Friday, September 27, 2013

No Women Warriors in Fantasy? What?

Apparently, an Amazing Stories commentator believes that women shouldn't be warriors in fantasy fiction:
Girl, You’re In the Army Now

Now, since specific mention was made of medieval fantasy, let's look at what medieval history tells us about women warriors. Ignoring for the moment that not all medieval combat was hack-and slash (what about slingers, archers, arbalesters, javelineers, and, in the later medieval period, hand gunners?), history does tell us that women could, at the very least, don armour and lead men into the thick of battle.

When I think of female war leaders armed for battle, I think immediately of Joan of Arc, the peasant girl from Domrémy who helped change the course of the Hundred Years' War. Though some historians feel that Joan was more of a morale booster than a true military leader, she did advocate a more aggressive strategy against the English and their Burgundian allies. As was typical of a military leader of the time, she led from the front, armed in full plate harness. When it came to actual combat, Joan may have preferred her banner over her sword, but she did suffer combat wounds at least twice.

Was Joan unique in the annals of medieval history? Not at all. Before Joan, other medieval women donned armour and led men in battle.

In the tenth century, Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, oversaw the establishment of a series of fortified burhs across Mercia as defense against the Vikings. In 916, Æthelflæd led her Mercian warriors into Wales and captured the wife of the king of Brycheiniog. In 917, she led troops against the Danes of Derby. In 918, she led an advance on Leicester.

In the eleventh century, Matilda, Countess of Tuscany, waged war against the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. During one stage of this conflict, "The Great Countess" donned hauberk and helmet to lead an attack against the Imperialist forces camped outside her castle at Canossa.

In the Welsh Revolt of 1136, the Welsh princess Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd led an unsuccessful attack against the castle and town of Kidwelly. Her forces suffered defeat and she was beheaded.

In a late 12th century conflict in Northern France, Isabel of Conches rode out clad in a knight's armour. It was said that she looked as fearless as "several Amazons and the legendary Camilla, who fought as ally of the Italian king Turnus in the Aeneid."

In the 14th century, during the Breton War of Succession, Joanna of Flanders, aka Jeanne of Monfort, took up arms against Charles of Blois. Clad in armour, "Fiery Joan" led an attack on the enemy camp during Charles' siege of Hennebont.

Going further back in time, Boadicea, the Iceni Queen, led a revolt against the Romans. Her forces razed Colchester (known then as Camulodunum), defeated the Legio IX Hispana, burned London (Londinium), and destroyed St. Albans (Verulamium) before being defeated by Suetonius' regrouped Romans.

Okay, so women could lead men into battle, but what about women actually taking part in combat? Apparently, there were instances of women taking an active part in medieval combat.

In 1081, Sikelgaita, wife of  Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia, took an active part in the battle of Dyrrhachium. Clad in full armour, she fought against the soldiers of the Byzantine Empire and rallied her husband's troops when they were routed.

During the First Crusade, Florine of Burgundy fought and died beside her husband Sweyn the Crusader. Though seven arrows pierced her body, she continued to fight until overwhelmed by her Turkish foes.

Looking outside of Europe, Japanese history gives us the example of Tomoe Gozen. She was a female samurai of the late 12th century who fought in the Genpei War.

Looking beyond the medieval period, there are examples of female warriors from ancient times. Sarmatian women would fight as warriors, shooting bows and hurling javelins from horseback. Archaeologists have discovered that some Sarmatian women were buried with battle gear.

Mythology also gives us examples of women warriors. There are the Amazons of ancient myth. There is Medb from Celtic mythology, the chariot-riding, javelin-throwing Queen of Connacht.

So, what does this say about women warriors in fantasy? If women could be warriors and warlords in history, women can be warriors and warlords in fantasy fiction. Using history and mythology as a guide, there is nothing unrealistic about warrior women.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Entry in RedBubble's Monster Challenge Contest

Okay, I know my chances of winning RedBubble's Monster Challenge are probably slim to none, but I figured I would enter a monstrous creation of mine anyway. You never know. I did draw a rather bizarre monster and named him Amalgantua. To be quite honest, he's kind of hideous. You can see my entry here:
 Monster: Amalgantua

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Better Not be Under Consideration to be Published...

