Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Writer's Boot Camp: Week Four

Otherwise known as the week during which, for whatever reason, I wrote excessively long scripts. Two of them were in part because I was trying to build a romantic arc in a short space - the other, I have no idea how it happened.

Script 7/23 - 24 (Romance; Joe Whittles, baseball pitcher; a crystal amulet; "Wow. You certainly know how to do that!"): A famous pitcher (he became a batter in the write by accident, but it doesn't really matter) is being hypnotized into loving a witch, until a tomboyish poetry lover walks into his life. Exactly ten pages, no room for leeway. Doubt this is story fodder, but I had fun looking up poems to use.

Script 7/25 - 26 (Spy; Martha Plympton, animator; a lazer gun; "Pardon me. I didn't mean to offend."): An injured spy ends up on the doorstep of Martha, an animator whose role is also literal - she can make her drawings come to life. Unfortunately, her created backup spy brings an enemy agent to their doorstep, and it's up to a science fiction drawing to save the day. A little over nine pages. This is a possible story; in fact, it would even work in the same setting as my novel, Flow, since I've established that certain heritages can manifest in drawing animation ...

Script 7/27 - 28 (Ghost Movie (wildcard); Burt Franklin, gospel singer; steering wheel; "You will never find enough paper towels to clean that up."): Traveling musician Burt drives over to the house where he is staying, only to find out is haunted by a frantic Cassie, who pleads with him to drive away two exorcists. When he becomes romantically attached to the ghost, however, she fades out rather than hurt him, and the exorcists congratulate him on a job well done. Nine and a half pages. Maybe, maybe not. But I had fun with some little underlying jokes with this one ...

Celtx continues to not register sometimes when I save, so I've been keeping a file backup. Anyhow, a little less than a week left and then some plans for the next boot camp ... I'm happy with how this venture turned out.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dear World: Do Not Read This Story ;-)

Another tepid review on the BASH anthology, at least where my story is concerned. I keep cringing and wish no one would see it any more:


But at least there is good news! The reviewer liked some aspects of it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For a Giggle

This site made me howl in a couple spots:


Writer's Boot Camp: Week Three

Some repeated genres here - that only seemed to make sense.

Script 7/15-16 (Drama; Sam Simon, ballet dancer; lingerie; "It only takes one captain to command a ship."): Sam Simon, the washed-up leader of a zero-gravity ballet troupe, is in love with the captain of the ship. He tries in vain to dissuade her from flying into dangerous territory, where she is badly wounded. (... and bandaged with lingerie.) Eight and a half pages. This one might convert into a story. Why zero-g ballerinas? I had Scifi on the brain from a previous hat-draw, discarded due to a repeated element.

Script 7/17-18 (Film de Femme; Roger Less, spy; bubble gum on the bottom of a shoe; “Wash that off.”): Rachel disguises herself as Roger Less to infiltrate a high-class gentleman’s club and find out if two businessmen are plotting against her employer, the CEO of a sunglasses company. A bit over six and a half pages. Not really a potential story. But I had a dilemma when I drew this – Film de Femme (which is, by 48 Hr definition, a film with a strong female protagonist(s), not a chick flick as I initially assumed)) with a male character? The answer, after a brief pause for thought, was obvious.

Script 7/19-20 (Sci Fi; Colin Kanser, medical doctor; a broken unicycle; “Is that really something that I should not have done?”): Colin is assigned to treat the Prosopeans, a race of shapeshifting mimics who become objects – and runs afoul of their culture when he attempts to cure a “broken” individual. Eight and a half pages. Yeah, I want to do something with this. I’m taken by the idea and it was a lot of fun to write.

(This is also the point at which I discovered that Jim had WAY too much fun replenishing the hat.)

Script 7/21-22 (Historical Fiction/Period Piece (wildcard); Kim Carnies, mystic; notebook; “No dogs allowed!”): After Margaret Fox confesses that the birth of Spiritualism is a hoax, one of the mediums who falls under scrunity is Kim Carnies – who also happens to be a fraud, until the spirit of her beloved canine comes to her rescue. Almost seven pages. I would like to turn this one into a fiction piece, though I am not sure of getting the historical accuracy, so I might put it into an alternate world. When I saw the wild card and the character, the idea of using Spiritualism fell right into my brain, though I remain unsure whether Kimberly was a period name.

