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Man, do I love showing off gorgeous book covers…

So here’s the just-finished cover for my first-ever short story collection
Twelve Tales of the Continent.

This collection will be released in a few weeks—first on Kindle and later in a limited print run. Artist Josh Finney (Titanium Rain) has outdone himself!

Pictured here are Artifice the Quill and Taizo of Narr, who are the two main recurring characters in these twelve interrelated tales of dark fantasy.

I once referred to these stories as “Pen & Sorcery” (rather than “Sword & Sorcery”) because their central protagonist is an author/playwright instead of a sword-swinging warrior. Yet there is plenty of swashbuckling adventure and fantastic sorcery here.

Artifice the Quill was born in the pages of WEIRD TALES #340 and soon migrated to BLACK GATE for a series of appearances. Seven of these tales are appearing for the first time in this collection.

Here’s a detailed description:

Artifice the Quill flees from tyrant sorcerers into a world of strange magic, ancient gods, and exotic kingdoms. The exiled author joins a traveling troupe of performers known as the Glimmer Faire, where he learns the magical power of art and the art of magical power. These Twelve Tales of the Continent alternate between the exploits of Artifice and the adventures of Taizo the Rogue, a master of skullduggery who sparks a rebellion in the name of bloody vengeance. 

The Lost Gods of Narr were displaced a century ago by the Sorcerer Kings, a council of dictators who rule the Golden City with necromancy, alchemy, and terror. The mysterious folk of the Red Isle foster dissension in Narr by smuggling their enchanted goods into the city, while the ancient Zang Forest expands itself across the lands of men, devouring farms and towns as it reaches to smother the wicked city. Now that the Lost Gods are returning to destroy the world, only Artifice, Taizo, and a small band of rebels have any hope of preventing the apocalypse. 

And the complete Table of Contents:

The Persecution of Artifice the Quill
Oblivion Is the Sweetest Wine
The Liberation of Lady Veronique
When the Glimmer Faire Came to the City of the Lonely Eye
The Rebirth of Zang
The Doom of the Black Urchin
The Bountiful Essence of the Empty Hand
What Grows in the Season of Sorcery?
Treasures of the Prophet
Return of the Quill
Spilling the Blood of the World
BONUS TALE: The Vintages of Dream


When the Kindle version becomes available I will be sure to announce it right here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. A very limited print run will also be available, but there is no release date yet.

The Kindle version should be out by JUNE (from 01 Publishing).