A new issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies was posted today. You should check it out. I’ve been aware of BCS for a while but only recently began reading it. I do enough reading on a computer screen as part of my dayjobbery that I haven’t kept up with the online publications like I should. That’s in the process of changing.
Anyway, BCS posts new issues every two weeks, usually with two stories. The current issue leads off with “The Ghost of Shinoda Forest”, by Richard Parks, a tale of honor and loss in feudal Japan. This story showcases Parks’ ability to develop mood and character in a short space, and is one of the better stories I’ve read in a while. It also is the latest in a series, but functions perfectly well as a stand-alone.
I met Parks when he was a regular attendee at the early Conestogas, the SFF convention in Tulsa. This would have been in the late 90’s and early 00’s. He quit coming after a few years. I remember him as a soft spoken man, but one who was easy to talk to. I’ve long thought him to be one of the more underrated writers working at short fiction lengths in fantasy for the last decade. It would be nice to see him get more recognition. He has several collections out, and has a web page, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to have been updated in a while. There is a bibliography there, if you’re interested in reading more of his work. Of course if you’re one of those people who like things current, check his livejournal page. It was updated yesterday.
The second story, “Dirt Witch” by Eljay Daly, I haven’t read it yet. Since I’m not feeling at the top of my game, I probably won’t read it tonight. I’m going to turn in early. When my energy levels are back up, I’ll post a short review. Until then, I’m starting to fade and need to call it a night.