Rick Moore of White Cat Publications said:

"Thanks for writing again, and your works aren’t even a consideration to be published."

That's good, I'm glad to hear it, because one story that might still have been under consideration at Sam's Dot/White Cat Publications, had they wished to continue to ignore the agreement to release rights to accepted works, was already accepted for publication elsewhere only two months or so after I accepted the  May 9th agreement releasing the rights. It had gone back out on May 15th. That's how I roll!

The work-in-question had been accepted for publication in the Fall 2013 SHELTER OF DAYLIGHT, but I don't know that WCP was going to continue publication of that particular zine. It was never clear to me what they were going to do with the accepted story. It was in publication limbo, so I was happy when they offered to release it back to me. It's probably for the best that it has been accepted elsewhere, as long as it doesn't show up in a Sam's Dot/White Cat Publications publication as well. It better not!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Roses on Renee Duke's Website

Author Renee Duke has revamped her website. My White Rose of York and my Red Rose of Lancaster now appear on the history page of her site. Check it out:
Renee Duke: Author of The Time Rose series
Just click on the "history" button, and you'll see my roses.

And More from Moore...

I received this in response to my e-mail to Rick Moore of White Cat Publications in which I stated that  I want to make sure the rest of the agreement made to release the rights of my works, namely that all other clauses contained within those contracts are declared null and void by mutual agreement, is honored and that there is no further publication of my works by Sam's Dot/White Cat Publications:

Hello Richard,

Thanks for writing again, and your works aren’t even a consideration to be published.

Best,

Rick Moore
White Cat Publications, LLC.
33080 Industrial Road
Livonia, MI 48150

Response from Rick Moore of WCP

Today, I received a response from Rick Moore of White Cat Publications:

 Hello again, Richard,

I’ve been off for the last several months with a lung infection, and this is my first effective day back.  I appreciate you taking the time to write me re your concern for your valuable works.  It will take me a bit over the next two weeks, but I’ll be going back to delete any materials created by you from anything I can find that we’ve published.

As you can imagine I have some rather substantial bills to catch up after having been ill, so I’ll be sorting through what I can do and what I can’t.

Best,

Rick Moore
White Cat Publications, LLC.
33080 Industrial Road
Livonia, MI 48150
My response:

Please note that I've already been paid for all items, as per the May 9th agreement made with your SDP/WCP Transition Team Leader. I want to make sure the rest of the agreement, namely that all other clauses contained within those contracts are declared null and void by mutual agreement, is honored and that there is no further publication of my works by Sam's Dot/White Cat Publications.
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Richard H. Fay

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Link to Dora Badger's Open Letter on WCP Facebook

As clarification, I am posting the link a writer-friend sent me to Dora Badger's open letter on the White Cat Publications Facebook page:
https://m.facebook.com/notes/white-cat-publications/white-cat-sams-dot-update-urgent/576193929111475/?refid=17
I'm no longer on Facebook, so I never saw this until I received the link today. I figured I  would post the link to clarify what I am responding to in my latest letter to White Cat Publications (see my previous post).


Further to My E-Mail Sent to White Cat Publications on the 21st

In response to Dora Badger's open letter on the White Cat Publication Facebook page (see my previous post), and the statements made therein, I have sent another letter to Rick Moore of White Cat Publications. I have included the letter in its entirety below. This and my previous letter have been sent via e-mail and will also be sent via certified mail to the contact address given on the White Cat Publications website:
White Cat Publications, LLC.
33080 Industrial Road; Suite 101
Livonia, MI 48150


Attn: Rick Moore, Editor-In-Chief, White Cat Publications, LLC.

Dear Mr. Moore:

In furtherance of my email of September 21, 2013, it has been brought to my attention that on or about September 9, 2013, Dora Badger made a statement on Facebook that she did not have authority to bind White Cat Productions. Regardless of the fact that I am no longer on Facebook and had no knowledge of Ms. Badger’s claim that she lacked  authority to bind White Cat Productions when I e-mailed you on the 21st, Ms. Badger's statement was not made until FIVE MONTHS after the May 9, 2013 release of rights agreement became effective. 

