August 7, 2012
It has been five days since I launched the Kickstarter campaign for Unidentified Funny Objects. The response has been great. Nearly fifty people pledged money to this project helping me raise over $1250, or 25% of the goal. Of course, there is a long way to go. Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition — either the project gets to its funding goal, or it gets no money at all and all that promotion and unkind spamming of friends’ Facebook and Twitter feeds will have been for naught.
I think this project has what it takes to get there. That’s because I believe in how awesome UFO is going to be, and in the need for such an anthology in the marketplace. In short, I believe in what I preach . But it can use a signal boost. Please let people who you think would be interested in this book know about UFO. And, of course, don’t hesitate to order your copy via Kickstarter if you plan on buying UFO when it comes out anyway.
June 28, 2012
I’m not writing all that much at the moment, because editing an anthology is even more crazy and more time consuming than I expected — and I don’t think I was fooling myself about the amount of work it was going to take in the first place. My previously written stories are making the rounds at various markets though, and this has been a very good week, with two semi-pro sales to report.
On Sunday I heard back from Bards & Sages Quarterly — they will be publishing my tiny slipstream humor SF story “Manna From Heaven” in the October issue. B&S appears to appreciate my flash stories that make fun of or subvert Biblical plots. Last year they published “Superior Firepower,” a story about the final battle between good and evil as predicted in Revelations taking place in our day and age. “Manna From Heaven” is inspired by Exodus. Perhaps I should write a flash humor story based on every other book of the Bible and see if I can get them published. Adam and Eve chomping on Snow White’s poisoned apple? Robo-Christ? The sky’s the limit.
My other sale is a much longer story titled “A Better Tomorrow,” which was picked up by Interstellar Fiction, a new e-zine, for their inaugural issue. IF is new to the business, but they’ve been super friendly and responsive, a great experience so far, and I can’t wait to see what else they come up with for the issue 1 lineup.
“A Better Tomorrow” was one of the first stories I wrote in 2010. However, I wasn’t satisfied with how it came out, so I shelved it and kept coming back to the story every six to nine months as my skill as a writer improved. It wasn’t until late last year that I felt comfortable enough with the story to begin shopping it around. It had a few very close calls before it found a worthy home.
“A Better Tomorrow” is a pulp thriller set on an Earth-to-Mars spaceship that is damaged en route, dooming the crew. How will they react in a hopeless situation? The story feels a lot like a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode, down to a opening with an action sequence cut from the middle of the plot. Very curious to see what readers make of this story.
June 1, 2012
“Nuclear Family,” a dark post-apocalyptic SF flash story, is now live at Kasma SF.
I originally wrote it in early December. When a friend told me that a certain pro-paying market was holding a Christmas contest, I had no intention of participating. Holiday-themed stories really aren’t my thing. But then an idea wormed its way into my head. Being a contrarian, if I was going to write a Christmas story then it was going to be the darkest, saddest Christmas story you’ve ever read! None of that happy, cuddly stuff for the holidays. And so, “Nuclear Family” was born.
Unfortunately the hosts of the contest dropped the ball. Instead of the advertised three winning stories they only ever published one, and they never responded to most of the entrants. By late January I ended up withdrawing my submission. But it all worked out in the end, and this story found a wonderful home at Kasma SF — a semi-pro market that has been quietly publishing some amazing fiction over the last few years, and where I’ve been submitting stories for some time now.
At 500 words exactly, “Nuclear Family” is one of my shortest published stories — but it packs a lot of punch into the word count, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.
April 28, 2012
One of my stories has been podcast, for the first time ever.
Listening to your own words interpreted by somebody else was a strange experience. But the Smoke & Mirrors Podcast team rose to the challenge — host Dennis Miller and reader Cynthia Colby produced the story beautifully. “In Service of a Greater Cause” was originally published in the inaugural issue of Schroedinger’s Mouse magazine, in early 2011. Schroedinger’s Mouse just released their second issue after a long hiatus, so stop by and give them a read!
My story begins at the 14 minute mark and is about 9 minutes long, but you should listen to the entire 30 minute podcast if you can.
Click here to listen.
April 25, 2012
A few months ago I announced the sale of “The Dragon Ships of Tycho” to an upcoming anthology. Today I’m thrilled to be able to post some additional details about it. The anthology is called “Galactic Creatures” and is forthcoming from the Sparkito imprint of Dark Quest Books in late May.
