Alaska Highway Book Update!

Thanks to all those who recently ordered a copy of The Alaska Highway: 75th Anniversary Edition, making this our fourth run of the book!

Books will be delivered to StarkLight Press warehouse by July 15th, and will be available for pickup after 4 pm that day. For our customers in North America, your books will arrive by post by July 27th.

For international customers, orders will be arriving by August 15th.

 

Thanks again to everyone who has helped make the 75th Anniversary of the Alaska Highway into such a huge success!

 

 

Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

StarkLight 5 Winners!

We are pleased to announce that the winners of our latest, StarkLight  contest have been chosen!

This well-known anthology features an array of speculative fiction from authors around the world- including first time authors with special merit.

The winners are:

Chris Scott

Sergio Palumbo

Jason Pere

Neri Kemraj

Will Norton

Van Fleming

L.E. Caine

Tara O’Neill

Maude Welles

Alfie Elkins

Nicholas Vincenzi

Delaney Murdock

The Alaska Highway: 75th Anniversary

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Announcing the arrival of the full-color coffee table book The Alaska Highway: 75th Anniversary Celebration.

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This hundred page book features full color photos and archival images of the Alaska Highway, along with thought-provoking essays on the historical background of this amazing roadway. Also included is a little-known collection of mile-by-mile history and achievement.

Written by Tony Stark, Virginia Carraway Stark, Krista Michelle, L.E. Caine, Will Norton, Van Fleming, Jonny Wakefield and Doris Ray, The Alaska Highway is an anniversary celebration book you won’t want to miss!

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Sneak Peek at The Alaska Highway

In anticipation of our upcoming release of The Alaska Highway: 75 Years, StarkLight Press is revealing one of our special insert pages that accompany the main narrative. Here is the final page of our section on Rusty Dow, the Chief Engineer of the project and first woman to drive the Alaska Highway. This insert was written by Virginia Carraway Stark.

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In addition, here is the first page of our excerpt that explains the nature of Muskeg to our international audience- this insert was written by Tony Stark.

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There are additional pieces written by Krista Michelle, Maude Welles, Will Norton, Jonny Wakefield of the Alaska Highway News, Leanne Caine, Joyce Lee, as well as personal remarks about the importance of the Alaska Highway from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Christy Clark and Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead.

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Look for this beautiful, collectible book coming from StarkLight Press in March of 2017. All proceeds from this remarkable work are being donated to local arts councils, museums, historical societies and to Pioneer Village in Dawson Creek, B.C.

– Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

Outermost Magazine July Reading Spree!

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To celebrate our monthly paranormal magazine, Outermost: A Journal of the Paranormal, StarkLight Press is happy to announce that all 8 titles are FREE for the month of July!

Kick back in the sun this summer and enjoy over two hundred pages of gripping, spine-tingling paranormal facts, articles and fiction short stories about topics like:

UFOs

Aliens

Angels and Demons

Psychics and Psychic Powers

and more!

You can find them online here, for FREE, only for July. Look for Issue 9, (also free for July) coming out on the 15th of this month!



https://www.scribd.com/document/317471527/Outermost-Vol-1-Issue-2

The Great Space Race

The Great Space Race

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Howard Donovan rolls his eyes in exasperation at the offensive antics of the Pismarian pirate racers as the starting lineup for The 187th Annual Galactic Grand Prix waits. This year’s Grand Prix takes place in the Gamma Quadrant, a dangerous and primitive part of the Milky Way. Pirates and shady characters have found their way into this year’s race as a result, bringing stolen technology like the Winged Particle Surfer to try to increase their winning edge. The Galaxy’s most versatile personal flight craft, the Donovan Jump Jet, will have its work cut out for it in this motley collection of space ships of intergalactic design. Howard will have to be on the look out for cheats and sabotage of all kinds as he tries to negotiate one of the most challenging space race courses in the GAGA.

The account of this thrilling space sport is told in the science fiction anthology, Tales from Space 2. Available this July from StarkLight Press, Tales from Space 2 features this story as well as tales about the wroiling mass of consumers, workers, stars and soldiers that make up the GAF Mainframe science fiction universe.

You can find the first volume of Tales from Space here, in print:

https://www.amazon.ca/Tales-Space-Anthology-Tony-Stark/dp/1518816614/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466644672&sr=8-2&keywords=tales+from+space

Look for the Tales from Space e-book on Scribd here:

Look for GAF Mainframe books An Incident in El Noor, The Arkellan Treaty and Space Stranded, coming later this summer from StarkLight Press.

