September 1, 2018
The latest issue of Galaxy’s Edge magazine includes my short story “Small Fortune and the Perpetual Luck Machine.” This is the third Magic Pawn Shop story (the fist two were “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma” and “High-Tech Fairies and the Pandora Perplexity.”) It’s the first new Pawn Shop story in years and I hope everyone likes it as much as the first two! I keep meaning to write more in this setting but other projects interfere.
The story will be free to read at Galaxy’s Edge website for the next 60 days. Afterward (or even now, if you like) you can purchase the entire issue for five bucks.
August 25, 2018
There’s only 5 days left! If you enjoy Unidentified Funny Objects, please consider preordering the current volume on Kickstarter. It will help me keep the series going and get you a great book in time for the holidays!
Click here to visit the Kickstarter page.
August 17, 2018
This past Tuesday I had a thyroidectomy performed at Mt. Sinai hospital. They removed half my thyroid and a large goiter that grew from it into the chest under the sternum. This is an outpatient procedure and I was able to go home the same evening, but I’ve been pretty useless and staying off the internet for a few days as I recovered from the surgery The good news is that the procedure went well, and even better news is that the growth they removed was benign. I’m still going to take it easy for a few more days, but at least I feel capable of doing some work on the computer. Which is good timing as I have a number of cool links to share today:
1. Rick Liebling interviewed me at his Medium blog, The Adjacent Possible, about Future SF, translation, and international SF/F. There’s some great content there and I wholeheartedly recommend checking the blog out for more than just my interview. I especially enjoyed this Q&A with Nick Farmer, a linguist for The Expanse TV show.
2. On the Analog blog today there’s an interview with Alvaro Zinos-Amaro and me where we delve a little deeper into our story “The People v Craig Morrison” — this is the second and different post from the one I shared about a month ago, and I truly appreciate Analog giving us so much bandwidth to talk about our writing as well as other stuff we really like!
3. Quick Sips by Charles Payseur has a wonderful and in-depth review of “Copy Cat.” If you haven’t read this quirky story co-written by K. A. Teryna and me, it’s free to read online at Strange Horizons.
4. The kickstarter campaign for Unidentified Funny Objects 7 is ongoing, but we’re falling a bit behind, and even more so due to my lack of promotion and activity this week. Please consider supporting this project and/or sharing it with other interested readers!
August 7, 2018
“Copy Cat,” a collaboration between K. A. Teryna and me, is now live at Strange Horizons. You can read the text or listen to the podcast.
I have previously translated several stories by K. A. Teryna from Russian (you can read two of them at Apex) but this one is a collaboration, with K. A. writing in Russian and me writing in English, then translating her text and both of us working on smoothing out the language. It was a really fun story to work on, and I hope you will enjoy reading it nearly as much!
August 2, 2018
The Old Spice brand has recently introduced The Gentleman character class for the Dungeons & Dragons role playing game. The Gentleman is tailor-crafted to confidently gallivant about the fantasy landscape, promoting male grooming products to a demographic that could really use them (according to the gamer stereotypes the ad agency researchers read about on the internet.)
This unsolicited intrusion may prove to be pure marketing gold, and other brands will race to stake their claims by inserting mascots into beloved game franchises. Here’s a preview of potential forthcoming collaborations.
- Hamburglar stars as the anti-hero of the next Grand Theft Auto installment. The young miscreant will roam the urban jungle, hijacking cars and knocking over fast-food joints. His predisposition for the Golden Arches will have players primed to answer in the affirmative when asked, “Would you like fries with that?” Vice City PD will also want to put an APB out for his known associate and white-gloved stooge, Hamburglar Helper.
- Mystery board game Clue replaces Mr. Green with Mr. Clean. What’s the enigmatic mascot hiding behind that smirk? The answer to that might be “Mr. Clean with the mop,” pretty much in any room of the house. They could all use some tidying up.
- Players will begin the game of Life as the Gerber Baby and enjoy a worry-free adolescence as Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, but eventually grow up and get a job as the Maytag Repairman. The marriage to Mrs. Butterworth will be rocked by an affair with the Sun-Maid Raisin Girl, but eventually they’ll work things out and have a Big Boy of their own. Only the winning player will be able to lay claim to the title of The Most Interesting Man Alive.
- Halo’s Master Chief will be replaced with Colonel Sanders, who will need all eleven of his herbs and spices to defeat wave after wave of GEICO Geckos on some hellish alien planet.
- The Charmin Bears may only need a few sheets to get clean, but they’ll discard plenty of toilet paper to clog up the warp pipes and finally let Mario and Luigi utilize their plumbing skills in the next Super Mario Bros. side-scroller.
- Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, and the Trix rabbit are few of the characters to appear in the next expansion of Pokémon trading cards. The cutthroat breakfast cereal business has prepared them for the life of savage gladiatorial combat against other cute pets.
- Hollywood won’t be far behind, casting the Michelin Man in Fast and the Furious, Cap’n Crunch in Battleship II, and Uncle Ben in the Spider-man prequel.
This trend shall continue ad infinitum, until all of us feel like the Coca-Cola Polar Bears, trapped on the ever-shrinking icebergs of pastimes and media not yet co-opted by clever marketing firms.
This tiny story is free. If you enjoyed it, please consider buying my books or supporting my current Kickstarter campaign.
July 24, 2018
Unidentified Funny Objects 7 cover by Tomasz Marosnki
Unidentified Funny Objects 7 will be published in October/November 2018 time frame and include 20 humorous short stories:
“The Dragon, the Drudge, and the Drone” by Esther Friesner
“Dethroning the Champeen” (a Lucifer Jones tale) by Mike Resnick
“The Vampire’s Apprentice” by Gini Koch
“Falling’s Free, Gravity Costs” by Seanan McGuire
“The Sit Down” by Laura Resnick
“Chad vs. the Rebel Alliance” by Shane Halbach
“Old School: An Oral History of Captain Dick Chase” by Val Nolan
“Quick Cash in the Old Kingdom” by Elin Korund
“The Fermi Loneliness Problem” by Beth Goder
“The Secret Destiny of Heroes” by Matthew Bailey
“Spear Carrier’s Union #109” by Jamie Kress
“The Day After Halloween” by Greg Sisco
“Key Fang and Klaw” by Fred Stesney
“The Assassination of 2063” by David Vaughan
“Bimple Bimple Bop Bop” by Richard Anderson
“The Ebony Egg” by David Vierling
“Take Meme to Your Leader” by Jennifer Lee Rossman
“Mission Log Nuptuals” by Langley Hyde
“Contractual Obligations” by C. Flynt
“Three Ways to Leave Hawaii” by Zach Shephard
It will also include nine original interior illustrations by Barry Munden.
Barry’s illustration for Jennifer Lee Rossman’s “Take Meme to Your Leader”
I’ve launched the Kickstarter campaign for this book which will run through August 30. It features a number of unique rewards as well as the chance to order UFO7 and other UFO Publishing books. Although I normally launch the Kickstarter in March followed by the open submission window in April, I was unable to do so this year due to a variety of health-related issues and deadlines for both writing-related projects and my day job. So I’m doing this very late in the game, but hope everyone’s enthusiasm for the project will not have been lessened by this delay!
Click here to view the Kickstarter campaign.
July 18, 2018
The Analog blog features a brief write-up by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro and me about driverless cars, our story “The People v. Craig Morrison,” and a famous Fred Pohl quote.
I’m also extremely pleased to have had another story accepted by Analog this week. “Repairs at the Beijing West Space Elevator” will appear in the magazine sometime in the not-so-distant future, probably in early 2019.