LATE-BREAKING NEWS

• All current issues of Stupefying Stories are now available free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. See the right column for links. For non-US customers, these should automatically redirect to your local manifestation of Amazon. If they don't, let me know.

• Yes, we are in fact reading new submissions. Our revised submission guidelines aren't ready for public consumption yet, so you'll just have to send your story to submissions@rampantloonmedia.com and take your chances. One story at a time, please! No multiple submissions and no simultaneous submissions!

SHOWCASE IS MOVING BACK IN WITH ITS PARENTS!

As you may have guessed from the new banner, we're consolidating the Stupefying Stories blog and SHOWCASE webzine into one new site. In the meantime, before it's gone for good, you really should check out all the great stories on the old SHOWCASE site.

NOW OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS


Submission Guidelines & FAQ
(We’re currectly rewriting our submission guidelines. Stay tuned.)

Follow STUPEFYING STORIES on Facebook

Follow by Email

Followers

Friday, January 26, 2018

T-minus 7 Days


Coming Friday, 02/02/18: Stupefying Stories #20


Cover story: “Zombie Like Me,” by Clancy Weeks
Cover artist: Keith Rosson

Plus:

“Their Nostalgia Will Be Very Much Like Our Nostalgia,” by Eric Cline
“How to Build a Train,” by Brandon Kempner
“Endeavor to Dream on Broken Wings,” by AJ Finley
“Piles of Dust and Berries,” by Sadie Bruce
“Alien Whispering,” by Bo Balder
“Lucky Find,” by Lance Young
“Secret Seed,” by Shannon Norland

Watch for it!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

There’s always one more typo



As soon as sales of issue #19 took off, the old familiar fear returned. This one takes the form of a really stupid, egregious, and embarrassing typo, that I’d somehow managed not to see all the way through the production process, but that would leap off the page and slap me in the face the moment I downloaded the finished book from Amazon and looked at it on my own Kindle.

No one has reported finding such a thing yet, and I haven’t found one myself, but I did find that the links to previous issues of Stupefying Stories—which were tested repeatedly and do work in the epub development build—don’t work on my Kindle Fire.

Sigh. Dammit.

Herewith, links to the earlier issues of Stupefying Stories that are still available. All these links are to Amazon.com. If you don’t live in the US, these links should redirect to your regional incarnation of Amazon; e.g., Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com.au, Amazon.de, und so weiter.

» Stupefying Stories #18

Cover story: “350 K in My Shades,” by Karl Bunker
Contents:
AI, ROBOT • by Joel David Neff
PRINCESS NICOTINE • by John Skylar
A RING, A RING O' ROSES • by Simon Kewin
FROZEN TEARS • by Frances Silversmith
350 K IN MY SHADES • by Karl Bunker
SLOW STEPPER • by Juliana Rew
THE NORTHERN RECESS • by Fred Coppersmith
WHAT THE WITCH WANTS • by Aislinn Batstone
THE LIFE TREE • by Jamie Lackey

» DOWNLOAD NOW


» Stupefying Stories #17

Cover story: “The Ransom of Princess Starshine,” by Amy Thomson
Contents:
FISH AND FOOLS • by Beth Powers
THE LIBRARIAN AND THE TROLL • by E. G. Cosh
STAR COME OUT • by Joanne Rixon
FINDING GEORGIA • by Christian Riley
THE RANSOM OF PRINCESS STARSHINE • by Amy Thomson
THE JAGUAR’S SON • by R. Y. Brockway
FOREST OF LIGHTS • by R. L. Bowden
THE WITCH’S KEY • by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks
THE PRACTITIONER • by James Khan

» DOWNLOAD NOW


» Stupefying Stories #16

Cover story: “I Live the Warrior’s Life,” by Robert Lowell Russell
Contents:
I LIVE THE WARRIOR’S LIFE • by Robert Lowell Russell
THIS IS NOT WHEN YOU SAID THAT YOU WOULD MEET ME • by Robert Dawson
IRENA PESTROVICH • by Thomas K. Carpenter
ONE SAFFRON THREAD • by Sarah Bartsch
LONG COLD WISH • by Laura DeHaan
PROVINCIAL AFFAIRS • by Alter S. Reiss
THE BUSINESS OF RATS • by Sandra M. Odell
THE MEMORY OF WORMS • by Karin Terebessy
CATCH OF THE DAY • by Kurt Heinrich Hyatt

