I remember having my first TV
crush when I was 10. It was 1983, and a new show called Automan hit the air. The show followed the adventures of a police
officer and computer programmer who had created an artificially intelligent
crime fighting program that generated a hologram (“Automan”) which could leave
the computer world at night and fight crime.
I was in love: with the concept,
the plot, the futuristic sf/superhero world the show created, and, of course,
with Automan himself, Chuck Wagner.
As these were the days before we
had a VCR, it was appointment viewing in my household, at my insistence. I
remember taking a two-minute shower once because my mother wouldn’t let me
watch it until I’d showered. I think I showed up in the living room in a towel,
but I didn’t miss a minute of the show.
Unfortunately, my relationship
with Automan was short-lived. The
show only lasted 12 episodes.
That was 35 years ago. And I still
Those fantastic detectives really
stick with you.
And while none can ever compare with your first love, there are plenty more fantastic detectives in the world of fiction. And Dean Wesley Smith has curated a Storybundle full of them.
Now that the holiday
season is over, it’s time to start planning ahead for the New Year. But first,
I have some new releases I wanted to be sure didn’t get lost in the
Associate Publisher Gwyneth Gibby briefly mentioned our latest volume of Fiction River in her fantastic end-of-year recap last week, but it’s time to shine a spotlight on that incredible volume.
I’ve recently had to make some very hard choices of my own, so I can empathize with some of the situations faced by the protagonists in Hard Choices, edited by Dean Wesley Smith.
Here’s the synopsis:
this latest volume of Fiction River,
editor Dean Wesley Smith pulls together an eclectic but cohesive group of stories
filled with difficult decisions. From a man who must question the line between
justice and vengeance to a teenage fixer fighting hypocrisy to a
post-apocalyptic survivor’s mission to deliver one last message, each of these
stories demonstrates extremely hard choices—and some very real consequences.
Table of Contents “Equal Justice” by Annie Reed “Payback” by Tonya D. Price “Eric the Monkey” by Dan C. Duval “Prospecting” by Ron Collins “Toots” by Michael Kowal “The Devil’s Muse” by Laura Ware “Clean and Godly in Denmark” by Diana Deverell “Killshot” by Annie Reed “Four Hundred Yards” by Dale Hartley Emery “A Life with Meaning” by David Stier “Nightmare Scenario” by Chuck Heintzelman “Echo” by Leslie Clare Walker “Haunted” by Jamie Ferguson “Skinwalker” by Valerie Brook “Missiles of October” by Dan C. Duval “Girl with a Mission” by Dayle A. Dermatis “A New Day” by Kendall Heintzelman “They Taught Us Wrong” by M.L. Buchman “Tendrils” by Leigh Saunders “Little Byte and Big Pieces” by Valerie Brook
You can buy it here. Or subscribe here and let Fiction River show up in your inbox automatically and start the year off right.
But Hard Choices wasn’t the only magazine we
released in December. We also released Issue #4 of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine,
also edited by Dean Wesley Smith (we kept Dean busy, as you can see).
Here’s the Table of Contents: “Bigger Than the Monkey” by Robert Jeschonek “The Coyote Equation” by J. Steven York “THE Wereyam” by Kent Patterson “The Apple Tart of Eden” by M. L. Buchman “The Dead on Somerset Hill” by Chuck Heintzelman “Home” by Michael Kowal “Peace and Quiet” by Jerry Oltion “Word from on High: A Lucifer Jones Story” by Mike Resnick “For the Love of Killer” by Mary Jo Rabe “Earth Day” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch “Why” by O’Neil De Noux “Ornamental Animals” by Ray Vukcevich “Crossing Over the River” by Sabrina Chase “Graymatters” by David Stier “The Chicken Time Machine” by Valerie Brook “People Person” by Stephanie Writt “The Old Guy” by Annie Reed “Wishful Thinking: A Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Adventure” by Kevin J. Anderson
Click here to buy Issue #4 or here to subscribe to the magazine.
Now, those are some
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is
an award-winning writer, editor and designer.
It has been an exciting year for WMG Publishing, with Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith moving from the Oregon Coast to Las Vegas. Talk about a change of pace; the first thing Kris and Dean did after settling in to their new digs was to start running 5K and half marathon races. We here in Lincoln City were left playing Wile E. Coyote to their Road Runners. That’s kind of the way WMG always worked, but Dean and Kris have kicked everything into high gear.
In addition to publishing new fiction, nonfiction, and a new magazine, we almost doubled our revenue from book and magazine sales in 2018. Dean’s Cold Poker Gang series of eight novels, about retired Las Vegas detectives who play poker once a week and solve cold cases, proved to be a huge hit. The Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott, an open pen name for Kristine Kathryn Rusch, also saw a resurgence. The seven novels centering around an African American private detective, set in the explosive late 1960s, were rediscovered by readers who recognized how important and relevant the series is, now more than ever.
We published Searching for the Fleet in September, the latest in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s acclaimed Diving series. Two novellas excerpted from that novel were first published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine in 2018. Asimov’s editor, Sheila Williams, got so caught up in “Dix” she wrote, “I found I could barely breathe while reading our March/April cover story.”
Also in September, the author preferred edition of FantasyLife and Other Storiescame out. Having never been happy with the original publication of the novel FantasyLife, partly because the original publisher got the title wrong (!) Kris collected three of her stories set in the same locale, Anchor Bay in Seavy County, and created an omnibus.
Fan favorites Winston & Ruby got their own collection, too, with the publication of Familiarity. If you haven’t met them yet, Winston is a kind and quiet wizard possessed of small magic, and Ruby is his familiar, with a big mouth and even bigger heart. This collection is a great way to get to know them.