Here is an excerpt of Virginia Carraway Stark reading an excerpt from The Great Space Race:

Will Norton and Boudicca

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StarkLight Press author Will Norton has penned some truly gripping tales of horror, science fiction and historical hypothesis for us over the years. For Great Ladies, he wrote a piece about Boudicca. Here is a bit about Will Norton, and his interview with Virginia Carraway Stark.

William Norton grew up in Vancouver B.C. And has spent the past few years working in the oil industry north of Fort Saint John. He usually writes stories that are uniquely and specifically from his perspective, his characters often share his name. He writes when he has time but spends most of his time working and being filthy. His hobbies include sleeping to catch up with sleep when he’s not working. Based off the current trend he suspects he will soon have more time for writing and social media than in the past which would be great if he didn’t have truck payments.

Hi Will, Thanks for being with us today for this live interview!

Thanks for having me, I give no guarantees on anything I do ‘live’. Editing is my friend.

That’s ok 🙂 Why don’t you start by telling us how you felt about writing Boudicca when you drew her as ‘your’ Great Lady?

Well, at first I was given Catherine The Great and I thought that one would be really easy to do. There was so much to her story and of course, there was so much scandal around her. When I started researching Catherine I had only really heard that she loved horses so much that she died fucking one. That turned out to be complete bullshit, by the way.

There turned out to be so much information on Catherine that I got overwhelmed. I didn’t know where to start with her so I hung my head in shame and asked for a redraw. When I got Boudicca I knew nothing at all about her except that everyone says her name differently. When I started to look into her I found out that Boudicca is the most modern understanding of the interpretation of her name and how it is (they think) supposed to be pronounced.

I found out that most of what we know historically about Boudicca is from the Roman records so everything was pretty biased. She planned all theses battle campaigns and caught the Romans with their pants down time after time. No one really knows how she died in the end, but after she started to lose wars her daughters died and she died shortly after, there was speculation that maybe Boudicca poisoned them all to save them from being raped (again) by the Romans.

I still had a lot of choices to write about but I decided almost right away that I didn’t want to write about the battles. Battles are hard to write and it’s the before and after part of them that really matter. When you’re having a fight you’re so hyped on adrenaline that you don’t know what happened until after when you try to figure out where all the bruises and broken bones came from. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience, of course.

That left me with the beginning or the end of her life to write about and the idea of writing about either her or someone else poisoning her and her daughters made me queasy. Dying from poison is usually slow and I’m pretty sure that right after doing it there’s a lot of, “What did I just do? Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.” Then that’s followed by, “This hurts way more than the bottle said it was going to, holy shit, yep, this really hurts.” Then comes the crapping and puking and the realization that you’re going to be found covered in your bodily fluids and you realize that this really sucks and it’s really too late to do anything about it. There, I just wrote the end of their lives. Now imagine that is slow motion, I’m not that sadistic so I wrote about a mother watching her daughters get raped instead.

The concept of writing about women getting raped as an ‘inspiration’ point has a lot of criticism behind it. How did you feel about writing that part of things?

I thought, well, it happened and it was what made Boudicca go ape shit and who can blame her. People can talk about ‘tired tropes’ all they want but that sort of thing happens and I think that its a good reminder that ‘hell hath no fury than a woman who you rape her daughter in front of’.

I get it that people are tired of hearing about and want more complex back stories and for that I should have stayed with Catherine The Great. The thing is, I know women who have been raped and I’ve seen the devastating effects on their psyches from it. I’ve seen women get revenge on their rapists, I’ve known guys (I don’t want to get into trouble here so lets leave it at, ‘I’m talking about friends, not me’) who have gone after rapists. I also know that the women involved aren’t happy if someone else goes and makes the guy pay, they want revenge for that sort of thing in an up close and personal way.

It’s a ‘tired trope’ to talk about rape and the effects it has on women and that makes me sick. It’s only tired because it keeps happening. It keeps happening only because some guys seem to think that it’s something that is either their right or that ‘it’s just sex, what’s the big deal’. I’ve heard guys say that, I work in the bush and some of those guys are really rough characters, the sort of thugs most people will only meet briefly or in prison. Or at least, that’s the way it should be. Rape is still talked about so much because it happens so much. Not talking about it doesn’t make it go away and I find calling it a ‘tired trope’ kind of like saying, “I’m tired about hearing about your problems so go away”. Rape isn’t going away and it’s still hard to prove and even harder to prosecute.

I think you only get to call something a ‘tired trope’ when it’s no longer a common part of society. It happens a lot. It happens to women and sometimes to men as well. I think that putting it out there that there are consequences is a good thing.

