December 2008 Newsletter


Monthly Writing Challenge


Editors' Choices


Publication Announcements

On Shelves Now

Membership Info



This month we welcome Karen Meisner, Fiction Editor and Associate Editor of Strange Horizons, as our new Resident Editor for short stories. We know we'll be seeing some terrific contributions from her.  She has been the administrator of the Speculative Literature Foundation's Fountain Award for short fiction, and helps run WisCon, the world's leading feminist science-fiction convention.

On OWW, we forge friendships, bridges and lifelong bonds. We also learn from each other and build on that foundation of knowledge--even if we don't really know each other outside submissions and reviews. We hope these past twelve months of OWW and the newsletter have enlightened, inspired and encouraged you to keep writing and growing, but nothing evolves on its own. For that we have you to thank.  OWW runs on the talents and generosity of its members--and that's you!

As always, contact us if you have any questions, publication announcements, or ideas for improving the OWW Newsletter.

Maria Zannini, newsletter editor
newsletter (at)

Monthly Writing Challenge

What with Divali, Christmas, Hanukah, it is the season of light, of myth and celebration. This month's challenge is to write a myth of fading and returning light. This myth can be about the terror of the encroaching darkness, the joy of the returning of light, or any theme you choose.

Remember: Challenges are supposed to be fun, but don't forget to stretch yourself. If you normally write fantasy, try SF. If you've never tried space opera, here's your chance. It doesn't have to be great. It's all about trying new things. There's no word limit, no time limit, no nothin'. Just have fun.

Challenges can be suggested by anyone and suggestions should be sent to Maria (newsletter (at) or Walter Williams via the discussion list. For more details on the challenges, check the OWW Writer Space.


Challenge Sellers: There's no satisfaction like meeting a challenge...and then selling the story! We're updating the list of Challenge Sales at the OWW Writer Space this month, and looking for your help.  If you've sold a story written for a Workshop Challenge, head on over and add it in, or drop us a line at with the details!

Odyssey Writing Workshop: The 2009 workshop for science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers will be held from June 8th to July 17th at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Odyssey is a great opportunity to improve writing and meet editors and authors.  eanne Cavelos, Odyssey's director, founder, and primary instructor, is a best-selling author and a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, where she won the World Fantasy Award for her work.  Being a writer/editor makes Cavelos uniquely suited to provide students with constructive and professional critiques of their work.  "I give the same unflinchingly honest, concrete, detailed feedback that I provided as a senior editor," Cavelos said.  Her typewritten critiques average around 1,000 words, and her handwritten line edits on manuscripts are extensive.  In addition, she guides students through the six weeks, gaining in-depth knowledge of their work, providing detailed assessments of their strengths and weaknesses in private meetings, and helping them target their weaknesses one by one.
Odyssey class time is split between workshopping sessions and lectures.  An advanced, comprehensive curriculum covers the elements of fiction writing in depth. Students learn the tools and techniques necessary to strengthen their writing.  More information can be found at  The director, Jeanne Cavelos, is always happy to answer questions and discuss the workshop.  She can be reached by email at

Editors' Choices

The Editors' Choices are chosen from the submissions from the previous month that show the most potential or otherwise earn the admiration of our Resident Editors. Submissions in four categories--science fiction chapters, fantasy chapters, horror, and short stories -- receive a detailed review, meant to be educational for others as well as the author. 

This issue's reviews are written by Resident Editors Jeanne Cavelos, John Klima,  Karin Lowachee, and Karen Meisner. The last four months of Editors' Choices and their editorial reviews are archived on the workshop. Go to the "Read, Rate, Review" page and click on "Editors' Choices." 

Congratulations to the current Editors' Choice authors!

Editors' Choices, Fantasy

CHASING THE TRICKSTER, Chapter 6 by April Grey

For the first time ever, I was compelled to read all the submissions that related to the chapter I picked for this month. I wanted to understand as much of it as possible, and the odd chapters occur in the present and even chapters occur five years ago. I didn't think that reading just one chapter in a story being told in this back-and-forth fashion would receive fair assessment from me. There is a strong story here with characters I found compelling. The concerns and issues I see in Chapter Six did not rear their heads as strongly in other chapters. For this review I will go over some of the bigger concerns from which I think everyone will benefit.

