UFO4 cover and table of contents

May 22, 2015

The fourth annual Unidentified Funny Objects anthology will contain 23 stories totaling approximately 86,000 words. Cover art by Tomasz Maronski. Interior illustrations by Barry Munden.

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Unidentified Funny Objects 4


“We Can Get Them for You Wholesale” by Neil Gaiman

“The Time-Traveling Ghost Machine of Professor Jaime Peligrosa” by Andrew Kaye

“Please Approve the Dissertation Research of Angtor” by Caroline M. Yoachim

“Match Game” by Esther Friesner

“The Transformation of Prince Humphrey” by Brent C. Smith

“In the End, You Get Clarity” by Laura Pearlman

“Project Disaster” by Tim Pratt

“Hello Hotel” by Piers Anthony

“Bob’s No Kill Monster Shelter” by Ian Creasey

“Board Meeting Minutes” by Oliver Buckram

“Armed for You” by Anaea Lay

“The Unfortunate Problem of Grandma’s Head” by Karen Haber

“My Mother Loves Her Robot More than Me and I Feel Bad” by Eric Kaplan

“The Worm that Turned” by Jody Lynn Nye

“Department of Death Predictions, Final Notice” by Tina Gower

“Champions of Breakfast” by Zach Shephard

“Keeping Ahead” by Mike Resnick

“So You’ve Metamorphosed into a Giant Insect. Now What?” by James Aquilone

“Confessions of an Interplanetary Art Fraud” by Michael J. Martinez

“Texts from My Mother about an Alien Invasion” by Tina Connolly

“Support Your Local Alien” by Gini Koch

“Topics to Avoid on a First Date with Yourself” by Jonathan Ems

“The Monkey Treatment” by George R. R. Martin


My 2015 Balticon Schedule

May 21, 2015

I’ll be attending Balticon for the next four days, as I do every year. Here’s where you can find me:


4:00 PM Retelling Fairy-Tales Across Media Garden
Alex Shvartsman (M), Sunny Moraine, Ruth Sanderson, Jo Walton, Melissa L Hayden (50 minutes)
9:00 PM Dangerous Voices Variety Hour Salon B
Sarah Pinsker (M), Michael Underwood (M), Alex Shvartsman (50 minutes)
Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s own readings series comes to Balticon once more! The Dangerous Voices Variety Hour takes its cues from such diverse inspirations as the popular 510 reading series, NPR’s quiz show: Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, and Orson Welles’s original War of the Worlds broadcast. The hour long, free event features readings, irreverent author interviews, trivia, prizes, and more.


3:00 PM Autograph – Saturday – 15:00 Autograph Table
Larry Hodges, Alex Shvartsman, Grig Larson (50 minutes)


10:00 AM Exploring Publishing Platforms Salon D
Mike Allen, Neal Levin, Mike Luoma, Alex Shvartsman (50 minutes)
Desktop publishing has come a long way. Learn the ins and outs of the various publishing platforms.
11:00 AM How to Start Writing Derby
Michael Black (M), Paula S Jordan, Hugh J O’Donnell, Don Sakers, Alex Shvartsman (50 minutes)
Workshops, writing circles, and NaNoWriMo. How do you start writing, and how do you make sure you keep at it? Younger and beginning writers are encouraged to attend.
12:00 PM Putting a Pretty Face on Small Press Parlor 1041
Scott E Pond (M), Andrew Fox, Gail Z. Martin, Alex Shvartsman, Patrick Thomas (50 minutes)
Covers, often the bane of small press publishers. How do you put out a nice looking book without breaking the bank? What do you need to know when designing those covers and selecting cover art? What pitfalls should you watch out for that could mean the difference between looking pro and not.
1:00 PM Readings: Russ Colchamiro, Adam Ruben, Alex Shvartsman Chesapeake
Russ Colchamiro, Alex Shvartsman, Adam Ruben (50 minutes)
2:00 PM Starting your own Small Press Pimlico
Dave Robison (M), Andrew Fox, Gary L Lester, Alex Shvartsman (50 minutes)
Taxes, registration, a company name… there are so many things to consider before you even start. Learn some of the things you should be aware of before you take that plunge into the publishing mogul pool.


12:00 PM What Do Short Fiction Editors Want? Salon D
Mike McPhail, Bernie Mojzes, Alex Shvartsman, Joshua Palmatier (50 minutes)
What is the behind-the-scenes process of what happens at a magazine? From Slush to Sale panel




New Publication: “Grains of Wheat” in Nature

May 20, 2015


This week’s issue of Nature includes “Grains of Wheat,” my story of big pharma, chess mythology, and revenge. You can read it here for free. There’s also a link from the story that leads to a brief essay about the inspiration and writing challenges behind it, which I hope readers of this blog will find interesting.



Get a free copy of Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse anthology

May 14, 2015

Dark Expanse cover

Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse is FREE at Amazon for the next few days. Grab your copy!

And speaking of anthologies, all acceptances and rejections for UFO4 have gone out. I’m waiting on one rewrite request, and on all the contracts to come in, but I expect to announce the TOC early next week!



My Albacon 2015 Schedule

May 7, 2015

This weekend I’ll be attending Albacon 2015 (well, technically it’s called Albacon 2014 1/2 because this year’s official Albacon is hosting the World Fantasy Convention later this year. But for all indents and porpoises….)

Anyhow, here’s my event schedule for the next three days:


2pm in Troy: Getting the Word Out

8pm in Latham: Ice Cream Social


11am in Latham: Humor in SF

12:30 in lobby: Signing

1:30pm Reading (30 min)

2pm in Troy: Anthology Editing 101

4pm in Troy: Social Media


No events scheduled for me — I shall roam the halls, and engage in wacky shenanigans.





Kickstarter Creator Basics Videos

May 7, 2015

Kickstarter posted a series of brief Creator Basics videos on their YouTube channel, where Lisa Lucas, Daniel Jose Older, Farai Chideya and yours truly get to dispense some wisdom about preparing to launch a Kickstarter project in publishing and journalism fields.

This is pretty basic information (as advertised in the series’ title!) but if you are relatively new to Kickstarter and are thinking of creating a campaign, it’s a good start-off point.

Watch the videos here.



New Sales and Publications

May 6, 2015


It’s been a while since I had the time to write an update, so here’s a brief rundown on some recent writing and publishing news.

The May issue of the Fantastic Stories of the Imagination has reprinted by story Icarus Falls (cover art above), which was originally published in Daily Science Fiction last year. It’s definitely one of my strongest stories, so if you haven’t read it yet, please do! FSoI is also running a crowdfunding campaign right now. They’re a worthy magazine, so please take a look and consider backing. There are lots of great fiction rewards available!

I also recently sold an original flash fiction story, “He Who Watches” to Fireside Magazine. This will be my first time appearing at Fireside, which is a very nice market as well, so I’m excited to have broken in.

I’m also excited that StarShipSofa, possibly the world’s top SF short fiction podcast, has selected a whopping six stories from my collection to produce for their show. The following stories will appear at StarShipSofa: Doubt, The Dragon Ships of Tycho, Ravages of Time, Price of Allegiance, The Far Side of the Wilderness and Dominoes Falling.

And speaking of the collection — it is very kindly reviewed in the May issue of Locus Magazine.  They talked about a dozen or so individual stories, drawing the following conclusion: “At any length, Shvartsman is an entertaining writer who can take on many voices and make them his.”

Finally, I’ve been hard at work on UFO4 and hope to announce the final TOC by next week!





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