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Release Announcment: Deck the Halls November 28, 2012

Posted by Rob Diaz in Edited, Fiction, Publications, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories.
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I am pleased to announce that Emergent Publishing will release Deck the Halls: festive tales of fear and cheer worldwide on December 6, 2012. My story, “Yuletide Treasure” is included in this anthology.


Deck the Halls: festive tales of fear and cheer
Editor: Jodi Cleghorn

Original Artwork: Andrew McKiernan

Cover Design: eMergent Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-9871126-4-­4 (paperback)
978-0-­9871126-­5-1 (eBook)

Pages: 226

DECK THE HALLS traverses the joy and jeopardy of the festive season, from Yule to Mōdraniht, Summer Solstice to Years’ End. The stories journey through consternations and celebrations, past, present and future, which might be or never were.

Along the way you’ll meet troll hunters, consumer dissidents, corset-bound adventurers, a joint-­toking spirit, big-­hearted gangbangers, an outcast hybrid spaceship, petrol-toting politicians, mythical swingers and a boy who unwittingly controls the weather.

Heart-warming and horrifying, the collection is a merry measure of cross-genre, short fiction subverting traditional notions of the holiday season. (more…)

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Coming Soon: Deck the Halls–A Literary Mix Tape June 14, 2012

Posted by Rob Diaz in Edited, Fiction, Publications, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories.
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Later this year, my next short story will appear in print in the next Literary Mix Tapes publication, "Deck the Halls.

DECK THE HALLS traverses the joy and jeopardy of the festive season, from Yule to Mōdraniht, Summer Solstice to Years’ End. The stories journey through consternations and celebrations, past, present and future, which might be or never were. FRONT COVER DtH

Along the way you’ll meet troll hunters, consumer dissidents, corset-­‐bound adventurers, a joint-­‐toking spirit, big-­‐hearted gangbangers, an outcast hybrid spaceship, petrol‐toting politicians, mythical swingers and a boy who unwittingly controls the weather.

Heart‐warming and horrifying, the collection is a merry measure of cross‐genre, short fiction subverting traditional notions of the holiday season.

International release of Deck the Halls is scheduled for November.  In the meantime, you can get more information by clicking on the Literary Mix Tapes website.

Deck the Halls, a Literary Mixtape February 27, 2012

Posted by Rob Diaz in Edited, Publications, Sci-fi/Fantasy.
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Exciting news!  Earlier today I received the edits back for my story, Yuletide Treasure, which is to appear in the upcoming Deck the Halls anthology.  This anthology, originally planned for a release late in 2011, is now planned to be released as a Christmas in July (2012) publication.

The premise for Deck the Halls is to have stories written by emerging authors from around the world, inspired by the lyrics of the holiday traditional, Deck the Halls (you know, “Tis the season to be jolly, Fa-la-la-la-la, La-la, La, La” and all that). My story is themed on the line “While I tell of Yuletide Treasure”, the eighth line of the verse.

I won’t give away any secrets about the story, of course, but you might find that there is some wrapping paper, a dead Great Aunt named after my daughter, a reindeer or two (or more), some teenaged angst, some – well, you’ll just have to read it to find out more.

I’ll let you know more about the publication date and availability as we get closer and I learn more specific details. I believe there will be excerpts or previews available online on the Literary Mix Tapes website at some point, but I do not have the details of that as of yet.

For now I just wanted to share the exciting news as I get ready to revise and edit!

Coming Soon to a Paperback Near You October 15, 2011

Posted by Rob Diaz in Edited, General Fiction, Publications, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories.
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Within the next few weeks, you will be able to purchase your very own paperback copies of not one, not two, but three anthologies in which I have stories.

First up, we have two books in the Chinese Whisperings lineup:

RedAndYinAndYang

My story, Out of the Darkness, appears in Chinese Whisperings: The Red Book; my story, Thirteen Feathers, appears in Chinese Whisperings: The Yin and Yang Books.  The Chinese Whisperings books are mainstream fiction anthologies consisting of inter-related short stories which were written sequentially – each subsequent author wrote based on what had been written previously.  Twenty-two authors from around the globe contributed stories (ten of us in The Red Book and all twenty-two of us in The Yin and Yang Books).  The Red Book was released in eBook format on January 1, 2010 while The Yin and Yang Books were released electronically on October 10, 2010.  And now, after many, many visits and pranks from the entity lovingly known as the CW Fairy**, the paperbacks are finally shipping!

See those links above? The ones that serve as the title for my stories in these anthologies?  Click them.  They bring you to a story teaser as well as behind the scenes commentary about the stories.  I’m told the excerpts, and the behind-the-scenes details, are must read material!

