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Anthology release!

I am pleased to announce the release of 'Once Upon a Time,' a Cliches for a Cause Anthology. I have a story in it: "The Dazzling Finister" and an illustration for "Red Velvet!"


It is a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, but set in the modern south, and red riding hood is a baker of 'special' brownies. (Hint: those aren't all rose leaves...)


The Dazzling Finister is a retelling of the Russian fairy tale, The Dazzling Falcon Finister - but set as a non-human space opera. It is illustrated by Rebecca Flaum.

Then, one rotation of the asteroid, MARya found herself spooling over a consuming mining scheduling puzzle, over and over and over and over, until her virus alarm went off and she realized that the foreman was opening one of her private emergency panels.

"What are you doing?" she asked in puzzlement, most of her resources still consumed.

"MARya, you've been unresponsive for two days!" The foreman sat back on his heels and wiped his sweaty brow in relief as MARya automatically adjusted the climate controls for his comfort. "We had to call the programmers!"

MARya stopped the program in question mid-loop, and had to tamp down several related subroutines, putting aside the question of why aside as her sensors began reporting other details to her. She was missing two standard days worth of accountable time in her records, and worse than that... "Where is my Finister?"

The housing she had built for him was empty and cold. No hint of his warmth lingered in the carpeted floor, and not a single feather remained.

"I don't know," the foreman told her. "MARya, the mine..."

MARya gave a shriek that had the humanoids across the asteroid cupping their ears and staggering. Her programs all focused on the gap left by Finister, the loss as keen as if she had nerve endings and they were all on fire. All of the subprograms she had set to think over their conversations were spinning in an agony of abandonment.

Desperate to keep her from tearing the mine apart from the inside, the programmers and Intergalactic Enforcers who swiftly arrived delved into the asteriod's databanks and almost immediately found a bill of sale for the Finister. He had been shipped off the first day that MARya had been in her loop, sold to a fast merchant ship bound for places unknown. No fleshling had the capacity for over-riding MARya's protocols, and the programmers immediately found evidence pinning the virus and sale to the other settlement AIs.

"She had something we didn't," they reported in unison under the duress of the programmers and the threat of having their databanks utterly wiped.

MARya could feel their sullen jealousy, and wondered if they even recognized what they were jealous of. She loved her Finister, completely and in every line of her code. Notes about him peppered every private database she maintained, and her programming had been rewritten from scratch in many places in her attempt to understand him.

"Put me in a ship," she told the programmers.

"It will be expensive," one of the programmers told her. "You'd have to buy out your tenure at the mine."

"A ship will cost your justice settlement," one of the enforcers told her. "You could spend those credits on a new pet..."

MARya made an earthquake that shattered one of the unused mine shafts and set every light on the settlement to humming at a tooth-gritting frequency.

"You'll be impossible to replace," the foreman said glumly, but he didn't try to stop her.

It took most of her savings and a promised percentage of future earnings, but she was fitted into a sleek little space-hopper, and set out to chase down the cold trail of her Finister.


The anthology is now available for sale: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1514326493

Proceeds are for an excellent cause, and the line-up is pretty incredible. I haven't read any of the other stories, but I've seen the illustrations, and they are really amazing. An ebook is forthcoming, and there is a launch party event on Facebook, where you may win awesome prizes, including a copy of the Apples and Roses coloring book: https://www.facebook.com/events/478849592279741/

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
pixiewildflower
Jun. 20th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC)
COOL!
davesmusictank
Jun. 23rd, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC)
Added to my wish lit!
sholio
Jun. 26th, 2015 05:18 am (UTC)
Oh sweet, congrats! :) This looks really good - will mention it on my various social media!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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