This particular batch seemed to be more genre to me. Might just be where my brain ended up ...

Monday, July 21, 2008


This flash fiction piece - a sort of experimental (... yes, I just used the word experimental) second-person-implied-first-person story - was just sold to Kaleidotrope, publication currently tentative April 2009. Hurrah!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

As Promised!

Picture of Lexi! Unfortunately, none of the three on this roll of film were as high-quality as I wanted, but at least to give an idea:


Friday, July 18, 2008

Introducing ...

I got a new family member today! She's an eight week old Bichon Frise puppy, and slightly cuter than unbearably so.

I've been speaking to a breeder for about two weeks, getting necessary information and checking references. She mentioned she had two seven week old puppies (early in the dialogue) and also a then-ten week old puppy that she had been intending to keep for herself until a breeder in California ran into a new "number of dogs" law and arranged to send her some extra dogs. (All three puppies were female.) My mom and I arranged to travel up to Fostoria, OH (a three hour drive) to see the older puppy and, if we were satisfied ... home she would come.

When we arrived, she had the older puppy ... and a second puppy who, it turned out, was eight weeks old and had been given to the breeder in payment for stud services. The first puppy turned out to be rambunctious and demanding, which - after seeing this behavior from Nimi from a young age - I wanted to avoid. However, the second pup (also female), a little quieter but cuddly - "needy," as the breeder put it - immediately gravitated towards us, and vice versa. It was serendipity. So she started the trip home, blissfully curling up and sleeping on the drive.

Four options had been chosen for her name - Zoe, Sofie, Phoebe and Darcy - with the idea that looking at the puppy would help the decision. Best laid plans? She didn't fit any of them. Mom and I batted around other possibilities, growing increasingly silly. Well, maybe Haley (as in the comet) would fit. It wasn't until she was home and frolicking around the living room that a search through another name-book found the perfect name: Lexi, from Lexia / Lexine -- protector of humanity. (... hee ...)

I took a few pictures on the end of my latest roll of film. I hope to get them developed and up soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Website Update

To form rather than content - decided to move my pre-2007 publications to a "Past Publications" list at the bottom, so what you get at the top of the screen are the more recent stories. Looking at that makes it clear to me that 2008 hasn't been as good as 2007 was ... rargh. I'm backsliding!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Writer's Boot Camp: Week Two

(Almost) halfway there! And after I blathered in my last post, ye verily, the hat runneth over. I feel kind of guilty - it wasn't meant to be a complaint.

Script 7/9 - 10 (Musical or Western; Ray Samples, college student; Egg; "Could that be any larger?"): When hapless romantic Ray is granted a wish by his fairy godmother, he asks for his perfect girl. But it doesn't seem to work until the egg she has given him hatches a mermaid. I used two Welsh tunes -- The Earth is Becoming Green and Calon Lan -- and an Irish O'Carolan tune -- Planxty Irwin. Eight pages. I can't really see this one adapting to a story, but I do think a story in which people rhyme - and no one comments on it - would be fun. What I've learned is that I probably shouldn't be allowed to write lyrics. Some of the rhymes are worthy of a contortionist - but I sort of decided that was the point.

Script 7/11 - 12 (Fantasy; Tommy Peters, Kindergarten teacher; Suitcase; "What is that on your head?"): Karen's new kindergarten teacher turns out to be a boto, a dolphin-spirit with a blowhole on its head. When he gets involved with her mother, Karen steals an article of value to him - it's in the suitcase - to make him stay. Once his mother finds out what Tommy is, however, she gives him it back ... and he is so grateful he decides to stay. A whopping nine and a half pages, right on my upper limit. This one really needed too many scenes to make sense, and as you can see by the description, it's way more complex than it felt like when I was pitching. This one could translate into a story ... certainly I've always thought this about selkies. Sure, they run away as soon as they have their seal-skins, but you FORCED THEM TO STAY in the first place.

Script 7/13 - 14 (Silent Film (wildcard); Ignazio Del Fuego, cab driver; Knife; "That is still really sticky."): Ignazio has a problem - a bubble-gum wad in the back of his cab is starting to attack people. ... no, I'm not kidding, that's what this script is about. About five pages. For some reason, I lost a page on this one - twice - and I can't figure out why, so now I'm edgy. This doesn't have translating potential. However ... I initially thought that the wildcard would be fairly frivolous on the writing end, just a direct translation with no particular reason for it. As I started visualizing it, I had some really *neat* effects with the silence. And then I got to use a line like this: SOUND EFFECT CARD: Indescribable eldritch scream.

