Tag Archives: Piracy

‘Piracy’ Teaser Day 6

Niall arrived last, watching the team’s six. HeWP_000338
stacked right, facing away from the door.
‘Breach and clear,’ Rynn ordered.
Jan swung around the frame in a low crouch, turning
left into the room. Lara was a breath behind him,
plasrifle turning over the top of Jan in a tight arc,
before paring right and moving in.
Rynn followed, turning into the room and moving
straight forward, shotgun raised at head height and
pointing directly into the body of the room.
‘Clear left.’
‘Clear right.’
‘Clear front.’
Niall stepped backwards, still pointing out and away
from the team, and reversed into the room, before
grabbing the door and swinging it around to secure the
room. Only then did he lower his weapon and turn.
‘Well… that escalated quickly,’ Niall said, voice in a
dead-pan as he looked at what the rest of the crew was
already moving towards.

‘Piracy’ Taster Day 5

When the altimeter read 600 feet, Jo levelled outkcshaw
their ascent. The countryside sailed along below them,
summer-glossy trees patched with green and gold
fields, threads of stream, ribbons of road. The horizon
lay ahead, a smudge of blue hills against white clouds.
Her heart felt as though it was pumped full of steam
like the envelope above her. No, not steam: hydrogen
like the big airships used. If she weren’t holding the
control sticks, she might bob up into the sky like an
untethered balloon. She couldn’t stop smiling.
She’d almost forgotten about the tall woman, until
she said, ‘How far will this thing go before we have to
land?’

from ‘Skyway’ by K.C. Shaw

‘Piracy’ Tasters Day 4

‘Stopper your ears!’ Ellie yelled. She scanned the sea,pirate panda
searching for further sign of their enemy, then something
moved under the water nearby, something large
which rocked the boat as it passed under, and as she
shifted her balance she gripped the hilt of her favourite
blade and made ready to make her cuts count.
And there, just off astern, a silver-grey leviathan rose
out of the depths with a deep grumbling hoot and she
barely had time to notice the Selkin on its back when
more of the thrice bedamned creatures leapt up over
the rails on all sides and attacked. Leaping harpies of
the deep that they were, the dead-eyed creatures never
considered giving quarter, just went straight for the
kill, all wicked talons and teeth and misshapen knives
that she could only think they’d stolen off some sunken
wreck once upon a long ago.

from ‘Past Lives’ by Jenny Barber

‘Piracy’ Tasters Day 3

‘Some are in such a rush to die, they grab hold of  swords
death even as they push it away.’ He looked at Safe
again, his dark eyes twinkling with a smile. A man
behind him on the floor groaned and stirred. Bill
moved closer, and Safe wondered why he wasn’t covered
in blood and shit, or tied up on the floor. ‘Every
hour Harlik will take one of you to the open deck,
hang you upside down and flay you.’ Safe’s skin froze.
‘When twelve hours are gone he’s going to give the rest
of you to the sea.’
‘You’re not making me feel better.’Said Safe. Bill
ignored him.
‘Make sure you’re not one of the twelve, you want
him to throw you overboard.’
‘Sounds preferable.’
‘Clever boy.’
‘You’re forgetting something old man. I can’t swim
tied up like this.’

from ‘Plunder’ by Francesca Terminiello

‘Piracy’ Tasters Day 2

yates

Mr Yates checking out Chloe’s story

Anne the Bone was no fool.

Red Johnny Bootleg might be hung like a well-fed donkey, but he was a good for nothing bully of a blaggard
and she was done with him. She’d been thinking with her cunny for too long, acting like a sex-starved
old salt. Talented in the bedchamber he might be, but Red Johnny was the most incompetent captain she’d
ever sailed with. No sooner had they stepped on that fucking island than they were in all kinds of hellish
bother. No treasure was worth the kinds of shit they’d seen that day. Now, the black spot was upon him and
there would be no running this time. He may have come within a breath of dancing with old Jack Ketch a
hundred times – if you believed his tall tales – but Red Johnny’s voyage was near its end, the devil take him.

from ‘Leave the Pistol Behind’ by Chloe Yates

 

‘Piracy’ Tasters Day 1

Moiron struggled to his feet and stumbled acrossPiracy the rocking deck to join a team heaving on ropes. He no longer noticed the calluses that marred his pale skin. He ignored his rough, malodorous shipmates and lost himself in thought.

