Just noticed that editor, Douglas Draa, has announced the release of Weirdbook #40, which includes my story, “This Godless Apprenticeship.”
Though obviously dictated by a narrative’s shape of and the dynamic demands of the characters therein, my accustomed, rhythmic (first-draft) product clocks in around eight- to ten-thousand words; and while I can certainly contort the constraints of these pieces, I often have trouble finding suitable word-count venues.
I was sketching several stories at the time (each having subsequently gained both their intended dimension and fulfillment in publication), but—due to the period-period backdrop of the seventeenth century—took a digressive detour with this one. “This Godless Apprenticeship” is a pirate story (a first for me), and while it’s a shorter tale than I’m used to (just short of 5K words), it was a self-imposed challenge to infuse as much historic research as I could into its saltwater-eaten frame.
The story begins with my quartermaster, Thomas Ware, conducting nightwork for his trade-calloused superior, Captain John Lacewage, aboard the aptly named brigantine, The Gaggler Coach. It was a fun one to write, and like most tales of this variety, I learned quite a bit (more, certainly, than the brief yarn reflects).
The “set list” for Weirdbook #40 follows:
From the Editor’s Tower, by Doug Draa
“Iconoclasm,” by Adrian Cole
“Have a Crappy Halloween,” by Franklyn Searight
“Early Snow,” by Samson Stormcrow Hayes
“The Dollhouse,” by Glynn Owen Barrass
“Elle a Vu un Loup,” by Loren Rhoads
“Bringing the Bodies Home,” by Christian Riley
“Restored,” by Marlane Quade Cook
“Nameless and Named,” by David M. Hoenig
“Playing A Starring Role,” by Paul Lubaczewski
“And the Living is Easy,” by Mike Chinn
“The Prague Relic,” by Paul StJohn Mackintosh
“The Circle,” by Matt Sullivan
“Sanctuary,” by John Linwood Grant
“The Giving of Gifts,” by Matt Neil Hill
“The Santa Anna,” by Jack Lothian
“The Dread Fishermen,” by Kevin Henry
“Blind Vision,” by Andrew Darlington
“The Thirteenth Step,” by William Tea
“This Godless Apprenticeship,” by Clint Smith
“Waiting,” by John W. Dennehy
“Pouring Whiskey In My Soul,” by Paul R. McNamee
“True Blue,” by Darrell Schweitzer
“The Treadmill,” by Rohit Sawant
“The Veiled Isle,” by W. D. Clifton
“Gila King,” by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
“Necro-Meretrix,” by Frederick J. Mayer
“Grinning Moon,” by Frederick J. Mayer
“The Burning Man,” by Russ Parkhurst
“Silent Hours,” by Russ Parkhurst
“The Old White Crone,” by Maxwell Gold
Douglas Draa and his partners at Wildside Press create a top-notch product (back in September, 2018, Draa’s What October Brings: A Lovecraftian Celebration of Halloween, which he edited, secured a standing at #15 among Amazon’s best sellers in the Horror Anthology category), and you can be confident the stories contained in this volume have been handled with equally trenchant attention.
Snag a copy here: Weirdbook Magazine, Issue #40.