Tag Archives: Garden of Eden

Deluged: It’s Been a Rough Year for the Garden Gnomes

BLAS deluge e-bookHello, people of the gardens. It’s our pleasure to announce that the long-awaited third book in the Biblical Legends Anthology Series, Deluge: Stories of Survival & Tragedy in the Great Flood, has finally been released. It is now available in the following versions and at these fine book stores in cyberspace:

Soon to be published in print, so be on your toes!

Why It Took So Damn Long to Let the Flood Waters Go

There is always a price to pay for any delay, and there certainly is no exception with the case of Deluge: Stories of Survival & Tragedy in the Great Flood. But it has had its rewards, as well. For starters, we had many more submissions from writers who were not published in previous BLAS anthologies, which made the selection process somewhat tedious. In the end, we had to make some very hard decisions. But they had nothing to do with the production timeline.

This was a difficult year for editing for two reasons:

  1. Life got in the way
  2. and we honestly had trouble finding suitable submissions

That last point may sound harsher than we intend, but we’ll explain ourselves in just a bit. First, we want to cover the first point before moving on.

All writers know that sometimes life can toss us a horseshoe and blacken the eye. Two things happened this year that became somewhat of a distraction. The first of those actually happened two years ago, but my wife and I are still involved in a legal matter in family court. My mother-in-law decided (and this was two years ago) to seek custody of her great-grandchildren (my grandchildren), but she couldn’t do so under Pennsylvania law without my wife’s help. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that my wife and I met the legal standing requirements and my mother-in-law did not. We came out with joint physical custody.

Due to the children being in school, we arranged for my wife and I to have the children every other weekend and on certain holidays. My mother-in-law would have them the rest of the time. But, and this is where the needle pricks the skin, my mother-in-law somehow believes that there is justification for limiting our time with our grandchildren even more than we already have and has spent much of the last two years trying to do just that. So we’ve spent a good deal of time in court or arguing over petty differences. It’s been a huge distraction and her designs have gotten her nowhere.

On top of that, earlier this year (early summer, I’d say), 10 years of staring at a computer screen all day for nearly every day of the period finally took its toll and I developed eye strain. That caused me to spend a little less time focused on my laptop screen. Sorry, but Garden Gnome Publications readers and authors had to suffer for it.

That happened right about the time I was knee deep in the second round of the submissions process. Regular readers will know that our BLAS anthologies typically have two or three rounds of submissions before we finally go to press. Because I was reading less and I decided to get initial acceptances under a 6-month contract or risk losing them to another publisher (when I signed those contracts, I had not developed eye strain or the contractual period would have been longer), I had to go back to original authors and get new contracts. Some of them pulled their manuscripts. I can’t say that I blamed them.

Then, of course, we had the usual submissions challenges–writers not reading guidelines or submitting work that was well-written but didn’t conform to the flavor of weird spec-fic that we were looking for (for some reason, many authors wanted to write about Noah despite clear guidelines to avoid it).

We’d like to point out that these types of submission challenges occur for only one reason: Writers aren’t familiar with our products. There can be no explanation. And that’s why we encourage writers to buy a copy (or steal one if you have to) of previous anthologies to see what we’ve accepted in the past. Surely, you can spring 99 cents for Garden of Eden and $2.99 for Sulfurings: Tales From Sodom & Gomorrah? Both of these anthologies are available at all the same previously mentioned book stores. For those interested, here are the links:

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden anthology

Sulfurings: Tales From Sodom & Gomorrah

BLAS anthology sulfurings

We hope you’ll check out all three anthologies and leave us a review wherever you decide to purchase them.

A Note on the Future of BLAS

Garden Gnome Publications still has plans for future anthologies, so don’t give up on us. We’re still trying to work out the best and most efficient submissions process, but this is a part-time endeavor for us, so we’re asking for your patience. Nevertheless, you can expect the following announcements in the near future:

  1. New publishing schedule for Land of Nod and Resurrection anthologies, including a new call for submissions
  2. Over the months, we’ve collected quite a few flash fiction submissions, Mythicals, and submissions for Local Legends. Apologies to writers waiting for acceptances. We are going to start reading through these and publishing on the Flim-Flam Bush again.
  3. We also have plans to publish each of the BLAS anthologies in print. Deluge will be the first available in that format. We are in the process of making this happen now. Garden of Eden and Sulfurings will follow in the near future.