First, there were problems with pronouns. Since the story goes back and forth through time, featuring characters that are possessed by other beings, and having characters talk quite a bit about characters that aren't in the scene, Grey needs to be careful when using pronouns. There were several instances when I was not sure who was being spoken about. The chapter even begins using a pronoun, "they," to tell the reader who's in the scene. This is never a good idea. Unless it's the very first time the reader is meeting a character, always be definitive about who's in the scene. And even when it's the first time, it never hurts to use a first name or some sort of description to fix the character in the reader's mind.

As to the bigger problem when using pronouns, make sure that it's absolutely clear to whom you're referring. It may be clear in your head as the writer, but have someone else read through it to be certain that you're actually being clear.   It can be hard enough for a reader to learn who all the characters in a novel are when you use their names; imagine how difficult it is when you only use pronouns. 

Second, there is dialog in this chapter that doesn't sound like anything a person would say out loud. Again, this is better in other chapters, but in this chapter it is a problem. There are many occasions where the characters say "you are" and "I am" and so on. These are places where a contraction could, and should, be used, particularly since this novel is set in the present day. It's rare for people to speak without contractions--it reads awkwardly and sounds unnatural. For example, "You have got me really angry" does not sound very angry; in face it sounds childlike. A better way to phrase this would be to say "You're making me really angry!" or "You're starting to piss me off!" The sentence should sound angry; the reader needs to believe that the character is angry.

The thing I always tell people about dialog is to read it out loud. Often something sounds fine in your head, but when you hear it out loud, it doesn't sound right.

Third, all the chapters that I read from this novel contain a lot of dialog. This chapter is fairly typical for the amount of dialog versus descriptive action. While I'd never encourage someone to write a novel without any dialog, the opposite holds true, too. Using description helps enhance the dialog. Maybe I've just hit a series of chapters that lack descriptive narrative, but it feels to me it's more just Grey's style than not. The big problem that comes out of this is that Grey presents an inconsistent timeline of events: characters refer to previous actions that should have been written out earlier in the narrative.

One tool to balance the types of writing and keep control of the narrative flow is to create a master document--perhaps a spreadsheet--that breaks the story down into chapters, who's in the chapters, where the chapter happens, some details about what happens in the chapter, whether the chapter is dialog- or narrative-driven, etc.

There is the playwriting maxim from Anton Chekov that states "One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it." Basically, don't put anything unnecessary into the story. However, I also think you can't pull something out of nothing just to surprise the reader; you need to set things up. If a character made some phone calls, you don't need to provide all the details, but if the reader is following that character as he or she moves from place to place, you should tell the reader some phone calls were made. Later, you can provide the details from the phone calls as their relevance is needed.

So this month,  my points center around dialog. There are some simple things to keep in mind that will make your dialog advance the story you're telling. Make sure the dialog sounds natural. If you're not sure, read it out loud. Even better, have someone read it out loud with you. Don't use too much dialog--balance it with description. It becomes difficult to tell what's happening in a story when the reader's only point of reference is dialog. Tighten up your dialog, watch your pronouns, and the story will follow.

--John Klima, Editor, Electric Velocipede

Editors' Choices, Science Fiction


This month's selection was up against a few other great chapters, but ultimately the adept characterization in Giusti's chapters bears pointing out. From the very first line, where we find Rodrigo digging up a grave, there is a clear voice to the character even if it's in the third person. Coupled with a story that is immediately intriguing, the voice adds interest and a smooth readability.

His father once told him, you send an idiot to college, you get back an idiot. This boy was definitely an idiot. Rodrigo and his twelve brothers and sisters never stepped one foot into a college. And they all did just fine.

Then he asked himself, how come the idiot's the one not digging?

The humor plays very well into the tone of the story and the characters, as it's rather dark and wry, without being cartoonish. This is a writer who isn't just content in telling a story, but in making it a pleasure to read by infusing it with personality. Having a book that shows personality in the way it's written, as well as through the characters, is a skill to utilize to make your book stand apart from the many others that might be competently written but don't go the extra mile. This is the book's Voice.

Being so firmly rooted in Rodrigo's headspace also allows the narrative to surprise the reader, as we don't see the twist coming when it hits at the end of the chapter. In less skilled hands, such a twist can come off too convenient, but the hints and humor are so well placed that the distancing from Rodrigo's viewpoint (being whacked on the head won't make him too contemplative) and then the cut-off at the end feels natural. The writer set up Jules, Rodrigo's gravedigging partner, so well through Rodrigo's eyes that the betrayal--while perhaps anticipated in some way--is still convincing. It is also a great place to end a chapter and ensure the turning of the page.

