Monday, October 26, 2015

Ecotones Anthology: Cover Art

As the Ecotones Anthology gears up for its November Kickstarter, the project is now revealing its quite stunning full cover:

Also note that the anthology has a Twitter account, which you can follow for updates, @Ecotones_Ebook. Please do so!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Poem published in Grievous Angel

This week I'm thrilled to have a new poem of mine in Grievous Angel, "A Poem Sent Back Across Time-Space (a Ghazal)." As the editor mentions, the ghazal is a poetic form with a long tradition, though not a very prominent one in the English language. When I was writing this, I found a number of different approaches to adapting the form for English, so this mixes and matches some of those, and I did my best to keep it true to the spirit of how the form has been used in other languages.


One thing you'll note, if you're well versed in the form, is that it does not incorporate my name into the final couplet, as tradition would have it. ...Or does it? You may have to go to a name origins resource to see it. Whether that's worth the bother or not, give the poem itself a read and check out the other poem it shares a page with, "Eye-Witness, the Bronx" by Simon Williams.

Any day is made better by reading a good poem.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's new reader week for Spire City!

Are you new to Spire City? Maybe you've followed me here from the Wyrm's Gauntlet forums. Or from my guest post on the BTSE blog later this week. Or who knows what other twisting path you took to get here to these brambles.

Or maybe you've been vaguely aware of Spire City for a while but haven't quite gotten around to joining in.

Either way, this is a great week for you! For the next week, if you subscribe to Season Two: Pursued at the regular price of $8 US, I'll send you Season One completely free. Get a chance to catch up, and then you'll be able to stay right with us as the season two episodes are released. Episode 2, "Williver's Mistake," has just been released yesterday, so you still have time to join us.

Check out the Spire City tab if you want to know more about the series and how it works. Or simply subscribe now.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Final hours to get the reduced price on a Spire City subscription

Only a few hours remain to get your release-week price of $5 US on a subscription. You're not too late by any means to enjoy the story—I've processed a couple more in the past few days—so you can easily read episode 1 and be caught up by the time episode 2 comes out tomorrow. I've you've been wondering, wavering, considering, though, then sign up now before the price goes back up to normal!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Stormdancer Review

Someone who'd been part of Musa back in the day was asking around for reviewers for this new release, Stormdancer by Joshua Pantalleresco. It's narrative poetry, a science fictional story told all in verse. That sounded unique enough to pique my interest, so I said sure.

At the outset, let me say that I haven't read a lot of long poetry of this sort, except for older works that I read back in college. I love poetry, but I tend to prefer the shorter varieties, and works that emphasis rhythm and sound and elusive meanings more than straightforward narrative. So this was something new for me, a chance to dip into a different storytelling style.

Stormdancer begins with one narrator telling about something new that has begun and the small group of people he feels some sort of protective sense for: "this isn't just my story anymore / walking back to my own, I grow nervous / will they like the world I created?"

After two brief sections with him that ends with his disappearance, the poem switches to a new narrator. Kristen is one of that small group he'd gathered, and she now tells her story of chasing after the original narrator, trying to find where he's gone and rescue him if need be.

The journey, and the world itself, is full of mystery. There are science-fictional details in the background, while the more immediate details have a stronger fantasy feel. Bipedal dragons rule this world and keep most humans in complacent slavery. The original narrator, apparently, had set this group of three free from the dragons, so they are newly aware of things they never noticed before and see their own world with a mixture of fear and naiveté.

And so this is ultimately a story of coming of age. Kristen learns her own strength, now that she can't rely only on her liberator. The group learns how to take charge and how to work together, with the first narrator's absence always weighing on their actions. Each of them has strengths and abilities that no one guessed when the story first began.

The story reads quickly and smoothly. As poetry, it doesn't have a lot of the pyrotechnics I most enjoy...and yet it creates its own strengths through its free verse rhythm. The narrators, especially Kristen once she's our focus, evoke the sense of wonder and fear and desperation that they feel in this new-to-them world. It is a poetry, I suspect, that even readers who usually dislike poetry would enjoy. The line breaks and quick action only serve to propel the story along, not slow a disliking-poetry reader down.

If there's a complaint I have, I think it comes down to the fact that this is a sequel to an earlier work, The Watcher. Teasing out the clues in this work, I assume that work involved the initial narrator here breaking this group free from the dragons and setting them up for this new life. That history hangs over this story, leaving some of the details vague and some unexplained. I personally don't mind not knowing every such detail and enjoyed the chance to figure out what their background is. Even so, I think this could have done a better jump introducing readers to the people and the world, giving us a stronger image of what's going on and what's at stake.

