Series Edited by Howard Andrew Jones
Howard Andrew Jones lurks in a tower beside the Sea of Monsters with a wicked and beautiful sorceress. When not spending time with her or their talented children he can be found hunched over his laptop, mumbling about flashing swords and doom-haunted towers. He has role-played regularly since junior high, long years ago, and game mastered so many adventures that he lost his mind and decided to become a writer. His publications include short stories, Pathfinder novels, the historical fantasies of Dabir and Asim, and his latest series The Ring-Sworn Trilogy. You can find his musings on writing and gaming at www.howardandrewjones.com, on FB at https://www.facebook.com/howard.andrew.jones.1, or occasionally on Twitter @Howardandrewjon.
In addition to editing Tales From the Magician’s Skull — Howard also contributes the occasional story to the magazine — Click here for all stories by Howard Andrew Jones
Adrian Cole is a Dumnonian Celt with Irish antecedents living in Solomon Kane country in Devon, UK. He divides his time between writing, plunging into the local Celtic Sea and riding a bike thru the wilds of the surrounding forests. He has recently become a grandfather, which gives him even more opportunities to indulge in a second childhood. He has had over 2 dozen books published, ranging through fantasy, sf, S and S, horror, mythos, and general pulp. His latest book is a reprint of the British Fantasy Award-winning Nick Nightmare Investigates (Pulp Hero Press, US) and he has two forthcoming collections: Dark Ships Passing, S&S from Pulp Hero and Elak, King of Atlantis.
Scott J. Couturier
Scott J. Couturier is a poet and prose writer of the Weird, grotesque, and darkly fantastic. A lover of high fantasy since childhood, one night he followed a friendly ghoul down a tomb’s dank passage, discovering the hidden world and wonder of horror. His work has appeared in numerous venues, including The Audient Void, Spectral Realms, The Dark Corner Zine, Space & Time Magazine, and Weirdbook; a 2008 graduate of Knox College (BA in Creative Writing & English Lit), he was a co-founder of Knox Quiver, a genre magazine that has since become a campus institution. Currently he works as a copy and content editor for Mission Point Press, living an obscure reverie in the wilds of northern Michigan with his partner/live-in editor & two cats.
Milton Davis toils away during the day in his secret identity as a technical directer and research chemist. But at night he becomes The Griot, his fingers flashing across the keyboard as he spins tales of heroic deeds and sprawling empires based on African/African Diaspora cultures. Protecting his true identity are his wife and two grown children (an oxymoron?), who also aid him during conventions and presentations. You find his stories and novels at MVmedia, LLC (www.mvmediaatl.com) or follow him on Instagram at @obadoro.
Tom Doyle writes his uncanny tales in the upper floor of a stone turret in Washington, DC. His thinly veiled true account of the world’s secret magician-soldiers and psychic spies appears in his American Craftsmen trilogy from Tor Books. Tom’s other chronicles of science and magic can be found at www.tomdoyleauthor.com
James Enge lives in northwest Ohio with his wife and two crime-fighting, emotionally fragile dogs. He teaches Latin, classics, and mythology at a medium-sized public university. His stories have appeared in Black Gate, in the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards (Ragnarok Press, 2015), in Apocalyptic (ZNB, 2020), and elsewhere. His first novel, Blood of Ambrose, was nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and the French translation was nominated for the Prix Imaginales. You can reach him through Facebook (as james.enge) or on Twitter (@jamesenge) or, if all else fails, via his website, jamesenge.com.
In the vast and distant north, Dave Gross lies dreaming. Or he dreams lies. The sorcerers have never been able to agree on this point. Nonetheless, his visions found their way into ten or eleven novels and assorted shorter works, many featuring Radovan and the Count. On cloudless nights, the reckless may trace the patterns of his hallucinations against the Twitter moon @frabjousdave.
Ryan Harvey is a professional marketing writer who dwells in the sun-drenched decadence of Southern California with his black cat familiar. He won the Writers of the Future Contest in 2011 and has written numerous essays for www.blackgate.com on his wide-ranging fascinations: Godzilla, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and any movie starring Peter Cushing. When he isn’t writing he is—for some unfathomable reason—an improvisational comedy performer with a local theater. Find if he has anything interesting to say at www.RyanHarveyAuthor.com.