Drawing for today soon. Onwards!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Alas, poor hat ...

I just wore out the poor 48 Hr Film Pitch hat. Specifically, ran outta characters. It was designed for practice, not my insane blitzing boot camp. I thought about allowing reuse of elements, then decided ... this was more fun. I copied over the remaining unused elements to a file, then skimmed this year's 48 Hr Project cities at random. I just borrowed their elements to create a list, which I'll roll from randomly. I've got nine scripts left after today, so I went for 9 - 10 elements (to allow me some random-roll space).

Favorite items from the ones I grabbed:

Character: Mike / Meg Jordache, papparazzi
Prop: Urn with someone's ashes in it
Dialogue: "Hold on, let me write that down."

Reading Out Loud

An interesting website I was just linked to with tips on how to do readings - some of it is about recording, but a lot of it is relevant to authors reading samples of their work. I found it worthwhile.


I'm hoping to tentatively sign up if Broad Universe does a Rapidfire Reading at the World Fantasy Convention this year, so kind of thinking about this in the back of my head ...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good Ol' Asimov ...

Two of my favorite quotes:

"Jokes of the proper kind, properly told, can do more to enlighten questions of politics, philosophy, and literature than any number of dull arguments." --- Isaac Asimov

"Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put on an orgy in my office and I wouldn't look up. Well, maybe once." --- Isaac Asimov

I may have posted these before. If so, well, no harm done - it was about time to put them up again.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Writer's Boot Camp: Week One

Having completed the first week of my boot camp, here's a report on what I did. In parentheses are the random elements: character, prop, line of dialogue and genre. I'm very glad I told myself up to ten pages, because I went over seven a number of times.

Test script (Sue Morton, grandmother; paper bag; "How much is that?" Horror): A doting grandmother picks up a Thanksgiving charity bag, which hatches a dreadful monster. She defeats it by showing it pictures of her grandchildren. Just a little over four pages. Possibly adaptable into flash fiction.

Script 6/23 false start (Bitsy Ballou, advice columnist; snow globe; "Where were you yesterday?" Holiday film): A glib advice columnist is given some lessons in holiday spirit by an oddball stalker. About seven and a half pages. Can't really see this one converting.

Script 7/1-2 (Emily Longman, coffee shop barista; necklace; "How much is that?" Detective/cop): When young witch Emily's necklace is stolen from the coffee shop where she works, she follows the case's detective persistently until he reluctantly comes to believe in her abilities. A little over eight pages. Actually, okay, this is decently cute and it might be workable.

Script 7/3-4 (Carl Rugman, film producer; hair brush; "When you say it like that, it's almost poetry." Superhero): Harried Carl Rugman interviews three superheroes - Rapunzel, the Sybarite and Dolphin Lass - for inclusion on a reality TV series. This was so ridiculous and so insanely fun to write. Almost eight pages long. I probably will convert this one into a story.

Script 7/5-6 (Hugh Simon, bouncer; electric fan; "Smell that. Does it seem funny?" Comedy): A mysterious aroma in the Subterfire nightclub sends the bouncer and the electrician looking for the cause ... and when they find it, they decide to let sleeping dragons lie. Almost six pages long. Ironically, this was really hard to write. It's as if I can only be funny when I can't help myself ...

Script 7/7-8 (John Kent, farmer; purse; "Where were you yesterday?" Spy): Arthur Tartleton, British secret agent, gets injured in a field, and is taken in by a farmer who wants him to use his super-spy skills to determine whether his wife is having an affair. Seven pages pretty much exactly. This one was a lot of fun, but I'm not sure I have a use for it ...

So far, I think my plotting is pretty stock. I don't mind, it's getting me used to think in bite-sized portions and writing in a style without internal cues. Three more weeks to go!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Enchantress of Florence

I just finished reading this book by Salman Rushdie - it was a recommended read at Amazon, forty percent off, and the description sounded intriguing. For me, it was a very different book. There was a lot about it that I was able to appreciate but didn't like; there were other things I thought were unnecessary, indulgences of a society that glorifies deep thought in its literature at the expense of simplicity and common sense. There were also points I genuinely enjoyed.

