New Audiobook Now Available

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Join Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the crew of the Effervescent Magnitude in this hilarious collection of short stories as they confront bands of nefarious space pirates, cantankerous bandits, exotic aliens, devious powers of persuasion, mysterious ghosts from the past, deep space identity crises, a runaway hyper-speed train, an insidious computer virus, and a villain with the fastest thumbs in the quadrant -- all narrated by the vocally talented E. M. Carberry.

An In-Depth Review of The Suprahuman Secret
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"Previously released as four separate novellas, The Suprahuman Secret by author Milo James Fowler details the case files of Private Detective Charlie Madison in one convenient tome. Although the main action takes place in a future world where automatons known as mandroids are deployed to fight wars, and most everyone has a handy LinkCom either implanted or mobile, there is still a hint of the classic noir that harkens back to Bogey’s Sam Spade movies. 

"Charlie Madison is probably the last remaining Private Detective in his Russian-controlled corner of the world. (Isn’t it amazing that after everything and with all human advancements, organized crime still manages to survive?) After the “great diaspora,” the Eastern Conglomerate has pretty much taken major portions of the world. With immigrants and refugees flooding into the Unified States, the area sees a fundamental change is its ethnic make-up with the Russians owning the landscape and the Asians relegated to hastily constructed slums and settlements in the outskirts of major urban areas. With the various nations of the planet competing for supremacy, all manner of shady dealing is tolerated if the means justifies the ends. 

"Reading through this series, I found myself transported to a world that was part Terminator and part Maltese Falcon. Charlie is the classic gumshoe living out of his office with Wanda as his femme fatale assistant and loyal confidant. It is very easy to picture Charlie with a classic fedora reminiscent of Humphrey Bogart, and I do believe I caught a smidgen of a Casablanca reference a time or two as well. Wanda, as his Girl Friday, is the typical blonde bombshell, but underneath that pretty exterior is a smart gal with an aptitude for navigating the current tech that their world is saturated with. 

"Charlie’s world is the acid rain-ridden ruin of a California town in a post-war world where nations fight for dominance, organized crime is alive and well, and if you are Anglo you do not want to be caught in Little Tokyo after dark. Fowler’s balancing of the old and new serves this series well, with the old not seeming outdated and the new not feeling too futuristic. Having read all four books in the space of a few days, I did notice a little bit of repetition with certain descriptions; however, keeping in mind that these were previously separate releases over several years, this did not bother me. Rather it served to reinforce the world where the action takes place. Also, while all novellas work together to tell a larger story, they also work as stand-alone offerings. Fowler is currently working on the fifth and final installment in this series called The Gifted Ones, and I for one will be waiting to catch up with Charlie again for another Case Closed. 

"If you are a fan of noir, science fiction, dystopian or fantasy, you may want to give The Suprahuman Secret a read. You will not be disappointed!"

2017: Just the Highlights

This was a good year, writing-wise.

I spent the first few months working on my novel BackTracker. After three rounds of edits, it was ready for Mr. Agent to send out on the submissions circuit, meeting editors whose doors my work has never darkened before. Over half a dozen positive rejections so far; fingers crossed for one positive acceptance.

The spring and summer months were all about diving back into short stories. I'd taken a break, but now I was ready to catch up with some of my recurring characters. The result:  "Not Good Enough," a Roadkill Joe tale published by Perihelion; "The Last Human Child," a Dahlia & Brawnstone tale to be published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies;  and "Captain Quasar vs. the Frozen Death Planetoid," currently out on submission. This week, I started drafting a new Quasar tale about robo-pirates, and it has all the hallmarks of a real hoot. We shall see...

In other Captain Quasar-related news, I sold a reprint of "The Insurmountable Barrier of Space Junk" to Future Affairs Administration, and they've translated it into Chinese; should be published early next year. "What Do You Need?" was published in French by Ténèbres, and I received a nice contributor's copy. Can't read a word of it, but it was pretty cool, nevertheless.

My Charlie Madison case file "Up in Smoke," a standalone novella, was published last month, and I finished preliminary edits on my latest novel The Gifted Ones. Spoiler alert: Madison finally solves the mystery of The Suprahuman Secret; dealing satisfactorily with all the loose ends I've left dangling in this series was a top priority. We'll see what readers think.

After the release of my first audiobook Soul Smuggler last fall, I managed to find producers for Coyote Cal, Maikro, and Westward, Tally Ho! this year. They all turned out great, and I'm so thankful for my talented narrators. Production on Captain Quasar: Starfaring Adventures just wrapped up last week, and it should be available next month. Stay tuned!

What's in store for 2018? No idea. But if all goes according to plan, I'll still be teaching my students to be effective communicators for Christ, and in my spare time I'll craft the best stories I can. Never giving up, never surrendering, and enjoying every step of my journey as a writer.

Listen to "Tomorrow's Dawn" - Courtesy of 600 Second Saga

Up in Smoke: From the Case Files of Charlie Madison, P.I.