The subsequent chapters introduce more characters (all of them with distinct personalities) but build on the intrigue and clues left in Chapter One. This is an effective way to unfold the plot and something as simple as a dead body or the mention of a location is enough of an image to connect the chapters, even if the body isn't the same one or the location is only glancingly mentioned in one chapter and later described in more detail. This way the storylines are braided together without being too paint-by-numbers, and each chapter gives a better picture of the overall idea as we read along.

These chapters also show a great balance between dialogue and setting. While the first chapter was in a very limited location (a gravesite), with much of the telling details shown through interiors, the second chapter introduces the landscape as a whole (the Mojave) and works it well into the characterization (State Trooper Giordano's unadorned response to the observation that the desert is beautiful: "No, it ain't.") By the time we reach Chapter 3 and the odd boat casino, we have a good feel and image of the world these people inhabit out there in Nevada, while not losing sight of the colorful aspect of the characters themselves.

There are small, but numerous, inconsistencies in the tense usage that detracted from the reading, as here: "The kid had even pulled out a calculator and starts to figure out how much the gold is worth."

Since the narrative is so well developed in other areas, before considering submitting it, it would be a good idea to go through the book sentence by sentence to try and make it as clean as possible. Using the workshop as a readership example as well as a way to get into the habit of submitting clean manuscripts can be helpful.

Lastly, the final end of Chapter 3 didn't ring as strongly as the previous two chapters. If Chapter 3 is incomplete, it's understandable; otherwise I would suggest ending on a better upswing, some kind of intriguing note that will propel the reader forward to Chapter 4. The conversation itself between Camp and Rachel is witty and smooth, so you don't want to dilute it with a throwaway, nondescript image (like that of Camp chomping down on a curly fry).

Overall, these first three chapters are solid and clearly illustrate a book that demands to be read and promises to deliver on all of the questions so deftly set up.

--Karin Lowachee

Editors' Choices, Short Story

"Los Pequeños (The Small Ones)" by Maria Deira 

I'm always interested in fiction that plays with viewpoint: who is telling this story, how much of the story do they know, and how much of that are they choosing to tell us? What are we missing?

"Los Pequeños (The Small Ones)" opens with a framing device that places us firmly within the real world: a humid cafeteria in a nursing home, a digital recorded interview with a woman who, we are assured, is "not a liar, nor senile." That woman is Carmen, the great-aunt of the interviewer, and she tells of a horrific event from her childhood, when mysterious creatures captured, killed, and skinned several young children from her village in order to wear their skins.

Carmen sets a vivid and flavorful scene right away: summer in with her aunt and uncle in a village of migrant workers, in the 1940s. We get comfortable within a setting that reads like solid realism, which makes the otherworldly Small Ones all the more effectively eerie when they show up. There is a wrongness about them: not only are they out of place in the village, but their presence seems an unnatural intrusion into the story itself.

A different kind of story might ask who Los Pequeños are and why they're doing what they do. But we're seeing this through the childhood memories of a woman who has never gotten answers to those questions, and she has no answers to offer us. Of Los Pequeños we learn almost nothing; they appear out of nowhere on horseback (I fear the black robes may be a bit much, conjuring up associations with Ringwraiths and such), do horrendous things, then disappear. One gets the impression that their movements are organized and purposeful, but we cannot make sense of them. Terrible things just happen, and there's no lesson or conclusion to be drawn from them.

The story contains elements that resonate beyond the specific. There are disturbing undertones to the children's helplessness before these powerful creatures' "hunger, their desire, their excitement" to use the children's bodies, and the complicit priest. The imagery of pale invaders among the Hispanic population strikes evocative notes too, particularly in their use of religious authority to manipulate the villagers into complacency. I'm not reading allegory into any of this, but the resonance gives the story deeper emotional impact.

Framing devices have to bring something valuable to our understanding of the story, or they feel extraneous. At the very least, a frame can make the reader more aware of the angle from which the story is being told. In "Los Pequeños" the framing device plays an essential role. It establishes that what we will hear is a narrative, not an omniscient perspective: we should not expect to get all of the story, only one person's limited vision of events. This leaves room for mysteries to remain unsolved, and keeps the focus on Carmen's own experience. The frame also allows a story about children, seen from a child's-eye view, to be delivered in a mature voice, from a distance of many years. It's neatly done.

