Psychopomps (Shepherds of the Dead) Available in Digital or Print

Happy October 1st! Autumn is hands-down the best season of the year. Time for spooky, paranormal, and otherwise haunting reads!

My short story “The Resurrectionist’s Kiss” is featured in an anthology that is now available in print as well as e-book format.

Check out Psychopomps: Shepherds of the Dead on Amazon

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The anthology also features stories by Ben Lane Hodson (Author), E. W. Farnsworth (Author), Raychel Rose (Author).

So if you are looking for a way to check out our work while celebrating autmumn and Halloween, this would be a good way to do that!

Author Raychel Rose put together this awesome book trailer. Enjoy!

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Author E.W. Farnsworth Shares His Inspiration for “Mobile Dusters”, As Featured in PSYCHOPOMPS: SHEPHERDS OF THE DEAD

It is my pleasure to have author E.W. Farnsworth guest posting on my blog today. He is one of several authors who has contributed to an anthology I am excited to be a part of.Psychopomps Pram Full Cover 20

You can pick up Psychopomps: Shepherds of the Dead on Amazon, including his story “Mobile Dusters”, which expresses a post-apocalyptic interpretation of who guides us toward death–computers, aliens, and our own thwarted humanity!

At least, that’s my interpretation of his story. Here are his thoughts on the genesis of his idea for “Mobile Dusters” and how he developed the story:

E W Farnsworth ENGEL
I first wrote three stories about the post-apocalyptic landscape developing from my intensive research on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.  Those thee stories became part of the setting for the end chapters of E. W. Farnsworth’s novel, Bitcoin Fandango, which was published in March of 2015.  Researching the continuing conflict in Eastern Ukraine unearthed the introduction of mobile crematorium units by Russia to destroy the physical evidence of their contribution to the mayhem there.  The haunting image of those all-devouring units led to my “mobile dusters” that have a much broader significance than the current conflict when they are used worldwide more generally in an End Times scenario.  Most have forgotten what the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction means for all of us, even in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.
 
At the same time as I wrote about Eastern Ukraine as a metaphor, I was writing five other stories about how brave and determined people would probably have to adapt to survive a similar post-apocalyptic scenario if it were transposed to the United States.  Those stories, centered around a daring, brilliant and beautiful heroine named Nitrous Belle were published inSweat, Steel and Cruise Control Anthology of Horrified Press in the UK last month.  In E. W. Farnsworth’s “Launch of the Spaceship Arcturus,” Nitrous Belle and her cohorts help the heroes and heroines break through the southern US border and make it to the launch site.
 
All of these stories formed the background for other E. W. Farnsworth End-Time stories positing humankind’s inexorable revulsion from technology, particularly Artificial Intelligences.  This led to a sequence of stories about how advanced technology would survive the coming holocaust.  E. W. Farnsworth is now working on an epic poem, The Voyage of the Spaceship Arcturus, about the future of humankind when humans, avatars and artificial intelligences must work together to instantiate a second Eden after the Chaos Wars bring an end to life on Earth.  His story, “The Resurrection Team,” is about what happens after the spaceship has left Earth.  The hero Gabriel leads the team to a horrific discovery about the corrupt leadership after the End.
 
It may help to know that for many years (and continuing till today) I have led teams to develop AI for classified programs for the US military and I have been for many years a student of the biblical Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation, Wagner’s Ring Cycle, particularly Gotterdamerung, and Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus, so my factual and biblical/mythical bases for my stories is fairly sound.
 
Not least, as an admirer of the works of Edgar Allen Poe, particularly but not exclusively, “Masque of the Red Death,” which Psychopomps short story I first encountered in my very early teens, I naturally also drew from such dark speculative literary currents as were created by William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Neal Stephenson’s apocalyptic Snow Crash, both of which posit human agents of Apocalypse John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained are the backdrops and inspiration for Farnsworth’s Voyage of the Spaceship Arcturus.  So too are Augustine’s City of God and Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queen.  In a strange way, Albert Speer’s Memoirs feed into the nexus of influences.
 
