My blog has been infiltrated by US author Lincoln Crisler. Lincoln is the author of several books, including Magick and Misery, Wild and he recently edited the superhero fiction anthology Corrupts Absolutely?, which I am currently reading (and thoroughly enjoying!)
I think he wants to talk about his latest project though Four in the Morning, so I’ll shut up now:
In about three weeks I have this book coming out called FOUR IN THE MORNING. There are two really awesome things about this book. First, it isn’t just my book. The three stories joining my piece are each written by a talented writer I’m privileged to call a friend. Second, all four stories are dark, but each is firmly entrenched in a different genre: steampunk, urban fantasy, science fiction and horror, to be exact. So I came up with an idea and got to bring it to life with a few good pals, and readers get what amounts to a speculative fiction buffet.
Oh, and I got to write science fiction again. Make that three awesome things.
I seriously stepped outside my comfort zone when writing QUEEN, my contribution to FOUR. The MC is a middle-aged woman who’s looking to rejuvenate herself. You couldn’t find a character more contrary to my life experience. I’m a guy, and I don’t turn 30 even until a month after this book drops, and I love who I am. Those who’ve read QUEEN say I did well despite my disadvantage, and who am I to disagree? With all that unfamiliar terrain I had to navigate, though, I’m happy I was able to have at least a bit of a comfort zone.
I love science fiction. I might love science fiction even more than horror. Before I was ever allowed to crack open a Stephen King or a Dean Koontz, I had been steeped in superhero comics, Piers Anthony, Anne McAffery, Poul Anderson and Isaac Asimov for damn near a decade. The science fiction stories I’ve written—about a robot serial killer, a time-travel mistake and a drunken private eye’s thwarting of an alien plot, amongst others—number among my personal favorites.
I like my science fiction dark, though. I’m a huge fan of everything Star Trek, but my favorite series’ are Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, hands down. Nothing thrills me more than the Mirror Universe stories, canon and non-. The Langoliers is one of my favorite science fiction stories ever. Straczinski’s Rising Stars is one of the best self-contained superhero series’ you’ll ever crack open. None of this stuff is sweetness and light. None of the characters can be said to be all good or all evil. And a broken moral compass is almost a necessity.
So, while I explored the uncharted territory of the mature female psyche, I’d like to think that the uncertainty, infinite possibilities and opportunities for self-discovery offered by all great science fiction were effective tools I could use to smooth things out a bit and tell a story I’m proud of.
You’ll have to judge for yourself in the end, of course.
A young girl coming of age in an alternate, steampunk Chicago learns the truth about herself while avenging her lost friends. A bitter, teenage murderer finds acceptance and power in the arms of a dark African god’s gangster disciples. A middle-aged woman in a frigid marriage discovers her experimental age-defying treatment may be something more than skin deep. A worn, aged, small-town patriarch uncovers a web of sinister transactions revolving around his local funeral home.
Four in the Morning offers adventurous steampunk, sinister urban fantasy, dark science fiction and bone-chilling horror in three novelettes and one novella from four exciting genre voices.
Lincoln Crisler’s body of work includes two short story collections and one novella and editorship of the dark superhero anthology Corrupts Absolutely? His work has appeared in a variety of print and online venues. He is a noncommissioned officer in the US Army and a three-time veteran of the War on Terror. Lincoln currently lives in Augusta, Georgia, with his wife and two of his three children. He regularly blogs, offers his opinions on current events and publishing trends and reviews books at http://lincolncrisler.info/.