Of style - light, lyrical, with some exceptionally long sentences that require the unwary reader to go back and untangle them. In some places, the novel approaches poetry, woven seamlessly into the lines.

In many ways, this book reminded me of another, very different: American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which I commented on some time back. Both approach the world from an unconventional sense of logic. For American Gods, it is a dreaming logic. For The Enchantress of Florence, it is a stream of consciousness logic, an artist's logic, the sympathetic magic where like things are bound together though they have no scientific connection.

At first, I had trouble adjusting to the story. Once I accepted that this wasn't a novel about plot or character, that it was a novel rather about event and imagination, then I found I was able to relax and flow with it ... but I always wanted to be more connected to the characters, somehow, to find a stronger harbor in the seas of philosophy.

At its core, this is a novel about the supreme power of imagination and belief, how fiction can become more important than reality, how tale and teller can be lost in each other. It is a novel that dances casually past real-world events and entertains with its touches of the past. Both the frame story and the nested tales have the feel of history, an invention that is independent of their creators. Who is really in charge, inventor or invention?

Yet it is hard to forget that there is a storyteller involved in this novel, and thus hard to become truly immersed in the world. More often than not, there is the sense that the reader is being explained to, rather than shown. Ironically, for a story about the power of dreams and imagination, this is a novel ruled more by its craft and construction than by its core idea.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Much Ado About Murder Review

Much Ado About Murder -- edited by Anne Perry

Mystery stories inspired by Shakespeare? Count me in.

These are mostly period stories or stories about the events of the plays, rather than modern tales involving Shakespearean elements – perfectly valid, and because of my interest in translating mystery to a “standard” fantasy setting, more up my alley. I did start with some prejudice, however: I am dubious of any anthology where a) the editor describes the stories in the introduction, in glowing prose and b) the editor has a story in the anthology. I imagine it’s torture for an editor NOT to pitch in with a themed anthology, particularly if they took on the project with personal interest or as a labor of love … but I find it a bit tacky.

Jeffery Deaver’s “All The World’s A Stage” is an Elizabethan tale about a London man who learns that his father was murdered by a man now favored at court – and sets about to have his revenge without being caught. Mystery story? Perhaps not, but a well-paced tale cleanly unfolded nonetheless. At first, the involvement of Shakespeare seems gratuitious – an interjection made only to pacify the editor – but it comes clear in a fashion that is more than satisfying. The details in this story are authentic, but some segments of the narrative seemed “info-dumpy” – seems as if this author got caught up in the novelty of his research. As always, using period dialogue but modern narration is a tricky balance, and there are places where it jars, but I appreciate the authentic speech.

Enter Carole Nelson Douglas’ “Those Are Pearls That Were His Eyes,” a story which occurs after the events of The Tempest and also involves characters from The Merchant of Venice. Caliban is the principal point of view character, but the story invokes the format of a play early on, and moves into a half-omniscience. Here, the dialogue is natural, suited to the lingering, evocative narration with which the story opens. Thereafter – to the detriment of the tale – it becomes almost pure dialogue, difficult to follow. The intimations of play-hood are not enough to dispell this sensation of disembodied talk. For other reasons, I found this story confusing to follow. Caliban was well-portrayed as a sympathetic character, however, and the ultimate conclusion was a satisfying one.

“The Fall of the House of Oldenborg” by Robert Barnard is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the events in Hamlet, as told by the Silent Irishman, a scheming syncophant who accompanies “Hammy” on his quest. Again, this isn’t truly a mystery story – at least, we know from the start how it will turn out, though there are some surprises along the way. I enjoyed some of the humorous elements of this story, but I thought that it trended into the category of “too silly” – it was hard to identify with the characters through the comic detachment, or to sustain much (if any) tension. I didn’t find it funny enough to overcome these weaknesses, though this is a clever read.

There is great delight in Sharan Newman’s “Jack Hath Not His Jill,” a period story written as a letter from Anne, Princess of France. After a puzzling reception, she sets out to determine the true force behind the throne of Navarre. Where this story shines is its narrator, bright and feisty while still being a perfect portrayal of early royalty. I did become a little lost in the letter. I also had trouble keeping track of the cast of characters, but I think this is a flaw of my not being familiar with the play on which the story was based – and possibly how tired I was when reading the story. I still enjoyed the conclusion, and there was much fun in being along for the ride.

