More Pings and Pongs is out, in both print and kindle formats! This is the second anthology of my short stories, and includes the 25 best stories I’ve sold and published since 2012. The first one, “Pings and Pongs,” came out in 2012. From God getting Earth critiqued in a workshop, to a dragon landing on the U.S. Capitol, from a dead kid on a high school track team battling the Mile Mafia, to the first ten U.S. presidents battling each other and alien vacationers on an alien computer, here are more stories from the feverish mind of Larry Hodges!
Many of these stories were critiqued in writing workshops, such as at the “The Never-Ending Odyssey” (an annual nine-day workshop by graduates of the six-week Odyssey Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing Workshop – I’m class of 2006), and others at Codexwriters.com, an online community for experienced Science Fiction & Fantasy writers.
Ironically, the very first story in the anthology is “Workshop Gods,” a satire on writing workshops. What happens when a very nervous God gets bad critiques for the planet Earth in his workshop for planetary creation, and he decides to cheat in order to qualify for SFWA (Supernatural Formation of Worlds Association)? The opening line is “God fidgeted.”
Here’s the Introduction to More Pings and Pongs, which also explains the title:
In 2012 I published “Pings and Pongs,” an anthology of the 30 best short stories I’d sold at that time. Since then I’ve been typing and selling away – and here are 25 more!
I’ve divided them into three sections: Fantasy (6 stories); Science Fiction (8); and Short Stuff (11). I’m told I tend to write with a light touch, and many of the stories are humorous. However, a few are a bit darker, such as the award-winning stories “Rationalized” and “The Awakening.” Read over the story descriptions in the Table of Contents to see which stories interest you, or just read it straight through from the start!
You may be wondering about the title, “Pings and Pongs.” In the real world, I make my living as a professional table tennis writer and coach. Really! Ping-Pong, or its more proper name table tennis, do make their way into a few of these stories, in particular in “Ping-Pong Ambition.” You can read about my table tennis exploits at www.TableTennisCoaching.com, or see my science fiction & fantasy page at www.larryhodges.org.
Here’s the text from the back cover:
Here are 25 stories from the feverish mind of Larry Hodges. God cheats to save Earth from a bad critique and annihilation in a planetary workshop…An English professor and a supercomputer battles a muse who turns all writing into masterpieces…A dead kid joins the high school track team and battles his killer and the Mile Mafia…A wizard and a warrior battle in the belly of a dragon…William Shakespeare has ten trillion typing chimpanzees in his basement…A city of lost souls lives in the backbone of the Devil…An underground society battles to hide their secret – their emotions weren’t surgically removed at age 13…A man becomes a universe and battles his vengeful tendencies…A 4-D artists messes with a 3-D fly and ends up at war…The first ten U.S. presidents battle each other and alien vacationers in an alien computer…The U.S. president gets sucked into the Galaxy Girding Grid…A huge dragon swoops out of the sky and lands on the U.S. Capitol – what’s the president to do?…and many more!
So let me very crassly ask you to buy your copy today – or I’ll sic Shakespeare’s chimpanzees, the mile mafia, and that fly mentioned above on you. You don’t want to mess with the fly.
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