This is the personal and professional website of the writer J.L. Forrest, who scrawls from the frosty mountains of Colorado, from the Old Country of Roma, Italia, or from the wet techno-forests of the Pacific Northwest.
What’s that, you say? Take you to the Monthly Free Fiction immediately?!
I’m not (anymore) a professional musician. I do, however, love to play, and I plan over the next couple of years to become a better digital recorder. Look for a collection of my musical work here, under the moniker Forstå, or follow me on Soundcloud. Please don’t judge me too harshly—I put this here for fun. Have a listen!
Progenesis, a novelette which is something of a prologue to the Requiem stories, is on slate for publication in October 2016 by Analog Science Fiction & Fact. I can scarcely overstate my excitement at, once again, making the pages of Analog and working with the inestimable Trevor Quachri and Emily Hockaday.
Eternal Requiem is the working title for the Requiem series. When I released A Requiem Dawn two years ago, I felt the story was done. Yet it has nagged me constantly since, as an arc which was both hurried, and as part of a larger narrative which clearly begged to be told. I’ve worked with the Robot Cowgirl Press to take the original editions out of print. Look for new editions of the Requiem stories out late this fall, as well as an completely new book in early 2017.
My first collection of short stories, Delicate Ministrations, hit the market in winter 2014. My second, Miniature Truths, should release this September, along with a wider release of Delicate Ministrations too. Accompanied by some original, never-before-seen stories, it will feature works first published in Analog Science Fiction & Fact, Crossed Genres’s Fierce Family, The Story of the Month Club and others.
A Requiem Dawn is currently out of print! The stories of Nyahri E’cwn and Sultah yw Sabi will, however, return later this year in a beautiful second edition. I’m calling this one my “Tolkien edit,” as J.R.R. Tolkien was known to have edited editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings quite heavily until he was certain the tales read consistently and uniformly all the way through, thus resulting in the editions we all know today.
What was known as A Requiem Dawn attempted to tell two distinct arcs of the Nyahri’s and Sultah’s tale. I have been working with an editor to divide those two arcs into separate books, and am now in the process of writing a third. The world from which Sultah yw Sabi arose is a complex one. The new editions expand on that world, give us a deeper insight into yw Sabi’s first love, Ekaterina et Sultah, and clarify much.
These editions will be available far beyond Amazon, and they’ll be beautiful. Once they’re out, I’ll turn my attention back to my stories for The Adventures of Molly Black, and I should have some exciting news on that front in the near future.
Herein you will find delectations, loving ministrations, and fabulous words, being stories science fictional, literary, fantastical, and fay. These eleven short tales introduce us to alienated world travelers, estranged families, deep-space explorers, broken hearts, murderers, damaged detectives, ministerial agents, humanity after humanity, a fivesome of fancy foxes, a robot named Franklin, a crime-stopping cat, and wonders from beyond. Delicate Ministrations is a collection of eleven stories of science fiction and fantasy.
“[This] book shouldn’t really be reviewed at Honest Indie. It should be in the New York Times or Washington Post, or at least in Fantasy and Science Fiction. The fact that it is small press — Robot Cowgirl Press — only goes to show what gems there are to be found in the indie and small press community. A Requiem Dawn is a compelling adventure, written with elegance, power, imagination, passion and compassion. In my opinion, a true virtuoso performance.”
“Having already read J.L. Forrest’s book of short stories (Delicate Ministrations) I had high expectations for this book. I was in no way disappointed. It kept me glued to the pages night after night as he followed the two main characters across vast landscapes and into unforeseen dangers. It has something for both the science fiction and the fantasy lover. A highly recommended read.”
Reader Review by Persephone
“These are excellent stories, so well written. I’m impressed with the flawless editing and formatting. I like the cover as well. Very nicely done.”
“I’m an author, an editor, a book reviewer and a writing teacher. And I tell you, without exaggeration, this is fine, powerful, engaging writing. Forrest’s speculative fiction stories are reminiscent of all my favorites, from Jack London to Philip Jose Farmer. His writing is polished without being pompous, insightful and vividly imaginative. And as Elmore Leonard might say, Forrest ‘leaves out the parts people skip.’ I’ll not try to give you any story summaries here — there’s no way I could do justice to the subtle power of his tales. For instance, if I were to try to tell you about ‘The Unlighted Sentinel,’ talking about cannibals vs. gardeners on a forgotten space station in the far future, I’d only be giving you the merest hint, and really, no clue at all. But if you peek into that world, it will swallow you up, just like the stories of every master storyteller. As speculative fiction is meant to do, Forrest’s stories put Faulkner’s ‘eternal verities’ of love, honor, courage and compassion on bold display, gems in ring settings of the bizarre, dramatic and even frightening. These are great stories from a writer who knows the techniques of good writing and infuses them with heart, soul, insight and a fearful imagination. As a professional writer, editor and teacher of writing I will say this: I wish I could write like that.”
“This is an entertaining mix of short stories that draws the reader into each new world the author explores. Mr. Forrest has a great command of language and vividly paints his characters and scenarios in each new story. If you haven’t yet had a chance to pick up Mr. Forrest’s work, this is a great place to start!”
“If short stories can be described as ‘sweeping,’ this one certainly is. There’s a cast of at least a dozen, divided between two families, and a conflict (damaged ship beset upon by pirates) that would easily fuel a full-length movie. And yet it doesn’t feel crowded or rushed. Forrest’s writing is very cinematic, so the swell of boarding action / repelling the attack / fighting, both within the ship and outside it, is easy to picture and follow. Equally strong are the smaller character moments; despite very few ‘catch your breath’ quiet moments, each of the major characters has a chance to shine and grow. I’d love to see more with these characters, in fact.”
“My personal favorites [from Fierce Family] are ‘The Home Study’, in which a couple wanting to adopt a baby must go on a quest to rescue her first, and ‘The Collared Signal’, where an extended family must defend their farm ship against pirates. Both are well written, and have a little twist at the end which makes them even better.”
Dafydd Mac an Leigh
Strong, united families are rarely portrayed in speculative fiction. They’re often dysfunctional, combative, self-destructive, or miserable, when they’re portrayed at all. This is especially true for non-nuclear and adoptive families, single parent families and families with no children, which are easy targets for invalidation. And QUILTBAG families are almost never portrayed in speculative fiction, regardless of whether their families are loving or falling apart. 15 exhilarating stories of QUILTBAG families experiencing adventure, disaster, and triumph make up Fierce Family. They are families of any constellation: all sizes and configurations, families of choice as well as families by birth. They are caring and connected – when outside conflict arises, they come together to defend and aid one another. Fiercely, and without hesitation.