John C. Hocking
John C. Hocking is a nigh obsessed reader and writer of lurid pulp fiction, the author of Conan and the Emerald Lotus and its time-lost companion, Conan and the Living Plague, and an obedient thrall of the Magician’s Skull.
After a long inglorious career as a world-wandering scribe, William King came to rest in the fabled city of Prague, where he dwells with his beautiful wife and two lovely sons surrounded by hoary tomes about swordsmen and sorcerers and tottering piles of roleplaying games. A former developer at Games Workshop, he is the creator of Gotrek and Felix and the author of many books set in the universe of Warhammer 40K. His short fiction has appeared in Best of Interzone and Year’s Best SF. He has been an enthusiastic player of RPGs since 1977. Kormak stars in 12 novels, and the first is available for free at Amazon, iTunes and most other online retailers. King’s online citadel is williamking.me.
In his thirty years as a Hollywood screenwriter, Nathan made a living at everything except screenwriting. He was a taxi driver, limo driver, delivery driver, and comic store and video store clerk. This isn’t to say he never sold any screen plays or made any movies. There were a few. He just never made any money out of it. It wasn’t until he started doing the thing his twelve-year-old self loved best that he began making a living. Yep, he’s at a computer game company now, writing thrilling adventures for role players. He should have thought of this years ago.
Violette Malan is the author of the Dhulyn and Parno sword-and-sorcery series and The Mirror Lands series of primary world fantasies. As VM Escalada, she’s the author of the Faraman Prophecy, including Halls of Law, and Gift of Griffins. She’s on Facebook, she’s on Twitter (@Violette Malan) and website-wise check either www.violettemalan.com or www.vmescalada.com. Not that it’s up-to-date, because it isn’t. She strongly urges you to remember that no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
Joseph A. McCullough
Joseph A. McCullough makes his home on a ridge, high above the English Channel, from where he can walk to Roman ruins, several medieval castles, Napoleonic fortifications, and a crypt full of skulls. While Joe has written numerous books and fantasy short stories, he is best-known these days as the creator of the multi-award-winning miniatures game Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City as well as its numerous supplements and spin-offs. Because of his habit of drifting through all of the different creative aspects of geekdom, he regularly posts on his blog, therenaissancetroll.blogspot.com
Trapped in the disturbing quietude of suburban Chicago, Gregory D. Mele has built himself an underground refuge, where, surrounded by stack of moldering books and gleaming blades, he masters ancient weapon arts that lost all relevance four hundred years ago. Well prepared to defend fane and family against ravening hordes of steppe riders, Viking raiders and the undead, he is perplexed they have not yet appeared and so writes about them instead.
Nathan Meyer has been an infantryman in the US Army, worked on Alaskan fishing boats, fought wildland fires on a helicopter-rappel crew, and been both security and EMT on the Las Vegas Strip. During that time he was never able to tell his co-workers that his single greatest achievement was being the only member of his AD&D party to make it out of the original Tomb of Horrors. This is because Lawful Evil half-Orc assassins are survivors.
Sarah Newton dwells in a tumbledown cottage in the wilderness of what was once Dla-Mogor, today called Normandy, France. Surrounded by sheep, cats, and songbirds, she can be found hunched over scrolls, scribing maps and half-remembered incantations and giving in to the voices in her head which whisper prophecies of past and future. She has been roleplaying almost as long as roleplaying games have existed, and is a passionate game master and crafter of worlds and adventures. An award-winning writer, her process of taking dictation from the cosmos has somehow led to the creation of roleplaying games, short stories, and novels, including works such as Mindjammer, Monsters & Magic, Legends of Anglerre, Achtung! Cthulhu, and The Chronicles of Future Earth. You can find her attempting to upload her brain at sarahnewtonwriter.com, www.mindjammerpress.com, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ShairaSu.
