#Art of Fantasy 24: Pascal Blanche

SentinelI’m venturing into science fiction territory with today’s showcase. Although I prefer fantasy generally and given that I created #Art of Fantasy for, well, fantasy,  when I saw Pascal Blanche’s work I instantly knew I wanted to show you. Pascal is a 3D French artist, and I may not be fond of 3D art, but I tell you, his work is so vivid and fantastic he made me do a double-take. Mechanical elements feature heavily in his post-apocalyptic alien world and is extremely detailed, but what sets his style apart, I think, is his use of color and texture.

Pascal started his career at the video games magazine TILT and stayed in the video games industry for twelve years working for companies such as Virtual Xperience, Xilam, Haikus Studios, and Sony. Today he is the Art Director at Ubisoft, which is one of the biggest video game development studios in the world.

So dear reader, feast your eyes on a very colourful edition of #Art of Fantasy. As usual, if you click on the images they will take you to where I found them.











I hope I surprised you today. Sometimes a thing doesn’t need to conform to your taste for it to stun your eyeballs in a good way and Pascal’s work certainly falls in that category.



Review of Dana Leipold’s Burnt Edges

BurntEdgesCoverI had the good fortune of critiquing Burnt Edges by Dana Leipold during a writer’s workshop and then later received a copy to review. People who know me know I don’t write reviews for stories I don’t like. I’m just not a professional reviewer. A story needs to move me to get me to write a review for it. And that brings me to my decision to review Burnt Edges.

It is not an easy story. At times it was difficult and painful to read because of the subject matter, but that says more about the author’s ability in conveying the protagonist Laurel Page’s story, in sketching her emotional evolution, than anything else.

I thought this was a really well written story that keeps you reading despite your own attempts not to, especially when some of the things happening to the main character becomes too much to bear. It forces you to stay in there with the character and endure with her. You stay with her to the end because you want to know more, you want to know what happens to her and how her childhood will shape her future and her life as a mommy to be. You will fall in love with Laurel’s strength and character. Trust me.

The author has a sobering voice that is clear and precise with the rare ability to convey much emotion with very little ornamentation. This is not a story filled with purple prose, but a gritty, emotionally raw exploration of childhood trauma told in plain language.

Five stars indeed.

#Art of Fantasy 23: Marat Ars

8d320f8dd0227346ae303f66f6dbe0d8b94be375I am somewhat late with Monday’s #Art of Fantasy post, and I’m sorry, but I have reasons. I’ve been tag-teamed by both Bronchitis and Laryngitis and have battled these asshole viruses for over two weeks now. And last week they got in a sucker punch which threw me solidly on my back. The good news is I’m getting better. I’m still in bed, but at least I’m able to crack open my laptop and do some work, including the latest post on awesome fantasy art.

Today I’m introducing Marat Ars and he is a phenomenally talented artist. Marat hails from Russia and specialises in 2D/3D art and has done work for Applibot, NetEase, and Universal Studios.

Below are a few choice pieces linked to the artist’s gallery.












Of course I did not plan to feature only Russian artists, which seems the case at the moment, but I also do not have a structured approach to finding candidates for my #Art of Fantasy posts. If a piece of art catches my eye and press some buttons, then I select it. That is it.

Clearly Russia has super talented artists to offer and just the journey of discovering them is alone an adventure I enjoy tremendously.



Kōsa Press Presents: These Broken Worlds Cover Reveal

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Oh, man, I’m excited.

Today I’m revealing the cover for a mini-kosalogy Kōsa Press is releasing in middle July. It’s called “These Broken Worlds” and serves as a precursor to “Interspecies”, the anthology (or Kosalogy) that Kōsa Press is publishing closer to the end of the year.

The idea behind the mini-kosalogy stems from our wish to give readers a taste of the shared universe we have created for “Interspecies”. To create expectation of what is to come by sharing with you scenes from worlds within this universe.