That said, it does feel a little thin. Carmen has been talking about perfectly ordinary memories for months, and then one day, with no apparent provocation, launches into the fantastical. I enjoy the effect, as though the world might be full of old ladies who've lived through all kinds of supernatural weirdness and just don't go on about it! But I wonder what transpired over the course of the interview to make her finally decide to tell this story? Perhaps Carmen hasn't had many people in her life sit down and pay serious attention to what she's got to say? If the niece could work in some observation along those lines, then Carmen's sudden outpouring would seem less arbitrary. I also wonder if there's a reason the niece is choosing to relay the interview to us now, four years after recording it? What does she think of her Tía's tale? I'm not looking for elaborate answers to these questions, but I think the introduction could use a touch more indication of the dynamic between the two women, to fill out our sense of the framing device as more than just a tool for delivering the story.

The physical blocking around the caves gets confusing. Carmen falls into the chamber from a three-foot drop, but later she's stuck there because the ceiling is six feet above. Then, after being pulled out by Father Paco, she wants to jump back into the chamber and crawl to Ricardo and Luisa. Also, the strong sense of setting fades when we enter the caves, as we move between spots that are only described as "rooms". I'd like more sensory details throughout this section. The feel of the walls, the smell of the air, a glimpse of color. Damp earth or hard stone underfoot? We don't need a lengthy description of every new chamber, just a reminder to keep our imaginations anchored in that backdrop.

When the villagers wonder how Luisa, Tiny, and Carmen had stayed alive, there's no mention of Ricardo, who survived as well. Where does he go when this is all over? Ricardo comes across to me as an afterthought, an extra character fed into the mix but not fully realized. There's room to expand this character, but I wonder if he's needed at all?

When Azucena is killed, Carmen faints. It rings false to me because the faint is such a stock fictional convention: fade to black, as a way to cut a scene and move us ahead to the next one. Fainting also disrupts our identification with her: it's hard to feel connected to someone who nods off in the middle of all the action! I'd rather wake the poor kid up and let her have a more active response: go tearing around the cave trying to get out, or cower by the farthest wall covering her ears -- anything that lets her continue to function as our agent in the story. The beauty of a presentational narrative like this one, where Carmen is consciously filtering her story for an audience, is that she doesn't even have to describe what she saw or did. If she were to skip over a gruesome scene by saying she doesn't want to remember what happened, we still get to move ahead, but instead of cutting Carmen out of the picture, this brings her forward into the spotlight, and reminds us that we're being presented with a narrative that's really about the woman telling it.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this story is how much of it is told in the negative space around the edges of things that happened, rather than directly describing the things themselves. We never see what went on between Luisa and Father Paco that sent her running naked down the hill and left her emotionally dissociated afterwards. We hear pieces of Luisa's story from her parents and Ricardo; we don't hear anything about it from Luisa herself. There is a dreadful hole in the story where Luisa's piece should be, and while I'd like to see a little more shaping around the untold event, it's an effective way to hint at unspeakable things.

The ending brings us full circle to close the frame. Some stories resolve, while others resonate. When Carmen finishes telling her story, nothing has been tied up in any sort of neat resolution, but we're left with haunting reverberations.

--Karen Meisner, Editor, Strange Horizons

Editors' Choices, Horror

"The Nunnery at Louvier" by Joe Crofford

I love the work of H. P. Lovecraft, so I was excited to read this homage to the author. This story follows three young graduates of Miskatonic University as they encounter an abandoned nunnery in France, explore its secret passages, and discover a horrible truth. I think the greatest strength of this piece is the voice. Joe, you are obviously very familiar with Lovecraft's work, and you have done a very nice job of capturing that style and voice. It's a voice I really enjoy, so from the moment I start to read, I settle into it like a comfortable chair and look forward to the scientific explorations and cosmic horrors that will ensue.

The plot, as I described it above, echoes many Lovecraft plots. The one I think of, since it's my favorite, is "At the Mountains of Madness." The general structure of the plot is obviously sound, since it has worked for Lovecraft and for many authors inspired by Lovecraft. But the way it is developed here is not as strong as it might be. I feel, as I read, that the story is going through the motions. The characters must find the abandoned building, must learn of its history, must decide to explore, and must encounter the horrific creatures. I feel like the author is ticking off points on a checklist, not that events have taken a life of their own and are leading in an exciting and unpredictable way to a surprising yet inevitable conclusion. Now, many authors do work from outlines and do tick off points on that outline; there's absolutely nothing wrong with that; I actually recommend it for many authors. But regardless of how the author actually works, readers need the illusion that the characters are acting on their own motivations, and that events are unfolding without interference by the author, through a chain of cause and effect.

