Here in the midst of the biggest drought in American history since the days of the Dustbowl, it seems as though the world of  the indpendent press is experience a dry season as well. It looks like another small press may have bitten the dust.

Ricasso Press, a small press run by Rob Santa, a publisher/writer/editor with a good reputation in the business, appears to have folded its tent and slunk off into the night. Ricasso Press published several good heroic fantasy anthologies over the last couple of years, and was about to put out it’s latest, Through Blood and Thunder. Yours truly had contributed a story to the collection. Frankly, I have to say, it is one of the best things I’ve ever written. A piece of historical fiction based on actual events, but told through the eyes of a fictional character. Rob Santa said he really liked the story and accepted it along with at least 20 other stories. The table of contents was a virtual who’s who of small press heroic fiction authors and I was really looking forward to the book coming out. Just being in the table of contents was pretty exciting.

That was almost two years ago. Since then Rob seemed to be having problems. He would update us on the SFReader.com forum, telling us that though the anthology was being delayed, he was doing everything he could to publish the book. I kept hoping he’d be able to overcome whatever difficulties he was having, but last week I sent him an email informing him of a change in my email address and I got no response. I clicked on the book mark for his Ricasso Press website, and wasn’t too surprised to see that it was no longer there.

It’s a shame. The book would have been a success, I’m sure. Does anybody out there know what happened to Rob? I hope he hasn’t suffered some serious misfortune and that he can get Ricasso Press back on its feet someday. I keep thinking maybe he’s retooling or redesigining he web site, but it doesn’t look that way. If anybody has any news, please let me know. Meantime looks like I’ll be looking for another market to sell my story to.

This has been, as I said, a dry season. The aforementioned SFReader.com forums have been shut down all July while the site is being revamped. It’s taking much longer than expected. I hope that doesn’t completely disappear too.

Meanwhile, Pill Hill Press has been very quiet this summer as well. Release of the Use Enough Gun anthology is being delayed but that is for a good reason. Publisher Jessy Marie Roberts is pregnant with twins, and last I heard is working a very limjited schedule. Normal operations will resume in October. Can’t wait for that anthology to be released. My story “The Shape of a Cage” is a bit different from the other monster hunter stories I’ve done.

That’s the latest from the news desk. What I plan to do in the immediate future is enjoy what’s left of the summer.

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