Fantasy & Science Fiction: Past & Present

When I was a teen and started buying my own books, fantasy and science fiction came in all sizes. The tradition now is for an average fantasy novel to be around a 100,000 words. Some fantasy novels out there are doubler or triple that size now. That is  the current mode and expectation. But when I first dove into reading science fiction and fantasy, many of these novels were much smaller, slim paperback volumes. But the tales within were epic! The small books from great authors now legendary:Tanith Lee, Ursula K. Le Quin, Robert E Howard, Ray Bradbury, and more. Everything is so complicated in the publishing world. This is why I love going into used bookstores, which is about the only place to find books these days outside of Amazon. There are some bookstores left, but few work with smaller publishers and carry their books. I understand there is an issue of profit and loss, but that hurts some genuine good authors who are looking to expand. So I take my shopping to the used bookstores or buy online. I miss finding those little gems. Of course, my personal library is stocked with my old favorites. But it would be nice to for publishers to think back on these slim books with so much impact. Not everything has to be a thousand pages to telll a great story. What are your favorites? 

Snow White: My Story

This story first appeared in print antholgy by Mystic Signals, Issue 13. April 2012. 

This short story was my retelling of onw of my favorite fairy tales, Snow White. This dark tale has so much wonder, and sadlly, not as appreciated. I do agree (as far as Disney film) their version's use of the seven dwarfs was silly. But the wicked queen and innocent Snow White had a deeper message. Being a strong character is not just about swinging a sword. Snow White was an innocent, but she was also strong. She was kind and generous. Her path thorny with trials and threat of death, but in the end, she rose form the ashes thanks to magic and found not only true love, but (this is often left out of movies and tales) made sure her wicked stepmother/queen was punished. I made sure to include that in my version of Snow White. These fairy tales are old, and predate Grimm. They gathered these tales in Europe, but they are hundreds, even thousands of years older than we know. Fairy tales are a fascination of mine. It's not about the kiss. It's about light being rewarded and darkness banished. The tale is free to to read on my website (with many others, old and new). It was originally published by Mystic Signals edition 13, 2012 print anthology only.  Enjoy! Here is the direct link: Snow White: My Story

War Poet

My second novel in the Rogue Bardess series, War Poet is nearly done. I have dragged my heroine Rose Greenleaf through the trauma trail as she faces goblins and fairy, a mad king, a cursed prince in a tower, and ancient legends with dark agendas. There are new characters along with our established ones. I hope to submit it to my published, Tom Gondolfi  of TANSTAAFL Press soon. Read the first novel, The Bardess of Rhulon, and cattch up on her adventure. Available at Amazon
You can read the first chapter of Bardess at TANSTAAFL Press atr The Bardess of Rhulon » TANSTAAFL Press

The Bastard Sorceress from TANSTAAFL Press, @ Amazon

And check out my new editions form my Familiar's Tale series at Wolfsinger Publications. Gate of Souls and Tree of Bones are available at Amazon & Wolfsinger in both Kindle and paperback formats.
First chapters can be read at Wolfsinger: Gate of Souls & Tree of Bones both here: Gate of Souls | Fantasy | WolfSinger Publications ( 

And an excerpt from my writing life:

More to come later. Now that it is September I welcome autumn, hazlenut lattes, and crunch fall leaves. 

Verna McKinnon


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