Pixie Noir

This new novel by Cedar Sanderson will be released in print and ebook versions on December 1, 2013! It’s been in the process for a while, with editors and artists, and we are very excited about the quality of the finished product, from the terrific story to the amazing cover art. We hope you enjoy the finished product as much as we do! We’ll make an announcement with links when it goes live, but until then, here’s the cover art for you to admire, and a link to the excerpts Cedar has been posting on her blog. Image

We are still here

We’ve just been distracted. But that’s ok, because we’re also stretching our wings, getting ready to publish Cedar’s second novel, Pixie Noir, which you can find snippeted on her writing blog.

Sneak Peek!

The cover for Vulcan’s Kittens is ready to go! We are rather excited about it, it sums up the story succinctly. There will be kittens, and volcanoes, and mythology! All by Cedar Sanderson, of course. The novel will be released in February 2013, and we will let you know the exact date very soon.

Vulcan's Kittens, a young adult novel written by Cedar Sanderson

Vulcan’s Kittens, a young adult novel written by Cedar Sanderson

Free Fiction

Cedar’s written a tongue-in-cheek tale of science fiction convention and the zombie apocalypse. Blending equal parts of pathos, humor, and sheer gross horror, it answers the question of “What’s worse than a zombie?” You will find the story at her blog. Enjoy!

Plant Life

Our fifth story to be available, Plant life is also our longest to date, a science fiction novella inspired by classic stories of exploration and first contact. While writing it, Cedar was inspired by a number of things, one of which was the character of a plant princess in L. Frank Baum’s book Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. The lovely Art Noveau illustrations in that book were very much on her mind as she describes the birth of the central character in this story. Her creation is warmly human, however, unlike the ‘cold vegetable’ of Baum’s creation.

The other characters in Plant Life are forced to reconsider their definition of humanity as they encounter her, and introduce her to the world beyond her planet. Their own inter-personal relationships change through this experience, until the end of the story when they finally settle down and end their roving ways. We hope you enjoy reading the story as much as we enjoyed creating it.

The cover of Plant life is a fractal design, something we like to use for our science fiction stories, and which seemed particularly appropriate to this one.

Loving Stories

This past week we published a children’s story, our first, and coming up later this week we will debut a space opera novella. On the surface, they seem utterly different, but at their core, they remain about the same thing, an enduring quality, we believe, in most of our stories. Humanity with all its capacity for love.

Poor Gregory is a short fantasy tale of a little boy, worried about his mother, and his new friend, who is lost from her own family. The story was born from a family story about the father of the Farm, Greg, who when he would visit his grandmother was dismayed by her tendency to pull him onto her lap while stroking his hair and saying, “Poor Gregory, poor Gregory…” Over and over in her thick Russian accent. He felt at the time too old to be cosseted, and even now that he is a grandfather himself, that sense of injured boy dignity rings through when he talks about it. The story itself takes off in directions not related to reality, as Cedar explores that boyhood sense of chivalry that occasionally crops up in odd, protective ways toward those younger and smaller than themselves.

Plant Life is a short novella set on a planet far from Earth. The only humans to ever step foot on it are four Scouts, trained to explore and assess for colonization. The story begins as they realize they might not be alone, after all. During the course of the tale, the nature of humanity and love are explored, ending with the development of a friendship that is the best kind of partnership between a man and a woman.

We like the concept of Human Wave fiction, pioneered at the Mad Genius Club by Sarah Hoyt and Dave Freer and others. The idea that humanity will spread to the stars without losing that which makes us special, which leads to heroes, and the love that binds parents to children, friends to one another, and lovers together. The definition of love we learned in school was “wanting only the best for the one that is loved, with no expectation of anything in return.” Love leads to a sense of honor, chivalry, and duty to one another. It makes for great stories of triumph over all the forms of evil that this world of ours holds. It is, in the end, what makes life worth living.

Children’s Stories

Our first short story for children will be published shortly. With children’s books we strive to not pander or speak down to the child. Too much twaddle appears on shelves, and while every child may have a differing reading ability, none of them appreciate being patronized. For a brilliant take on just how much a reader in influenced by authors at a young age, check out Sarah Hoyt’s blog entry on the topic. Currently we have four children in the farmhouse, and they all read a lot. One learned to read at age four, another just started reading at almost seven. Over the years the adults have noted that each child’s individuality comes out in their reading habits.

The universal trait the children share at a young age is a love for anything about animals, and an appreciation for humor. From Dr. Seuss, a perennial favorite in our house, to Skippy Jon Jones, the hilarious read aloud tales about a siamese kitty, the picture books that come off the shelf time and time again use fabulous vocabulary and usually have fun illustrations. For the older readers, mystery, mythology, and fantasy are the bywords of the day. Even with shelves stocked with the classics, trips to the library for the newest books are frequent and much anticipated.

Later this year, we will be publishing a novel that will fall into the young adult category with a young protagonist, and the elements of myth and magic our young ones demand. Also, we wanted it to reflect the elements we loved growing up, as we read endless stories from Louis L’Amour and the Black Stallion alongside Anne McCaffrey’s dragons. The end result, Vulcan’s Kittens, will appeal to both young and old, without a hint of talking down to its readers. Until then, we will be publishing a few short children’s stories for you to enjoy and hopefully read aloud to your own children.

The Twisted Breath of God

This story came into being because Cedar was learning how to twist balloons, and had just started writing science fiction. From the reviews both public and private, we think she created a unique tale from those experiences. Click on image to buy the story, and we’d love it if you left a review after reading!

Getting to Know Us…

We publish stories, because we love to read. Stonycroft is a small farm in NH, and the publishing came about as an inevitable growth from the three generations of readers that live on it. At one point the farmhouse had a bookshelf in every room… the only reason it doesn’t temporarily is that the bathroom is undergoing renovations. The works you can expect from our house will range from children’s tales to fiction more fantastical, to the Old Beekeeper’s upcoming works on sustainable agriculture. All of our works will be primarily available as ebooks, because bookshelves take a lot of space. Good Reading!