We also plan to revamp the website soon. We’re not real sure what happened to our theme, but something got out of whack and we had no recourse but to revert to a temporary solution. Look for that to change at some point.

On behalf of Fenrir and all the other garden gnomes, I’d like to say thanks for reading, and enjoy the Biblical Legends Anthology Series.

Allen Taylor
Editor & Publisher

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Happy Holiday: E-book Specials For The Uninitiated

Garden of Eden AnthologyFrom time to time, the garden gnomes like to be nice to people. This holiday season we’ve chosen to be nice to you. See how cool we are?

In honor of our grand patriarch Fenrir, God bless his soul, we’ve asked the e-book stores to discount the prices on all our e-books (well, most of them anyway). He he!

From now until Christmas, you can get the following titles at the following prices:

  • Garden of Eden Anthology – FREE!
  • Sulfurings: Tales From Sodom & Gomorrah – 99 cents
  • A Twitterific Year – 99 cents
  • Rumsfeld’s Sandbox – $2.99 (Kindle store only)

All of our other titles are marked at 99 cents or free. These books are available in the following e-book stores:

There are no affiliate links in this post. We’d be happy if you just bought our books or spread the word. Tell your friends about these great deals!

UPDATE: As of this writing, Amazon still has not reduced the price of Garden of Eden to Free. I’d appreciate you going to the sales page for that book and clicking the “tell us about a lower price” link. Let them know the book is offered for free at each of the other book distributors mentioned. Meanwhile, if you own a Kindle and want a Kindle version of the book to read on your device, you can download a Kindle-friendly version of the book at Smashwords.

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Deluge: Don’t Miss The Boat

As we enter the eight month of the year, we garden gnomes thought it would be apropos to remind everyone of our upcoming deadline for the anthology Deluge: Stories of Survival & Tragedy.

This is the third anthology in the Biblical Legends Anthology Series, following the wildly popular Garden of Eden and Sulfurings: Tales From Sodom & Gomorrah. It’s important to point out here that we are looking for diversity in perspective, so we’re not just interested in stories that reflect a Christian point of view or its diametrically opposite, atheism. We just want good stories.

While the previous anthologies focused entirely on the Biblical settings as a prerequisite for publication, Deluge: Stories of Survival & Tragedy is looking at a broader theme. We just want damn good flood stories.

Let’s talk about this more in-depthly:

Why Is The Flood Story Absurd?

As you should know by now, Garden Gnome Publications welcomes absurdity. In fact, we thirst on it. And a part of the reason why is because the original stories upon which our anthologies are based are themselves absurd. That’s certainly true of Noah and the flood.

What makes the flood story so absurd?

For starters, this event supposedly happened worldwide. The whole damn world was flooded. That’s rather odd considering that most of us have observed our entire lives that when it rains it never rains everywhere all at once. In fact, the driest place on earth–Atacama Desert in Chile–hasn’t seen rain in more than 400 years.

Another thing that makes the flood story incredibly absurd are the dimensions of the ark Noah was instructed to build. Its dimensions were so large that its size would not be surpassed in shipbuilding until the late nineteenth century. And it was constructed by only one man with his bare hands.

This is not intended to be a theological discussion. We’re merely pointing out that this story contains some remarkable elements, and we’re asking you to exceed those.

How True To The Original Story Should You Stay?

The garden gnomes are interested in stories involving a catastrophic flood. That could mean water or another substance. You can stick to the Biblical setting of the ancient past or take us to some point in the future. Our only rule is you can’t use any Biblical characters. Keep Noah and his family out of it.

We’re hoping, however, that your story borrows elements of Biblical storytelling, both in an absurdist sense and in an inspirational sense. But we’re not looking for “inspirational” stories, necessarily.

