I’ve been teasing it forever now, and at last the beast has been released! Collective Fantasy is live, available at the publisher’s website or on Amazon! There’s also bookstores that carry it in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, though honestly I only know a couple people out there and they can contact me separately if they want. Thank you to the people I know who already bought a copy, as well! It really does mean a lot to me.
There are some of you, however, who probably wonder the big question: why should I, a mild-mannered person of good stock, possibly read something subtitled “An Unsavory Anthology”?
Here’s my top 5 list, though there are probably thousands if you want me to expand.
5. It’s 99 cents (American Money) Right Now!
That’s right – if you look at the Kindle version, it’s only 99 cents! That won’t be a forever price, oh no. Collective Darkness, their earlier publication, currently sits at $2.99. While that’s a deal indeed, given how good that collection is, 99 cents is pretty much unbeatable.
So do it now, and save!
4. FREE STUFF
If you buy the book, you’ll see a little indicator that you can get free stuff at their website, ctpfiction.com. I happen to know a little bit more about that!
To get the free stuff, scroll down to the bottom of the page and type your email into the subscribe box. You’ll get not only the newsletter with updates, but a link to a free PDF of Little Darkness, an itty bitty companion to Collective Darkness. You can read that little gem if you want an idea of the stuff CTP chooses for their goods!
3. Support an Indie Press!
A lot of writers online depend on Amazon for self-publishing. While it’s a great mechanism, there’s a lot of small presses out there than do great work. We talk a lot about supporting indie authors, which is great, but we don’t really have as much of a conversation in this sphere of WordPress about indie presses and how important they are to maintaining communities, standards, and craft.
Collective Tales Publishing is out there finding the best new authors and putting their work together with more established authors in their anthologies. CTP’s head publishers also do a lot of charity work, and with Collective Humanity (they’re open to SUBS, by the way), they’re even using their press to do so! Definitely check Collective Fantasy out and give them a boost.
2. “Come and In My Chamber Lye”
Yes, I have a story in Collective Fantasy, and yes, I think it’s great! It may be the greatest thing I’ve published yet.
I’ve promised you snippits, so here it is: the opening of “Come and In My Chamber Lye”.
“I’ll get a job tamarr-ah,” his words slurred from a night of heavy drinking. “My poor head’s still a-hurtin’ this morn’.”“Come and In My Chamber Lye”, Collective Fantasy
The baby was crying again. She did that when my breasts ran out of milk. They’d emptied faster recently, but I had no good explanation, none other than that I was just as hungry as the baby. I tucked my breasts back in my shirt and lay the baby in her reed basket. I shushed her, encouraged the poor thing to sleep with just a little hug and kiss on her forehead.
I wished I’d never had her…
1. Good Stuff Inside
I know, because I participated, that the Collective Tales Publishing team does blind readings and selections for the majority of the slots in the book. I also believe that this means they choose the best works, not necessarily the most well-known authors. And, given the selection here, I can say they did great.
The CTP editing team, as usual, ordered the stories perfectly. I must admit there are quite a few similarities between “Come and In My Chamber Lye” and “Aspects of Hunger”, but they are placed within the book such that you can enjoy the contrast rather than lament the similarities. Stories like Suggs’s “The Emerald Seed” have a very literary quality to them, and it’s great to have at the front and immediately establish literary presence.
Also, can I say I’m a Jonathan Reddoch fan? I think I can. He’s one of the co-editors and wrote “Day of Miracles” in Collective Fantasy. It’s short, but full of twists, and I really liked it. He also wrote one of my favorites in Collective Darkness, so it looks like I’m going to have to keep an eye out for his work!
Immediately following “Day of Miracles” is “Aspect of Hunger”, which I enjoyed for the creative escalation of its main character’s needs and drive. It’s one of the stories with the clearest sense of a magical world, and for that it’s especially noteworthy.
There’s plenty of other stories to read and enjoy that I didn’t mention above! They range from the seriously dark to the lighthearted, and many have a fantastic horror-comedy edge that I enjoy. If you like D&D style tales (but better told) or medieval fantasy, this is definitely for you.
Castle photo by Miquel Rossellu00f3 Calafell on Pexels.com