Over in the second column I’ve added a few book covers of anthologies I have stories in. All but one of these came out in the last four months. It is very weird that I can go six months and not have a new short story come out, and then suddenly I have four or five in a few months.
Notice that all the stories I have just had come out (except for the one in Talebones) were written for an anthology on a certain topic. I personally love writing stories to a certain theme or topic. As a writer, it challenges me and makes me go to types and styles of writing I might never had tried otherwise. Also, it is often hard to make a specific topic, often very strange to my thinking, into a “Dean” story.
WIZARDS, INC. edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Loren L. Coleman has some great writers in it and I am very proud to be in it. The book came out in December, 2007. My story, called “The Keeper of the Morals” is about how magic and the corporate world might just mix. Of all of the stories in the books I have up, this is the straightest, the most serious, the most down-the-line of them all, which means it probably works better than some of my stories. I know for a fact that writing about corporation thinking was really hard for me to do, since I have never worked for one.
THE FUTURE WE WISH WE HAD edited by Rebecca Lickiss and Martin H. Greenberg takes the title and lets a bunch of us just run with the idea. You know, flying cars and all that stuff that sf said we should have. The book came out in November, 2007. In my story, “Cold Comfort,” I decided to take a twist on the idea that the aliens should be here. Don’t you wish they were?
IF I WERE AN EVIL OVERLORD edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Russell Davis is one of those books a writer can only dream about being invited into. My story “The Life and Death of Fortune Cookie Tyrant” was just too much fun, and is a very “Dean” story. Otherwise known as weird by my friends. I came up with the idea while opening a fortune cookie, of course. Yes, I managed to smash together the idea of an evil overlord and a fortune cookie.
THE MAGIC TOY BOX edited by Denise Little came out in 2006, but I wanted to include it here because I am very proud of the story in this one. “The Call of the Track Ahead” is really a love story, and a story about a man taking a chance for a dream. And it’s a story that fits the anthology. The toy is a train, of course. One of my more literary stories.
Anyhow, that’s a few more of the over 100 professionally published short stories I have out.
A little history, in case anyone is wondering,Â My very first published short story, where I got a check (very small and I still have it), was published in July, 1976 in The Diversifier Magazine. It’s a nasty little horror story of about 1,000 words that I am stunned I wrote looking back on it. At the time, I was writing and selling poetry all over the place and thought writing a short story was just too much work. I think it was the sixth or seventh story I had tried.
My second story was published almost one year later (May 1977) also in The Diversifier Magazine. I found myself on a table of contents with Isaac Asimov, Robert Bloch, and a reprint of a Robert E. Howard story. The articles in it were by Robert Weinberg, E. Hoffman Price, Fritz Leiber, and Manly Wade Wellman. My story, “Frankenstein Love” was the anchor story in the magazine and had an illustration by Harry Morris, an artist I ended up working with 16 years later at Pulphouse.Â It was also 1,000 words long.
I wouldn’t sell another story for over six years, not that I wasn’t trying.Â And that third story, the one I call my first “professional” story was bought by Damon Knight.Â (The Diversifier Magazine had a circulation under 10,000 copies, making it not professional at the time.) Â The story Damon bought called “Flawless Execution” was exactly 250 words long and appeared in the CLARION AWARDS ANTHOLOGY.Â Those were a long six years from that sale in 1977Â to the one in 1983.Â A very long six years.
Cheers, Â Dean