Now Available!

Posted by R. Michael Burns on November 23, 2015

The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (Volume 1) is now available on!

The anthology features the very first of the Hokage stories, “Shadows from Firelight”, along with fiction by Richard Marsden, James Lecky, William Gerke, Christopher Wood, Robert Rhodes, Dariel R. A. Quiogue, Jesse Bangs, P. Djeli Clark, and David Pilling, and poetry by Danny Adams, Joshua Hampton, W.E. Couvillier, John Keller, Megan Arkenberg, and Daniel Sklar, along with an introduction by Black Gate Magazine‘s John O’Neill.

Check it out right here!

or here:

Topics: Anthologies, Books, Hokage, Short Fiction | No Comments »

Coming Soon! Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (Volume 1)

Posted by R. Michael Burns on November 8, 2015

The fine folks at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly have just released this truly excellent cover art by Justin Sweet for their first “Best Of” volume, which features my first tale of Hokage the samurai, “Shadows from Firelight”.

The anthology will soon be available in both e-book and paperback form!

Stay tuned here for more exciting information to come soon…

Topics: Anthologies, Hokage, Short Fiction | No Comments »


Posted by R. Michael Burns on March 26, 2015

Now Available:  From the newly-launched Strigidae Publishing, One, an anthology of tales from the members of the Fiction Foundry, featuring my until-now out-of-print story “The Gallery” — a morbid tale of love, loss, and art — and dressed up in this awesome cover created by publisher Henry Snider:

One (two)You can purchase your copy of One right here:

Topics: Anthologies, Short Fiction | No Comments »

Shadows and Foxfire

Posted by R. Michael Burns on March 26, 2015

My latest tale of the samurai Hokage, “Shadows and Foxfire”, is now available on the Heroic Fantasy Quarterly website!

If you’ve read the other tales, don’t miss this one — my personal favorite, and a tale that answers a long-standing question you might well have had…

Check it out here:

Topics: Uncategorized | No Comments »


Posted by R. Michael Burns on March 26, 2015

It’s now available!  The Horror Society’s new anthology, Forgotten Places, featuring my story “The Treehouse”!

This is probably the most personal short story I’ve ever written, and one that means a great deal to me, fictional though it is.  The anthology also contains tales by a number of other talented writers, including the great William F. Nolan.


You can link to the anthology right here:


Also, in case you missed it, “Shadows and Foxfire”, the latest tale of the samurai Hokage is now available — for free — at  Or just follow this link:

Topics: Anthologies, Hokage, Short Fiction | No Comments »

More short story news!

Posted by R. Michael Burns on October 12, 2014

First, I’m very happy to announce that Carnival of the Damned is now available from Evil Jester Press (in both paperback and e-book format) via —

Second, I’m ALSO happy to announce that my ever-so-slightly-in-the-most-highly-fictionalized-sense autobiographical short story “The Treehouse” has been selected to appear in the The Horror Society ( )’s forthcoming anthology, Forgotten Places.

Third, I’m triply happy to be able to tell you that my newest Hokage short story “Shadows and Foxfire” will be in the November issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (  For those new to the Hokage tales, this one offers a fun early adventure for the stoic samurai.  For those who have read the others (check out the page on this site dedicated to Hokage) this one offers an answer to a long-standing question about Hokage’s past!


Topics: Anthologies, Books, Hokage, Short Fiction | No Comments »

Forthcoming short story!

Posted by R. Michael Burns on July 31, 2014

Very pleased to announce that my short story, “The Roar of the Greasepaint” will be out in August in the new Evil Jester Press anthology Carnival of the Damned.

What happens when an aging clown realizes he’s sold his soul for cheap laughs?  Pick up a copy and find out!

The antho also contains works by Hollie Snider (author of the novel For the Rank of Master), Amity Green (author of the novel Scales), and J. T. Evans, among others.

The new EJP anthology, edited by Henry Snider

The new anthology from Evil Jester Press!


Topics: Anthologies, Short Fiction | 2 Comments »


Posted by R. Michael Burns on August 30, 2013

So it appears that there’s a new movie coming out coincidentally(?) called “Wind Walkers” and coincidentally (?)  featuring people menaced by cannibalistic spirits (which is to say, wendigoes).

Just for the record — so to speak — my novel was, of course, released a year ago, and the first draft (under the same title) was written over a decade ago.

Not at all sure how to feel about this, friends.

Okay, yes I am.  Not happy.  That’s how I feel.  And frankly, a tad suspicious.

Topics: Books, Novels, Windwalkers | No Comments »

Progress on Shadows from Firelight, Book I

Posted by R. Michael Burns on July 8, 2013

With three tales of Hokage the samurai now out there in the world (visit to have a read) I have been at work on a trilogy of novels to explore Hokage’s world in greater scope and detail.  I unambitiously describe the project as a cross between Shogun and The Lord of the Rings.

I recently pooled the notes from my excellent beta readers and am now roughly 1/4 of the way through the first major revision of book I.  (Book II exists as a complete outline and III exists as a partial outline.)  If all goes well, the current draft of the novel will be finished before the 2013 – 2014 school year begins and my free time vanishes like a gambler’s paycheck.

Revision has been a challenge.  Going into it, I felt rather adrift — as if I hadn’t gone through the whole thing several times with Windwalkers.  (Even now, roughly one year later, that work seems grueling to me.  I’m extremely lucky to have had a top notch editor in Henry Snider, who prodded me to fix problems large and small and definitely helped transform Windwalkers into a better book than it was when I handed it to him.)

Furthermore, many of the comments I got from any one beta reader were echoed by another, or several, but some were directly contradictory.  And, while the feedback was extremely helpful and unnervingly accurate, it’s been tricky trying to solve the various problems folks have pointed out to me.  I’ve also found that, because I have a writer’s ego, I have to process the comments and digest them until they seem like my own observations that some other very clever people were willing to reiterate for me.  Once it seems like it was my idea all along I have a much easier time of incorporating it into my work.  It is, admittedly, rather silly, but that way it feels less intrusive to me — I’m not doing someone else’s writing, I’m doing my own.

In any event, the process certainly has served to reinforce in my mind — if it were at all necessary — the value of good beta readers.  I can’t be certain that I’m implementing the changes as well as I ought to be, but I am completely confident that the book will be substantially improved when I finish.

Then, of course, there’s the small matter of the next round of revisions and edits and, assuming I survive all of that with my minimal remaining sanity sufficiently intact, looking for someone who’s willing to bring the thing to life in print.

So, if you’ve given this a read and you’re with me, wish me luck!  I’ll happily take every little bit that I can get my karmic fingers on.

Topics: Books, Hokage, Novels, Windwalkers | No Comments »

New Article!

Posted by R. Michael Burns on June 11, 2013

For the first time here, I’ve posted my article “Creative Writing 301”, an article about the use of theatrical techniques to improve the conflict and pace in writing.  This article was selected by Predators and Editors as one of the three best articles on writing when it first appeared on the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group’s website.  Just click on over to the Articles page and enjoy!

Topics: Articles, Novels, Short Fiction, Windwalkers | No Comments »

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