Frost giants: eighteen feet tall or eighteen-foot-tall?

Question–is that an eighteen-foot-tall frost giant or is it eighteen feet tall?

Answer: yes and yes, except frost giants are typically only fifteen feet tall.


Confused?  Me too, so I have been researching.  While in spoken English we tend to use the two interchangeably, in written English, well, it’s complicated.  The rule is that feet is the plural of foot, so if we write “the  frost giant is fifteen feet tall.” That’s easy. But… when used as a hyphenated adjective, we write “the fifteen-foot-tall frost giant.”

Why? I don’t know.

PS — fire giants can grow to thirty feet in height or more.  Just saying.

Asked and answered.

CR Hodges

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Excerpt of the week: Garden Tomte

A spin-off of my novel-in-progress, working title (not a very good title), The Jötunheim Eruption, is another take on Fire Giants Attack the World. “Garden Tomte” is set in the USA, not Iceland, and the protagonost is a real Swedish-American general rather than an wanna-be Icelandic-American  general.  More importantly , “Garden Tomte” is just 3200 words short, so I have to save the planet a heck of a lot quicker.


My inspirations on this project were many fold:

  • Two years living in Sweden
  • A large number of small tomte figurines that come out every Christmas, left over from our days in Sweden
  • A daughter who collects gnomes by the zillions
    • yes, a tomte is a Swedish variant of a gnome, more or less, sort of
  • A recent trip to Iceland to see the volcanos
  • A lifelong interest in Norse mythology (see also “Preschool War Games” and Ragnarök Willie)

No valkyries in this one, although I did slip in a cameo.


Garden Tomte

by C.R. Hodges

Lieutenant General Heidi Engelbrektsson turned off the car radio when the news came on. The hourly intelligence updates from her staff were far worse than what was being released to the public. Whumppp whump. Her wipers left gray streaks as they strained to clear the ash-laden summer rain that pelted her windshield. The fire giants had just defeated ten of her divisions on the plains of eastern Illinois, and wiped out most of the Air Force with some type of ungodly weapon that flung balls of white-hot fire.

The fire giants marched on foot, slow but unstoppable, on a vector from the Yellowstone cauldron straight toward Washington, DC. Her troops had lost every engagement since the twenty-foot-tall creatures had emerged from the lava tunnels two days after the volcanic eruption. She was losing the war, but tonight she was cooking dinner for her son. A welcome respite, even if only for a few hours.

“Good evening, General,” Sergeant Tamera Jones said as she opened the door to the garage. Free babysitting went with the third star. “I’d come to attention, ma’am, but…” She nodded to the purple cat tucked under one arm like a football, the front of her uniform blouse stained the same color.

“Jacob,” Heidi yelled. “At ease, Tamera. Can I help? No, I’ll take on my son, you wash the cat.”

CR Hodges

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Martian Rules was just published on Stupifying Stories

Yeah I know it’s not the Martian, and there’s no movie, yet, but the second short story of my own dystopian stranded on Mars series, “Martian Rules” has just been published on Stupefying Stories Showcase.


Excerpt from Martian Rules:

Eternal fame, top hammock, and a shoe contract all came down to five used drinking straws clutched in the oversized mitt of a slightly inebriated Irishman. We consumed half my stash of medicinal whiskey celebrating the landing and arguing over Mick’s self-proclaimed Martian Rules. “Down a shot. Pray or don’t pray, as ye see fit. Choose.”


The first short story in the series, “Three-Quarters Martian” was a first-place contest winner at On the Premises, was honored on the Million Writers Notable Short Stories of 2011 list, and is available as an e-Book on Amazon.

The third in the series, “Godspeed, Martians,” which I’m still hawking, garnered an Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest but hasn’t sold yet.

CR Hodges

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Like The Martian? Read Three-Quarters Martian too

If you liked Andy Weir’s The Martian, the book or the movie, you might want to also read “Three-Quarters Martian.” Besides being an award-winning short story that came out long before the movie, it’s cheaper, has characters that can talk to each other on Mars, and features an international, multiethnic cast instead of just a white guy talking to himself. And a really cool Martian flag.

Three-Quarters Martian

The first man to walk on the moon was a hero to five generations. The first woman to walk on Mars was forgotten even before her boots plunked into the red dust…

Available on Amazon or Smashwords for only $0.99. Return ticket from Mars not included.


CR Hodges

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You’ll never nap under an oak tree again

I just listened to a podcast of a fantastic horror short story from a fellow Colorado author, Jason Rush.  It’s titled “Great Oak” and available (free) on Pseudopod.

great oak

I’m not normally a horror fan, but this is really good.  Just make sure you have lots of lights on.

CR Hodges

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Updated list of paying spec fiction short story markets: October 2015

Fall is in the air and it’s time to get back to writing.  I’m seeing a lot more projects these days, still not quite sure yet how best to handle these, for now just opening and closing the publication, but I’m working how to better track such.


The following markets have been added:

  • Shattered Prism
  • Fey Publishing

The following markets have reopened:

  • Tor
  • Third Flatiron
  • Betwixt
  • Science Fiction Romance
  • Uncanny
  • See the Elephant

The following markets have updated guidelines / submission pages

The following markets have temporarily closed:

  • Kaleidotrope
  • Shattered Prism
  • Apex
  • Shroud Quarterly

The following markets have permanently closed / appear to be dead / website down:

  • Blank Fiction

Keep on writin’.

CR Hodges

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Updated list of paying spec fiction short story markets: May 2015

Sadly, a wave of markets closed over the summer.  Not sure if this is a trend–let’s hope not.

If you do find this list useful, come say hi on Facebook, I’m C.R.Hodges.Author.


The following markets have been added:

The following markets have reopened:

  • DarkFuse
  • Urban Fantasy Magazine
  • Stupefying Stories
  • The Lorelei Signal

The following markets have temporarily closed:

  • Shock Totem
  • Ideomancer

The following markets have permanently closed / appear to be dead / website down:

  • Wicked Words
  • Plasma Frequency
  • Sam’s Dot
  • Allegory Ezine
  • Acid Fiction
  • Aghast
  • Comets and Criminals

The following projects have closed:

  • Monster

Keep on writin’.

CR Hodges

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