On May 9, 2013, Ms. Badger gave me every indication and representation that she did indeed have the authority, as SDP/WCP Transition Team Leader, to negotiate, enter into, and bind Sam’s Dot Publishing/White Cat Productions to agreements concerning intellectual property rights. To now claim these months later that this representation was incorrect, does not change the fact that I entered into the agreement in good faith and detrimentally relied upon Ms. Badger’s representations.  The situation gives the appearance of misrepresentation and/or fraudulent activity on the part of Ms. Badger and/or Sam’s Dot Publishing/White Cat Productions. 

To be clear, I relied upon the representations of Ms. Badger acting under apparent authority as SDP/WCP Transition Team Leader when entering into the May 9, 2013 agreement.  As such, as of May 9, 2013 and continuing in perpetuity, Sam’s Dot Publishing/White Cat Productions had and will have NO PUBLICATION RIGHTS WHATSOEVER TO MY WORKS “The Hungering Host," "An Evil in Carnlinton" and "Giant Alien Bug Attack!". 

Sam’s Dot Publishing/White Cat Productions has already breached the May 9, 2013 agreement with the June 2013 publication of my work “The Hungering Host”. Any further breach of the May 9, 2013 agreement  and/or violation and infringement of my ownership rights, interests, and copyrights of my works, “The Hungering Host," "An Evil in Carnlinton" and "Giant Alien Bug Attack!" will result in the immediate and vigorous pursuit of all remedies available under federal and state law.

Sincerely,

Richard H. Fay

More About White Cat Publications: An Open Letter From Dora Badger

A writer-friend of mine sent me a link to the Facebook post that I have cut and pasted below, an open letter from Dora Badger posted on the White Cat Publications Facebook page. I am no longer on Facebook, so I just became aware of this today. An official response to Rick Moore of White Cat Publications will be forthcoming, but let me just say this now: the suggestion, if such a suggestion is being made, that White Cat Publications cannot be bound by any agreements Dora Badger entered into as the WCP Transition Team Leader, by all appearances an official representative of White Cat Publications, is bullshit!


Dora again.

This will be my last post as White Cat Publications. Effective immediately, I will no longer be working for WCP/SDP in any capacity.

Here's what I know:

-Payments to authors who contributed to magazines under the WCP umbrella (Blue Shift and Conjurings) have not been made within the contracted time.
-There is no actual plan in place to produce the remaining WCP magazines (Blue Shift & Conjurings #2, Nightfall & Dark Intent #s 1 & 2) currently under contract.
-Some physical copies of Conjurings #1 have gone out to purchasers. Other buyers have been waiting for some time. Physical copies of this magazine do exist and I don't know what is holding up shipment.
-Physical copies of Blue Shift #1 are not going out to people who purchase them. I don't know if physical copies exist.

Here's what I don't know:

-Whether Mr. Moore still plans to pay any White Cat contributors.
-If Mr. Moore has any actual, actionable plan to put out any publications at all over the next 18 months (I do believe he is still planning to produce a cookbook that was slated to be published in December of this year; that is the only item on which I have seen any movement  - except for Alamo Rising, which was effectively finished before things began going downhill - in six weeks).

Here's what I have heard from a very reliable source:

-Mr. Moore was sick for a time, but his illness was neither as long nor as devastating as he led me to believe.
-Mr. Moore and WCP/SDP are in dire financial straits.
-While Mr. Moore hopes to find a way out of this mess, there is no plan in place to do so and no real indication that one will be developed in the foreseeable future.

Please believe that delivering this news isn't easy. It is still possible that Mr. Moore does intend to move forward with the books and magazines WCP currently has under contract, and to fulfill his obligations to pay the contributors. However, over the past several weeks Mr. Moore has completely ignored any requests I have sent for information or assurance. The fact that people who have bought copies of recent publications are not receiving them is extremely troubling to me. There have been other issues as well, which I will not go into here.

