Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Dark Matter Releases Today!

 The newest IWSG anthology is out and about today! These anthologies will also be special for me. My first published piece of writing was in Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime. I met so many great people through the anthology and learned a ton about the process and working with a small press publisher. An excellent experience and a great welcome into the publishing world.

I'm thrilled to know a few of the authors in this newest anthology. Can't wait to read their stories and to meet some new author friends as well.

To celebrate a SF anthology I thought it might be fun to find out what fictional worlds the authors like best.

The fictional world that intrigues me most is definitely Star Wars. I suspect it's because I've been fascinated by it since I was knee-high to an Ewok, but it definitely pushes all the right buttons for me. No other world has inspired me to create so many of my own stories, games, crappy fanfiction, or fuelled so many arguments. No other intellectual property can instill such joy and rage in me.

C.D. Gallant-King


Besides that of Middle-earth? :p
I'm fascinated by Middle Grade and Young Adult books set in 19th and early 20th century Canada. To the extent that the first time I visited Toronto, I expected it to still look like it had in the 1930s, in the books by Bernice Thurman Hunter!

Deniz Bevan


My favorite fictional world is the one where I grew up, a fantasy land that emerged from the very prosaic soil of Queens, New York. My neighborhood was Rego Park, which was created in the 1920s by an enterprising real-estate company that took the name Rego from the slogan, "A REal GOod place to live." The developers carved up the farmland (yes, there were still farms in NYC in the 1920s) into plots that were strategically situated along Queens Boulevard and the Long Island Railroad. By the 1960s the neighborhood was a cluttered mishmash of attached houses and 15-story apartment buildings, drab red-brick piles graced with idyllic names such as Park City Estates, Saxon Hall, and Anita Terrace. But in my imagination, each housing complex became a fortress in a war-torn medieval land. As I wandered down the commonplace streets I imagined that I was embroiled in the bitter feudal battles, and when I looked up I saw knights and archers standing on every rooftop. In short, Rego Park became my Middle Earth, my Westeros. And now when I visit my old neighborhood, I see the fantasy more clearly than what's really there.

Mark Alpert


I would say it is the universe Wen Spencer has created in her Tinker series. That universe has immortal elves in it, and magic, and quantum physics too. The author postulates that there are several parallel worlds that almost mirror each other in terms of continents, climate, and such, except for one huge difference. Some of those worlds, like Elfhome, the planet of the elves, have oodles of magic. Others, like Earth, don’t have magic at all. There is even a possibility to travel between those worlds, but the presence or absence of magic makes for all sorts of problems for the author’s characters. Plus, people are the same everywhere, magic or no magic. Some are good, some are evil, and most are in-between, struggling with their everyday lives. 

This world intrigued me so much that I wrote three fan fiction novelettes set in it. All three have original characters – I didn’t use Spencer’s characters. All three are posted on my wattpad account [https://www.wattpad.com/user/olga_godim].  

Olga Godim


I tend to lean toward worlds that are full of magic and nature. As an avid gamer (before I had a baby), the Kingdom of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda series is particularly interesting because there are different “worlds” within the world—levels made entirely of water or sand, inside a tree or inside a volcano. This also made me think about the fictional nations in the animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. There’s Water Tribes, the Fire Nation, the Earth Kingdom, and Air Nomads. People within this world can “bend” the elements of water, fire, earth, and air in order to travel, heal, fight, defend, and more. It’s like magic, but feels so personal.

Stephanie Espinoza Villamor


The fictional world that intrigues me the most are books and movies with inspiring romances with happy endings--this world has too much heartache to not desire a bit of joy!

Elizabeth Mueller


I'm a fan of all fictional worlds, and each has its own unique way of storytelling, but I'm always going to go back to books as my favorite source. There is richness, emotion and detail in great written works that you can't find anywhere else.

Kim Mannix


I love to escape reality, so sci-fi and fantasy are my favorite fictional worlds. Anything from epic fantasies like The Hobbit, Harry Potter, and my own Beast World to sci-fantasy Star Wars/the Mandalorian, near future sci-fi Ready Player One, and YA sci-fi Hunger Games. Imagination rules!