» DOWNLOAD NOW


» Stupefying Stories #15

Cover story: “Destroyer of Worlds,” by Evan Dicken
Contents:
MAKING MONSTERS, by Sarah Read
AT WORK IN THE FIELDS OF THE LORD, by Edoardo Albert
PLEASE PASS THE PURVIEW, by Conor Powers-Smith
DESTROYER OF WORLDS, by Evan Dicken
THE SEVENTEENTH MEETING CONCERNING THE POSSESSION OF PATRICIA COTTON, by L Chan
URSA MAJOR, by Lynne M. MacLean
THE BOO HAG, by David Bowles
RECKONING IN SPOTSYLVANIA, by Ambrose Stolliker
ANTIMIRUS, by Mike Reeves-McMillan

» DOWNLOAD NOW


» Stupefying Stories #14

Cover story: “50 Foot Romance,” by Eric J. Juneau
Contents:
50 FOOT ROMANCE, by Eric J. Juneau
CITY OF OPPORTUNITY, by Jānis Zelčāns
THE ALIENS WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA, by Peter Wood
THIRTY NINE, by Shedrick Pittman-Hassett
RIGEL’S MISSING TAIL, by Antha Ann Adkins
THE BONE POINTER, by Chuck Robertson
GODS ON A HILL, by G. J. Brown
THE ANNIVERSARY GIFT, by Gary Cuba
MASTERS, by Jason Lairamore
WATER PRESSURE, by Anna Yeatts
EMISSARY, by Matthew Lavin
THE GHOSTLESS MACHINE, by Austin Hackney

» DOWNLOAD NOW


» Stupefying Stories #13

Cover story: “Meat 2.0,” by William Ledbetter
Contents:
PERSONAL SPACE, by Alison Pentecost
THE GREAT WORK OF MEISTER VANHOCHT, by Auston Habershaw
RAINBOW SPORES, by Jamie Lackey
END TIMES, by S. R. Algernon
HER SYMPHONY AND SONG, by Sarah Frost
HAPPY VALLEY, by Garth Upshaw
MEMORY MAKES LIARS OF US ALL, by Eric Dontigney
MEAT 2.0, by William Ledbetter

» DOWNLOAD NOW

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Stupefying Stories Authors on the Move!


When we first launched Stupefying Stories, the whole point of the thing was to help writers launch their careers. We lose sight of that objective from time to time, but I have to tell you, the best thing about this job is seeing the name of someone who you were the first (or one of the first) to publish show up years later, on the shortlist for some major literary award, on the cover of one of the major pro-market magazines, or in a book release announcement from one of the major publishing house.

With that in mind, here’s some news that came in this week that I’d like to turn around and share with you. If there’s enough interest, we’d like to make Authors on the Move! a weekly feature on this site.



KEITH ROSSON has just made the preliminary ballot for the 2017 Bram Stoker Award, for his novel, The Mercy of the Tide. Long-time readers of Stupefying Stories will remember Keith for stories like “The Things That Perish Along the Way,” but more recently, he’s been the cover artist who did the terrific cover for Stupefying Stories #16 and the even better cover you’ll be seeing next month on Stupefying Stories #20.

To learn more about the Bram Stoker Award click this link, and to take a closer look at The Mercy of the Tide, click here.



EVAN DICKEN reports that he has a Warhammer 40K [Oops! ~brb] Age of Sigmar story coming out as a download on the Games Workshop Black Library site next week, and he can’t say anything more about it right now because of the NDA. However, I do know that my son will be first in line to buy it—and no, to my son’s disappointment, Evan does not know Dan Abnett or Aaron Dembski-Bowden personally.

Long-time Stupefying Stories readers will remember Evan for his many contributions to Stupefying Stories and SHOWCASE, beginning with “Dark Illusions” in Stupefying Stories #8, but what I want you to think about is his upcoming chapbook, Second to Last Stop, which is in the final development stages right now and we expect to be releasing on February 8th. Watch for it!



Do you have some publishing news or a success story you’d like to share? Send it to queries (at) rampantloonmedia.com, and we’ll get it into the queue for this column. Thanks!

Book Release | Free eBook Friday: After Action Report

By the time yesterday’s Free eBook Friday promotion was finished in the West Coast time zone, people had downloaded an astonishing 1,905 copies of Stupefying Stories #19 and Stupefying Stories #12. For a while, issue #19 was the #1 bestseller in both the Science Fiction Anthologies and Fantasy Anthologies categories, while issue #12 was right behind it in the #2 spot in both categories.