The point is, I no longer have any confidence that WCP can do right by its contributors or that they will provide adequate customer service to readers. Rather than ask you to wait for a year (or more!) while things at WCP are brought back under control, I have made the decision to step down and relay the information that I have to you so if you choose to shop your stories around elsewhere you may do so before markets close for the holidays.

"So I can have my story back?"

If I were able to release your stories to you, I would do so. Although I did sign them, however, your contracts originated from WCP; therefore, I am not legally able to nullify them myself. If you do wish to send your story to another market, it is my recommendation that you contact Mr. Moore directly at his email address: rick@whitecatpublications.com. To expedite things, you may wish to include some language along the lines of "if I don't hear back from you in 24 hours I will assume you agree that I can retain all rights to this story and am free to place it elsewhere without hindrance or consideration to you" -- because if you ask him to get back to you to confirm, there is a very good chance that he will not.

You can, of course, elect to keep your story with WCP/SDP. In that case, it might be a good idea for you to ask Mr. Moore for an exact publication date and to get his permission in writing to pull your story immediately if he misses that date so it doesn't remain in limbo for an inordinate amount of time.

I just cannot apologize enough for how this situation has played out. I sincerely hope none of you will be too discouraged by this. I wish each of you the best of luck in your writing careers; hopefully,  we can work together again under better circumstances.

-d
September 9 at 10:21pm ·


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Regarding the Unauthorised Publication of "The Hungering Host" in HUNGUR, Issue 16...

In response to the unauthorised publication of my poem "The Hungering Host" in Issue 16 of the White Cat Publications/Sam's Dot zine Hungur, I just sent the letter below to three different contacts for White Cat Publications (queries@whitecatpublications.com, rick@whitecatpublications.com, and the Contact Form on the Contact page of samsdot.com):

Attn: Rick Moore, Editor-In-Chief, White Cat Publications, LLC.

Dear Mr. Moore:

It has come to my attention that my work, “The Hungering Host,” was published in Hungur, Summer 2013, Issue 16. This is listed on the White Cat website with a date of June 19, 2013. My work appears on page 6. As it appears in the pdf version, the final stanza was omitted.

As you should be aware, all rights were released back to me by your SDP/WCP Transition Team Leader, Dora Badger, on May 9, 2013. The release of rights agreement reads in part: 

“Sam's Dot Publishing/White Cat Publications agrees to release the rights for the stories "The Hungering Host", and "An Evil in Carnlinton" and the rights for the artwork "Giant Alien Bug Attack!" back to the creator, Richard L. Fay, effective May 9, 2013. We will delete the stories and the artwork from our email files and the creator is free to submit these stories and this artwork to any other publisher without encumbrance. Sam's Dot Publishing/White Cat Publications will honor the payment portion of the pre-existing contracts for these pieces in full. All other clauses contained within those contracts are declared null and void by mutual agreement between Richard L. Fay and Sam's Dot Publishing/White Cat Publications.”

Ms. Badger represented by her actions that she had the apparent authority and position to bind Sam’s Dot Publishing/White Cat Productions to the above agreement. Based upon this representation, the above agreement was accepted by me in good faith that it was valid and binding. 

Be advised publication of my work “The Hungering Host” after the rights were released back to me is a violation and infringement of my ownership rights, interests, and copyright. Further, Sam’s Dot Publishing/White Cat Productions’ failure to abide by the terms of the May 9, 2013 agreement constitutes breach of this agreement. Sam’s Dot Publishing/White Cat Productions had no rights to the publication of my work as of May 9, 2013.  

Should I or the entity to which I have granted first publication rights for my work “The Hungering Host” suffer damages, I expect full indemnification by Sam’s Dot Publishing/White Cat Productions for any and all of the resulting damages.

Any further breach of the May 9, 2013 agreement and/or violation and infringement of my ownership rights, interests, and copyrights of my works “The Hungering Host," "An Evil in Carnlinton" and any others that may be on file at Sam’s Dot Publishing/White Cat Productions, will result in the immediate pursuit of all remedies available under federal and state law. 

