The Lost Anthology by Galileo Press.
The Lost Anthology by Galileo Press.

“There are love stories in the underground. I’ll tell you one if you want. It’s a tired old boy meets girl, but it’s got some power to spark in the dark. You can sit and listen, can’t you? You look like you’d like a good love story.”

The other night I sat in my living room with my roommates and stared at a book in my hand.

The Lost Anthology had arrived. And inside is my first published short story ever.

The book has a gorgeous cover, designed by the talented Jeff Himmelman, who is also the designer of Kingdom of Nothing, the tabletop RPG setting in which the anthology is set. It’s published by Galileo Games, one of my favorite indie publishing houses, run by the fantastic Brennan Taylor. The volume was edited by the phenomenal JR Blackwell. Inside are short stories by many amazing writers, including my friends CJ Malarsky and Peter Woodworth.

And the first story in the book is “The Case of George the Curious” by me. It’s even got a quote from me on the back cover.

It’s a surreal thing to see your work in print for the first time. This isn’t my first publication – I’ve had a short scenario published for Cthulhu Invictus before and have had numerous blog posts and newspaper articles published over the years. Yet this story is my first short piece of fiction in a collection and right now, the book is in my hands. It hadn’t sunk in until that moment that this was a thing that happened. I’m so happy that it happened in this anthology as well. First, it was an anthology for charity for a company whose work I’ve adored for years. Also, I was around when Jeff Himmelman first started talking about Kingdom of Nothing as a game and got a chance to alpha and beta test the original tabletop, so seeing this in print now down the road from that design is a wonderful experience.

But also, I’m reminded of all the great writing coaches and teachers who pushed me along when I thought for sure that I couldn’t do it. Teachers like Helen Phillips at Brooklyn College and Maya Sloan at NYU, as well as John Adamus my ever-present editor and friend (dare I say mentor?), all made me a better writer. And because of that, this story exists.

Damn, this is starting to sound like some award ceremony speech. But victories and successes are always like that in my head, because no piece of work just came from a single person. The folks who get you there deserve the celebration as well. So thanks to all of those who helped make this moment – my first short story publication – a reality. A first achieved, bucket list item ticked off, much more to come!

TheLostCover

 

“There are love stories in the underground. I’ll tell you one if you want.” – from ‘The Case of George the Curious’

With those words, we kick off my very first short story publication in the upcoming anthology called The Lost from Galileo Games. Set in the haunting world of Jeff Himmelman‘s indie RPG Kingdom of Nothing, The Lost is a set of stories about those adrift in the underground places of the world, set apart from mankind and forgotten. With the stunning cover designed by Jeff Himmelman himself, the anthology will benefit City Harvest, a charity doing good work to feed the transient and homeless population in New York. Others contributing to this great collection include my good friend CJ Malarsky, Peter Woodworth, Meg Jayanth, K.H. Vaughn, Stephen D. Rogers, Sarah Newton and more, all edited by the fantastic JR Blackwell and brought to you by Brennan Taylor.

The anthology is being funded over at IndieGoGo with all the details. You can check out the book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGRVKoqKZkY

It has been a wonderful experience contributing to this collection. Way back in the day, I was a beta tester on Kingdom of Nothing when Jeff Himmelman was first developing the game and had the pleasure of watching the concept world and mechanics evolve into the touching and evocative game that KoN is today. More than anything, I was always impressed by the deference and respect Jeff designed KoN to convey to the plight of the homeless population. Never was there a question that the game would capitalize on the ‘drama’ of the story of a person who has lost much. The anthology continues that tradition of respect by giving back to those who need help the most.

It was with that respect in mind that I also wrote my story, ‘The Case of George the Curious’. I wanted to focus heavily on what it would be like to lose one’s self in the underground, having lost nearly everything to the Nothing that consumes the characters of this bleak world. Yet in the dark, there would be one last thing I didn’t want to see surrendered – and that was the chance at a love story. I will admit, I barely ever write love stories and this was a big challenge for me. I hope that people reading it will like it.

So come out to the IndieGoGo site and pledge some cash. You get an awesome anthology and for other pledges, you get some great games too from Galileo. So go ahead, and whatever you pledge, you’re contributing to a worthy cause. And if you get the chance, play Kingdom of Nothing. It’s a hell of a game.