Category Archives: Sci-Fi from the Rock

Call for Pulp Sci-Fi Submissions Closed.

Note: Submissions Closed.

Over the last four years, the From the Rock series has become one of the preeminent anthology series’ in Atlantic Canada. We have been home to some amazing established talent and helped some new authors break through that have gone on to dominate their fields, becoming genre bestsellers in their own right. From the Rock is a title readers consistently ask for, review well, and is a great way for avid readers to get introduced to indie talent they might find interesting. In March 2018 the series’ third entry, Chillers from the Rock, went Bestseller on pre-orders alone!

We are currently accepting submissions for the sixth entry in this series: Pulp Sci-Fi from the Rock, to be available in Winter of 2020. Continue reading Call for Pulp Sci-Fi Submissions Closed.

The End is Near! Sort-Of…

At one of the panels for Avalon Expo, someone asked “How do you know when to end a story?”

I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I’ve had time to think about it and I thought I’d share some of my current musings. This is especially relevant since the big project I’m working on has spun so far out of control that I have no idea how it’s going to end…  Or if

Honestly, this advice is for me as much as you.

*

So, how do I know when to end a story?

Short answer: Mostly intuition.

Long answer: There are a few ways…

  1. I’ve written the ending first.

Usually I know the end before I even start writing. Most of my short stories start out with that final moment, and then I just have to figure out what happens to bring me to that point.  It happened with The Gemini ProjectThe Invisible Boy; and the two horror stories I’m currently working on.

There were a few times where, when I got to the end of a longer story, I realized that the original idea no longer fit and it was going towards a new ending. But that’s not a bad thing – stories change, it happens. Sometimes you plan on killing all of your characters but a few of them end up surviving somehow. But then you write the final line (for the new ending) and you think to yourself “Yeah, that’s a fantastic ending line”. And all is right with the world again.

  1. I’ve written a really good end-line.

I love a good ending line as much as I love a good opening line. In fact, if I write a so-so ending line it bothers me to no end, because I know it can be better. It’s like looking at a row of pencils that aren’t quite perfectly in line….

Some examples are: Virginia Wolfe’s To the Lighthouse: “Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.” And George Orwell’s 1984:He loved Big Brother.” There’s something about those lines that are so final and yet mean so much more.

  1. The story I wanted to tell is over.

Once I wanted a project to have 25 chapters (for symbolic purposes), but when I reached the end of chapter 22 I realized that I was done. My character’s journey had ended. I’d said all I wanted to say about this particular story, and to write any more would do a disservice to the fantastic ending scene I’d just written. Yes, I wanted to continue with these characters, but I knew that it would be best to start a new plot, with new themes and ideas, instead of dragging this one out.

The Hobbit ends when Bilbo returns home; The Fellowship of the Rings ends with the breaking of the fellowship; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ends when Harry’s school term ends.  Even though their stories continue, their current task has ended and it’s time to take a breather before the next adventure.

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Typically, when I plan my ending, I try to resolve matters – either for better or worse. I don’t like leaving huge plot holes or dangling plot threads. It’s fun to have hints and intrigue and something to look forward to, but I’m not happy when the ending to a book is more like the ending to a chapter (yes, there’s a difference – As Fierce As Steel left me wanting more, while Mindspeak made me regret the time I’d spent reading it).

When in doubt, I think of who’s journey this is. Then I try to find a way to bring them to the end point – to let the character finally achieve their goal, or fail horribly, or realize that they need to change their way of thinking.

Originally, I had no idea how to end The Six Elemental. I tried to resolve what I could, while leaving certain things unsaid, but the end just didn’t feel end-y enough.  Finally I thought about Kit’s journey and how she had changed over the course of the story.  I thought about what I was trying to say with this story and made that the ending, so when people close the book that’s the impression they’re left with.

*

And with that, I return once more into the void from which I came…

Press ‘Enter’ to Continue…

I didn’t write The Six Elemental with any sequels in mind. It sounds crazy to me now – that I put all this effort into creating a future world with a detailed history and never thought of another story for it (“Twenty-One”, in Sci-Fi From the Rock, was adapted from a scene that got cut early on). But, to be fair, I had doubts that I would ever finish this novel – I mean, I’d worked on it for over a decade – so the thought of writing a second was crazy.

But, on the other hand, I’d created an entire future world! Was I ready to just let it go? Surely there’s at least one more tale in there that wants to be told…

For a while I wondered if there was another story to tell… Was there something I had missed?

Then I realized that there was a secret I’d placed in The Six Elemental that I never told the reader. It’s not an obvious secret – it’s more of a secret in the personal history of one character, which explains some of their actions – but it’s there. Continue reading Press ‘Enter’ to Continue…

Just read ‘Flight from Dodge’… now what?