Meanwhile Dean launched a new magazine. Pulphouse Fiction Magazine saw its first full year of quarterly publication since its rebirth in January. The original Pulphouse from the 1980s and 1990s was known for its attitude, and Dean has lost none of his edge nor his taste for great fiction, no matter the genre.
Dean likened the launch to starting out on a rollercoaster ride, and hearing the click of the gears. “That’s what firing up this magazine again after twenty-one years has felt like. Pure excitement, anticipation, and terror, all mixed. Kinda fun, actually.”
Pulphouse continues to publish a combination of original stories and reprints of favorites from the past. So far the magazine has been a terrific success, and there is much more to come in 2019.
Fiction River: An Original Anthology Magazine started the year with Justice, edited by Kris, a collection of stunning stories that tackle the theme from some unexpected points of view. Kris writes in her Introduction: “What these stories have in common, besides their high quality, is a thread of righteousness that goes through them.”
Wishes, Rebecca Moesta’s volume of YA stories,appeared in the spring. As she says: “Each tale in this book shows teens struggling with issues like young love, self-acceptance, being on the wrong end of someone else’s wish, a handicap, being an outcast, making impossible-seeming choices, or feeling neglected. In each story someone makes a wish—usually with unexpected results.”
Wishes gives readers a refreshing interlude before diving into the third in our thriller series, Pulse Pounders: Countdown, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. Tangent Online called Countdown, “fast-paced and explosive…thrills and excitement.” Buckle your seatbelts, readers!
August saw the publication of a Fiction River Special Edition: Editor Saves, edited by Kris. She collected an entire volume of terrific stories that Fiction River editors wanted to see published, but couldn’t fit in any of the regular volumes. Kris, an award-winning editor, “worked her magic” as Dean says in his introduction, and from that diverse list of stories created this wonderful volume.
The year ended with Hard Choices, edited by Dean, chockfull of gripping stories about some of the toughest decisions human beings can face: to kill nor not to kill, to face the truth or hide, to fight and survive or surrender.
Fiction River also had a very successful Kickstarter campaign this year, raising more than twenty-five thousand dollars to fund the next two years of publication. Boy do we have loyal and generous readers and fans. We can’t thank you all enough, but we try.
In nonfiction we published a new title in the WMG Writer’s Guide series: Creating Your Author Brand, by Kris. The culmination of a lot of research, this book tackles the subject of branding specifically for authors trying to grow their readership and expand their book sales. No other branding book does this.
Because Kris and Dean moved to Las Vegas, the workshops that have been on the Oregon Coast have moved as well. The Business Master Class held its first Las Vegas gathering in October. Industry experts covered topics from book production and distribution, to long-term planning, intellectual property law, contracts, writing productivity, audiobooks, and overseas sales. Much fun was had by all including the zip-line down Fremont St. (And please forgive the salty language.)
The last Coastal Anthology Workshop happened in March, 2018. Hundreds of fabulous stories were read and discussed and bought for future publications, now including Pulphouse. In just a few months, March, 2019, writers and editors will gather for the same purpose in Las Vegas.
It’s Christmas Eve, and tonight I’ll be trying to marshal a very excited 8-year-old off to bed. But before I do, I wanted to bestow a Christmas gift to our readers.
I first learned about the Icelandic tradition called Jólabókaflóð last year, and this year I vowed to adopt my own version of it into our family tradition. So, I will be giving each member of my family a book, which they can unwrap Christmas Eve.
(Added bonus: Reading a book in bed is a good way to help my daughter drift off to sleep…)
As anyone reading this blog falls in the category of WMG family, I’d like to do the same for you. And Dean Wesley Smith has written the perfect book for this purpose.
The Christmas Gift is the second book in his Ghost of a Chance series, which is an offshoot of his fan-favorite Poker Boy series. Poker Boy and his team have saved the world countless times. The Ghost of a Chance Agency follows a similar charge. Superheroes and ghosts, all working for the greater good.
This past weekend, I took my daughter to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time, but not in a movie theater. Instead, I took her to see a radio play version of the story performed by our local theater group.
Now, I tend to avoid local theater for the most part. I was spoiled growing up in such close proximity to Broadway. I’ve seen more than a dozen Broadway shows on Broadway and even the smaller theaters in the area have high-caliber talent. So, my standards for quality theater are ridiculously high.
And Lincoln City is a very small town.
But Nola’s third-grade teacher was in the performance and Nola really wanted to see it. So, I bought us all tickets and we went.
And I’m so glad we did. It was delightful.
I’d never seen a radio play before, and, of course, Nola hadn’t. At first, she was confused. Why were there only microphones and chairs on the stage, she asked. But once she understood the concept, she thought it was great. So did I. It was fun to experience something from a different era. It even had a live band.
And I love that story. I’ve watched the movie I can’t count how many times. It always makes me cry at the end (as the radio play did today). George Bailey is such a selfless guy. Everyone rallying around him at the end to help him gets me every time.
George’s guardian angel makes me think of some of the mentors I’ve had in my life. Those who helped me see my value and worth in this world, even when I couldn’t see it.
Good mentors can make all the difference in a career. Which is why when Dean Wesley Smith told me he was going to offer a mentorship program for writers, I was thrilled.
You can read more about it here. But if you’re interested, act fast. There’s only one spot left.
Speaking of acting fast, if you’ve been procrastinating buying one or more of the WMG surprise gift boxes, Thursday at noon PST is the last moment you can order them. We have one for writers and one for the whole family. Each is valued at more than $250 but is an amazing holiday deal for $50. Buy one for yourself and give others as gifts. You can find out more and place an order here.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.