Publication: “The Gilga-Mess” in IGMS

February 22, 2019

I’m incredibly honored to have my story be the lead story of an IGMS issue for the second time. (Which means it gets full color artwork!) Like last time, the art is by the amazing M. Wayne Miller. So cool! The story is called “The Gilga-Mess” and is the third installment in the Coffee Corps series (though it reads just fine as a standalone.)

My joy is mixed with an equal dose of sadness as IGMS will be closing its virtual doors after two more issues. It has been a wonderful presence on the SF scene and I’m indebted to its staff and especially its editors, Scott M. Roberts and Edmund Schubert before him, for publishing some of the best stories I’ve written.

You can preview the story by clicking here.

#SFWAPro

 

 

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“The Rule of Three” by Lawrence M. Schoen is a Nebula Finalist!

February 20, 2019

I’m very excited to share that “The Rule of Three” by Lawrence M. Schoen which I edited and published in issue 1 of Future SF this past December is a Nebula Award finalist! This is an excellent first contact story, but reminiscent of golden age SF and modern in its sensibilities. If you haven’t read or listened to it yet, please do so! It’s available online for free in both formats:

Read “The Rule of Three” online
Listen to “The Rule of Three” narrated by Wulf Moon

At this point the entire first issue has been unlocked and is free to read online, and I’m hard at work putting together issue 2, which will launch on March 15.

#SFWAPro


Publication: “Gifts of Prometheus” in Nature

February 20, 2019

My flash fiction SF story “Gifts of Prometheus” is live and free to read at Nature. Enjoy!
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Publication: The Goddess of Birds and Wind in Gorgon: Stories of Emergence

February 16, 2019

My short story “The Goddess of Birds and Wind” appears in the latest anthology from Pantheon Magazine, edited by Sarah Read. Check it out!

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No UFO volume in 2019

February 9, 2019

I will not be editing and publishing Unidentified Funny Objects 8 this year.

There are a number of factors that led to this decision. First and foremost among them are the health setbacks I’d experienced in the latter half of 2018. Things are pretty much back on track now, health-wise, but two surgeries and months of recovery time put a significant dent in my writing and editing schedule, creating a deficit I’m yet to recover from. Rather than to push even harder and overload myself with responsibilities, I’ve looked to reduce the number of projects on my plate, and between crowdfunding, reading submissions, editing, and marketing, UFO is the most time-consuming editing project I engage in every year.

The second contributing factor is my work on Future SF — a quarterly magazine is about as involved and complex an undertaking as one might expect, and I felt it was only fair to give it a proper amount of attention and care, especially over the course of the early issues, while I establish the ‘zine and build staff. By this time next year I hope to have content inventory levels that will allow me to focus on UFO submissions exclusively for six weeks; right now I’m still buying stories for issues 2 and 3 with pretty much nothing “banked” in my coffers yet.

Finally, there are other projects across writing, translation, and editing fields. There are some exciting things happening on the latter two fronts and I hope to be able to share something about that relatively soon, but my primary focus is on writing; I hope to complete my third novel by summer, while my agent is shopping around the first two.

UFO series is far from canceled. I expect to release UFO6 and UFO7 in audio book format this year. UFO6 is almost done and I’m waiting on my voice narrator partners to finish editing their narration so we can announce and release it. I will also feature some humorous science fiction in Future SF to tide UFO fans over. I’ll be reaching out to series regulars to solicit material for this.

Looking ahead, I hope to resume the series in 2020. I would also consider teaming up with another publisher for future volumes, which would allow me to focus on the creative work of putting the anthology together and not so much on marketing and other business aspects of the project.

Until then, and as always, happy reading.

#sfwapro

 

 


SFWA Raises Pro Rate for Short Fiction to Eight Cents per Word

January 17, 2019

Science Fiction Writers of America just announced that they’re raising what they consider to be a minimum professional per-word rate from $0.06 to $0.08 per word, as of September 1st, 2019. The full announcement can be read here. I was excited about this change, just like I was excited to see them raise the rate from $0.05 to $0.06 back in 2014. The way I see it, SFWA is an advocacy group for writers and part of its mandate is to encourage publishers to pay a fair rate for genre fiction. But not everyone was as excited as I am. A writers forum I frequent on Facebook was filled with anguished comments about how SFWA keeps moving the goal post, and how this will only make it more difficult for the new writers to qualify for membership. So are they right? Am I now an out-of-touch elite, resting on my qualification laurels? I don’t think so. Let’s examine the arguments I’ve encountered against this change and then look at the list of affected markets.

