Tag Archives: fantasy fiction

The Magic of Place

Earlier this month, Julie and I took a 15-mile e-bike journey across the Sonoran Desert north of Phoenix. Our guide knew the area well. He informed us that broken pottery littered the area. The Hohokom people who lived here for thousands of years believed shattering old pots would release the spirit of the departed artists who made them. While we searched for shards, our guide cautioned us to keep our eyes open for rattlesnakes, Sonoran toads, and spiny lizards. A pack of coyotes shadowed us for much of the journey, yipping to each other as they slinked just out of sight behind the brittle bush and ironwood trees.

A light rain dampened our little trek, but quickly blew east in time to catch the last rays of the setting sun and give us this little arc of a rainbow on the distant horizon. A line from H. R. Wakefield’s “He Cometh and He Passeth By” echoed in memory:

“Arizona is a moon-dim region, very lovely in its way, and stark and old, an ancient, lonely land. One is brought up against the vast enigmas of time and space and eternity.

I felt that.

My DMR Books blog interview

I was pleasantly surprised and honored when D.M. Ritzlin of DMR Books asked if he could interview me as part of his series of author profiles. We covered my writing background, the literary and philosophical influences on my fiction, and works in progress.

It’s now online at Independent Author Spotlight: M.C. Tuggle.

The Quarter(ly) Myths, Fables, and Folklore

I’m thrilled to announce that Quarter Press has released the second volume of The Quarter(ly) Journal. It offers fantastical poetry, fiction, comics, and art by award-winning authors and artists, and includes my story “An Alignment of Wood and Water.”

Zach Benson is a master carpenter who builds special projects for special clients along the North Carolina coast. He returns to a client’s house to handle a complaint, something he absolutely dreads having to do. The disgruntled client is a newcomer to the area who lives in an isolated bungalow on Pamlico Sound. She’s a novice witch who claims Zach did not make a witching floor according to her specifications.

As Zach inspects the floor’s enchanted shapes of ash, oak, and cedar, a mysterious figure shows up outside. It takes Zach a while to get his nerve up, but he decides to confront the intruder.

It’s a scary/fun story featuring a creepy familiar, a dreamy shoreline, blue-collar stoicism, and a magical showdown. It also includes my thoughts on malignant do-gooderism. Please check it out! Quarter(ly) Journal is now available at Amazon.

The Quarter(ly) Myths, Fables, and Folklore

Social Network

Social Network
Social Network

Flash Fiction Magazine has published my story Social Network. This piece represents nearly three weeks of writing and re-writing. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out, and I have to thank editor Shanna Yetman for her guidance.

Most of my stories arise from an image I can’t get out of my head. The only relief is to transform that image into a story, and that process inevitably taps into deep-seated concerns. When I recently re-read H.P. Lovecraft’s classic Nyarlathotep, one vivid scene stuck in my imagination:

And where Nyarlathotep went, rest vanished; for the small hours were rent with the screams of nightmare. Never before had the screams of nightmare been such a public problem; now the wise men almost wished they could forbid sleep in the small hours, that the shrieks of cities might less horribly disturb the pale, pitying moon as it glimmered on green waters gliding under bridges, and old steeples crumbling against a sickly sky.

Social Network imagines a malignant presence just as frightening as the one Lovecraft described, though in the form of a technological pandemic no vaccination can stop.

Quote of the day

By Marian Wood Kolisch, Oregon State University – Ursula Le Guin, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89862997

“A fantasy is a journey. It is a journey into the unconscious mind, just as psychoanalysis is. Like psychoanalysis, it can be dangerous; and it will change you.”

Ursula Le Guin, from her magnificent essay From Elfland to Poughkeepsie

Hexagon Year One Anthology

Hexagon Anthology

Now this is an unexpected surprise. The Year One Anthology for Hexagon Speculative Fiction Magazine features all 20 pieces from Hexagon’s successful and groundbreaking first year. There are bonus pieces as well, such as author interviews and new cover concept art.

The anthology includes my flash fiction story Mirrors, which was published in the magazine’s premiere issue. I wrote it after re-reading Dr. Lewis Thomas’ book, The Lives of a Cell, which made me realize how an alien species would marvel at how cooperative humans are despite our aggressive tendencies. I was pleased at Didi Oviatt’s review: “Tuggle’s story of an insight about predatory creatures is a thought-provoking read.”

You’ll find the thought-provoking, the beautiful, and the sublime in the Hexagon Year One Anthology.

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

The hard-working folks at The Internet Speculative Fiction Database have updated my bibliography to include my recent publications.

This is a fantastic resource for readers and writers of speculative fiction. It provides links to directories of authors and publishers, as well as a comprehensive magazine database. You’ll also find links to a gold mine of bibliographic research for all types of speculative fiction, including sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.

Each day, the home page features a listing of international authors born and deceased on that date. Great fodder for blog posts or Tweets!

Quote of the day

“When I was a kid, I read Robert A. Heinlein, I read H.P. Lovecraft, I read Robert E. Howard, and then later Tolkien. Some of these would be classified as fantasy, some as horror and some as science fiction. To me, they were all stories, they were imaginative stories that took me to other worlds, other times, or other planets or dimensions or what have you, and I enjoyed the hell out of them. I didn’t see these as totally different things. I still don’t. I think these distinctions are largely false ones.”

George R. R. Martin

5-Star Review of Hexagon Speculative Fiction Magazine

Hexagon

Didi Oviatt, the author of Justice For Belle, reviews the premiere issue of Hexagon Speculative Fiction Magazine:

In this 1st edition there are five quick science fiction reads by authors Mike Tuggle, Evan Marcroft, John Grey, Michael M. Jones, and Nicholas C. Smith. I’ve read work by Mike Tuggle before and really enjoyed his style, so I knew going in that this edition had potential. I wasn’t disappointed either.. Actually quite the opposite! These contributors really brought their A-game. Gore, action, aliens… it has it all!

Read the rest at Didi Oviatt.

Quote of the day

JRR Tolkien

“The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords. In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveler who would report them.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, On Fairy Stories