Sunday, 6 September 2015

Good Gaia!

With a veritable flood of anthologies due out this month with my stories in - well, three at least - I didn't want to let the release of the rather lovely Gaia: Shadows and Breath Vol. 2 from Pantheon Magazine slip by unmentioned.

I haven't read it yet because, being possibly the world's slowest reader, I'm still about four contributor copies behind.  But I have at least managed to have a flick through, and it's really rather nice inside: each story gorgeously illustrated, layout easy on the eye, everything good and clear and readable.  It's hard not to make that sound like faint praise, but how many books have you read that got this stuff wrong?  (Personally I'd say most of them, and I'd go further and claim - without much evidence at all - that that's why I'm sure a pathetically slow reader.)  None of which, by the way, should be taken to suggest that Gaia vol. 2 isn't stunning on the outside too, because I've been in love with that cover image ever since I set eyes on it.  (And only putting this post together do I realise that this is my second time behind a cover by the phenomenal Daniel Karlsson; he also illustrated the issue of Nightmare I was in.)

All of which is to say that I'm looking forward to tearing into my copy of Gaia: Shadows and Breath Vol. 2, and I feel like I have grounds enough to recommend it even without having read it; the fact that I'm eager to plow though my little pile of contributor copies to get at it is surely a good sign.  And now I realise  I've got all this way and not even mentioned my own story, The Hair of the Hound.  Well, this is I'm pretty sure the first time I've had a tale out that returns to a pre-established character--that being sarcastic, laconic, not altogether competent post-rapture detective Fièvre, whose previous case file appeared in one of my earlier sales, Rindelstein's Monsters, as published in excellent anthology The Death Panel.  Something else that only occurs to me now, maybe eight years after I came up with the character: Fièvre is a pretty on the nose parody of John Constantine from the Hellblazer comics.  I consider this no bad thing.

To finish up, since I can't find a TOC anywhere, here's one I've meticulously copied from the title page.  All typos are therefore the product of my stumpy fingers and not the authors in question misspelling their own names:

The Hair of the Hound - David Tallerman
The Tentative Freedom of Clockwork Birds - Joshua D. Moyes
I Married the Valley - Zach Lisabeth
Lady Pincushion and the Circus of the Dead - Emily Slaney
A Bare Bones Outfit - Will Manlove
Asking For Forgiveness - Richard Thomas
A Mouth Full of Spiders, a Gut Full of Snakes - Rhoads Brazos
Niña de las Flores - Jonathan T. Riley
Faerie Medicine - Julie C. Day
The Mammoth Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Oh, and last but obviously not least, if you should desire a copy for yourself then you can pick Gaia: Shadows and Breath Vol. 2 up from Amazon here.

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