Tara Tyler


When I was a boy, I dreamed of creating my own fictional world someday. I wanted to create one with the imagination of Michael Ende's Fantastica, the depth and attention to detail of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, and the cheerful comfort of C.S. Lewis' Narnia. (The "Harry Potter" books weren't around back then, but if they had been, I would have added a liberal dash of J.K. Rowling's tongue-in-cheek humor.)

Charles Kowalski


Fully developed universes with multiple stories intrigue me the most. A few examples:  Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, the Ekumen systems in Ursula K LeGuin’s stories, and even TV worlds like Once Upon a Time. I love how they weave pieces of our own history into their fiction worlds and somehow make them new and breathtaking.

Steph Wolmarans

Dark Matter: Artificial
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Discover dark matter’s secrets…

What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?

Ten authors explore dark matter, unraveling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Goldim, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!

Release date: May 4, 2021
Print ISBN 9781939844828 $14.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844835 $4.99
Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies (FIC028040) / Space Exploration (FIC028130) / Genetic Engineering (FIC028110)
186 pages

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter. A Writer’s Digest 101 Best Website for Writers and The Write Life’s Best 100 Website for Writers

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08S7LP369
Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-matter-artificial 
Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-matter-insecure-writers-support-group/1138581452?ean=2940164777661
Goodreads - 


So many great answers and incredible fictional worlds! My TBR list just got longer!

I love many of the worlds above and I'd also have to include Anne McCaffrey's PERN world as one of my favourites.

And my very own Bloo Moose, Vermont, because like Elizabeth said, the world needs more happy endings and I think Bloo Moose would be a great place to live!

How about you? Which fictional world is your favourite?


  1. Thank you so much for hosting the authors today. I devoured Pern books when I was a kid.

    1. I didn't discover Pern until I was an adult but still loved it!

  2. I enjoy many of those worlds but only Narnia would I want to enter.
    Congratulations to the Dark Matter authors!

    1. Some of those worlds are more than a little terrifying!

  3. Huge congratulations to the Dark Matter authors.
    I think that the Land of Green Ginger was my first, but so many that others listed have also broadened my horizons and delighted me. I still reread lots of them too - and continue to hope that the Entwives will still be found in a quiet and peaceful corner of Middle Earth.

    1. I hope the Ents and Entwives are enjoying their time together as well.
      I don't know the land of green ginger - off to check that out!

  4. Huge congratulations to all the authors involved. I think Middle Earth is my favorite (or at least at the moment).

    1. Middle Earth is pretty awesome! One of my faves too, although I'd rather go after the Fellowship clears out Sauron!

  5. Sp pleased the Dark Matters is out, I know it will be a success.


  6. And the Dark Matter cover is so awesome.

    Your post was great to read. It's interesting what others read or are inspired by.

  7. Thank you for hosting! I love that you were first published in a similar anthology. It gives me hope!

    1. You're very welcome. Tick Tock was SUCH a great experience for me. Gave me the confidence to take those next steps. I bet it will be the same for you!

  8. Congratulations to all the Dark Matter authors!! So excited for you all!!

  9. Congrats to all the authors in the anthology.

  10. I like these kinds of posts. They show how different we all are, with different tastes and preferences. But we ended up in the same anthology. Yay to us!

    1. I agree! Anthologies are terrific for finding common ground amongst diverse voices!

  11. Congratulations, authors!

    Thank you for hosting us, Jemi. What a wonderful chance to let writers shine!

    1. You're very welcome, Elizabeth - love to support others!

  12. this is so fun reading about what everyone likes to read =)
    thanks for having us Jemi - exciting to be a part of it!

    and Pern brings back memories, also a beloved fave of mine
    Tara Tyler Talks

    1. You're very welcome - glad to help!
      McCaffrey was a master!

  13. Great question, Jemi! Thanks so much for hosting us!

    1. You're most welcome, Deniz! Loved the answers - although I was totally expecting yours to be Middle Earth!

    2. Ooh, I should have! I guess I was labelling that "fantasy" :p

    3. LOL - good point! I generally collect all SF under what umbrella :)