All told, this is a strong story of a desperate search for a missing figure of authority, with all the layers of Jungian depth that implies. Of people stepping out from both the stern control of the dragons and the parental control of the Watcher to their own strengths and abilities. As long-form poetry, I appreciate its attempt to do something less common, to create its world and its narrator's internal conflicts through a fluid and rhythmic poetry.





The Storm is here...

About Stormdancer:

Days after the events featured in The Watcher, the Watcher is taken hostage by a dragon, leaving Kristen, Will and Nicki alone in a strange new world. With no choice but to try and rescue their friend, Kristen and the others must travel through ancient cities, forgotten burial grounds, and eventually into the heart of the great storm.

Faced with the unknown, will they be able to traverse the storms that stand before them as well as ones within their own hearts?



Book Details:

Title: Stormdancer (Sequel to The Watcher)

Author Name:  Joshua Pantalleresco

Genre(s): Poetry, Sci-Fi, Dystopian

Tags: Poetry, Epic, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, science-fiction, dragons

Length: Approx. 104 pages

E-book:  978-0-9947490-4-8
Paperback:  978-0-9947490-3-1

Release Date: October 1, 2015

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing (http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/)

Appropriate for all ages from Young Adult to Adult.

Follow the Tour to Read Exclusive Excerpts, Guest Posts, and Reviews:

http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/blog-tour-schedule-stormdancer-sequel.html
Read an Excerpt:

STORMS WITHIN

he ran
disappearing into the night
leaving us all alone

we tried to follow him
but were unsure of the trees and trails
we went slowly

we knew something had happened
when we found his blades in the forest
blackened and alone

he had come
like a force of nature
wrecking our lives
in the name of freedom
freedom from what?

the hollow embers and ashes we found
I didn't build them
those ruins were his story
not mine
never mine

I...was happy
yeah, I was happy
is there something wrong with that?

my parents loved me
I didn't care about anything else

the dragons were bastards
but I understood the game
the moves that could be made

with one flick of a blade
he changed all that
shattered the illusion with a roar of rebellion

now my life is here
in this forest
now he had vanished into the night
leaving me abandoned

leaving everything in shambles!

Purchase Links:

Amazon
http://amzn.to/1jjBlnY

Mirror World Publishing
http://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/products/stormdancer-e-book

Meet the Author:

Joshua Pantalleresco writes stuff. It's even on his business card. This is a succinct way of saying that in addition to writing poetry, he also does interviews, columns, comics, prose and anything possible with the written word. When he isn't writing, he's playing with podcasts, filming stuff, fiddling with alternative medicine, travelling, talking to people and pretending he is a rockstar. Stormdancer is his second book through Mirror World Publishing. He lives in Calgary.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Ecotones Anthology!

Very excited to be in this forthcoming anthology, Ecotones. Check out that Table of Contents! I'm thrilled to be appearing alongside such great writers, and I'm very proud of the story I have in it as well, "Seeds From a Hurricane Torn." They've had some good success with their past anthos as well, with award nominations and at least one story that later became a novel, which will be coming out soon from Angry Robot Books. So stay tuned for the Kickstarter and (whether it meets its goal or not) for publication in December.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Season Two: Pursued


Season Two begins today!

It was almost a year ago when we were at this same point, except with Musa publishing Season Two and with three (long) weeks between every episode. Now...Musa is no more, and I'm the one behind the scenes* getting files ready and all that. By the end of this month, episode 4 will be out, and we'll be ready at last to move on to the episodes that never came out before.

So strap yourself in, subscribe if you haven't yet, and be ready for the higher stakes, deeper tragedy, and even greater resistance against Orgood and his supporters, who hold all the power. The infections continue to spread (some of my favorite characters first make appearances here, though of course Chels remains the central focus) and to claim victims (alas), and Orgood steps up his efforts to eliminate Spire City's downtrodden.

I have decided to keep the early bird special going for one more week, to celebrate the first episode's premiere. So check the Spire City tab for more info on how to subscribe.

***

*Not that I am the only one, by any means. Many thanks go to my editor Damien Walters Grintalis, who has continued as freelance editor after Musa's shutdown. Also to Kelly Shorten of KMD Web Designs for the excellent cover art. And to Dianna L. Gunn, who is continuing the wonderful work she did for me with Musa to help with promotions.