Unnatural Worlds final cover for premiere of Fiction River anthologies

We’re pleased to announce the final cover for the premier of Fiction River, titled Unnatural Worlds. The first volume is fantasy, called Unnatural Worlds, and will be released around April 15. Here’s the list of contributors and their stories:

FR Unnatural Worlds ebook cover web Life Between Dreams by Devon Monk
Finally Family by Ray Vukcevich
The Grasshopper and My Aunts by Esther M. Friesner
True Calling by Irette Y. Patterson
A Taste of Joie De Vivre by Kellen Knowlan
Here, Kitty Kitty by Annie Reed
That Lost Riddle by Dean Wesley Smith
Shadow Side by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Sisters by Leah Cutter
The Witch’s House by Richard Bowes
Dog Boy Remembers by Jane Yolen
Barbarians by David Farland

 

The David Farland story is a very powerful Runelords prequel. All of the stories, though, are strong. We’re pleased to have them in the volume. If you want to preorder a copy in ebook or trade paper, you can do so here. If you want to subscribe, you can do so here. To see what else is happening at Fiction River, check out the website http://www.fictionriver.com

Picks of the Week

The Sacrifice ebook cover web

by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
$7.99 ebook, $18.99 Paperback and $21.95 audiobook.

We are excited to announce the release of a Paperback edition of The Sacrifice, the first novel in the epic Fey Series.

The Fey, known for their beauty and their warrior magic, have set their sights on Blue Isle. They should conquer the Isle quickly; its people, simple and religious, have never known war.

On the eve of the invasion, Jewel, the granddaughter of the Fey’s all-powerful Black King, has a frightening vision, one that ties her fate to the Isle forever. Still, she helps her father Rugar head the invasion force.

The force meets a surprising resistance. Nicholas, heir to Blue Isle’s throne, has always dreamed of battle. Normally, he would be no match for the powerful Fey. But Blue Isle has a secret weapon—a weapon no one understands, a weapon that could stop the Fey in their tracks.

Nicholas must find a way to harness this amazing power. Jewel must find a way to thwart him. To survive, one of them must make the ultimate sacrifice.

A fast-paced, vibrant novel, filled with memorable characters, Sacrifice begins a saga that will take readers to a richly imagined world, filled with magic, treachery, and unexpected love.

A very good, very large fantasy…nicely done and with a particularly satisfying and unexpected resolution.
—Science Fiction Chronicle

ALSO AVAILABLE FROM WMG PUBLISHING!

Fiction River: Unnatural Worlds Table of Contents

We’re pleased to announce the final table of contents for the first volume of Fiction River. Dean and Kris finalized it over the weekend. The first volume is fantasy, called Unnatural Worlds, and will be released around April 15. Here’s the list of contributors and their stories:

FR Unnatural Worlds ebook coverLife Between Dreams by Devon Monk
Finally Family by Ray Vukcevich
The Grasshopper and My Aunts by Esther M. Friesner
True Calling by Irette Y. Patterson
A Taste of Joie De Vivre by Kellen Knolan
Here, Kitty Kitty by Annie Reed
That Lost Riddle by Dean Wesley Smith
Shadow Side by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Sisters by Leah Cutter
The Witch’s House by Richard Bowes
Dog Boy Remembers by Jane Yolen
Barbarians by David Farland

The David Farland story is a very powerful Runelords prequel. All of the stories, though, are strong. We’re pleased to have them in the volume. If you want to preorder a copy in ebook or trade paper, you can do so here. If you want to subscribe, you can do so here. And if you want to see what else is happening at Fiction River, check out the website http://www.fictionriver.com

What it Means to be Human

I write this blog on the heels of proofing some very gut-wrenching stories and following some disturbing news coverage. Both of these started me thinking about the human condition, and how we try to come to terms with the inevitable frailty that comes with being human.

First, what led me to this introspection?

