Featured Anthology – Joy’s Galaxy of fun

March 16th, 2014
JOY’S GALAXY OF FUN -edited by Joy V. Smith
A delightful 242 page collection of fun and imaginative stories including spoofs and puns.
Some stories abound in humor, some sci-fi  and some of intrigue;
…    Perhaps you recall that Emperor Charlemagne had his majestic sword “Joyeuse” and King Arthur, a spectacular singing sword, called “Excalibur.” But then there is the weapon James carries. It is but a small throwing dagger, intriguingly accurate, as described in “Blade of the Bunny.”
…    Larry had just finished a delicious sweet and sour pork dinner with an astronomer seated beside him at the China Cafe` in London. Both warily looked at the cracked-open fortune cookie. Larry couldn’t possibly be prepared for a fortune stating, “A meteor will kill you in five minutes,” but would his dinner companion have any helpful advice?
…    A crescendo of jeers and cheers greeted the Marine Corps Recruiter as he stepped out onto the Berkeley sidewalk, yet in his heart Sergeant Gus felt unbounded joy.
…    These three stories and many, many more!

Three Random Teasers for this Recurrent Winter

February 25th, 2014

 Our East Coast , Midwest and even the South can’t seem to shake off winter this year.  Perhaps giving a begrudging acknowledgement to ol’ man winter will make him leave!

Selecting “winter” as a  Search Phrase  will provide many stories in Anthology Builder that would be ideal in an anthology. Here are three, one by a contemporary writer, and two classic writers. Do you recognize them?                          Good Luck   -  foxtale

 New Year’s Eve was very cold. At home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags. Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! a match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it.                   Story Link

 A hollow howl resounded from the rocky crags, the only motion a small whirlwind of powder conjured by the gusting wind. She flicked the spelunker flashlight on her forehead on. The beam sparkled on a one of the forms, an almost human statue of ice; too-long arms spread wide like a scarecrow, animal mouth open in a frozen scream. Its melted and refrozen lower body gave the appearance of being fused with the ground.                    Story Link

 He was very selfish about his garden. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all the year round.” The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down.        Story  Link

Click the links to preview each story, then click authors’ names and scroll to bottom of story lists to see anthologies containing their stories, or BUILD your own anthology!

 ** Linked Note ** Daniel Braum’s story “The Yeti’s Hand” also appears in the anthology “Twisted Redux”

 

THREE RANDOM TEASERS – Dark Fantasy

January 25th, 2014

(Do you recognize these stories? hint: Dark Fantasy)

I found these teasers intriguing, haunting, even macabre and so I’ve presented them here, –as always no endorsement of the stories is implied-          foxtale

 

What will the price be, I wondered.  In the doorway where Sally-pher usually sat, was a round of flattened grass, and a half-finished basket small as a thimble. Caught between the posts, a shimmer of scale. Squinting down the knoll I thought I saw a thick serpentine path of crushed green where he has passed. Oh yes. I knew then who stole my darling… SCALES

 

Jeremiah August buried his grandfather in the cemetery of Calamite, a remote, high-plains ghost town.  Alone now, Jeremiah was walking along the empty boardwalk of the Calamite Hotel when a young hitchhiker with a mysterious past arrived, bringing with her chaos and troubles that Jeremiah had never known.           The Last Man In Town

 

Quietly, so that not a floorboard creaked, he walked to the stairs. A sound came from behind him, high pitched, mewling. In one fluid motion he scooped up the cat that had followed him in. It yowled, squirmed, flailed the air with needle claws. His fingers clenched on its neck. A muscle jumped in his cheek. Then, with a flick of his wrist the alien assassin threw the cat away from him. It twisted as it fell, landed four-square, shook itself and bolted down the stairs, tail high.

 “Stupid little cat,” he whispered, “I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Then he went on upstairs. He found the body in the bedroom…

COVER STORY

 

Click link to preview story, click author’s name, scroll to the bottom of  story index page to find anthologies containing their stories. Or, build your own!

***linked post – another of Liz Holliday’s stories appears in ‘Before Kindle.’ 

3 Random Teasers, ABC’s for the New Year

December 18th, 2013

As we enter the New Year, it might be a bit of fun to look at the A B C’s that make up the library of Anthology Builder.

Each of these anthologies  was compiled by a writer whose works also reside in the AB library. Click the blue or orange link of the Anthology for an overview of the book. Then scroll down and Click the content titles for a preview of the stories. Next Click the Author to peruse their stories in the AB database, or scroll down to see other anthologies containing their work.

Start the New Year off right, read a book….or  compile  your own from almost 1500 stories in the A-B archive !

Enjoy – foxtale

A

Attack of the Pod People compiled by Merrie Haskell
Pod-cast stories are selected for pace and energy… so these stories should be fast and entertaining reads!

B

’bout dogs and DOGS  compiled by James Fox

These are stories ’bout dogs and DOGS…Everyday dogs … Mystery DOGS…Stories that will make you laugh. Stories that will make you wonder.

C

Cuckoo compiled by Chris Butler

Stories by writers of modern Science Fiction and Fantasy… some of the very best writers working today.

