Havok Publishing

Editor & Reader Favorites for July 2020

If you’re an author, you’ve probably been wondering,
When is Havok going to tell us how our stories are doing?
What happened to the monthly updates?
Am I in the running for the anthology?
What about Editors’ and Readers’ Choice?

Writers are a nosy bunch.

We’re sorry for the delay, but there was a good reason! And it had *nothing* to do with a certain virus that shall remain nameless.

Do we really have to tell them the reason, Ling?

Better if you do it, Phenny.


What was that? You kind of mumbled something…

I. WAS. MOLTING. You know, the phoenix thing. Not the one that happens every thousand years or so. The other one. I had hot flashes, all my feathers fell off, and then I was a downy dumpling for a while. I had to wait until I grew back enough to take over my weekend correspondence duties.

I’m sure they understand, Phenny. It is 2020, after all.

The good news is we’re back, and we’ve reorganized! We’re all set to bring you weekend scoreboard posts for those of you keeping… score.

That’s right! Without further ado, here are the—

There needs to be some ado, Ling. We need to tell them the new plan.

Oh, right. Sorry. This must be why we didn’t do these posts when you were “re-coop-erating.”

Nice one, Ling!

Listen up, Horde. For Season Four: Sensational, we’re going to tell you our daily editing teams’ two favorite stories from the month AND the top five readers’ favorites as well.

These are just two of the metrics we use to determine which stories make it into our seasonal anthologies. There’s more to it than that, but if we told you—

Cerberus would come after us with all three heads barking.

Right. We don’t want that, Phenny!
Now, without further ado…

Here are the



  • Color” – A beautiful and haunting tale set in a world with no color, but one.
  • Magical Touch” – A gritty and fun murder mystery story.


  • Vesper, Shadow Queen of the Death Swamp” – Snarky, angsty, and irrepressible. This story makes it impossible to resist hoping, just one more time.
  • Mari’s Gift” – A rare combination of epic, sweeping science fiction with a heartbreaking personal touch. Powerful prose and an interesting main character made this story linger long after we finished it.


  • Midas’ Heir” – Rife with humor and charm. It’s absolutely hilarious, with the perfect dash of fantasy and vivid, imaginative storytelling.
  • The Penguin Plan” – Pairing aliens in Antarctica with a goofy spin on a classic infiltration trope to create comedy gold. I’m not sure I’ll ever look at penguins the same way again.


  • A Little Help From Above” – We really enjoyed how this story explored the complementary concepts of a ‘healing touch’ and the power of self-sacrificial love.
  • The Clouds Weep” – The worldbuilding here gripped us from the very first time we read it, and only grew stronger with Hamm’s revisions. A very engaging take on the Touch theme.


  • Sticky-Fingered Sailor” – A hilarious, heartwarming twist on a proposal gone wrong. It’s the perfect mixture of sweet and charming, and we couldn’t stop smiling.
  • Stone Skin” – A beautiful, sweet story, with characters we can’t help but love. The world is so vibrant and alive, it pulls the readers right into the heartaches and hopes of the characters.


  1. Stone Skin” by Cassandra Hamm (Fantasy Friday)
  2. To Touch the Earth” by Beka Gremikova (Fantasy Friday)
  3. The Clouds Weep” by Cassandra Hamm (Thriller Thursday)
  4. Vesper, Shadow Queen of the Death Swamp” by L. G. McCary (Techno Tuesday)
  5. Losing Touch” by Chisto Healy (Techno Tuesday)

Next up… the top August Taste stories!

See you soon!!

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