Sci-Fi from the Rock 2016
Sci-Fi from the Rock 2016

So you’re reading Sci-Fi from the Rock you just read Flight from Dodge, the preview to the first book in the cyberpunk satire series Out of Dodge by Scott Bartlett, and you’re wondering: what happens to Carl next? Where does the story go from here? Where can I get the rest of the series?

Fear not, “Flight from Dodge” was merely the first small snippet of a multi-volume work that will keep you interested for the foreseeable future. The first two novels in the series, Flight or Fight and Craven New World, are both available now, with more on the way!

Continue reading Just read ‘Flight from Dodge’… now what?

“‘The Six Elemental’: a compelling page-turner!” | Amanda Labonté

“In a grim future where peace can never be taken for granted, we are introduced to Kit Tyler, an ordinary young woman who receives extraordinary powers. As the possibility of war looms with ever increasing certainty, we follow Kit as she questions her new abilities and her role in the coming conflict.

Blending the worlds of science and mythology, The Six Elemental is a compelling page-turner with a heroine we can all relate to.”

Amanda Labonté, author of Call of the Sea.

The Six Elemental — Available for Pre-Order!

There is a legend that in times of great need, a person wielding the power of all six Elements will come forth to bring peace to New Earth. The myth of the Six-Elemental is almost seven hundred years old, and the possibility of someone having the power of more than one Element has been thoroughly disproven by science.

None of this matters, however, when Kit Tyler receives the power of all six Elements on her twenty-first birthday. Unsure of how the world will react, or how to wield her powers, Kit keeps this information a secret, swearing that she will reveal it when she is stronger and more worthy. After all, the only thing worse than being a walking myth is being a disappointing one.

Continue reading The Six Elemental — Available for Pre-Order!

Erin Vance & Sam Bauer signing, August 14th in Mount Pearl!

Erin Vance - Author / Editor
Erin Vance – Author / Editor

Ever wonder what Engen editor Erin Vance and newest author Sam Bauer are like without those pesky bosses around? What to ask them what it’s really like to work for Engen Books, without getting the stink-eye from the Engen founders? Your chance is here! On Sunday, August 14th at the Glacier in Mount Pearl, Erin Vance and Sam Bauer will have a table at the August Summer Fun Festival!

Bauer and Vance will be selling copies of all current Engen titles, including the complete Black Womb series, the Xander Drew series, and the Infinity series. They will also be signing copies of their April 2016 smash hit anthology collection Sci-Fi from the Rock, which Vance edited and both Vance and Bauer contributed short stories for!

Looking to get started as an author? Vance and Bauer will have information on the forthcoming Fantasy from the Rock collection and how you can get published in it, as well as information on getting published in both short story and novel formats though the local Newfoundland publisher.

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Samuel Bauer, reading at the University of Waterloo from “The Locket”

Sam Bauer is Engen’s youngest writer, from St. John’s Newfoundland. He states his inspiration as stemming from eating too much sugar-laden food, reading the works of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe until 4 am, and transcribing the ensuing nightmares.His first short story, The Locket, has been met with universal acclaim and he is currently hard at work on additional stories for future anthologies, as well as an upcoming novel.

Erin Vance is an editor, author, and a graduate of the Memorial University of Newfoundland English Honors Program. She has edited multiple novels and anthology collections for a variety of publishers, and has penned the short story Cast, Clutter, Pack, Murder as well as the soon-to-be-released publication of her Honor’s Thesis, Song of the Mockingjay, exploring the nature of Katniss Everdeen’s agency in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series.

The August Summer Fun Festival  will run from 10am – 5pm on August 14th at The Glacier arena, 45 Olympic Dr, Mount Pearl.


Sci-Fi from the Rock!

Nineteen short stories written by an eclectic mix of some of the best science-fiction and fantasy authors in Atlantic Canada, some of them award-winning veterans and some of them new to the craft for the first time. Edited by English Honours Graduate and Professional Editor Erin Vance and veteran science-fiction author Ellen Louise Curtis, this collection features the heartfelt, creatively charged, astonishing fiction that showcases the talent and charm Atlantic Canada has to offer. Featuring the work of Kenneth Tam, Scott Bartlett, Jay Paulin, Alison House, & many more!

Sci-Fi From the Rock (Paperback)
Ellen Curtis & Erin Vance (Editors)

Sci-Fi from the Rock 2016

Purchase:

Canada:
Sci-Fi from the Rock (amazon.ca)
Sci-Fi from the Rock (chapters.ca)

US:
Sci-Fi from the Rock(amazon.com)
Sci-Fi from the Rock (Barnes&Noble)

Kindle EBook: Sci-Fi from the Rock (amazon.ca)
Kindle EBook: Sci-Fi from the Rock (amazon.com)

Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1926903293
Release Date: April 01, 2016
Status: Available
Book Type: Paperback (5 x 8 in)
Price (CAD): Buy Local: $20 / EBook: $3.89
Page Count: 280

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