“Galactic Creatures” editor Elektra Hammond posted the cover art (above) and the table of contents on her blog yesterday. The anthology will be published in trade paperback format ($14.95) and as an e-book, and will debut at BaltiCon on Memorial Day weekend.
“Galactic Creatures” was the first project I’ve been directly invited to participate in. It is what’s called a “private anthology.” While some editors call for public submissions and wade through hundreds of slush stories to find a few gems, oftentimes editors contact a handful of authors whose work they’ve enjoyed in the past directly and ask them to write something that fits the theme. Such an invitation is not a guarantee of publication — write a dud and you’ll end up rejected just as quickly as you might from anywhere else. But, once invited, your odds are very good indeed.
Mrs. Hammond copy-edited another story of mine, for another publication. She liked it enough to offer me a chance to write something for her upcoming project, and I was happy to oblige. Since then I’ve been invited to two other anthologies (and let me tell you, the VIP ride past the slush pile NEVER gets old!) — but it’s always the first such opportunity that is the most memorable.
As we get closer to the release date I will blog more about this anthology, revealing its theme and other details when they become available from Dark Quest Books (wouldn’t want to spoil any info ahead of the publisher!). I’m also hoping to attend the launch party at BaltiCon, schedule permitting.
April 24, 2012
The inaugural issue of Nine: A Journal of Imaginative Fiction is now live and includes my flash story “Putting It All Together.” This is a story of a post-singularity “digital” human trying to recreate the original simulation, which was designed to look and feel like the real world.
Nine is an interesting new concept. Each issue will feature 9 stories, and each author will earn 9% royalty from the sale; the issues are sold directly on the Nine web site. So when you buy an issue (which is only $5) you’re directly supporting me and the other eight authors whose work was included.
April 21, 2012
“Hunger” is the story of the last yeti, being hunted by the humans for the unforgivable crime of being too different. This one isn’t available to read online for free, but you can buy a printed issue or an e-book.
And if you’re getting a bit tired of my constant publication updates this month, I’ve got bad news for you: there are MORE on the way, likely to hit before the month is out. Mwahaha!
Seriously though, if someone told me 2 years ago that I would have four short stories published in a single week, I would have laughed in their face. Life is good.
April 19, 2012
Of all the stories I’ve had published so far, this is my favorite.
Conrad Brent is special. He is among the small group of people (one in thirty thousand) who can See the world for what it really is. There are wizards, and monsters, and even a giant troll underneath the Verrazano Bridge — deadly threats that an average citizen knows nothing about. Threats that are kept in check by the Watch — an ancient society which protects regular people from being taken advantage of by those with magic.
Conrad Brent is the Watch’s representative in Brooklyn, NY. When a powerful magic-enhancing shard of Atlantean crystal shows up in the borough, it is up to Brent to keep it out of the wrong hands. By whatever means necessary.
OK, given a little time and a medium cup of French Vanilla coffee, I could probably write a better blurb. But you get the idea. “Shard” is the kind of urban fantasy I love to read, and want to write.
Conrad Brent is a wise-cracking, irreverent, morally complicated character and I love telling his stories. I’ve already written a second Brent tale, titled “Requiem for a Druid,” where our protagonist butts heads with New York’s most prominent real estate mogul who has a penchant for firing people. That second story is currently looking for a home — sadly there aren’t a lot of pro markets interested in light urban fantasy short stories.
I’m also in the very early stages of planning out my first novel. It will be–you guessed it–a Conrad Brent story.
So please head over to Buzzy Magazine, a brand-new pro venue which was kind enough to accept this story, and read “A Shard Glows in Brooklyn.”
April 18, 2012
This story was written for one of the Shock Totem contests. Every few months the horror/dark fiction magazine sponsors a contest where a prompt is provided and each author submits their story anonymously, to be judged by fellow entrants. I enjoy the process and try to participate whenever I can, and it often results in pretty good stories. “Spidersong” — my first SFWA sale — was another ST contest story. For “The Traveling Fair” the prompt was to write a story under 1000 words featuring a giant monster and fireworks.
Click here to read The Traveling Fair at Every Day Fiction, and don’t forget to rate it!