Friday, October 11, 2019

NEW RELEASE (Kinda): Brigands: A Blackguards Anthology


A lot going on these days! I'm back from Japan and I've got a new-ish project to talk about!

The first story I ever published was "The Lonesome Dark" back in BLACKGUARDS by Ragnarok Publications. Since then, Outland Entertainment has taken over publication duties, and their first act was to take all of the BLACKGUARDS stories (even those of us published in the e-book and extra digital material) and give the whole thing a proper physical re-release. Pretty exciting!

So while you couldn't get a physical copy of "The Lonesome Dark" before, you absolutely can now!

It currently seems to only be available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but I'll update this post and the My Books section if I track down any further marketplaces.

"The Lonesome Dark" is a fantasy western set in Ariasun County, a secondary world where a lot of my current projects are taking place. The main character, Evaline Cartwright, is a bounty hunter/hand-for-hire in a part of the world where it's really hard to find work that doesn't end in some kind of betrayal or undue violence. She takes a job bringing the body of a Sharath boy back to a commonage, which sounds innocuous, but the trip starts to unravel as she draws closer to her destination.

Hope you consider checking it out!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Monday, April 15, 2019

What Have I Been Up To?


Hello!

So, this blog hasn't seen an update in a while. The writing has continued and I plan on releasing some more stories in the near-future. Likely over the summer when I'll have more time to sit down and give everything a thorough edit and begin formatting.

But the main reason I haven't been able to update:

I'm in Japan!

Last August, I started working as an ALT at a high school in Japan. Specifically, it's a school in our sister city, which has provided me a tremendous opportunity to explore a culture I've always been fond of, get some first-hand teaching experience by working alongside other teachers, and facilitate a cultural exchange between our two cities as best as I can.

So, while I've had plenty of time to write, and while I've actually been able to complete a few projects that will either get shopped around or self-published in the short-term, my ability to get things self-published out here is not at a comfortable level.

In the meantime, if you're at all interested in my adventures over here, please give my Instagram a look!

@amlowe1123

This will be my primary social media account going forward. I'll still have Facebook, but it won't be getting much attention.

Looking forward to sharing what I've been working on this year!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"All the Stars in My Eyes" and "In the Land of Dead Dragons"


And they're up! The last of the three short stories that I planned on putting up before the summer.

Just like "Alive," these are two stories that I just had a ton of fun writing. Both in the first person, both characters who could safely be accused of being a little heartless.

The first, "All the Stars in My Eyes," is a near-future sci-fi story about a doubler, someone who uses state-of-the-art tech to take the place of celebrities when they have to tap out for a bit. Seems like the need for the actual actor/actress to be on set is diminishing over time, so this is about a time when the need to actually be at their own meet-and-greets and on their own press tours is tenuous.

Here's the synopsis:
She's a doubler. Hired to take the place of imperiled celebrities.
She lives in the spotlight that isn't hers, revels in adoration she never earned. A composite of a failed actress and state-of-the-art disguises, she's lived the celebrity life for so long that she's starting to believe she deserves it.
The second story, "In the Land of Dead Dragons," is a LitRPG short story about a woman trying unriddle her brother's lifestyle. In the absence of anything to go on in realspace, she dives into the most popular VR-RPG in the world, The Realm of Avarill, and tries to find anyone who might have encountered her brother in the years that he played the game.

And the synopsis:
Orin the Dragonslayer has vanished from The Realm of Avarill -- the most popular VR-RPG in the world. In his place, Valystra de Fere approaches.
She comes seeking Orin's legacy, tales of his heroics, and the cold trails he left behind. All so that, back in realspace, she might better understand the brother she fell out of touch with so many years ago.
I added a series title, because I'd genuinely like to write some more stories using this setting. The one I'm starting to outline probably won't be nearly as silly!

Thanks and enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Alive in Obsolescence: A Cyberpunk Short Story


It's up! The first of three short stories I'll be self-publishing through Kindle for now, each of which will feature cover art from my talented sister.

This is a story I wrote about a year ago as a return trip to a post-apocalyptic setting, this time with a cyberpunk slant. Here's the synopsis:
The world is dying. Thick smog chokes the skies and the oceans are acrid and toxic. As a pleasant alternative to riding out extinction, humanity is retreating into battery-powered VR simulations.

