it. He might be a fool, but so were the Humans standing over him.

He closed his eyes. He never saw Shakaya raise the chakram a final time and slam it down where his head met his shoulders.


Thanks for reading. Feel free to chime in with thoughts or comments, or to share excerpts from your own projects in the comments for feedback.

If you’re interested in finding out what happens next, my email list will feature more updates and previews, and discounts when Paragon and my other projects find their way to release.