My sordid tale of spontaneous human combustion is now available, thanks to the fine folks at Bards & Sages Publishing and their Society of Misfit Stories:

A life ended in flames. A detective sorting through the ashes. Private eye Charlie Madison saw plenty of bloodshed during the war, but he's never seen a billionaire burst into flames in his office. Until now. Searching for answers, Madison uncovers more than he bargained for: a bizarre mystery of human combustion that's smoking with jealousy, revenge, and murder. Add a pair of cops on his tail who are more interested in putting him out of business than seeking justice. It's just another action-packed day for the Charlie Madison Detective Agency. Now accepting...unusual clients.

Available exclusively from Amazon and free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

The Society of Misfit Stories: Volume I

About a year ago, Bards & Sages Publishing started an experiment with The Society of Misfit Stories, a series devoted to showcasing novelettes and novellas ranging from 7,000 to 20,000 words. Now after releasing dozens of these misfits (a new one every couple weeks), 21 from the series' first year have been collected in a one-of-a-kind anthology:

The Society of Misfit Stories presents this eclectic collection of unique novelettes and novellas from some of the most unique voices in the speculative genres. This diverse anthology offers readers an enticing assortment of high fantasy, alien adventure, paranormal investigations, haunts both real and imagined, and more  (like my post-apocalyptic tale "Idan's World").

Now available:

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So You've Written a Short Story. Now What?

This is a great time to be a writer. There are so many venues for us to share our work with readers around the world – and get paid for our efforts. Print publications, online publications, and direct-to-eBook publications abound, not to mention the options we have to publish our own work via Amazon KDP or Draft2Digital.

I’ve always held the belief that money should flow in one direction: straight to the writer. And if the money can flow more than once? Even better. That’s why I submit my short fiction to paying publications first. Then, after the rights revert to me (6 to 12 months later), I package my reprints in themed collections and sell them on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and other eBook outlets.

But where do I find those paying publications to begin with? I’m so glad you asked.

My first stop is The (Submission) Grinder, sponsored by Diabolical Plots. This site has it all. You can search publications by genre, accepted word count, and pay rates. I always start at the top, submitting my science fiction and fantasy to pro-paying publications like Asimov’s, Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, and Nature. (Keep in mind that most editors do not approve of simultaneous submissions; you’ll need to send your story to one at a time and wait for a response before submitting to the next editor. Also, your work can’t have appeared anywhere else, not even on your blog.)

I also check out Ralan’s Webstravaganza from time to time, as there are often anthology opportunities listed that may not appear on The (Submission) Grinder. Ralan’s also boasts a long list of publishers accepting book-length submissions from agented and un-agented writers.

Once my work is published and the rights have reverted, I like to visit Douglas Smith’s list of international markets. Thanks to this resource, reprints of my stories have been published in Romania, Italy, Estonia, Argentina, Poland, and France, and another one is forthcoming in Germany. Just last month, I signed my contract with a publication in China that boasts 100,000 readers. Talk about getting your work in front of a new audience!

So you’ve written a short story. You’ve polished it up, and now it’s time to share that tale with the world. Start submitting it as soon as possible. With any luck, it’ll be snatched up right away by a paying publication. If not, you might receive some valuable editorial feedback. Tweak your story, and get it back out on the submission circuit ASAP. Don’t trunk it. Don’t give up on it. Believe in your work, and believe in yourself.

I’ve sold every short story I’ve ever written, and somehow I keep making it happen. You can too. Somewhere out there is an editor who will love your work as much as you do. And once your work is published and the rights revert to you, do whatever you want with the reprints. Send them out to the non-English-speaking world. Sell them on Amazon and other retailers. Watch the royalties roll in every month, and have a blast every step of the way.

Spending a Year with Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury wasn’t always Ray Bradbury—not the Ray Bradbury we know and love who blessed us with Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Death Is a Lonely Business, just to name a few.

Once upon a time, Bradbury was just a struggling young writer in love with the craft. He wrote a short story every week, polished it as fast as he could, and submitted it to a magazine. Rejection letters flooded in, mainly due to his prolific submissions: the more you write, the more responses you get. There were also acceptance letters along the way, and they inspired him to keep doing what he loved: telling stories as only he could.

In the fall of 2009, I was fortunate enough to see Mr. Bradbury speak at a local library. Witnessing this great literary figure in the flesh was a surreal experience. I had to keep reminding myself that this was really happening, that I was really there.

>> Continue Reading @ SFF Book Bonanza >>

Story Published: "Not Good Enough"

EVER SINCE THAT GODAWFUL day them Horrors sucked ol' Joe up into their mothership to have their way with him, poking and prodding and twisting his damn DNA into too many shapes like a freakish clown with balloons at a kid's birthday party, he's suffered through all manner of difficulty. Some from the Horrors themselves. Most from regular folks like you and me. 

All it takes is a mean apocalypse, and people they change. Ain't so normal anymore. Not so human. Sure, they might look alright on the outside. Two arms, two legs, two eyes. Maybe a little dirty, ragged around the edges like a pair of frayed blue jeans. No tentacles or slimy skin or claws. But their souls are different. The light inside has gone dim. 