Mark Rigney’s novels and stories are mostly either out of print or undiscovered, which is why he hikes deep into deserts without water, collects (hoards, really) very old beer cans, and cultivates a riotous native prairie in what would otherwise be a perfectly ordinary suburban back yard. The neighbors are rightly suspicious, but his family, thankfully, remains adoring. On his days off, he writes plays. When the moon is blue, these plays get produced. His website is www.markrigney.net
Aeryn Rudel is a freelance writer from Seattle, Washington. He is a notorious dinosaur nerd, a rare polearms expert, a baseball connoisseur, and he has mastered the art of fighting with sword-shaped objects (but not actual swords). He occasionally offers dubious advice on the subjects of writing and rejection (mostly rejection) on his blog at www.rejectomancy.com.
Adrian Simmons lairs in an undisclosed location in Central Oklahoma. Back in the day, he ran AD&D, Gamma World, and Star Frontiers games. From there the slippery slope to writing was too well lubricated to ever hope to escape. Making the best of it, he edits http://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/, and holds forth on many nerdy topics at www.blackgate.com.
James Stoddard lives in a mysterious and unexpected canyon on the plains of Texas. When not writing fantasy novels and short stories, he is an audio engineer, fighting a heroic battle against Too Much Kick Drum. His new novel, The Back of the Beyond, tells the story of a band of heroes who enter a world where everything—cups, swords, fields of grain, trees, and clouds—is sentient, and where every animal has a voice. After writing the book, Stoddard now frequently talks to inanimate objects. www.james-stoddard.com.
DJ Tyrer lurks on the mist-shrouded northern shore of the Thames Estuary in a place counter-intuitively known as Southend-on-Sea where they edit a small press, Atlantean Publishing, create conlangs, and write tales of horror and adventure, some of which have appeared in such places as Tales of the Black Arts (Hazardous Press), Steampunk Cthulhu (Chaosium), and issues of Broadswords and Blasters. You can learn more about their writing at www.djtyrer.blogspot.co.uk and read reviews and opinion pieces related to writing and publishing at www. atlanteanpublishing.wordpress.com
Setsu Uzume is a foul-mouthed vagabond who has long abandoned their native New York. They’ve studied martial arts and Daoism at a monastery in rural China, and traveled the length of the Western Americas for training in horseback archery and mounted combat. Contracts for writing and narration might or might not have been signed in blood at Escape Pod, Pseudopod, Cast of Wonders, StarShipSofa, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Grimdark Magazine. Setsu currently lives aboard the flying castle at PodCastle.org as Assistant Editor. If you are brave, invoke and summon Setsu on Twitter @KatanaPen.
In his feckless youth Bill Ward discovered that he lacked the requisite sadism of a truly first class Dungeon Master, so he decided to be a writer instead. Many years and several beards later, and Bill’s short fiction can be found in gaming publications, magazines, anthologies, and the occasional federal court transcript. He is often overheard mumbling to himself about figments of his own imagination, but so far no one seems to have noticed when the figments mumble back.
C L Werner
Exiled to the blazing wastes of Arizona for communing with ghastly Lovecraftian abominations, C L Werner strives to infect others with the grotesque images that infest his mind. He is the author of almost thirty novels and novellas in settings ranging from Warhammer, Age of Sigmar, and Warhammer 40,000 to the Iron Kingdoms and Wild West Exodus. His short fiction has appeared in several anthologies, among them Rage of the Behemoth, Sharkpunk, Kaiju Rising, A Grimoire of Eldritch Investigations, Edge of Sundown, Shakespeare vs Cthulhu, City of the Gods, and Marching Time.
Sometimes Chris Willrich thinks that sword and sorcery hits us in that primitive part of our brains that, since childhood, has never quite trusted reality, and which suspects that any moment now tentacled horrors will blast through the cupboards, windows, and manhole covers of our settled world and snag the mail carrier and the neighbor’s dog, and that congresses, kings, generals, and priests will be powerless to save us, and that the only things we can trust in that moment are a length of steel and the wild-eyed comrades at our side. Or maybe it’s just that unstable lunatics fighting monsters is really, really cool.