The paperbacks were supposed to be available on October 11, 2011.  But the aforementioned CW Fairy decided another prank was in order and as a result the date slipped a bit.  But now you can pre-order the paperbacks directly from eMergent Publishing right now.  And as long as Amazon.com can keep the CW Fairy at bay, you’ll be able to order from them in the next week or so.

The third book coming out in paperback form this month is the Literary Mix Tapes anthology called Eighty-Nine:

EightyNine

My story, “All I Wanted,” appears in this anthology.  The Eighty-Nine anthology has twenty-six authors from around the world creating stand-alone stories inspired by specific songs from the year 1989. The song which inspired my story is “Funky Cold Medina” by Tone-Lōc.  This anthology is speculative fiction.

I don’t have fancy links to an excerpt or behind-the-scenes commentary for this story… but I do have a link that might be even better:  For a limited time, you can enter to win one of three free copies of Eighty-Nine.  That’s right—between now and October 25, 2011, all you have to do is click on that link and then the button in the middle of the page that says “Enter to Win” and you may win a free copy of this anthology!  Good luck—and if you win a copy, stop back and let me know!

I also have a fancy link to a video book trailer for this book, too.  It’s only the teaser trailer at the moment, but it is still fun!

Eighty Nine releases officially on October 25, 2011.  You can pre-order it now through the Literary Mix Tapes website.

As always, I thank you for your support of these projects.  I’ve been blessed to work on these anthologies with some amazing emerging authors. I hope you get a chance to pick up one or more of these books and if you do or if you have already done so, I’d love to know what you think of them.  Post comments here or, even better, on Goodreads.

________________________________________________________________________
**The CW Fairy is a filthy, awful, vile beast that no one has ever seen, but most everyone involved with Chinese Whisperings has interacted with from time to time. Trust me—you do not want to meet the CW Fairy in a dark alley.  Or in an airport lounge.

Hidden April 1, 2011

Posted by Rob Diaz in Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories, Unedited.
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(A note about ‘Hidden’) 

I initially posted a draft of this story several years ago. I wasn’t a big fan of it, so I reworked it significantly and re-published it today. I hope you enjoy it.

“This is the perfect hiding spot, isn’t it?”

The teenage boy hiding behind the big oak tree along the edge of the park nearly jumped out of his skin as the man’s voice broke the silence of the wooded ravine. “Shhh!” he hissed as he peeked around the tree to try to see if any of the other kids who were playing Hide and Seek had heard the noise. “You’ll give me away!”

“I wouldn’t want to do that,” the man whispered, joining the boy in peeking around the tree.

The boy looked at the man suspiciously for a moment before setting his focus back to the open field of the park on the other side of the big tree. “I’m going to win this time. Jimmy Falloner always wins these games, but this time will be different. This time I won’t be the first one they find.”

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Nothing But Flowers, A Literary Mix-tape February 16, 2011

Posted by Rob Diaz in Edited, Publications, Real Life, Sci-fi/Fantasy.
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It has been my privilege and good fortune to be asked to be a part of a new anthology!

NothingButFlowerscoverFINAL

“Nothing But Flowers: tales of post apocalyptic love” is the second offering from Literary Mix Tapes (a quarterly crowd-sourced short fiction anthology inspired by music).

Inspired by the Talking Heads song of the same name, Nothing But Flowers explores the complexities and challenges of love in a post-apocalyptic landscape. From plague to fundamentalist governments, comets and war, from terra firma to outer space the people on these pages face up to what it means to love and be loved when you’ve lost everything.

My story, “Escape from Paradise”,provides the “comets” portion of the above blurb as it details the last-minute attempt to escape of the last outpost of humanity.

You can get information about this book and about the many, varied authors from around the world by checking out the Literary Mix Tapes website.  Starting on February 17, 2011 you should be able to purchase web-access to the stories or an eBook version (ePub, mobi or pdf format) as well as pre-order the paperback.

All proceeds from this anthology go to support the Grantham Flood Support fund, supporting the victims of the January 2011 flooding in wide areas of Queensland, Australia.

Thanks to all who have or will support this great and worthy cause.

As an update, you can now purchase the paperback version of this anthology from amazon.com. It is available here:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/098074461X

The Truth of the Matter July 10, 2010

Posted by Rob Diaz in Fiction Friday, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories, Unedited.
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 (written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on July 9, 2010: “In her right hand a woman holds a loaded gun, in her left, a coin that just came up ‘tails’”.)

There wasn’t much more to say, so I stayed quiet.

The officer looked at me icily, contempt and scorn the only things to be seen through the angry look frozen on her face, a look that grew angrier with each passing moment of silence. Yet still I stood there, mutely ignoring her scowls as best as I could while holding the hot blowtorch in my hand. In the distance I could hear the fire engines coming nearer, their sirens echoing hauntingly off the cold stone buildings and the low cloud cover.