You wrote your story from the first person. How hard/easy was it for you to see things from the eyes of a woman?

I’m not sure about that one. I thought about what women I know have told me and I’m a pretty good listener, or I like to think I am.

If I saw something like that happen to my daughters I would like to think I’d have the courage to act even a little bit like Boudicca did. I don’t have any kids but its not hard to imagine how I would feel about it, even a little bit. I’m not sure that I could ever capture the rage Boudicca must have felt, I don’t think anyone who did see her rage lived long enough to talk about it.

The good thing is that Boudicca’s revenge was a warriors revenge and I could relate to going and making ‘them all pay’ for a crime committed against my family with violence. I hope those words are never read back to me in court, by the way.

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So you think you would have reacted like Boudicca did to the crimes against herself and her daughters?

I like to think so, I’m not sure though. It was such a fucked up situation. The Celtic laws clashed so much with the Roman ideas that women were just evil things sent from the gods to tempt men. The Celts were matriarchal in their lines and for most of the tribes it wasn’t a big deal to give inheritances and titles to their daughters or wives. The Romans didn’t just beat the crap out of Boudicca and rape her daughters, they also proved to their tribe that they were conquered as hell and that none of their culture or laws mattered anymore. That part must’ve stung almost as much as the rest.

Their tribe has successfully fought the Romans for ages and then, when they finally sought a peaceful resolution and capitulation it wasn’t enough for the Romans, they wanted to rub some salt into those wounds and make their point clear. That point was that: You guys are our bitches.

It wasn’t a civilized response (to make the understatement of a couple of millennium). The symbolism of the act was the point of the act and it was to tell the Isceni tribe that they didn’t have any culture anymore. They didn’t have anything. It was the real start of the eradication of Celtic laws and traditions. The beginning of the end in many ways. I guess they call those watershed moments. The Romans paid for it big time but there were too many of them for Boudicca to win against ultimately and when her rage stopped carrying her the Roman war machine ran her and her army over. It was sort of the style of the day.

Any final thoughts on Boudicca and what you wrote? Anything you would change?

It’s a haunting story. It stuck with me after I was done writing it, I guess all tragedies do that. It was a fucking tragedy and it brought home the fact that for all the glamorizing of Roman civilization they had all they had through taking it from others and slavery. The fact that so much of our civilization is modeled after their civilization just goes to prove that there is a real streak of monster in humanity. There is a part of us that still believes that ‘might makes right’ and that it’s ok to make someone your slave. It’s ok to conquer and that the most heartless and cruel are the ones that rise to the top. If you aren’t willing to be a corrupt piece of shit, chances are you won’t ever be in a position to make change and that means that we aren’t a nice species at all.

It also explains the ‘tired trope’ of rape. It’s I’m stronger than you so I can just take what I want, errr, what my dick wants, that is.

It’s not going to go away while any part of our mind or civilization thinks that might makes right. It’s never going to go away unless people are punished for believing that these things are anything like ok. We’ve got a lot of problems and this is the root of a lot of them. Women are the ones who make all of us and so long as they’re treated like less, or like strength over women gives anyone the right to do what we want to them, we are hurting the sources of life, the sources of our whole species. It’s so self destructive of us as a species to hurt the women who are the only ones who can continue our species that it messes with my head.

This ‘tired trope’ is the basis of so much of human history that it has to be talked about because if we ever get tired of talking about it as something wrong, a way we are scarring our very species, it’s never going to go away. That’s leaving the individual element of the human herself who hurt in this way out of it and trying to appeal to humanity on a global level.

I don’t think writing about Boudicca is going to make that element of society go away but it made me think and I think about the things I hear the other guys say in a new light. I guess I’m hoping that Boudicca will hear them and come back to show them what ‘some bitch’ could do to fuck them up.

Will Norton: Roughneck, Writer, Historian

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William Norton grew up in Vancouver B.C. and has spent the past few years working in the oil industry north of Fort Saint John. He usually writes stories that are uniquely and specifically from his perspective, his characters often share his name. He writes when he has time but spends most of his time working and being filthy. His hobbies include sleeping when he’s not working. Based off the current trend. he suspects he will soon have more time for writing and social media than in the past- which would be great if he didn’t have truck payments.