He yearned for the soft-swaying, green tranquillity that had once been so dull to him. The allure of the sea, with its exotic scents and dramatic blues and greys, had been killed by months of toil, mockery, grime and the salt-tinged stench of close-packed, unwashed bodies. The wood of the planks and mast was stiff and silent under his hands, like a carcass. Moiron had learned the bitter lesson, that daydreams are for enjoying, not living.

from ‘The Trouble with Daydreams’ by Catherine Hill

Avast Ye Scurvy Dogs!

…or something like that.

Piracy is now available as an ebook. Amazon (all) can provide it direct for kindle and if you have a different type of ereader then the epub or mobi files are available from Wizards Tower Press. Later this month Spacewitch will be officially launching and the ebook will be available there too.

A quick reminder you can also buy the book on Lulu by clicking the button on the right hand sidebar of this page.

We will be giving away one complete set of Fox Pockets print editions by subscription (get yours as the author copies go out) with a competition in our newsletter. Simply enter your email address in the subscribe link in the toolbar. The newsletter will never be more than quarterly and often isn’t that frequent so you don’t have to worry about being bombarded.

Finally, Fox Spirit will be launching Noir Carnival with Spacewitch, the books editor K.A. Laity and writers James Bennett and Chloe Yates at Edge.Lit on 13th July at Derby Quad. There will be plenty of other members of the FS skulk there happy to chat and sign things so come along.

Author Post : Catherine Mann

How the Fox Pocket was Named

Once upon a time there was a woman called Adele who had many excellent friends and could summon the ferocity of a honey badger. Using her ingenuity she became leader of a den full of creative, and somewhat geeky, people and together they produced fine books. She wanted to create small anthologies of short stories that could be read quickly and easily carried in a pocket, but what to call them?

One of Adele’s friends was a woman called Catherine who was watching DVDs with her husband just after Christmas…

…actually this isn’t working. DVDs don’t quite fit folkloric feel I was going for. Plus writing about myself in third person feels distinctly weird.

So, my husband and I were watching the 1967 musical version of Doctor Dolittle, starring Rex Harrison. It is in many ways a strange film, for example the most romantic song is sung by a human to a seal, a married seal. I am not even kidding. There is an early scene in which a mother fox comes to Dr Dolittle to hide from the local hunt. She entrusts her cubs (actually played by puppies) to the doctor who tucks them into pockets sewn onto the front of his lab coat.

I was amused by the idea of pockets specifically designed for carrying foxes. I checked with a friend who’s a vet, and she confirmed that fox pockets were a thing. I decided to assume this was the truth and not her humouring me. It sounded like the kind of thing that would amuse Adele as well, so I text her to let her know that vets have pockets for foxes. Much merriment ensured.

In early February Adele said that she was planning some ‘quick pick’ anthologies of flash fiction, and she asked if anyone could think of a snappy title for them. That evening, while in the shower (which is often a good place for ideas), I remembered the fox pocket conversation we’d had in December. I half-jokingly suggested it to Adele and she decreed that it was happening.

And so it came to pass.

images

Author Post : Rahne Sinclair

The Wolf in Fantasy by Rahne Sinclair

Regardless of where or what historical epoch a fantasy novel is set, there is a very specific subset of animals usually contained therein, and there is a high chance that the wolf is among them. There is something about the wolf that makes it an enduring part of our myths and legends.  Whether anthropomorphised to a loyal or magical being, or demonised to an evil adversary, this creature has played both hero and the villain in our stories.

Our early hunter-gatherer ancestors invited the wolf to his fireside and utilised its natural abilities to aid in their own survival. Overtime, further domestication and selective breeding turned the wolf into the dog we know today.

Man-kind then turned on its four-legged friend’s wild cousin. Medieval kings were known to offer great reward or pardons for a sack of wolf pelts. They were derided and hunted to extinction in many countries. The last wolf in the UK was killed in 1743. Conversely, many lords and knights would take the wolf as their emblem, signifying their strength in battle, their ferocity, and a warning to their enemies they were not to be tangled with.