***   linked note *** Chris Butler’s story ‘Cuckoo’ is also among the other Sci-Fi selections in Planet Interzone.

 

Featured Anthology – Foam on the Water, Mermaid Stories

November 1st, 2013

Far out at sea the water is as blue as the bluest cornflower and as clear as the clearest crystal; but it is very deep, too deep for any cable to fathom… it is down there that the mermen live…

So begins “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen. This time honored tale appears in “Foam on the Water, Mermaid Stories,” the currently featured anthology at Anthology Builder.   But it isn’t all fairytales and froth, there are a few dark mermaid stories by modern writers and some other stories that intrigue as well. So, kick off the Club-Med sandals, fold back the cover of this book easily ordered from the AB Library and enjoy these treasures from the deep.

 

** Linked Note         Marcie Lynn Tentchoff and Melissa Mead also have stories in the anthologies mentioned in  3 Random Teasers About Short Stuff

3 Random Teasers about Short Stuff

October 21st, 2013

Got a minute? Perhaps you are facing a subway commute, or having to wait in the doctor’s office. Wouldn’t it be nice to whip out a paperback and polish off two or three stories while killing time?

Yes, maybe you could use a little “me-time” away from the kids, pets, and mundane duties of the suburbs. But perhaps that just isn’t going to happen as you will discover in the humorous short -short story “No Pug Intended” currently in Short Short Stories now found in the AnthologyBuilder library. None of the stories in this anthology run more than three pages. All have been previously published.

Got a little more time, because perhaps you always end up sitting in the doctors office? Then Shorter Stories in the AnthologyBuilder library might be just right for you. But try not to end up with so much time on your hands that you invent a diabolical rubber-band shooting contraption as two youngsters did in “The Broomstick Bazooka.” This humorous story is in this anthology among others from all genres. None runs more than four pages.

What if your kids were “Quite Contrary” but you could just toss them into the washer and dryer should they come in from play all muddy?  An odd story found in Three Pages or Less in the AB library.  This is a collection of previously published stories that are, well… all three pages or less!

So the choice is yours, a mixture of fun stories, humor, science fiction, speculative  fiction, but quick read stories, all, and easily available from Anthology Builder.

To preview, click on the links above, click on a story and read the preview. Click on the authors name and scroll down to see other anthologies containing one or more of their stories.

enjoy  – foxtale

                      *linked note*         the story “No Pug Intended” also appears as the lead story in the anthology ’bout dogs and DOGS available from the AB library.

Featured Anthology – BENEATH

September 14th, 2013

In Beneath, B. Barnett  draws upon her visits to the Bowers Museum to pen the story of Koro, a high priest of his society.

The Bowers Museum of Cultural History is one of California’s finest museums, nestled in Orange County on the southern California coast.  Its mission is to celebrate world cultures through their arts, and over the last 15 years the museum has offered more than 50 cultural exhibits that have then traveled nationally and internationally.  With this study behind her, Barnett weaves a believable story of the great privileges as well as greater responsibilities of leadership.

“Around and far below him, the comfortable thin-limbed brown people waited in a nearly perfect arc. In his stratified society, Koro knew few of them. He watched them labor daily at his behest.  He nodded approvingly as they paid tribute they could ill afford. It was the adhesive that held his society together…”

BENEATH is currently the Featured Anthology at Anthology Builder.

-linked note – Jack London writes of tribal rituals in ‘The Red One’ currently found in Loving the Alien anthology

3 Random Teasers – Dog Days of Summer 2013

August 14th, 2013

Since August brings on the Dog Days of Summer, let’s begin with a preview of a story about dogs… faerie dogs!  Then with the harvest moon in the sky, we should visit with the last of the astronauts from earth’s glory days of space exploration.  Lastly, in those summer mornings when the dawn comes so early and you are trying to stay asleep, but some movement catches the corner of your eye, yet there’s seemingly no one there… maybe there really is!

Enjoy – foxtale

And so it was that the young knight rode out with his men into a winter’s day bright with sunshine on crusted snow.  Fallow fields and houses were soon left behind, and then pastures as well.  When the young knight reached the edge of his haunted woods, he found the Faerie Dog waiting there for him, eldritch and strange, and beautiful, just like in the old songs:

            – Ears the red of fox’s ruff – Pelt the white of ermine –

            -Eyes the color of the dawn, or campfire embers burning -

No one later recalled the color of her eyes at that first meeting…

      Faerie Dogs by Michael Bergey in ’bout dogs and DOGS

Will you pray with me?”

The Astronaut turned his gaze away from the photograph of a floodlit Saturn V, which the Commander had taped next to the mirror in his dressing room. Even now, four decades after his flight to the moon, the picture evoked memories as powerful as the rocket.