I'm not convinced that these events unfold on their own; they seem to proceed in a predictable way to a predetermined end. Part of the problem is that this formula is too familiar and no new twist or element is introduced to give it new life. This danger is inherent in writing an homage. No author can be as good at being Lovecraft as Lovecraft himself was, so he must either bring something of his own to the story or settle for writing a story that is in the mode of Lovecraft, but not as good. I think you have resisted bringing yourself to this story--to keep it more purely Lovecraft--and the story suffers from that.

I've been pretty vague so far, so let me be more specific. Here are some of the events that seem manipulated by the author: the horses abandoning them at the nunnery; the drunkenness of the characters, which is used as a motivation/excuse for their unwise actions; the ease of finding and following the secret passage; the convenient appearance of the horrific creatures just when the story needs them; the subsequent disappearance of the creatures; and the inexplicable survival of the characters. Some of these would seem more natural if you spent more time on them, "selling" them to the reader, rather than rushing through them in a perfunctory manner. For example, if you had spent three paragraphs describing a growing sense of dread as they approached the nunnery, and then the shriek of the opening gate triggered the flight of the horses, I would believe that the horses had bolted without the author forcing them to. Other elements would work better if you placed critical information earlier in the story. If you had set up the characters as wild drinkers in the first sentence, rather than suddenly telling us they were drunk halfway through the story, I would have found the characters' actions more believable (the characters also need to behave in a drunken way throughout, which they don't currently do). A stronger causal chain would help in other cases. For example, right now, the creatures emerge from the pool for no apparent reason. If, instead, the narrator had been drunkenly stumbling throughout the story, and stumbled in the chamber and touched the surface of the pool, triggering the emergence of the creatures, that would be a bit stronger.

These changes could strengthen the plot and better create the illusion that it is evolving on its own. I'm afraid, though, that I think the story would still be a pale reflection of Lovecraft. Since Lovecraft is a major writer in the horror genre, a story that is a pale reflection may still be moving and memorable. But I would love to see you do more. Lovecraft wrote of cosmic horrors that tore away man's sanity because this theme spoke deeply to him. He felt this horror himself, in his soul, and it came out on the page. The biggest weakness in this story is the climax. There are horrible creatures, a bizarre setting, and some physical threat to the characters. I feel suspense about what will happen to the characters, and I think the description of the creatures is cool, but I don't feel the cosmic horror at all. I don't think the narrator feels it either. This is the heart of the story you are writing, but I don't think it is your heart. You're obviously a skilled and talented writer; I know you have things to say--horrors that haunt you in the middle of the night, fears you leave unspoken in the light of day. I hope you will write about those things, because when you apply your abilities to what truly lurks in your core, you will write a story that will shake us all.  As Edith Wharton said, "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." I would love to see you be the candle rather than the mirror.

I hope this is helpful.

--Jeanne Cavelos, editor, author, director of Odyssey 


Resource Round-Up

This month, we thought we'd offer a round-up of writing resources in place of our author/pro interview. If you like to see more of this be sure to let us know.

Search the meaning of acronyms and abbreviations.

Absolute Write
Well-rounded writer's resource offering several newsletters, market information, interviews, links and news.

Alicia Rasley's Writers' Corner
Editor Alicia Rasley offers tips and courses for writers in all genres.

Babel Fish
Translation tool.

Charlotte Dillon Links for Romance Writers
List of writing links, including tax information, writer resource and communities, and grammar. Although this is listed as a resource for romance writers, I can assure you the advice works well for all genres.

DOD Dictionary of Military Terms
Website include military acronyms, abbreviations, and terms.

Encyclopedia of Mythica
Online encyclopedia of myth, lore and legend. Over six thousand entries on gods, goddesses, worldwide legends and heroes.

Gizmos and Gadgets
Mystery and murder authors, keep your characters armed with the latest tools of the forensics trade. Gizmos and Gadgets offers all sorts of goodies to the law enforcement world.

Lady Gryphon's Mythical Realm
A list and description of every paranormal creature.

Locus Online
Magazine for SF/F readers and professionals. Offers industry news, book reviews, author interviews and a resource page.

Mastering The Dreaded Synopsis
by Fictionwise editor Lee Masterson.