Wow. I was hoping we’d get some attention with this book release. I guess we got it. Now to figure out how best to use this incredible and completely unexpected opportunity.

One thing we learned from this experience: Amazon promotional deals key off U.S. West Coast time, which means they take effect and end at 2 a.m. my time, or 8 a.m. London time. So it really helps to get information about promo deals out to my European and U.K. authors well in advance, so that the promotion can be up and rolling already by the time Americans crawl out of bed. At the same time (sorry, couldn’t resist), by the time the promotion ends, it’s already well into the next morning in Australia and Japan, so there’s an advantage to be had in promoting deals right until the very last minute.

The second thing I learned is that watching Amazon’s sales counters spin is as addictive as watching election returns. I really had a lot of trouble tearing myself away from the computer long enough to do the other things I needed to do last night, because—

The third thing I learned last night is that, while I was stocking up and hunkering down in preparation for the blizzard that’s supposed to hit here tomorrow, our cover-story author, Fi Michell was at the beach, dipping her toes in the Tasman Sea, working on her tan, and following the sales reports with great amusement.

Sigh. Australians...

Friday, January 19, 2018

Book Release / Free eBook Friday

STUPEFYING STORIES #19 ESCAPES!



To celebrate the release of STUPEFYING STORIES #19, we’re giving away the Kindle editions of both our latest book (issue #19) and our oldest book that’s still on Amazon (issue #12) FREE for the cost of a click—but for today only.

Tell your friends! Tell your family! Tell people you know who aren’t such good friends but still like to get free ebooks! Share the news!

But share it soon, because at midnight tonight, these books go back to normal price.

» DOWNLOAD ISSUE #19 RIGHT NOW

» DOWNLOAD ISSUE #12 RIGHT NOW


STUPEFYING STORIES #19 features the remarkable cover story, “Communion,” by Fi Michell, along with  a terrific mix of fantasy, light horror, superheroes, alien invasions, space adventure, and I don’t know what to call “More Crackle Than Music” but I love it. The book ends with Harold Thompson’s dark but charming story, “Dogs and Monsters,” which I’m hereby going to go out on a limb and christen an entirely new sub-genre, “post-Human steampunk.” Clifford Simak would have loved it.
CONTENTS:
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR THE FAIRYLAND GAZETTE • by Effie Seiberg
HORNS OF A PARADOX • by Julie Frost
THE BONE MERCHANT • by Robert Luke Wilkins
COMMUNION • by Fi Michell
SOULLESS MACHINE • by Jennifer R. Povey
BEHEMOTHS IN THE PARK • by Henry Fields
THE INVASION WILL BE ALPHABETIZED • by Ryan Harvey
MORE CRACKLE THAN MUSIC • by RM Graves
A RAINFOREST, THE WATER CYCLE, AND FIFTY PREGNANT TIGERS • by W. Winward-Stuart
THE OLD MAN AND THE C • by Ronald D. Ferguson
DOGS AND MONSTERS • by Harold R. Thompson
STUPEFYING STORIES #12, on the other hand, is a celebration—no, a defiance—of Winter, in the form of a fine collection of nine wonderful winter’s tales. From a story of slightly mad science and a man who will stop at nothing to get fresh blueberries in December, to the tales of things that wash up on winter beaches that the summer vacation people never see; from a very different take on a very different Russian revolution, to a steel mill in the depths of the Great Depression, to a sleeping bag on a sidewalk in New York City, here are nine tales celebrating the idea that no matter how tough winter may be, we are tougher.
CONTENTS:
ANACHRONIC ORDER • by Christopher Lee Kneram
DRIED SKINS UNSHED • by Julie Day
A NUN’S TALE • by Pete McArdle
THEY FOLLOWED ME • by Carol March
INTERREGNUM • by John J. Brady
FULL FATHOM FIVE • by Judith Field
BONE MOTHER • by Torah Cottrill
ALEPH • by Brandon Nolta
ALIEN TREATIES • by Randal Doering
If for no other reason, get #12 for “Full Fathom Five,” so you’ll understand why I’m so enamored with the stories of Judith Field, and “Aleph,” which is a story I think a lot more people need to read, especially right now.

» DOWNLOAD ISSUE #19 RIGHT NOW

» DOWNLOAD ISSUE #12 RIGHT NOW



And one more thing....

