OUT NOW – Tales of the Once and Future King

It is said that King Arthur will return in Britain’s hour of greatest need.

That time is coming.

Four travelers, searching for the Pendragon, are quickly embroiled in a plot to rescue the beloved of a banished forest lord. And while they concoct their desperate plan a Bard, the new Taliesin, regales them with stories: Tales of Knights, yes, but also tales of robots and vampires, music and monsters, airships and armies – tales to inspire heroism and hope. And when all seems lost, perhaps these tales will be their salvation.

This book is an anthology.
This book is a novel.
This book is a romance
This book is science fiction
This book is a fantasy

This is “Tales of the Once and Future King”

 

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Airship Arthur, for Tales of the Once and Future King

Today’s blog post brings us Bokerah Brumley, short story author extraordinaire, on how she developed her short story for Tales of the Once and Future King, now out from Superversive Press (No, for the record, I will never refer to it as TOTOAFK — it looks too much like Dorothy’s little dog is not at the computer right now.)

Last year, I caught wind of a call for submissions that tickled my fancy. The idea called for all sorts of creative takes on Arthurian legends. When I sat down to brainstorm, I wasn’t quite sure what I would write, but I’m a contrarian that read a thread that struck me as a dare. I also like to do work oddness into the story somewhere.

Heck, I just finished a silly piece that included speed dating in space. Serious isn’t my thing. Weighty matters should be handled by much more knowledgeable folks. It’s easy to leave the historical pieces to others (like Anthony, Dawn, Declan, Jagi, Jason, and the other Superversive brilliants).

Beyond that, I’m a historian in the same way I’m a scientist–only if one includes all night Google-binge-cramming. I do it all the time since I mostly decide to live life balanced on the sword’s edge between epic procrastination and hard deadlines. Knowing that, I decided to leave the serious, historical fiction to others.

And if I was tossing serious to the wind, where did that leave me? What was the oddest thing that I could pull together into a story? In three days.

I told you. Apparently, I like the post-procrastination deadline madness.

Sword and the Stone was something I’d watched a handful of times as a kid. It made me sad to see Arthur at odds with his caretaker and then Merlyn, too, and I disliked that lavender witch. She scared the crap out of me as a little girl. I preferred Puff the Magic Dragon type stories, not that ugly, whiny, purple one the witch turned into.

I folded laundry while I brainstormed. Afterward, I browsed cover graphics on one of my favorite pre-made sites. And I found my young Arthur Pendragon.

In Airship Arthur, young Arthur Pendragon manufactures racing airships and leads a merry band of shipmates. I turned Bedivere into a breech-wearing girl that falls in love with the sneaky, pale Percival. The two of them make fools of themselves in mischievous and Arthur-irritating ways. Bors plays the part of a mechanic. Gawain is engaged to Nyneve, sister to the good woman Merlyn. Shenanigans ensue as the Ether Joy floats over the White Cliffs of Dover, lands at a castle, and then takes a jaunt down to Stonehenge to end happily ever after.

I’m sure I’m not the first to do such things to the tales and legends, but it made Airship Arthur a happy-go-lucky steampunk re-telling.

LIVE NOW.

What are you waiting for? You need some steampunk-happy in your life. DO IT.

Arresting Merlin in Tales of the Once and Future King

Tales of the Once and Future King by [Marchetta, Anthony, Marchetta, Mariel, Nealen, Peter, Schmidt, Matthew P., Newquist, Morgon, Finn, Declann, Shipley, Jonathan, Nachampassack-Maloney, Mandy, Daue, Katharina, Brumley, Bokerah]

When I started working on my short story for Tales of the Once and Future King, I decided to use one particular factoid I first heard in an episode of Babylon 5 called A Late Delivery from Avalon: Some Arthur myths say that Merlin aged backwards. He knew the future by remembering the future.

If that were the case, it makes sense that Merlin would have to age backwards at a rate of speed so slow that no one would visibly notice.

So how long would it take for Merlin to hit childhood?

Better yet, if Merlin survived into the post-Arthurian world, how would he spend his time?

To answer the first question, I ignored the math. It was just easier to make Merlin 10 years old in 2016.. As for how he would spend his time? That’s even easier: he’d be fighting whatever supernatural creatures just happen to pop up. It would be easiest to hide out in big population centers. I happen to live in New York City, so the setting was easy enough.

So, why not have Merlin try to kill a fae Mayor of New York with a wrought iron flamingo?

Yes, really.

While it was tempting to begin with attempted assault with a deadly flamingo, I wanted to jump forward to the police station where Merlin is being processed. Because while assault with a deadly flamingo is entertaining, I want to see how a simple uniformed officer tries to fill out that police report. Hilarity ensues.

Yes, it really is as funny as you think it would be.

Arresting Merlin is just one of the collection in Tales of the Once and Future King. You can purchase it for preorder today.

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A Tale of the Once And Future King

After a highly enjoyable discussion of the Classic The Once and Future King by T.H. White at DragonCon over the weekend, I was able to makes some new friends and give the premier showing of the promotional video for the Upcoming Superversive Press anthology Tales of the Once and Future King. It was very well received, and I can now share it with you all via the magic of youtube:

A download of the song can be purchased for 99 cents here.

There is also a more orchestral version of the song, in which Sean McCleery again showcases his considerable musical talent:

This version can also be downloaded for the same price here.

In time both versions will also become available from a wide range of music sites. As this is my first foray into the world of professional music, it is an exciting and also daunting prospect.

The Lyrics of the song are below:

A Tale of the Once and Future King

I’ll tell you a tale so your hearts won’t quail
Of the Once and Future King.
Surrounded by heroes, how mighty the cheer rose
At the hope his presence would bring.
With the sword from the stone
For his sins he atoned;
Though he did go away,
He’ll be back here one day
To reclaim his rightful throne.

A shadowy hand stretched over the land
And the people were distressed.
Foul fiends of the night,
Filled with unholy might,
Gave the poor and helpless no rest.
By the power of the cross,
And at great human cost,
They were sent down to hell,
And the land was made well,
So at last they could mourn the lost.

Though we’re pressed on each side
And so many have died,
Now is not the time to despair.
We’re still strong enough
To repel and rebuff
The troops of the Queen of the Air.
We will not concede,
For in our hour of need,
It has long been foretold
That our great king of old
Will be back, and the people freed.

You may mock, you may sneer,
You may laugh out of fear,
At the hope I claim to bring:
Mere stories for children,
Or gullible pilgrims,
Of a good and righteous king?
Yet he stands in your midst
And will not be dismissed;
His heroes beside him,
His people uniting,
In his army we enlist!