Unfortunately for Shilo, his battery has run out -- and hard reality awaits.
The other two will be up within the next week or so, with one being a litRPG story and the other a kind of sci-fi take on celebrity worship. I'm wrapping up final edits on them now.

Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Evaline Cartwright makes a return trip!

"The Lonesome Dark" was the first short story I ever got published. I had a fantastic time during the process and was very thankful Ragnarok Publications tossed me into a volume with other authors that I respect immensely.

While I continue plotting out further adventures with Evaline Cartwright, the magick-scarred gunslinger of "The Lonesome Dark," the original short story will be making a comeback thanks to Outland Entertainment.
The new volumes, entitled Brigands and Scoundrels will have all new cover art by Daniel Rempel, and editing will be done by Alana Joli Abbott and Melanie R. Meadors (with first edition credit going to JM Martin). The books will have stories in them by Bradley P. Beaulieu, Lian Hearn, Rob J. Hayes, Anthony Lowe, Anthony Ryan, Linda Robertson, Cat Rambo, Erik Scott de Bie, and many more. Not only will the books have stories that appeared in the original anthology, but each volume will feature a brand new story from fantasy authors not included in the original volume or the ebook companion.
Excited to see how it turns out! Check out the full post here: https://outlandentertainment.com/206648-2/

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Stuff on the way!

It's been a while, but with my time as an undergrad coming to an end this summer, I have some more stories on their way towards merry self-publication!

Without getting into details (yet), it will be a batch of three short stories that I'll be making available through pretty much as many sites as possible. Kindle will be a certainty, but I'm looking into others such as B&N, Kobo, and Drive Thru Fiction. All of it will depend on which ones accept short fiction.

Beyond that, I'm looking to get an unpublished piece LORE OF THE RELUCTANT short fiction up on Kindle as a free purchase. The Weird Western Anthology thing is still in progress, though, with graduation on the horizon, I'm guessing that one won't see completion until winter. I'd also love to get more movie reviews up on the blog. I love writing them, but I can rarely keep them brief. If I can keep up with it, I'll post some in the short term.

Until next time!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Movie Review: The Homesman (2014)


"You are not socially acceptable."

THE HOMESMAN opens with a very awkward marriage proposal on the part of a woman living alone in Nebraska Territory to a man who can barely stay awake during their dinner. Mary Bee Cuddy (Hillary Swank) is a farmer in an unforgiving part of the country, eking out a fair living but unable to find anyone willing to marry her, which is beginning to cause her great distress.

Meanwhile, as winter picks up, three wives of nearby homesteaders have all gone insane. Unable to cure the women, the church of the nearest town elect Mary Bee to take the three back east across the Mississippi, where they'll be sent back to their families. Before the journey can even begin, Mary Bee runs across a man calling himself George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), left to die with a noose around his neck and an unsteady horse beneath him. Agreeing to help Mary Bee transport the three women back east in exchange for his life, the five of them set out into wilderness unsure of what they'll come up against.

THE HOMESMAN, which marks Tommy Lee Jones' third film in the director's chair, is (for my money) one of the best Westerns to be made in recent years. Though Jones himself has made the claim that the film has little in common with a traditional Western aside from time and location -- and he's right -- it still fits neatly within the boundaries of a revisionist Western, with its goal of treating familiar imagery with a healthy dose of realism.

The film shines a light on the treatment and overbearing expectations of women on the frontier, and does not shy away from depicting the conditions which first impelled these three women towards insanity. Even Mary Bee, who is the overseer of the journey, finds it difficult escape the pressures of being a single woman. Though only thirty-one years old, she perceives herself as someone who is missing the train, so to speak, to becoming the wife she believes she *must* be and achieving her womanhood in the process. Although she is the one driving the wagon, she and the other three women are all on the same journey, suffering the same affliction at varying intensities. (This also makes the title of the film tragically ironic in context.)

THE HOMESMAN is a very cynical film, and very aware that the conditions that plague its main cast are not going to go away for decades. Its very premise illustrates this, kicked off by a group of men who would rather send their wives away forever than to deal with their suffering. However, it still focuses on a facet of the frontier that very rarely takes center stage in the genre. It's beautifully shot, well-written, and the cast is all around solid. Tommy Lee Jones has created a Western that meshes the aesthetics of the classics with the themes of modern cinema. It's not very optimistic, but then again the West rarely was.

* * * *
4 out of 4 Stars