 

In addition to writing, Will enjoys looking into the history behind our current holidays, customs and society. It was through his researches that he developed his story for Hearts Asunder, which is a fictionalized account of the events surrounding the death of St. Valentine. Here’s an excerpt:

 

September had wandered into October by this time and Constantine treated Valentine as he would one of his own sons. He was impressed by the boy’s quick mind and envious of his charisma. Boniface had been charismatic as well and the boy orated and lectured in his father’s cadences. Valentine wasn’t the only one sending letters. Constantine had sent letters to Boniface, telling him of his sons poor situation and the fate that the one god had felt fit to thrust upon him. Boniface agreed to take him back as his heir if Constantine could get rid of the boy’s silly notions and get him agree to come home and to marry.

In a fit of genius Constantine negotiated with Boniface that Valentine would take his blind daughter has his bride if he succeeded in returning Boniface’s only son and heir to him. Constantine could see how badly Boniface missed his son when the man agreed to this term. If Constantine could only show Valentine the error of his ways, all would be well.

Lucy had noticed Julie’s prowess at finding her way around but even she underestimated how well Julie could find her way through her home when she chose.

It was late in October and her infatuation had increased. She had many conversations with Valentine and knew he was obsessed with the one god but she still wanted him for her own. Much of their conversations had been about the man on the cross. Valentine feeling that if he could convince the daughter he would have someone to help him convince Constantine to come around to the true faith.

The conversations bored her but his voice was what she listened to, not his words. Other times he would sit in the garden with her and they would talk about the flowers. He taught her to name them by touch, taking her small, childlike hands in his to guide her to their petals. He described their beauty and their colors, laughing at himself when he discovered how hard it was to explain these things to someone who had no sight.

He took to comparing them to textures. Pale blue was the cold water from the well and dark blue was the warm water of a bath. Red was the stones around the hearth. Brown was the feel of the bark of an olive tree.

Will also answered our interview questions:

  1. Do you have a real life horror story of love gone wrong in your life?

    I’m not sure if you’d call it a horror story, more misplaced intentions and a lot of ‘can’t believe my good luck’ and then shit went down. I met this girl at a local bar, took her home with me and she stuck around. I was pretty excited when I found out that having girl in the house meant I got sex way more than without girl in house. Having made this realization I made to effort to make her leave and then left for the bush. This happened a few more times and then one time I came home and we had been together long enough to be considered common-law. I was only at home for three weeks of the six months but never mind that. Legally she could claim we were ‘married’. I came home out of the bush and found all my stuff on the front lawn and she called the cops on me when I tried to come in and find out what the hell was going on. That was the most expensive girl I ever met at a bar and I still have to pay her some of my pay check. Bitch. (I hope she reads this because I’m petty), is this a horror story? With the oil industry slow down it’s sure starting to be. I miss my house.

  1. What do you find makes the combination of love and horror such a potent combination

Trust. Like I said up above. You trust someone, I don’t pretend that I loved her. She was a girl I met at the bar and she did things to my body that I liked. Stupid. That’s it, love makes us stupid and because we all forgive stupidity in the name of love we are more stupid than usual.

  1. What was the source of your inspiration for your Valentines Day horror story?

I almost wrote a vicious story about my ‘ex’ but then this idea was suggested to me by Leanne Caine. The cover for the book was screaming out for someone to write this story and for some crazed reason she thought of me. This story was completely out of my comfort zone, usually I write up close first person and the lead character is always just me letting my imagination and fear get free reign for what could happen or might be. Leanne’s cute though so I said I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I did it but I hope people are forgiving of my many historical inaccuracies and other mistakes. I took a lot of liberties with a legend that has almost no information about it. I don’t know much about 5th century Rome and did a lot of research that a half-assed historian could probably poke a lot of holes in.

Maybe one day I’ll work on a more accurate version but my goal with this was to breathe life into a story that is so dusty and uncertain that even the catholics gave up on it as an official part of their calendar. I hope people will enjoy it for the story’s sake because in the end that’s what I did. It’s not meant to be a history of the era, just a story and I hope people can enjoy it that way.

Our Interview with Contest Winner Will Norton

Here is our text interview with Will Norton, one of the winners of our StarkLight Press short story contest.

Interview With Will Norton about his upcoming short story and winner of the Starklight Press Literary Award.

  1. Do you have any sources of inspiration for your world?

    I’ve had experience working in the oil industry. I write from personal experience and the soul sucking horror that pays my bills. Every day that I go to work there is a serious chance that I’ve irreprably damaged my health. Danger pay is a huge part of the big wages that I earn, danger and medical expenses both now and in the future. I write what I write as a big fat ‘what if’ that scares the f#%@ out of me everyday. The short answer is my terror and horror at what I do everyday is the inspiration I draw from.