We’re really looking for stories that put the “speculative” in speculative fiction.

Stories that might impel our interest would employ the following elements:

  • Horror
  • Fantasy
  • Intrigue
  • Science fiction
  • Weirdness (OMG, do we love weirdness)
  • Mystery
  • Pathos
  • High adventure
  • Heroics, especially the epic kind
  • Magic realism
  • Apocalyptic
  • Dystopian
  • Punk
  • Supernaturalism
  • Paranormal
  • Slipstream of consciousness

And anything that will entertain the reader and make your story a speculative feast for the eyes.

Your story does not need to be limited to these elements nor does it need to contain all of them. These are just some of the things that we like. Most of all, we like a good story well told.

Other Speculative Considerations

If you are a poet, we won’t leave you out. We love poetry. Especially narrative poetry. We want your poem to tell a story. We also want it to include the speculative elements that would be found in a traditional prose story.

Nonfiction writers can get in on the action, as well. If you have survived a flood or know someone who has, then we’d like to hear your story. Embellish it. Make it come to life. Tell it creatively and tell it boldly. We’re all about the fantastic, whether in fiction or nonfiction. We like to call these true stories personal, or reported, essays.

An Invitation to Submit to the Deluge

The official deadline for this anthology is midnight, August 23, 2014 EST. We’re hoping we won’t have to extend that deadline this time, but if we do, we do.

We encourage all submitters to check out our previous anthologies–Garden of Eden and Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah.

As always, questions are encouraged. Send your inquiries to editor @ gardengnomepubs dot com. Send your submissions to submissions @ gardengnomepubs dot com.

Yes, we are a paying market. It’s a token payment, but we do pay. You can get information on payment on our Biblical Legends Anthology Series page. Otherwise, specific information about this anthology and what we are looking for can be found here. Be sure to follow our general submission guidelines.

We’re looking forward to receiving your submission soon. Stay faithful, my garden friends.

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How To Get A Free E-book

Sulfurings e-book anthologyIn this past week’s gnewsletter, the garden gnomes announced they were going to give away a free copy of the latest e-book in the Biblical Legends Anthology Series–Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah. Half of you jumped for glee and two of you just jumped. Through space and time, I heard one confused soul burp and shout, “Pickles!”

I’m not naming names.

Well, the gnomes decided to do what any self-respecting gnome would do under similar circumstances. We met in committee and took a vote, threw out the results, cast another vote, burned the tallies, and then turned to Spiff and said, “Care to?”

To which Spiff replied, “Just do.” So we did.

We extended the deadline.

We were going to have our drawing at the end of July, but we realized that some of you folks are slow readers and that wouldn’t be fair. So we’ll have our drawing instead at the end of August. And we think that’s a good time because it’s just before September. So it’s settled then.

But what is the contest? Simply this:

Review The Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden AnthologyThere’s a reason we give away the Garden of Eden anthology. It’s not just to make us feel good about high distribution numbers. Drug dealers don’t give away crack just to run their numbers up, do they? Well, aren’t we every bit as devilish as your drug dealer?

Don’t answer that.

Instead, read the Garden of Eden anthology and leave us a review. For every review, you’ll get a chance to win the coveted e-book award. We’re giving away one free copy of Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah. If you’ve already got it, you can choose another book from my Smashwords store or Amazon store. If you prefer, you can hold out for a free copy of Deluge: Tales of Survival and Tragedy. If you want your free copy to be a gift for someone else, just say so!

So what do you have to do to enter this giveaway? We’re glad you asked.

  • First, read the Garden of Eden anthology. You can get the anthology by subscribing to our gnewsletter–the Garden Gnome Gnews–or at any of the leading bookstores: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords.
  • Next, leave a review of the anthology at any of those locations. For each review you’ll receive an entry into the drawing.
  • You can also review the anthology on your blog, and if you link to any of the sales pages where the Garden of Eden anthology can be downloaded for free, you’ll receive an entry for each link.
  • Finally, tweet “I read the Garden of Eden anthology” and link to any of the sales pages where the anthology can be downloaded. For each link/tweet, you’ll receive a contest entry (limit to one per day per sales page link).

So, just to be clear. If you tweet “I read the Garden of Eden anthology” and link to the Amazon sales page for the Garden of Eden anthology, that’s one contest entry. If you tweet the phrase and link to the Smashwords page for the anthology, that’s another contest entry. If you link to the Garden of Eden download page on this website, that’s another entry.

And so on.

To ensure your entries are counted, send an e-mail to editor @ gardengnomepubs.com and let us know of each review along with a link to your review. With each of your tweets, @mention Allen_Taylor and you’ll get credit for your tweets.

Oh, and one more thing. If you’ve already reviewed the Garden of Eden anthology, you can still enter. Just e-mail us the links to your reviews and follow all the same rules as everyone else.

If you have questions or need clarification about any of these rules, send those to the chief garden gnome at editor @ gardengnomepubs.com. And may your feet forever smell like rosemary.

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Breach

CR38R paused. The node access system had acknowledged another attempted access breach. The user table popped up and with a quick scan the system admin eliminated the list of internal users. The suspect node that had accepted the illegal access attempt was quickly isolated within a temporal code anomaly to prevent further tampering. Whoever or whatever piece of errant code had touched the node access wasn’t going to be using that pathway again, but the zero tolerance subroutine that was part of the system admin function was not about taking chances.

With the node access system secured and functional at full capacity again, the admin resumed the task at hand. The overview display of the entire system user contingent materialized and the admin flipped through the user function specifications in a massively parallel block, checking each user location, their code usage, functional accesses, node proximity, input and output status, and internal diagnostic status. The system was a flawless construct, one of an infinite number of systems that were all part of the admin’s responsibility. The admin monitored the billions of simultaneous code interactions among the various users, pleased that each of the user’s code areas functioned as designed, each heap space neatly performing within the system-imposed constraints with no memory or execution leakage between the individual users.

Finish reading this story by William Teegarden in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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Before Dawn Can Wake Us

There was a time when things were weightless.

Yes, it’s true. There existed a place without drag upon the senses. It was so far distant as to be beyond the confines of thought, but it has been there. The memory of man is linear, and perhaps they have since forgotten it in the clamoring obscurity of now, but we can still recall. It takes some effort, but remembering is a backwards shedding. We must set ourselves to the task, examine each year as a discarded husk. It has a sinuosity of sorts, hasn’t it? That is how we find ourselves at the beginning. Or the only beginning you care about.

It is true that the water flowed uphill there, that the breeze was always mild. Neither too hot nor too cold, the sun shone but did not beat down. The rain fell yet did not flood. We are just and accurate in describing the many joys of such a paradise.

Perhaps the best of all was the buoyancy that suffused the atmosphere. There was no pull on our limbs, no downward tugging of earth’s embrace. We were free from responsibility, free from troubles or forethought. We needed only to exist.

We can see that this is hard for you to believe. Ah, well, that is your choice; we cannot force faith upon you. Do not let our forked tongue distract you from the truism of our words, Brother. This place is real.

Finish reading this story by John Vicary in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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Agent of Good

The hawk circled high on the warm updrafts from the garden below. His keen eyes scanned the ground closely, searching for a very specific target in the lush greenery. A subtle movement in the grasses caught his attention. Yes, there. The grasses bent and swayed ever so slightly.

Angling his wings, the hawk entered into a steep dive. He timed his approach with precision, aiming for the small clearing his prey was moving toward. The serpent broke from the cover of the grass and paused suddenly, seemingly aware of the danger. It was too late. The hawk struck hard and fast. He grasped the creature’s long, thin body in both of his talons, grasping carefully behind its head to prevent it biting, and took to the sky again.

The serpent writhed desperately, struggling to break free from the hawk’s grasp.

“Resisting will do you no good, fiend,” the hawk said.

The words seemed to shock the serpent, and it stopped fighting.

“How do you come to possess the gift of speech?” hissed the serpent.

