Defending The Future is a long-running, award-winning series of military/science fiction, comprised of six volumes. I’ve been fortunate to have contributed stories to all but one volume, with special thanks to series editors Mike McPhail and Danielle Ackley-McPhail whose confidence in me allowed me the opportunity to take a crack at writing this kind of s/f. It’s a challenging genre to write, demanding of meticulous research, and I’ve turned in at least one or two “weird” stories along the way when ideas led me to strange places. Mike and Dani accepted them along with the more conventional ones, much to my great excitement. Editors aren’t always able to allow their writers that kind of freedom. For authors, it’s invaluable because it opens up opportunities to flex different writing muscles, explore new ideas, and play with genre conventions.
I’ve seen plenty of sci-fi movies that fit into this genre, with Aliens, Enemy Mine, and Starship Troopers springing to mind. But my inspiration for writing these stories lay firmly with the works of Joe Haldeman, Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, Fred Saberhagen, and the other s/f masters I read growing up, with perhaps a dash of DC Comics’ Weird War Tales thrown in (especially for my contribution to Dogs of War). So it strikes me as a great honor that my story, “Mother of Peace,” originally published in DFT3: By Other Means has been selected for the recently published The Best of Defending the Future. The stories, chosen based on reader reaction and requests, individual reviews, and editorial judgement include a fantastic cross-section from the series and work by some of the best military/sf writers working today. More information and the full list of table of contents can be found here. The Best of Defending the Future is also available on Amazon.
Earlier this year, Mark Parker, publisher at Scarlet Galleon Publications, kindly asked me to send him a story to consider for his Dark Hallows II anthology, a follow-up collection of dark Halloween stories to last year’s Dark Hallows. After mulling it over for a few days, I sent Mark a quick pitch for a story about sex, betrayal, and horror inspired in part by the classic E.C. Comics horror stories and then set out to write it, finding in it some grim and twisted turns I hadn’t even anticipated. It’s a trip into a weird, Halloween-inflected world, a story about a love triangle, about ritual and riches, love and betrayal, the conflict between rich and poor, and the sacrifices people make (or force others to) to preserve their way of life. It’s called “The Many Hands Inside in the Mountain,” and you can read it in Dark Hallows II, along with tales from Lisa Morton, Richard Chizmar, Ronald Malfi, Annie Neugebauer, Brian Moreland, and many other terrific writers. Now on sale at Amazon.com.
Due out at the end of November, Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe! Here’s the final cover design. Created by Jeff Rice, Kolchak the Night Stalker sprang to national attention when Darren McGavin brought the character to life for a TV movie, The Night Stalker, in 1972, produced by Dan Curtis, directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, and written by Richard Matheson. It became the highest-rated television movie ever at the time. A sequel, The Night Strangler, followed, created by the same team, and then Kolchak moved into a regular TV series, which lasted a single season in 1974. The character’s enduring appeal and ground-breaking stories inspired The X-Files and many other supernatural investigator characters and stories. Today, with the full run of the show available on Netflix, he is more popular than ever.
Written by James Chambers. Art by Luis Czerniawski, Felipe Kroll, and Jim Fern. Cover by E.M. Gist.
From tell-tale hearts and premature burials to black cats and the Red Death, reporter Carl Kolchak grapples with deepening horror and madness as events from Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of mystery and imagination come to life in modern-day Baltimore. Kolchak teams with a street magician who performs tricks and escapes inspired by Poe to expose the supernatural power bringing the author’s deadly visions to life and solve a series of terrifying occurrences, disappearances, and murders.