  1. What do you love most about writing?

    The fact that it’s something real and lasting. Most of what I do in my ‘actual’ job has the effect of being used by consumers in about five seconds and it literally just burns away and it’s gone. Well, not gone, the residual effects will impact the environment for a long time to come and so will the wreckage that was once a world and now it’s just a total craphole nightmare. oilspillI mean, these places I go to used to be beautiful and now… anyway, that’s what I love about writing is that it’s worse where I write, but it’s not the world, not yet. I mean, except for the stories that I say are fictional only so they don’t fire my ass from my job. This is a complete lie but, you should know… NONE OF IT IS FICTION! I’VE SEEN IT ALL HAPPEN!!! WE ARE ALL IN HUGE SHIT AND IT KEEPS GETTING WORSE.

    Also, I’m just a creative person, ya know?

  1. Who are your favourite writers? Why are they your favourites?

    My favorite writer of all time is Stephen King. No one holds a candle to him, he just tells the story and he doesn’t try to get all literary and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. By that I mean that he’s not self conscious, he’s not worried about the critics, it’s just a story. A totally credible terrifying story. Except for those few times where he does get self conscious and experimental… you all know the books I mean…

  1. What is the most unique aspect of your universe?

    There isn’t anything unique about my universe. It’s only one degree from the real world and it’s a whole lot of things that scare me and should scare you, too. I guess if there was one thing that was unique I would have to say the fact that it’s mine and nobody else’s nightmare. For better or worse I’m married to the horrors of my own mind and my keyboard has split open my mind and birthed the children I have made with my revulsion at the human condition and now you’ve gotten yourself involved. Haha.

  1. What is your favourite part of your universe?

    The fact that I remain outside of it and that my life is marginally better than my protagonists’ tend to be.oilpee

  1. What do you think people will most enjoy about your universe?

    I have no clue. I hope it’s because it makes you think a little bit but this question is really hard. I write to get the horrors out of my head and onto the page, why you’d want to put it into your head is seriously beyond my understanding. Having said that, please read my story and buy lots of copies for your friends and families.

  2. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

    I write whenever I get a chance but my full time job is out in the oil patch which is a bitter and demeaning job. I’m bitter and demeaned, that’s one thing about myself that I’m sure many people would enjoy hearing about me. I am a firm believer in the internet rumors that KFC was forced to change its name because they were forbidden from calling their genetically modified half spider/ half chicken monstrosities ‘chicken’ any longer. I’ve seen the pictures and they are emblazoned on my soul. I defy everyone to prove that sh#$ is photoshopped.

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  1. Any words of advice of struggling writers?

    Don’t struggle. If you’re struggling you’re doing it all wrong. Go out and live your life and write what comes to mind. Send it out wherever and as much as you can. The internet makes it so easy. Think about what what writers who have preceded you have gone through and quit whining. You just have to click ‘send’, used to be not too long ago that there were self addressed stamped envelopes and hundreds of dollars spent on paper and printing so that you could get rejected, now you have the pleasure of getting rejected for free. You can be rejected so much faster and by so many more people, the internet has revolutionized rejection beyond everyone’s wildest dreams. Anyway, keep on asking, it’s gonna work out eventually… unless your writing is crap, then you’re up some creek without a paddle. And on the internet, somebody’s bound to read it one day anyway.

 

Read “Breaking Time” in StarkLight Volume 2, soon to be released on ebook and in print. Place your advance orders at starklightdesk@gmail.com. Just tell us how many copies you’d like and we will send you a form today.

Don’t forget to visit Will’s facebook page and friend him, too !

 

-Tony Stark

StarkLight Volume 2 Winners

An official congratulations to the winners of our StarkLight Volume 2 short story contest!

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(Graphic courtesy Marquiss Productions 2014)

 

 

The lucky authors will be featured in the second volume of our compendium of speculative fiction, science fiction and fantasy

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available later this week in ebook version, and in fine bookstores across Western Canada later in July.

 

Our winners are:

E.L. Caine

Hal J. Friesen (check out Half Riesen on facebook)

Cathy Illes (illescathy@gmail.com and check out her blog at www.cathyillesspeaks.wordpress.com)

Robert Marquiss (his remarkable resume is at http://www.apex101.net/GiftArt/rmresume.htm)

Jeren Nethers (faultyandirritated@gmail.com)

Will Norton (1ruffnekk@gmail.com)

Rufus Seafjord

Nicholas Vincenzi

 

Many congratulations to our winners!

 

-Tony Stark, Publisher and CEO.