They don't listen to the voice of their better selves no more. Their conscience is hoarse. It's the animals inside they hear now. Hunger and thirst. Desire. Survival. Nothing else much matters. 

"Think they've got real food?" Little Barry he does his best to keep up with Joe's long strides. 

"Might have." Joe he keeps on moving. Flamethrower rig clunking over one shoulder, big ol' backpack stuffed with provisions over the other. His boots strike the cracked asphalt in a steady rhythm with no sign of slowing down. 

On either side of this road lay the ruins of blown-out buildings burned to cinders. Frozen in their lanes sit the rusted hulks of abandoned automobiles long-since picked over by scavengers. Skeletons now. Nothing left worth taking. Down the middle, along the faded white dashes with weeds springing up between breaks in the pavement, that's where Joe walks, heading due east. 

Toward the Q. The Murph. A last bastion of civilization, such as it is. He's heard tell they take in strays there. That they have food, and plenty of it. The real stuff. 

Barry squints up at the hellish sun and drags a bare forearm across his dark brow, collecting warm beads of sweat. He adjusts the satchel slung across his back, heavy with scavenged canned goods. Some human food. Mostly dog and cat, from when there used to be lots of both running around. Before they got themselves hunted to near-extinction. Folks can't afford to be too picky these days. You eat what you can catch. Or what you can find. Ain't nobody selling drive-through. 

"Think they've got crops? You know, growing inside?" Barry licks his chapped lips and remembers corn fresh off the cob. Tearing into it with all his teeth, warm butter drooling down his chin, sweet corn bursting open with each bite. 

"Possible." Joe he keeps his answers short. Hopes the kid will shut up eventually. Hasn't worked yet, and they've been hoofing it together for about a week now. 

There will come a day when the kid will grow too tired to talk. Too thirsty. Too weak. Joe knows it to be true. And he plans to make it to the Q long before then. 

"The Horrors leave 'em alone cuz they've got gun turrets up in the stands, the nosebleeds where people used to watch the big games on Sundays. And the Horrors don't want to get their aircars damaged, so they steer clear, just fly on over to other parts of town where it's easier to grab folks. General Jack Murphy, he says, 'Keep on flyin', you mother—" 

"Language," Joe says. He ain't the boy's father. Not even close. But the kid's mother got herself slaughtered by them Horrors right before his young eyes. Least Joe can do is guide the rascals' squirrely tongue in the right direction. 

"—don't you even think about it," Barry goes on, reciting his litany. Or his catechism. He repeats it religiously either way, seems to bolster his courage. Puts a little spring in his step, thinking things might get better again someday. "That's what General Jack Murphy says, and the Horrors they fly on by cuz they've got prey elsewhere to be had." 

"Ain't no Jack Murphy." 

Not for years and years. Since long before the days when Joe had a family to call his own. Wonderful wife. Two amazing daughters. When tears sting his eyes from time to time, those three girls are the reason why. Because they're gone, sure. Mostly because he's afraid he'll never see them again. 

Barry looks up at Joe, but Joe he keeps his gaze set on the path ahead and any dangers that might spring up along the way. Never can be too careful. Scavengers. Eggheads. Not to mention the Horrors themselves. 

"That's what folks said about you," the kid says. Sports a big ol' grin, bright as sunshine. "That you were made-up. They even had a song. 'Roadkill Joe is a very old soul, can't die cuz he's a freak!'" Drawing out that last word in two syllables. 

Apt description. Joe knows full-well he's freakish. How else would you describe a man who's been run over, shot, stabbed, skewered, burned, and blown up more times than he can remember? Some of it he's done to his own self. 

Suicidal? Maybe. Experimental is more like. Them Horrors mangled his DNA something fierce, making him...not-human. As far as he can tell, his body refuses to die. No matter how much he'd like it to, after all these years roaming the wasted earth. By all indications, there will never be any eternal rest for ol' Joe. 

>> Read "Not Good Enough" in the latest issue of Perihelion Science Fiction. >>

A Nice Review of Doppelgänger’s Curse
"Charlie Madison, downbeat gumshoe in a sci-fi world that's falling apart, gets hired by a socialite to deal with a stalker. Nothing unusual, until he sees the stalker's face...

"It's short, but gripping, fast moving, and for anyone into noir or detective fic, an awful lot of fun. The twists start early so I am not going to spoil the plot. The writing style is part Chandler part Gibson, the world is part Sam Spade, part Blade Runner and the characters are distinctive and deep with their own motives. No one is who they seem, no one can be trusted, and best of all, the twists that pile up make sense.

"I didn't realize until I'd finished it why the world and style seemed so familiar. I'd read Girl of Great Price, another book in the series before. I liked that one, and I really enjoyed this book too. Noir, crime, and sci-fi fans should enjoy it a great deal." 
All Content © 2009 - 2017 Milo James Fowler