World Climber

A couple of months ago, my story World Climber was published. Life has been so hectic, that I never got around to making a proper announcement. So here we be!

The anthology is called The Ways of Magic, and it is the second Deepwood Publishing anthology of which I have been a part. This particular story is probably the most “out there” one I have written in terms of setting. Every other story I have written is at least recognizable, but this is a whole different ballgame. Let me know what you think. Follow the break for a preview.  Continue reading

Son of Bones

Thanksgiving week saw one of my post-apocalyptic stories published. It appears in Ruined Cities, an anthology by Deepwood Publishing based on the theme you would guess from the title. I am very much looking forward to reading the other stories included. Here is part of the intro from the editor, James Tallett:

It is an iconic image, the empty city street, run down and overgrown as Nature reclaims what once belonged to it. But that is only one possible take on what a city can be. Here, we have sixteen visions of a future gone wrong, of lands that have seen their glory days collapse into the distant past, of decrepit space stations, lost islands, and failed countries.

At the core of each of these stories is the human element, that singular character who brings to the surface all of the trials and travails that civilization has suffered, the light and the culture lost in the collapse. Some are kind, working for the betterment of those around them. Others are cruel, cowardly, and greedy, out for themselves and no one else. But each has a story to tell…

My contribution is a story called Son of Bones, which is probably the most disturbing of anything I have written thus far. So be warned–it is not for the faint of heart. Here is a preview:

 Son of Bones

By

Joel V. Kela

The prophet who called himself Enoch limped through the ruins of the dead city, following his spirits as they flitted ahead of him. He crossed from shadow to shadow, trying to avoid the worst of the rubble. Beyond the broken spines of skyscrapers and crooked utility poles the sun bore down out of a pale cream sky, and heat shimmered along fractured pavement. Wind hissed through the steel-and-glass canyons, setting his rags to boil around him like black seaweed.

He was thirsty.

Continue reading

Lot’s Crawlers

One of my horror stories is now available in issue 7 of Big Pulp. They even drew up a cover for it!

Here’s the blurb: “A string of grisly murders and missing persons cases puts a young police officer at risk of becoming food for worms in ‘Lot’s Crawlers’ by Joel V. Kela, the featured story in the Winter 2012 issue of Big Pulp (cover art by Ken Knudtsen). This issue also features Michael Andre-Druissi’s alternative history ‘Hitler’s Hollywood’, in which Rita Hayworth’s career takes a strange turn and alters the course of WWII, and ‘Children of an Angry Sea’, a horror tale set in the aftermath of a major Pacific tsunami, by Michael D. Turner. In all, this issue features more than 25 stories and poems, including work by Patricia La Barbera, David Birch, KJ Hannah Greenberg, L.B. Sedlacek, William Doreski, Gerri Leen, Terrie Leigh Relf, Brian Trent, Walter Giersbach, Emanuele Pettener, DeAnna Knippling, F.J. Bergmann, Sean McGrath, Benjamin Kensey, David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Holger Nahm, Catherine Boyle, Tony Haynes, and Frank Skolnik.”

The story is available at amazon both in digital and print formats. If you read it, let me know what you think! Here’s a sample:

Lot’s Crawlers, by Joel V. Kela

Their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. –Isaiah 66:24

###

The old man had been strangled, that was for sure.

He lay sprawled face down in the dinghy, his fishing pole gone and the dirt from his worm container scattered all over the bottom. The two inches of rain they’d gotten overnight had turned this to muddy water, and it sloshed back and forth like coffee as Josh put one foot on the gunnel for a better look. Continue reading

Gods of Sand and Stone Reviewed

Last month, Stupefying Stories 1.11 got reviewed by Locus Magazine, which means my story The Gods of Sand and Stone got an evaluation:

So it’s a mixed bag. On one hand, I’m glad she thought the setting was interesting. As for the other half–she’s right.

:-)
:-)
The story definitely follows a well-worn path.

Bottom line, I’m honored just to receive mention at such a level, and as, the editor of Stupefying Stories reminded us, “She’s a critic, not a cheerleader.”

Here’s to breaking free of the shopworn in 2013!

The Gods of Sand and Stone

I’m happy to announce that one of my favorite stories to date is now available.

I worked longer and harder on this one than any other short story thus far. I wrote it two years ago and took it through what seemed like endless major revisions. It would get rejected, and I would edit it some more. It would get rejected some more, and I would revise some more. I added stuff. I chopped stuff. I repeated both. It got accepted in one magazine, but the magazine folded before my issue came out. I revised some more, and it got rejected again. It got honorable mention in the Writers of the Future Contest, and I kept at it.

Finally it got accepted at Stupefying Stories, a very fine magazine indeed. If you have some manner of e-reader, you can get my story and 300 some more pages of spec-fic goodness at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

If you want a chance to win a free copy, like my facebook page.

Here’s a preview:

THE GODS OF SAND AND STONE

The mist came in when the tide went out.

From his perch on the balcony, David Kavanagh could still see over the rising vapors to where Iri Alta’s white moon sank beneath the horizon. That would be the last of the light until the black moon rose.

Until Charla arrived.

He sat back on the stool and warmed his hands over the pulse generator. If he did his work well tonight, this might be the morning she would stay and not go. It was stupid, he knew, but the helpful sort of stupid. Continue reading