Schuyler Hernstrom on Misha Burnett’s Endless Summer

We’ve just received Schuyler Hernstrom’s foreword for Endless Summer, and we thought it was too good not to share.

Discussing stories is a complicated business.  Buried somewhere underneath layers of criticism, commerce, and identity you might find some deep understanding of Misha’s work. But I worry that careless digging will disturb the landscape. I challenge myself to think about his work with the care and sensitivity that he puts into it.

For me, Misha is the consummate craftsman. He carefully constructs vessels designed to take you to other places. Each one is different yet bears certain hallmarks that identify its maker. The people populating Misha’s stories are understandable and relatable. Misha understands what people want and what they need. A rhythm beats behind the prose. It is plain when you want it to be plain and colorful when you want it to be colorful. You see and experience things that are at times bizarre, outlandish or horrifying, and yet it seems plausible and real.

How does he pull all this off? It is his craft, a thing he has studied and worked at a long time.

It’s an interesting paradox. Misha is a deeply sensitive and intelligent man interested in the fantastic. But this is wedded with another side to his personality, the engineer and the tinkerer. The two sides come together and create art and you have a watertight vessel for exploring all the dark and strange corners of the universe. Ultimately, it reminds me of Japanese joinery. Timbers are locked together without nails or plates. If you squint and stare long enough up at the rafters, you may perceive the lines hinting at interlocking tenons. It’s a kind of sorcery gained from hard work and a special something that the artists possesses. 

Misha is a treat for me. As a writer, it is difficult to read something for enjoyment without trying to pull it apart. But reading an author with such command, such careful control, I can relax and enjoy the magic. After all, I’m the sort of person that doesn’t want to know the magician’s secrets. I want to enjoy the show. This collection is a front row seat.

Misha Burnett’s Endless Summer is available for pre-order now through Kickstarter. We’ve hit our initial goal but we are hoping for a strong finish in these final days.

New Schuyler Hernstrom Anthology: Eye of Sounnu

DMR Books has a new Schuyler Hernstrom Anthology out! This collects all of Sky’s stories published in Cirsova Magazine from 2016 – 2019, Mortu and Kyrus in the White City, plus an all-new story! For more details, see here.

Plus, Sky has a brand new Sci-fi thriller, Mission 21, in the Cirsova Summer Special, out May 22nd!

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Cirsova #5 Free All This Week!

We’ve been running a promotion on twitter, where for every 100 retweets, we’ll make a back issue of Cirsova free.

We’re making #5 free first, because it contains both The First American (Schuyler Hernstrom) and Beyond the Great Divide (S.H. Mansouri), which are finalists for the Planetary Awards and the Ursa Major Awards respectively.

So, download the issue, read those stories, and go vote!

Cirsova-Published Works Make Tangent Online’s 2017 Recommended Reading List

Each year, Tangent Online publishes a list of the stories they felt were the best among the pieces that they reviewed over the course of that year.

We are thrilled that this year’s recommended reading list includes Brian K. Lowe’s diptych of stories, “War of the Ruby”/”Shapes in the Fog”, in the Short Stories category and Schuyler Hernstrom’s Novella “The First American”.

All three of these stories can be found in Cirsova #5, which is available in ebook, paperback, and hardcover.

Tangent Online’s full 2017 list can be read here.

Cirsova’s 2017 stories, by category, can be found here.

Couple of Interviews! (Schuyler Hernstrom & Me)

I was going to write up a debriefing of my session running Raiders of the Second Moon, but Jeffro asked if I could post that at Castalia House, so it’ll be going up there Friday after next.

Instead, check out these two interviews! Yesterday, Scott Cole did an awesome interview with Schuyler Hernstom, which you can read here.

I also answered some questions about the design and art aspects of Cirsova at Nya Designs.

Planetary Awards Voting Open Now

Cirsova contributor Schuyler Hernstrom has several pieces that were nominated in the Short Fiction category for this year’s Planetary Awards. At least two of them (The Gift of the Ob-Men and Images of the Goddess) can be read for free on our website.

Originally posted on Planetary Awards: We’re expanding the voting pool for the awards this year, so read this entire post to find out if YOU are eligible to vote. But first, here are the 2016 stories nominated by book bloggers across the internet: Short Stories / Novellas “Athan and the Priestess” by Schuyler Hernstrom, found in…

via Vote for the best stories of 2016 — Planetary Defense Command

Seagull Rising has Some Awesome Things To Say About Us

Seagull Rising digs the magazine in general:

Cirsova picks up where the dry and dusty modern magazines left off.  It has abandoned the dry and ‘meaningful’ stories carefully crafted to appeal to the right kind of readers, and instead offers the kind of adventurous fun that the pulps used to offer.

and Schuyler Hernstrom in particular:

Images of the Goddess reads like a Dying Earth tale without the oppressive atmosphere or Cugel the Clever’s constant malicious conniving. Hernstrom’s prose harkens back to Vance, but the descriptions lack Vance’s frequent vagueness, and have a much lighter touch.  On the whole, this tale is even better than Dying Earth.  And that’s really saying something.

You can check out the Magazine that “is a vindication of Jeffro’s [Appendix N] work” and the Novella that “is even better than Dying Earth” on Amazon now, both on Kindle and Paperback!

No One Writes Dames Like Schuyler Hernstrom

Probably one of the hardest part of writing dames is conveying just how gorgeous and desirable they are. Some writers are content to just tell us outright that they’re pretty, beautiful, hot, whatever.  Others might try to throw at us ‘garments clinging to their supple form’, ‘milky thighs’, ‘ample bosoms’, or ‘pert upturned breasts’ if they’re really reaching.

Schuyler Hernstrom’ll either make you step your game up or give it up:

“Athan’s eyes looked past the captain to the tower’s doorway. There stood a woman of incomparable beauty. Her green eyes sat calm under a delicate brow. From temple to cheek, to mouth and chin, the lines of her face described an impossible perfection. Her beauty was all things at once, chaste and lustful, mournful and blissful, fleeting and eternal. She was the earth’s rhythms, the lust of spring, the excess of summer, the remorse of fall, the sorrow of winter. She was the Priestess. Alone among the Ullin she wore her hair long. The wind stirred the fair locks to alight on cheek and shoulder. Athan’s heart ached to look upon her.”

Daaaaamn!  Now there is a lady worth killing for or dying for or ushering in a mankind-ending apocalypse for. That is not easy to top.

You can read “Athan and the Priestess” in Schuyler’s anthology Thune’s Vision.

His short story “The Gift of the Ob-Men” can be found in Cirsova #1 and his new Novella “Images of the Goddess” is in Cirsova #2.