Eyewitnesses, reliable as they might or might not be in a case like this, had called the police to report a set of car fires and a man holding a blowtorch wandering up and down the street shouting gibberish. That blowtorch-wielding man was, of course, me, since I clearly had the torch in my hand and just as clearly had been wandering up and down the street, shouting. I knew they were calling at the time but I did nothing about it – their calls were the least of my concerns. (more…)

Of the People August 29, 2009

Posted by Rob Diaz in Fiction Friday, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories, Unedited.
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(written for the [Fiction] Friday >prompt on August 28, 2009: “A new Government research and development facility is built on a decomissioned prison site”.)

“Hey! Watch where you’re putting that picket sign, buddy. Some of us like our faces the way they are!”

James Madsen cursed under his breath as he walked down the sidewalk past the old Albercrombie Maximum Security Prison. It was no longer a prison, of course, having been closed for thirteen years now. In fact, the government had just reopened it as a brand new, state of the art research and development facility. Dubbed the CRAP Institute by the media, the Center for Realizing America’s Potential had been opened with much fanfare, including a visit from the President himself. After an interminable number of speeches which included the obligatory self-congratulatory statements of the co-sponsors of the Formation, Accumulation and Revitalization of the Country’s Ego Act (the FARCE Act), the Institute’s official purpose was announced: to find that which makes us human and enhance the bonds between the people of the country.

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Freefall June 19, 2009

Posted by Rob Diaz in Fiction Friday, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories, Unedited.
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(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on June 19, 2009, which was “(your character) closed his/her eyes, took a deep breath and jumped”.)

There was chaos.

It had started with an explosion – a loud, fiery explosion – that had violently rocked the floors and the walls, knocking items off of shelves and people from their chairs and off their feet before plunging everything into a dark, terrifying silence.  The emergency power took a few moments to recover from being jarred suddenly into life when the main power went out and in the brief time between the main lights going dark and the sparsely distributed emergency backup spotlights beginning to cast long shadows across the floors, people went through all of the emotions ranging from surprise to concern to fear to terror, before their many years of training took over. 

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The Unauthorized Biography of the Tooth Fairy April 10, 2009

Posted by Rob Diaz in Fiction Friday, Humorous, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories, Unedited.
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(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on April 10, 2009, which was “A dentist is stabbed while he waits in line at the movies”.)

Dr. Richard P. Hanning, III stood in line outside of his favorite MovieMax Theater on the dreary gray autumn day, watching as the crowd continued to swell in anticipation of the opening of the ticket window. Only thirteen minutes until opening, he thought, excitedly. He had been waiting for three years for this movie to come out and it was clear that he was not alone in his excitement. The crowd was growing more quickly now as the opening time approached, but the real hardcore fans had gotten to the theater’s parking lot several hours early with Richard arriving at 3:30 AM and finding that he was already the fiftieth person in line. But now, thirteen minutes ahead of the special 11:00 AM opening, the crowd had grown to nearly two thousand people waiting to see the movie on one of the twenty-four screens in the theater that were dedicated to showing it. (more…)

Soul Searching March 21, 2009

Posted by Rob Diaz in Fiction Friday, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories, Unedited.
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(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on March 20, 2009.)

It had been a dark and stormy night.  The rain had finally stopped but the wind still blew coldly against his face on the dark road as he stood there, staring at the opened hood of his car, the only light being the thin beam of his flashlight combined with the periodic flash of the car’s hazard lights.  Occasionally there would be a brief glow from the full moon as it peaked through the thinning cloud cover only to be blanketed again as the winds pushed the clouds around like a bully.  He had tried to call for help but his cell phone was out of battery and he had left the car charger at home after taking it out of the car for some reason that escaped him at this moment.  It had been an hour since the last car had gone by, speeding past him and his blinking car as if they weren’t even there. 

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Voodoo Stew’s New Stimulus Package March 14, 2009

Posted by Rob Diaz in Fiction Friday, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories, Unedited.
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(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on March 13, 2009, which was to write about a businessman who finds a voodoo doll in his hotel room on the third night of his stay.)

“May I help you, sir?” asked the young woman dressed in the neatly pressed hotel uniform and standing behind the desk.

“Uh, yeah,” said Stewart hesitantly.  “I think someone delivered a, uh, package to my room today and it was not for me.”

“Oh, sir, I am very sorry for the inconvenience,” said the woman whose nametag implied that her name was Melody.  “What is your room number?  I’ll have someone come up and get the package and we’ll see if it can be delivered properly.”

“Oh, um, three thirteen,” said Stewart quietly.  “But there’s no need to send anyone up, I brought it with me.” 

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Peace March 6, 2009

Posted by Rob Diaz in Fiction Friday, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Stories, Unedited.
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(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on March 6, 2009)

“You did… WHAT?” demanded Justin.  He rubbed his hand across the thick hair on his head as he paced angrily to one side of the room and then to the other.

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