He was still considering how to decline the request without giving offence when he succumbed to a fit of coughing. Only when the spikes of pain in his chest   subsided did he notice the Commander – as everyone knew him, from Apollo veterans to members of his ministry – had leaned forward, hands placed on knees as if expecting to witness a miracle…

Dying of the Light by Vaughan Stanger in

     Never Was Nor Ever Will Be

Eric first saw the apparition of the elderly woman a few weeks after he had moved into the dingy apartment. She sat quietly in a blue rocking chair, turned toward the dusty beams of morning light penetrating the bay windows in the living room. He could hear the rocker’s soft creaking as she leaned slowly back and forth in it…

      The Blue Rocker by Gary Cuba in What’s Your Fancy

CLICK  the story link to preview, from there CLICK  the author’s name to see other stories, then SCROLL DOWN  to find anthologies containing one or more of the author’s stories.

    *linked note* Vaughan Stanger has also anthologized stories by his friends in Two Degrees of Separation

3 Random Teasers for Summer 2013 Reading

July 10th, 2013

Ready to plan your summer reading?  A couple of these authors’ choices of subject matter may  surprise you. Each would go on to become one of our classic writers.

Click on the story link to read a  longer sample of the story. Then click on the authors’ names to see other stories available in AnthologyBuilder, then scroll down to see what anthologies contain their stories. Click the cover to preview all the stories in the anthology.

Or build your own anthology from the database of classic stories and stories from contemporary authors.

Enjoy – foxtale

“You see a Reb has just been brought in crazy with typhoid; a bad case every way; a drunken, rascally little captain somebody took the trouble to capture, but whom nobody wants to take the trouble to cure. The wards are full, the ladies worked to death, and willing to be for our own boys, but rather slow to risk their lives for a Reb. Now you’ve had the fever, you like queer patients, your mate will see to your ward for a while, and I will find you a good attendant…”

The Brothers – Louisa May Alcott (This story was inspired by Alcott’s time as a Civil War hospital volunteer.)

                            Story Link                         Anthology

He blocked my path, ordering me to halt and flourishing his pistols. On I came straight at him, and would surely have run him down, had he not sprung aside, blazing right and left at me as I went by. I knew he would do this, and ducked to the off-side of my horse, but not quickly enough, for a burning pain told me where his first bullet had plowed across my scalp…

An Old Soldier’s Story – Jack London  (London’s first published story)

                            Story Link                    Anthology

 Simon Wheeler backed me into a corner and blockaded me there with his chair, and then sat down and reeled off the monotonous narrative which follows this paragraph. He never smiled, he never frowned, he never changed his voice from the gentle-flowing key to which he tuned his initial sentence, he never betrayed the slightest suspicion of enthusiasm…

 The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County  – Mark Twain (This story was Twain’s first success as a writer)

                           Story Link                       

 *linked note* classic author Jack London wrote in many genre’s including apocalyptic fiction such as The Scarlet Plague .

 

Three Random Teasers – June 2013 – For Your Summer Reading

June 10th, 2013

Between June of last year and the end of May this year eight new anthologies have been compiled and added to the AnthologyBuilder LibraryCamp Staff Escalator (mainstream), Never Was Nor Ever Will Be (alternate history),  An Eclectic Ten From Twelve (mixed genres), What’s Your Fancy (dark genres), Beneath (alternate history), Dungeons and Dental Plans (humor sci-fi, fantasy), Twisted Redux (reworked fairy tales), ’bout dogs and DOGS (dogs, real and imagined).

Here are teasers from three of the above. Click the anthology, then click the story title to read a preview. Click the author’s name to access story page and scroll down to see other anthologies containing the authors works.

                                                                       Enjoy  -  foxtale

…”Will you pray with me?”

The Astronaut turned his gaze away from the photograph of a floodlit Saturn V, which the Commander had taped next to the mirror in his dressing room. Even now, four decades after his flight to the moon, the picture evoked memories as powerful as the rocket.

He was still considering how to decline the request without giving offence when he succumbed to a fit of coughing. Only when the spikes of pain in his chest   subsided did he notice the Commander – as everyone knew him, from Apollo veterans to members of his ministry – had leaned forward, hands placed on knees as if expecting to witness a miracle…

     From Dying of the Light by Vaughan Stanger in Never Was Nor Ever Will Be

 

The corner Victorian bay had been one of the reasons Eric had rented the apartment. But neither the old woman nor her rocking chair had been included in the lease. Startled by the unexpected vision he dropped his cup of tea. The hot liquid splashed over the threadbare carpet, adding another stain to it. Instantly, the tenuous image of the woman disappeared, taking her ethereal blue rocker with it.  Eric’s knees suddenly felt like rubber…

     From The Blue Rocker by Gary Cuba in What’s Your Fancy

 

And so it was that the young knight rode out with his men into a winter’s day bright with sunshine on crusted snow.  Fallow fields and houses were soon left behind, and then pastures as well.  When the young knight reached the edge of his haunted woods, he found the Faerie Dog waiting there for him, eldritch and strange, and beautiful, just like in the old songs:

            – Ears the red of fox’s ruff   -  Pelt the white of ermine –

            – Eyes the color of the dawn  -  or campfire embers burning -

No one later recalled the color of her eyes at that first meeting…

From Faerie Dogs by Michael Bergey in ’bout dogs and DOGS

 

*linked note* the author of The Wizard of Oz, L Frank Baum, besides writing about little Toto, also wrote stories about Santa Claus