I came away from “Gracious Silence” by Gillian Linscott with exactly one thought: wow. This is the tale of timid Virgilia, wife of Coriolanus – whose silence carries her forward until she can be silent no more. Since reading The Handmaid’s Tale, I thought that a passive character couldn’t be a sympathetic narrator, nor star in a fulfilling story – this one proves me wrong. I came to sympathize deeply with the main character and her plight, and had a full appreciation for the strictures imposed on her both by ancient Roman society and by her imposing mother-in-law, Volumnia. If there is a flaw in this story, it is due to its placement: this is neither a mystery nor even really a murder story. What it is is a thoroughly engrossing read.

Yay! Twelfth Night!

Courtesy of Lillian Stewart Carl, “A Dish of Poison” fits seamlessly into the events of the play, a quasi-prelude wherein the newly-disguised Viola/Cesario is sent by Duke Orsino to discern the true facts behind the death of his beloved Olivia’s brother. This is a quick, lively tale with easy to follow clues (but not too easy) and a solid mystery at its core. There is even a smooth info-dump in the beginning for those not familiar with the plot of the play. A few famous Shakespearean lines weave naturally into the dialogue. Both old characters and new are well-defined and realistic – they come right off the page.

Not a mystery story, but “Too Many Cooks” by Marcia Talley is a delightful take on the events of Macbeth, from the POV of the (hapless) Weird Sisters, desperate to make a living from their sorcery with spell ingredients on the cheap. It is great fun to see how their good intentions run amok, and there are some really clever segues from the witches’ mistakes to the events of the play. My only small complaint with this story – and it scarcely marred my enjoyment – is that in the second half of the story, the witches are fairly passive, and the conclusion isn’t really in their hands. The characters are sympathetic, the story light and fun ... and you have to love an unexpected happy ending.

“Squinting at Death” by Edward Marston is a straightforward tale of detection centered around a murder that occurred on the bloody battlefield of Agincourt. He cleverly combines historical figures with characters from Shakespeare’s Henry V. The aftermath of the battle is depicted authentically without resorting to gore, and the main character’s determination to solve a crime in the midst of so much other death provides an interesting contrast. From a zinger of a comment in the denouement (to say more would be to give it away) to the ethnic pride of the Welshmen, this story is flavorful and enjoyable. I did feel that I was being “red-herringed” into expecting a political conspiracy in the beginning, however.

Simon Brett presents “Exit, Pursued,” a story set in the twilight days of Shakespearean theatre, when the bard battles with bear-baiting and an apathetic public. When one of the company is murdered, Charles Parys becomes an informal detective. This is a solid mystery story built on the foundations of its time and place – evocatively described and entertaining to read. I had only two small complaints: one, I thought that the characters perhaps spent too much time quoting the plays (there is a point when skillful incorporation becomes “laid on too thick”), and two, the conclusion hinted at a lack of conscience on the part of the detective that I found disquieting – and it didn’t seem supported by the rest of the story. Ultimately, this didn’t mar the story, and I intend to seek out more of Brett’s work.

“Richard’s Children” from Brendan DuBois wasn’t my cup of tea. This is a contemporary story of conspiracy surrounding two Richards – Richard the Third of Shakespearean (and historical) fame, and Richard Nixon. It’s an interesting premise that appeals to the paranoid theorist in all of us, but the story felt somehow hollow to me. Maybe the pacing was off; maybe I felt something was promised that wasn’t delivered. Certainly the connection to Shakespeare is more tenuous than I would have expected: we’re dealing with the historical Richard here, with only a few gratuitious references to the Bard thrown in. This almost feels like the first chapter of a novel … maybe what disappointed me was the worldbuilding turned into little more than a punchline.

Margaret Frazer’s “This World’s Eternity” presents an interesting variation on the mystery. The story contains an italicized monologue from one of the characters … but which is it? This one follows the events King Henry VI, and presents a satisfying tale at heart – for all its characters show the range of their vices. The opening of this story is somewhat shaky, as it bombards the reader with names and conflicts too rapidly to be digested, but it evens out as the tale continues. This wasn’t one of my favorites, but it is an interesting study of characters and subtle influences.