As stories and fairy tales began to emerge, this hatred was reflected in the stories told and for many centuries, the traditional role of a wolf in fiction was as the enemy. Little Red Riding Hood was a story that used the wolf to represent the dangers of the forest, as opposed to the safety of the village, but by no means was it the only story to feature a big bad wolf. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, white wolves terrorise The Shire, and the Orcs hang out with Wargs. Maugrim of C S Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a shining example of how wolves were thought of as sly, cunning, and ferocious.

As mankind re-learns the truth about this contender for our apex predator status, our perception of wolves has changed drastically in the past few decades, undergoing something of a 360 degree reversal to portray the wolf in a more positive light. Different aspects of the wolf’s personality are focused on. Their pack mentality epitomises some of the aspects of ‘family’. They share child care duties, and are fiercely protective of their young. In books like Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, the orphan Mowgli is raised by a she-wolf. In G.R.R. Martin’s Songs of Ice and Fire, the dire-wolves are given as pets to the Stark family’s children, who become companion and protector. Even YA and children’s stories have reflected this new admiration for the wolf. Michelle Paver’s Chronicles of Ancient Darkness show the wolf as a constant companion to the young hero as he battles evil during the Stone Age.

The newest trope for wolves has to be as the ‘love interest’. More accurately, this pertains to werewolves, rather than wolves, and is greatly at odds with its origins in Greek mythology and horror. With TV shows like Buffy and Being Human, the werewolves are still violent and bestial, but their human counterpart is a figure we are meant to empathise with. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaba, Remus Lupin is a greatly admired teacher who has to endure his curse. This is countered by Fenrir Greyback in The Half Blood Prince, who revels in his wolf nature. In the case of books like The Southern Vampire Chronicles (True Blood), plus countless erotic fictions, the human form of the werewolf represents the ultimate alpha male character. A character whose is strong, confident, protective and assertive, yet at times gentle and loving.

Similar to its real-world inspiration, the wolf in fantasy is still evolving. Like the best type of hero, the wolf has had a shady past, but is now a much reformed character.

Odin_and_Fenrir

Author Post : Margret Helgadottir

Why do I write in English?

“You should sign up for this writing course in Norwegian now that you’ve started writing,” a friend told me a while ago. She’s not the first to assume that I can easily switch between writing fiction in English and Norwegian. Many think my main desire is to write in Norwegian, for Norwegians, and that I write in English for obscure reasons – a confirmation of my strangeness perhaps. And each time, I try to explain: That I want to become better in my English writing, so I need to practise as much as I can – and since I have so little time to write, I want to spend it on this. That I don’t think in Norwegian, then translate it—I think in English when I write – it’s my writer voice. My writing would be totally different in Norwegian. I’m not sure they understand. Then again, I’m not sure I understand it myself.

It’s not like it’s a bed of roses. My English may be good, but my Norwegian is light years better. I struggle with all the things a person combats when dealing with foreign languages: the search for words, synonyms, grammar. You know the feeling when someone tells a joke and everybody laughs, but not you, because you didn’t understand the twist in the joke? Yes, that feeling. Not to mention how difficult it is to write a natural dialogue, maybe even using slang, or to instantly see the difference between US English and UK English.

But you know what? I´ve struggled many years with starting to write. And I do wonder if choice of language was the key all the time. When I write in Norwegian, I can be dramatic in my choice of words and how I express feelings, almost as if the harsh Nordic landscape and climate lurk between the lines. English flows differently. Its lexicon is so vast. I feel my writing becomes a smooth river, rather than a bumpy road. But I wonder if something gets lost in that river. Maybe I write in English because I can be distant. Could it be that my Norwegian voice still feels too up close and personal? Will I need to tackle this at some point?

Then there are the practical reasons, of course. The Norwegian publishing market for new writers is limited. There is little room for writing speculative, weird and dark fiction. Not much room for experimenting as a new writer either, unless you have inside contacts. And Norwegian works are unlikely to get translated into English, so the potential amount of readers is low. And you’ll miss the opportunity to build an international network with other writers, publishers and readers.

I’m so happy and humbled that people like my stories. Thank you so much to the editors who have wanted to publish this fledgling writer, and thanks so much to the kind and patient people who have read my drafts and helped me achieve my goal.

http://margrethelgadottir.wordpress.com