About Ben Zwycky

Freelance proofreader, occasional translator, and now author!

Astounding Frontiers Issue 2 is Out!

Dull and Preachy stories beware…

Astounding Frontiers Issue 2 is now out on amazon, featuring stories by Dragon Award Winner Brian Niemeier, Karl Gallacher, Scott Washam and Russel May. The serials by John C. Wright, Ben Wheeler, Nick Cole and Jason Anspach continue, and the cover features the beginning of a new serial by SuperversiveSF contributor Corey McCleery, whose awesome dad has been helping me with music videos. (there are more to come of those) Click on the image below to grab yourself a copy for the low, low price of $2.99!For those of you who’d like a more epic version of the above video, using some music by the ever-excellent Kevin Macleod, your wish is granted:

Do You See the Crystal Spire?

With the imminent release on Thursday 15th June by Superversive Press of Jon del Arroz’ second novel For Steam and Country, I have dared to produce a promotional video to capture its epicness, with some capable help from Sean McCleery and Shawn King.

Do You See the Crystal Spire?

Do you see the Crystal Spire
That adorns Rislandia?
You’ll want to join the Crystal Knights
To guard her land, her sea, her air.

When the beating of your heart
Echoes the thundering of the guns,
Then you’ll be sure to play your part
When the battle comes.

The invading Wyranth soldiers’ eyes
Emit an eerie glow;
The ground is shaken by a force
Whose source you’d like to know;
So now climb up this rope,
Renew your old hope as we go!

Do you hear the turbines roar
As we soar into the sky?
This great airship offers more
Than just a simple earthbound life.

When the fire within your heart
Mirrors the glorious setting sun,
Then you’ll be sure to play your part
When adventure comes.

 

The book is currently available for preorder at the bitly shortlink given in the video, but Jon would prefer people to buy on the release date itself so as to maximise the Amazon ranking on day 1, meaning the book becomes more visible within Amazon’s maze of recommendation algorithms.

A Greater Duty by Yakov Merkin

While we’re on the subject of Space Operas, just yesterday a new once came out that I was the editor of. It is the debut novel of Yakov Merkin, an indie author and fellow member of CLFA:

It’s a book that I enjoyed editing, and one that builds into a fun action-packed romp filled with intriguing scenarios, high-stakes internal and external conflicts, cool technologies and powers, colourful alien races and a rich and varied galaxy.

There’s a corrupt and crumbling galactic republic, with ancient grievances flaring up into new bloodshed; a grave new threat to the old order, an uneasy alliance based on a lie, a seemingly impossible quest for vengeance, and an equally unlikely search for redemption.

If that sounds good to you, check it out!

Reviewer Praise for Doctor to Dragons

Doctor to Dragons has its first review on amazon, and from a fellow veterinarian, no less (though sadly one of non-magical creatures):

“I loved the idea of a fantasy book from the perspective of a veterinarian. As a veterinarian, Mr. Huggins did an amazing job of expressing a veterinarian well. The stresses and joys. The quick thinking and the problem solving. I had never thought about what it would be like to do surgery on a dragon, but since reading this book, I have dreamed about it and it is amazing! I regularly think about what I need to do to protect myself and staff from potentially aggressive patients, but am now very happy that I don’t treat basilisks! Thank you for an amazing entertaining story!!”

There you have it, what better seal of authenticity could you ask for? Don’t delay and dive into the exciting world of dragon surgery, with occasional forays into the wonders of basilisk balms, chimera cures, troll treatments and orc ointments.

As you descend to the waiting room with your beloved but beleaguered beast, feel free to soothe its nerves by singing along with the Dark Lord’s favourite elevator music. You know you want to:

There Was a Girl…

It’s that time of the year again, the anniversary of the first time I contacted the girl who would become my wife. By tradition, I write her a poem and send it to her an email with a poem last thing at night on May the 1st, and she is not allowed to read it until May the 2nd, (since I sent the original fateful email on the first, and she read it on the second). This time, I’ve recorded it as a song, which you can find below:

There Was a Girl

There was a girl whose name brought joy
To a once so lonely boy;
Now that joy is multiplied
That she is at his side.

Now many more does she delight
With her presence, at the sight
Of all she does to bless the lives
Of those close to her heart.

So now upon this special day
With fondness look my way I pray,
Take pride in what we’ve both become,
We two now joined as one.

A Doctor to Dragons is Launched!

A new hilarious collection of short stories by G.Scott Huggins has been released today by Superversive Press:

The Dark Lord’s favorite dragon is constipated. Dr. James DeGrande, veterinarian and orc-slayer, is going to have to deal with it.

This one could get messy.

“Everyone says it was better in the Good Old Days. Before the Dark Lord covered the land in His Second Darkness.

As far as I can tell, it wasn’t that much better. Even then, everyone cheered the heroes who rode unicorns into combat against dragons, but no one ever remembered who treated the unicorns’ phosphine burns afterward. Of course, that was when dragons were something to be killed. Today I have to save one. Know what fewmets are? No? Then make a sacrifice of thanks right now to whatever gods you worship, because today I have to figure a way to get them flowing back out of the Dark Lord’s favorite dragon. Yeah, from the other end. And that’s just my most illustrious client. I’ve got orcs and trolls who might eat me and dark elf barons who might sue me if their bloodhawks and chimeras don’t pull through. And that doesn’t even consider the possibility that the old bag with the basilisk might show up.

The only thing that’s gone right this evening is finding Harriet to be my veterinary assistant. She’s almost a witch, which just might save us both. If we don’t get each other killed first.”

If that wasn’t enough, here is a promotional video (thought up during a sleep-deprived creative frenzy) that inflicts my vocal stylings upon your ears, and I must warn you it shall not be the last such torture to accompany a book launch, so be afraid!

Click the image below to grab the book for yourself.

The paperback version can be found here

For those of you who want to subject yourself to the full song, see below: