Human Tales, My Re-entry Into Fictionland

Jennifer Brozek, the Swiss Army Knife of small-press fiction, invited me to write for an anthology called Human Tales, published by Dark Quest Books. That’s now available, and I totally think you should check it out.

Be Wary and Beware…. There are tales that every parent knows and must pass on to their child… Tales of warning and terror…of those who break their vows and kill for no reason other than malice. Tales of saving the lovely princess from a prince that is much less than charming…and what it takes to bring her home, of rescuing babes from parents not fit to raise them, and the reason no supernatural can truly win a bargain with such vile creatures. These are Human Tales. Tales by: Ivan Ewert, Matthew McFarland, Seanan McGuire, Ari Marmell, Chuck Wendig, Sara M. Harvey, Spencer Ellsworth, Ryan Macklin, Jess Hartley, Shannon Page, Dylan Birtolo, Deborah Brannon, Alma Alexander, Renee Stern, David Lee Summers, James Sutter, Nathan Crowder.

I wrote a story in it called Cracks in Marble. It’s a romance story. In a book of cautionary tales about humans. I had a lot of fun with this one. :)

That I share a table of contents with folks like Wendig, McGuire, Hartley, Crowder[1], Alexander, etc. is pretty awesome. I mean, these folks are just damned good. These are folks whose work I admire.

This story’s the first in my re-entry into fictionland, after dabbling in it back in 2007 (between Finis and Jennifer Brozek’s web lit-zine, The Edge of Propinquity[2]). I’m remembering that I enjoy fiction writing, though it’s a different muscle than game writing (even when said game writing involves fiction). Honing that craft will only help me do both.[3]

Speaking of anthologies…

…might I also recommend one recently put out by Timid Pirate Publishing, Nate Crowder’s company? Growing Dread is his latest release, a biopunk anthology. I heard some readings of it at NorWesCon this past weekend, and damn if it isn’t creepy-neat.

– Ryan

[1] Nate Crowder recently spread a vicious rumor about me being a class act. His last line about meeting me is of particular amusement for Apocalypse World fans. Or, at least, it’s of particular amusement to me.

[2] I re-read my TEoP series from 2007, Hidden City, a year and a half ago. That I made so many glaring mistakes and bad decisions is embarrassing. That it’s public is more so, but it’s made the lessons from those mistakes and decisions hit home. I’m a much better writer today, not just in fiction but in all arenas, because of doing that series.

[3] You know, the aspiring polymath way.


7 Responses to Human Tales, My Re-entry Into Fictionland

  1. Thanks for the plug! Looking forward to reading the rest of “Cracks in Marble.” And I still owe a round of drinks, so let me know next time you’re around the Emerald City.

    • Ryan Macklin says:


      You have discovered one of the ritual phrases that can summon me to a place.

      And you’re most welcome.

      – Ryan

  2. Didn’t know that you fought as a gang, Ryan….

    • Ryan Macklin says:


      You clearly have not met me. My shit is 3-harm yo, and it’s the very definition AP. ;)

      – Ryan

  3. Lukas says:

    The write-up for Growing Dread (not to mention the title) makes it sound like it has much more of a horror angle than straight biopunk. Is that an accurate impression or a mismatch in marketing?

    • Ryan Macklin says:


      No, that’s on. It’s dark biopunk — some horror, some just grittier/harsher.

      Here’s a review from Kay Holt.

      – Ryan

    • Honestly, we were as surprised as anybody. The editor, Caroline Dombrowski and I figured we’d have a higher percentage of authors with, I don’t know, some kind of hopeful vision. As is, the happiest ending came by way of the author from whom we least expected it.