From Kōsa Press:

These Broken Worlds features stories by Woelf Dietrich, Pavarti K. Tyler, Jessica West, and M. J. Kelley, depicting a shared universe where humans aren’t alone.

A war decimates Earth, leaving only Australia and New Zealand habitable. The reason for the war? Drilodytes–an alien species forced from their home planets by an ancient evil. In desperation they sought refuge on Earth, but never stopped searching the stars, watching, waiting to see if they were followed. Fifty years later, the strain on natural resources reached a peak, and the Drilos were asked to leave Earth. Their refusal resulted in a global war spawning new factions, new enemies, and leaving most of Earth a toxic wasteland in its aftermath. Now leader is pitted against leader, race against race, lover against lover, and daily survival is uncertain. Yet hope lives on in many who want peace, although some still would die trying to prevent it.

We’re thrilled to reveal the cover of our very first publication “These Broken Worlds”, a mini-kosalogy of flash fiction available July 15th, 2015. Cover design by Kōsa’s creative director Pavarti K. Tyler.


Working alongside these great and talented authors in preparing this mini-kosalogy was truly an awesome thing. Yes, the goosbumps-inducing kind of awesome. I feel privileged, and today’s occasion once again reminds me how wonderfully special our writing community really is and how things just happen when we get together and brainstorm. I have found a renewed zest for collaboration.

So my dear readers, feast your eyes on our cover. Read the words describing our created universe and imagine what exciting adventures  awaits you. “These Broken Worlds” is an hors d’oeuvre to “Interspecies”. In fact, you might even call it a gateway. A Stargate of sorts nestled in that part of your brain that constantly searches for escape to far-off worlds.

You’ll see. I’m not wrong…


#Art of Fantasy 22: Anton Kokarev

cover_book_by_kanartist-d8k7ccgThere is no shortage of talented artists on the internet, so when I search for candidates for my #Art of Fantasy posts I choose those that bring more to the table than mere talent. I look for a style, like a writer’s voice, that speaks to my soul, or at the very least makes me blink a few times. Anton Kokarev is one such artist. Hailing from Russia, Anton is a character designer, concept artist and illustrator, and yes, it’s yet another case of not finding sufficient articles in English to tell you more about this artist. Suffice to say, his art shall speak for me.

As always, the images below are linked to the places I found them. Enjoy!













I trust you enjoyed today’s post. If you guys know of any artist whose work would fit nicely with my #Art of Fantasy posts, please let me know through my contact page.  I’d love to feature both established and up-and-coming artists on my blog.


Writers Unite Podcast: Episode 1 – The Importance of a Writer’s Group

Writers-Unite-Podcast-300x300Today is a day for announcements it seems. M.J. Kelley, founder and publisher of Kōsa Press and creator of the Virtual Writer Workshop, is guest author on the Writers Unite Podcast. If you’re a writer I’d suggest you go listen to the podcast. M.J. talks more about the workshop, about how critique groups can improve a writer, what it entails to give critique, and he explains a bit more about the nature of Kōsa Press and how to submit your stories to the label.

The podcast is 23 minutes long and well worth your time. You can read more and listen to the podcast here.

Patreon: Support Jessica West creating Fiction

patreon_banner_11-e1412009799957I am proud to report that my friend and fellow author (and editor), Jessica West is live on Patreon. So, if you like flash fiction and short stories, click over there to find out how you can support Jessica’s art and what you’ll get in exchange for offering your support.

Patreon was created to enable fans to support and engage with the artists and creators they love. “Empowering a new generation of creators, Patreon is bringing patronage back to the 21st century“.

Of course, patronage is not a new thing. It began in the ancient world and played an important role in preserving art and art history. You will find evidence of patronage in both later Europe and feudal Japan.  It is not a surprise that it should appear online revitalised and ready for the digital age.

I have long considered creating a profile on Patreon, but I wasn’t sure how I would approach it or what I would offer patrons who wanted to support my art.  I’m still thinking. Maybe a serial of “The Dead God”?