Flash Drive Giveaway Winners

April 10, 2018

Last week I hosted a Rafflecopter giveaway for five copies of a custom 8 GB flash drive loaded with my ebooks. Here is the list of winners randomly generated via Rafflecopter:

Doc X.
Christina L.
Nelson L.
Jenny H.
Haley S.

I emailed the winners directly and will ship out the flash drives once I get their snail mail info.  Thanks to all those who participated and I’ll run more giveaways in the future.

Meantime, those who didn’t win can grab a copy of my latest collection on Amazon and elsewhere.

#SFWAPro

 

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Touching the Face of the Cosmos FREE Seminar in New York

April 8, 2018

 

I’ll be one of the panelists at this FREE seminar on the intersection of space travel and religion tomorrow. Come hear Paul Levinson, David Walton, Guy Consolmagno, and others.

https://www.facebook.com/events/210551846167041/

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The Golem of Deneb Seven and Other Story Launch Day and Giveaway!

April 2, 2018

The official release date for The Golem of Deneb Seven and Other Stories is tomorrow, but it’s been uploaded onto all the major platforms and you can get it whenever you want!

Here are some of the places you can obtain a copy of this book:

[Buy direct: Paperback | E-book]
[Amazon] [Google] [iTunes] [B&N] [Kobo]
.
But wait, there’s more. I’m running a Rafflecopter giveaway where FIVE lucky winners will receive a custom 8 GB flash drive preloaded with my three books: Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma, H. G. Wells, Secret Agent, and The Golem of Deneb Seven, in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats. I will sign the drives, too.
This offer is open to readers in the United States. Because the cost of international shipping is pretty high, any international winners will receive all the ebooks by e-mail instead.

To enter the giveaway, click this link.

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UFO7 Submissions Open

April 1, 2018

Submissions are now open for UFO7. A brief reminder of the common problems in the slush pile:

* We’re looking for humorous stories. If you send us a Hugo-worthy horror/drama/whatever story that isn’t humor you’re wasting your time and ours, because even if we love it a lot, we can’t use/buy it.

* One submission per author, unless you’ve been explicitly and directly invited to send another.

* The word count range we’re looking for is 500 to 5000 words. Not 250. Not 5500. If you’re off by more than a handful of words, we won’t appreciate that.

* Don’t go for the low-hanging fruit. In any given year there will be a dozen deal-with-the-devil stories, another dozen fairy tale retellings, and a brainless amount of zombie stories. Not that we will never buy those themes — we’ve published a little bit of each — but you’ll improve your odds a lot by sending us something original and surprising.

* We’re not the right market for stories written mostly to showcase how much you hate Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, or anyone in-between. You’re welcome to take pot shots at either, but if those pot shots are the main point of your story, we aren’t interested.

* We’re especially interested in translations as well as submissions from authors for whom English isn’t their native language. We love seeing stories from previously unpublished authors. We welcome submissions from writers of all genders and backgrounds. Ultimately though, no matter who you are, all we really care about is how good and funny the story you sent us is.

With all that in mind, send your stories here:

https://alexshvartsman.com/ufo-unidentified-funny-objects/

#SFWAPro


Story sale: “Copy Cat” (by K. A. Teryna and me) to Strange Horizons

March 24, 2018

K. A. Teryna and I have written a strange, darkly funny story together. Based on her idea, we expanded the story with me writing in English and her writing in Russian, and me translating the bits into English as we went. It was a really fun process, actually. The story got picked up by Strange Horizons and should be available in a few months.

Today I also signed the contract for “A Gnomish Gift” (which originally appeared in Weird Tales) to be reprinted in Fantasy for the Throne anthology from Fantastic Books, edited by Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial.

As I updated my bibliography page I felt it’s been a really long time since I’ve had an original, non-reprint short story published in English. So I checked the page and, sure enough, the most recent one to come out was back in early October of 2017. My next story should be published in April, which means there will be a six month window between the stories — the longest wait between original stories since I’ve had my very first one published back in 2012!

This isn’t too surprising since I spent more time editing and working on novels in recent years. Even so, there are enough stories in the pipeline, forthcoming from Strange Horizons, Analog, IGMS, and Galaxy’s Edge to hopefully avoid another very long wait, at least for a while.

ETA: I actually completely forgot to record this story, published in Nature in December. So the wait will only be a more-tolerable four months, not six. 🙂 I updated the bibliography page so hopefully it’s now accurate.

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Reprint publication: Nuclear Family in 10 Years of SF!

March 16, 2018

A few years back, Kasma SF magazine published one of my darkest and best flash fiction stories. At 500 words, “Nuclear Family” packs quite the punch. And although Kasma SF is a relatively small venue, they’ve been consistently publishing quality stories for a decade now. To celebrate ten years of printing fiction, they put together an anthology of their best twenty-five stories, and were kind enough to include mine alongside many great authors and friends.

Better yet, you can get the ebook for free at this link! (Though do consider donating a few bucks or purchasing a copy on Amazon if you liked it!)

#SFWAPro

 

 


Custom USB drives!

March 15, 2018

Writers have to do much of their own marketing work, and the most effective marketers show up at conventions armed with more than just business cards, bookmarks, and postcards. I’ve seen all kinds of interesting swag ideas, from pens (pretty commonplace) and custom pins, to T-shirts and even hairbrushes branded with the author’s website or book info.

I’ve been a long-time fan of using flash drives. Although they’re more expensive than a pen, they’re generally cheaper than a custom T-shirt and they are useful so readers will hang on to them and keep them around – same ideas as the bookmarks, but less disposable.

Flash drives are a game-changer for e-books at conventions. Sure, you can sell an ebook and email the files to the reader, but handing over a physical drive (which they can also use for other purposes) makes it far more appealing. And especially so with audio books, which are huge files, often too large to burn onto a single CD. In most modern cars, one can plug the drive into a USB slot and start listening. Likewise, they make much cooler giveaway items than merely emailing the winner the book files.

In the past I used regular boring flash drives I picked up in bulk, but while they were practical, they didn’t serve the additional purpose of being cool convention swag. I’ve been wanting to step up my game, so when the opportunity came along to team up with usbmemorydirect.com and test-drive their custom-made flash drives, I jumped at the chance.

They offer a wide range of wholesale drives, and I briefly considered this business-card like tab, perfect for displaying a particular book cover, but ultimately I settled on this adorable wooden drive designed to look like a book, and here’s how they came out:

I used the steampunk smiley from the H. G. Wells, Secret Agent book cover on one side, and my website on the back. And look: plenty of room for a signature! This neatly gets around the whole “you can’t sign ebooks” dilemma, and it’s nicer than just signing a postcard.

I’m going to be using these as giveaways as I launch The Golem of Deneb Seven collection later this month, as well as a part of backer rewards for the UFO7 kickstarter. What other cool uses are there that I may not be thinking of? Please share your ideas in the comments!