Timelines in History
History of the world time lines, plus off-site links for other interesting historical information.

Spec Fic World
Writer's resource offering publishing news, writers' information, and links.

SFWA Writer Beware
Information from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association; includes agent warnings for writers shopping their wares.

Word Origins
Web site on etymology; offers word listings, application, slang and grammar.

30 days of Worldbuilding
A launch pad of world-building exercises.

More writer's resources can be found here on the OWW site. Send us your favorites!

Publication Announcements

Andrew Alford says, "My first acceptance was 'China Doll Recall,' also workshopped on OWW. And now my short story 'Saint Michael's Sword' has just been accepted by Space & Time Magazine. I had submitted it as 'Michael's Sword' a little over 5 months ago. Many thanks go to Nancy Kreml (who critiqued twice!), Pamela Troy, William Wood and Wenonah Lyon, who provided valuable criticism (in particular, pointing out the problem of 'clarity'). So...I love you guys."

Aliette de Bodard says: "I've sold 'Dancing for the Monsoon,' my Cambodian dancer short story (the one I wrote under 24 hours at OSC's Bootcamp), to Abyss & Apex. Many thanks to my fellow Bootcampers for helping me get this into shape, as well as to Marshall Payne for keeping up my faith in it."

Michael Goodwin's first published novel, CASCA: IMMORTAL DRAGON debuted in November. "It is the latest novel in the popular Casca The Eternal Mercenary series that the illustrious Barry Sadler created and wrote 22 books from 1979 to 1991."

Rita de Heer tells us, "My short story 'The Carbon Knitter's Tale' made it into CANTERBURY 2100: PILGRIMAGES IN A NEW WORLD, a recently-published anthology."

C S Inman says, "I'm reporting my first sale, and I believe I have OWW to thank! After I workshopped my short story 'Prince of Wolves' I sold it to Expanded Horizons for their second issue, November 2008. I think it's neat that my membership in OWW just paid for over half of my membership in OWW. Thanks again to everyone who runs this fabulous site."

Heidi Kneale fills us in on her latest: "Not much to say other than my story 'As Good As Gold' was 14K words. Not often one finds a market for such a long story. Also sold one to Abyss & Apex, 'The Devil You Know.' Thanks to the variety of critters (including a few VC regulars) who critted two completely different versions of this story over three years ago. It's one of the stories in the BEST OF ABYSS & APEX. Quite a few heady names in there, including a couple from the OWW. Also, a story of mine is coming out in the fantasy romance anthology THE ENCHANTED FAERIE, out from The Wild Rose Press. Ebook out this month, hardcopy out in February."

Marshall Payne says: "I wrote this little horror piece a couple of weeks ago, 'The Collection Plate.' Sent it to Brutarian and they liked it and want to use it in 2009. First place I sent it. Surprised me. Cool. Considered a pro sale too, I do believe. And Forbidden Fruit wants my gay SF time-travel story, "Edward's Second Shot," for issue #17."

Jeff Spock's story "Everything That Matters," which was an Editor's Choice waaaay back in 2004, appears in Issue 219 (Nov. 2008) of Interzone. He says, "I would like to thank Vy Kaftan and Debbie Smith who had the patience to review it twice (at Clarion and with the OWW), as well as Maria Zannini and Sylvia Wadlington."

On Shelves Now

coverPERFECT CIRCLE by Carlos Cortes (Bantam Spectra, November 2008)

Set in the impenetrable jungles of the African Congo, here is a story that asks if man and nature are fated to clash -- or if the right man can break the cycle.  Heir to a mining dynasty, geologist Paul Reece has chosen a simple life over the scheming opportunism of the International Mining Company. But when IMC approaches him about their mysterious discovery miles beneath the rain forest, Paul is compelled to set aside the sordid event that drove him from his legacy. For the project requires not only a brilliant engineer but one gutsy enough to descend 20,000 feet of solid rock -- into the heart of a miracle. With Paul’s expertise, IMC can unearth a windfall–unless Paul decides to bury them first.  But Paul isn’t alone in his quest. Congo’s mystics have prepared for this day. Paul doesn’t realize it yet, but he’s been chosen to pilot a mission that will decide the fate of humanity.

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Got a helpful tip for your fellow members? A trick or hint for submitting or reviewing, for what to put in your author's comments, for getting good reviews, or for formatting or titling your submission? Share it with us and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. Just send it to support (at) and we'll do the rest.

Until next month--just write!

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