  • Will this change will make it too difficult for new writers to qualify for SFWA membership?

Compared to 2018? Maybe. Historically? Definitely not. Thanks to the internet and print-on-demand technologies making publishing cheaper, there are more magazines and anthologies paying $0.08+ today than there were magazines paying $0.03 per word back in 2003. (SFWA raised the qualification rate from $0.03 to $0.05 in 2004.) SFWA has also made it easier to qualify for membership via other means in recent years, welcoming self-published authors and game writers.

  • Can magazines can’t afford to pay the princely sum of $0.08 per word, or will they just ignore the SFWA guidelines going forward?

Inflation is a thing. Everything goes up over time, and we can’t expect writers’ wages to remain the same. Back in the pulp days writers were paid at $0.01 per word, but guess what? $0.01 in 1954 money is an equivalent of $0.08 today. It’s true that some venues will ignore the SFWA guidelines, but that was already true at $0.06/word. Interzone still pays a British penny (roughly $0.015 per word) today. But you hardly ever see venues offer $0.05/word now because the goalpost is so close. I think we will see many, though not all, pro paying venues adjust upward a little.

Here’s the list of qualifying short fiction venues that appears on the SFWA qualification page. Keep in mind that ANY market not listed here that pays the minimum rate will also help qualify an applicant for SFWA, so this is not an exhaustive list. Also for the purpose of this list I’m disregarding venues that are defunct or at least have not sought submissions in the past 1+ year.

Venues that already pay $0.08+, for at least some of the fiction they acquire:

Analog
Asimov’s
Cicada
Clarkesworld
Cricket
Daily Science Fiction
Diabolical Plots
Fireside
Flash Fiction Online (* flat rate per story; some will fall under $0.08/word under current rates)
Future Affairs Administration
Highlights
Lightspeed
Nature
Nightmare
Odyssey
Strange Horizons
Terraform
Tor.com
Uncanny
Unidentified Funny Objects anthologies

Venues currently paying $0.06 or $0.07 per word

Apex
Arc Manor/Galaxy’s Edge Magazine
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Dreaming Robot Press
Cast of Wonders
Compelling
Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores
Escape Pod
Flame Tree Publishing
F&SF
Grantville Gazette
MZB (Sword & Sorceress)
OSC’s Intergalactic Medicine Show
Podcastle
Pseudopod
Zombies Need Brains anthologies

Not specified in guidelines

Chaosium
Grim Oak Press
Star Citizen Jump Point Magazine

That’s 20 markets currently paying $0.08+ and 16 markets at $0.06-$0.07, with three more I couldn’t find pay rate data for. It will be interesting to see if and how the pay rate landscape changes based on SFWA’s announcement.

#SFWAPro


January 2019 Story Sales

January 14, 2019

Although I haven’t been focusing on short fiction in recent months, 2019 is already off to a great start with two pro sales this week.

My translation of “The Slave” by Andrej Kokoulin will be published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. “The Slave” won the FantLab contest in Russia, where I was one of the judges. Some readers and participants took issue with the relatively minor amount of fantastical elements in this story (it’s a really good and disturbing mix of magical realism and psychological horror), but I insisted the story fell firmly within the bounds of genre, and the other judges agreed. I suppose nothing vindicates our decision like the English translation of it selling to the magazine whose title is literally F&SF.

My second sale is a science fiction flash story “Gifts of Prometheus” — a throwback to Golden Age sci-fi which also manages to critique golden age SF tropes in a roundabout way — which will appear in Nature Futures. This will be my 12th story published in this excellent magazine.

My short fiction sales are bound to slow down in coming months. I’m not writing a lot of short stories, and I don’t currently owe stories to any invitation anthologies — a position I find myself in for the first time in a few years. So if you’re editing a pro paying anthology, this may be a good time to reach out. 🙂 I continue to focus on editing Future SF and on my novels in the meantime.

#SFWAPro