Sincerely,

Richard H. Fay

Artwork Accepted for SPACEPORTS & SPIDERSILK Door Art

Neglected to post about this the other day, so I'm posting about this now...
On Tuesday (the 17th) I received word that my fun sci-fi artwork "They Come in Peace" has been accepted for door art on Spaceports & Spidersilk, probably for the January 2014 issue. That's good, because that was the venue I had in mind when I composed the piece. I love it when an unsolicited submission sells to the first venue I submitted it to! I also like that it's September 2013 and I already have a few things accepted for 2014 publication.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Art on deviantART

For a while, I had been on deviantART, but I ended up deactivating my account. It didn't seem to be promoting my art like I hoped it would. Well, since I seem to keep running across artists with stuff on the site, I figured I would give it another go. Also, I think the quality of my works has improved since I was on there last. So, I'm on there again as, strangely enough, RichardFay:
http://richardfay.deviantart.com/

I'm hoping this time my presence on deviantART will help promote my art.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dark Poem and Artwork Published in Issue 2 of DISTURBED DIGEST

Today, I received my contributor's copy and payment for the publication of my dark poem "The Hungering Host" and my dark illustration "The Dark Host" in the September 2013 issue of Disturbed Digest, Issue 2. My poem is on page 66, with my illustration on the facing page.

Now, you might well ask "why does the illustration have a different title than the poem?" You see, the poem and the illustration have had a bit of a convoluted path to publication together, and the art was originally meant to illustrate another of my poems.

My poem "The Dark Host" first appeared in Bewildering Stories, Issue 277, back in February 2008. It was one of the works I then decided to include in my ill-fated illustrated dark poetry collection. When the second publisher who had initially accepted the collection backed out of the contract to publish the thing, I broke it up. I eventually sent the poem as a reprint and the illustration as a previously unpublished piece back out to various zines. In September 2011, Bete Noire accepted the poem but not the illustration. The poem appeared in their August 2012 issue.

With the poem and illustration separated, I sent the illustration out by itself as an artwork submission. The artwork was accepted January 2012 for publication in the All Souls' Night 2012 issue of Hungur.  Then things got a tad confused...

Terrie Leigh Relf, the editor of Hungur at the time, asked if I had a poem to go with the artwork. Since the poem that initially went with the piece was being published elsewhere, I figured I would write a new one to go with it. In the meantime, Terrie was also inspired to write a poem based on the artwork. In the end, my artwork appeared as a black and white line drawing alongside Terrie's "Once Upon a Time, We thought Them Gods". The poem I wrote was held for the next issue (April 30th, 2013), and I didn't really mind, because I love it when my creative works inspire creativity in others. Then things got even more confused...

Sam's Dot Publishing had been purchased by White Cat Publications. The transition of ownership ended up being less than smooth. Thankfully, the new ownership offered to release the rights of works in limbo back to the creators. With all the delays and uncertainties, I thought it best to ask them to release rights of the poem "The Hungering Host" (among other works) back to me. This they did.

Now, when I saw that Alban Lake Publishing had a zine edited by Terrie Leigh Relf, I figured it was my chance to get the artwork and the second poem that goes with it published together. And now they have been.

As a postscript to all this, it has just come to my attention that White Cat Publications went ahead and published the poem in Hungur Issue 16 anyway, even after they supposedly released the rights back to me (from Dora Badger, who was acting as the official White Cat liaison in this matter):

Sam's Dot Publishing/White Cat Publications agrees to release the rights for the stories "The Hungering Host", and "An Evil in Carnlinton" and the rights for the artwork "Giant Alien Bug Attack!" back to the creator, Richard L. Fay, effective May 9, 2013. We will delete the stories and the artwork from our email files and the creator is free to submit these stories and this artwork to any other publisher without encumbrance. Sam's Dot Publishing/White Cat Publications will honor the payment portion of the pre-existing contracts for these pieces in full. All other clauses contained within those contracts are declared null and void by mutual agreement between Richard L. Fay and Sam's Dot Publishing/White Cat Publications.

Please signify your acceptance of the above statements by sending a return email with the words "I accept" in either the body or the subject line of the email.

I definitely sent an e-mail accepting those terms. I just bought a pdf copy of Hungur Issue 16, the poem is in there. Well, part of the poem is. They couldn't even publish all three stanzas. They published only two of the three.