I sincerely hope we can avoid the consequences of what we are doing to ourselves. I’m not sure many literary critics understand that technology can be the way out of the destructive, pseudo-deterministic path humans (not deities or devils) we have laid out for ourselves.  I think we have relied too much on theology as a cop-out for being responsible for our outcomes.
 
– E. W. Farnsworth Gilbert, Arizona September 12, 2015

 

Find more blog links for this project at the official Misch Masch Publishing site for the anthology –  Pscyhopomps: Shepherds of the Dead.

Get your copy of Psychopomps: Shepherd of the Dead on Amazon

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Have a wonderful week! And for those of you going to SL Comic Con, I’ll see you there…

Call for Story Submissions: PSYCHOPOMPS (An Anthology)

I am excited to announce Misch Masch Press‘ first anthology, which will be published this fall.

If you are a writer (or aspire to be), I hope you will send in a story for consideration. Here are all the sordid details!

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What Are Psychopomps?

‘Psychopomp’ is a real term (I did not make it up!) and refers to any being, creature, or essence which escorts the dead or dying into an afterlife.

Think of these as shepherds of the soul, for example. While many stories in this anthology will necessarily skirt the fantastical and the macabre by dealing with various faith or myth traditions about death from throughout the world, others may deal with entirely new or made up paradigms. I am excited about the breadth of the topic!

Genre Overview

The mood of this anthology is spooky and provocative but not heinously gory, sexually explicit, or anything else annoying.

This anthology comprises a breadth of speculative fiction genres including Paranormal, Sci Fi, Steampunk, Fantasy, and Horror.

Form and Word Count

We are primarily looking for short stories but if you have works in another form, feel free to message us through our form on the MischMaschPress.com site.

Word Count: 3,000 – 10,000 words

If this interests you, please find more detail on this official PSYCHOPOMPS Anthology Description page. Submissions are due by July 31, 2015. 

Will Contributors Get Royalties?

Important: Please read these Misch Masch Press Anthology Submission Guidelines.

For example, at this time, Misch Masch anthologies are not a paying market–meaning if your story is accepted, you will receive no royalties. Basically, Misch Masch is paying for the super awesome cover art from Consuelo Parra, the professional editing, the marketing, and everything else in production so all fundraising for the project and proceeds will funnel back into the Misch Masch machine. That way we can create more cool anthologies! We hope to evolve into a paying market for future anthologies.

However! You will get your name on the cover, contact information and bio printed in the header of your story, access to promotional materials, a free copy and access to as many more as you want to order at cost, and the benefit of building your writing portfolio and circle of contacts with other authors.

We Will Also Be Looking At…

Also, preference will be given to those writers with an online presence. This is something most writers do anyway. We are interested in this because your online platform helps us represent you as a contributor to our book, and quite frankly, it helps us promote the book.

So if you’re just starting out, by all means still send us your story but just know that as we make final selections, your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other online feeds that feature your writing interests are taken into account.

I’m totally excited about this project. I hope you’ll check it out and send in your story!

Steampunk. No, Science Fiction. No, Fantasy! How to Tell the Difference.

Try to define steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, and other genres of fiction, and you’ll likely find yourself growling, “Arrrrgh.”

They can be tough to differentiate.

Here’s my definition:

  • Science Fiction – Works featuring worlds beyond our own as explained by technology and science.
  • Fantasy – Works featuring worlds beyond our own as explained by supernatural powers or conditions such as magic.
  • Steampunk – Works featuring worlds beyond our own, as explained by alternate development of technology or science, whether historical or future, particularly as applied to the Victorian period and aesthetic.

Hence, steampunk is considered more a sub-genre of science fiction than it is of fantasy, as it tends deals with contraptions, time travel, technologies arriving earlier or later than in reality. However, it is by no means restricted from fantastical creatures or powers, so you can see the trouble with compartmentalized definitions. They will hardly be contained!

But thinking of them this way is a nuance from which I like to work with these three conceptual genres.

Another sub-genre I’m interested in:

  • Alternate History – Works featuring worlds built on the premise of history going differently than it really did.

I love all this stuff and the many spinoff genres as well. Space opera, spy-fi, superhero, cyberpunk, biopunk, cli fi, apocalyptic, mundane, dying earth, legend, paranormal…