“Cleo’s Asp” by Edward D. Hoch takes us back to ancient Egypt and a clown turned investigator who must figure out which of Cleopatra’s maidservants have betrayed her. This is a well-written story with a sympathetic narrator and good pacing, but there are some flaws. With two servants, and the narrator having close sympathy for one of them, the conclusion paints too broad a stroke regardless of the guilty party. In addition, he knocks out a potential murder suspect – but alerts no guards and does nothing to restrain him. How does this make sense? I found the murder in this mystery to be bare, and it invited a twist that was too spurious to be effective.

Kathy Lynn Emerson’s “Much Ado About Murder” tackles one of Shakespeare’s most beloved heroines – and one of my personal favorites. She introduces Beatrice and Benedick seamlessly into the history and lives of her series sleuth, Lady Susanna Appleton – who takes it as a personal charge to smuggle Protestants out of the country during the rule of Queen Mary. When one of the transients turns up a corpse, it is up to the two women to find out who killed him. The main characters of Much Ado About Nothing are beautifully depicted; I was immediately taken by Emerson’s Beatrice. There is also nice trick of casting criminal suspicion on Shakespearean characters: would the author go that far from the traditional portrayal?

“The Serpent’s Tooth” by P.C. Doherty explores the possible murder of the most integral figure to Shakespeare’s works: the Bard himself. The physician Siggins arrives by royal decree to question daughter Susanna, and her husband, John Hall, in the wake of Shakespeare’s burial. This tale builds suspense and curiosity in a slow, effective expansion of details – the cat and mouse game between Siggins and the Halls is tense and absorbing to read, and build sympathy for the pair. There is one fairly major flaw in this story, a pair of uneven POV shifts with no scene break to demarcate them, but this is the only thing to interrupt the skillful construction of the story.

I admit to not being familiar with the play on which Peter Robinson’s “The Duke’s Wife” is based. To his credit, he attempts to summarize the events which leave Isabella married to the Duke and her good friend Mariana married to the scandalous Angelo … whose most recent crimes turn Isabella into an amateur investigator. However, the summary is somewhat clumsy, and the story which hangs on it somehow lacking. Maybe there isn’t enough space to develop sympathy with the characters. Maybe full connection with the story involves knowledge of the play, summary notwithstanding. For whatever reason, this one missed the mark with me.

Peter Tremayne often slathers on his historical information, and “‘Let The Game Begin!’” is no exception to this – but heavy history notwithstanding, this is an enjoyable story. This anthology opened with a tale of actors in jeopardy … now it closes with two in sequence. Constable Hardy Drew is summoned to the Red Boar Inn to investigate the death of a gentleman, but all is not as it seems. I liked this character and the strong sense of history in the story. The plot is well-paced with an interesting conclusion – enjoyable to follow with just enough clues to guess where it might be going. There’s also a nice, clear emotional arc for the main character, a lesson learned without being preachy.

Despite my reservations above, “Ere I Killed Thee” by Anne Perry is a worthy addition to this anthology. It is set in the Victorian period around a stage performance of Othello, and the theme of this work is elegantly woven into the tale of jealousy and revenge played out by its actor characters. While I was left with some questions as to the narrator’s early inaction, the mood and motive is otherwise expertly illuminated. I confess, however, that I guessed the murderer early on, which is a rarity for me and makes me wonder how well it was hidden. Finally, the ending involves a device that even I (who hasn’t read that many mysteries) recognize as a cliché. Flaws aside, this one balances out as an enjoyable tale, and a solid ending to the anthology.

Overall, this was a strong anthology with only two real mis-steps that I could see. One, half of the weakest stories were put right in the front. I can easily see a picky reader giving the entire anthology a miss on the basis of those stories, and that would be a shame. Two … no A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Given some of the plays that were used, the absence of this one seems to be a gaping hole. You might argue that the fantastic element makes it difficult to work with, but there’s a story about The Tempest in the anthology, and the representative Macbeth story is fantasy in character. Perhaps the editor simply didn’t receive any stories in this vein, or attempts to solicit one met with lapsed promises. Maybe I’m just biased.

Or maybe I’ll write one …