Interesting.


Pirates! (Well, an Old Illo of Them)

Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum!

Arrrr!

Avast, ye mateys, and take a look at this...

I realise that I have no pirate stuff in my shops. I will have to correct that someday. In the meantime, I do have an old illustration (drawn in 2007, published in 2008) that has pirates in it:

"Tyler's Ghosts", originally published alongside Lyn Perry's short story "Tyler's Bed and Breakfast" in Flashing Swords, Issue 9, February 2008.

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

Friday, September 13, 2013

More than a "Historical/Fantasy" Artist...

Why is it some people seem to think that I'm only a "historical/fantasy" illustrator/artist? I'm not one to be put inside tiny little boxes. I can do horror and sci-fi, too! Heck, some of my weirder stuff doesn't seem to quite fit into any one genre.

Most of my sci-fi art is on the weird side, strange alien creatures and the like, but I have done sci-fi art:
Azure Lion Productions: Richard H. Fay - Artist/Illustrator: Sci-Fi

One of my favourites out of my sci-fi-type art (with a bit of fantasy mixed in), happens to be my cover art for Shelly Bryant's poetry collection Under the Ash:
Azure Lion Productions: Richard H. Fay - Artist/Illustrator: Under the Ash

I've even tried to dabble in Steampunk imagery. I think my "Mechanical Dragon" is somewhat Steampunk-ish:
RedBubble: Richard H. Fay: Sci-Fi Art: Mechanical Dragon

The first-ever art I sold to a zine was a b&w horror piece, "Things in the Swamp", which remains one of my best works of that type to-date:
Azure Lion Productions: Richard H. Fay - Artist/Illustrator: Things in the Swamp

Some of my really weird stuff is hard to place in any one genre, other than "weird". Take, for instance, my "It Rises From the Ooze", which originally appeared as filler-art in Star*Line, Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2013:

Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Cellophane Queen: Renee Duke - The Disappearing Rose

Latest alternate history/time travel month entry on Marva Dasef's blog THE CELLOPHANE QUEEN: "Renee Duke - The Disappearing Rose".  Note my Edward IV, my Red Rose of Lancaster, and White Rose of York in the sidebar. They seem like appropriate accompaniments to the entry.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Guest Blog on THE CELLOPHANE QUEEN

I'm guest blogger on Marva Dasef's The Cellophane Queen blog, blogging about my art. I also included four examples of my art. Check it out:
Fantasy Meets History, Traditional Meets Digital

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Cellophane Queen: When Do You Want to Be?

 Marva Dasef has kicked off time travel/alternate history month on her blog The Cellophane Queen with the introductory post "When Do You Want to Be?" Note my "Irish Sword and Knotwork" and "Triceratops", complete with links to items featuring those works, in the sidebar.

Here is a list of guests that will appear on Marva's blog over the course of the month (lifted right from Marva's post):

Pat McDermott: Irish kings still rule the Emerald Isle...and a princess is in trouble.
Renee Duke: The two little Princes in the Tower disappeared five centuries ago – so what are they doing in our time?
Sherry Antonetti: “Everyone thinks they know what happened in the Trojan war and afterwards, but no one ever bothered to ask me.” –Helen of Troy
Richard Levesque: What if all you had to do to make your dreams come true was violate the laws of the universe?
Penny Estelle: Billy Cooper shrugs off a history assignment until he comes face to face with a 14th Century legendary hero!
Heather Albano: Time travel via a timepiece? If you get the right one.
Pippa Jay: Space, time, sexy. What more can one say?
Penny Ehrenkranz: Lindsay Baker’s purchase of an antique mirror sends her back in time to salvage a love torn apart by class restrictions.
Nancy Bell: Would you like to be one of King Arthur's knights? No problem.
And lil ol me to fill in the gaps with an Alt History story and using a wormhole to travel between worlds without taking any time at all.

Along with these authors who reimagine history or journey through time to ask the perennial speculative fiction question of "what if?", Marva has kindly asked me to be a guest on her blog and compose an entry about my art. After all, I'm very influenced by my interest in history, and I've been known to meld the fantastic with the historic, or even meld sci-fi with medieval.