The hawk did not answer. He turned toward a rocky mountain spur, climbing higher to reach the summit. Only a small, flat parcel of rock made up the peak of the mountain, and the hawk dropped the serpent there. The creature landed roughly, nearly tumbling off the sheer face of the cliff before recovering.

“Do you mean to strand me here?” asked the serpent. “What harm have I caused to deserve such mistreatment?”

“Don’t play coy with me, beast,” the hawk said, hovering out of reach. “I have been watching you. I know your foul plans to despoil the man and woman. I won’t allow it.”

“I am hurt by such accusations,” said the serpent sheepishly. “Your boorish behavior has no place here. Release me at once.”

Finish reading this story by Schevus Osborne in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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Survey

“He did a good job,” remarked Shirley from her vantage point atop the hill that overlooked lush green fields and forests.

“It’s his umpteenth garden,” replied Marvin. “He should be an expert at it by this time.”

“It’s definitely an improvement on the landscaping job He did for us.”

‘That was three hundred thousand years ago, Shirley. These days, he’s got it down to a science.”

Shirley gave Marvin a disapproving look.

“There you go with that word ‘science’ again. Just don’t say it around Him. There’s nothing gets his goat more than people trying to play God.”

“Yeah, I know. The role’s already filled. But what’s He expect? No matter the planet, people just get bored hanging out with nothing to do but worship Him. Even in a gorgeous place like this.”

It was mid-morning on Earth. The sun gleamed down on all it surveyed as it moved toward its noon zenith. Shirley’s attention was taken by a grove of trees that were sprinkled with little red, yellow, and green dots.

“Wonder what those are?” she said, pointing to the object of her curiosity.

“Must be fruit of some kind.”

“I think you’re right. He sure has changed his ways. Remember, He dangled lumps of coal from our trees.”

“Like I said, Shirley, creation is a work in progress.”

A soft-scented breeze ruffled Shirley’s long brown hair.

“Wow, the first Earthlings really are being spoiled. All we got to pique our sense of smell was the odor from that rubber factory. Phew.”

“He was a bit more vindictive in those days. Especially after what happened on Tellara.”

“Oh, yes. Those two. Mavis and Artie. He put on a lovely forest, bright sunny days, and they’re only in the Garden of Good Stuff a week and they invent fire and burn the whole damn thing down. They didn’t even have to be evicted. They evicted themselves.”

Finish reading this story by John Grey in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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Water Rats

“How long is this supposed to take?” the smaller one asked the bigger one.

“As long as it takes,” the one with a single eye answered.

There were only the three of them, which was four short of a full squadron. One after the other, they were climbing down.

Upon entering the program, there was a set of clear terms. Being a Water Rat was a job for someone who had nothing left to lose. New members surrendered their name and opened themselves up to the service. Meaning, simply, you went where you had to go and did whatever the com-links told you.

The world was nothing but oceans. What little land remained was overpopulated and deadly, nearly impossible to survive. There were diseases, cannibals, and endless politicians. The Water Rats moved through the pipes in the deep ugly darkness, the places no one in their right mind wanted to go. Sometimes they even got to skitter across the world’s surface on the water jets. That little thrill did not come often.

Finish reading this story by JD DeHart in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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One Bit Off

“Wait, she actually bit it.” Mr. Silver adjusted the optics in his main eye, zooming in on a woman chewing an apple.

Mr. Gray wheeled over and accepted the mathematical link formula to get the same image as Mr. Silver. “That’s not in the program. Are you sure she didn’t have a pear hidden in her other hand?”

“No, it’s definitely an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. I just ran the spectral analysis.”

Mr. Gray turned to his mechanical compatriot, rocking back and forth on his drive wheels. It was the best he could do to simulate shock and frustration. “We’re in serious trouble here.”

“I can calculate too, you know.” Mr. Silver rolled to the main data terminal and began to collect the carbon nanotube digital recorders.

“Oh, no,” said Mr. Gray, who had turned back to look through the viewport. “She just gave him some, and he’s eating it now. We’re going to lose our funding.”

Finish reading this story by Guy & Tonya De Marco in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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