It began with Oscar Pistorius’ arrest on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend. Pistorius, who inspired us with his courage and determination at the summer Olympics. Pistorius, who lifted our spirits with his story and his hope.

Pistorius, who it turns out was also extremely paranoid (justifiably, perhaps) and who shot his girlfriend through a bathroom door, killing her—intentionally or accidentally, only time and investigation will tell.

But that hope and promise that he inspired are now replaced in the media by a story of human frailty. Another hero, fallen.

On the heels of this sad news, I proofed the remaining two stories for Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Recovering Apollo 8 and Other Stories collection, which is now available through WMG as an ebook. Those stories, June Sixteenth at Anna’s and Craters, have been called “hauntingly sad” and “an intense, appalling, memorable story,” respectively, by reviewers. June Sixteenth at Anna’s addresses the loneliness of loss, while Craters addresses the human potential for disturbing violence.

In other words, it’s been a real happy week around here.

But what the confluence of these events made me ponder is why we are drawn to stories like these. Fiction or nonfiction, we can’t turn away. We need to read about such things. We need to watch such tragedy.

Because we are human, and we need to understand what that means.

What the history books will ultimately have to say about Oscar Pistorius is yet to be written. But if you want to delve into the human psyche and touch on some of the deepest, darkest places in the human soul, I must tell you, few writers have the capability and the skill to transport you like Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Even if, like us, she’s only human.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Now Playing at the Garden Lounge

You won’t find the Garden Lounge anywhere along Highway 101, or any other road, for that matter. The only way in is through another dimension. Fortunately, author Dean Wesley Smith knows the route well. He unlocks the old wooden door and invites you to a place where the only boundaries are that of imagination.

Have a look around. Notice the four special drinking glasses with names etched on them.  The hanging fern that manages to stay alive in a place with no windows.  And don’t forget the old Wurlitzer jukebox.  Stout only plugs it in on Christmas Eve because the music machine is too dangerous otherwise.

It’s a time-traveling jukebox whose songs can help someone fix old problems as well as create new ones.

This week you can listen to Jukebox Gifts and find out about the names on the four glasses or try The Ghost of the Garden Lounge for a shiver to two. Next week, we’ll be releasing Our Slaying Song Tonight.  Here’s a sample.

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Welcome to the Garden Lounge.

 

Coincidence or good timing—or both?

The world works in mysterious ways.

Have you ever noticed that once you become aware of something, you start seeing it everywhere? Discover the meaning of a new word, and all of a sudden you’ll start reading it everywhere. It didn’t exist to you before, but now it seems it’s de rigueur. (Now, you’ll start seeing the word de rigueur everywhere .)

But sometimes, the coincidence is so unbelievable, it has to be karma, or fate, or, well, just a really big coincidence.

Take Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s novella The Tower. It was first published in Asimov’s in March 2010. And WMG Publishing just reprinted it in ebook form on Jan. 29 and in print form last week.

The Tower is an SF thriller that features the search for the remains of the “Princes in the Tower,” whom many accused King Richard III of murdering in the fifteenth century to secure the throne.

And the remains of Richard, himself, have been missing almost as long.

So, color us surprised, or at least “coincidenced,” when in between our release of the ebook and trade paperback, scientists announced they had discovered the remains of King Richard III (read the article here).

Now, you just can’t pay for that kind of topical promotion. And I’ll be honest, I don’t see that kind of thing happening very often. But it’s not the first time, either. For example, we reissued a short story called Jackie-O by Rusch in 2012 almost simultaneously (before, mind you, not after—that’s called contrived) with the late former first lady making her way into the news once again.

Can we count on that kind of promotion? Of course not. But it’s helpful to sales when it coincides. It also provides one more example of the way science fiction writers are often ahead of their times.

Of course, WMG also published Rusch’s The End of The World last week, as well. But don’t worry. Unless you’re an alien, you’re probably safe. Now, if we’d released it on Dec. 21, 2012, who knows… Perhaps we really could have altered history.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.