Authors and publishers really appreciate it when readers take the time to put in a good word for a book they like. It’s not just for our egos: word-of-mouth really helps sell books. If you take any of these free ebooks, and you like what you read, please, please, please take a moment to give the book a good rating, or put in a good word for it on Goodreads, or maybe even write a quick review. The authors you like will appreciate it, and they will show their appreciation by writing even more good books and stories for you to enjoy!

Thank you.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Talking Shop


Op-ed • “Dear Time Traveler,” by L. Joseph Shosty


On December 21, 2017, Bruce wrote an op-ed titled “It’s Amazon’s World, We Just Rent Space in It.” In it, a friend of Bruce’s asks (paraphrasing and perhaps embellishing a little), when the market is glutted with small presses, self-pubbers, and ancient reprints hoping to capture evergreen status in this new frontier, how do you stand out in the crowd?

I answered that question about a year or two ago by mostly walking away from the Internet, at least for the time being. See, I’ve tried giveaways, blog tours, and begging overworked critics to review my books; just about everything the internet says you absolutely *must* do to sell your books. This included getting a Twitter account [shudder], but that’s a tale for another day. Suffice it to say, none of it has worked in the long term, and most of it has been more a drain on my time than anything else. I participate on Goodreads, keep a Facebook page, and that’s it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Today on SHOWCASE

Fiction • “Quality of Life,” by Alexandra Renwick




Good afternoon, Mr. Jones. First let me thank you for coming peacefully when our field agents brought you in. I’m sure it was inconvenient to have been interrupted at dinner, and at such an elegant, expensive restaurant, too. A date, was it? Well, I’m certain our agents apologized to your lady friend on your behalf, but the issue of plummeting credit prognostication is of utmost importance to modern society, and we at the Bureau monitor this vital element within our population in the interest of public financial health. A wealthy country is a healthy country after all, Mr. Jones.

I assure you it wasn’t personal. You were simply remotely evaluated and deemed in need of immediate credit intervention and counseling. Our field agents are equipped with the latest in credit prediction technology. With the Credit Endangerment Act and other Credit Viability Legislation, all questions of privacy violation are moot. Soon every local governing body will host a branch of the Bureau, and every Bureau agent will carry a portable C.R.E.D.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Today on SHOWCASE

New Fiction • “600 Years Ago, Today,” by Michael W. Lucht •

By 2134, every memory chip had been networked. Otherwise CRUD, the Commission for the Removal of Unremarkable Data, could not have existed. As things stood, no backup copy was safe from their high-level iterative deletion algorithms. Unless, like Hinckley, one had managed to obtain a rare vintage memory card without integrated wireless access.

Hinckley slotted this highly illegal device into a wireless adaptor to link it with his terminal. That done, a slight gesture was all it took to instruct the computer to copy 2.4 terabytes.

At that moment Javert, senior CRUD manager, appeared at the entrance of Hinckley’s cubicle. The security cam footage shows Hinckley flinching; after all, he had never committed a criminal act before. Hastily, the contraband vanished deep inside his pocket.

Uninvited, Javert strutted inside, grabbing the backrest of Hinckley’s chair. “Deleted Jodie yet?”

“Please reconsider,” Hinckley pleaded. Later, in court, he claimed that he’d still held out hope of changing Javert’s mind.

“I’ve read your report. She’s an ord.”

“She’s anything but ordinary!” To make his point, Hinckley played a section from her video blog on his terminal. It showed a pretty teenager, with tousled hair and intense brown eyes. “Life is a gift,” she declared in a melodious voice. “I shall not waste mine. I will make a difference!”

Friday, January 5, 2018

Media Relations

Podcast • Storypunks Interview •



I did an interview with Cindy Grigg at Storypunks.world a few weeks back. It’s now up on YouTube, iTunes, and wherever else it is that podcasts go to reach the world. Personally, I’m afraid to watch it—I have a painful “second guess” reflex, and whenever I watch or listen to a recording of myself later, I’m always hearing all the things I should or shouldn’t have said—but you may find it interesting. Here’s the link:

https://storypunks.world/2017/10/27/interview-cyberpunk-with-author-bruce-bethke/

Enjoy!
~brb

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Talking Shop


Op-ed • “2018: Where We Stand,” by Bruce Bethke •



We began with a Kindle.

That sounds much better than, “We began with a series of expensive blunders, some of which continue to this day.”

A decade ago, when we first incorporated Rampant Loon Media LLC, I really had no interest in becoming an SF/F fiction publisher. At that time I’d already spent about 30 years in the publishing business, on one side of the desk or the other, and in the end, I’d walked away from genre fiction with no regrets.

Or so I thought.